Message from the Superintendent

Dear ACS Families,

I hope you are and your families are well. We continue to receive the response of "No" to our written and verbal requests of government authorities to grant us permission to allow children on campus with reminders from them that costly fines will be levied on schools that violate this government mandate. Nonetheless, we remain optimistic that we will be able to provide continuous education in a hybrid/blended delivery should we receive this permission before the end of the school year.

Thank you to the parents who attended our "Listening Circles" over the past few days and those who completed the STOP-START-CONTINUE SURVEY as we successfully launched our Future's Thinking Initiative last week. Conversations were lively and very positive and feedback on the survey has already provided insights about how ACS can improve. Your thoughts and reflections will inform the implementation of our Strategic Plan and focus our efforts of continuous school improvement.

If you have not completed the survey please contribute your ideas by clicking here: STOP-START-CONTINUE SURVEY. Themes that have emerged so far are:

Continue

  • The communication from teachers and the school about learning progress and updates related to the pandemic

  • Rapid response from the school when specific issues arise

  • Individualized attention for every student

  • Using educational technology in service to student learning and well-being

  • Giving attention to the healthy social emotional-development of children

Stop

  • Assigning homework that requires the use of the computer

Start

  • More programming focussed on whole-child development: Physical/social/emotional well-being

  • Evaluating different schedules to accommodate new priorities in both academic and social-emotional programming

ACS BOARD ELECTIONS

Congratulations to our newly elected ACS Board Members: Maggie Franke, Michael Govoni, Martin Meneses, and Juan Ignacio Zapata. Thank you to all the candidates for running and all Association Members for exercising your right to vote.

GENERAL ASSEMBLY

Thank you to all who attended our last scheduled General Assembly. Please click on this link to view the slide deck where you will see special "Thank You's" to our Parent Class Representatives and The ACS Board of Trustees as well as data about our students' social emotional health, College Acceptances for the Class of 2021 and much more.

REOPENING PLANNING

This presentation (also linked above) explains some of the biosecurity preparations and educational program adjustments ACS has made as we prepare for the possible reopening of campus. Currently, our understanding is that the Ministry of Health is responsible for making the decision to reopen schools, and unfortunately, as recently reported on the local news the presence of the Brazilian variant in Bolivia complicates this decision. Nonetheless, we continue to advance our requests with the hope that we can reopen safely before the end of the school year. When we receive permission to have children on campus and with ACS Board approval we are ready to provide continuous education in a hybrid setting according to our DISTANCE LEARNING PLAN 2.0 and this presentation shared in January.

In the meantime, here are some resources that we ask you to review:

STOP-PROTECT-REACT BIOSECURITY MEASURES

ACS BIOSECURITY MANUAL (ENGLISH)

ACS BIOSECURITY MANUAL (SPANISH)


If we reopen campus all parents who wish to send their children to campus and all students (grades 3-12) and staff must read, understand, sign and submit the COUGAR CARING COMMITMENT AND INFORMED CONSENT document. This document describes expectations the school has and expectations parents should have of the school and our community to ensure safety and prevent transmission. For example, students must obtain a negative PCR test before returning to school from our MedLab partner, must follow the 4 W's, and must stay at home if they are symptomatic. Please read the full document (with Spanish translation) for more important details. Again, this document only needs to be signed and submitted if we re-open campus and parents want their children to attend classes on campus. Parents may also opt to keep their child(ren) at home to continue learning virtually.


GUIDING PRINCIPLES: These are the principles that will guide our reopening planning:


  1. Act with fidelity to achieve ACS’s Mission grounded in our vision of excellence, Core Values and Learning Principles along with government compliance considerations.

  2. Prefer face-to-face learning over remote learning whenever it is safe to do so.

  3. Prioritize student, faculty, and staff health, safety, and wellbeing over other principles.

  4. Ensure hygiene and health-related policies are research-based, clearly communicated, effectively implemented, and diligently enforced.

  5. Promote practices and policies to reduce risk of virus transmission and support our capacity to be responsive and agile when facing changing health circumstances.

TUITION PAYMENTS

The accounting office is open from 8:30 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. Monday-Friday for parents to update their accounts. Please follow our safety protocols and all instructions provided by the security team.

2021-2022 SCHOOL CALENDAR

The ACS Board recently approved the calendar of important dates for the 2021-2022 school year. Click here to see when the school year begins, planned vacations and other important dates.

ONLINE ACTIVITIES FOR STUDENTS

ACS offers this list ONLINE ACTIVITIES Jan-May 2021 for the convenience and consideration of parents. The arrangements made between families and these instructors are private and independent of ACS. As such, they are not administered, managed by, or have any affiliation with the school. Arrangements regarding time, methods, and pricing, are determined exclusively with the instructors.

DISTANCE LEARNING TIPS FOR PARENTS

Please alert your child's teachers and/or the Guidance Counselors if you need any specific support regarding your child's learning. This is especially important if your home situation has changed due to illness or other issues related to the pandemic.

Check out these other "Distance Learning Tips For Parents" (in Spanish and English) described in the Distance Learning Playbook for Parents by Rosalind Wiseman, Douglas Fisher, Nancy Frey and John Hattie. Click on this link to learn more about the following 7 strategies to set your child up for success:

  1. Establish Routines

  2. Create a Learning Environment

  3. Learn how to log into Classdojo (ES), Google classroom (Gr. 3-12) and Powerschool

  4. Communicate with Teachers

  5. Monitor Screen Time

  6. Ensure Proper Sleep

  7. Take Care of Yourself

WAAGS: Week At A Glance

  1. All Secondary WAAGS: click here: All access to zoom recordings is by request only. Parents should email the teacher directly.

  2. All Elementary WAAGS: click here All access to zoom recordings is by request only. Parents should click on the link in the site and click "Request Access"

THE COUGAR PARENT UNIVERSITY

In response to parent feedback we are happy to launch the Cougar Parent University. Click on the picture to the left to access the University which consists of a list of parent forums (also below), scholarly articles, webinars, our Virtual Library and additional resources aimed at equipping you with the information you need to effectively partner with the school in your child's learning journey.

CHILD SAFETY AND PROTECTION

SAFETY MEASURES AND CHILD PROTECTION

In partnership with and support from the US State Department we have purchased equipment and are upgrading our health facilities to reflect international school safety standards specific to CoVid-19 safety protocols. ACS will adhere to and likely exceed standards provided by Bolivian and US Government authorities as they pertain to the safe physical reopening of schools.

Child protection and safety is a top priority. The school is in strict compliance with Bolivian Law and follows International best practices to ensure child safety including cyber security and teaching students how to use technology responsibly in virtual learning environments

2020-2021 ACS Child Protection Policy (linked here)

ACS CALENDAR

COUGAR HUB

Please click on this link for an archive of previous Messages from the Superintendent

Please bookmark this site and keep it handy for quick reference. Real-time information about everything ACS is at your fingertips and just a click away.

Fast Links

Feedback Wanted

We welcome your observations and suggestions about all ACS programs, events and initiatives. You can provide feedback by clicking on this link. or by clicking on the Feedback links provided on each of the Secondary and Elementary Newsletters.