Covid-19 Update

In an effort to continue to provide updated information to our school community Natural Science Academy
has created a COVID- 19 webpage which includes multiple resources.

Communications

 

March 25th, 2020

There are big changes afoot. Life is overwhelmingly different, and school is too.  Here’s a basic overview of our thinking about how school will look, at least for the first week or too.  We trust in your patience as we navigate this new territory together.

Teams:  Teams will function as a landing page.  It’ll be used specifically for:

  • Group video meetings.

  • One-to-one calls/meetings.

  • Teacher informational posts.

Teams also has a tab for the Freckle login page and the Seesaw login page, so kids can navigate from Teams to Seesaw and Freckle.

Freckle: Freckle will be a resource for practicing all kinds of skills in math, ELA, and even Science. 

In Freckle, kids will:

  • Practice math facts.

  • Engage in teacher assigned tasks.

  • Do self-paced practice.

Teachers will:

  • Assign targeted practice.

  • Review progress with Freckle’s reports.

  • Use Freckle’s data to tailor instruction in one-on-one check-ins.

Seesaw: Seesaw allows us to assess student thinking and keep touch with the whole child.  Its flexible tools let them capture their reasoning, which will help us to target their practice and assess their progress.

In Seesaw, kids will:

  • Submit a regular check-in letting us know how they’re doing.

  • Engage in activities that show their thinking.

  • Document their work and their thinking related to their off-line activities.

Teachers will:

  • Post activities and repost student work to facilitate discussion and learning from classmates.

  • Respond to student work with voice comments.

 

We plan to send you our learning plan for the week via your parent emails.  We’ll also post it to the Teams page for easy access.  This plan will give an overview of the activities to be assigned that week.  It’ll let you know what the goal of the activities is as well as where your child can complete them—Seesaw, Freckle, or off-line.  It’ll also give a time estimate for each activity. 

 

Thank you for your support in this learning adventure!

March 25th, 2020

Hello NSA families!  

As of today, 3/25/2020, the State of Minnesota has ordered Distance Learning for schools to begin on Monday, March 30 and to continue through Monday, May 4 -  with the possibility of extending beyond that date.  All Distance Learning information will be sent to all families by the end of this week. In the mean time, please make that sure your student has access to Outlook and Teams via the email addresses sent earlier in the week. If you have any problems or questions regarding student email access, Outlook or Teams,  please contact Kate.Maki@naturalscienceacademy.org or office@naturalscienceacademy.org.   Also, check the "Covid-19" tab on our NSA website for more information. 

 

The Natural Science Academy building will remain closed to students, except for those attending essential person's child care, which will continue to be provided during this time. If you will need to begin using this service, please contact Office@naturalscienceacademy.org

If you have not picked up your student's cubby contents and educational materials by end-of-day Thursday, please make arrangements to do so by contacting the office.   

We know there are a lot of unanswered questions,  we will provide all the information we are able by the end of the week.  Most of this information will be coming directly from your teachers as each class may have slight differences. 

Thank you so much for your patience, understanding and support through this crazy time! We are grateful for our community as we work through this together!

 

March 25th, 2020

 

The March 31st board meeting will be virtual. Please follow the link and instructions below. 

https://teams.microsoft.com/l/team/19%3ab060d8a3de824b9283b648fdcd1f145d%40thread.tacv2/conversations?groupId=5dcdcab8-9cc7-4abb-aef4-ff64524b7983&tenantId=78c7ac9d-0da2-490f-a54b-f0cbd03f8446

 

  1. Go to the meeting invite and select Join Microsoft Teams Meeting.

  2. That'll open a webpage, where you'll see two choices: Download the Windows app and Join on the web instead. If you join on the web, you can use either Microsoft Edge or Google Chrome. Your browser may ask if it's OK for Teams to use your mic and camera. Be sure to allow it so you'll be seen and heard in your meeting.

  3. Enter your name and choose your audio and video settings. If the meeting room (or another device that's connected to the meeting) is nearby, choose Audio off to avoid disrupting. Select Phone audio if you want to listen to the meeting on your mobile phone.

  4. When you're ready, hit Join now.

  5. This will bring you into the lobby. We'll notify the meeting organizer that you're there, and someone in the meeting can then admit you.

March 20th, 2020

  

Dear NSA Families,

 

The NSA Education Team has been hard at work this week meeting and strategizing about NSA’s Distance Learning Plan which is anticipated to launch 3/30. Next week we will be communicating in more detail about future educational expectations and operations. We are expecting there will be some growing pains and glitches that will need to be worked through, so this will be the first of this type of communication, but certainly not the last! We will all need to be patient with each other.

We are continuing to maintain our goals as a school as best we can while also considering student-to-student relationships.  We have researched and evaluated many programs and as a school, we have decided to use the Seesaw platform and Microsoft Teams.  To avoid confusion and help ensure as smooth a roll-out as possible, PLEASE DO NOT ACCESS THESE PROGRAMS YET! The school will provide email addresses for each student, logins for the educational platform as well as instructions. More information regarding this will be coming from your teachers.

​While none of us knows what to expect in the coming weeks, at this time we are planning for distance learning through the end of the school year. We​certainly hope this won’t be the case, but we need families to prepare for this possibility. An important part of this will be arranging for the pickup of your child's cubby items, educational materials, and any other belongings next week. This will allow the building to be more easily cleaned and sanitized and enable families to have all their child’s belongings should they need them over an extended time away from school. We are staggering the days to avoid having a lot of people at the school at the same time.  As the public is not allowed in the building, staff will bring belongings to the door when you arrive.  Your pickup day is based on the first letter of your last name.  Pickup times are 9am -4pm on your assigned day:

A-H  pick up Tuesday, march 24th

I-O  pick up Wednesday March 25th

P-Z pick up Thursday March 26th


​We understand that many of our families are still are working, if none of these times work for you please let the office know so that we can make other arrangements. Also, if you plan to pick up for another student please let us know. 

 

​As stated previously, NSA will provide distance learning ​starting March 30th. Distance Learning is more then just online learning. This learning will include books, paper and pencil tasks and materials for projects and activities ​provided by the school and distributed to families. In addition, kids will participate in online learning, activities and interaction with possible telephone instruction if needed. This means all students need to have access to appropriate educational materials and can expect to receive daily interactions with their licensed teacher(s) while not being physically at school. We will also send a suggested schedule for pacing the learning which will include lots of movement, outdoor time, creative activity and exploration of our natural world. Nature will be an important source of comfort and normalcy for all of us now. 
 

Lastly, we know many of you are using different platforms for communication. We encourage our community to keep sharing and laughing together as much as possible. Socializing is very important during this time and we encourage you all to keep using the services you are comfortable with and share more and connect often. Humans as social creatures do best when we work together toward a common purpose. We can do this if we work together. A final thought: Remember to be patient with yourselves and your little people. We will all need to afford ourselves some grace in ramping up to this important task. This is uncharted territory and we are the pathfinders. Lucky for us, as charter school parents and teachers we are up for the challenge of blazing trail.

We’re here to help. Please reach out with any questions. We greatly appreciate your patience as we work through this together. 

 

Your Partners in Learning,

 

The Educational Team at Natural Science Academy

920 Holley Ave Ste 3
St Paul Park, MN 55071
(651)925-5050

 

March 19th, 2020

Please check the MDE website for updated Covid-19 information. https://education.mn.gov/MDE/dse/health/covid19/

March 17th, 2020

Students should contact the office to arrange a time to pick up cubby contents at the door. If you need medicines from the office, please specify that so I can prep them to leave. Please contact office@naturalscienceacademy.org

 

March 16th, 2020

 

We are offering childcare for emergency personnel during the covid19 closure. If you qualify for childcare during this time, please email office@naturalscienceacademy.org with your student's name and an idea of what your schedule looks like so that we can plan and prepare as needed.

This service is provided for qualifying emergency personnel during the school regular hours of 9:20am-3:50pm. Basecamp will still be offered at an additional cost for the qualifying families. If you would like to register or have other questions regarding childcare during this time, please direct these questions to office@naturalscienceacademy.org

 

March 15th, 2020

Today, Governor Tim Walz and Education Commissioner Mary Cathryn Ricker announced that all Minnesota public schools will close to students starting Wednesday, March 18, 2020 with the plan to resume instruction on Monday, March 30, 2020.

During the school closure for students, Natural Science Academy will be joining school districts and charter schools across the state to create plans to equitably distribute distance learning to our students should we need to close schools statewide for a longer period of time due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Minnesota Department of Education is defining distance learning to mean that a student receives daily interaction with their licensed teacher(s) and appropriate educational materials. Starting March 30, 2020, per the instruction from the Minnesota Department of Education, student learning will continue for the rest of the school year.

Our educators will be giving thoughtful planning to our distance learning plan, offering careful consideration for students in a variety of areas, including students receiving special education services, multilingual learners, students experiencing homelessness, and students who rely on meals served at school.

Once our distance learning plan is finalized, we will communicate the plan to families by email.

As always, our first priority is the safety and well-being of our students. We also want to ensure every child has access to the education they need and deserve.

We will continue to keep you informed as we navigate COVID-19.

March 14th, 2020

In light of recent developments with Corvid-19, NSA's board of directors meeting scheduled for this Tuesday (3/17) will be cancelled. At this point, we will tentatively reschedule for 2 weeks from this Tuesday @ 4:15 pm on 3/31/2020.

March 13th, 2020

Spring break will now be extended by one day. Classes will resume on Wednesday, March 18.


Extending spring break by one day will allow us to

  • Reconnect with staff and answer questions about the latest COVID-19 developments 

  • Help staff and teachers prepare for the possibility of short-term flex learning if schools had to close (student learning from home or online)

  • Review the latest recommendations from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH)

  • Institute procedures for cleaning, hygiene, and sharing good practices with students like handwashing

This afternoon, March 13th, Governor Tim Walz issued new recommendations to help reduce the possible spread of COVID-19 in the community. Both the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) are not recommending school closures. MDH said this decision is based on evidence that short-term school closures have not shown an impact in reducing the spread of COVID-19.

Please refer to https://www.health.state.mn.us/ and https://education.mn.gov/MDE/dse/health/covid19/index.htm for further information regarding Covid-19

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

For questions please contact

zachary.fjelstad@naturalscienceacademy.org

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