Communications

3/27/2020 6:19PM

 

We will be implementing a "Learning from Home" alternative (Continuous Education) model. We will have details on how and when classes will resume after Spring Break. 

 

Click on the News Release from the Governor regarding school campus closure, and how education will continue in a learning from home (Continuous Education) model.

 

March 27th News Release

_________________________________________________________________________________________

 

 

3/26/2020

 

Gov. Lujan Grisham to announce extension on school closures: https://www.kob.com/albuquerque-news/gov-lujan-grisham-to-announce-extension-to-school-closures-amid-covid-19-outbreak/5685211/?cat=13516 

 

Tomorrow morning, 3/27/20,@GovMLG, Secretary Stewart and the @NMDOH will announce an extension to the school closure period. The final determination of the extent of the closure period will be made this evening after reviewing extensive cross-Agency plans.

 

 

3/23/2020

 

This is a full text of the health order: https://cv.nmhealth.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/COVID-19-DOH-Order-fv.pdf

 

Click here for Busse's Virtual Playlist - things to do with your scholars...

 

Parents guide to Google Classroom: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1uFBoYMjS9vrWSDwq6djRKKIwIReN5vnG/view?fbclid=IwAR1dz9gPR2VJmjwAZSoEXoXEeouXpNSFKRJXoRNeftDaEaI-H7b11OuHN9Q

(This guide is a tool for the parents to assist their scholars when navigating Google Classroom.)

 

3/23/2020 5:35 PM

 

Good Afternoon ASK Community,
 
The Governor's address today made it clear that we should all remain at home except when pursuing essential tasks. The governor also designated what are considered essential workers during this time. Except for custodial staff (sanitizing and deep cleaning) and other staff helping with the delivery of food, educational employees will not be reporting to work. Please check in with your PM's if you were hoping to get access to physical materials. 
 
We will continue with our voluntary on-line education this week. We know that the announcement today may mean more people in each household vying for bandwidth and device use. That said, we again want to emphasize, please do what works in your household. Let your PM's know what you need. We will continue to work with you to do as best we can in these difficult times.
 
Sincerely,
 
Mr. Busse
 
 

3/20/2020 12:00PM

 

Good Morning Everyone,

 

We have exciting news about a practice schedule for next week. After reading through all of the current guidance, virtually meeting with our PM's, reading the input and concerns from families (including those who are having a difficult time because they have kids and can't foresee being absolutely available for large segments of time every day), here is our schedule for next week. We will work with all families to accommodate and adapt to individual challenges, but we want our scholars and families to know that we support them and want to continue providing educational opportunities.

 

Virtual Notes

(Literally) all of the guidance on Virtual Learning recommends a less formal (time/content) structure while still providing accessibility to avoid the brain drain associated with prolonged time away from school. This schedule represents a bow to formal (but reasonable) content while remaining flexible during these perplexing times.

We are considering next week a trial run for all of us. Monday in particular will be a (virtual) meet and greet, and a testing of the Google Suite format, material availability/accessibility, and submission protocols. If this schedule doesn't work for you, please contact your PM's and they will work with you. The following week is still Spring Break, but conducting this trial next week will provide us with a systems check should we need to go to a full Virtual Learning format.

                                                                       1st hour                           2nd-hour                            3rd hour

 

Monday/Wednesday

1st-3rd

9-9:30 Intro/Interactive

9:30-10

Work/check-in

10-10:30

Intro/Interactive

10:30-11

Work/check-in

11-11:30 Intro/Interactive

11:30-12

Work/check-in

Tuesday/Thursday

5th-7th

9-9:30

Intro/Interactive

9:30-10

Work/check-in

10-1030

Intro/Interactive

10:30-11

Work/check-in

11;1130

Intro/Interactive

11:30-12

Work/check-in

Monday-Thursday

   PM

As Available

As Available

As Available

Friday

Support

9-11

9-11

9-11

 

The first 30 minutes will include some live or recorded PM led instruction and/or Q and A. The second 30 minutes will be scholars working on an activity that can be completed within that time frame. The PM would still be there for the second 30 minutes, but this would be time where scholars can get the work done or do something else, and submit later.

Afternoons, PM’s informally (unstructured) available via email or another method – this leaves flexibility.

Fridays just like Friday now (although I don’t foresee a large need for that additional time if we have minimized our content).

PMs and families that can’t meet at scheduled times will alert. Activities will be available in google classroom, or similar.

This does not preclude you from additional work with your scholars, but it at least gives a chance for minimums and a work/feedback loop.

All assignments and attendance are still voluntary at this time, but we hope these opportunities will provide scholars and families with some structure and interaction that will help us during this period of social distancing.

As always, you can email me directly (dbusse@theaskacademy.org) if you have concerns and I will reply in as timely a manner as possible.

Sincerely,

Mr. Busse

 

 

​Don't forget to check out our website for information​​https://www.theaskacademy.org/apps/news/article/1183307

 

 

3/19/2020 11:21 AM

 

 Good Afternoon,

We know that the current situation is causing consternation on many levels and that you have questions. We do not have all of the answers but we have a responsibility to prepare our scholars the best we can. Guidance and requirements shift daily in these constantly changing conditions. Currently, we are doing our best to act in accordance with federal and state guidance. Ultimately our concern is the safety of our ASK families while considering their educational needs. That said, I would like to address some concerns (in the form of Q&A) that have been brought to our attention:

 1. I have managers telling us that there is work that needs to be completed, but we have also been told by the state that we can't do virtual learning. What are we supposed to be doing?

We were initially instructed not to do virtual learning due to equal access concerns. Subsequently we were given a memo describing alternate work expectations for staff during the closure. Included in that memo were curriculum development and planning for virtual student instruction. Based on this guidance and our own desire to keep scholar’s skills growing, we are working with our project managers to make materials/lessons available online. The materials are designed to promote learning and completion of course requirements within the compressed time frame. This approach will provide our scholars the best possible opportunity to succeed. Ultimately scholars will be required to learn the standards taught in each class. This was not intended to be required (due to equity/accessibility concerns) rather to have an educational continuum without an impact on grades. 

 

  1. Some of the PM's are making it sound like this is required. Is it?

Our philosophy is that while "schools are closed, learning is not.” At this point (and again, this may change shortly) the work is suggested so that your scholar continues to learn the required material as they progress through their educational experience. The assignments are highly encouraged as their PM's will (grade and give) provide feedback for the learning, but it is not required. Scholar’s choosing not to engage in the learning activities will put themselves at a disadvantage when classes resume and instructional time is reduced.

 

  1. I have heard that we will be switching to Virtual Learning starting on Monday, is this true?

No one can predict the unfolding of this public health crisis. When planning during a situation such as this (which there is no manual for) we want to be proactive. That includes planning and developing alternate strategies for instruction should they be necessary. We are working with all staff to develop and plan implementation of instruction should the circumstances require. This includes discussing the challenges and training staff for virtual education deployment about how we would switch to Virtual Learning, what the requirements would be, and how we would capture the myriad details involved in such a radical shift. We expect to deploy our first test run Monday March 23 to assess success and incorporate improvements learned prior to full implementation, should that be necessary

 

  1. Is Spring Break, still going to be a complete break like it was scheduled for?

Currently spring break is as scheduled. However, given the waiver of lost instructional time, it is a possibility that school could be in session. No formal directive has been sent, just another way ASK is preparing for any possibility including an extended closure. When the state decided to close schools we were told to plan as if that week was excluded (as instructional time). As of right now that is what we are expecting. Public safety is the number one priority and as circumstances evolve we are preparing for instruction virtually respecting the social isolation prevention directive. This is why we are implementing VL protocols both this week and next allowing us to address any issue that arise and make necessary adjustments. This way we are ready IF they tell us that we are going to VL.

 5. Are we going to return on April 6th? 

That is the latest guidance. But, given what has been happening throughout the country, we want to be ready for all possibilities ahead, no matter the plan directed by the state.

 

6. What are some possible scenarios for the rest of the year? 
 
  • All of the following are hypothetical since we don't know the extent of measures that will be imposed to protect public safety. Do not plan on any one, just understand that flexibility will be imperative. We simply don't have that information.
  • We could return to school on April 6th and finish the year with modifications for content and testing. The pace of curriculum will need to be condensed to deliver the standards in a shorter time frame.
  • We could transition to Virtual Learning and adapt lessons, instruction, and assessment accordingly.
  • The government could cancel classes for the remainder of the year so that social distancing can do its utmost to curtail the spread of the virus.

 

  1. There is still some conflicting information in your answers, what should we expect?

What you can expect is that managers will post content related materials so that your scholar will not lose a full quarter of learning. We plan to increase availability and structure next week to meet educational requirements. Currently, seniors need to earn credits towards graduation as well as all scholars need to build their educational foundation for future success. We will continue to assess the changing conditions and respond in the spirit of what is best for scholars, and managers.

 

  1. I still have questions, who can answer them?

For Special Education, contact their  IEP manager.

For Counseling, Social Work, or specific cases reach out to the managers that you have already been working with.

For all other questions, please email me (dbusse@theaskacademy.org). I will do my best to answer in a timely manner (that time will depend on volume of emails and other constraints.

 Ultimately, I know this is a strenuous time and we are doing our best to get back to what we do best, developing Attitude, Skills, and Knowledge. We can and will do this!

 Sincerely,

 

Mr. Busse

Please click here to ask a question if it is has not been answered on our FAQ Sheet below or in the communications from Mr Busse.  Expect your answer to be posted within 48 hours.

3/17/2020 2:30pm

Good afternoon ASK Parents and Guardians,

First and foremost, I hope you are all doing well and doing your best to navigate all of the challenges this health crisis has precipitated. We will continue to do our best to inform and guide regarding all things ASK. Developments and announcements continue to be made at a rapid pace as our state and community battle to prevent the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19). Here is the latest information related to the school closure, athletic events, childcare, District Office operations, child resources, school year calendar, and testing windows.

SCHOOL CLOSURE:

As you all know, Governor Lujan Grisham and New Mexico PED Secretary Stewart reconfirmed that all public schools in New Mexico will be placed on a mandatory closure from March 16 through April 5.  This three-week closure will assist to prevent the spread of Coronavirus and allow schools to disinfect and deeply clean all facilities. You should have received email contact from your Project Managers regarding interim work and resources. We hope that the closure will only be 3 weeks, but we are preparing in case it is extended.

CHILD MEAL ACCESS:

Meals are available at Rust Medical Center for all scholars under the age of 18. They are also available at RRPS, please check their website for information.

ATHLETIC EVENTS:

All Albuquerque Charter School League athletic events have been cancelled until further notice.

CHILDCARE:

The Boys and Girls Club will be offering child care services for up to 50 participants per day between the hours of 7:30 and 5:30, Monday through Friday.  The cost is $15 per child.  The Boys and Girls Club is located next door to The ASK Academy ar 4600 Sundt Road NE.  Please contact Suzanne Trujillo at (505) 892-3191 for additional information.

THE ASK ACADEMY OFFICE OPERATIONS:

The ASK Academy Office will be closed in order to limit contact. Our phone line will be open between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. March 30-April 3 is still considered Spring Break. We will provide additional information about on-going operations next week.

CHILD RESOURCES:

The ASK Academy understands that scholars will be looking for activities to keep them occupied during the two-week school closure. To assist to keep their minds occupied and provide an educational outlet for them, ASK’s Project Managers have reached out to all scholars and parents regarding educational resources.  These assignments may be posted in Google Classroom, on their class webpages, or communicated via some other electronic means.

SCHOOL YEAR CALENDAR:

As announced at the Governor’s press conference on Friday, NMPED Secretary Stewart stated that NMPED will waive the academic hours requirement so school districts will not have to make up the three weeks of the closure. This means we will remain on the current school calendar.

TESTING WINDOW (INCLUDING PSAT/SAT):

NMPED Secretary Stewart announced that the testing window will be pushed back to accommodate the school closures. This means that students will not lose testing preparation time and the test dates will be pushed back. We do not have details on the new testing dates yet, but we will provide those as soon as they become available.

REMINDERS:

As a reminder, these ASK mandates are still in effect:

  • All student field trips (whether in-state or out-of-state) are cancelled or postponed for March and April, or until the Governor lifts the Public Health Emergency status for New Mexico. 
  • All school events, including the prom, talent show, and graduation are cancelled or postponed for March and April, or until the Governor lifts the Public Health Emergency status for New Mexico.
  • Only essential school volunteers and visitors will be permitted on school campuses for March and April, or until the Governor lifts the Public Health Emergency status for New Mexico.

Please know that it was difficult to make these decisions on restrictions for our Academy and scholars. However, safety is our top priority and given the growing number of cases of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) across the nation and in New Mexico, we feel this is the right decision.

COMMUNICATIONS:

Please refer to the school website (theaskacademy.org) for updates or additional information.

While still following our Pandemic Flu Plan, and doing the following along with reminding students, staff and the public about proper handwashing, cleaning frequently used surfaces, etc.

  • We are thoroughly disinfecting all middle school and high school learning spaces, as well as common areas.
  • The ASK Academy has adequate amounts of hand sanitizer and associated stations for any schools or locations that do not already have them
  • The ASK Academy is fully stocked up on hand soap
  • Our school leadership comprises an Emergency Response Team to handle the changing needs of this situation. 
  • The IT Department has prepared Chromebooks ready for check-out.

Many parents will continue to have questions as this situation evolves.  We are posting and will update Frequently Asked Questions as answers become available.  

Please know that The ASK Academy, like the Governor’s Office and State, is taking an aggressive proactive approach to prevent and manage Coronavirus. The health and safety of our students, staff and community is our top priority. We ask that you remain calm, make smart decisions and bear with us as we cancel or postpone certain events to further protect the community.

SMART DECISIONS & STAY INFORMED:

Please remember that in order for Public Schools and the State of New Mexico to prevent the spread of Coronavirus in our communities, we must all participate and work together. Let’s all make smart decisions around whether or not to travel at this time. The decisions we make not only impact our own families, but all families within our community. Remain calm, stay informed and be smart about preventive measures.

Sincerely,

Daniel P. Busse

General Manager

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 How long will the Academy be closed?

At this time, April 6th is our return date, but this may change.

If my scholar made it through the lottery, what do I do with my paperwork?

The items that require you to retrieve information from your current school will be extended to noon on Friday, April 10th.  

We are asking for the completed registration packet (item 1in your email) by the end of business, Monday, April 6th. If you have copies of the birth certificate, immunization records and essay ready, please submit with the registration packet otherwise they are due by noon on Friday, April 10th as well.

You are welcome to scan and email back to me or drop off when we return to the office on Monday, April 6th.

 What will happen if the closure continues?

         The ASK Academy staff are fully prepared to continue to provide on-line, virtual instruction and learning for the duration of this unusual circumstance.

 How will classes be conducted and what are the expectations?

You and your scholar should receive an email from each Project manager outlining content, curriculum, expectations, and other details. If not, please contact them via email. As this continues and we are told what further requirements can be put in place, your PM will contact you.

What about graduation?

We are waiting for additional guidance from the Governor, Public Education Department, and Department of Health before we make any decisions.  At this moment, the PED has instructed us not to change our plans.

 What will happen with testing?

         The PED and the testing vendors have agreed that the window of testing will be pushed forward and will be adjusted as time continues.

How do I check-out a laptop for my scholar so they can work at home?

We have a plan put in place to distribute Chrome Books to middle school scholars.  Contact Kim Pierce kimpierce@theaskacademy.org for instructions on how and when the distribution will occur.

 If I don’t have WiFi, what are my options?

Several of the mobile phone companies are offering temporary, discounted service.  Spectrum is offering free broadband and WiFi internet access to students impacted by the coronavirus shutdown. To enroll in the program, call 1-844-488-8395. Installation fees will be waived for new student households. (Read the contracts for details)

 Can we come by the school?

At this time, the hours of the Academy being accessible to the public will be limited to essential access under very strict conditions.  Please contact the Academy at (505) 891-0757 to make arrangements for access to the building.

 Will the school year be extended into the summer?

         At this time, the NM PED is not requiring an extension of the school year.  However, this situation can change based on what future weeks hold.

 What about counseling and social work services?

         Counseling and social work services can be provided on-line.  Please send an e-mail to Ms. Shurter (kshurter@theaskacademy.org) or Ms. Marquez (amarquez@theaskacademy.org).

 How will services for scholars on IEPs and 504 Plans be delivered?

         Project Managers in Fundamental Connections and Career Pathways classes will be posting assignments on-line as well as monitor progress.  If a scholar needs a testing accommodation (read aloud, for example), please contact the Case Manager and make arrangements for audio recording of the test.

How will ancillary services speech and occupational therapy, and social work services) be provided?

The ASK Academy ancillary service providers are prepared to deliver services via teletherapy, as reasonable.  If that is not possible, or effective, compensatory time will be offered at the end of the school year.