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Back to School Update - 7/12

Hi SPARK Families!

By now you’ve all received the the recent news from our new APS superintendent, Dr. Lisa Herring, on the parameters around our return to school. As a recap we’ve been informed that we will begin the new school year with 100% virtual learning for at least the first 9 weeks.  The start date for students will be Monday, August 24th.  While SPARK teachers and staff will begin intense formal planning on August 3rd, there has already been a lot of planning and prepping since the ‘19-20 school year ended on May 22.  

Over the next month, you will hear much more about what this 9-week virtual plan for learning looks like.  I know there are concerns and you are trying to plan for what works best for your family. We have received many messages and know the concerns raised in the parent and student survey. Please know that we hear your concerns, share your concerns, and are working hard to address this ‘new normal’ the best way possible for all involved.

Now that we know what our return to school will look like, we’re working hard to get organized, get a plan together, and work to provide the best learning experience possible. There will be numerous updates via email, social media, and townhalls that I will host. Please know more is coming!

Since Friday's news broke, I have received several requests for students to be in learning "PODS" with friends.  Pending Board approval of the APS reopening plan, we will be able to share our timeline for class lists, retrieval of items, timing and plans for meet and greet with teachers, and pre-assessments for each student – this should be happening the week of July 20th.  We will work hard to get you teacher assignments by July 27th. We spend many hours with input from the previous grade's teacher, our school counselor and other administrators to create balanced classes.  It is unlikely that we will be able to accommodate requests for friend/POD groups, but will get the teacher assignment lists out earlier so that parents can form groups based on who is in their new class. The teachers are scheduled to return to work on August 3rd and will be hitting the ground running to get ready for the start date of August 24th!

Thank you for continued patience and understanding. We’re in this together!

Terry Harness