"Presence Over Productivity"
by Angela Lee, School Social Worker
If 2020 didn't teach us anything else, it taught us that IT CAN WAIT! In our western society, we value and dare I say, honor busy-ness and productivity. When you live in a capitalist society, nothing matters but the bottom line. But all of that came to a massive halt when COVID-19 unapologetically disrupted our daily lives. It's as if someone stripped us of all the luxuries in life and said "Okay, go and figure out how to navigate the basics... all over again". That led me to thinking, we just need to be present. We can no longer plan, because plans are changing everyday. We can no longer mindlessly wander through life, because well hey, that's not working either. We can no longer focus on just producing because that means nothing when your life is literally at stake. All we can do is be present for ourselves and others. Life is to be lived and no amount of productivity will give you back a deep breath needed to center yourself, or a quality nap, or a much needed conversation with an old friend, or quality time at the dinner table with family, or your physical and mental health. So I implore you, in the year of 2021, make being present a priority. Trust me, production will naturally follow.
By the end of January, we will start phone calls to parents and guardians each day with a summary of all periods that your student was marked with an unexcused absence. To report a student absence, please call the main office (773-820-9426) or firstname.lastname@example.org. If you need support with motivating your student or help navigating their schedule, please reach out to Mr. Acevedo, our Student Support team leader, email@example.com
End of Quarter 2 & Semester 1 on Friday, January 22
Over the next couple of weeks, check-in regularly with your child about their school progress to ensure they’re passing each class as we near the end of Quarter 2 and Semester 1 on Friday, 1/22. Reach out to your child’s mentor and teachers with any questions and be on the lookout for communications from them. Quarter 2 Report Cards will be available at Family Conferences on February 10th and 11th.
High School Diagnostic Assessments
Beginning the week of January 11th, our 9th graders will begin taking the i-Ready Diagnostic Assessment. i‑Ready is a comprehensive assessment and instructional program that empowers educators with the resources they need to help all students succeed. The Diagnostic assessment will not be graded but will be used as a resource to determine students' readiness for state learning standards. The student data will help guide instruction to personalize learning pathways for students.
To prepare students for the assessment, encourage them to relax, take their time, and do the best they can. Please visit the link i-Ready.com/FamiliesAssessAtHome and watch the video to learn more about i-Ready and its excellent benefits to fostering positive learning experiences for students. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Mrs. Veriner James via email at Vjames@distinctiveschools.org.
Welcome Back! The Student Support Team (SST) would like to welcome everyone back from Winter Break. We are now wrapping up our 2nd quarter and hope to see everyone end on a high note. Be sure to reach out to your mentor and the SST team if you need any support with academics or health/wellness needs. Your SST Team includes:
January Happiness Calendar: Daily activities to bring happiness and joy to your life and that of others.
Synergy/Summit: Learn how to support your student with Summit (English/Science/Math/History) and Synergy (Spanish/Arts/Attendance) by watching this video.
Academic Integrity: AIM’s approach to preparing students for college and beyond includes integrity and hard work. It is expected that students' work be theirs and that they are following all expectations on assignments, projects, and assessments. Students who have violated academic integrity standards will have to do the assignment again, do a project on academic integrity, and will get a phone call home for first time incidents. Larger penalties may come if there is a persistent issue. If students are struggling with the concepts or work, please reach out to teachers and/or student support for assistance. We want to help.
Managing Screen Time: Students still want to play video games, watch TV, or use their devices, though they’re on the computer all day in school. Check out this video on screen-time for tips.
2020.2021 Applications are OPEN!
If you know any students in grades 7, 8, 9 or 10 who would like to join the AIM Family, have them visit aimchicago.org for all information. Also, please invite them to our next virtual open house. Seats are limited and we are already developing a waitlist for next year!