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9/7 Principal's Message


Alston Ridge Families:


I hope that each of you has had a wonderful holiday weekend with an opportunity to refresh for the week ahead. Thank you for the patience and grace to learn into the first weeks of school together. We are looking forward to all that we will gain as a school community with continuous improvements over the next 3 ½ weeks until our first track-out.


Week 3: Please share feedback

We are looking forward to the ways that we can improve the online learning experience for every student and family. Please take a moment to complete a short, anonymous feedback form: ARES Online Learning Feedback (, based on your experience thus far. And, please don’t hesitate to reach out directly to your student’s teacher and the school’s administration for help: Principal Niko Schutte,, Assistant Principals Melissa Oliver,, and Ruth Ann Freeman,


Live Learning Times

Thank you for the feedback and patience while teachers implement a full schedule that aligns to the school district’s expectations for teaching and learning in the 2020-2021 school year. We know that every family’s schedule will not always align perfectly with the grade level offerings and we want to support each family to navigate and understand how to use their students’ time the most productively for their individual needs and family circumstance. Your student’s teacher can help you to know what is most important each day to make the most of the learning time. When students are not “live” with their teacher, each grade may provide some recommendations for how to structure the daily schedule; however, we know that each family’s individual circumstances will mean that they will use that time differently. Students should be empowered to: eat when they are hungry, play whenever they can, take breaks to be outside, build, imagine, practice hand-stands, and be amazing!


Specials Times

We are excited to provide students with multiple opportunities for meaningful enrichment through our Specials content—Art, Music, Physical Education, Social-Emotional Learning, Science, and Media-Technology. These specials are offered in one-week, asynchronous units that are developed for each grade. Students have two blocks of time allotted on their grade level schedule for independent, self-paced work; however, students are not expected to appear in live Meets with specials teachers. Specials teachers will be available daily during Specials times to help troubleshoot, answer questions, and offer feedback as students complete the week’s assigned tasks. They love show-and-tell! When students are ready to share, our specialists look forward to seeing what students have accomplished!


Remote Learning Days

September 29 and 30 are Remote Learning Days on the WCPSS Year-round Schools calendar. These days do not include a live learning schedule. Rather, they provide additional practice resources for students to continue reinforcing grade-level skills prior to track-out, while teachers engage in professional learning across the district. The first official day of track-out is Thursday, 10/1.


Books are Ready!

The library is humming with activity—Ms. McConnell’s slideshow How to Use the ARES Library ( will tell you everything you need to know to have a pile of books ready to pick-up. Don’t forget to come and get them once you’ve chosen what you want—they’ll be waiting in the carpool loop for you to pick-up!


Alston Ridge ES YouTube Channel

Subscribe to our school’s YouTube Channel to be the first to know about new content: Daily Morning Announcements at 9 a.m. and Read-Alouds each evening.


Please do not hesitate to call or e-mail with questions and for support. We are here to help—teachers, administrators, counselors, assistants, and support staff. Let us know what we can do to make this year possible for you and your student, together.


Take good care,