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Letter from Ms. Thomas
Nikki Thomas
Friday, March 20, 2020

Email sent on Friday, March 20, at 3:00 p.m.

Good afternoon, AHS Students!  

I want to preface this email with a statement that it is lengthy, but important.  I really need you to stick with it and read all of it.  I need your help and will tell you what that entails later in this message.  I am sending this to your parents, as well, so they will know what you know.

Let me just start with telling you how much I am missing you all!  Seeing you each day is truly the highlight of my day!  I hope you are doing well and getting adjusted to the alternate learning format that we have implemented as a result of the Governor's directive.  I know that it is not the same as being in school with your teachers and classmates, but at least we do have the ability and expertise of working online that some schools don't.  

The last time I emailed you, we were scheduled to come back to school on Monday, March 30th after Spring Break.  The Governor announced yesterday afternoon that our return date has been extended to Monday, April 20th.  That is 3 weeks after Spring Break.  With this new extension, I want to stress how important it is to keep up with your work on a DAILY basis.  Today is the last day of the 3rd quarter.  Your teachers need to be finalizing grades.  If you haven't completed this week's assignments, you need to do so.  After Spring Break, more of your teachers will probably be utilizing Google Meet and Zoom for some interactive video lessons.  Make sure you are checking emails and agendas from your teachers so you don't miss out on these sessions.  And remember, if you are having trouble or have questions, your teachers are there to help.  Email them and they will help you.  We want everyone to earn their credits for promotion and/or graduation.  

HERE IS WHERE I NEED YOUR HELP:  I know that there are some of your classmates that don't have access to technology/internet to complete online activities.  Please text your friends/group chats/etc. to let everyone know that if they need paper copies of assignments to please let me or Coach Smith know and we will get it ready for them.  They can email us or they can text or call us.  Share these numbers with them:
Ms. Thomas - 870-464-7022; nikki.thomas@arkadelphiaschools.org
Coach Smith - 870-260-2428; jonathan.smith@arkadelphiaschools.org

We will also be letting you know soon about how to return any paper assignments that you may have to turn in.

A couple of things that I know are on the minds of my Juniors and Seniors are Prom and Graduation.  At this time, I can say that Prom will have to be postponed.  I will give more information about that as we know more, but it was scheduled for April 18th and we won't be back in school until April 20th.  My hope is that we will return to school on April 20th and we will be able to end our year with graduation as planned for May 16th.  Again, I will keep in contact with you if anything changes with our return date.

Regarding ACT Aspire testing for 9th and 10th graders, the Arkansas Secretary of Education announced today that the state is seeking a waiver from the federal government this year that would exempt us from having to take that test when we do get to return to school.  

The AP end-of-course tests, however, will still be given, possible online.  More information regarding those will be coming soon.  

Seniors, for any questions you may have regarding scholarships, please email Ms. Macon at betty.macon@arkadelphiaschools.org.

For all of you missing out on Spring interscholastic and athletic competitions, I am so sorry.  My heart breaks for you because I know how special those events are to you.  I know it's necessary to keep everyone healthy right now, but I also know that doesn't make it any less saddening to you.  Please know that you are in my daily thoughts and prayers.

Next week is Spring Break (March 23 - 27).  Don't worry about school; give yourself a mental break to relax and do what you can, under the circumstances, to enjoy yourselves. Log back in on March 30th.  I will email you with any updates I have at that time.

Finally, I want to remind you that AHS is a school of CHAMPIONS!  Champions adapt and they overcome hardships.  Because of that, I know that we will be ok through all of this and come out stronger for it.  Again, I miss you and cannot wait to have you all back at school!  Until then, follow the guidelines for social distancing and stay well! 

Sincerely, 
Ms. Thomas