Summer Update #3, August 13, 2020



August 13, 2020 Update


Good Afternoon MMCA Families,


With 11 days to go before the start of the school year, this Flyer is the first of several letters that we’ll be sending with information about the upcoming school year.


Just in case you’ve missed any of our previous summer communications, or you’re a new family who just got a Waiting List call, our blog has all of our summer communications: https://www.mmcharter.org/blog. These communications included information about our updated school calendar (reminder: NEW START DATE OF AUGUST 24th), our COVID-19 School Reopening Plan, our Q&A document about our COVID reopening plan and much more. Reminder: Our Summer Office Hours are Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11:30a to 3:30p.


With today’s Flyer, we’re going to focus on three issues: updating your AERIES family profile, our Hot Lunch Program and Educational delivery method to start the school year.


Updating AERIES Family Profile


AERIES is the student information system we use at our school. It’s maintained for us by the Placer County Office of Education (“PCOE”). Over the last couple days PCOE sent an email to each of you asking you to update your profiles / access into the AERIES system. This email came from an “orange@mmcharter.org” email account. If you have any questions about updating your student’s profile, your emergency contact information, etc., please contact dthorman@mmcharter.org.


2020-2021 Hot Lunch Update


We will begin serving hot lunch on Monday, 8/31. This year orders will be due two Thursdays before the week of service. For the week of August 31, orders will be due on Thursday, August 20. Your status from last year will roll over for 30 days (if you received free meals last year that status will remain for 30 days). In that time you will need to fill out a new application for free or reduced price meals, unless your child is directly certified through the county. You will receive a letter from MMCA if your child has been direct-certified.


If you are new to our school. We serve lunches from Revolution Foods. Orders are collected and paid for on the Boonli website ( https://mmca.boonli.com ). To create an account click "create an account" and our school password is "MMCA1." Prices are $3.85 for paid lunches, $.40 for reduced-price and $0.00 for free.


To start the school year, we will have “lunches only.” After we’re back into the groove of ‘site-based’ instruction, we will introduce a breakfast option. Also, students who chose Edgenuity will have the opportunity to continue ordering hot lunch and will have a designated pick up time to pick up their lunch.


Educational Delivery Method Update


Thank you to all of our families who have filled out our ‘RSVP’ form regarding your educational preference to start the year. For your information, the results were approximately:

  • 80% RSVP’d site-based 5 day

  • 6% RSVP’d two week Ind. Study; and

  • 14% RSVP’d long term virtual option Edgenuity


As you know, we, like Rocklin Unified and other school districts in the county, have taken the position that we will offer site-based instruction as soon as we are allowed to by the state. Two weeks ago, the state’s rules regarding reopening were based on the “County Watch List” metric that they had established. Per county level data, Placer County should’ve been removed from the state watchlist about 10 days ago. However, as you may have seen in the headlines, the state’s county Watch List database crashed last week, and both placement and removal from the watchlist has been suspended. Worse, the Director of the California Department of Health and the person responsible for the creation of the Watch List resigned on Monday, and nobody can tell us what is happening next, beyond saying the “Watch List metric has been suspended indefinitely.”


What does this mean? For our K-8th grade “5 day” and “2 week I.S.” students, we will be starting the school year within a Distance Learning environment led by our MMCA Teaching staff. It will be similar to what we did last spring, though there will be some small changes. Over the next two weeks, we will be sending out more information regarding what this will look like. It remains our stated goal to return to primarily site-based instruction as soon as the County Public Health Doctor permits it. Whether that occurs three weeks from now, three months from now, or somewhere in between, honestly at this point I have no idea.


Semi-related, when we’re allowed to come back, we’re going to have more outdoor learning options for our classrooms. Our PTA has started a GoFundMe campaign to purchase a bunch of new vinyl picnic tables for this purpose. The link to their fundraiser is here, and we’d sincerely appreciate your support on this: https://charity.gofundme.com/o/en/campaign/project-mustangs-picnic-tables?utm_campaign=oc&utm_medium=facebook&utm_source=crowdrise&fbclid=IwAR0nlu85X7K8ZynmHhOXknvOyvI-KRepHiEQb6hX8Tp_H5_E0bIz8jOcap4


Donations to our PTA are tax deductible.


For our Edgenuity based students: In light of now starting distance-based, we are going to send a final confirmation email to the families that selected Edgenuity to make sure that is still your final choice to start the school year. After that, we will start registering the kids within the program and getting it introduced to the families.


Finally, with child care still fully open within Placer County, our MMCA Children’s House preschool program WILL BE OPEN FOR SITE-BASED instruction beginning August 24, 2020. We have several spots available in our preschool - if you know of anyone who may be interested, please refer them to our mmca@mmcharter.org account.


With regards to our K-8th Grade Before / After Care Childcare program, we WILL have before/aftercare available when we’re allowed to offer site-based instruction again. We will NOT be offering childcare at the start of distance learning. If as we start distance learning it becomes apparent that we are going to be in distance learning for an extended period, we will look at options to offer K-8th grade childcare for our families as well.


I know there’s lots of information here, and there’s a lot more to come over the next few weeks. Thank you for your patience as we traverse through these unprecedented circumstances.


Sincerely,


Brent Boothby, Executive Director

Maria Montessori Charter Academy


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