Ms. Chidester's Weekly Message: 04/16/21
Dear Conn Magnet Elementary School Families,
Update on Virtual Academy for the 2021-22 School Year: Relationships among students, teachers, and families are the foundation for a successful learning experience. That is why we eagerly await the time when we can once again see all students in person each and every day.
We acknowledge, however, that some families may not be comfortable with in-person instruction as we begin the 2021-22 school year in August. This is one reason why WCPSS will provide a Virtual Academy program for grades K-12, along with a virtual option for Pre-K, for next school year, pending final approval by the school board.
The registration window for next year’s Virtual Academy will be open for approximately 10 days and will begin no sooner than April 22. We will notify you of the specific dates in the coming days.
Families who attended the WCPSS Virtual Academy this year should note some important points and some differences for the 2021-22 school year: Students must commit to attend the Virtual Academy for the entire school year.
- A one-year commitment is necessary to avoid students having to change teachers, whether in the Virtual Academy or in person, during the year.
- This will also reduce or eliminate sharing teachers with those attending in-person classes.
- The district will reassess this requirement if vaccination programs are expanded to include children of all ages. The district will also re-evaluate registration in Virtual Academy if the COVID-19 pandemic surges again.
While a virtual option will be offered for students in grades PreK-3, this is not the ideal learning environment for this age group. Certainly safety concerns weigh heavily on parents’ minds, but the development of academic, social, and emotional learning skills needed for this age group is best taught in person.
Virtual Academy students will be able to participate in extra- and co-curricular activities such as athletics, arts, and clubs at their assigned school. Transportation will not be provided because the district does not have enough bus drivers.
Virtual Academy students will follow their assigned school’s calendar. Virtual Academy students enrolled in traditional calendar schools will follow the traditional calendar.
Virtual Academy families must agree to a Statement of Understanding that outlines student expectations involving attendance and engagement. Details will be provided prior to the opening of the registration window. A school may recommend that a child return to in-person instruction if the student is unwilling or unable to meet the stated expectations for the Virtual Academy.
We will provide Virtual Academy students access to all core curriculum classes and select elective courses.
- A list of offerings will be provided prior to the opening of the registration period.
- The offering of each course will be subject to sufficient minimum student registration and adequate staffing and other resources in an effort to eliminate teachers having to teach both virtual and in-person students at the same time.
- Some courses and classes are dependent on the hands-on learning experiences that are provided through the in-person learning experience and therefore can not be offered in a virtual environment at this time.
More decisions regarding Virtual Academy offerings will be shared with you over the coming days as we lead up to the window for registering your child.
Continued COVID-19 Protocols and Safety: Students should not be in school if they are diagnosed with COVID-19, exposed to someone with COVID-19, instructed to quarantine, or if they are sick or experiencing any of these symptoms:
- 100.4° fever or higher
- Sore throat
- New cough
- New shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- New loss of taste or smell
- Diarrhea or vomiting
- New severe headache
Apply Before April 30 for Pre-Kindergarten for the 2021-22 School Year: WCPSS offers a free, high quality pre-kindergarten program for children who will be 4 years old by August 31, 2021. Students spend the full day at school with their classmates learning skills appropriate for their age through exploration and discovery. The goal is to prepare children to enter kindergarten ready to learn and succeed. Applications must be submitted by April 30. Learn more and apply today.
Gabriel Chidester, Principal
Important Dates to Remember
- Wednesday, April 28- Remote Learning/Asynchronous Day
- Monday, May 3- CONNmUNITY Read Aloud Event at 7:00 p.m.
- Wednesday, May 5- Remote Learning/Asynchronous Day
- Thursday, May 13- Instructional School Day (Change in Date)
- Wednesday, May 26- Remote Learning/Asynchronous Day
- Monday, May 31- Holiday
- Thursday, June 10- Last Day of School
- Friday, June 11- Teacher Workday