School Year 2020-2021

Updates

    Weekly Update - 11/20/2020
  • “He Loves Us to the End.” This theme for our year remains a perfect consideration for us week by week. It was fitting when we enjoyed weeks of no COVID impact; it was fitting when we separated temporarily due to COVID’s arrival; it remains fitting for us as our state observes numbers on the rise. “Do not fear,” our Savior says. “Trust in me. I have this all under my control, and I have your best interests in mind. Do not let your hearts be troubled.” And so we proceed into Thanksgiving week and then to the watchful period of Advent before Christmas. 

    Due to next week being so short, we will have no weekly update again until Friday, December 4. 

    ASSESSMENT
    • Life on campus is pretty much back to the way it was before our “pause.” Thanks for cooperation and support.
    • Fall sports are over except for football. First round playoff is at home tonight at 7p. A victory tonight qualifies for round 2 on November 27. Details will be forthcoming.
    • Winter sports have been delayed by the AIA until January 5. There will be some practices begun yet this semester, but each coach will communicate individually as plans fall into place.
    • We are currently considering the pragmatism of having the ALA Sunday on December 6 at Holy Cross in Tucson. A final decision will be communicated as it is made.
    • We have determined to hold our Christmas concert on Friday, December 18, the date originally scheduled. 
      • We are presently planning for it to be presented twice on that day: at 5p and at 7p. 
      • The attendance will be open to any and all, but we will be limiting the attendance for both of the presentations. More information will be coming about a reservation sign-up which will allow all interested parties an opportunity to claim seats as long as they’re available. The main stipulation is that, while all musicians must be present for both concerts, family members and guests must choose one or the other to allow for maximum participation.

    CHANGES
    We are recommending NO CHANGES for the weeks beginning November 23 or November 30.


     
    Weekly Update -11/13/2020
  • News of rising numbers, a successful vaccine, and political uncertainty has dominated news sources of late. We are of a mind not to be overcome with fear regarding this information, but we are also motivated by caution and care as we move forward and by our Savior’s love and presence through any and all uncertain times. 

    ASSESSMENT 
    • It is SO GOOD to have people back on campus! This is the way school should be!
    • Fall sports have operated smoothly since they started up again from their pause. Winter sports will hopefully begin on November 16, pending AIA’s alternate decisions.
    • We have determined to cancel our ALA Sunday in Kingman on November 22 out of respect and concern for their elderly population and confined space.

    CHANGES 
    We are recommending NO CHANGES for the week beginning November 16.

     
    Weekly Update - 11/5/2020
  • Our decision to close school for the past few weeks (eleven school days) does not set a precedent for any future positive cases. This decision was driven by the number of cases in student and staff communities and the likely close contacts that affected nearly everyone on campus during the busy activities of Homecoming Week. We fully expect that there will be additional positive tests for COVID to come in the future, but that would not signal another school shut down automatically; however, we will remain in close contact with our County as we monitor and consider all events that emerge in the future. 

    As we open again to on-campus instruction on Monday, we continue to look to our families to be the first line of defense in screening for symptoms and to be mindful of staying home since we have the hybrid option available. We cannot govern families’ choices outside of school, but we encourage you to make wise choices there as well so that we can continue to meet for school real-face-to-real-face! 

    We are ever mindful of our Lord’s love and presence as we take all things cautiously and wisely. 

    ASSESSMENT 
    • We were well ahead of the County's direction on suspending classes on October 21. Their assessments would have taken us there anyway.
    • All of our students who tested positive or who were declared to be in close contact have successfully completed required isolations and quarantines.
    • We have safely returned to play and practice in our fall sports seasons.
    • Teachers and students overall made the best of the situation, though some struggled to keep up. 
    • Online learning is not the optimal approach to education for high school students.

    CHANGES 
    Effective Monday, November 9: 
    • We will return to on-campus instruction as originally announced.
    • For the immediate future, we will continue to offer online instruction concurrently with on-campus instruction as we have been doing from the beginning of the year.
    • We will resume our campus entry procedure with designated gate check-ins and mask observations.
    • We will continue to require masks to be worn on campus except in classes where social distancing is possible and the numbers of students in the section are twelve or lower. An exception also will be in place while lunch is being eaten.
    • Consistency regarding lunch seating will remain in force.
    • We will resume chapel with masks required.
    • Classroom cleaning procedures will continue as in the past.

     
    Weekly Update - 10/30/2020
  • This week's update is regarding the required notification to our ALA families and staff after final determination by Maricopa County Department of Public Health (MCDPH) that our experience last week qualifies as an “outbreak.” Note that this notification does not represent any new cases but rather refers to the cases we’ve already reported to our families. The notification letter is not shared in full here, but it was sent to parents, guardians, and staff members of ALA, as required.

    We are working closely with Maricopa County Department of Public Health to stop COVID-19 from spreading further in our school. 

    Next week's classes will still be virtual, Monday through Thursday. There will be no classes next Friday, November 6, as previously planned. We plan to resume in-person classes on Monday, November 9.
     
    Video Message from our AD - 10/23/2020
  • Mr. Peter explains the plans for ALA athletics in a video update - ALAcoyotes.org/athletics.
     
    Athletic Update - 10/22/2020
  • Unfortunately, we have had some positive Covid cases within our athletic program. As we navigate through this, we are following all AIA and county health guidelines regarding positive cases and individuals who have had close contact.

    As a result, the ALA administration is "pausing" all athletic activities for the rest of this week, and there will be no practices or athletic competitions at least through Oct. 25. Our E-sport team is able to compete tomorrow night as it can be done virtually. As of yesterday, the football program had enough positive Covid cases that, in line with AIA's return to activity guidelines, we need to shut down football activities for a minimum of 8 days. The football team is not able to play this Friday or next Monday.

    My prayer is simply Philippians 4:6, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God."

    God Bless, 
    David Peter, Athletic Director

     
    Weekly Update - 10/22/2020
  • This week represented more than a bit of a change from the peaceful opening nine weeks of our school year! It was easy to celebrate a COVID-free campus with all things moving along smoothly overall…and so we did. We reflected often on how our Savior loves us to the end! We enjoyed many of the things, though modified, that go with a normal school year. 

    On Monday, however, everything began to change as COVID cases were reported. We now have some cases of COVID among our staff and students. What for many of us was a problem for other schools and states and countries became a problem for our tiny campus. It was now our friends and family and colleagues that were infected and affected. Did it pass by any of our minds that maybe our Savior has forgotten or that he halted his love for us in any way? That would be absurd! In fact, it is often in our weakest or most vulnerable times that we see just how present he is, just how strong he is, and just how much he really loves…all the way to the end! Perhaps you remember the Apostle Paul’s description of his “thorn in the flesh” from 2 Corinthians 12. It was in the midst of his personal struggle with this affliction and his repeated pleas to have it removed that Paul heard the message: “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Yes, it was through his weakness that he realized how much he depended on God for strength, something so easily forgotten when things are rolling along smoothly. While I would be dishonest if I told you we are rejoicing at the arrival of COVID on our campus, I can tell you that we are not missing the lesson! With Paul, we can boast in our weakness, “so that the power of Christ may rest on [us]…For when [we are] weak, then [we are] strong.” It is so very encouraging to know your concerns and wishes on our behalf, and we share the same for those students and families that have been affected. Thank you for your prayers, and know that we are praying for you as well. 

    We took Wednesday as a regrouping day, and we have determined to have virtual classes LIVE (real time) beginning Thursday, October 22, and lasting through November 5. There is no school scheduled for November 6. We plan to resume our on-campus delivery on Monday, November 9. (NOTE: Our recent announcement about suspending our online delivery on November 2 is being withdrawn for the time being, though it still remains our goal eventually.) 


     
    No School on Wednesday - 10/20/2020
  • In meeting tonight, our Administrative Team has determined that we are going to take one day off tomorrow (Wed, Oct 21) because of the many moving parts and family plans that have been thrown into confusion with today's developments. We will reassess and indicate our plans moving forward in an announcement tomorrow afternoon. To repeat: there is no school on Wednesday, October 21

    Presently it is the strongest likelihood that, beginning Thursday, we will go to virtual learning temporarily. The office and access to student lockers will be open from 7:30a to 3:30p on Wednesday for students to pick up their needed materials. Please make these visits short. Students and parents do not need to stop in the office but may simply go to their lockers and retrieve their materials.

    Thank you for your patience as we work through this process. Watch for more information to come on Wednesday afternoon.
     

    COVID Cases - 10/20/2020
  • The news of the COVID case on campus undoubtedly raised your level of consciousness and perhaps concern related to your child's safety. We respect your situation and your precautions, yet we also caution you to manage this information in a level and thoughtful way. When speaking with a County COVID investigator, he did not express alarm about our situation as we presently know it (two cases, one staff and one student). We are taking all appropriate steps in accordance with the County's directives and with our own established protocols which we shared with you this past summer, and the County is taking the necessary steps as well. With the information we discussed this afternoon, the County has issued this statement regarding our circumstances: there was no COVID-19 exposure identified at your school based on our investigation. Raneem Tohaibeche, Maricopa County Department of Public Health.

    Toward the end of the day, we were made aware of two additional positive tests, neither of which were included yet in the County's assessment noted above. We will be following up on these two new cases tomorrow.

    As promised, we are sharing information with you as we learn of it and examine some facts surrounding it. We are not served well by panic but would do well to react in a measured and considered way. If you feel you may have had close contact (closer than six feet for more than 10 minutes) with someone who might be positive, please let us know so we can advise you on the protocols to follow. 
     

    Change to Virtual Classes - 10/16/2020
  • October 16, 2020

    The pinnacle of the coronavirus experience in Arizona has passed as of mid-summer. We are most grateful to our Lord for this blessing as we look to move past this current circumstance and return to a normal school routine.

    We have carefully been watching the data released by the Arizona Department of Health Services and Maricopa County Department of Public Health each week. In response, we have made some modifications in our back-to-school plan, and after nine weeks of school, we are still able to report that there have been no COVID cases on campus.

    Our teachers and staff willingly and happily took up the extra effort of providing a hybrid instruction format to accommodate as many of our families' home situations and attitudes as possible. Our families and students stepped up too, and our evaluation of the process has overall been positive. Of course, as much effort or cooperation as we observed cannot ultimately provide an experience that matches what can be provided on campus in a live classroom. Furthermore, we also believe that the hybrid approach, which requires a good deal of extra effort on the part of our teachers, is not sustainable in the long-term. 

    After weighing all of the information available to us, our Administration has determined that we will suspend the online portion of learning following school on October 30 (with the exception of serving students who are still stranded overseas). Therefore, effective November 2, students will no longer be able to sign in virtually to classes. They will need to return to school for on-campus instruction. At present, our on-campus practices regarding masks and social distancing where possible will remain in place. We are happy to discuss any questions you may have regarding this change of approach.

    In the meantime, we will continue to monitor the data, and if a noteworthy change occurs, this decision will be reevaluated.


     
    Weekly Update - 10/16/2020
  • Praise the Lord that our County continues to report numbers that remain pleasing week by week. In all three of our benchmarks, the data are still well within the “met” boundaries, although there was another very small uptick in cases in the last rendering. 

    We have continued to monitor the data week by week and evaluate the impact on our plans and procedures at ALA. For most of the past seven weeks, we have seen our numbers in the “met” categories for all three benchmarks. 

    ASSESSMENT
    • We rejoice that after nine weeks of school, there are still no COVID cases to report on campus!
    • We enjoyed the Fall Concert and the events of Homecoming Week with some slight modifications, but we were happy to be together to enjoy them.
    • A high level of cooperation remains observable regarding our mask usage, and we will continue to require masks at most events and situations on campus.
    • Our new process of mask checks at the start of the day seems to have gone well and kicks off the day with not only a mask reminder but also a friendly greeting by a staff member!

    CHANGES
    We are recommending NO CHANGES for the week beginning October 20.


     
    Weekly Update - 10/9/2020
  • Praise the Lord that our County continues to report numbers that remain pleasing week by week. In all three of our benchmarks, the data are still well within the “met” boundaries, although there was another slight uptick in cases in the last rendering.

    We have continued to monitor the data week by week and evaluate the impact on our plans and procedures at ALA. For most of the past six weeks, we have seen our numbers in the “met” categories for all three benchmarks. We feel comfortable taking the step described below beginning next week.

    Read below our weekly assessment and recommended changes.

    ASSESSMENT
    • We rejoice that after eight weeks of school, there are still no COVID cases to report on campus!
    • A high level of cooperation remains observable regarding our mask usage, and we will continue to require masks at most events and situations on campus.
    • We have closely evaluated our screening procedure which is at the beginning of each day and have found that no meaningful information has been received from going through this process (although it has served as a good checkpoint on mask usage and a chance to give a friendly reminder about “masking up” to start the day). You parents have been doing a faithful job of serving as the first line of screening at home, and we are confident that you will continue to do so as we move forward.

    CHANGES
    Effective October 12, we will no longer do a screening process upon a student’s arrival at school.
    • This does not affect your drop-off time in the morning.
    • Gates will open at about 7:40 (8:40 on Monday). Freshmen and Sophomores will enter through the south gate (nearest the school office), and Juniors and Seniors will enter through the middle gate.
    • A teacher will be stationed at each of these gates to greet students but also to do a mask check and give a reminder as necessary to start off the day “masked up.”

    UPDATES
    You may be interested in some updates on events to come in the next weeks.
    • The Fall Concert will be held on Sunday at 4pm with limited seating available only to the families of those who are performing in the concert. The concert can be viewed through livestream on our YouTube channel.
    • The events of Homecoming week are ready for the days following the concert, though they have been reduced and modified in some ways from past years. ALAcoyotes.org/Homecoming
    • There is NO SCHOOL on October 19.

     
    Weekly Update - 10/2/2020
  • Praise the Lord that our County continues to report numbers that remain pleasing week by week. In all three of our benchmarks, the data are still well within the “met” boundaries, although there was a slight uptick in cases in the last rendering. We pray for our president and his wife as they have announced their positive testing of coronavirus and commend them to God’s care for strength and hopeful recovery. Our Lord, after all, loves them to the end as well. 

    Read below our weekly assessment and recommended changes. 

    ASSESSMENT 
    • Generally things continue to run smoothly in the execution of our school reopening plan.
    • The state of cooperation from our students, which seemed to wane briefly a week ago, has returned to a spirit of unity.
    • We rejoice that after seven weeks of school, there are still no COVID cases to report on campus!

    CHANGES 
    We are recommending no changes to our operating plan for the week beginning October 5. 

    UPDATES
    You may be interested in some updates on events coming up in the next weeks. 
    • A special guest speaker will be on-site on October 6 to address our freshmen and sophomores in their religion classes. This is the same speaker that presented on 9/29 to our full student body; it will be in a smaller environment.
    • Coyote for a Day has been postponed to November 11 and has been renamed to Coyote Night 2020, still intended for eight graders only. Coyote for a Day is now going to refer to our regularly scheduled eighth-grade shadow days.
    Weekly Update - 9/25/2020
  • Praise the Lord that our County continues to report numbers that are growing more pleasing week by week. In all three of our benchmarks, the data is showing a decrease in the impact of the pandemic, and we are eager to begin looking at the time, hopefully soon, when we can discontinue the hybrid version of instruction and return to a normal school situation. We continue to be watchful and cautious, but we also strive to be realistic and properly trusting in the Lord who loves us to the end.

    Read below our weekly assessment and recommended changes.

    ASSESSMENT
    • Generally things continue to run smoothly in the execution of our school reopening plan.
    • We may have experienced our first lapse in cooperation this week as it seems more students than in the past were not mindful of the mask requirements. Some were “reminded” multiple times (and then some) to mask up. Students were told officially that such a chronic need for reminders is not reasonable and will be met with disciplinary action to ensure compliance. Other than that, things have been good overall.
    • We rejoice that after six weeks of school, there are no COVID cases to report on campus!
    • While we are mindful of COVID-19 on a special level, we must not forget that there always have been diseases that run among people. Gov. Ducey has stressed that getting a flu shot is more important than ever this year, so we encourage you to consider whether this is the right move for you and your family.
    • Please remember that the online option should not be a daily choice, but rather that a commitment to one method or the other is preferred. I commend our teachers for the extra effort to make the online version meaningful and effective, but it’s a lot of work to keep up with students who are off-campus. So please be discreet in your access of this option.

    CHANGES
    We are recommending no changes to our operating plan for the week beginning September 28.

    UPDATES
    You may be interested in some updates on events coming up in the next weeks.
    • Sporting events have occurred successfully on campus and will continue under the guidelines that have been shared.
    • You can find specifics about fan attendance here.
    • Our first ALA Sunday will be held at Pilgrim Lutheran Church in Mesa on September 27. Please check the Pilgrim website to learn of their policies regarding attending worship. pilgrimmesa.com
    • Parent-teacher conferences will occur as scheduled on September 27. They will be held in the gym from 5p to 8p. Masks will be expected by all participants.
    • A special guest speaker will be on-site on September 29 to address our students.
    • FALL CONCERT – OCTOBER 11
      • Our Kick-off to Homecoming Week
      • Limited lighting variation will be exercised, so expect little in the way of light artistry
      • Family groups will be seated in a pod-arrangement in the gym
      • All guests will be asked to wear masks; performers will NOT wear masks
      • Each family of a performer will be permitted four seats (not counting the performer). If families will not need four seats, they can offer them to other families who would appreciate additional seating. Families with more than one performer will still be permitted only four seats.
      • No other guests will be admitted to the concert.
    Weekly Update - 9/18/2020
  • The news from our County was positive yet again this week as the rolling averages turned down once more in all three of the benchmark areas. We celebrate that news with joy, as we do the fact that after five weeks of being together on campus, we yet have no cases of COVID to report. We continue to be grateful for your vigilance at home as our first line of screening, and we are reminded repeatedly of our Savior’s love for us, enduring to the end. 

    Read below our weekly assessment and recommended changes. 


    ASSESSMENT 
    • Generally things continue to run smoothly in the execution of our school reopening plan.
    • While we are mindful of COVID-19 on a special level, we must not forget that there always have been diseases that run among people. Gov. Ducey has stressed that getting a flu shot is more important than ever this year, so we encourage you to consider whether this is the right move for you and your family.
    • For students using the online virtual option, whether regularly or occasionally, there must still be adherence to a dress code. Cameras are expected to be on for these students, and their appearance should be acceptable for interaction among their fellow students or with their teacher. Thank you, parents, for your cooperation in this matter. 


    CHANGES 
    We are recommending no changes to our operating plan for the week beginning September 21. 


    EVENT UPDATES
    You may be interested in some updates on events coming up in the next weeks. 
    • Volleyball matches will occur beginning this week under special guidelines for fans.
    • Football games will occur beginning October 2 under special guidelines for fans.
    • You can find specifics about fan attendance here.
    • Cross Country meets will occur if the venues will permit; more to come as those dates in October draw closer.
    • Our first ALA Sunday will be held at Pilgrim Lutheran Church in Mesa on September 27. Please check the Pilgrim website to learn of their policies regarding attending worship. 
    • Parent-teacher conferences will occur as scheduled on September 27. They will be held in the gym from 5p to 8p. Masks will be expected by all participants.
    • Final plans for the Fall Concert on October 11 are being made. We are planning on the event, but there will be some modifications and likely attendance limits. Watch for more details
    • Homecoming events will occur in most cases; watch for more information to come.
    Fan Attendance Guidelines - 9/17/2020
  • You will find the guidlelines for fans at all home and away volleyball and football games at ALAcoyotes.org/fans. Please read the guidelines before planning to attend any athletic event, whether home or away.
     
    Weekly Update - 9/11/2020
  • Our days together continue to roll along smoothly with overall cooperation and compliance from our students, teachers, and parents—all making it possible for us to continue to gather on campus. The cases in Maricopa County ticked up slightly in the past two-week rolling average, but all benchmarks remain safely in the “met” categories. 

    Read below our weekly assessment and recommended changes.

    ASSESSMENT
    • Generally things continue to run smoothly in the execution of our school reopening plan.
    • Our County numbers continue to show a positive position despite a slight uptick in the most recent two-week average.
    • While we are mindful of COVID-19 on a special level, we must not forget that there always have been diseases that run among people. Gov. Ducey has stressed that getting a flu shot is more important than ever this year, so we encourage you to consider whether this is the right move for you and your family.
    • Changes that were implemented this past week are being monitored and evaluated regularly. We have noticed no difficulties connected with them. In areas where relaxation of mask guidelines has occurred, students are not required to do so if they do not wish to. In some cases, the students have voted to remain masked.

    CHANGES
    We are recommending very little in the way of changes moving forward. We will still be restricting most visitors from being on campus, but we have determined that
    • College recruiters from our WELS colleges (Martin Luther College, Bethany Lutheran College, and Wisconsin Lutheran College) will be permitted on campus to meet students by appointment only. Masks will be expected.
    • College recruiters from other colleges and universities will be invited to set up under a pop-up outside on the plaza during the lunch period. Masks will be required for recruiters and students who stop by to talk. No more than one college may be represented on campus on any given day.
    • We will permit a hearing screener to come on campus to assess hearing for our students as required by the state of Arizona. All new students will be screened on Tuesday, September 22. 
    Fan Attendance at Home Volleyball - 9/11/2020
  • The Administration of Arizona Lutheran Academy has set these guidelines to be in effect until further notice for fan attendance at all home volleyball contests.
    1. If you are sick, please stay home and watch the livestream.
    2. If you are in a high risk category, please stay home and watch the livestream.
    3. All people attending will need to wear a face covering at all times.
      • You do not need to wear a face covering while eating food in the gym lobby. Please wear a face covering at all other times.
      • Athletes who are playing in the match are not required to wear face coverings.
    4. All people attending are encouraged to practice physical distancing.
      • There are white pieces of tape evenly spaced out on the bleachers. We encourage you to utilize these markings to help with distancing.
    5. Chairs will be set out on both sides of the bleachers.
      • Visiting fans can use the extra seating area on the north end (far side of the bleachers).
      • Home fans may utilize the extra seating area on the south side (under main scoreboard).
    6. Once seated in the bleachers or chairs, please stay in that seat as much as possible and limit close interaction with other fans.
    7. All fans should practice proper hygiene (washing hands) and are encouraged to use hand sanitizer frequently.
    All of us are excited and thankful to have the opportunity to support our student athletes. Thank you for following these guidelines.

    DAVID PETER, CAA
    ATHLETIC DIRECTOR
     
    Weekly Update - 9/4/2020
  • In some respects, this was a test week. When a larger number of people gather together, the chance for any contagion to occur is raised. Since COVID-19 is the topic on most minds, we wondered if and when we would see cases begin on campus once the group had gathered. This week marked 14 days plus after we began gathering together again, so we wondered if we would begin to see COVID’s emergence, as 14 days seems to be the magic number. Again we are able to celebrate that we still have no cases to report either among our students or our staff! We know that all things ultimately are in our God’s hands and that “he loves us to the end.” 

    We do not know what next week will bring, but we do continue to monitor reports and data as released and explained by Maricopa County Department of Public Health. We are grateful that God has kept our campus safe through these weeks and will trust our movement into next week.

    Read below our weekly assessment and recommended changes.

    ASSESSMENT
    • Generally things continue to run smoothly in the execution of our school reopening plan.
    • Student arrival times have shown tremendous cooperation with our request to avoid tardy arrivals to class. We look for that to continue with the change noted below.
    • Our County numbers continue to show a positive direction.
    • While we are mindful of COVID-19 on a special level, we must not forget that there always have been diseases that run among people. Gov. Ducey has stressed that getting a flu shot is more important than ever this year, so we encourage you to consider whether this is the right move for you and your family.
    • It is very important that students work hard not to fall behind in their work submissions and to be in contact with their teachers if there is any question or need for help. We are seeing a few students starting to pile up missing assignments.
    • The AIA met this week and determined to proceed with their original modification of the plan for the fall sports season.

    CHANGES
    • With positive results continuing in the County and good experiences on campus, we are implementing the following changes effective Tuesday, September 8:
      • Mask requirements will be lifted for teacher and students in certain classes where class populations number no more than 12, provided the teacher can arrange proper social distancing.
      • If all students are present on campus in a classroom, that particular class will not be recorded.
      • Chapel with our current seating will continue, but no masks will be required while seated; masks, however, will be required for entry into and dismissal from chapel.
      • Temperature checks will be eliminated as part of the daily screening. This was never a requirement according to Maricopa County guidelines, and recently health officials stated that fevers are rarely a significant indicator of COVID.
      • Daily screening will be in place with a verbal assessment of students’ symptoms, and we still desire parents to be the first line of screening at home. In light of this change and considering the extremely efficient process that was in place, screening will now take place beginning at 7:40am (8:40am on Mondays/late start days), and the gates and doors will open also at that time.
    Weekly Update - 8/28/2020
  • With another week under our belts, we have plenty of reasons to be grateful to our families, our students, our teachers, and mostly to our God. Life on campus is not exactly “normal,” but everyone continues to pull together to make things work and to enjoy our time together. Perhaps best of all, after two weeks we have no COVID cases or exposures to report on campus!

    Maricopa County Department of Public Health reported data that continue in a positive direction in all areas of the benchmarks: number of cases, positivity rate of test results, and hospitalizations due to COVID-like illnesses. We thank God for these data and are reminded that “he loves us to the end.”

    Read below our weekly assessment and recommended changes.

    ASSESSMENT
    • Generally things continue to run smoothly in the execution of our school reopening plan.  
    • Our screening process remains an exercise in efficiency. Thanks for everyone’s cooperation on getting each day off to a great start.
    • Thank you for cooperating with the restrictions placed this past week on valve masks.
    • Several groups of student workers must be thanked for their daily efforts at setting up and taking down chapel and lunch operations. Not only have they been faithful, but they have also done a great job!
    • Managing the hybrid process of students online and in the classroom has been adequate, but we are looking forward to the day when we will bring everyone back to campus. The efforts and energy expended by the teachers are significant. We commend the students and families for their efforts in logging in to class on time and trying to participate in the instruction.
    • It is very important that students work hard not to fall behind in their work submissions and to be in contact with their teachers if there is any question or need for help. We are seeing a few students starting to pile up missing assignments.

    CHANGES
    • We are recommending no changes to the procedures and protocols we have put into place for our days at school, with the exception of allowing study hall students minimal access to their lockers one at a time.


     
    Weekly Update - 8/21/2020
  • Our first week is now history. So many things about getting “back at it” with some semblance of normal on campus were very satisfying, for teachers and for students. Our theme for the year, “He Loves Us to the End,” resonated through much of our week’s experiences. 

    Gov. Ducey yesterday reported that numbers in Arizona remain strong and moving in a positive direction, and for that news we are most grateful! 

    We promised that you would be receiving an update at least every Friday to give you an assessment of the week past and to inform you of any changes as we move into the week ahead. 

    ASSESSMENT 
    • By all accounts, we were happy to note that most of our kids willingly cooperated and wore their masks, kept their distance as possible, and managed the new routines and schedules with some comfort.
    • Our screening process to start the day has run with amazing efficiency, and arrival to home room and first classes has not been an issue.
    • Online student participation through Google Classroom and Google Meet has gone quite well too, after overcoming first-day challenges (these were fairly few!). While we strongly discourage students from flipping back and forth between on-campus and online, we do encourage kids who are at home for health reasons or due to screening responses to login and participate in the live class sessions if they’re not too sick. They will be marked “present” for class if they have logged in and interacted with the teacher at the beginning of the period, and “absent” if not.

    CHANGES 
    • We are recommending no changes to the procedures and protocols we have put into place for our days at school.
    • The Maricopa County Department of Public Health released this past Wednesday new definitions of appropriate face coverings. They have actively discouraged the use of valve masks for use in school stating that they are not effective in lowering the wearer’s respiratory droplets from shooting out of the valve. So we are adjusting our list of appropriate face coverings to reflect this definition: no use of valve masks while at school, effective Monday, August 24.




     
    Daily Wellness Checks - 8/10/2020
  • 1) At Home

    • Parents should screen their child(ren) before they leave for school.
    • Ask child if they have a fever, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, a new loss of senses of taste or smell, or been exposed to someone who has COVID. 
    • Take child's temp to ensure a reading lower than 100.4.

    2) At ALA
    • Please make every effort to arrive on campus between 7:25-7:35 a.m.
    • Students will line up (masks on) in their assigned groups each morning beginning at 7:30 a.m.
      • Group 1 = A - D
      • Group 2 = E - Harr
      • Group 3 = Hart - Marq
      • Group 4 = Mart - O
      • Group 5 = P - St
      • Group 6 = Sw - Z
    • We will take the temperature first.
    • Students will proceed to answer the following questions.
      • Do you have a fever, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, or been exposed to someone who has COVID?
    • Students who arrive at/after 7:55 a.m. must be screened in the school office.
    Face Masks - 8/10/2020
    • Face masks are required on all buses at all times and in most places on campus, including most classes.
    • The school will provide a face mask to students who forget it at home. The cost will be $1/face mask.
    • Face masks may have designs on them but must be in keeping with our dress code guidelines.
    • You may be interested to read what the CDC recommends regarding the wearing of masks. 
    Extra Supplies for School - 7/27/2020
  • Our Reopening Plan indicates that all students are responsible for bringing the following things to school. These may not have been listed in the supply list provided earlier:
    • Personal face mask. Be sure that, if these have designs, they are in keeping with our school dress code.
    • Backpack. Our normal policy is that backpacks are not to be carried from class to class, but under the special circumstances we have outlined, they will be expected to start this year and will allow students to carry supplies for up to three classes at one time without going back to their lockers.
    • Wired (not wireless) headphones/earbuds. These are for use in class and must work with the device students will be using in class.
    CDC Statement - 7/27/2020
  • The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has issued a statement regarding the decision to return to school. 

    READ THE CDC STATEMENT
     
    Back-to-School Meetings - 7/23/2020
  • Every ALA student—whether new or returning—is required to attend a Back-to-School Meeting with one parent. These meetings will take place prior to the start of the school year.
    • Each family will attend ONE session. Older siblings will attend with a new student at a NEW STUDENT meeting.
    • New students may not attend a RETURNING STUDENT meeting.
    • All meetings will cover Q&A about what to expect this school year.
    • The NEW STUDENT meetings will also serve as a new student/parent orientation.
    SIGN UP HERE for your meeting time.

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School Reopening Plan

As we plan for the opening of our 2020-2021 school year, please join us in giving thanks for the many blessings God has given the ALA community over this spring and summer. 

  • We are thankful that God allowed us to be able to finish the last school year seeing continued student academic and spiritual growth through a global pandemic.  
  • We are thankful that God allowed us to have a safe and meaningful graduation service and send-off for our class of 2020.  
  • We are thankful that God has blessed the efforts of the ALA Reopening Task Force and ALA’s faculty and staff who have been working hard this summer to resume education for your students as the future is uncertain.  
  • As a faculty and staff, we are also thankful for the great support and input we have had from you, the parents of ALA.  

The ALA Reopening Task Force has developed plans regarding the reopening of our campus for the school year. Please be reminded that the health situation is fluid. We intend to carry out these conscientious plans without fear while being able to react quickly to a changing environment in the best interest of the ALA community. In the same way that you have entrusted your children into our care in the past, we hope that this information helps you to entrust them into our care moving forward. We appreciate your support, encouragement, advice, and prayers, and we look forward to moving ahead with you and seeing what blessings God has in store for us.  

Grace and peace,

The ALA Reopening Task Force
 

Reopening Plan: Introduction

Please watch this first.



 

Plan Overview

Our school plan is outlined in the slideshow below. Click to advance each slide. Use the left arrow (on a keyboard) to go to previous slide.
 
 

Resource Links

 
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