What's New at APL
News and updates from the staff.
Save the dates in early February 2021 for our first-ever online auction. The silent auction will open online on February 1st and run the entire week. The broadcast of our live auction will be on Saturday, February 6th.
Check out our Auction page for updates and for registration opening in October, as well as our social media feeds:
As an independent school with a relatively small student body of approximately 100 students, APL has been able to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic in a flexible manner to continue serving our students based on their individual needs.
Since the pandemic began, APL’s lead staff members have been reading, learning, and planning, as we navigated the complex and continually evolving situation. When school closures were implemented in March 2020, APL pivoted quickly to a remote education model. We also altered our methodology of providing ABA clinical support by telehealth and, in necessary cases, in person.
From our parents, we have heard the concerns about rising cases throughout the late spring and summer and the importance of keeping students safe from potential infection. We have also heard the concerns about students who cannot access education through a computer or tablet and about the significant amount of screen time during remote learning. And we have tracked carefully the decisions made by Seattle Public Schools and other independent schools about how to re-open.
It has always been APL’s priority to return to full-time in-person learning as soon as it is safe and feasible to do so. However, we know it is important to be prepared to deliver educational and clinical services safely. W weighed many options and held online Town Hall meetings with our families over the summer. From that planning, we decided that for the beginning of the 2020-21 school year, APL will offer education and clinical services in a hybrid model with education and services offered in a rotating manner online and onsite.
APL’s Hybrid Model, Fall 2020
- Classes and clinical services will be provided in an alternating fashion, with students attending class onsite part of the week and online the rest of the week.
- Academic instruction online will be provided through the software platform Schoology supported by Zoom and Microsoft Teams to provide live direct instruction.
- Clinical services will be delivered in a blended in-person or online/telehealth model.
Within this framework, services will be personalized based on the individual needs of a student and their families. Beginning in November 2020, a team will work on adjustments to our schedule for the spring semester and a plan will be laid out when we return from winter break on January 4, 2021.
And as the details of the pandemic change, we have laid out contingency plans to gradually expand elements within the hybrid model to gradually allow for more in-person and onsite instruction when it is safe to do so. These decisions will be based on guidance & advice from public health authorities. In all phases of opening, APL will embrace strict social distancing, cleaning, and disinfecting procedures.
Over the summer, APL has rearranged the layout of each classroom and office space to allow for social distancing. We have reduced the number of desks and chairs in each room and arranged classes in order to maintain physical distance between students. And the school is also strictly following safety protocols designed by the University Heights Center, where we are a resident.
It was also over this summer that APL implemented the Schoology platform to more efficiently provide educational content to our students online and also enhanced our clinical software platform ReThink.
Health and Wellness Protocols
Regardless of the phase, all students and staff attending school on-site, receiving clinical services on-site, or participating in in-home clinical services will need to follow APL’s safety measures. These protocols are in line with Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and WA Department of Health (DOH) recommendations and will continue to be updated based on the most current guidance. When on site, students will remain with their classroom cohort in the school building.
Safety measures that we’ve put in place for onsite services include:
- Upon arrival, all students will wash their hands.
- Also upon arrival, all staff and students will have their temperature taken and recorded.
- Social distancing measures in classrooms, hallways, and outdoor areas, including directional arrows to help guide students as they move in the building. As much as possible, students will stay to the right in hallways and avoid passing closely to others in the classroom.
- Classrooms will be limited to 6-10 students and accompanying staff.
- Students on-site must bring a clean, cloth face mask to school daily and are expected to wear it as they enter school and throughout the day. We will follow CDC and DOH guidelines about the use of masks in each phase. If a student does not bring a mask, a disposable mask will be provided.
- At lunch time, during breaks, and after going outside, students will be required to wash their hands.
- Lunch will be eaten in the classroom meeting space.
- Student desks will be spaced apart as much as possible and will face the same direction rather than clustered into small groups.
- Students will be dismissed at exits in a way that keeps grade levels separated as much as possible and dismissal times may be staggered when needed to maintain social distancing.
If you have questions, please direct them to our communications office at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (206) 427-0115.
Instagram and Twitter: @APLSchool on IG and Twitter
July 2020 marks the 30th anniversary of the passage of the Americans With Disabilities Act. For APL, its ramifications have been incredibly important in its impact on education in our state.
We encourage you to review the Facebook page of Northwest Center They have curated a lot of great resources and local history.
You can also check out the history of disability rights in WA at https://www.disabilityrightswa.org/history.
And our partners at University Heights shared a fascinating history about the link between the racial justice movement and disability rights.
June 23, 2020
Our community of friends, volunteers, family members, employees, students and alumni surprised Jennifer Annable with a farewell car parade at Academy for Precision Learning on June 23, 2020. You can see news coverage about this wonderful event on the West Seattle Blog including a fun video of Jennifer being surprised:
After serving as our Executive Director since 2009, Jennifer is retiring from the position in July.
June 11, 2020 – We are tracking today’s guidance and advice from the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction pertaining to schools opening in fall 2020.
Superintendent Reykdal’s general expectation is that we should expect schools to open in the fall, with adjustments to regular programming to be based on public health guidelines and the opening phase that each county has entered by September.
Fall opening may be a hybrid of face-to-face and online model or any combination of modalities and schedules that meet our local community
needs. As we monitor the recommendation of public health agencies in the coming week, we will keep you apprised of what APL’s fall will look like.
We encourage you to review the full report on the OSPI site.
Seattle Times article on the 6/11/20 announcement (subscription may be required).
Seattle Patch article (free resource).
A statement to the community by APL’s incoming Executive Director Kelly Meyer
June 2, 2020 – Dear APL Community– students, families, faculty & staff, stakeholders & supporters, and members of the Board,
This has been a tragic and deeply unsettling weekend, one that has left me at times breathless with anger and frustration and in other moments renewed in my own convictions about the work we educators must do to combat the institution of racism in our country.
We are human beings who are, as Maya Angelou wrote, “more alike than unalike.” Black people in this nation are hurting. And there are members of our own Academy for Precision Learning community who are hurting. I spoke with groups of teachers and learned how they are hearing from students in their classes—concerns, fears, frustration, and confusion. It is hard to find the breadth of information required and the space to engage in it. I learned how our teachers are struggling too, balancing their own frustrations and sadness with the needs of their own families and students.
When we think of our ultimate goal for our children at APL, and for all children in the world, it is for them to become engaged citizens in their community, for them to find their voice and share it with the world around them, and for the world to become better for their being in it. We are teaching our students the skills to engage and act, to see and hear the stories of those who have been marginalized or silenced, to make change, and to put fear aside while lifting up those among us who have been held down.
As we are face to face with the ugliness of hate in our country, it is up to us to commit to an anti-racist mission and to actively work at dismantling the system of racism around us. It is also up to us to face the privilege many of us have been afforded because of the color of our skin.
For now, please know that our teachers, staff, and counseling team will do our best to support each of our students and their families as they process our current events—this week and into the future. Please talk with your children about protests and look for examples of the ways protest has led to meaningful change in our world. Help them see the helpers, as Mr. Rogers would say, who seek to lift up and heal their neighborhoods and communities.
We recognize that our APL family members of color and their white allies are grappling with these challenging issues. Please do not hesitate to reach out to Jennifer Annable, me, Alicia Nathan, or any of our teachers and staff to let us know how we can best support you. These are times when we are so grateful for the community, the family, that APL is. We are together, even when we are apart, and we see, hear, and hurt with our family members who are hurting.
I’ve shared some resources below to learn more — reading lists, social justice-empowerment websites, good films to watch, etc.
Kelly Meyer (she/her)
Director of Lower School/ Director of Curriculum and Instruction
May 25, 2020 – We are heading into the final month before Jennifer Annable retires at the end of June.
Over the Memorial Day weekend, some made a safe and socially distant visit to her house to surprise her.
We hope you can help us celebrate Jennifer’s legacy at APL. Check out the letter from earlier this year from our Board Co-Presidents – and watch for more news as we say goodbye in the coming weeks.
May 22, 2020 – We won’t be operating on Monday, May 25, 2020 in observance of Memorial Day. Celebrate safely and enjoy your three-day weekend.
May 18, 2020 – We couldn’t help students all across the autism spectrum thrive and succeed without the hard work of our staff! We are proud to honor them during our Staff Appreciation Week!
Leave a congratulatory message for a staff member in the comments section below (Don’t see the comments? Click on this post’s headline above to open it.)
Donating to APL
The Academy for Precision Learning has 501(c)(3) non-profit status under EIN #91-2143623. We accept donations to supplement tuition and operating expenses. Donations can be sent to our mailing address or made online via the button below.
Academy for Precision Learning
P.O. Box 51241
Seattle, WA 98115