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246687_10152093847100537_562467375_nOur first Dream Big Saturday is today!

October 10,2015. 12-2 pm

Join us for board games, crafts, and a Lego Challenge!

The PTA is also sponsoring a community cafe in the main hallway.

Dream Big!

Relo Village takes shape on the playground field.

Relo Village takes shape on the playground field.

Airport Heights will host our 2015 Open House this Thursday from 6- 7:30 pm.

Teachers will share information about our programs and goals for students.

It’s going to be a little different this year as we have no gym to meet with all the families at once. Instead we’ll have our school information presentation on a rotation along with the classroom visits:

  • 6:00-6:20 Kindergarten Parents Title 1/PTA meeting • Classroom visits
  • 6:25-6:45 Grades 1 & 2 Parents Title 1/PTA meeting• Classroom visits
  • 6:50-7:10 Grades 3 & 4 Parents Title 1/PTA meeting• Classroom visits
  • 7:15-7:25 Grades 5 & 6 Parents Title 1/PTA meeting• Classroom visits

We’ve had a great start to the school year and are excited to share our temporary facilities with families.

We will have some snacks, but no pizza this year.

Airport Heights now has a dedicated bus loading zone and parent drop/pick up lane.

Please note and prepare for new traffic patterns at and around the school as student begin to arrive on Wednesday morning.

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If you have not yet been able to register students for school at Airport Heights this year, we’d love to see you (or see your online registration).

You can still register online through Friday, August 14.

Registration at the school is open from 9- 3 pm.

If you have questions or need assistance, please give our terrific office staff a call at 742-4550.

We’re getting down to the wire for the start of school and the renovation staging is in full swing.

There has been a lot of progress in prepping the school for learning these last weeks and we have a lot of work ahead of us.

Our first priority, as always, is to make sure the site is safe for students, families, and staff. Here’s a list of things that have been underway:

  • Water has been turned back on and all the lines have been sanitized for public use
  • Asphalt drives and cement walkways have been completed
  • Walls have been installed in the old library to make new teaching spaces for the coming year.
  • The temporary kitchen has been completed in room 20
  • Relo village phones and intercoms are being installed and are nearly ready for use
  • ADA handicap accessibility ramp was added to the front door

Here are some of the items on our “to-do” list

  • Finish temporary offices for Counselor, Speech, and OT/PT services
  • Add temporary walkways to and from relo village and to support entry and exit patterns of students to buses and parent pick up
  • Paint the parking areas
  • Complete temporary land scaping around new walkways

More safety items– The Positive Foundations Team met on Friday to make safety plans for operation in our “construction zone” learning site. We will continue to visit our safety plan throughout the year.

Do you like kids? Do you have some time you’d like to use to help your neighborhood school?

Airport Heights is looking for a few dedicated people to supervise our students during lunch and recess at the school.

It’s a 2 1/2 hour commitment per day from 11-1:30. There is some flexibility with time and days of the week.

If you have interest or questions, please contact the school at 742-4550 or you can email me (Mike Webb) at webb_michael@asdk12.org

Thanks Everyone! and Dream Big Airport Heights.

As construction continues at the Airport Height’s School site a big focus is shifting to the work that needs to be done to get the school ready for learning this Fall.

Turn on the water. One of the major projects this summer has been to bring all of the water lines and drains up to current standards. There has been no water at the school since the early part of June. This week, the construction crew will reconnect the main water line to the school, reattach any disconnected lines, pressurize and then sanitize the system so all will be working when our office staff returns to work on July 22.

Kitchen in a classroom. The temporary kitchen is moving to room 20. There is a lot of work being done here to not only prepare the room for this year’s  needs, but also to make it ready for renovation next summer. The temporary kitchen should be ready for equipment the first week of August.

Relo Village is nearing completion. This has been a huge part of the summer plan to get the school ready for students this year. The crews had to first clear and level the pad for the trailers. Then they had to bring in several tons of D1 gravel to make a solid foundation. Next, the relos were brought to Airport Heights from the project at Girdwood. Finally, the crews have been putting in utility poles and running wire to connect the buildings, the IT department is adding the network connectivity we’ll need to manage our programs, and the warehouse crew has been moving the teacher supplies into each teacher’s new location. We’ve still got to add steps. The temporary classroom will be available to teacher on August 12.

Parking lots, walkways, and trees. One of the most noticeable changes to the school is that the whole front yard has been removed for a new parking lot. If you drive by the school today, you’ll see a huge pile of gravel that will be used to set a foundation for the asphalt paving which is set for the 1st week of August. Yesterday, the construction crews were busy clearing another area in the back of the school for an additional parking lot. They had to remove 3 clumps of trees for the project (totaling 8 trees) and we anticipate that a few more trees will need to go before the project is complete. It looks pretty bare and open compared to the old wooded playground. Don’t forget that new trees and foliage will be added before the project is complete and that there used to be three relos out there too– that’s a lot of space that’s been opened up.

The work has also started to repave the playground track that circles the outside of the yard. The original plans had the track running through about 7-8 more trees. The construction team worked with the school district to reroute the track around most of these beautiful birches. In the end, we anticipate the removal of only three more trees to complete the track.

Raising the roof of the gym. The last update noted that the old gym was nearly demolished. The crews are now replacing the old spans on the roof. We will have temporary offices in place of the old stage this year– these too will need to be ready by the time our staff comes back in August.

Foundations for expansion. The foundations have been or are being poured for the new Lifeskills suite and the expanded kindergarten classrooms. The Lifeskills rooms will be completed and open for use in December. The Kindergarten rooms will not be renovated until Winter, but setting the foundation now will help the crews be able to comlpete these renovated spaces before the school year ends.

That’s all for now. I’ll post another update in about two weeks or as needed. As always, please let us know if you have any questions about the project.

 

 

 

 

Anyone who has been by the school can tell you that things are a little different at the school this summer.

Here is a brief update of what’s been going on and some answers to questions that have come from the neighbor hood.

The renovation work started as soon as the students left the building. In the intermediate wing the crews have been taking out all the old walls and fixtures, removing  asbestos and digging trenches for repair and renew the old plumbing system.

The school yard has seen a lot of work too. You’ll notice that the front lawn has been removed to make way for the new parking and parent drop of driveway. The playground equipment is all dismantled and stored near the hill. The workers had to remove two huge oil tanks that were buried near the school. (When the school first opened these tanks were used to store the fuel that kept the school warm in the winter.) We also have a giant gravel pad on the playground and 10 relo classrooms so that school can go on during the removation.

The gym has been completely stripped of everything except the floors and the stage is gone. (The stage will be turned into temporary offices for the coming school year before being converted to a gym office and storage area.

Questions from the neighborhood

1. When the movers brought the relo classrooms on to the site, they ran over the median on 16th Avenue. Will there be any effort the restore the plants that were flattened by the move?

Anything that is altered or damaged because of the construction will be restored by the time the project is complete in August of 2016. In this case, the relos will be coming out when the project is done, so, anything done to address issues caused by the move will be delayed until they can be permanently addressed. The best case scenario, of course, is that nothing gets damaged in the first place. The crews are taking precautions as work proceeds to minimize impact. Our project supervisor made sure that when the relos went in that as much of the plant life as possible would be protected. You’ll notice that the irises were not damaged at all and a little sapling at the end of the median was spared too.

2. Is there a new plan in place to move the medians on 16th for bus traffic?

There are no plans to change the city roads around the school beyond the initial, approved plan. They construction crew did need to change the entryway onto the Airport Heights site.

3. How many trees have been removed from the site? Will more trees be coming down?

10-12 trees were removed from the playground to make way for the new parking area, walkways, and relo pad. There is a possibility of 1-2 more coming down in the back.

All of the front yard trees are likely to be removed as the new parking and drive-through is right in the path. You can be sure that the final plans do include adding lots of trees and ground foliage to the site.

4. Can neighbors reclaim anything from the renovation like sod, downed birches, dirt, etc?

Aside from the disbursement of materials that are a part of contracts in the renovation process (for example the excavators have first right to the downed trees as a part of their fee structure), the rest of the renovation items are not likely to made available to the public for a coule of reasons. 1. Safety– The entire school site has been turned over to the contractor and they are responsible for the safety of anyone that  comes on the property. They cannot support the supervision that would be needed to maintain a safe work zone and allow the public access to the site to reclaim materials. 2. Timeline— The school is scheduled to be reopened for business in late July. The contractors focus is to get the job done as quickly and safely as possible. Again, they are not equipped with the resource to manage the distribution of salvageable items from the project.

Thank you.

As the project continues, we want to be sure and continue to articulate our gratitude to the neighbors and community of Airport Heights for your concern, patience, and willingness to put up with this project as we work to improve our school.

Let us know if you have more questions. I’ll try and get these updates out every few weeks to keep everyone up to speed with the project.

Here are some pictures of the work at Airport Heights:

Goal: School staff communicate school wide behavior expectations that are understood and met by students.

79% of student had no office behavior referrals this year.
91% of students had 0-2 office behavior referrals this year.

There is definitely some room to improve here. Our Positive Behavior Support Team– Positive Foundations, will analyze all of this information and set goals for improvement in the coming year.

A climate of positive behavior is essential if students are to learn and grow. Airport Heights continues to emphasize behavior and climate in our daily work and efforts to make sure that the school is safe, and a great place for kids and families.

We had some ups and downs in our behavior this year and during the 2nd semester saw fit to begin a multi-year process to revamp our behavior management structure at the school. Because of some of the changes that we made, the data here is not entirely consistent with the reports from other years. In the future, we believe that the changes will allow us to more effectively target and address areas of concern and maximize instruction at the school.

In 2014-2015 the school staff determined 5 priorities in dealing with behavior at the school:

  1. Change student behaviors

  2. Increase Learning Time

  3. Support Safety

  4. Teach that actions have consequences

  5. Affirm the unified expectations of our staff

How did this year stack up against others?

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Airport Heights office behavior referrals 2011-2015.

We started strong this year, with the lowest number of referrals in 4 years. Then as the year progressed we started see some issues arise and by the 3rd quarter we were ahead of our average (we want to be below).

The year ended on par with other years.

We are focused on improving behavior at Airport Heights. This is a priority for the 2015-2016 school year.

 

Changing the way we look at behavior

Starting in January, we shifted out referral process to include two levels of behavior.

Level 2– Behaviors that are administered at the classroom level. These can range from minor pushing incidents and horseplay to poor language, to being off task. Any time a student loses learning time due to a behavior, we try to record it with at least a Level 2 referral.

Level 3– These are more significant behavior like fighting, continuing harassment, stealing, or any time a teacher assesses the situation to be out of control.

89% of students had NO Level 3 referrals this year.
94% of students had 0-1 Level 3 referrals this year.
98.5% of students had 0-4 Level 3 referrals this year.

Losing Class Time

One of the reasons we changed the way we look at behavior is so we can measure how much learning time is being lost by poor student behavior choices.

Here is what we found out when we added the Level 2 behavior referral in January:

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2014-2015 Level 2 & 3 Referrals (Note: 1st and 2nd Quarter are estimates based on the former system data.)

Note the 93 Level 2 behaviors in the 3rd quarter. This means that students missed some part of class 93 times. That’s a lot of lost learning.

The good news is that the awareness of this situation will help us use our resources to improve the time that students are in class learning and improve the climate for all students.

Our school is now using the Safe and Civil School Foundations to improve school wide positive behavior support. This is a multi-tiered platform that will guide our teams on a path of continuous improvement for many years.

 

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