To the A+UP Family Community,

These past few months have been tough on kids and families. The end of school was quite different from what we had originally planned, but we made the best of it. We are now getting ready for the new school year and there are a lot of questions out there.

While we would love to see every single smiling face in August, we also know that may not be possible. Regardless of what happens, we want you to know that we are committed to figuring things out and making 2020-21 the best year possible for all of our scholars and families. A+UP is a small community that is flexible and committed to doing our best in these uncertain but hopeful times.

I know you all want answers to your questions about the coming school year. This letter will not answer all of the questions you have. It will lay out our best thinking and our best plan for the future as we see it now.

Our plan is the result of conversations with many parents, our board, and our faculty. We have also looked at our survey results and have studied what the scientists are saying about reopening schools. Everything below is based upon where we stand today. If the situation changes, we are flexible and will change our plans, too. We love our scholars and coaches, so safety will always be our first priority.

Our Commitments–  We will:

  • Prioritize the health and safety of students, faculty, staff, and our families.
  • Provide the best possible education for each student
  • Meet the social and emotional needs of our student community

Our Plan

• If allowed by local officials, we will have in-person school this year. What exactly that looks like will depend on the health and safety facts in August.
• We will definitely offer online school this year. Families will be able to choose 100% online learning if they are concerned about COVID-19.
• Our school calendar has been decided and approved by our board
• We have added one week to the start of school so that we have a head-start on our work
• First day of school will be August 17
• Otherwise, the calendar is the same as we first announced and is the same as HISD’s current calendar
• Family choice will be an important factor. If a family opts to have their child do remote learning, we are prepared to provide a strong A+UP learning experience for them. If a parent wants their child to learn in-person, we will work with them to make that happen.
• Every child will be provided with a school-issued laptop and access to all of our learning software. The school will work with families who are having wi-fi connectivity issues.
• Every child will get the best education we can provide, regardless of where they are learning.
• We will provide a program that educates the whole child in both settings.

Campus Safety–

• A+UP will take every safety precaution for on-campus school.
• We will follow state and local guidelines for safety inside the classroom.
• Student temperatures will be taken prior to entering the building
• Students and faculty will wear masks in the building
• Physical distancing will be taught and enforced throughout the day
• Safety systems will be followed during every step of the day to make sure that our kids and faculty are safe. This includes:

  1. Drop-off
  2. Restroom breaks
  3. Lunch
  4. Break time
  5. Pick-up
  • Sanitizer stations are spread throughout the building and will be used
  • HEPA-filter air purifiers have been placed in each classroom and the Commons. They will assist in cleaning the air in each classroom
  • Cleaning will be regularly done

The A+UP Way:

This past spring was tough for everyone. We know that we need to take care of our kids and their social-emotional learning. We are working on a plan that will work for both in-person and remote schooling.

We have worked to build on our spring successes. We are building-in ways to track student effort and success as well as track our work with your children.

We are a school that focuses on character through our virtues and that won’t stop next year. We will reinforce our virtues, like Ownership and Perseverance.

Our team spent June teaching remote summer school with just over 20 students. We used that time to practice new skills that we will use this coming year. A+UP was good this spring. We want to be the best school this coming year.

We will continue to work like our kids’ futures depend on it.

Next Steps:

  • We will be sending a survey in mid-July to all registered families to ask whether parents want full in-person classes or full remote classes. We will use that information to help us finalize our plans for August.
  • We will communicate future updates and messages by email and on our website, as well as on Facebook (

On behalf of our team, I thank you for the chance to work with you and your children. Thank you for the encouraging notes and messages you have sent to our coaches and me. This is truly a special community.

As always, please feel free to reach out directly if you have any questions.

Rise Phoenix,

Paul Castro
A+UP Charter School

Perseverance is working through challenges to achieve our goal.