Dear DATA Families,
As we continue to move forward with our planning for full in-person learning, we want to thank you for your patience and understanding. As you know, the announcement from the NM Department of Education was unexpected and requires us to move very quickly. DATA was planning to remain virtual while implementing small group instruction for the remainder of this school year. We began remodeling select areas of the building based on this plan and are currently working with our contractors to complete as much as possible by April 5th. (This is a day off on DATA’s school calendar, so classes will actually begin on April 6th.) However, we cannot guarantee we will be ready and approved for full re-entry by this date.
It is imperative you keep up with our communication regarding a solid date for in-person learning. We will continue to send emails and update this information on our school website.
APS will conduct a site visit before April 5th, per NM PED requirements, to determine our readiness to open. We cannot open for in-person learning without the approval of our protocols, procedures, and safe practices addressed in the site visit.
POSSIBLE OPTIONS STARTING TUESDAY, APRIL 6th:
A. Remain virtual and continue with DISCORD
B. In-Person Learning (Procedures and requirements outlined below)
There is NO option to sign up for “partial” in-person learning. It is full time in-person or full time virtual. The rest of this letter has important details to help you determine which option is best.
After reading through it, if you have questions or are still unsure about your decision regarding full re-entry, we will have a Zoom Q and A Forum on Wednesday, March 17th, 5:00-5:30 p.m. Here is the link:
By Monday, March 22nd, please complete the survey using the link below to inform us of your commitment to one of the options above.
This link can also be found on our website, www.datacharter.org, by clicking on Spring 2021 at the top and selecting School Re-Entry Options.
WHAT WILL IN-PERSON LEARNING LOOK LIKE AT DATA?
In order for us to engage in safe practices, ensure the safety of faculty and students, and maintain a continuum of learning for those on and off campus, the following will be implemented:
All adults and students on campus are expected to wear masks when on school property (we will provide masks to those who need one), and they are expected to practice social distancing and frequently wash hands using soap and/or the hand sanitizing stations.
1. The School Day: We will keep the same schedule we have virtually, 9:00-2:00, with periods 1, 3, 5, and 7 meeting on M-T, Th-F. We are working with APS to determine if we can keep Wednesdays virtual (Advisory time, one on one help, clubs, activities, etc.) and deep clean the building.
2. Drop off and Pick up: All students must arrive between 8:45-9:00 (no early entry into the building). Students must be picked up between 2:00-2:15 or leave campus at this time via their own vehicles or public transportation.
3. Arrival procedures: Students and parents coming into the building will be asked to answer COVID screening questions, and we will be using Dr. Owl for this purpose. It’s a free app that can be downloaded on your phones to complete screening questions before entering.
After downloading and signing up, follow these steps: click check-in, type in the full name of the school – Digital Arts and Technology Academy, select it, complete the questions, and click check-in on the bottom of the screen. Your response will then be forwarded to our school account.
Providing all answers to the screening questions are “No”, students will proceed to their first class period of the day. For students who are new to our building, staff will assist them in finding the correct classroom.
4. While in class: Students will be socially distanced to the greatest extent possible. They may very
well be assigned seats/spaces in the classroom. Masks will be worn and no eating or drinking will
be allowed. (If students choose to bring a water bottle, they may remove their mask while drinking.
No drink other than water will be allowed in the classrooms. Students with a medical necessity to
control blood sugar will be allowed to go have a snack in a designated area.) There will be sanitizing
wipes in the classrooms and students will be asked to clean their space and any equipment they
used before exiting the classroom. Restroom use will be monitored to ensure social distancing
practices are followed.
5. Instruction: In order to maintain instructional and curricular integrity, teachers will continue to use DISCORD as the main mode of instruction. Students will need to bring their laptops and chargers to school, personal or the ones borrowed from DATA, in order to prevent possible cross-contamination from using shared computers. Students should also bring personal headsets if they have them; and if not, DATA can provide one to borrow. Teachers will, to the extent possible, work with in-person students to give additional support while ensuring virtual students get the same support and attention.
6. Passing periods: Students will have 10 minutes to move to their next class. They may also step into our courtyards to take a “mask break” at this time, as long as they remain socially distanced. Again, those students who are new to DATA will have staff available to assist them in finding their classroom. Students are not to congregate in the hallways or seek out their friends during passing periods.
7. Lunch: As the handling and packaging of food is a prime concern, DATA will not offer food service at this time. Students are asked to bring their own lunch that does not have to be refrigerated or microwaved. We are working closely with APS food service to determine what type of lunch options might be available to DATA. Students will be asked to sit outside and remain socially distanced. They may remove their masks while having lunch outside. Seniors will not be allowed to leave campus for lunch.
8. Faculty: Some teachers will continue working remotely. If this is the case, students who have these teachers will be asked to go to a designated area where they can access DISCORD and engage in class.
All DATA staff will be required to complete the COVID screening protocol and temperature checks, follow COVID safe practices, and engage in surveillance testing as required by NM PED.
• If an in-person student is too sick to be in school but is well enough to join from home, they will be marked as present as long as they show up in their DISCORD classes.
• In-person students are expected to abide by all DATA procedures and protocols set forth above, as well as any new guidelines from NM PED and/or NM DOH. If you cannot, you should remain in virtual learning. Should a student disregard any of the above protocols or procedures, they will be asked to return to virtual learning.
• ALTHOUGH WE HOPE TO HAVE MOST CLASSROOMS AVAILABLE BY APRIL 5TH, ALL CLASSES WITH MR. BURKE, MRS. PIECHOTA, MS. BIBIANO AND MS. GRILO WILL REMAIN VIRTUAL UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.
• DATA will need to conduct at least 8 safety drills to remain in compliance with state requirements for in-person learning (6 fire drills, 1 evacuation, 1 shelter in place).
• State assessments are still required, both for virtual and in-person learning. (The testing windows have been extended, and we may be able to use NWEA MAP – still getting clarification on this.)
• Wednesday schedule has not yet been determined.
• DATA is doing everything possible to ensure we meet the standards and requirements for in-person learning. As you know, this takes a great deal of planning and organization on the part of DATA staff, while working with evolving guidance from NM PED. In other words, things may change. Please continue to check your emails and our website for information and updates. On our website, www.datacharter.org, these details can be found by clicking Spring 2021 at the top and selecting School Re-Entry Options.
Again, if you are unsure about your decision regarding full re-entry, we will have a Zoom Q and A Forum on Wednesday, March 17th, 5:00-5:30 p.m. The link is below:
If you have any questions, do not hesitate to email administration: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you again for your continued support and understanding,
Lisa J. Myhre, Director
Digital Arts and Technology Academy