Hi A+UP Family Community,

There hasn’t been a harder time to be a parent in recent history. I know that each of you is doing the best that you can for your family and yourself in these trying times. I have tremendous respect for each of you and hope that through our work at A+UP, we can be a support for you and your family.

This is the first of a series of emails that will be coming in the next two weeks. Today, I will explain our decision for delaying the start of in-person classes and share our next steps for the fall semester.

Our School Re-Opening Plan:
The Current Situation:

• We recognize that Covid-19 is hurting Houston right now and that it looks bad in our home town.
• We know that the A+UP remote learning program was better than other schools’ programs.
• We know that in-person learning is better than remote learning for most kids.
• Most area school districts are starting classes remotely.

Fall Semester Plan:

The first day of classes will be Monday, August 24. We are not following HISD’s calendar. Classes will be online.
We will be delaying in-person classes for the first 4 weeks of school (Monday, August 24 – Friday, September 18). There will not be in-person classes for those 4 weeks.
• We will deliver a high-quality online learning experience for all students.
• We will continue to fine-tune our well-developed campus plan for in-person learning, for when the time comes to reopen the building.

Plan for In-Person Classes:

• The earliest A+UP would start in-person classes would be September 21.
• On or before September 7, our board will meet to review all Covid-19 data as well as review all guidance from state and local governments.
We will continue to offer remote learning as long as needed for families choosing that option.
• We will review the following Harris County data when deciding to offer in-person learning:

• Covid-19 infection rate
• Hospitalizations rate
• Mortality numbers

• We will use the data from the Texas Medical Center for infection and hospitalization rates. We will use the Texas Department of State Health Services website for mortality rates.
• We will stay informed of scientific research and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and leading universities regarding safely opening schools.
• We will only consider opening if:

• Allowed by Harris County
• The trends in the above data show 2 weeks of positive results

• We will be posting this data on our website and Facebook page regularly.

We know that despite our strong performance in online learning, in-person learning is better for most kids and we want to return to school when it is safe to do so. We also want to let you know that the safety of your child and our team is most important.

Because of our size and ability to be agile and quick, A+UP will be able and willing to be flexible and innovative in our school design. Other districts may need to delay opening schools due to logistical issues related to their size. If and when it is safe to reopen, we will be able to do so more efficiently and more safely than bigger and wealthier districts.

If and when we open the building to in-person learning at some point this fall, your child has the option to continue learning online. The state is allowing schools to offer remote learning to students for the fall semester.  We believe that option will be made available by the state for the entire year and A+UP is ready to deliver the best online learning experience to your child this year.

You can expect future communication this coming week, including:

– A survey to get your input about our plan
– Our plan for online learning
– Our plan for in-person learning
– Our safety plan

Finally, please know that we are working on two main things right now:

1. Creating the best online learning experience for your child
2. Finding a way to meet the social and emotional needs of your child while we are remote.

As always, reach out to me or Coach Mac if you have any questions or feedback.
Paul Castro: pcastro@aplusup.org 713-204-3837
Kap McWhorter: kmcwhorter@aplusup.org 281-630-5673

And finally, we have about 10 spots left for the fall semester (all grades are eligible). If you know a friend or family member who is understandably worried about the coming year and think would like to learn more about our school, please tell them to check us out at www.aplusup.org, or give them our numbers. Kap and I would be happy to talk to them and let them know more about our school.

Stay safe,
Paul Castro