A Message from the Director - Colorado Skies Academy

A Message from the Director

Hello, CSA!

We’ve now completed one full week in person in our building! We have smoothed out the end-of-the-day pickup routine and the lunch/recess rotations, everyone has found their classes, and we ended the week successfully. We still have more processes to smooth out, but we are off to a tremendous start! 

We have all discovered that we’re not used to the school routine. This week left all of us a bit weary, just as we feel when daylight saving time begins and our natural biorhythms are upset. None of us has been in regular “school mode” since mid-March. That is six full months of being out of the school routine! We all need to applaud one another for what we accomplished this past week. We also need to give one another grace because it will take another week or two for all of us to be acclimated to the new routine.

Please join me in giving our CSA staff major kudos for all they’ve done! They not only moved into a new building but transitioned back to in-person learning, got reacquainted with their learners, while also trying to adjust to the new environment they’re teaching and/or working in. For each staff member, whether in the classroom or outside the classroom, it’s like moving into a new house and, three days later, throwing a party for 225 friends! Wow! Talk about an amazing feat! I am so grateful to each and every CSA staff member — they are TEAM AWESOME!

Your excitement about CSA has permeated to the community, and we have many more learners on the wait list. I am thrilled to share that we were able to hire an additional facilitator who is qualified in both science and math to expand CSA to its limit for this school year! We will be adding new learners from the wait list, and they will join us either on Tuesday or Wednesday of this coming week. At that point, due to COVID restrictions, CSA will be at full capacity. This is a HUGE celebration! Thank you all for spreading the word about the good things happening at your school, Colorado SKIES Academy!

Now for some important updates… Please be sure to read all of them.

October Count: Thursday, October 1

Please support your school of choice, Colorado SKIES Academy! Our funding comes directly from the number of learners who attend on October count, Thursday, October 1. This is how all public schools are funded as well as public charter schools like Colorado SKIES Academy. Please make sure that if your learner is well (passes the COVID Symptom Checker) that s/he is in school on October 1! If, for any reason, your learner needs to remain home on Thursday, please be sure to keep him/her at home. If your learner shows s/he is attending CSA between September 24 and October 8, we can count that learner.

If you want the best for your child, please support the school you have chosen, Colorado SKIES Academy.

MAP (Measures of Academic Progress) Assessments This Week

We will commence with MAP assessments this week, one test per day, except 8th graders will take two assessments on Wednesday/Thursday in science as well. They will be at different times throughout each day so that learners don’t miss the same class period each day. They will be assessed in math, reading, and language usage, and 8th graders will be assessed in science as well. This provides a benchmark for us to gauge growth and help learners set their two academic goals in their Individual Learning Plans (ILPs).

Urgent Messaging System: Blackboard Connect

CSA is using a new messaging system, Blackboard Connect, which allows us to send messages, some urgent, such as school closures/delays and other items, and some not urgent, such as notifications of events. Last week’s Monday Message was sent via email from Blackboard Connect to every household that had provided an email address via Parent Forms to the CCSD Registration Office. This populates contact information in PowerSchool, which is where Blackboard Connect pulls email addresses and phone contact information from for the messaging system. There are not 225 email addresses in PowerSchool. There are far fewer phone numbers in PowerSchool. If you want a text/email about school delays, school closures, emergencies (I hope for none!), or notification of school events, please be sure you have your information in Parent Forms with CCSD Registration. If you are a two-parent household, each household must complete their own Parent Form with CCSD. It is a duplication, but it is what is needed so you get the information you need. Please note: CSA school delays and closures are reported via the following:

  1. Banner on the CSA website main page.
  2. Announcement via Channels 2, 4, 7, 9 and Fox 31.

Full-Day Fridays for Contact Time Missed to Move School

In order to meet the state teacher-student contact hours requirement and allow a sufficient number of days for snow/inclement weather, Colorado SKIES Academy will have three Fridays during Semester 1 that will be all-day Fridays (8:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.). This makes up for the learner contact time lost as a result of moving to our new building on September 10 and 11. The full-day Fridays are as follows:

  • October 9
  • November 6
  • December 11

Parent University: Schoology 101

If you want to know more about how to effectively negotiate Schoology as a parent, please join our Parent University Zoom session, Schoology 101, on Friday, October 9, at 6:30 p.m. This is a session for parents/guardians taught by parents/guardians so you can get the information you need from Schoology to support your CSA learner. Watch future Monday Messages and the CSA website for the Zoom link to join in.

And a few gentle reminders:

  • COVID Symptom Checker: Please complete it EACH day! It is essential to the overall health of all of us, staff and learners alike. All the information is on the main page of the CSA website and also in the 2020-21 School Year drop down list.
  • Learners can bring backpacks for some of their other belongings. Thank you for allowing the “tub of supplies” to remain at CSA, where we can routinely sanitize them. Please remind your learner that school supplies have to remain the sole responsibility of that learner. At this time, we cannot share (sharing is an admirable trait unless you’re in the midst of COVID).
  • Encourage your learner to take advantage of Study Hall, one of the 30-minute periods s/he has in addition to lunch and recess. Learners can work on assignments, see a facilitator to request help, and do a myriad of other productive activities. Using time wisely is an acquired skill. Please encourage your learner to take proactive steps to hone this skill.
  • Please know, and remind your learner, that we are now in person. If your learner has had difficulty uploading assignments to Schoology, understanding what is due and what is completed, etc., etc., all learners have the “in-person” support of their facilitators to work on and complete missing assignments. Online learning is not for everyone. In-person learning works for all learners. The end of Quarter 1 is Friday, October 23. All late assignments are due to facilitators by Monday, October 19, per the CSA Grading Policy. This allows facilitators time to grade the assignments so they can properly calculate a learner’s grade and record it on Friday, October 23. (Study Hall time was built in for moments like these!)

Thank you for being a part of this amazing journey with a new school, where project-based learning has an aerospace/aviation focus. We continue to refine and improve our offerings for your learners and appreciate your support, your encouragement, and your feedback. Your learner is the reason we do what we do. Thank you for sharing your children, tomorrow’s future, with us. 

Warm regards,

Suzanne Acheson
School Director

Suzanne Acheson

Suzanne Acheson

School Director at Colorado SKIES Academy
Suzanne Acheson

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