• This Week @ A2 STEAM

    Posted by Meg Fenech on 11/22/2020

    NOTES FROM ADMIN

    Thanksgiving has long been my favorite holiday - a time for family, friends, and reflection.  No doubt, this year will be a bit different and we all have to be creative about how we safely connect with our family and friends, but now more than ever, we have an opportunity to reflect on the things for which we can be thankful.  I feel so grateful to be a part of our school community that includes amazing and inspiring children, devoted parents, and a passionate, hardworking staff.   While this year has brought hardship, stress, and loss, it has also provided opportunities for patience, empathy, and compassion.  Speaking for the entire staff, we thank you for your ongoing support and understanding. We are truly grateful for the A2 STEAM community.  

    SUPPLIES FOR SPECIALS 

    PE - all grades this week

    • (1) set of XL or adult size clothes: Pants, Shirt/Sweater, Hat

    • (1) stuffed animal (small to medium size)

    WINTER ARTS MARKET

    In order to get our ducks in a row, we moved the Winter Arts Market (WAM) to December 13-15.  Please mark your calendar in order to shop locally and virtually!  If you, or your child, wants to sell items, please complete the application by November 30th. https://winter-arts-market.square.site/application 

    SPIRIT WEAR 

    Due to parent inquiries, we’ve set up a simple A2 STEAM spirit wear store so families can purchase items just in time for  Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, the winter solstice, or simply because your children keep growing and need bigger clothes!  This is an online sale only that will be open until November 30th at www.createmytee.com/Join/118157 

    • There are 14 options including v-neck jerseys, baseball jerseys, sports-tek long-sleeve shirts, hoodies, t-shirts, and ¼ zip sweatshirts.  

    • All purchases will be made online via credit card directly with the vendor.

    • All items will be shipped directly from the vendor to the billing address of the purchaser. 

    • As this is not a fundraising effort -- it is purely to meet the need/desire expressed by families for holiday gear!!.  The sell prices are set at production cost

    • So if you’re shopping on Cyber Monday, don’t forget to visit www.createmytee.com/Join/118157 because that’s the last day of spiritwear sales this winter. 

    **WINTER GIVING TRAIN**

    Like every winter, our office staff and our social worker, Ms. Hite, work with the school community to support our families in need.  Last year, Ms. Hite organized the incredible “Giving Train” wherein volunteers could short buy a gift or donate funds online.  This year we are making all contributions electronic in order to keep you safe. 

    We conducted a  comprehensive needs assessment and found 30 A2 STEAM families and 60+ kids in need of winter gear and support this year, and we know we can count on our community to help!  The goal is to provide each child with needed warm winter clothing (e.g. coat, boots, hat, gloves), a book, and learning item (e.g. puzzle, art supplies, board game, legos.)   We hope to raise $125 per child, so our goal is $7,625!  We know it’s a lofty goal with a lofty timeline, but we are encouraged by our community’s generosity and recognition that needs are greater this year. 

    Please consider giving by Sunday, December 6th. We will in turn shop and get the gifts delivered by mid/late December.  You can count on us to spend money prudently, and  in accordance with the needs of parents and hopes of children.  Ms. Hite has thoughtfully gathered the sizes, favorite colors, and game preferences from all our kids.  We invite you to get on this Giving Train of warmth and love by giving at whatever level you can.   Please visit https://a2steampto.square.site/ today! 

    SCREENAGERS Documentary 

    AAPS is providing all families with the opportunity to view Screenagers Next Chapter: Uncovering Skills for Stress Resilience. For more information, please see the district’s website, or CLICK HERE to register for on-demand access to the documentary.  

    IMMEDIATE MENTAL HEALTH SUPPORTS

    If your student or family is ever in need of immediate and urgent support, here are two resources: Washtenaw County Community Mental Health - Crisis Line: 734-544-3050 and Ozone House - Crisis Line: 734-662-2222.

    AADL OFFERS BOOKABLE MEETING ROOMS ON ZOOM

    Connect with family and friends for free with Bookable Zoom Rooms! The Ann Arbor District Library is offering free Zoom Online Meeting Rooms to any AADL card holder. You can book a Zoom meeting of two or more attendees for up to two hours. Zoom Meeting Room Bookings require at least one week's notice. Learn more and book a room here.

    FREE WEDNESDAY VIRTUAL ACTIVITIES FOR ELEMENTARY STUDENTS

    Happy and Healthy Kids (H2) is a group of health-focused U-M College Students offering FREE virtual activities to educate elementary students about health and wellness.  The group will conduct games, arts and crafts around a health-based theme each week.  Activities will happen  from 1:00-1:30 on Wednesdays. Interested parents can sign up here. More information here.

    FOOD DISTRIBUTION

    Next week, due to the Thanksgiving holiday, AAPS Food Distribution will only occur on Monday, November 23. Seven days worth of food will be distributed at each location. Regular twice-a- week food distribution will begin again on Monday, November 30 until winter break when AAPS will again distribute seven days worth of food on December 21 & 28 at all locations.

    HELPFUL LINKS ON THE AAPS SITE

     

    ON THE HORIZON

    11/25 - 11/27 - No School

    11/30 - Deadline for Winter Arts Market Application & Spirt Wear orders

    12/6 -  Deadline for Giving Train contributions

    12/10 - Chanukah begins @ sunset

    12/17 - Elementary Report Cards & NWEA reports sent home (electronically)

    12/19 - Winter Break begins, school resumes 1/4

     

    NOTES FROM THE PTO

    Shopping Rewards: We want to wish everyone a safe and happy Thanksgiving break! As you shop this holiday season and for holiday meals, don't forget the easiest way to support your school is through Shopping Rewards at Amazon, Kroger, Busch's, Arbor Farms, and Box Tops.  

    • Kroger: login to your Kroger account and designate Northside Elementary PTO for Community

    • Amazon: go to smile.amazon.com to get started and choose Northside School PTO 

    • Coca-Cola codes: you can enter the codes on the packages and A2 STEAM will receive a donation. Go to https://us.coca-cola.com/give/ to get started.

    • Box Tops For Education: Box Tops is transitioning to digital. Download the app for Apple or Android and create an account. Select “Northside Elementary School” as your school. After each grocery purchase with eligible items, scan the receipt.

    Comments (-1)
  • This Week @ A2 STEAM

    Posted by Meg Fenech on 11/15/2020

    NOTES FROM ADMIN

    SPECIALS CLASSES - NOTES & SUPPLIES

    • GYM/PE - If possible, please allow your children in grades 3-5 to use two chairs and two sofa cushions this week during their PE special.  

    • ART

      • Y5/Kindergarten students should have white or colored paper, oil pastels, crayons or markers, and a glue stick

      • Grade 1-2 students should have paper (colored or white), a black marker or pen, and colored pencils.

      • Grade 3-5 students need paper, a pencil, and their oil pastels

      • Grade 6-8 students should have their art kit easily accessible

    WINTER ARTS MARKET (WAM)  (Back by popular demand!)

    Hello A2STEAM Artists, Crafters, Makers and Musicians ALL!  It’s that time of year my friends. That’s right, it’s time for WAM! Just because we can’t be together this year, it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be MAKING all of our awesome goods to put out into the world and sell to our families and friends! This year, the A2STEAM Winter Arts Market will be held VIRTUALLY December 11-13. It will look a bit different, but that’s OKAY! We will still have the chance to make and sell our awesome goods to one another, AND to even hear some of our A2 STEAM musicians perform VIRTUALLY! You can’t stop this creative train that is our A2 STEAM community! More news to come from Miss Emily and Ms. Jensen. Keep the eyeballs peeled for applications coming this week! 

    REC & ED FREE CLASSES

    Ann Arbor Rec & Ed staff are excited to announce a new line-up of FREE online and in-person classes for AAPS preschool - 8th graders. Our goal is to make sure our students still have an opportunity to get outside, play sports, stay active, and have fun with their friends in a safe, socially distanced environment.  You can now register for ANY location. Register for one class or all!   https://www.aarecedonline.com/freeyouthclasses  

    WORRIES GETTING IN THE WAY?

    The University of Michigan is conducting a study focused on children and young adults, ages 7-17 with various degrees of anxiety. The study is looking for individuals with a range of anxiety symptoms, from no anxiety to anxiety that is very bothersome. The study offers a virtual diagnostic evaluation and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) at no cost. Participants receive $100-$395 for their time. Interested families can visit https://umhealthresearch.org#studies/HUM00118950, or contact anxiety-cbt-study@med.umich.edu or call 734-232-0130 to see if their child qualifies.  This study is funded by the National Institute of Mental Health and is conducted by Dr. Kate Fitzgerald at the UM Dept. of Psychiatry.  Please see this flyer for more information.

    AAPS GROUP FOR PARENTS OF TEENS

    Help! Who's this Pre-Teen/Teenager in My House? - Parents will learn ways to build and strengthen their relationships with their pre-teen/teen(s) as well as understand ways to navigate those difficult moments when your teen’s view on life totally contradicts all that you have instilled in them. The pre-teen/teen parent group will run the third Wednesday of each month from 6:00-7:00pm, beginning November 18, 2020 through April 21, 2021.  Parents can join the group via Zoom by going to:  https://a2schools.zoom.us/my/haroldwimberly and using Passcode: 072866. 

    HELPFUL LINKS ON THE AAPS SITE

    ON THE HORIZON

    • 11/19 - PTO meeting, 7pm 

    • 11/25 - 11/27 - No school

    • 12/11-12/13 - Winter Arts Market (online) 

    FROM THE PTO

    November’s A2 STEAM PTO Community Meeting is this Wednesday (11/19) at 7PM  - guest speaker Robin Batten from the Washtenaw Area Council for Children will lead a Cyber Safety Workshop with a discussion of topics including cyberbullying, sexting, online predators, digital reputation/footprint, privacy & security and the cyber crime laws. Discuss how the use of technology and social media among today's youth can impact them socially and emotionally. Also addressing ways parents can help young people navigate the Internet safely.  See a2steampto.org for information.   ZOOM Meeting ID: 816 9977 9379  Passcode: a2steam

    Comments (-1)
  • This Week @ A2 STEAM

    Posted by Meg Fenech on 11/8/2020

    NOTES FROM ADMIN

    SPECIALS CLASSES - NOTES & SUPPLIES - Moving forward we’ll share notes from specials’ teachers if there are items your child might need this week or if teachers have general information to share.

    • PE - This week Mr. Willard is hosting Slipper Camp - a lighter, more fun version of fitness boot camp! If possible, kids should have slippers (or a safe alternative), a backpack, and heavy items to load backpacks (books, toys etc).
    • IDEA LAB - This week 3rd-grade students will need recyclables, LEGOs, or other building toys to complete their final science project around simple machines.  Students will choose their materials after our synchronous time on Monday. Parents can learn more about simple machines here www.britannica.com/technology/simple-machin
    • ART NOTES from Ms. Bawol & Ms. Jensen
      • Art Kits- Thank you for picking up your art kits last week! We hope students are as excited as we are to get these supplies in your hands. Please remind students that the supplies in the kits are needed for their school art class, and should be saved for such use. We realize this is a challenging request, but please do your best to not use them (most importantly: paper, oil pastels, modeling clay) until instructed to by your art teacher. We do not have funds for extra materials this year. If you haven't picked up your Art Kit (Y5-5, and 6-8 if they are enrolled in Art for Q2), they are offering one more pick-up Monday, November 9th from 2-4pm.
      • ARTSONIA  - Artsonia.com is a website that provides free & secure digital art portfolios for students. This allows teachers, students, and parents to see "big picture" growth. Parents and any family members you sign up will be notified when student artwork is submitted. Students in grades 3 and up are already using Artsonia. Students in younger grades will eventually learn more about Artsonia, as well. Stay tune
      • Quarter 1 Digital Photo Virtual Show - Our 7th and 8th Q1 students took a Digital Photo course. Here is a link to the A2 STEAM Digital Photography Show, with some of our best shots!

    WEDNESDAYS  - While Wednesdays don’t include synchronous teaching, this day can be quite full for our staff.  Teachers are happy to meet with parents but Wednesdays can be tough for some staff, particularly those who are writing curriculum for the district.  We want parents to have open communication with teachers - please just give staff a couple of days notice when desiring a meeting. 

    CAMERAS ON, PLEASE - While we don’t intend to mandate cameras on during Zoom meetings because we know privacy is necessary sometimes, we REALLY, REALLY, REALLY would love to see more of your children!!  When cameras are on teachers are more in tune with your child’s learning needs and students become more connected with one another.  If possible, please encourage your child to turn on their cameras.  It truly enhances teaching and learning. 

    SORA  - Sora by OverDrive is the AAPS digital library for independent reading, book clubs, novel studies, and English classes. Digital books may be available as an eBook, audiobook, and/or a read-along. The entire AAPS Library Services department has curated a robust opening collection for all grades PK-12 and will continue to add titles to our collection throughout the school year. Student and staff eBook requests are also an important part of the eBook collection.There are multiple ways for AAPS students and staff to get to Sora:

    • Go to https://soraapp.com/library/aapsmi and login with an AAPS Google account 
    •  Go to the Elementary/Middle/High School Resource Portals in Schoolog
    • Go to the Sora app on a district iPa
    • Download the FREE app to your phone or tablet

    Users can search for a book and/or be assigned a book for class reading. Students will be able to check out one book at a time from the AAPS collection. The loan period is 28 days. Students can always return a book earlier and check out another book. All students can also put one hold on a title. Sora also provides students with critical digital annotation skills and has compatibility with Snap & Read.

    SUPPORTS & RESOURCES FOR FAMILIES

    Supporting your child’s Elementary Math Education - Parent Webinar (11/9 and rebroadcast 11/13) - Do you want to understand more about your Elementary child’s math education? Do you struggle to help your child with their math work? Join us for a one-hour webinar that will provide you with an introduction to Elementary math instruction at AAPS, and resources and suggestions for supporting your child’s learning! Join us Friday 11/13 at 1:30PM. Register here!

    Conectando juntos: un grupo de apoyo para padres / tutores de AAPS, en español - Únase a nosotros para un grupo de apoyo sin cita previa para padres y tutores de estudiantes en AAPS que hablan principalmente español. Conéctese con otros padres para encontrar apoyo y obtener ideas sobre cómo enfrentar los desafíos de 2020. Únase a nosotros en grupos el 12 de noviembre (1:30 PM), 17 de noviembre (7:30 PM). ¡Registrarse aquí! El año pasado, los padres que participaron en un grupo de apoyo para padres de AAPS informaron constantemente que lo encontraron útil y apreciaron escuchar y conectarse con otros padres que atraviesan dificultades similares.

    Help! Who's this Pre-Teen/Teenager in My House? - Parents will learn ways to build and strengthen their relationships with their pre-teen/teen(s) as well as understand ways to navigate those difficult moments when your teen’s view on life totally contradicts all that you have instilled in them. The pre-teen/teen parent group will run the third Wednesday of each month from 6:00 - 7:00 p.m., beginning November 18, 2020 through April 21, 2021.  Parents can join the group via Zoom by going to:  https://a2schools.zoom.us/my/haroldwimberly and using Passcode: 072866.

    CONNECTING TOGETHER: AN AAPS PARENT/GUARDIAN SUPPORT GROUP - Twice-a-month drop-in support groups for parents and guardians of students in AAPS. Groups meet on the 2nd Tuesday (7:30-8:30PM) and 4th Thursday (1-2PM) of the month. Connect with other parents to find support and get ideas about how to face the challenges of 2020. Please register here. Last year, parents who participated in an AAPS parent support group consistently reported that they found it helpful, and appreciated hearing from and connecting with other parents going through similar struggles. 

     Please see this calendar of upcoming parent support groups, including the Connecting Together Groups that will be in Spanish, Chinese, Arabic, Japanese, and Korean.

    GIRL SCOUTS  Be sure to check out this Girl Scouts flyer for free online activities. 

    HELPFUL LINKS ON THE AAPS SITE


    ON THE HORIZON

    • 11/9  - Middle schoolers start new elective classes for Quarter 2

    • 11/19 - PTO meeting, 7pm 

    • 11/25 - 11/27 - No school


    NOTES FROM THE PTO

    November’s A2 STEAM PTO Community Meeting will be 11/19 at 7PM - guest speaker Robin Batten from the Washtenaw Area Council for Children will lead a Cyber Safety Workshop with discussion of topics including cyberbullying, sexting, online predators, digital reputation/footprint, privacy & security, and the cybercrime laws. Discuss how the use of technology and social media among today's youth can impact them socially and emotionally. Also addressing ways parents can help young people navigate the Internet safely.

    See a2steampto.org for Zoom link and information.

    Several grade levels have adjusted their meet-up schedules due to the time change.  Here is an updated list: 

    Grade Level Meet-ups!

    All are on the back playground at A2 STEAM, unless otherwise noted.

    Y5/Kindergarten - Tuesdays 4:30-6 — on the front (Y5/K/1) playground

    1st Grade - Sundays 3:00-5:00

    2nd Grade - Fridays 3:30-5:30

    3rd Grade - Tuesdays 4:30-6:00

    4th Grade - Mondays 4:00-6:00

    5th Grade - Thursdays 3:30-5:30

    6th Grade - Wednesdays 2:00-4:00

    7th Grade - Wednesdays 3:00-5:00 (back playground) & Fridays 3:30-5:30 (front playground)

    8th Grade - Wednesdays 12:00-2:00

    **Please note that these are not sponsored by the PTO and masks are required for all participants

    Comments (-1)
  • This Week @ A2 STEAM

    Posted by Meg Fenech on 11/1/2020

    NWEA

    Thank you, families, for ensuring your children had a quiet testing location last week. We are largely done testing elementary students but some middle schoolers need additional time.  Tomorrow (11/2), middle schoolers will have time to complete the tests in the morning while in their advisory class.  Given NWEA testing and because Tuesday is a no-school day, our middle school lessons for blocks 1-3 were already planned as enrichment or review lessons.  Attendance will still be taken each block. 

    SUPPLY DISTRIBUTION THIS WEEK!

    This Wednesday (8:30am-2:30pm) or Thursday (4:00-7:00pm) we ask that families come up to A2 STEAM to pick up supplies.  This will likely be the last distribution for quite some time, so we thank you in advance for finding the time.  Here’s the form to select a date and time.  Thank you! 

    ELEMENTARY -  Supplies include an art kit for all elementary students and the second Everyday Math Journal. PLEASE keep the math journal in a safe place until it’s needed. There are miscellaneous items being distributed at certain grade levels.  For example, K-4 families will receive another printed set of QR codes and grade 5 students will receive their instruments!

    MIDDLE SCHOOL - We have kits for students in grades 6-8 taking art in Quarter 2, and for 6th grade students taking PLTW in Quarter 2.  Additionally, we have wired headphones for students in instrumental music.

    RETURNING UNWANTED SUPPLIES - Some families have let us know that they don’t need the various supplies distributed last month.  If your family has composition books, index cards, etc. that will go unused, feel free to return them to us and we’ll use them in the future.  (Like other distributions prior, please leave these items in your truck and we will collect them in a contact-free way.)

    ENROLLMENT PAPERWORK - If Stacey emailed you regarding enrollment or vaccination documents, please bring your documentation to the supply pickup 

    ONLINE SAFETY & SECURITY

    The Securly Parent Portal Opt-In Pilot Program is NOW OPEN!  The AAPS Instructional Technology Department is launching a new program to help families manage their child’s online safety while using school-issued devices at home. The new tool is called Securly.   The Securly web filter provides FREE parental controls for school-issued devices through an “opt-in” parent portal. The portal gives parents the ability to:

    • Check Online Activity - Allows parents to view their child(ren) recent searches, websites visited, and videos watched on their school-owned device(s).

    • Customize Rules - Lets parents customize web filtering rules when school devices are in the home.

    • Pause Internet Access - Parents can use the Home app to turn Internet access on or off with a single tap when the device is away from school.

    • Get Weekly Email Reports - Every week, parents receive a snapshot of their child’s online activity, directly to their inbox.

    To learn more about this pilot program, please check out this Securly Parent Portal Fall 2020 Pilot document and sign up to participate with this AAPS Securly Parent Portal Opt-In Pilot Google Form. Lastly, here’s the Securly Parent Portal FAQs.

    SISS & SEL RESOURCES FOR SUPPORTING YOUR CHILD!

    Please see this SISS Resources Site!  This site provides families with access to evidence-based and AAPS-approved materials, resources, and tools.  Here’s a direct link to the second social-emotional learning (SEL) Newsletter - #02 AAPS Parent SEL-Focused Newsletter 

    FREE ACADEMIC RESOURCES & SUPPORTS

    A number of local groups and organizations are offering free academic support for AAPS students. These free resources are primarily provided by U-M students and community volunteers. View Free Academic Support Resources Here.

    TUTORING SUPPORTS FOR STUDENTS

    Are your children in need of extra support with their work?  Please see this list of tutoring supports for students.

    ON THE HORIZON

    • 11/3  - No School (Please vote!)

    • 11/9  - Middle schoolers start new elective classes for Quarter 2

    • 11/4 & 11/5 - Distribution Days 

    • 11/19 - PTO meeting, 7pm 

    • 11/25 - 11/27 - No school

    Comments (-1)
  • This Week @ A2 STEAM

    Posted by Meg Fenech on 10/25/2020

    Good evening A2 STEAM families,

    Despite the cool temperatures, grade-level playdates are still taking place on the A2 STEAM playground.  (Disclaimer: These are not school or PTO-organized.)  I bring up these playdates because it’s so important for kids to engage in free play with peers and to enjoy the outdoors.  It was great to see parents enjoy PE/gym class last week.  Thank you to Mr. Willard for organizing our annual Bring Parents to PE week.  We hope to create additional opportunities for parents to engage in your child’s educational experience during remote learning, and we invite ideas you may have.  Most importantly, we implore all parents/guardians to engage with your child’s teacher.  Be sure you’ve signed up for a parent/guardian-teacher conference.  As always, we thank you for your partnership and resilience during these challenging times.  Staff, students, and parents continue to astound with their patience and understanding.   

    NWEA TESTING -  As mentioned last week, we’ll be doing mandated math and reading assessments this week for K-8 students.  Your child will experience modified schedules this Tuesday and Thursday, please look for these details in your child’s teacher’s bulletin. We want to assure you that this should NOT be in any way a stressful event for your child.  Generally, we find our students enjoy online testing—they are used to it and know that it’s simply a chance to “show what you know”, which helps to inform the teachers of what needs to be taught.  If you notice this is creating stress in the home, please email me directly at fenechm@aaps.k12.mi.us 

    Finally, a special request during this time, we ask that you create some distance between yourself and your child during the assessment.  It’s natural while at home for students to look to you for guidance and support.   However, in order to get the most out of this opportunity teachers need to see what students are able to do independently.

    SUPPLY DISTRIBUTION -  On November 4th or 5th we ask that families come up to A2 STEAM to pick up supplies.  This will likely be the last distribution for quite some time, so we thank you in advance for finding the time.  (Our staff also LOVE being able to see our STEAM families!)  Here’s the form to select a date and time.  Thank you! 

    ELEMENTARY -  supplies include an art kit for all elementary students and the second Everyday Math Journal, for some grades.  There are miscellaneous items being distributed at certain grade levels.  For example, K-4 families will receive another printed set of QR codes and grade 5 students will receive their instruments!

    MIDDLE SCHOOL - We have kits for students in grades 6-8 taking art in Quarter 2, and for 6th grade students taking PLTW in Quarter 2.   (Mr. Parnes or I will email all families to whom this applies.)

    RETURNING UNWANTED SUPPLIES - Some families have let us know that they don’t need the various supplies distributed last month.  If your family has composition books, index cards, etc. that will go unused, feel free to return them to us and we’ll use them in the future.  (Like other distributions prior, please leave these items in your truck and we will collect them in a contact-free way.) 

    ONLINE SAFETY & SECURITY - The Securly Parent Portal Opt-In Pilot Program is NOW OPEN!  The AAPS Instructional Technology Department is launching a new program to help families manage their child’s online safety while using school-issued devices at home. The new tool is called Securly.   The Securly web filter provides FREE parental controls for school-issued devices through an “opt-in” parent portal. The portal gives parents the ability to:

    • Check Online Activity - Allows parents to view their child(ren) recent searches, websites visited, and videos watched on their school-owned device(s).

    • Customize Rules - Lets parents customize web filtering rules when school devices are in the home.

    • Pause Internet Access - Parents can use the Home app to turn Internet access on or off with a single tap when the device is away from school.

    • Get Weekly Email Reports - Every week, parents receive a snapshot of their child’s online activity, directly to their inbox.

    To learn more about this pilot program, please check out this Securly Parent Portal Fall 2020 Pilotdocument and sign up to participate with this AAPS Securly Parent Portal Opt-In Pilot Google Form. Lastly, here’s the Securly Parent Portal FAQs.

    LITERACY WORKSHOPS this Tuesday, Oct 27  -  Looking for ways to help boost your child’s love of reading? Need ideas for offline games and activities to help build your child’s reading toolkit? Please attend the A2 STEAM Literacy Night on Tuesday, October 27th. Tricia Guest, our A2 STEAM Literacy expert, will share engaging activities for at-home literacy practice, how to help your child select “good fit books,” as well as model how to access digital features from MyOn and AADL.        Y5-Second Grade: 6:30-7:00pm          Third-Fifth Grade: 7:00-7:30pm              Zoom link https://a2schools.zoom.us/j/93891084137or the Meeting ID: 938 9108 4137           If you have any questions, contact guestP@a2schools.org 

    MIDDLE SCHOOL CLUBS -  We are happy to be able to offer 12 clubs for our middle school students!  Club offerings are accessible here.   Because some clubs start next week, please have students sign up hereas soon as possible.   We hope each and every middle school student signs up for AT LEAST one club. 

    AAPS TECH SUPPORT -  For questions about devices or a WiFi Hotspot, please email family_techsupport@aaps.k12.mi.us. Here’s a Student Mobile Device Hotspot Form; we are also in partnership with Comcast Essentials. Live technical support is available, 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the AAPS Parent Help Desk, 734-997-1222. For Spanish call 734-997-1246.

    CONNECTIONS+ GUIDELINES & TIPS -   AAPS has created a guide to support families who have created learning groups for AAPS students. The guide includes hints and tips, safety information and free community resources.  View the Connections+ Guide here. 

    FREE ACADEMIC RESOURCES & SUPPORTS -  A number of local groups and organizations are offering free academic support for AAPS students. These free resources are primarily provided by U-M students and community volunteers. View Free Academic Support Resources Here. 

    TUTORING SUPPORTS FOR STUDENTS  -  Are your children in need of extra support with their work?  Please see this list of tutoring supports for students.

    RESOURCES FOR SUPPORTING YOUR CHILD -  Please see this SISS Resources Site!  This site provides families with access to evidence-based and AAPS-approved materials, resources, and tools.  

    On the Horizon

    • 10/27 - Literacy Workshops

    • 11/3  - No School (Please vote!)

    • 11/4 & 11/5 - Distribution Days 

    • 11/19 - PTO meeting, 7pm 

    • 11/25 - 11/27 - No school

     

    Notes from PTO:

    PTOC Board of Education Candidate Forum: Our PTOC Rep., Sonia Chawla, prepared this excellent summary of last Monday’s Q & A with the Board of Ed candidates.  PTOC is also providing a link to video clips of the event.

    Grade Level Meet-ups! Here's the standing weekly schedule thus far. All are on the back playground at A2 STEAM, unless otherwise noted.

    • Y5/Kindergarten - Tuesdays 4:30-6:00 — on the front (Y5/K/1) playground

    • 1st Grade - Sundays 3:00-5:00

    • 2nd Grade - Fridays 3:30-5:30

    • 3rd Grade - Tuesdays 4:30-6:00

    • 4th Grade - Mondays 4:00-6:00

    • 5th Grade - Thursdays 4:00-6:00

    • 6th Grade - Wednesdays 2:00-4:00

    • 7th Grade - Wednesdays 4:00-6:00

    • 8th Grade - Wednesdays 12:00-2:00

    These are not sponsored by the PTO, and masks are MANDATORY.

    Comments (-1)
  • This Week @ A2 STEAM

    Posted by Meg Fenech on 10/18/2020

    Notes from Administration

    ART SUPPLY DISTRIBUTION - We’ll organize another supply distribution the week of November 2nd that will include art supplies for all Y5/K-5 students, 5th-grade instruments, and 6th-grade art & PLTW materials.  If your family needs additional resources, please contact us at fenechm@a2schools.org or stidham@a2schoools.org  

    • If you have unwanted school supplies from the last distribution (e.g. folders, notebooks, markers) we will collect unwanted items.  We will store these items for A2 STEAM students who need them - whether in 2020 or 2021. 

    PARENT-TEACHER CONFERENCES - We strongly value our relationships with parents and the keen input they can offer teachers.  Please be sure to sign up for a conference with your child(ren)’s teacher. 

    LITERACY WORKSHOPS  - Please mark your calendar for Tuesday, October 27th for a literacy-focused workshop held by A2 STEAM staff, for A2 STEAM families.  Click this flyer for details. 

    ELECTION DAY - Staff and students will not have school on election day, Tuesday, November 3rd.  (Wednesday, November 4th will continue to be an asynchronous day of learning.)

    SISS RESOURCES- This site provides staff and families with access to evidence-based and AAPS-approved materials, resources, and tools to support neurodiverse and neurotypical students.

    TUTORING SUPPORTS - Are your children in need of extra support with their work?  Please see this list of tutoring supports for students

    CONNECTING TOGETHER: An AAPS Parent/Guardian Support Group - Join us for twice-a-month drop-in support groups for parents and guardians of AAPS students. Groups meet on the 2nd Tuesday (7:30-8:30PM) and 4th Thursday (1-2PM) of the month. Connect with other parents to find support and get ideas about how to face the challenges of 2020. Please register here. Join us THIS Thursdays, 10/22 from 1-2pm.

    TECH TIPS for TWEENS & TEENS - Parents/guardians are encouraged to observe your child’s virtual social life.  Remember, you can use their login credentials to check their: 

    • AAPS email inbox, sent items, and trash

    • Zoom “chats”

    • To view their online browsing history using the Chrome browser, simply press “command Y” to view the history of website visited. 

    HELPFUL LINKS ON THE AAPS SITE

    PBS RESOURCE - Talking to Young Children About Race and Racism

    Children are never too young to learn about diversity. As young as 3 months old, they may look differently at people who look like or don’t look like their primary caregivers. As parents and caregivers, we must have confidence in ourselves and in our children — that we, and they, can handle tough topics and tough situations. We must understand that our role is to be honest, specific, and trustworthy as we raise the next generation to confront racial injustice.  Please visit https://www.pbs.org/parents/talking-about-racism for tips, resources, and a new half-hour program  to help you have a meaningful conversation with young children about race, racism, and being anti-racist.

    On the Horizon

    10/27 - A2 STEAM Literacy workshops (see above) 

    11/3  - No School (Election Day)

    11/19 - PTO meeting, 7pm 

     

    Notes from PTO:

    A2 STEAM PTO Facebook Group - join our community to share online.  

    Washtenaw County DHHS is accepting applications for its annual Holiday Assistance Program until Thursday, October 22nd.  Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the continued closure of the DHHS office, we are strongly encouraging applicants to submit their completed applications to: MDHHS-Washtenaw-Holiday-Assistance@michigan.gov

    • The Washtenaw County DHHS Holiday Assistance Program provides holiday help to families with children (under age 18) and senior citizens (over age 65) served by Washtenaw County DHHS. Those who receive Assistance Payments benefits (Medicaid, Food Assistance, Cash Assistance, Child Day Care, etc.) are invited to complete this application. Applicants will be asked to provide their DHHS case number to verify eligibility.

    • DHHS Foster children are served by a separate Holiday Assistance Program. Foster parents should contact their Foster Care Specialist for additional information.

    • Because this is not a DHHS entitlement program, there is no guarantee an applicant will be served based solely on the submission of an application. If we are not able to match an applicant to a donor, we will work with the applicant to make a referral to another agency or program. The availability of sponsors, type of donations, and the number, type, or value of gifts provided is not guaranteed.

    Grade Level Meet-ups or play dates @ A2 STEAM. 

    • Y5/Kindergarten - Tuesdays 4:30-6:00 — on the front (Y5/K/1) playground

    • 1st Grade - Sundays 3:00-5:00

    • 2nd Grade - Fridays 3:30-5:30

    • 3rd Grade - Tuesdays 4:30-6:00

    • 4th Grade - Mondays 4:00-6:00

    • 5th Grade - Thursdays 4:00-6:00

    • 6th Grade - Wednesdays 2:00-4:00

    • 7th Grade - Wednesdays 4:00-6:00

    • 8th Grade - Wednesdays 12:00-2:00

    These are not sponsored by the PTO, and masks are MANDATORY.

    Comments (-1)
  • This Week @ A2 STEAM

    Posted by Meg Fenech on 10/11/2020

    Notes from Administration

    Thank you for attending our recent Curriculum Night.  If you missed our welcome presentation, you can access the slideshow here.  More importantly, if you missed your child’s classroom presentation, be sure you’ve received the information from your child’s teacher.  On the horizon, you can expect your child’s teacher to reach out to families to schedule a parent-teacher conference. These one-on-one conferences are so important to us - we value your partnership and insights. 

    DISTRICT DEVICE POLL - If you did NOT pick up a district-issued iPad or MacBook for your child(ren), PLEASE complete this short form.  It’s important for us to know who does not have an AAPS device that’s loaded with our apps. 

    CONNECTING TOGETHER: An AAPS Parent/Guardian Support Group - Twice-a-month drop-in support groups for parents and guardians of students in AAPS. Groups meet on the 2nd Tuesday (7:30-8:30 PM) and 4th Thursday (1-2PM) of the month. Connect with other parents to find support and get ideas about how to face the challenges of 2020. Pleaseregister here. Last year, parents who participated in an AAPS parent support group consistently reported that they found it helpful, and appreciated hearing from and connecting with other parents going through similar struggles. Join us starting October 13th! (Flyer)

    SHELF SERVICE - The Ann Arbor District Library (AADL) is now offering Shelf Service for all patrons. https://aadl.org/shelfservice  What is Shelf Service? This is a brand new service parents/kids can use to request books.  Instead of having to know a specific title to reserve a book, a reader can visit the link above and request a book by genre, topic, and/or grade level.  A friendly librarian will select a bag full of books for the reader so the parents can go pick it up. While our A2 STEAM and AAPS libraries remain closed while providing many digital options for our students, we are happy to support the AADL and get paper books in the hands of our students. If you need assistance with this service or getting a library card, please contact Tricia Guest, Literacy Expert, at guestp@aaps.k12.mi.us

    Reminders: 

    • REPORTING ABSENCES - In lieu of calling in absences via phone, please use the  ATTENDANCE FORM. When your child is going to be absent, please complete this form by the start of the school day.  

    • SCHOOL DIRECTORY -  Please bookmark this link so you can reach out to fellow A2 STEAM families via email or phone.  We hope this proves helpful for making social connections between kids and parents alike. 

    • RESOURCES - Looking for support or assistance with food, housing, health care and more? The AAPS Community Resource page lists free resources available to students and families.

    On the Horizon

    10/12 - Indigenous Peoples’ Day (Resource for parents)

    10/15 - PTO meeting, 7pm

    10/19-10/23 - Bring PE to Your Family Week!  (Details forthcoming from Mr. Willard)

    11/3  - No School (Election Day)

    11/19 - PTO meeting, 7pm 
     

    Notes from the PTO:

    Grade Level Meet-ups! Here's the standing weekly schedule thus far. All are on the back playground at A2 STEAM, unless otherwise noted.

    • Y5/Kindergarten - Tuesdays 4:30-6:00 — on the front (Y5/K/1) playground

    • 1st Grade - Sundays 3:00-5:00

    • 2nd Grade - Fridays 3:30-5:30

    • 3rd Grade - Tuesdays 4:30-6:00

    • 4th Grade - Mondays 4:00-6:00

    • 5th Grade - Thursdays 4:00-6:00

    • 6th Grade - Wednesdays 2:00-4:00

    • 7th Grade - Wednesdays 4:00-6:00

    • 8th Grade - Wednesdays 12:00-2:00

    These are not sponsored by the PTO, and masks are MANDATORY.

     

    October PTO Community Meeting - Thursday, October 15 @ 7PM.  Instructions for zoom login at a2steampto.org

    Professional Organizer and STEAM parent Molly Boren will give a brief presentation with tips on how to organize your child’s workspace for at-home school. 

    A2 STEAM PTO Facebook Group - join our community to share online.  Check out the chicken thread with lots of photos from the return of the STEAM 5th grade chickens.

    Downtown Trick-or-Treating Cancelled this Year, but...

    Unfortunately, for safety concerns, Ann Arbor's Downtown trick-or-treating is cancelled this year.  But never fear, there are a lot of other great things going on to celebrate autumn and Halloween with Downtown!!  

    • Lots of fun activities with the Library, including a costume and pumpkin contest

    • Cherry Republic has a scavenger hunt all month

    • Halloween Le Bon Macarons

    To see the full list of fun happenings and ways to support downtown this Fall season visit the Main Street Area Association webpage

    The Fall season of Dekeon’s Running Club (formerly known as Cross Country Kids) has begun, but there's still time to join in! Please register via this form.

    What: Dekeon’s Running Club (DRC), a community-based program originally started by Rick Dekeon, and since carried on at A2STEAM by parent volunteers, to encourage a love of running. For this fall season, we’ll be encouraging kiddos to be active, whether that is running, dancing, walking, playing a sport, doing yoga, walking a dog, or otherwise.

    Where: Your home, yard, a park, anywhere you can find room to move.

    Who: Open all A2STEAM students. (The DRC is generally for the elementary-aged kids at STEAM, with the thought that they can transition to traditional cross country in middle school, but since nothing is normal right now, we’d love to let any students participate that want to.

    When: Whenever your kiddo(s) make time to move! (At reasonable times, of course, we are not encouraging running breaks during a teacher’s lecture!) 

    Cost: Free. There is normally a nominal participation fee, this fall season will be free, but there will still be plastic feet! (A popular part of the regular DRC that kiddos would get at practice!)

    Comments (-1)
  • This Week @ A2 STEAM

    Posted by Meg Fenech on 10/4/2020

    Notes from Administration

    Congratulations, A2 STEAM families, we made it to October!  No doubt, it's been a stressful school launch but we are so impressed with the resilience and perseverance staff and students alike show us each and every day.  #A2Perserving!  Thank you in advance for completing the Parent Climate Survey that Dr. Swift emailed to families on Friday.  We want to know as a district, and definitely at the building level,  how we can improve and strengthen our work this fall.  Students in grades 3-8 will receive a student survey this week from their homeroom teacher so we can hear from our most important stakeholders.  

    If you need to find information from past “This Week @ A2 STEAM” emails, you can find them posted at https://www.a2schools.org/Page/2274   

    ELEMENTARY CURRICULUM NIGHT - Tuesday, October 6th.  Administration will host a virtual welcome session at 5:30pm, followed by grade-level presentations offered at 6:00pm and 6:45pm.  Additionally, our SISS, EL, and literacy staff are hosting office hours AND we have Tech Support available.  Please click here for times and links. 

    SUPPLY PICK-UP - Last week it was such a treat to see hundreds of families during school supply pick-up.  If you couldn’t make it last week, we’ll be distributing Wednesday morning between 9:30-11:00am.  

    IPAD TIPS  - While families cannot remove any apps from our school devices, you can rearrange this.  It might prove helpful for our youngest students to have just a few important apps (e.g. Schoology, Clever, SeeSaw) on their home/first screen.  (Explanation here if you’re not sure how to rearrange apps.)   If you’d ever like to “lockdown” your child’s iPad, restricting them to one app, consider using “guided access”.  Guided Access limits your device to a single app and lets you control which features are available. (Directions here.)

    REMINDERS:

    • REPORTING ABSENCES - In lieu of calling in absences via phone, please use the  ATTENDANCE FORM. When your child is going to be absent, please complete this form by the start of the school day.  (When we don’t know why kids are absent, we worry and we end up having to interrupt your day with a phone call from the office.) 

    • SCHOOL DIRECTORY - Thanks to the hard work of Carrie Bank, our school directory is ready in record time!  Please bookmark this link so you can reach out to fellow A2 STEAM families via email or phone.  We hope this proves helpful for making social connections between kids and parents alike. 

    • RESOURCES - Looking for support or assistance with food, housing, health care and more? The AAPS Community Resource page lists free resources available to students and families.

    On the Horizon

    • 10/6  Elementary Curriculum Night, 5:30-7:30pm

    • 10/7  Student Count Day

    Notes from the PTO:

    We’re on FaceBook!  Join our parent-parent conversations at www.facebook.com/groups/a2steampto  This is also a good place to share playdate ideas. 

    The Fall season of Dekeon’s Running Club (formerly known as Cross Country Kids) will begin on Monday, October 5th and will run through Monday, November 30th. Please register via this form.

    What: Dekeon’s Running Club (DRC), a community-based program originally started by Rick Dekeon, and since carried on at A2STEAM by parent volunteers, to encourage a love of running. For this fall season, we’ll be encouraging kiddos to be active, whether that is running, dancing, walking, playing a sport, doing yoga, walking a dog, or otherwise.

    Where: Your home, yard, a park, anywhere you can find room to move.

    Who: Open all A2STEAM students. (The DRC is generally for the elementary-aged kids at STEAM, with the thought that they can transition to traditional cross country in middle school, but since nothing is normal right now, we’d love to let any students participate that want to.

    When:  Whenever your kiddo(s) make time to move! (At reasonable times, of course, we are not encouraging running breaks during a teacher’s lecture!) 

    Cost: Free. There is normally a nominal participation fee, this fall season will be free, but there will still be plastic feet! (A popular part of the regular DRC that kiddos would get at practice!)

    Community Opportunity

    A2tor offers Free After School Classes and Workshops to Students

    Starting in October, A2tor will offer Classes and Workshops to students on a variety of topics.  A2tor is a program started by Ann Arbor high schoolers to provide free virtual tutoring and other educational programming opportunities for Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti area middle and elementary school students.

    A2tor October Groups Students will register at the beginning of the month for these sessions and will receive the link to attend weekly classes that build on each other throughout October.  Please sign up here

    Reading Groups (K-8 grade)- These classes are meant to foster a love of reading. The tutor and students will read a book together, then the tutor will lead a fun discussion or activity related to the book.

    Mental Math Practice Group (3-8 grade)- Students will have fun playing games to strengthen fluency with basic mental math skills. The class is great for students just starting their math journey, as well as students interested in improving their speed and confidence in core math skills.

    Fractions Practice (4-6 grade)- Students will have fun playing games and doing activities to gain confidence working with fractions. This month, the class will be focusing on the basic concept of fractions.

    Homework Help- This group provides a structured time for students to do their homework and ask questions about their work or other content from class as needed.

    Homework Help for Spanish Speakers- This group is the perfect time for Spanish speaking students to get help from a fellow spanish speaker. Students will work on homework and ask questions about their work or other content from class as needed.

    Interested in a group? Please sign up here

    A2tor Weekly Workshops: Oct 5th

    Students will sign up for these writing and art workshops week by week. Sign up for the week of October 5th here.

    Writing- Each week, there will be a different writing project meant to foster creativity and enjoyment of writing for students of all ages.

    Art- Each week, the tutor will lead students in a different art project.

    Please share this information with anyone who you think might benefit.  Interested in a workshop? Sign up for the week of October 5th here.

    Comments (-1)
  • This Week @ A2 STEAM

    Posted by Meg Fenech on 9/27/2020

    Notes from Administration

    We couldn’t be more proud of how well students, staff and parents are adapting to our virtual learning environment.  While not ideal, our remote milieu is currently the safest means of teaching and learning, and overall, it seems that our school community is faring well.  Sure, there will be times of frustration, but the same can be said if learning was in-person. We hope the moments of technology-based frustrations are abating.  If not, please let us know!  We do not want connectivity, missing badges, or Schoology confusion to be a barrier to learning.  Behind the scenes teachers are doing what they’d do in a face-to-face environment, they are tweaking their instructional approach based on feedback from kids and parents.  Soon, the district will systematically survey parents to gather input about remote learning.  In the meantime, and always, please never hesitate to ask questions and offer suggestions.  We value your partnership.  

    SCHOOL DIRECTORY - Thanks to the hard work of Carrie Bank, our school directory is ready in record time!  Please bookmark this link so you can reach out to fellow A2 STEAM families via email or phone.  We hope this proves helpful for making social connections between kids and parents alike. 

    SUPPLY DISTRIBUTION - Every AAPS student will receive a school supply kit containing the basic supplies they need for the school year.  These kits are being distributed at A2 STEAM this Tuesday and Wednesday from 3:30-6:30pm. Select your pickup time on THIS FORM. Please contact Mrs. Fenech (fenechm@a2schools.org) or Mrs. Stidham (stidham@a2schools.org)if there are additional items that your child(ren) could benefit from to be successful virtually this year. 

    • Please have a paper with your child(ren)’s name and grade in your front window.

    • If you have school materials to return, please place them in your trunk. (Also, if you have any necessary enrollment documents and/or immunization records, we will collect/copy them at this time. Our OP, Ms. Szuszman would have emailed you directly if items were still outstanding.) 

    • NEW:  USED BOOK COLLECTION - When we are distributing school supplies, we are also collecting book donations!  We invite you to bring gently used picture books and chapter books for ages 5-14. We will organize the donations and get books in the hands of other A2 STEAM students sometime this fall.

    ZOOM AUTHENTICATION - Thank you to the many families who helped their children find their Zoom account invitation in their school Gmail account.  Rest assured, the staff authenticated the remaining accounts so we should soon be ready to use the secure links that teachers have set up through Schoology. 

    MIDDLE SCHOOL CURRICULUM NIGHT - Thursday, October 1st.  Each grade’s core team of teachers will present, followed by elective teachers.  7th grade sessions will run from 5:30-7:30pm,  6th grade sessions will run from 6:00-7:00pm, and 8th grade sessions will run from 6:30-7:30pm. 

    ELEMENTARY CURRICULUM NIGHT - Tuesday, October 6th.  Administration will host a virtual welcome session at 5:30pm, followed by grade level presentations offered at 6:00pm and 6:45pm.  Next Sunday we will share the Zoom links. 

    VIDEO ON, PLEASE - While it is certainly not mandated, we LOVE to see kids in our Zoom classrooms.  It helps build classroom community, it strengthens peer-peer connections, and it really helps teachers gather non-verbal instructional feedback.  If possible, please encourage your child to keep their camera turned on as much as possible.  :) 
     

    On the Horizon

    • 9/28  Yom Kippur

    • 9/29  Supply pick-up @ school, 3:30-6:30pm

    • 9/30  Supply pick-up @ school, 3:30-6:30pm

    • 10/1  Middle School Curriculum Night, 5:30-7:30pm

    • 10/6  Elementary Curriculum Night, 5:30-7:30pm

    • 10/7  Student Count Day

    Notes from the PTO

    • Spirit Wear Pickup!  If you ordered spirit wear, it will be available for pickup during the supply pickup times.  If you cannot make it to one of the supply pickups, please email kellyekipp@gmail.com to make other arrangements.

    • Box Tops!   Do you have a bag of boxtops that's been hanging out on your fridge for 6 months?  Put them in your trunk and we will collect them at the supply pickup.  Most boxtops are now electronic, but there are some stragglers out there.

    • Stickers!  Did you want another A2 STEAM car sticker?  They are available for a $1 donation.  Email pres@a2steampto.org or they will be available at the October pickup event.

    • Meet-ups!  Several parents have organized grade-level meetups using the A2 STEAM PTO Facebook group.  These are not sponsored by the PTO, and masks are MANDATORY.  Here's the schedule for next week. All are on the back playground at STEAM.

    3rd Grade - Tuesdays 4:30-6:00

    4th Grade - TBD

    5th Grade - Thursdays 4:00-6:00

    6th Grade - Wednesdays 2:00-4:00

    7th Grade - TBD

    If you don't see your child's grade level listed, it doesn't take much effort to organize one.  Just pick a time that is not already taken and post in the Facebook group with a disclaimer that it is not PTO sponsored and masks are mandatory.

    Comments (-1)
  • Today @ A2 STEAM - (Date CHANGE for supply pick-up)

    Posted by Meg Fenech on 9/22/2020 6:00:00 PM

    The only thing that is constant is change. ”― Heraclitus    What an apt quote for the 2020 year!

     Because of COVID-related delays, the school supply material kits are NOT going to be ready this Thursday and Friday.  Instead, we need to move the pick-up dates to next Tuesday (9/29) and Wednesday (9/30).   So, please fill out THIS REVISED FORM so we can adequately prepare and staff the supply distribution days.  We want ALL families to obtain these resources so if transportation is a barrier, please tell us in the form.

    Consequently, because we'll be busy handing out supplies, we are moving our Elementary Curriculum Night to Tuesday, October 6th.  (Our middle school Curriculum Night will remain Thursday, October 1st.)

    Thank you for staying flexible with us!   We are genuinely appreciative of our supportive families and agile staff. 

    Comments (-1)