Principal’s Message

July 30, 2021
 
Dear ATC Students and Families,
 
Welcome to the 2021-2022 school year! I hope your summer was recuperative as well as energizing.
 
I first want to take this opportunity to thank you for choosing ATC for your student(s)’ education. Our students play a huge role in making our school an outstanding learning community. We cannot wait to see all our students on Monday, August 9. School begins at 9am and ends at 4:10pm.
 
Next, I want to share some important items to help you get a great start to your school year.
 
School Calendar & Bus Route Information. Our school calendar and SFPS bus route information for ATC are both posted on our website here. Please note that the early release dates are subject to change and we will update accordingly.
 
School Supplies. We have a terrific group of new teachers and staff joining us this year and we intend to give those folks an opportunity to contribute to a revised set of school supply lists. These will be updated on our website early next week and we will review these with the students on August 9. It is perfectly fine if students do not have all of their school supplies with them on the first day of school.
 
Summer Assignments. It is crunch time for summer assignments students! You will find ELA assignments here, and for 7th grade math here.
 
Class Schedules and Schedule Change requests. Please refrain from contacting the school, your counselors, and your teachers regarding schedule changes before August 9. On the first day of school we will review with students the schedule change request form and procedure and will process schedule change requests through the first 10 days of school. Take a deep breath; your schedule will work out fine.
 
School Lunches. The cost for school lunch this year is $3.00 (same as last year) and we have our food truck serving a la carte items. Lunch will be provided to all students free of charge on Monday August 9 and Friday August 13. More details below.
 
Parking Permits. All students wanting to drive themselves to school are expected to purchase a parking permit by August 20. Contact Jen Cintas, Jennifer.cintas@atcschool.org for the request form and plan to bring $20, current license, insurance, and registration when turning in your request. Permits can be purchased throughout the year once a student is fully licensed.
 
Overdue books, technology equipment, and annual activity fees. In June, returning students received a list of overdue items. A follow up email will be sent to those families next week. Please prepare to bring those materials or the replacement cost to school on Monday, August 9.
 
By now you might be thinking, just what exactly will this first day of school look like?
 
Monday, August 9 is designed as a school orientation day for all students, in all grades. On Monday, students will arrive to school, we will have tables along the curb of the main parking lot by grade level where students will receive their schedule. 
-Students will attend an abbreviated bell schedule between 9-11am to find their classes and meet their teachers.
-From 11-1pm we will have a cookout lunch, free for students and staff and host a student club and activities fair. This is an opportunity for both new and returning students to learn about and join our student clubs. Our athletics coaches will also be there to share information and collect signups for our sports programs: Cross Country, Soccer, Basketball and Track and Field.
-From 1-3:30pm students will report to their college crews for an orientation session. For new students, College Crew is our advisory program in which all students, grades 7-12, participate. It is your “7th Period” class on your schedule. During this orientation session your college crew leader will guide you through all of the above information, work with you to make sure you can access all of the learning platforms we use, troubleshoot logins and email, review the bell schedule, provide time for you to take care of fees, overdue books, chromebooks, hotspots, review supply lists, wifi access, etc. We want to make sure every student begins the school year with all the resources and information needed to be successful at ATC.
·From 3:30-4:10 students and staff will gather again outside for an ice cream treat and social time. After a bizarre 2020-21 school year, we are taking the first day of school as an opportunity to re-acclimate, reconnect, and adjust.
·Seniors! Shanuli and your Crew leaders have some special sauce cooking up just for you. Stay tuned!
 
Tuesday August 10 through Thursday August 12 will be regular fearless learning and teaching days to get students off to a strong start to the academic year.
 
Friday, August 13 is our official ATC Jumpstart Day. We are taking all students in their College Crew groups to Glorieta Camps for a full day of group development and experiential learning activities. We hope this experience helps all students and especially new students form bonds of friendship with each other and challenges our students to grow as learners. Lunch will be provided at Glorieta. In the afternoon we have reserved the water park there for some swim time! Students should bring a small bag with their swimsuits, sunscreen, and a towel. We will send home permission slips for Friday’s Jumpstart with students on Monday, 8/9. However, if you know for sure that your student(s) will NOT be attending Jumpstart, please let us know by completing this form by August 6. We do need to give their facilitators an accurate count of the group sizes in advance.
 
COVID-Safe Practices and Procedures
 
For SY2021-22, ATC will be offering full in-person instruction (unless prohibited by changes to the current public health orders). NMPED and NMDoH released their COVID Response Toolkit on July 26, 2021. However, between then and now the CDC has amended their guidelines to recommend face coverings for all individuals while indoors, regardless of vaccination status due to rising cases of the delta variant and breakthrough cases in vaccinated individuals. For SY2021-22 ATC will implement the following COVID-safe practices and procedures:
 
·Beginning August 9, 2021. All students and staff, regardless of vaccination status will be expected to wear proper face masks while indoors and on school busses. Students may remove their masks while eating lunch in the phoenix center.
·Students and staff will not be required to wear face masks while outdoors, though encouraged to do so, especially if not fully vaccinated.
·Students and staff will complete a COVID-screening questionnaire each day they attend school using an app called DrOwl:
·Per the current NMPED COVID Response Toolkit, ATC will conduct surveillance testing of both students and staff for COVID-19. For this reason, ATC will collect information about vaccination status from students and staff. Individuals who are fully vaccinated or who have tested positive for COVID-19 within the past 90 days are exempt from surveillance testing.
·We are increasing the number of HEPA air filtration units in our classrooms to increase the volume of air filtration in our indoor spaces.
·We will continue to provide face coverings to students who need them and have kept in place all of the additional hand sanitizing stations in our classrooms as well as the additional nightly cleaning and sanitizing measures implemented last year.
·All visitors, including parents and caregivers, will be required to wear facemasks while indoors at ATC regardless of vaccination status.
 
This is just a brief overview. In the coming weeks we will be revising our COVID policies manual to reflect the updated guidance.
 
We will continue to work with NMPED, NMDOH, the Santa Fe Public Schools, and our community to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. ATC had zero positive cases during hybrid and in-person learning last Spring and we intend to keep it that way. I know that we are all anxious for a complete and total return to “normal.” But please also understand that without taking appropriate precautions we risk contributing to further outbreaks in Santa Fe, particularly of the new delta variant, weakening the efficacy of the vaccines, and plunging our school year back into remote learning. We all need to take individual responsibility for our collective well-being.
 
ATC will not be offering a remote learning option for SY21-22. For families seeking a remote learning option, the Santa Fe Public Schools has expanded their virtual learning program at Desert Sage Academy to all interested families within SFPS. Please know however that this would entail transferring to Desert Sage and withdrawing from ATC, thereby relinquishing your student’s “spot” to a family currently on the waiting list.
 
NMPED has been developing a remote learning option available statewide through a consortium of local schools and districts. In this program, students would remain enrolled at their current school (ATC). ATC would pay a tuition fee to NMPED on the student’s behalf and the student would attend the remote learning option provided by the consortium. Unfortunately, this is still in development at this time and I do not have further information to share. If your family feels a remote learning option is best suited for your needs this school year, please send an email to web@atcschool.org with your student’s name, ID number, grade level and preferred contact information for you (email, phone, etc). We will follow up with you as more information becomes available. If you would like to enroll in Desert Sage Academy’s remote learning program, please contact Desert Sage (their contact info is available at sfps.info) and inform your counselor, Juli or Shannon, so they may begin the withdrawal process.
 
Again, on behalf of our faculty and staff I want to thank you for the opportunity educate your children. Please enjoy this last week of summer break and come rested and ready to begin the year on Monday, August 9.
 
 
Respectfully,
 
 
 
 
Jason Morgan
Principal
 
Cultivating Fearless Learners