The Ann Arbor Public Schools Board of Education is holding Board Meeting on August 12 at 7p to continue their discussion for Fall 2020.
There is another Ann Arbor Public Schools Board of Education on Wednesday August 26 with a board retreat on August 19 as they continue to work through plans for Fall 2020.
- Background: Summary of Ann Arbor Public School’s Plans for Fall 2020
- Notes from the August 12, 2020 Board of Education Meeting
- Public Commentary
- AAPS Reimagine Learning Plan Update
- Trustee Questions to Reimagine Learning Plan
- COVID-19 Health & Ann Arbor Public Schools Update
- A2 Virtual+ Academy Expansion – Elementary & Middle School
- Digital Library Collection
- Digital Academic Reading Materials Purchase
- AAPS COVID-19 Preparedness & Response Plan Policy and AAPS COVID-19 Return to School Plans
Background: Summary of Ann Arbor Public School’s Plans for Fall 2020
Just to recap where we are before the meeting starts. Ann Arbor Public Schools is returning fully virtual to start the 2020-2021 school year. Families have been asked to select one of the learning options below by August 14
- A2 Classroom Connect – Will start as a virtual learning environment and then will transition to a hybrid model when it is safe to reopen. Students will be assigned teachers and a class based at their enrolled school. Learning will include both synchronous and asynchronous time. Families can choose to continue virtually if they are not ready to return when hybrid starts.
- A2 Link – A 100% virtual learning option. Students will be assigned to teachers and a class based at their enrolled school. Learning will include both synchronous and asynchronous time.
- A2 Virtual+ – This is Ann Arbor Public Schools virtual learning environment that has been offered for years mostly at the high school level. It is a self-paced asynchronous virtual class and is available K-12
Connections+ will be small groups to support the most at risk students with support in virtual schooling, food needs, child care, and special needs support. They will meet in person when allowable.
Get more details in our AAPS Fall 2020 Plans article.
Notes from the August 12, 2020 Board of Education Meeting
The purpose of our notes are to capture the key points of the meeting as it relates to parents and children. We will be predominately focusing on the parts of the meeting that affect students and parents. We will not be covering board business (like approval of minutes).
These notes are being taken live as the meeting airs. Please excuse any typos or mis-interpretations, (or my guesses at spelling the names of those who submitted public commentary).. You will need to refresh this screen to see updates.
The notes below will be taken as they are discussed. After the meeting, this information will be added to our AAPS Fall 2020 Plans article and then this article may be edited to a topic based organization.
- Attendees: Johnson, Kelly, Lazarus, Nelson, Gaynor, Baskett, Lightfoot, Swift
The meeting will continue with public commentary. My apologies on mis-spellings of any names.
- Bob Rourke – While AAPS plan calls for phased return, it may be that conditions will worsen. It would be helpful if the district had a true and frank discussion with families. AAPS is planning homeschooling with some help from stff. Have the disrict reached out to families and see if they can participate in remote leaning plan, are they prepared to educate their child. Will it place a financial burden on family. Green Hills school is offering an in person plan for families who can’t take on the burden. It will at least inform the parents.
- I submitted a public commentary asking the district for answers to various questions to help parents make a decision. I offered to host a Q&A or asked them to hold a Town Hall to provide a forum for questions. You can read my submission here.
- Rita Simpson Block – I am writing in reference to APS Equity Plan especially in light of issues with systemic equity in virtual learning. Pillar 4 says resources are allocated to meet needs. But with virtual, many needs are not available for those most at need. Pillars 2 & 4 talk about delivering culturally relevant education including training for staff and organizations. It is my understanding this in progress, but wondering what support will be available especially for those teachers teaching it for the first time or the first time from this perspective. How is this evolving with response to concurrent training for online teaching.
- Sarah Sailor – Mom of elementary & middle school students. I want to stress the need for social justice and anti-racism in the rollout of in person learning. How will this be measured and reported to the community.
Clarification & Comments from the Board
Dr Swift: I appreciate everyone who has shared commentary and this is the heart of the discussion this evening.
Johnson: Thank you for those who have submitted comments and questions. It does help us to make plans
AAPS Reimagine Learning Plan Update
Dr Swift provides an update on the AAPS Reimagine Learning Plan. We have been working on it since March and realized in midJuly we would still be online. We are monitoring all the feedback and putting into FAQ, referring to school team. But there is too much to reply to everyone.
I want to remind everyone that our work will look very different this year, but our mission remains the same. Every Child Every Day. We will meet every family where they are. Some members of the school team returned this week – counselors, principals – and look forward to seeing teachers soon.
Trustees will approve Reopening plan, but this is the broader plan that parents need to know and understand. In the 2 weeks since the last meeting there is more information on COVID and children.
Core Values & Guiding Principles
- Health & Safety First
- Quality Education Experience
- Supports & Connections across our AAPS Community
- Foundation of Social Justice & Anti-Racism
- Focused on a Full 2020-2021 School Year
Foundation of Social Justice & Anti-Racism
Pillars of Equity Plan
- Perpetuating Systems of Equity and Opportunity
- Courageous, Equity-Centered Leadership
- Systemic Transformation of Culture
- Equity-Centered School & Classroom Practices
- Family & Community Empowerment
Dr Swift shared and excerpt from Jen Roesch’s article on medium.com “If Opening Schools is About Equity, Why Aren’t We Listening to Those Most Impacted“. We want to take this into account when developing a reopening plan. We are using the community in the leaders and neighborhoods to listen and hear what people are saying.
Parents have many questions across the program selections. We will share where we have videos, written annotations, FAQs, are added regularly, ore information is posted daily. including a daily schedule.
We do hear the tension around shortening the academic day especially at elementary. Our team is working on that approach. We value specials, performing and visual art, PLTW, physical education, world languages are so much of what our children enjoy.
The district is focused on the strongest virtual learning launch possible. Rather than resolving questions of hybrid or in person, they are focusing on the clarifying the virtual launch.
We are working on the most accurate response.. Questions like how will you take attendance, but it is complicated to answer and we are still waiting for clarifications ourselves from Michigan Department of Education. There’s a big focus on supports – food, special needs, technology, supplies.
None of the school days will be tethered to devices all day. Teacher will have a lesson that will move to indpendent assignment or activity. It will be similar to a regular school scheduled day.
We will share metrics we will use to evaluate future transition to in person learning. In Michigan there is a large disparity in COVID-19 by race. Multiple races are 238cases /1000, Blacks 160ish/1000, and whites 43/1000. (Sorry I didn’t get the exact numbers before the slide changed). Deaths are 1.7/1000 in Blacks and 0.4/1000 in whites. When talking about equity, this is important to keep in mind for the return.
Mid-March food was distributed on an emergency basis. The district is concerned about possible adjustment at the start of 2020-2021 to the way it is during the school year.. The district is awaiting a waiver to continue emergency or summer feeding. It is a federal decision. Without the waiver, they will have to revert to free and reduced lunch applications. They will work with school teams to ensure completion of free & reduced lunch forms from as many families as possible. Last year’s students will have a 30 day holdover. But we know there are more students needing assistance now.
We are concerned with cases rising in July especially among teens., asymptomatic transmission, and continued insufficient testing capacity and turn around.
The week of August 31 is get ready, get organized, parent orientations, technology pickup, etc. We are working on a more definitive schedule.
The week of September 8 will be shortened days to learn the system and do troubleshooting in the afternoon if needed.
A2 Student Link IS connected to your school. These families will remain virtual.
A2 Classroom Connect is also connected to your school. It is for families who want to return. If a fmaily is not ready to return, they may stay virtual.
A2 Student LInk & A2 Classroom Connect both have th same program and are identical when fully virtual.
A2 Virtual+ is delivered by AAPS teachers and is fully independent. It is the most different.
Students with an IEP or 504
Instruction & related services be provided in synchronous manner (and some asynchronous) according to the weekly schedule. Some may be simultaneous to lesson delivery or during the individual work time. Services will be provided 1:1 or small group based on the needs of the student. More information will come as staff and teachers return this week. English learners will also work in small groups during second half of instructional block. The same as they do while at school.
At in person school extra supports are provided every day. They will continue in virtual. The district is also looking at in person supports in the community. They are working with community centers to support them in providing safe place for students to have supports with virtual participation. Social emotional and mental health supports.
How do you know which students ned it? Same way in normal school – counselors, head start, Title I, ESL, Homeless, parents, social workers, and teacher referrals.
We are working to ensure virtual classroom works for youngest learners. Short spurts of instructional and physical activities/breaks.
All AAPS accelerated classes – AP, University Dual enrollment, community resource classes, IB program, World languages, partnership with WCC. – will continue to be offered.
All programs including music, visual & performing arts, project lead the Way, Performing arts are working with new apps to allow collaboration.
Working on ways to work across program options. We will work with parents and families as we do every year.
District Next Steps
- Clarify, Communicate, & Resopnd to Questions
- Regular Updates on A2schools.org
- School Specific Communication
- We will continue to work to meet our students & parents where they are & to attend to concerns and refine
For all, remind everyone to wear a mask, watch distance, and wash hands.
10 Considerations when Choosing Options for Fall 2020
Why Stay with AAPS:
- Quality AAPS teachers delivering a full curricula
- Top quality music, visual & performing arts, musical instruments provided to students
- iPad/Chromebook for every student customized to grade level and all class materials & supplies
- Student has access to full digital library, with academic and enrichment reading materials
- Supports & specialized services for special education, English learners, and other learning needs
- Daily Advisory Group for social emotional and mental health supports
- Accelerated classes
- COVID Response Team in place with protocols and processes
- AAPS Fall Reimagine Learning Plan featuers flexibility to transition to in-person
- Free Wednesday & Saturday recreation PreK-8 enrichment classes & activities through AAPS Rec & Ed
Trustee Questions to Reimagine Learning Plan
Baskett: My comments are good work. Every week it gets even better. I appreciate everyone putting this together and using every communication medium. I sent Dr Swift an email earlier about families missing out.
Nelson: I echo what Trustee Baskett said. I appreciate hard good work of our team. I think we’re making the best of a difficult situation.
Gaynor: Again I appreciate the effort and the way the district is adapting. One thing I’ve heard is the desire to get answers in clear written form. When can parents expect to hear back from their schools about specifics.
Swift: Thank you Trustee Gaynor. I know our principals are working first to put out messages that address many questions and then move to more specific questions. HS Counselors are just 2 days in and are working on designing schedules. I appreciate patience of parents. First they’ll need to get systems work in place.. They were sent out co-ordinated messages from all principals this week,
We’re realizing many questions are parents who aren’t getting email. Maybe it’s getting routed to spam folder. They have responded to about 400 parents who were not receiving emails. If you have not heard fromt he district, something is wrong.
Jonson: Echo other trustees appreciation for the work you’ve done. I feel like this is the most complex calculus problem I’ve ever encountered. Thank you for focusing on those mosta ffected and listening to them and those close to them.
I’ve had question about books distribution. Will that be in the later communciation?
Swift: If it can be done it will be part of the August 31 pickup. We hope to do that in drive through. It is easy to say, but harder to do.
Also showed the website:
- Where the FAQs are on the website. Elementary School is coming. They are also working on mobile display
- Videos at Grade Level with Annotations for those who prefer written.
- Emails are on there.
COVID-19 Health & Ann Arbor Public Schools Update
Ms Baclaor is here to share information on current data, research, and transition considerations.
Since July 22 there have been almost 100k pediatric cases in the last 2 weeks of July. 50% of new Washtenaw County Cases were less than under 30. There have been multiple outbreaks in our region due to teen parties.
Children generally experience milder cases or are asymptomatic. But Mutlisystem Inflammatory Syndrome inChildren (MISC). They have disproportionately impacted Latino/Hispanic and Black Children. Of 570, 40 % wre hispanic/Latino, 33% were Black, 13% were white.
Children can be asymptomatic carriers. Studies show 26% at Georgia overnight camp were asymptomatic, French hospital studies found 45% of pediatric patients were asymptomatic.
Why is Asymptomatic Infection Important to schools? We are layering protections. But many layers – prescreening questionnaire, staying home when sick, isolation of children who become sick at school – become less effective with asymptomatic transmission. That makes personal level prevention more critical – physical distancing, face coverings, and hand washing/sanityzing.
Challenges for School Districts
We need to be able to test, trace, and isolate. The roadmap to suppression. The US needs 20million tests per day, contact tracers, and supported isolation and quarantine. Instead there is a patchwork of mitigation testing instead of transmission. Michigan is testing above the national average. Our suppression target is testing 560/100k/day, mitigation target is 157/100k/day. We are testing 324/100k/day.
Locally turnaround times on testing still varies from next day to 5 days to 10-12 days. Ideally we would have at least bi-weekly surveillance testing. Efficacy of contact tracing depends on turnaround times.
There have been 4 COVID-19 with people connected to AAPS and tried protocols. 3 of 4 cases were by individuals living in Detroit Region, not Washtenaw County. Plus, we also have parents driving out of Washtenaw County daily. Contact tracing was delayed by test turnaround. The delay hurts from both timely notification and remembering who you were in contact with. Fortunately, all 4 recovered and no spread occurred in AAPS.
Classroom Indoor Air Quality is a big concern. Indoor environments are most concerning. Classrooms have density and time in the classroom space. A lot of strategies are easier in a hospital setting compared to a classroom. Personal protection is essential. Masks reduce emission and transmission.
Universal facemasking is her recommendation with a 6′ barrier. Masks are safe ages 2+ and it is especially necessary when distance can’t be maintained. CDC recommends teaching students to use cloth face masks at home. Mask breaks outside or for meals.
Considerations for Moving to Hybrid Learning
Is the epidemic growing, flattening, or declining? We look at 3 metrics. The number of new cases per million, trends in new daily cases, and % of positive tests. Locally we do have low positivity right now. Additional metrics are hospital capacity, PPE availability, and testing/contact tracing.
We want to be listed as Low Risk status on the MI Safe Start Map. AAPS will err on the side of caution to protect students and staff. There are hopeful signs for treatments and vaccines.
Lightfoot: Thank you for the information and sharing it. Thank you for showing your enthusiasm for you job in tracking down research and getting parents prepared for it. Letting parents now universal masking will likely be the case when we return.
Nelson: Thank you for the work and clarity. I learn a great deal from these presentations. On Testing a& tracing and delay in results. We live in a community that has more lab space than almost any other than maybe Boston. Has there been discussion of different ways to send testing and get results faster. I know we don’t have the NBA’s money.
Bacalor: Washtenaw County receives results from over 60 different labs all over the country. St Joe’s is running their own, but a drive through drug store is sending to a national lab and processing in order of priority of which states are having an outbreak. We are switching to pooled testing. If they’re all negative it is good. If it is positive, they then test each one. It helps preserve testing materials. Governor Whitmer should be getting 500,000 new rapid tests.
Nelson: Second question is what to expect in the fall. I was listening to a county commissioner’s meeting about outlook for fall. They are assuming a surge in fall with the return of university students, seasonal affects. Is that what you are hearing too?
Bacalor: People are definitely fearing it. People will be moving indoors as the weather changes. The students will return which is another big question.
Nelson: My conclusion from that is if we get good data in the beginning of September to be apprehensive to wait until even October when the weather changes.
Bacalor: We have to let things play out for at least 4 weeks.
Kelly: Again I appreciate the work that goes into this research and boiling it down for us to understand. On the slide with apples to apples per one million people, it is adjusted by the population (375,000) so numbers per million are larger than our actual case. My other question, when we look at indoor air quality people will look back to the bond we passed recently.
Swift: We do have 9 schools that are receiving HVAC in process. But with an average age of 63 years, this an ongoing process. It will take about 4 years to complete. I am hoping we learn fromt his pandemic if there are things to adjust on future schools.
Kelly: Even if we wanted to do all the buildings this summer, the labor community cannot support it. It just shows how badly that bond was needed.
Baskett: Thank you for the presentation. You re a valuable asset. How soon will your presentation be available?
Cluley: Powerpoints should be up tomorrow. Video maybe by the weekend.
Baskett: Contact Tracing how are the people doing?
Bacalor: All are recovered. Two fo the four were asymptomatic. The other 2 cases wre not serious.
Baskett: in the contact tracing, are you contacted via subsequent cases from that initial person.
Bacalor: I think I am. I am getting this clarified with the Health Department tomorrow. If there are lots of cases it might be hard for us to know all of that.
Lazarus: I want t make it clear how lucky we are to have Ms Bacalor. We are not making the decision to go back virtually uneducated. We don’t play with kids, teachers, staffs or communities lives. This isn’t ideal way to deliver education but it is what we have to do to keep everyone safe.
Nelson: Back to Trustee Kelly’s air quality question, I recall from a previous presentation that we can digitally adjust air flow. When it is cold outside you don’t bring in as much outside air.
Johnson: You mentioned masks, can you share where research is leading us on masks.
Bacalor: For me, the data is very clear for source control and probably as PPE masks ned to be worn in our schools with a few adjustments for a few students. That is one of the most critical layers to protect students and staff.
A2 Virtual+ Academy Expansion – Elementary & Middle School
We want to make sure everyone specially in elementary understands that this is very independent work. Elementary parents should consult with their principal. Presentation by Ms Linden with support from Anthony Lauer.
A2 Virtual will now included a full curriculum for elementary and an expanded middle school curriculum.
The review criteria were robust including:
- Rigor and Engagement
- Tools & aAssessments
- Students Supports & Ese of Use
- Ineropratbility with Schoology
Robin Kocher is the new A2Virtual elementary principal
They looked at Florida Virtual and Lincoln. They are the only two with robust elementary programs. They selected Florida Virtual Curriculum, but AAPS teachers will be teaching them.
They showed a sample of the kindergarten math program. IT is easy for students to navigate, engaging and fun. All content is available upfront.If AAPS created and delivered their own course they wouldn’t have had it all ready to go at the beginning.
Students always have the option to print although they do not need to. Resources can highlight, rewatch, adjust display.
For middle school they are using Apex Learning. We have already used them before for A2 Virtual+ on a course to course basis for acceleration. This will round out what is offered.
Options for reading support, highlighting, glossaries, background information. This helps especially English language learners.
There are also enhanced supports – text to speech, translations, transcripts, etc
Trustee Questions or Comments:
Gaynor: I understand the need for A2 Virtual+ that work and home situation can’t handle synchronous. I will vote for this, but I’d like to know if we can see a cursory review and a way to evaluate it.
Linden: As part of A2 Virtual’s review they are constantly monitoring who is succeeding, how they are succeeding. They are upper 90s in existing programs. We do have some data from Florida Virtual.
Lauer: We’ve had the high school program sine 2014 and used the Florida Virtual in various high school areas. Our success rate is about 92%. We are excited to use in elementary. We spent a lot of time with teachers who reviewed it. Teachers felt it was user friendly for students and parents to support them.
Swift: We will have some areas we will measure and come back to the board with.
Gaynor: These teachers classes will be taught and monitored by our own teachers. It may be too early to answer, but how many students do you expect a teacher to work with and to dedicate an administrator to it.
Swfit: The administrator is on an interim assignment. It is too early to know, but from what we have sen s far it is about 5% of students.. I don’t want to be held to that. We want to make sure people didn’t just choose that after seeign
Lauer: We generally staff at the same student ratio at classroom levels at the secondary. We have not firmed up for the elemtnary level..
Gaynor: How much contact with a student expect to have with a teacher at elementary?
Lauer: The pacing and feedback will be daily. The synchronous communication wil vary by student neds.
Lightfoot: When we talk about monitoring success, how do we do that without testing? Sound like some of the same questions for testing without minitoring?
Lauer: There is a post-course report out on student experience and not just assessment. Our assessments before COVID we rated based on their ability to earn credit. We are still giving assessments but not the district common assessments. Still working on how to securely deliver virtually. The courses have their own assessments built in.
Lazarus: I understand that we have an estimate because it is based on a per pupil basis and actual cost will depend on parent choice. How can a parent decide
Lauer: One of the misperceptions about online learning is that a computer grades everything. But that’s not the case. A teacher grades everything. They The instructor gives feedback, provides additional material. Students are submitting assignemnts every 1-2 days and gettign feedback fromthe teacher. We set a pacing guide with the student to make sure they’re reaching benchmarks.
Lazarus: You mentioned it will be interperable with Schology. Does that mean it won’t be a part of Schoology to start?
Linden: As new content we have to integrate it into Schoology. It will probably take 4-5 weeks to get it migrated. We will make sure everyone knows how to log in.
Kelly: Thank you for clarification on student:teacher interation. My only question is about student location. Do our kids need to stay in Ann Arbor while accessing it.
Lauer: We have had studens outsie the country continue to work wtih A2 Virtual for vafrious reasons.
If we get ot the point of proctoring exams, that may need to change. At least for the first semester ther would not be rquirements for them to be local.
Kelly: But they would still need to enroll via proving residency or a school of choice mechanism.
Nelson:When it comes from budget, it is either coming from CARES or general. What determines which it is.
Swift: We all want that answer. Clear guidance from CARES is still needed for what it can be used for and if the US Senate completes an additional CARES package.
Lightfoot: That speaks to our advocacy work. Not only do we need it approved but also to have the right language.
Swift: We are pushing to have this for elementary to have it for the parent who is considering home schooling. One consideration for parents considering homeschool, the draw is having the support of an AAPS teacher but without be tied to a screen all day. Ms Kocher will also serve as a homeschool liaison.
Linden: We also hear about groups of students learning together or forming a pod with A2 Virtual classmates.
Johnson: I’d like to remind everyone this wasn’t in our preliminary plan. We had feedback that parents want this option. And it shos that we are meeting the needs.
Digital Library Collection
Ms Linden, Ms Reader, and Ms Colby will provide information on the purchase of Digital Academic Reading Materials. We are working to attach our equity plan in more ways. That includes teacher relevant cultural practices and create equitable academic environments. The proposal for the Leveled Reading Room and eLibrary collection. This proposal will bring to every child all the literacy and reading they will want. They have been checking for diverse authors and stories. We’ve always been a strong literacy district, and this makes it even more so. These tools have read aloud, stickies, highlighting. These tools make it easier and more accessible for everyone but especially for those struggling to read. I will find other money to save to keep it after this year. On March 13, the Media Specialists checked out 25,000 books. With this every child will have the library with them.
Linden: This is about removing barriers. We know mny students dont have access to books in the home. We are recommending OverDrive Sora for the Districtwide. It will cost $350k. Every year we spend $65-85k to maintain physical libraries. Some of those will go to this. These can also be used by classroom teachers too. This was worked on by media specialists, English/Language Arts departments.
- Equitable digitals access district wide (often times PTOs fund books and their funds are inequitable across the district)
- Diverse Authors & culturally representative texts
- Personalized independent choice reading
- Instructional small group texts or whole class use
- Ease of Use
- Interoperability with Schoology
With physical libraries books are checked out and you have to wait. With digital libraries, librarians can provide additional digital copies.
It is a digital library. Students and families can search for it. There are also audio books that aren’t provided in traditional libraries. When book is due it is automatically return. A child losing a book can be a deterrent to them checking out another book.
There are millions of titles and books in over 45 languages. There are annotation tools- highlighters, sticky notes, bookmarks, dyslexic font, adjusting contrast, hooked into the AADL OverDrive system.
Lightfoot: Did I understand it suggested other books you may be interested in? That’s awesome. I was sold on having the library available to students, but when you talk about what we’re already paying and all the amenities it is good.
Lazarus: The cost, the $300k is a one time cost correct. You said $65-83 that we spend normally. Will our physical libraries start dwindling away because we are reallocating money. Some kids like to hold a book. I brign that up as a potential concern.
Swift: I should have addressed that. There is no rolling back our commitment to the print library. Going to the library is an important part of educational experience. My hope is we can find way to do both. Yes, I’m glad we can pay this hopefully ith cares dollars, but it isn’t our intention to use the library money.
Linden: Our goal is to look for savings. It is a $50,000 to maintain year to year. .Our goal is only to use the physical book funds this year. We have already identified a way to offset it.
Gaynor: I appreciate the purpose of this and the diveristy. I don’t mean it negtaively. What is missing?. What would students expect to find that they won’t.
Colby: The great thing about Sora is our librarians do the collection development. They choose the titles and number of copies. We can be very popular. They have millions of books form 30000 publishers.
Reader: At STEAM we have a wide range of ages. We focsu on print, but not audio. This combiens audio that I haven’t been able to prvide in thy past.
Lazarus: I’ve used Overdrive. When you have a poular title you ar e inl ine with AADL. Say JK Rowling has her next title and every kid wants to read it. Can we actually prvoide it to all students.
Colby: That is the great thing about the collection. We decide how many copies we purchase. We won’t spend it all up front based on what we know are popular but will save funds to be responsive when a title is really popular. We can also choose different lending models. We can choose copies with indefinite license or shorter time period licenses.
Kelly: Decodable readers. In a leveled classroom a lot are based on whole word reading. Most of us were raised on sounding things out. If they are reading with parents, When the librarians are curating is there someone with an eye on what is decodable in earlier readers.
Linden: Our librarians are in tune with what students need. A big part of our shifting this fall is to make instruction and text more culturally responsive.
Reader: It’s a matter of understanding purpose of systems. myON is for guided reading. It has supports for dyslexic students, it has read aloud for every book. Teacher can turn it off so they can practice, but turn it on when they need extra support.
When we curate for pleasure reading, we want to make sure they have things that are appealing but not telling them what level book to select. The goal is not always for them to be able to access the whole book. Sometime they rely on an older person – sibling, staff, parent to help them acces s the book. Then librarians talk about how to pick a book at their level.
Linden: We have Snap & Read app that takes a sentence and replace with words at the students level.
Myon is available for pleasure reading too. You can search by
Kelly: Is there a way for us to see what these libraries look like. We’ve done that
Linden: Yes, the team had temporary access and can share with the trustees.
Kelly: With Scholastic libraries parents could contribute to school libraries. Is there a way with this?
Colby: Yes, we have funds to spend so if we get more funds from parents or PTOs we can spend them.
Digital Academic Reading Materials Purchase
myON is a replacement for leveled readers. It is PK-5 digital leveled instructional text. It has diverse and culturally representative texts, It has lots of fiction and fiction texts. Students can also access multiple texts on the same topic at different levels.
There is anytime access. Students take an interest survey at the beginning. Then it matches their interest and their level There is professional audio recording for all texts and presented in both English and Spanish.
Teachers and students can set reading goals and monitor and celebrate progress.
Nelson: I think these tools are wonderful. I grew up on a farm and the country school near us and my father bought the library and it was about 100 books and I thought it was so fabulous. I am so excited our kids can have this opportunity especially those without as many books in the house.
Kelly: How will students be trained in using these tools? The before and after
Colby: We are already working on that with ELA, librarians, and building literacy experts. We are startign with myON because that will be on right away. OverDrive Sora will take about 6 weeks to get up and runing as they curate the library.
Librarians will teach in the library classes as well.
Lazarus: After seeing this I see how it will provide the equity plan,. It seems like a lot of money, but it works out to just under $25/student. I hope we can use this as a story of how funding schools properly is important
Colby: We chose OverDrive Sora at the School and AADL has OverDrive Libby. We can give our students access to AADL
Johnson: I see part of this fudning is comiing from RazKids.
Linden: This replaces it. It is like replacing a bicycle with a Maserati.
Reader: From the teacher aspect when you have a 5th grader reading at a 2nd grade level, the look and feel of it is much younger in Raz Kids. myON adapts with a universal appeal. It allows you to focus on the content and learning.
Colby: Only about 30 teachers district wide were using RazKids last year.
AAPS COVID-19 Preparedness & Response Plan Policy and AAPS COVID-19 Return to School Plans
The COVID-19 Preparedness & Response Plan &Policy is is a workplace plan for employees and visitors. “What is the district doing to provide for safety of employees and visitors?” Its purpose is to decrease the risk to employees, contractors, and visitors.
The Return to School Plan is required by the Governor’s order. It must be submitted to WISD by August 15 and then to the state by August 17.
Mr Comsa & Ms Langford were available for questions.
There have been no changes in either document since the last briefing. There were no questions or discussions
The board unanimously voted to approve both documents.