August 29, 2020

Dear Lower School Families,

Our first week is “in the books” and I want to thank all of you for your patience and support as we all learn the new routines and protocols in our environment that we are in. It was heart-warming to see everyone’s eyes light up as they came into Academy for the first time since March. Five months is a long time to be physically away from Academy, and we want each student to thrive again!

Our goal these first two weeks is to have students reacclimate with the school, their new teachers, their classmates and all that's new. Following a normal summer vacation, it also takes time to get back into a rhythm but add on the extra time in the spring that we weren’t on campus and it impacts this adjustment period. I want to share a few items that will help make things run more smoothly to start and finish the day:

Health Screening Form: until we are up and running with our new SchoolPass app system, we are using the paper-and-pencil method. All students entering the school must have this form completed before coming to school. Please use the white sheets each morning. If you forget, we will provide a form and take your child’s temperature, but it does delay the beginning of the day.

Morning Dropoff: please practice with your children how to unbuckle their car seats as well as opening and closing car doors this weekend. It will alleviate you having to get out and open/close the door and will keep the carline moving. In addition, all students must exit your cars from the passenger side. Cars are using the other lane, and it is a safety hazard to get out from this side. In addition, please say your goodbyes before getting out of your car, have the health screening form ready to hand a faculty member and backpacks ready to be put on. Grade 5: you can go directly toward the Fieldhouse in the morning as this will be the dropoff for fifth-graders only.

Afternoon Pickup: the carline begins at 3:15 p.m. each afternoon. All lower-schoolers (including Grade 5) get picked up in front of the Lower School. It is very important that your placards are clearly visible to all faculty working so we can quickly assist in helping your children get to your cars.

Car Placards: all students received placards in their backpacks this week. Please always have these in the front passenger windshield so we can easily identify and notify your children’s teachers that you are in the carline. Not having the placard in your windshield delays the time it takes to pick up your children as we will only know when you get to the front spot in the line.

Masks: everyone is adjusting to wearing masks. It would be helpful if your children have at least one or two extra masks available in their backpacks. We always have extra in the office, if needed.

“Get To Know You” Conferences: families will have the opportunity to have one-on-one discussions with your children’s teachers who are scheduling them with you directly. These are very important opportunities for the homeroom teachers to learn about your children and your “hopes and dreams” for the year ahead. These are listening conferences for the teachers and opportunities for you to share with us about your children.

Student Schedule for August 31 to September 4:
  • Monday: Explorers (all), PreK, Grade 1, Grade 2
  • Tuesday: Explorers (all), Kindergarten, Grade 5
  • Wednesday: Explorers (all); PreK, Grade 3, Grade 4
  • Thursday: Explorers (all); Grade 1, Grade 2, Grade 5
  • Friday: Explorers (all); PreK, Kindergarten, Grade 3, Grade 4

The entire lower school faculty has been invigorated welcoming your children back to school this week. Our classrooms are once again filled with the joyful noise of children learning together, laughing together and enjoying each other’s company together. Thank you for all of your support and patience as we work through the new protocols; it is greatly appreciated and what makes our community so special.

Be well,

Head of Lower School