Dear McAuliffe Families

I hope everyone is healthy and doing well during these unprecedented times; I have been thinking of you and your families as we adjust to new routines. I know that for many of us, and especially for our middle school students, connection, structure, and ongoing learning are vital during times of uncertainty. In order to meet those needs, and to keep student’s minds working while they are away from school, faculty and staff have been working hard to design remote opportunities for engagement. We will launch this program tomorrow, Wednesday, the 18th. Your student’s crew leader will be the first point of contact if you have any questions. Please note that, though we believe these offerings will be valuable to all students, participation is not mandatory.

This email is long, but I encourage you to read all of it so you can get important information about resources for students while they are out of school!

In this email, you will see information about:
  • What the program will look like
  • How your student can sign up for different offerings
  • How you can obtain technology from the school
  • How your student can access counselors during this time

Program Overview
  • The program includes offerings from 10:00 - 2:05 Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and from 10:40 - 2:05 Tuesdays and Thursdays. This includes:
  • Crew 3 times / week (Monday, Wednesday, and Friday)
  • Classes in each academic area; there are a set of offerings that take place on Mondays and Wednesdays and another set on Tuesdays and Thursdays
  • Opportunities for small group connections with teachers from 2:10 - 2:30.
  • A set of “just for fun” activities on Fridays.

Students will participate in the classes through google classroom, an on-line program with which most students are already familiar. Class activities will be a mix of technology-based and off-line activities. 

How Students Can Sign Up
You can see the catalog here . Students can sign up for offerings by logging into Google Classroom and entering the course code listed in the catalogue. They will get a separate email instructing them about how to sign up; they can also expect an email from their crew leader by 9:30 tomorrow that will instruct them about how to access crew. We encourage students to sign up for classes for each time slot! Please work with your student to help them make a schedule that will work for them. Know that unless specified, classes are open to all students. Students should not restrict themselves to only familiar teachers in their grade levels. We will have a “add/ drop” period between Wednesday the 17th and Tuesday the 24th. 

Because this is primarily a choice-based program, I am excited about the ways that it will not only build connection and structure, but will also allow students to explore their interests and gain new ones while becoming increasingly comfortable with 21st century technology skills.

If you or your student has a question about sign up or offerings, please ask them to contact their crew leader

Getting necessary technology
Your student will need access to a computer in order to participate in these offerings. They may borrow a chromebook from McAuliffe if that will help them participate. If you would like to borrow a chromebook, please come to the school between 8:00 -10:00 a.m. on Wednesday the 18th or between 3:00 - 5:00 on Thursday the 19th. You will need to complete and sign this loan agreement ; you may bring it with you or sign it when you arrive.

This structure of learning is new for all of us! I invite you to join us as “crew, not passengers” as we embark on this journey together -- please let us know how this program is working at home!

All the best,
Nellie Zupancic
Director of Teaching & Learning
Message from the Counseling Department
All grade-level counselors (Ms. Fish - Mon. to Wed., Ms. Heller - Wed. to Fri, Ms. Preto, Ms. Hines), our adjustment counselor (Ms. Flavin), our Dean of Students (Mr. Rosenshine) and our Culture & Character Coach (Mr. Fratantonio) will be available to access their services while the school building is temporarily closed. Support staff will be checking their emails periodically between the hours of 10am - 2pm Monday-Friday. Support staff are ready to talk through emails if that is what you prefer.  

“Counselors understand the additional concerns related to the use of distance counseling, technology and social media and make every attempt to protect confidentiality.” - ASCA.   

The counseling department recognizes and acknowledges the challenges and limitations of virtual school counseling. We will adhere to the same ethical guidelines virtually that we have face to face. However, we understand the limitation of confidentiality around unintended listeners on the phone or unintended viewers of emails. Therefore, please follow the following steps:
  • Do NOT record any phone calls.
  • Identify who is speaking and who is in the room
  • Be careful of sharing your email login with others  

Scholars , follow these steps to connect with one of the people above:
  • Go to https://mcauliffecharter.org/resources 
  • Click on the “Counselor Referral” link found under the “Educational Tools” heading. 
  • Fill out the referral, which the staff member will be able to read once it is completed
  • Make sure you leave a number for the support staff to call you back at so they can talk to you.  
  • The number that the staff will call you from will show up on your caller ID as “Unknown Caller.”
  • Once you fill out the referral form, a support staff member will email you back within the hours of 10am - 2pm and as soon as possible in order to give you an approximate time that they will call you.  

Parents/Guardians
If you are looking to access support staff for any reason know the following:
  • Support Staff will be available via email from 10am - 2pm (Monday - Friday).  
  • Support staff will be checking their emails periodically during the day and will communicate via email to provide assistance.   
  • Teachers will be able to access support staff via email, phone call, video chat, and counselor referral in order to discuss any concerns regarding a student they may have. 
  • Teaching staff will be in contact with support staff around safety concerns for students.
  • The counseling department is prepared to assist students in addressing any concerns or fears around COVID-19 as well as any other issues.  
  • Counselors ask that students utilize their service for valid reasons in order to not take time from a student who needs this service.  
  • Counselors will be making adjustments to this system as time goes by in order to make it more effective as we are all navigating a new system.  

For emergency safety issues:
  • If a scholar poses an immediate safety threat to themselves, then please call 911 for assistance. 
  • For consultation regarding a scholar’s threat to their own safety please reach out to a support staff 
  • If a scholar is a risk to self-harm and a support staff has not immediately contacted you back, then please reach out to a community resource: Click on the following link for a list of community resources.
  • In the case that a support staff is communicating with a scholar who they feel is a threat to self-harm, then the support staff will immediately contact parent/guardian via phone.

The counseling department knows how trying these times are for everyone and we will help everyone navigate these times as best as possible.