- Featured, Letter from Executive Director

Kicking COVID day 5

“When this virus is over we can do that again.”
Faith – 2.5 yrs old

March 20, 2020


  • Day 3 of UPS Cyber School – 92% attendance!!! Congratulations to Principal Ms. Raines and her staff on a successful, effective, well received start to UPS Cyber School.
  • “Thoroughly striving to create something that dignifies and honors our teachers,   students, and families” UP Academy Principal Joel Orr describing goals for Monday’s Cyber School launch.
  • “When this virus is over, we can do that again.” 2.5 yr old Faith encouraging her Mom about a disrupted routine. Didn’t she say what we all are hoping to see again?
  • Public School Students in our After School Programs are getting limited communication from their schools. Those receiving packets or on-line assignments are being told they are optional. A number of parents have requested to join our schools for instruction. We are small and nimble and it has been extremely challenging to turn on a dime and get solid instruction up and running, so I am sympathetic to the challenge facing huge public schools. The concern will be if those students, who are already behind, lose this last quarter and get passed on further behind at every grade level. This digs the hole deeper for a generation. Difficult choices.

Cyber View!

Take a look at this short K5 teaching video in the link below. It is one of our Kindergarten students on line with his teacher Tonia Koehler. First, what a great reader! Well done Mom and Tonia. Secondly, you see the workbook Tonia created, but more importantly, the interaction so valuable emotionally and academically for effective learning. Imagine the teachers commitment and challenge to teach this way. Thirdly, please note the new UPS dress code

Just a few of our illustrious UrbanPromise Academy staff preparing to conquer the world with Cyber School! Christina is showing off her advanced Zoom skills by teleporting to Florida, at least in CGI.
UPS Elementary Staff, 5:30 daily staff meeting to review how Day 3 went.
Administration Team; Lori (Leader, top ctr) will love that we chose the one with her eyes closed. Since she coordinates our prayer ministry we can assume she was praying. Rob R. is that the “Live long and prosper!” gesture? Very appropriate for these days.

Dear Friend,

Another note (shorter!) to stay in touch and keep you posted on progress. I am grateful for your many positive comments that suggest you see value in this. That is our goal, to serve the community by informing, sharing needs, encouraging, and celebrating success, especially for our youth. Standing together, making help become hope, and loving in actions and in truth.

Below are a few UPdates. Pray for UPA’s Monday Cyber School launch, grades 8-12! Read the Admin Team Feelings below – I have heard similar comments from many of you in your emails to me. Seeing these connections fights feeling alone. We feel similar things together and knowing we share similar concerns and hopes helps us stand together.

Thrive, Not Survive: The resources we need, not to survive the crisis, but thrive in it, rest in the community receiving this email. The ideas, experiences, talents, resources, the heart each of us may need reside in different parts of this body, and I’m hoping we can share in this. For example, some of our staff houses have established household rhythms from work schedules to game times together to enhance normalcy and to live in the crisis, not just survive it. I thought, “Oh, that’s a good idea.” Pretty obvious, but I hadn’t thought of it. I wonder what best practices all of us are encountering or developing. Of course they’ll be all over the internet, but it’s you who gives these things life, and when you share what you have done, we all get more life.

God bless you and Protect you! I was hopeful for our Cyber School, but it’s surpassed those hopes now that it is real. Thriving is possible. Be encouraged, your emails and comments and the feelings you’ve expressed connect us in love. Love never fails.

Thank you!

Admin Team Feeling (each bullet is comment of a team member in photo above):

  • This situation is sobering and emotional. Trusting God and praying
  •  Boys at home (none of their schools have communicated). Getting comfortable with being uncomfortable. Staff mtg. on Monday was extremely helpful and informative. Had not been taking this seriously. Thankful for every way God is showing up.
  • Can’t read news after 5 or I can’t sleep. 2 people in house work in the medical field, disconcerting. Hard to stay motivated when not with folks in the office. But still getting a lot done.
  • Doing good. Worked to set up my room have a designated office space. Our house community is doing good. Agreed that 9-5 is work time. Playing games at night together. Looking for ways to sustain healthy community.
  • Glad I came to my friend’s parent’s home. But not familiar with their home, and haven’t found a good place to do my work (trying my bedroom or dining room).
  • Son’s high school has nothing in place. Hardest part is being far away from family, esp. my grandmother who can’t have visitors. My mom traveled to see brother, and so is now self-quarantined.
  • Missing going to Wed. morning bible study. 2.5 yr old Faith says ‘When this virus is over, we can do that again.’ Being kept informed of what’s going on by Josh. Concerned about my grandmothers in nursing homes, not understanding why folks aren’t visiting.
  • Starting exercise classes in driveway for neighbors 🙂 (actually, maybe!) Not much adjustment other than hoarding food, and my hands are dry from washing. Grateful for you guys and your leadership. Impacting me more than you know!

UPA Friday, March 20, 2020

  • work work work
  • thoroughly striving to create something that dignifies and honors our teachers, students, families
  • the walk through of Cyber School pilot left people calm and clarified 

UPA Accomplished

  • successful walk through taught us a lot
  • discipline system clarified
  • two “Cultivating Community” times were selected (7:35-7:45(staff) —- (10:50-11:05(all))
  • the whole staff can execute a zoom meeting
  • agreement forms were sent to students
  • Syllabus’ were clarified and refined
  • “Netiquette” rubric was created and will be implemented
  • individual student schedules were made
  • all parents were emailed the schedule
  • individual teacher schedules were made
  • all students were contacted and 60% received their schedules and had a zoom meeting with a staff member
  • ethics Research for GoogleClassrooms started

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