For the 2020-2021 school year, Atlanta Public Schools will start the school year virtually at all sites. Pre-K families can attend virtual Pre-K at their home school. Atlanta Public SChools will also offer a full-year virtual Pre-K option as part of AVA Jr. Here's what you need to know:
- We have developed a plan for virtual Pre-K that we believe balances students' developmental needs, instructional best practices, and screen time limitations. We know that virtual learning is a challenge for early learners - and of course we're all eager to be back in school soon. However, in the meantime, we've worked closely with our state partners to design a program that we hope will meet students' needs. We know it will not be without challenges, but are commtited to partnering with families to supporting their students during these challenging times.
- Virtual Pre-K through AVA Jr. will be a full-year option. Because Pre-K has a different regulatory agency (Department of Early Care and Learning, a.k.a. Bright from the Start) from K-12, there will be a few differences in the structure of the virtual AVA Jr. Pre-K program as compared to other AVA Jr. programs. We are not able to add staffing midyear and must maintain strict student-teacher ratios. Given this, we're not able to open new classes in the middle of the year, so parents must opt in at the start of the school year. Additionally, we cannot guarantee that any in-person seats will be available at other schools when district returns to a face-to-face or hybrid model. However, we're always happy to discuss options with parents and share information any available seats. (Call us at 404-802-3640 to discuss; due to the high call volume, please be sure to leave a message.)
- You can express interest for AVA Jr. on EnrollEarlyATL.com. Whether you've already applied for Pre-K or are new to us, you can express interest in the program on your application. Our first interest window closes on August 1st, interest forms recieved after that will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis based on seat availability.
- Slots for Pre-K, at both AVA Jr. and other sites, are limited. If you are interested, be sure to apply quickly! Call us (404.802.3640) to learn about current vacancies; they change on a daily basis.
- Already submitted interest? Look for additional information in early August. At that point, we'll have had the opportunity to assess both need and capacity and identify next steps. We will follow up with interested parents at that point.
What are the differences between AVA Jr. Pre-K and virtual Pre-K at your home/selected school?
There are minimal differences between AVA Jr. Pre-K and virtual Pre-K offered throughout the district. The primary difference is the length of the virtual commitment. (AVA Jr. is year-long, so likely best for families who have reasons to believe that they will not be able to send their child to face-to-face school this year.) The additional difference is the lack of the traditional school community. While there will be shared AVA Jr. PK-5 experiences, that may look different than the experiences you would receive virtually if you were enrolled in a traditional elementary school.
What curriculum and tools will virtual Pre-K use?
We will use the same curricula that we use in person: OWL (Opening the World of Learning), Handwriting without Tears, and Second Step (social emotional learning.) We have also partnered with Imagine Learning, a digital content management system that will give students opportunities to practice age-appropriate skills in a game-based environment at home. Additionally, we will use Seesaw for communication and Zoom for instruction. Some teachers may also use some additional tools.
Will I recieve technology or supplies?
If you need support with technology, you can request that here: http://tinyaps.com/?PreKTech. All students will recieve several supplies and materials. (We encourage you to request a backpack here: https://www.emptystockingfund.org/aps-backpack-request-2020/, which will help us assess total need and come with some additional benefits. You can use 9999999 for your student number.)
What does the virtual Pre-K day look like?
We encourage you to check out our Open House from mid-July on our apsearlylearning.weebly.com website. The direct link is here - you'll need the password apsearly. You can also see a sample student schedule below. Whole group instruction (largely on Zoom) is marked in blue; small group and 1:1 instruction are marked in green. Black text indicates times that are spent independantly. (Schedules may vary slightly from school to school; families will recieve weekly communication with all relevants links and times.)
8:30-8:45 Morning Meeting (Opening Circle, Social Emotional Learning)
8:45-8:55 Music and Movement
8:55- 9:10 Story Time
9:10-9:20 Phonological Awareness
9:20-9:30 Intro to Literacy
9:30-9:55 Small group or Independent Learning
10:00-10:15 Stretch/Brain/Restroom Break
10:15-10:50 Small group or Independent Learning
11:10-12:30 Lunch/ Nap time
12:30- 1:30 Individual student learning 2x/week for 15-20 mins
1:30-3:00 Student at home center time (inc. outdoor/ free play)
How do I get a student number?
You can receive your student number from your school. Because Pre-K students are new, it may take a little bit of time for that processing to occur. However, schools are working diligently on that!
Will I be supported on all the platforms that my child uses?
We're working to develop additional trainings for parents on key platforms such as Zoom, Seesaw, Imagine, and more. Stay tuned!