Ahead of the first day of school at Apex Academy, school leaders pulled together to host a special, socially distanced Open House to ensure families we prepared to tackle the year ahead.
Staff members recently discussed a best-practice option to disseminate materials to families, considering various learning models and landed on a carefully organized and orchestrated Open House. The three-day event included scheduled appointments that took place during 20-minute increments and were scheduled ahead of time by Apex’s deans and teachers. Everyone who entered the building was required to wear a mask and comply with temperature checks.
During the Open House, parents arrived at two gym doors where they had their temperatures taken before proceeding to the next station. Once inside, they then received their blue or gold gift bag, which contained items that pertained to the preferred learning model. The bags included various items such as shields, masks, folders, pens, headphones, and water bottles.
“Everyone had cleaning supplies to disinfect after every person and it was a well-oiled machine!” said Jen Littlefield, principal at Apex Academy. “We had 92% of our families show up at their scheduled time and those who did not, the care team has rescheduled them for a different date.”
At the event, scholars or their families received a 2020-2021 school calendar, a Chromebook, a water bottle, a face shield, one set of earbuds, and a book bag tag. Students also received instructional materials for at-home learning, including both hybrid and virtual, and a school re-opening plan and agreement, among other items.
“We are going to adopt this as a best practice moving forward,” said Littlefield. “We have all of our forms completed and my registrar is able to get all documentation for our new students.”
Apex’s staff members ensured the day went smoothly by escorting families to their designated stations where they could complete required forms and pick up materials. One popular station allowed teachers to instruct families on procedures for logging into their technology devices and making sure they were set to hit the ground running on the first day.
“Our Open House was an overwhelming success for families and staff!” said Littlefield.
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Apex Academy is a tuition-free, public charter school in East Cleveland, Ohio, serving students in kindergarten through eighth grade. It is part of the National Heritage Academies network, which includes over 95 tuition-free, public charter schools serving more than 65,000 students in kindergarten through 12th grade across nine states. For more information, visit nhaschools.com.