March 31, 2020

Dear Cedar Ridge Parents and Guardians:
Thank you so much for your patience as we work through this challenging situation to provide the best educational opportunities we can provide for your children. I know the lives of our students have been turned upside down by the coronavirus, and I know it has disrupted your lives as caregivers. Please know that we at Cedar Ridge want the school to be a source of support, not a place to add more burdens to your heavy load. Please pause and take a deep breath - we will get through this stressful situation and be better for it.

I know the AMI packets, PBS, etc. have been a large source of stress. Please do not let it be. We are simply trying to provide options and opportunities to continue to try and provide an education for your child. There is not an AMI packet or program in the world that can take the place of your child coming to school and having a relationship with our teachers and staff. Nothing can replace the personal touch they provide to your precious children. My daughter told me last week she did not realize how much she would miss school, and how much she misses her teachers.

We are working today to contact all families to gather some information to help us better serve you. We are asking for your correct address, how many children live in your home, if you need breakfast and lunch, do you have access to PBS on TV, do you have internet access, and how you want to receive the AMI packet/information. If you do not receive a call today, please contact the school at 870-201-2577, ext 0208.

After personally reviewing more of the “Arkansas AMI” on Arkansas PBS (public broadcasting system), I want families to know there are options in completing AMI assignments. Many of the activities included in the week 1 “Arkansas AMI” packet will be fun to complete with your child, but depending on your schedule they can be completed with other siblings or independently as well. Pick 2-3 from each section (Literacy Corner, Math Mania, THINK like a Scientist!, and Fun Zone) to complete for the entire week. In the literacy section, there is an option for free choice - you can select reading that is meaningful to your family. My hope is for these activities to be enjoyable and not to add stress to an already challenging time.

Yesterday we understood the content on Arkansas PBS channel would be actual teachers presenting age-appropriate material. This is not the case. It is teachers introducing topics followed by educational programming selected by the State Department of Education and PBS. We do not have the ability to preview the materials in advance. We receive the programming when everyone receives it. PBS broadcasted content on Monday and the 3​ -5​ section discussed controversial information, which included information on the Big Bang Theory and evolution. It is important for each family to be aware that there are options in completing AMI work. You have the choice to adjust your child’s learning in a manner that works for you. Please know you can complete the activities in the packet without watching any of the PBS material. ​Some of the options include Arkansas PBS, Edgenuity, Khan Academy Learning, Reflex, Epic, Prodigy, reading books, etc.

Some students might choose to complete nearly every activity in the PBS AMI packet, while others might complete just a few. At the end of the week, we would like for each student to turn in two assignments or activities to be counted towards attendance. The packets can be turned in next week at the Agri. Building, personally picked up at your home by a school employee, or a picture of the activity can be submitted through ClassDojo or by email to your teacher’s email address. We will also be collecting AMI Days 1-5 starting next Monday, April 6th. You can deliver this to the Agri. Building or we can collect as we make deliveries.

Based on your current situation each student's work will vary significantly. I hope these assignments can be completed in a manner that is educational and enjoyable for your child. We are here to answer any questions and help. This entire process is new. Please be patient with us as we work through challenges and determine options that work for each families’ needs.

Thank you,
Dr. Andy Ashley