School Year 2020-2021

Updates

    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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