Current Wednesday Packet Letter

  • Wednesday, October 23, 2019

    Dear families,

    Halloween

    Halloween is approaching quickly! At Ann Arbor Open, it is a tradition that children whose families observe Halloween may wear costumes to school. Please observe these guidelines if you choose to send your child with a costume on October 31st.

    All costumes (parent, staff, and student) should be 

    • Rated G - nothing too scary, gory, creepy, or sexy - we have kindergartners!
    • Weaponless - not even flimsy plastic ones. Just leave the light sabers, bows & arrows, and other weapons - real or fantasy - at home.
    • Absent of face masks or other face covering that obscures identity. We need to be able to see student faces. Face paint or make up is okay.
    • Culturally sensitive. Dressing up with hair, hairstyles, clothing or makeup that depicts another's culture should be avoided. It is also good to avoid any costumes that mock body types, socio economic status, or religion. 

    Here are some examples of costumes that could be considered insensitive:  https://bit.ly/2mW4tJF

    Remind students that some families do not observe Halloween at school or at home for a variety of reasons. Bringing or wearing a costume is voluntary. In keeping with school tradition, there will be a voluntary parade around the neighborhood at 2pm. Anessa Nelson (Project Lead the Way) will provide an alternate activity for any student not electing to participate in the parade. Please inform your child’s teacher if you do not wish for your child to participate for any reason.

    Stay Safe!

    See the flyer included for some safety tips for Halloween. Here is a link to that flyer and to more resources from Safe Kids World Wide: https://www.safekids.org/halloween?utm_campaign=Halloween&utm_source=email-newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_content=Top-Tips---October-18-Halloween

    A Healthy Halloween at Home

    Halloween is coming up! This is an exciting holiday for children because they get to dress up and perhaps collect candy. If you celebrate Halloween, you know this holiday focuses on collecting and eating foods high in sugar, fat and calories BUT low in nutrients.  Some suggestions: 

    •  If you give out candy, don’t buy it too far ahead of time since your family might end up snacking on it or even eating it all!
    •  If your children go trick-or-treating, store any left over candy for another day in an airtight container or freeze it.
    • Avoid setting out large amounts of candy, as this might result in your child (or you!) eating more than you want.

    Personal Toys at School  

    Please talk with your child about leaving personal toys at home. These toys can cause a host of problems including:

    • Conflicts over trading, borrowing, or stealing
    • Loss of instructional time due to searching for toys or pieces of toys
    • Equity issues - expensive toys may mean that some kids are excluded from play 
    • Crying due to lost or broken toys 

    This is really true for most personal items from kindergarten all the way through high school. A good question for reflection when considering bringing a personal item is “Is it needed for academic instruction?” If the answer is “no”, then that item is likely best left at home. With the exception of toys that are facsimiles of weapons, there is not a ban on any particular type of toy at the building level, but some classrooms may have  issued ‘bans’ on particular toys from home if they are causing recurring conflicts in the classroom.

    Fall A2Virtual+ Parent-Teacher Conferences for students in ONLINE classes

    On October 29, 2019,  there will be Parent-Teacher Conferences from 4 pm – 7 pm in the  Skyline Cafeteria (a sign-up link will come in the Oct.  18 A2Virtual+ Schoolmessenger). This is a Tuesday and Proctoring will also be held, as normal, in the Skyline Media Center.   There will be no proctoring on Nov. 5, due to elections. Please go out and vote. A2Virtual+ does not send a representative to the building based conferences. 

    SCHOOL DIRECTORY by Region!

    Parent Volunteer, Jennifer Oldham and her husband have taken on the task or organizing the school directory by region. The purpose (hopefully) is to facilitate communication and social cohesion among families for possible play dates, carpooling, walk/bike pooling, child care sharing on weather days, and more!  Below are some notes regarding the process:

    • Karen Davis has the lists of kids in each neighborhood for the directory "Region:  kid names (grade levels)" It's four pages and allows folks to find families in their neighborhoods and then go back to the main directory for contact info.
    •  Email lists are up and running, all the invites are out.  They are Central, SE, SW (and west together), NE, and NW. SE has seen a lot of introductions and plans to meet up.  Erica McLeod and I are putting our heads together for NE. The other lists could use coordinators who have some energy for connecting people.
    •  Regions roughly follow the map included in this packet from the A2 Observer. (Observer link: https://annarborobserver.com/cg/t1300.html#.Xa4F25NKhAY)
    • This is a pilot project in its first year...any and all feedback is much appreciated!
    • Contact Jennifer Oldham jennifer.caron@gmail.com if:
    • You are near a boundary and would like to be on more than one email list. 
    • A mistake and you are not in the correct region. 
    • You chose not to be in the directory
    • You came to the school more recently, or for any reason you weren’t included, and you would like to be added.