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Apr 24, 2020

Dear NDPA Family,

I am so impressed with the way our community has handled the Coronavirus curve ball. Teachers are becoming expert digital content creators, and parents, you are becoming expert home school instructors. And all of us can’t wait to return to our old roles. Thank you, thank you!

Last week, I promised a follow-up message to inform you of how we will proceed to the end of the year. There is quite a list of considerations to address. I think the best way is to list some of them here, and you can focus in on those that are more pertinent to you and your family.

  1. REFUNDS: In most cases we will be able to refund most of the fees paid for after school activities. However some of those activities had already purchased materials, or were an outside entity, or they started to make reservations, etc., and so refunding that money might take some time while we try to get the refund from our end. In any case; for ALL refunds it is required by state law that you to initiate the request for refund. How, you might ask? We will email a form, along with the procedures next week. (Please note: 9th grade Spain Trip will be handled separately from this process.)
  2. LUNCH: Lunch money can also be refunded through the same process. If you do not request a lunch money refund, those funds will automatically be rolled over for next year if you are returning to NDPA. This is consistent with past years, and should be familiar to you.
  3. STUDENT BELONGINGS: We are currently organizing belongings in bags and grouping them for easy pickup. We will communicate the procedure to pick up student belongings as soon as we have them ready for you.
  4. YEARBOOKS, CERTIFICATES, & CEREMONIES: NDPA enjoys several ceremonial events when we close out each school year. Part of that is handing out yearbooks and certificates. We are currently organizing those items as well. Some will be distributed this year, others will need to wait until the fall, and yet others will need some other method we are not yet aware of. Again, we are aware you need, and want, these things. We are working with local authorities to develop a process that best meets safety standards and is efficient. We will communicate that method as soon as we have it.
  5. GRADES: In grades K-6, teachers will provide information as to which standards have been met based on the information we have at hand. However, we know there will be extra work to be done next year to supplement any information that wasn’t mastered during this time. For the Jr. High, students will receive either the letter grade they earned, if that grade is an A, B, or C. Anything lower than a C will be given a “P” for pass or an “I” for incomplete. A passing mark, or “P”, is most tricky for 9th graders. Colleges are still deciding how to calculate that as part of a GPA when that criteria is weighed heavily for admissions or scholarship. Right now, the idea is that it may be calculated at lower than a C average, but not failing. Thus the C grade or better might be best if that is what was earned. In any case, communicate with your teachers and together we will find the solution that will best reflect your child’s understanding as well as the complications of this Spring grading period. We have well into the summer to get it just right, and are committed to working with you to make it as accurate as possible.
  6. IMMERSION LOTTERY: We have been getting a lot of questions regarding the Immersion Lottery. The policy approved by the state is; those that have 30 hours or more can receive preference and be drawn separately from others. This has been our practice for a couple of years now. We are aware that some of you have close to 30 hours and might have had plans to complete those before the year was over. Now we've had the COVID-19 situation, and that has changed everything. However, we are going to continue with our approved policy. Those who had 30 hours at the time of school dismissal will be in the first draw, and those with less than 30 hours will be in the second draw. We recognize that this impacts many and have considered a variety of options and situations. We hope you can support us in this and trust that it will all work out.

Thanks for all you are doing and your continued coordination with your teachers. We are so proud to be working with each of you. We know it is a tricky time, and in some years from now, we hope to look back at this work we are doing together with fondness and pride.

Ryan Robinson