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Information for Parents & Students (8/6/20)

Greetings Falcon Families!

As always, we hope this message finds you doing well and staying healthy! We wanted to update you on our back-to-school plans, and give you some important dates and procedures. We understand that this is a lot of information to process, but, we also want to make sure you have the information you need. This information will be posted on our school web site and we encourage you to contact the school if you have any questions at all. We are always happy to help!


LAPTOP DISTRIBUTION: First, the most important piece of equipment your child will need this year is their laptop. We will be distributing laptops here at AC Flora during the week of August 17th - 21st. We will be distributing laptops throughout the day on each day of that week, and we will send out a detailed schedule (based on student last names), including make-up days/procedures, in the coming days. For now, we want you to have these dates on your radar, and please know that this process will be conducted with safety in mind. Because of this, the laptop checkout process will take longer than it would during a normal school year, and we appreciate your patience and understanding during this exceptional time. Again, be on the lookout for further details!


STUDENT ACCOUNT PASSWORDS: In preparation for laptop distribution, we want you to be aware that student passwords may be reset over the course of the next week. If your student uses their Richland One email account regularly, uses any associated Microsoft apps, or has it synced with a mobile device, their account may temporarily be unavailable until they come to pick up their laptop during the week of August 17th-21st. To be clear, their account will NOT be deleted or changed. Once your student has been issued their laptop for this school year, we will walk them through logging in for the first time and updating/changing their password to one of their choosing. This is standard procedure at the beginning of the year, but we wanted to make you aware of it in advance.


SCHOOL-ISSUED ITEMS: The distribution of other school-related items (textbooks, novels, instruments, art supplies, calculators, etc.) will occur after the start of eLearning (August 31st). Currently, we anticipate incorporating the distribution of these items into the optional one-day-a-week in-person instruction that is scheduled to begin on September 14th. The reason for this is that our teachers will need time to determine which specific items will need to be issued, and to which students. Regardless, your student will have the items that they need, and teachers will be prepared to be flexible as we make this transition. We anticipate that online textbooks will be used in many classes, but there will of course be a need for hard copy textbooks, novels, etc. to be distributed. Other course-specific items will be handled on a class-by-class basis, and these pick-up processes will be communicated in the near future. As this entire process normally occurs in person during the first few weeks of school, we appreciate your understanding as we work to adapt this process for this unique school year.


STUDENT SCHEDULES: We know that our students and families are anxiously awaiting their schedules! We are currently finishing up the process of converting our Master Schedule from an overall A/B schedule to a 4x4 block schedule. The exception to this will be our AP and IB courses, which will run all year long. We are also in the process of building each student's schedule individually, by hand, and with care. We know that schedules may not always be perfect, but we are working hard to get them right for each of our Falcons. When they are available, we will communicate the process for viewing your student's schedule, and we will, of course, be ready to answer any questions you may have and make any adjustments that are deemed necessary.


PSAT/Pre-ACT INFO: We are currently planning on administering the PSAT and Pre-ACT to select grade levels this fall at AC Flora. The cost of these exams is covered by the district, and the exams are FREE for all students who choose to take them. The Pre-ACT is a practice exam for the ACT, which is a college entrance exam. The PSAT is a practice exam for the SAT, which is also used for college admissions, but, in addition, is also used as the qualifying exam for the National Merit Scholarship Program for students in the 11th grade. Both of these exams allow students the opportunity to practice and prepare for the ACT and SAT, and to understand how they may perform on those exams in the future.

The Pre-ACT is offered to freshmen and the PSAT is offered to sophomores and juniors. Taking these exams is optional, but, in order to opt-in to the exams, students must sign up by clicking here. The deadline to sign up is August 17th, and if you do not sign up, you will not be tested this fall! You may contact our Director of School Counseling, Moira Porter, at moira.porter@richlandone.org if you have any questions or need additional information. More details will be forthcoming about testing dates, times, and procedures, but we are currently planning to administer these exams in person this fall.


PARKING PASSES: Parking is always an adventure at Flora! We will be handling parking a bit differently this year in order to accommodate the various potential in-person schedules that may occur throughout the year. Our normal AC Flora parking pass will be offered to seniors first, and then to juniors by lottery. We will also be offering an additional parking pass for other student drivers to take advantage of during the the hybrid phase (Phase 2), as we anticipate extra spaces being available on those days. We know that the nature of this school year will require as much transportation accommodation as possible, and we are committed to making that happen. We are also happy to report that all parking passes for the 2020-2021 school year will be FREE for all students who qualify. Please be on the lookout for additional details coming soon! 


SENIOR ITEMS: Even with all that is going on at this time, we are ready to celebrate the Class of 2021! We have tentatively scheduled dates in September for Senior Portraits as well as the ordering of Graduation supplies. We are currently working to confirm the exact details and logistics with our vendors so that we can communicate how these processes will occur. Legacy Studios (senior portraits) and Jostens/Rhodes Graduation Services (grad items) will be contacting senior families throughout the year with more information. You will also receive information from AC Flora about these important milestone events that mean a lot to us, as we know they do to you!


UNDERCLASSMEN PICTURES: As with Senior Portraits, we are working with Legacy Studios to schedule this for the fall. Once we have details about how this will be handled, we will communicate them ASAP!


Finally, we know that a lot of information in these unique times often comes with the caveats of "coming soon" or "to be determined." We want to say thank you for your flexibility, understanding, and patience as we work hard to plan and prepare for this school year. And while conditions, details, and plans may sometimes seem to change almost daily, please know that we are committed to making this year safe, healthy, and positive for every member of the Falcon Family. We look forward to seeing you soon!


Thanks and Go Falcons!