Registration » Fall 2020 - COVID 19

Fall 2020 - COVID 19

APEX FALL 2020 BACK TO SCHOOL PLAN

 

OUR CORE VALUES
 
Value: We seek to provide a program that enriches your homeschool and adds value to your student's education. To this end, our teachers will continue to create robust, engaging content for all our classes.
 
Support:  We seek to come alongside you and answer questions, provide guidance and resources, and offer strength to each member of our community. To this end, we are offering two options that will give you the choice of how best to engage with APEX to support you and your students.
 
Connect: We seek to maintain and build relationships and community, whether we can be together in person or whether we are connecting virtually online. To this end, we will seek to communicate consistently, to create fun community videos and connection points, and to spend time together in whatever environment we find ourselves.
 
October 12 - Update on Plans for 1st Semester & 2nd Semester
 

Thank you for your patience and partnership during the last few weeks as we gathered data and sought the best solution for our program and our families moving forward. Over the years, I’ve had many challenging situations to navigate as a leader and I must say, this one right now has been among the most difficult. I think more than anything because what I really want is to be able to sit down with you and talk with you in the commons face-to-face like we always used to do. We miss you all so much! We know you miss the APEX you love. We want you to always know how much we miss it too!

HOW WE GOT WHERE WE ARE

A couple weeks ago I shared with you the preliminary data from our survey. The response rate was overwhelming. Almost 100% of our families responded which is unheard of for ANY survey, so THANK YOU!  We had a very mixed set of opinions, with about 52% of our families saying they want to come back (in-person learning), about 30% saying they don't feel comfortable coming back (online/virtual learning), and about 10% undecided. Additionally, we had about 9% wanting to come back in person but without masks, which is not an option we have under Boulder County Health guidelines. Also, our staff has voiced some concerns for health and safety which we must also take into consideration. We know that there is no solution that will make everyone happy, but insofar as we are able, we wanted to consider all the voices at the table as we made a decision about next steps for our program.

The data led to the need for some very creative problem-solving and an out of the box solution. Well, the good news is that’s what we are best at here at APEX! Looking at the numbers broken down by days and grades, I could see that trying to bring our kids back every day of the week while still allowing for families who did not feel comfortable returning to stay online was not feasible and would leave us with APEX days with only 20-50 kids. This just doesn’t work in a program built for 120-175 per day! I began thinking about whether we could run just a few of the days in person, and an idea began to take shape. What if we could offer 2-3 days in person and 2-3 days online and allow parents to choose a day that fit their preference? The idea could work! But the timing posed a challenge. To change students from one day to another mid-semester would wreak havoc on families’ schedules, teachers’ gradebooks and rosters,  and students’ grades. So then I began toying with “when” and the answer was clear. We can make this work if we do it at the semester break, allowing students to finish their first semester classes before we make these changes. And while that was falling into place, it led to the question of what to do now.

OUR NEXT STEPS FOR THE 20-21 SCHOOL YEAR

What we are headed toward is a two-step solution: we’ll finish the first semester online and add a new in-person component called APEX INTERACTIVES and then revamp our structure for the second semester where we’ll offer some days in person and other days online.  Want to know more? Keep reading!

Semester One:  Virtual+ with APEX Interactives

We will be continuing all our classes online, either virtually or synchronously as they are now, for the remainder of the semester with a new in-person optional element we are calling APEX INTERACTIVES. What we heard from you is that your students want to connect, both with each other and with us. So we’ve created an option where we can bring kids into the building in person this fall in smaller cohorts for high interest activities and workshops. Here is a brief glimpse of what it will look like, with more details coming soon. 

APEX INTERACTIVES - What will it look like?

  • Optional 1-hour high interest workshops and activities
  • Examples of APEX INTERACTIVE topics are Creative Writing Club, Robotics Workshop, Pickleball Pick-up, and Strategy Games Club. 
  • Not connected directly to the curriculum or grading
  • Led by our teachers and staff
  • Students can sign up if they want to participate, not required
  • Two 3-week sessions (3 weeks in Nov and 3 weeks in Dec, total of 6 weeks) starting week of November 2nd
  • Masks required and social distancing protocols observed
 

APEX INTERACTIVES - How will it work?

  • Grades K2:
    • Optional in person “class” offered each day of the week from 9:30-10:30 am
    • Students come on their APEX day only
  • Grades 3-8:
    • APEX Interactives offered each day of the week from 2:00-3:00 pm
    • Multiple sessions offered each day with limited enrollment to facilitate social distancing 
    • Students can attend any day of the week
    • Sign up for Interactives starting week of October 19th
  • Grades 9-12:
    • After school clubs and Interactives on various days from 3:45-4:45 pm
    • Sign up for any day of the week

 

Semester Two:  Program Hybrid

Second semester we will be launching a Program Hybrid which allows for several days in person and several days online. Parents, you will be given the opportunity to change days at semester if you prefer a day that is running programming in a way that fits your needs better. We are still working through the numbers and the data to determine which days will be in person and which will be online/virtual. We will have that information for you as soon as we can, along with a sign up to request a day change if needed.

For high school, some days classes will be all online/virtual and some days will be offered in person. But for high school only, we will offer a hybrid option for in-person classes wherever we can so that students don’t have to come in person if they are not comfortable doing so. Again, you will have the option to sign up by class for what you prefer to do.

For our curriculum consultation option families, we will not know until closer to January if we might have space for any additional students to join in-person classes. We will provide more information as we get closer to the start of second semester. (Note - APEX Interactives will not be offered to families enrolled in the Curriculum Consultation option at this time)

A FEW OTHER THOUGHTS (...in case you’re still reading!)

Many of you expressed the concern around coming back in person only to be sent home again when students are quarantined, which we are already seeing is a thing. We also had some concerns about masks and APEX not feeling “normal.” But more than anything, we heard the struggle so many of us all feel which is we want to be around people but I want to be mindful of the risk, especially as it relates to our students and their desire to be around their friends again. We hope this combined program focus and this new optional in-person element will help to mitigate some of those concerns. If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me by phone or email. I am glad to talk! You can reach me at 303-702-8601 or at lancaster_kim@svvsd.org.

Again, please let me say how truly humbled I am to have the privilege of leading such a wonderful group of people during such a challenging time. None of us is exempt from the stress and challenge of this situation. I know there is no perfect solution. What makes us strongest as a school is the culture of partnership we share. We miss you so much and look forward to the day when we can be the APEX we all know and love again. But until then, we are WolfpackSTRONG and we are here for each other!

With deep gratitude, with all my heart, 

Kim

 

SYNCHRONOUS AND VIRTUAL LEARNING GUIDE

APEX classes will be a mixture of live synchronous learning via Webex and asynchronous learning via recorded virtual lessons. Each class has a rating to help you determine how much time your student will spend online each day. Being we’re Coloradans, we thought we’d use a system we all know and understand...ski slope ratings. Because, it’s all downhill from here!
 
green circle Green Circle - 30 minutes or less of synchronous learning each class period each week

blue square Blue Square - 30-45 minutes of synchronous learning each class period each week
black diamond Black Diamond - 45-55 minutes of synchronous learning each class period each week
log cabin Lodge - Virtual content only to be completed asynchronously on your own time. No Synchronous learning
 
 
 

K2 Program Description:

  • Instructional materials will provided through recorded video instruction created by the teacher for students to watch at a time and day of their choosing
  • Instructional materials will be distributed through a google folder
  • K2 will have virtual content for music and art integrated within their primary teacher’s instruction. PE will be suspended until a later date
  • Office Hours will be available for student check-in, parent support, and peer connection

Elementary Grade 3-6 Program Description:

  • Instructional materials will provided through recorded video instruction created by the teacher for students to watch at a time and day of their choosing
  • Instructional materials will be distributed through Google Classroom
  • Office Hours will be available for student check-in, parent support, and peer connection
  • Some assignments will be optional extension activities and some will be homework due for a grade in the class

MSHS Grade 7-12 Program Description: 

  • Instructional materials will provided through (1) synchronous webex class sessions held on the day and time the class is scheduled to me and (2) recorded video instruction created by the teacher for students to watch at a time and day of their choosing based on the rating of the class
  • Instructional materials will be distributed through Google Classroom
  • Parents will receive weekly notifications from Google Classroom of missing assignments
  • Limited Office Hours will be available for student check-in, parent support, and peer connection, but the primary means of student contact and support will be via Webex classes
  • Some assignments will be optional extension activities and some will be homework due for a grade in the class
  • Students will receive letter grades for classes that parents can view in Infinite Campus.
 
This fully at-home option allows families of students in grades K-8 to utilize the APEX curriculum library with the support and guidance of an APEX instructor without being attached to or attending APEX classes. Families will select a minimum of two subject areas from our curriculum library in either Language Arts, Math, Science, or Social Studies and receive consumables at no cost. An APEX instructor will be paired with each family to check in weekly to provide support and guidance for learning. If you wish to select this option, please complete this form by August 19th.
 
 
 
Students will be considered in attendance if they do one of the following:
  • Log into a class via webex 
  • Indicate that student is working independently at home and/or logging into WebEx for synchronous classes and/or attending office hours via a google form
  • Check in with their supporting teacher in the curriculum consultation model
 
APEX is here to partner with you to support your tech needs. We have a limited number of devices available for check out to families who do not have a device or who have multiple students enrolled at APEX. If you choose to use your own personal device the device must have video and audio capabilities. If you are in need of a device please contact Cindy LaVanchy at lavanchy_cynthia@svvsd.org