ANNOUNCEMENTS

July 28, 2020

Dear Parents and Guardians,

We will be attending school half days Monday through Thursday, having a morning and afternoon session, and no lunchtime will be provided. We appreciate your flexibility as we navigate making this schedule.  We will send out morning and afternoon session placements early next week and busing will be provided in the morning session.  

  • AM Session: 8:00 am-11:30 am (Busing provided to and from school)
  • PM Session: 12:00 pm-3:30 pm (In order for this one to work, parents/guardians would need to bring students to school and pick them up after school)

The students will be required to do 2 hours of instruction at home.  We will be offering an online option.  With the online option, students will be given educational materials as well as resources on Google Classroom or Seesaw to support their instruction.  These plans will be shared in detail as we approach the beginning of the school year.

As we prepare for students to return to school the following safety measures will be also implemented in addition to our original plan sent out earlier this month:

  • If a student or staff member tests positive for Covid, we will evaluate the situation which could lead to the entire class being quarantined at home for 10 days.
  • If a family member has tested positive for Covid, then the student cannot attend Alturas for 10 days.
  • Please do not send your child to school if they show any signs of illness. 
  • Please educate your child on the importance of wearing a mask and not touching and playing with it. Your student will need to wear a fresh mask each day or sanitize their mask/shield daily. Let the school know if you are in need of a cloth mask.
  • Plexi-glass dividers will be in the classrooms so students do not have to wear masks when behind them.

We are so hopeful that we can keep our students in school for in person learning.  This will take a community effort. If masks and social distancing are adhered to in our community, we can slow the spread of Covid and keep students in school which is imperative to their education.  We are hoping the community of Alturas realizes how important these measures are in their social bubbles.

Thank you again for your support as we navigate these unprecedented times and keep our community safe while educating our students.

Michelle Ball and Brian Bingham
Alturas International Academy

July 21, 2020

Dear Parents and Guardians,

We would like to let you know the details of our plan for the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year which will start August 17th. We believe that our students' educational needs are beyond important and we want to ensure they will receive the education they need and deserve.  In that, we also want to protect our community, and at Alturas we believe strongly in a culture that supports others in times of need and uncertainty. We will work together to provide safety to our students as well as their families and the community. As stated in our mission statement, we want to make a difference in our local and global communities, and with this crisis we are presented with this challenge.  As we look at other communities suffering in this crisis, we have become acutely aware of our responsibility as citizens to do every measure we can to protect others. We have looked analytically at the Covid crisis and believe we have established a plan that will support not only Alturas Academy’s students, but our community as well. We know this will require major adjustments in your family’s life but we are in a time of crisis and sacrifices will need to be made by all to navigate such unprecedented times.  

Our first choice is to implement half school days. 

Half Day In-School Sessions (as of July 28 this is how Alturas will open school): 

We believe that doing half days provides more stability and continuity to our students (as well as families) and less educational time will be lost. We will implement social distancing and only half of the students will be in the building at a time. 

    • AM Session: 8:00 am-11:30 am (Busing provided to and from school)
    • PM Session: 12:00 pm-3:30 pm (In order for this one to work, parents/guardians would need to bring students to school and pick them up after school)
  • In the attached survey, parents/guardians will give feedback on which session they prefer, and if they are able and willing to transport their children to and from school. 
  • A blended learning format will be implemented with the two half day sessions.  This means students will be required to do two additional hours at home to provide the required time of a traditional school day. These two hours will include home work.  
  • Lunch will not be provided, students will be expected to eat before/after school

In order for this to happen, we will need the support of parents and guardians to drive students to and from Alturas in the afternoon session. We strongly encourage parents and guardians to drive students to school to maintain social distancing procedures. Busing will be provided for the morning session, however will not be available for the afternoon session. 

Please keep in mind, if you are able drive your children to Alturas, the afternoon session would be preferred. We will navigate this to our best ability, however not all preferences will be accommodated.

Alternating Days

The other potential plan we have developed is to alternate whole school days. This plan would also be coupled with distance learning on the days when students do not attend in-school learning.  Students will be required on these alternate days to complete a full day of school work.  Parents would still be encouraged to provide transportation to and from school when feasible, but buses will continue to run normally (morning and afternoon). Each teacher will establish what students attend which days. We will ensure that families attend on the same days. 

  • M/W - Half of the class will attend in person, while the other half will distance learn. 
  • T/Th - Half of the class will attend in person, while the other half will distance learn. 
  • Lunch time will be provided, however, students will eat in their classrooms

Supply Drop-Off

  • Students will bring their supplies August 13th and 14th. Further details will be provided. 

Current Outlined Safety Procedures 

We are currently reviewing, and following CDC considerations for schools. 

  • We are investigating obtaining plexi-glass dividers to provide maximum safety for our students. We are hopeful we will be able to provide these, but it is not yet a certainty.   
  • Everyone inside the building will be required to wear a mask or face visor. Students will not be required to wear the face covering when behind the plexi-glass.
  • Students’ temperature will be taken as they enter the classroom. If your student is showing any signs of sickness, they will be required to go home immediately.  
  • MYP students will stay in the same groups, and classroom, as much as possible while the teaching staff rotates from class to class. This will be an exception for Art, P.E., and Science. 
  • We will teach and reinforce handwashing with soap for at least 20 seconds. Students will also cover coughs and sneezes with tissues or their elbow. Tissues will be thrown in the trash, and handwashing will take place immediately. Students will be frequently reminded not to touch face coverings while sanitizing will also be implemented consistently throughout the day.
  • Adequate supplies such as soap, sanitizer, tissues, and disinfectant wipes will be provided and used consistently throughout the day. 
  • Students will be educated on behaviors that prevent the spread of COVID-19.  
  • Our school facility will be rigorously cleaned throughout the day. 
  • Each student's belongings will be separated from others. 

As the current situation is constantly evolving we will continue to monitor our plan and make adjustments as needed. We are hopeful we will be able to move forward with our current outlined plan. We appreciate your open-mindedness in helping our community to continually navigate these unprecedented times. As the school year continues, we are hopeful that we will be able to get students back into the classrooms full time.  

Sincerely,

Michelle Ball, Executive Director

Brian Bingham, Principal

May 5, 2020

Parents/Guardians,

First and foremost we want to thank our teachers for all of their hard work and dedication. They have faced this difficult time with optimism and your student's best interest and have gone above and beyond. We are grateful for their dedication to your children and their education.
The last day of school will be May 21st. As we feel online learning has been successful, we also know that it has been difficult. We are hopeful that the next few weeks will be productive and educational.
As we are optimistic about the upcoming school year, we have created a school calendar with the first day of school being August 17th. We understand this is one week earlier than 91/93 school districts, however, we feel it is of utmost importance to have our students back into the building as soon as possible. This is part of the reason we are ending two weeks earlier than was planned, to give them a solid three months of summer. 
The COVID-19 situation seems to be ever changing, as decisions are made we will be sure to keep you apprised of the pertinent information. We appreciate your support as we navigate these unprecedented times and as we strive to identify the best path moving
forward.
Thank you,

Brian Bingham and Michelle Ball
MARCH 15 - Updated Sunday, 2:45 p.m.
Parents and Guardians,
 
After careful consideration and collaboration with the Board of Directors, we have decided it is in the best interest of our students, staff and community members to temporarily close Alturas International Academy. We will start with a soft close on Monday and Tuesday, March 16th -17th, with a full school closure on March 18th through April 6th. This was not an easy decision and we understand the ramifications it has on our families. However, schools are community gathering centers where large numbers of people are in close proximity with one another and respiratory diseases, such as COVID-19, can easily spread. Shutting them down can be a key part of slowing the spread of this virus. Closing schools after the virus has already spread is unlikely to make much of a difference because it happened too late. It is our hope that through this school closure we will be able to assist in the containment of COVID-19. The premise of school closures is most effective when students stay home and limit their contact with other individuals.
 
We know many families will need time to make arrangements for childcare. Therefore, we will have a “soft” close on Monday and Tuesday. Please only send your children to school if absolutely necessary. During this closure students will need to have their curriculum (math, reading, etc) so, please plan on coming to the school to collect the necessary materials for your children on Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday. After spring break teachers will be prepared to go online starting March 27th, and additional details will be sent out. For those of you who do not have access to technology (or enough technology) or the internet at home, please let us know, so we can make the necessary arrangements to provide the tools to help you with your student’s education.
 
As the situation continues to evolve, we will monitor it closely and determine the most effective plan of action to keep your students safe and healthy.
 
Thank you,
 
Michelle Ball, Brian Bingham
Board of Directors
Alturas International Academy
April 2 @ 5:30pm

Emergency Board Meeting April 2, 2020 @ 5:30pm
Public Zoom Meeting

March 30 - Update Monday, 12:00pm

Dear Parents/Guardians,

We miss everyone and hope everyone is healthy and safe.
We have created a couple of new webpages for Distance Learning:

1- Distance Learning (links needed for the "classroom")
2 -Distance Learning Help (log an Alturas chromebook issue, solutions as we find them will be here)
3- Distance Learning Extras (coming soon, additional activities and ideas)
(Path: Alturas Homepage>Resources>Distance Learning)

Classwork/Assignments/Lessons:
Your teacher(s) are sending emails with Classwork/Assignments/Zoom meetings

Alturas Chromebook Camera Issues:
We are working a fix/solution for some of the Alturas Chromebooks having camera issues.  Please visit the Help page periodically, we will post solutions and fixes here.

Solution for A_Math:
Please visit the Help page if you are receiving an error when access A_Math through Renaissance.

Blocked or Restricted Phone Calls:
You may receive phone calls from a Blocked or Restricted Caller.  Some of our Paraprofessionals, Staff, and/or Teachers will be reaching out via a phone call and may choose to block their number.  Please understand and respect the protection of their personal phone number. Thank you.

If you have a question we will have a form to fill out for general questions on our Help Webpage this afternoon (March 30).

Best Regards,
Alturas International Academy
https://www.alturasacademy.org/resources/distance-learning/
https://www.alturasacademy.org/resources/distance-learning/distance-learning-help/
https://www.alturasacademy.org/resources/distance-learning/distance-learning-extras/

MARCH 24 - Updated Tuesday, 10:30a.m.

Dear Parents/Guardians,

As many of you have already heard, the State Board of Education has ordered a four week public school closure, the Board is recommending the shutdown run through April 20th.

Alturas International Academy will continue to monitor the situation closely as this ordeal unfolds. In analyzing the trend that is occurring in other states, it is likely that the closure could continue longer. We will continue to put the safety of our students as our first priority and will not reopen until we know that it is safe for your students as well as the community.

As we transition to online learning this coming Monday, March 30th, please be conscientious of internet usage during times that teacher will be streaming their live lessons. Activities such as streaming movies and online gaming could adversely affect your internet connectivity while students are completing their studies and assignments.

As the closure continues, we will keep you updated on how to collect additional supplies and curriculum to support your students' learning. We appreciate your understanding and patience as we work through this situation. If you have any questions or concerns, please be sure to reach out to us.

Thank you,

Michelle Ball and Brian Bingham 

MARCH 18 - Updated Tuesday, 9:30a.m.
Parents and Guardians,

As we navigate through this odd time in the world, our main concern needs to be the well-being of everyone in our community.  As schools and other community organizations are forced to close, many families in our community are left without basic necessities.  The local food bank has been depleted, and the YMCA downtown will be closing their learning center. As the Alturas Community, we are joining together with the YMCA to organize a food drive to support local families.  
The YMCA can distribute the following items to children under the age of 18:
  • Dry snacks like granola bars, crackers, chips, soups, canned goods, ramen, etc.  The YMCA will also have water available to children. Alturas will be coordinating with the YMCA to coordinate times when children can come by to pick up supplies.
If you can help with donations to the YMCA food bank, please contact Morgan Stewart (Alturas liaison) or Donnovan Stokes (YMCA). We appreciate your support as we take appropriate actions to make sure that our children are healthy, and our community is supported.

If you would also like to donate to the Idaho Falls Food Bank, they can accept donations directly. In addition they are looking for cash donations to be able to adjust to families needs as this crisis develops. This can be done through their online platform.

https://www.communityfoodbasketidahofalls.org/ways-to-give/donate-now/


Morgan Stewart, Alturas liaison

morgan.stewart@alturasacademy.org

(208)313-9896

 

Dave Manson,  Executive Director of Community Food Basket

director@feedidahofalls.org

(208) 709-3773

 

Donovan Stokes, YMCA Childcare Director

dstokes@idahofallsymca.org

(719)205-3750

Thank you,
Morgan Stewart, Michelle Ball, and Brian Bingham
Alturas International Academy

 

MARCH 17 - Updated Tuesday, 5:00 p.m.

Dear MYP parents and guardians, 

After much collaboration the MYP team has developed a plan to continue our educational program from home starting March 30th, 2020. As of now we plan on being “online” from March 30th-April 5th. Administration will be in contact if situations change.

Please see the attachment [check your email] for the MYP "Flex" Schedule. 

  • During these times we are expecting students to be online working through their curriculum as teachers assign it. Teachers will assign lessons and curriculum through Google Classroom. 

  • Teachers will also be online during these times using ZOOM, a video conference platform, to give lessons and support student work. Teachers will have the “join” links in Google Classroom.

We understand that not all families can be “online” at our scheduled times, therefore teachers will also record their lessons as they give them and post them online to their google classroom to help support students as they have the time to be online. 

  • Students, however, are expected to keep up with their school work and teachers will be contacting families daily if they notice students are falling behind.

  •  Grades will be posted weekly by MYP teachers using Infinite Campus. Please check weekly for your students' progress.

Thank you for your cooperation and patience during this transition time. Please email any of our MYP teachers with any questions or concerns you may have. Best Wishes, 

-MYP Team 

MARCH 16 - Updated Monday, 7:45 p.m.
March 16
Parents/Guardians,
 
First off we wanted to thank you for all of your support as we navigate these uncharted waters. As things are changing so rapidly, we recommend you please do not send your student(s) to school on Tuesday, March 17, buses will NOT be running. We are doing what is best for our students and staff.  If you must send your child to school please reply to this email, thank you for your understanding.
We have been working to go online for some time and have developed a solid plan to support your student's learning. You will be receiving an email from your child's teacher(s) regarding their transition to online learning. 
In preparation to go online, students will need their materials, please come by the school to pick them up at the following times:  Tuesday, Mar 17 - 9:00-5pm. If Tuesday does not work please make arranges with the office.
Additional FAQs:
  • Medicine pick up - if you have medicine in the office that you signed in and need during this closure, please stop by the office during the times listed above
  • Do you need a chromebook during this closure to help with the transition to online learning?  [Contact the school or check your email for the survey]
  • Extended School Year - This closure will not cause Alturas to extend the school year.
  • Absences will be counted as excused as of March 16.
 
Thank you,
Michelle Ball, Brian Bingham
MARCH 15 - Updated Sunday, 7:00 p.m.
“Soft” close on Monday and Tuesday means: please only send your children to school if absolutely necessary.
Stop in on Mon, Tues, Wed, or Thurs to collect the necessary materials for your children their curriculum (math, reading, etc).  I hope this clarifies the information.
MARCH 15 - Updated Sunday, 5:45 p.m.

Parents, Guardians, and Staff:


Here are some FAQs we have received since the email went out about a soft close on Monday and Tuesday, March 16th -17th, with a full school closure on March 18th through April 6th.  For those of you who do not have access to technology (or enough technology) or the internet at home, please let us know, so we can make the necessary arrangements to provide the tools to help you with your student’s education.
Please keep in mind that this is a very new situation, and we are asking for patience as we embark on this journey together.

FAQs

WHERE TO FIND UPDATES:
We have created an Announcements section on our website to have all communication that has been sent in one area. We will continue to update as we have news and/or updates.
About>Announcements
  • BUSSING (March 16-17):
    Busses will run as planned on Monday and Tuesday

  • LUNCHES (March 16-17):
    Hot Lunches will be served as expected (we are sending a confirmation form to those that have ordered lunches)

  • MEETINGS:
    Teachers or staff will be in contact with you if you had a scheduled meeting

  • Information for Speech and Language services is forthcoming

  • School Tour CANCELLED (March 17) will reschedule

  • Boys Basketball Banquet CANCELLED (March 18)

  • 5th Grade Maturation Film CANCELLED (March 19)