Dear Parents and Guardians:
We are excited to announce that a new middle school concept will begin next school year! Starting in August of 2020, Middle School will be 5th through 8th grade!
5th grade students will still be in their own homeroom classes for the entire day with the exception of an elective period where they will be integrated with 6th grade. This year will be considered their apprenticeship into Middle School.
We are very excited to roll this concept out for the 2020-2021 school year and think that it will truly allow your child to maximize their educational experience at ACA. Given the uncertainty of the global pandemic, please note that some plans are subject to change. As always safety and health are our number one priorities for all stakeholders, therefore ACA will always adhere to federal, state, and local health guidelines. We appreciate your continued support with this.
Here are a few details:
5th and 6th grade classrooms will primarily be located in the current 3rd-5th grade building while 7th and 8th grade classes will remain in the current MS building.
Middle school lunch/recess is growing, and in order to allow students room to eat, play and socialize two lunch/recesses will be provided.
5th and 6th grade will have a lunch/recess and 7th and 8th grade with have a separate time.
If you are a current 4th and 5th grade student and are interested in seeing where your classes will be next year, ACA will be offering tours of the building over the summer by appointment only. Keep in mind; this is contingent upon social distancing guidelines as directed by the state and local government.
Please check out the enclosed Frequently Asked Questions regarding our new Middle School concept and if you have any questions please contact us: https://www.azcharter.com/contact
We are very much looking forward to what 2020-2021 will bring us and continuing to defy odds – we can and we will!
Frequently Asked Questions for Integrating 5th Grade into Middle School
Why are you moving 5th grade to Middle School? This will allow ACA to provide high quality programs and support that address both the social-emotional well-being of each child and the academic needs of the students. This will also allow 6th grade students another year to mature before fully integrating into Middle School.
How will this improve the experience of students? This change will improve the ability for 5th graders to adjust to middle school while providing additional structure to the day and the ability to choose electives of their choice in addition to required courses in music and art. 5th and 6th grade students will be in a separate building most of the school day with the occasional exception of an elective course. 5th and 6th grade will have a separate lunch period as well as a separate elective period. 6th grade will still have a period where they will be integrated with 7th & 8th grade.
What will the hours be for Middle School? Middle School will run from 7:35 – 3:10. The additional time allows longer elective periods to allow students to be immersed in their coursework.
What classes will my student take? Students will continue to take core classes in ELA, Math, and Science and Social Studies. 5th grade will gain a course specific to social studies as well as an intervention and extension period. In addition, students will choose two additional electives each semester from courses such as Fitness, Digital Media, Empower Jr., STEM, Beginning Drawing , PE, etc. 6th - 8th grade will continue to take their current courses as well as an increase in electives offered.
Where will classes be housed? 5th and 6th grade students will be housed predominantly in the current 3rd - 5th building while 7th and 8th grade will be housed in the current Middle School building.
Will 5th - 8th grade students have the same lunch period? No. 5th and 6th grade students will have a separate lunch period from 7th and 8th grade students.
Will 5th grade students have classes with 7th and 8th graders? No. 5th grade students will have their own courses and one period where they will have an elective with 6th grade students.
Will this impact the available elective courses for my child to choose from? By adding the 5th grade students to the Middle School ACA is able to increase the available options for electives. ACA is also adding a technology teacher to K-4 as well as 5-8.
Can my 5th grade student participate in sports? The current plan is to keep sports available to 6th - 8th grade students. We are pursuing the option for sports camps for 5th grade students.
Will 5th grade students officially become part of the Integrated Academy of Studies? Yes, this will serve as their introductory year to the Integrated Academy of Studies.
Will 5th grade students be eligible for Dress for Success? Yes, 5th grade students, along with 6th -8th grade students will be able to Dress for Success if they choose.
Are 5th grade students eligible to wear the Integrated Academy school uniforms? Yes, they will have the option to wear the Integrated Academy of Studies school polo shirts as well Spirit shirts and hoodies.
How will this impact dismissal? 5th grade students would dismiss with the rest of 6th - 8th grade students at 3:10. Students in K-4 who have siblings in 5th - 8th grade would remain in their classroom until Middle School dismissal and would then follow the same process as our current Middle School dismissal.
Will 5th grade join social activities? Appropriate social activities will be blended in order for all of middle school to create unity and establish friendships as well as peer mentoring. However, some activities such as dances will be separated into 5th -6th grade and 7th and 8th grade to accommodate for maturity level, space, and safety for all.
Will 5th grade have a separate student council? Currently the ACA student council will be run by 6th - 8th grade students. 5th grade will nominate 5 students to serve as ambassadors that will occasionally meet with the 6th - 8th grade student council to provide input and serve as a voice for 5th grade students.
Will the snack bar be open during 5th and 6th grade lunch? Yes. 5th and 6th grade students will have the option to purchase snacks from the ACA snack bar.