September 14th, 2020

Dear ACA I & II families,

Thank you for all of your hard work and cooperation during our first month of distance learning!  Our teachers and support staff are finding new and innovative ways to maintain the high level education that is a cornerstone of our school.

When we first announced that we would be distance learning to start the year, we promised to revisit that decision in mid September. Last week, ACA I & II staff met to discuss our options. Due to Contra Costa County’s continued placement in the Purple Tier of the state’s COVID-19 watchlist, we are still unable to open our school to on-campus learning after October Break. In the interest of student safety and academic consistency, we have decided to continue distance learning until after November break. All students will participate in distance learning for the rest of the first trimester, which ends on November 20th.

Our staff will re-evaluate the possibility of beginning on-campus learning with our proposed AM/PM hybrid model in early November and make an announcement to families by mid November. In accordance with the state’s new color tier system for counties, in order for our school to offer on-campus learning, our county must move down to the red tier or lower for at least 14 days. You can read more about the state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy at https://covid19.ca.gov/safer-economy/.

Through this blueprint, the state is also offering waivers for elementary schools. The waivers are currently only available for schools/grades TK-6. ACA II  is a K-8 school, so if we were to apply for a waiver, the Middle School students would not be included. Our ACA I & II combined staff has discussed the waiver option, but  we would not want to open for on-campus learning and not be able to include our Middle School students. This would also be a hardship on families with students at multiple levels if some students were allowed to attend school on-campus and older students were not. Our staff will re-examine this option if the rules of the waivers change.

Our ACA I & II staff appreciates all the cooperation and understanding our families have shown this year. We know that distance learning has created a new set of challenges for all of us. We are so proud of how well our students have adapted and used the lifeskills of flexibility and problem solving over the first month of school.

Sincerely,

ACA I & II Staff

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July 28th, 2020

Dear ACA I & II families,

Thank you for being patient with us this summer while our staff works hard to put together a plan for reopening our school that provides a safe place for student learning. We appreciate all of our families for filling out our surveys and providing input this summer in order for us to create a reopening plan that works for everyone.

On July 17th, Governor Newsom published a guideline document for school reopening that included a series of new mandates that has affected our plans for reopening. Here is the link for anyone who would like to read the document: https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/CDPH%20Document%20Library/COVID-19/Schools%20Reopening%20Recommendations.pdf

This document states that schools cannot reopen for in-person learning until the county they reside in has been off the COVID-19 state monitoring watch list for 14 straight days. This means that because Contra Costa County is on this list, we cannot reopen for in-person learning until the county has been off the list for two weeks.

In light of this and the safety of our school communities, the ACA I & II staff has decided on the following with regards to beginning the 2020-2021 school year:

  • The 1st day of school will be Wednesday August 19th as planned. ACA I & II will keep to the previously released calendars with regards to scheduled breaks.

  • ACA I & II will be distance learning for ALL STUDENTS from August 19th until October break (Friday October 2nd) due to uncertainty about when the county will come off the watchlist. We recognize that many of our families will need to work out student supervision during distance learning, so it was important to us that we give our families a firm beginning and possible ending date to distance learning.

  • Our previously presented hybrid AM/PM schedule will begin when the school is able to reopen to in-person learning. The staff will determine in mid-September if the school will reopen to in-person learning after October break or if distance learning will need to be extended due to Contra Costa County’s status on the COVID-19 watch list. We will be announcing your student’s placement in the AM/PM session closer to the start of school. Each level will present more information on their picture of the hybrid AM/PM schedule at Back to School Nights.

  • Distance Learning has new mandated parameters and will be different from distance learning that occurred last spring. Each level will send out information about their picture for distance learning as the first day of school approaches and will go into detail about distance learning at Back to School Nights.

    • The CDE has published new minutes per day guidelines for distance learning. Students will need to spend the following amount of time on distance learning and every student will need to have a daily check-in/lesson with a teacher or aide. The minutes may be spent in a combination of virtual lessons and completion of work. The new minutes requirements are by grade level:

      • TK/Kindergarten = 180 minutes per day (3 hours)

      • 1st-3rd = 230 minutes per day (3 hours, 50 minutes)

      • 4th-8th = 240 minutes per day (4 hours)

  • Students who do not meet the minimum daily minute requirement will be marked absent. Failure to attend online virtual lessons and/or failure to complete and turn in work will force the teachers to mark your student absent. The staff is developing a re-engagement plan for students who are repeatedly absent from lessons and/or do not turn in assignments, which will most likely include phone calls to parents, increased school/home communication, parent conferences, and SARB board meetings.

  • Expect communication from each level to families which outline distance learning schedules and expectations, as well as school supply lists and Back to School Night information. Back to School Nights will be held virtually and are being rescheduled for the first week of school.

  • ACA I & II will make chromebooks available for check-out for distance learning. Just like in the spring, families will need to sign a waiver to check out chromebooks. Due to the new distance learning minute requirements, each student will need to have access to a computer (or tablet for Primary) for virtual lessons and online assignments. If you have multiple students at ACA II, each student will need access to their own device during normal school hours. Please keep these new requirements in mind when checking out chromebooks. T

Thank you all for your understanding and flexibility as we begin the new school year. Your students have always been at the center of our school’s decision making. The safety of our students, staff, and school community is our first priority as we discuss our options and make decisions. We miss our students and our school community, but we recognize the need to be apart for a little longer. Look for more information from your student’s level in the coming weeks.

Sincerely,

The ACA I & II Staff

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June 30th, 2020

Dear ACA I & II Families,

We realize that most of you are wondering what school look like when the next school year begins in August.  Over the past few weeks, teachers, staff, and co-administrators have been carefully reviewing the information put out by the CDC, California Department of Education, and the Contra Costa County Office of Education with recommendation by the Public Health Department.  Based on the current guidelines, we know that for our schools to re-open we must strive to maintain social distance of four to six feet at all times in the classroom, at arrival and dismissal, at lunch and recess, and as students transition throughout the campus.  This main requirement means that there is not enough physical space to have all 200 of our students on campus and in classes at the same time.  Measuring our classroom spaces shows us that to maintain social distance, there can only be 10 – 14 students in a portable, or 32 in the large Elementary space.  Thus, at the current time it seems that we will not be able to reopen with all students attending full day classes.  The results of the survey showed us that the majority of families wanted to be in school as much as possible, and most preferred an AM or PM schedule over other options, while some families wish to continue distance learning full time.

After reviewing parent surveys and staff input, we have decided to do what we do best: offer several choices to families.   We will offer an AM/PM schedule, with time in between each session for sanitizing and preparing for the next group.  On normal school days students will have 3 hours of in-class learning as well as independent assignments to be completed at home. Extended School Day may be offered on a limited basis to students with diverse learning needs and families of essential workers. On Wonderful Wednesdays or Fantastic Fridays students will alternate between attending classes in person one week and completing online/independent tasks at home the other week.  Siblings will be given the same schedule.  Families that wish their students to continue distance learning full time will be provided lessons and support to do so.

We realize that there will be challenges with each of the choices offered, but our staff are committed to continuing to meet the individual needs of your child(ren) by providing the best education possible within the constraints of maintaining safety for all.  There are questions about reopening that we don’t have answers to yet, but we will continue to work over the summer to think through and plan those details as much as we can.  Our plan is to provide a detailed presentation to answer as many questions as we can by early August.

An email with more details regarding the schedule options and a family survey was sent to your email this week. Please consult your email for that information. If you did not receive that email, please contact the office and they will send you a copy of the information.

Thank you for all of your understanding and support,

ACA I & II Staff

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April 17th, 2020

Parents and Staff of ACA I & ACA II,

We have recently heard that AUSD has made the decision to close for on-campus learning throughout the remainder of the school year. Recently, the governor and state superintendent have stated that schools should be prepared to complete the school year through distance learning.

For the time being, ACA I & II are following the county order to stay closed to on-campus learning throughout the remainder of the school year. However, much can change between now and the end of the school year so we are staying open minded and flexible. In other words, if there comes a time when it is safe for us all to come together, we will. Just like you, we want our students to experience, if nothing else, some of those end of the year activities that have been long traditions at our schools.

It’s a good thing that our students are taught flexibility as a lifeskill because they are certainly being called upon to use that skill more than any other time in our school history. Thank you for your hard work, patience and cooperation during this pandemic.

Best of wishes,
Antioch Charter Academy I & II

Contra Costa County Childcare Services for Essential Workers during Shelter in Place

English Flyer

Spanish Flyer

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March 26th, 2020

Dear ACA I and ACA II families,

After reviewing the guidance from the health officers in seven Bay Area counties, including Contra Costa County, ACA and ACA II staff members made the decision to extend our school closures through May 1, 2020, to slow the spread of COVID-19 to the maximum extent possible. We are canceling all school events scheduled in April, with the hope that we may be able to schedule them at a future date.

While we understand that this news in not completely unexpected, it is still difficult news to share and receives for all of us. We all want students back in our classes, we miss them and their energy in our schools. We miss all of you too! While our school facilities our closed, our communication and compassion remain open.

Although our facilities will be closed, learning continues! Staff members are currently teaching through distance learning activities in a variety of ways. They are reaching out to families and students daily. Feel free to reach back to let us know your needs.

Sincerely,

Co-Administrators

Marianne Dubitsky, Kevin Fuller, Edna Heller, Todd Heller, Elisa McCutchen, and Sarah McLean

Below is what we received from the CCC Office of Education.

Bay Area School Closures and Student Dismissals From Regular School Attendance To Be Extended Through May 1, 2020

 

San Jose, CA – Seven Bay Area county health officers, in collaboration with their six county superintendents of schools have made a unified, regional decision to extend school closures and student dismissals from regular school attendance through May 1, 2020 to slow the spread of COVID-19 to the maximum extent possible. The safety and wellness of students, school personnel, and the community are the highest priorities of all schools and districts in these six counties.

 

Building on the regional coordination the Bay Area jurisdictions took on March 16, 2020 in issuing Health Officer orders requiring all residents to shelter in place, the following Bay Area county agencies have been working together over the last several weeks to align strategies and practices during this unprecedented time for public education:

 

  • Alameda County Office of Education
  • Contra Costa County Office of Education
  • Marin County Office of Education
  • San Francisco Unified School District
  • San Mateo County Office of Education
  • Santa Clara County Office of Education

With the support and collaboration of the Public Health Officers in the respective counties, the County Superintendents of Schools recognized the need to extend the period of school closures and student dismissals through May 1, 2020.  School facilities may remain open to staff for the purposes of performing tasks deemed essential by the school district and county offices of education. Education will continue through flexible learning, meals will continue to be provided and, where possible, childcare may be arranged.

During this time, residents are expected to adhere to the “Shelter in Place” Orders issued by the Public Health Officers on March 16 and stay home except for essential activities until further notification from their local health department.

 

In addition, all residents are urged to keep practicing the guidance provided by Public Health Officers including:

  • Social distancing
  • Washing hands often with soap and water
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Staying home if you are feeling sick
  • Contacting your healthcare provider if you are experiencing any symptoms such as fever, cough, or difficulty breathing.
  • Engage in regular exercise or physical activity

 

The regional connections across our most populous counties in the Bay Area require a coordinated approach.  County Offices of Education will continue to work in close partnership with local health departments and local school districts to support the children, parents, and essential workforce of the Bay Area.

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March 18th, 2020

Dear Families,

Based on the shelter-in-place directive from the Contra Costa County Health department, ACA I & II campuses will be closed to students through the end of spring break. Our current plan is to return to on-site instruction on Tuesday April 14th, if it is recommended that it is safe to do so.  Beginning Monday, March 23rd through Friday, April 2nd, teachers will provide at home learning opportunities for students. We will be taking our planned spring break off between April 6th-13th.

With so many uncertainties and news constantly changing, having a routine helps students feel calmer. Our teachers want students to keep learning. We want to be sure every student has access to the learning that each level provides. Each level’s distance learning curriculum will be tailored to the needs of the students at that level and may utilize different learning methods than other levels. Each level will send out information regarding daily schedules for consistency, assignments, and procedures for any online learning components. Look for information coming directly from your student’s level.

Curriculum will be made available to families in a variety of ways. Levels may be sending out emails with attached videos, links, online assignments, and attached pdf assignments that may be printed at home. Paper copies of packets and worksheets are available if you are unable to print at home. Look for days/times you can come pick up from your school, or call the office to request the papers be mailed to your home. Chromebooks, mice, and headphones can be checked out by families for use at home. Call the office or email your child’s teacher to let us know you need to borrow a device or devices. Books can be borrowed from school classroom libraries in order to facilitate reading at home. Teachers will be available to answer emails and phone calls at scheduled times during the day. Look for more information to come out in level emails which provide available times for virtual teacher office hours.

The county shelter-in-place does include educational institutions in the “allowed” essential services, “for purposes of facilitating distance learning or performing essential functions, provided that social distancing of six-feet per person is maintained to the greatest extent possible”.  If you are unable to come to school to pick up packets or technology, please let us know so we can find another way to get equipment to your student.

We appreciate your patience as we all work together to figure out the best way to keep students learning.

Thank you,
The Staff at
Antioch Charter Academy II
1201 W 10th Street
Antioch, CA 94509
925-755-1252
Fx 925-755-7527

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March 13, 2020

Dear ACA/ACAII families,

 

These are very unique times and in many ways unprecedented circumstances. COVID-19 (Coronavirus) has presented remarkable challenges and we are all responding as thoughtfully as possible. Out of an abundance of caution and an attempt to keep students, staff, and the community safe, we have made the difficult decision to close ACA and ACAII next week (March 16 – 20).  Staff will be using the week to prepare for distance learning/independent study work if it should be necessary to keep students off campus for longer than one week.  As you know, the information about the Corona virus is constantly being updated.  We will continue to closely monitor recommendations and guidelines issued by Contra Costa Health Services department, the California Public Department of Health, and the State Superintendent and will make decisions on a week by week basis for re-opening the school or temporarily moving to an all independent study model.

 

Further detailed information about the upcoming weeks will be sent early next week. Here are the key points we want to communicate today regarding learning for your student(s):

 

  • Next week our teaching staff will collaborate with one another and develop lessons and materials that can be created and shared with students as we build learning experiences for students. More specific information will be shared early next week.
  • During the March 16th through March 27th closure of schools students who receive free and reduced lunch can get meals Monday through Friday at any of the following locations and at the following times:
  • Belshaw Elementary: 8:00-8:30 am, 12:00-12:30 pm
  • Fremont Elementary: 8:00-8:30 am, 12:00-12:30 pm
  • Lone Tree Elementary: 11:30-12:30 pm
  • Marsh Elementary: 8:00-8:30 am, 12:00-12:30 pm
  • Muir Elementary: 8:00-8:30 am, 12:00-12:30 pm
  • Park Middle School: 8:00-8:30 am, 12:15-1:00 pm
  • Turner Elementary: 11:30 am -12:30 pm
  • During the closure, we cannot predict with certainty what directives and/or guidance may be designated by local and/or state governments. We recognize that COVID-19 will not be gone in one week. However, we will be working to try and further adjust school practices, procedures, and policies to decrease physical contact, increase good hygiene practices, and increase student safety related to COVID-19. Additionally, we will be working to further clean all aspects of our school campuses.
  • At this time, we do not know if the missed days will need to be made up at a later date, but will keep our families informed once we receive information from the state.

 

This decision was not made lightly.  As always, students are at the center of our decision making progress.  We want what is best for the students, our families, and our staff.  Please look for more information by midweek next week to be sent by email and posted on our website.

 

Sincerely,

Marianne Dubitsky, Kevin Fuller, Edna Heller, Todd Heller, Elisa McCutcheon, and Sarah McLean

ACA and ACAII Co-administrators