Arcadia This Week 9/20/2021
Hello, Arcadia families, students, and friends!
First, it seems that one of our email lists is not functioning as expected, and my communications home have not made it to parents--since September 8th. The communication I’m most concerned with at the moment is one I sent last week regarding lunch. I will include a link to that information in the body of this email--it’s going to be a long one! Here is what to look for:
Opening Expedition Wrap-Up
School Start/End Reminder
Calendar (Link to download)
JMC, Logging in to complete forms
The first nine days of school were amazing--and they were hard work. While the typical opening of school games and activities were part of the experience, a lot of time was focused on civics content and concepts. The outcome of this process was lots of great social connections amongst students, great academic skills practice to help them get ready for their classes, and, of course, a school-wide social contract describing both the rights and the responsibilities of all Arcadians. While the preamble the students wrote includes some of the goofy fun we enjoy, and the fifth right listed is taken wholesale from Magna Carta (ask them about building bridges!), students took their role as creators of this Arcadian Bill of Rights seriously, and came up with four core rights they feel are essential to being an Arcadian. They then described their responsibilities to be able to uphold those rights for themselves and others.
We focused heavily on the first three civics-based social studies standards:
Apply civic reasoning and demonstrate civic skills, including civic discourse, for the purpose of informed and engaged lifelong civic participation.
Explain democratic values and principles that guide governments, societies, and communities, and analyze the tensions within the United States constitutional government.
(Rights and Responsibilities) Explain and evaluate rights, duties and responsibilities in democratic society.
Students learned terms like “natural law,” “popular sovereignty,” and “social contract” while studying the philosophies of Hobbes, Locke, and Rousseau, and learning about the influence of these philosophers on the leaders who founded the United States. They practiced civic discourse, presenting and defending their ideas in frequent academic discussions using the Accountable Talk academic discussion framework, which we use in all of our classes. They compared the rights listed in the U.S. Bill of Rights and several other lists of rights, including documents like Magna Carta and the more recent Universal Declaration of Human Rights, to help them determine what should be included in Arcadia’s Bill of Rights. They participated in examples of both direct and representative democracy. We talked about consensus, and the challenges of building it, along with the risks and benefits of majority rule, and “the tension between liberty and equality,” as it’s described in the social studies standards.
I am so proud of the students’ work and grateful for the phenomenal facilitation provided by Arcadia’s truly outstanding staff!
To read Arcadia’s freshly minted Bill of Rights and Responsibilities, click here:
Important Message about Lunch
Instead of rewriting my previous email, I am linking it here: Lunch Plan Message 9/20/2021
The gist is: Maria raised the rate to $4.50/meal, and we need Board approval before we can do that. My message, above, is significantly more detailed if you would like to learn more. This means that October 4th will now be the earliest date that we would have hot lunch available. In the meantime, please continue sending food with your child!
One of the best things about the opening expedition: we spent a LOT of time outside!
As we return to regular classes, we continue to work with Better Air to improve ventilation. We are installing screens over doors so that we can leave them open without bees or flies joining us. We are having the whole system regularly checked, and the filters frequently changed.
But masks are really students’ best defense. We will continue to be vigilant about students’ mask-wearing habits, and staff will continue to model those habits.
Once again, we have a number of plans in place to protect students as they return to school this year. Read those plans here: COVID-19 Plan 2021-2022
The plan is also listed on our website.
We continue to recommend testing weekly if possible, or at least every other week. Order at-home COVID tests free from the State here: https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/testsites/athome.html
We received a grant to pay for a testing program, so despite the original plan to not offer testing, we may be offering tests to families, which can help when your child is stuck quarantining. We found last year that families preferred to be in control of their own testing, but we will likely have some rapid tests available at school that would help us make decisions about whether or not a child can stay at school or must go home. For example, having two less-common symptoms is one of those fuzzy spots where these tests will, I hope, be helpful in making distinctions.
Even better than masking and testing, please get the vaccine if you are able to do so.
Here, again, is the Vaccination Opportunities document, maintained by Northfield Public Schools, if you are looking for more information about where to get vaccinated, and how to sign up for an appointment.
School Start/End Times
School starts at 8:02am, and students can be dropped off starting at 7:50am.
School ends at 2:42pm, and students should be picked up by 2:50pm.
On Wednesdays, school starts at 9:00am, and students can be dropped off starting at 8:50am.
These times are a little tight, but they allow us to do staff meetings at the beginning and end of the school day, which are an important part of our communication with one another. They help us make sure we are ready for your children to have the best learning experience possible every day!
This is going okay, but there are a couple of important things to remember.
First, all students need to be picked up from the loading/unloading zone. Please don’t let your child get into or out of the vehicle if you are not by the loading/unloading zone.
We can have about three students loading and unloading if the front car in a line pulls all the way up to the end of the loading zone. Please continue to pull up as far as possible when picking up your child, especially at the end of the day.
NEVER pass another vehicle in the front drive, unless you receive instructions to do so from a staff member.
The loading/unloading zone is located PAST the front door at the end of the sidewalk. The cones end where the zone begins.
The loading/unloading zone is a State requirement, so we really do need you to use it--please do not drop students off in the crosswalk. The crosswalk is for students coming from the sidewalk where the bus drops off/picks up students.
One more time, in case you need it: 2021-2022 Arcadia Charter School Calendar
Gentle reminder, middle school students may not have a phone during the day (ideally, it should be off and in a backpack, possibly in a locker, but definitely not physically with them during the day), and high school students must leave their phones at their desks in their advisories. No phones are allowed in the Great Room or outside at lunch.
Read more in the Electronics Policy 2021-2022 document!
JMC: Student Information System
If you need help logging into JMC, please let us know! As classes start, this is a very useful tool to be able to keep track of your child’s progress.
6:30pm, Tuesday, September 21, in Green Advisory at Arcadia: School Board Meeting
Thank you, everyone! Have a great week!