June 29, 2020
Since March, most IDEA staff have been working from home due to Covid recommendations from the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services as well as recommendations from the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development. This has been a difficult few months, since face-to-face conversations and personal relationships are key to how we serve you. Based on the Reopen Alaska Responsibly plan, on Monday July 6th, all IDEA staff who are working in July will be returning to our offices and will be available to serve your needs. However, the state advises that the threat of Covid transmission is still very real. With this in mind, I ask that you adhere to the following guidelines when coming to our offices.
- Please do not enter if you are experiencing any symptoms of cold, flu or Covid 19, including persistent coughing, sneezing or fever within the past 72 hours.
- Appointments are not necessary, but strongly encouraged. Walk-ins are welcomed on a space available basis. Making an appointment ensures that the person you need to see will be available to serve your needs.
- Social distancing of at least six feet will be maintained between staff and families at all times.
- Emergency Order 13 mandates face coverings for most individuals within the Anchorage Municipality. It is strongly encouraged that face coverings be worn by everyone in the other offices as well.
- Soap and water are available in the washrooms.
- Hand sanitizer (limited availability due to shortages) is available for staff and families in various locations in the office.
- Please cover all coughs and sneezes and avoid handshakes.
- We are sad to say that coffee, tea, and water offerings have been discontinued until further notice.
As the new school year approaches we stand ready to serve your homeschool needs. Please let us know how we can help you prepare.
Director of IDEA
May 25, 2020
I hope everyone had an enjoyable Memorial Day weekend honoring our veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. Here is a little bit about the history of the Memorial Day holiday. https://www.history.com/topics/holidays/memorial-day-history
As you’ve probably heard, Alaska has begun to open many offices and businesses. With this in mind our offices are open to receive materials returns, library returns and check outs and for dropping off and picking up technology equipment for repair. Our contact teachers, field reps and computer techs are still working from home, but can get you everything you need if you reach out to them. We continue to watch state guidelines for businesses and schools to determine our next steps.
We recommend that you make appointments before coming by the office since we still have to adhere to social distancing and have to pay attention to office capacities. Thank you for bearing with us as we navigate these unprecedented times and thank you for being an IDEA family.
Director of IDEA
May 8, 2020
We know that closing our offices has been a huge inconvenience. We miss you as much as you miss us. While our offices are closed for normal foot traffic until Tuesday May 26th, we are going to begin the process of slowly reopening our offices beginning Monday, May 11 for the following situations:
- Withdrawing Families Who Need To Return Materials.
- Families Who Need to Return Library Materials. However we ask that you wait until Tuesday, 5/26 to check out library materials. We will still be glad to mail you library materials until then.
- Computers Needing Dropped Off For Repair.
Out of concern for the safety of our families and our employees we ask that you adhere to the following guidelines:
- Please make an appointment. We have to ensure that we maintain social distancing in our offices. Making an appointment ensures that you will be allowed in. If you do not make an appointment, you may have to wait until people leave so that you can enter.
- Do not come to the office if you feel ill, have a fever or any signs of illness.
- Please try to limit the number of people entering the office with you. We understand if you have children who need to come in with you and we love to see your kids. But limiting contact will help keep everyone safer.
- Please maintain at least 6 feet distance between you and other non-household members.
This is step one of reopening our offices. We will be watching governmental guidelines and keeping you apprised in the coming weeks to determine our next steps.
Thank you for being an IDEA family!
April 10, 2020
Dear IDEA Families,
Governor Dunleavy recently released Health Mandate 013 which states that Alaska’s schools will remain closed until the end of the school year. Unless we receive new information from the state, IDEA offices will remain closed until Friday May 22nd. Even though our offices are closed to walk in traffic, all services are still available to you either by calling our offices or by calling IDEA staff working from home at their home/office numbers available here.
Unfortunately for our seniors and their families, I am very saddened to pass along that this new mandate means that this year’s graduation ceremonies are also cancelled. We are beginning to explore other ways to celebrate and honor our graduates without an in-person ceremony and we will have information to our graduates and their families very soon.
March 25, 2020
Even though things have changed, all IDEA staff are available by phone or email during business hour to support all of your homeschool needs. Please email or call us if there is anything we can do.
- Receptionists are in each of our IDEA offices ready to receive your calls, answer questions and pass along messages.
- Resource Room Coordinators/Librarians are working from our IDEA offices, helping to answer phones and mail library books and other materials. Go to http://library.ideafamilies.org/ to peruse library materials available in your region and email or call the IDEA office if you’d like materials mailed to you.
- Contact Teachers, Site Administrators and Field Reps are all working their regular hours from home and they all have IDEA phones at home. Their phone numbers are available here.
- Computer Techs are also working from home. Either send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org if you need computer support or call your tech directly using their contact info available here.
- Ordering/Reimbursement/Student Records staff are working from home as well. At this time you can get help with orders and reimbursements by emailing email@example.com or by calling them directly. Contact info for student records, ordering and reimbursements is available here.
Thank you for being an IDEA family!
March 19, 2020
In light of the most recent recommendations from state and federal agencies, IDEA offices will remain closed to foot traffic. Also, nearly all IDEA staff are now working from home. Here are things that will be helpful for you to know as we adapt to our new service model.
- We will have a small number of staff in the offices to receive mail and answer the phones. Please call the office if you need anything.
- We want to make sure that your kids have fresh reading materials. While there are a variety of online books available from various sites, subject kits and library books can be mailed to you from your regional office. Go to http://library.ideafamilies.org/ to peruse IDEA library materials available in your region. Contact your local office and speak with your Resource Room Coordinator to get details on checking out and returning materials.
- We are in the process of acquiring work cell phones for our contact teachers, computer techs and business office staff. This will allow you to contact these individuals directly during business hours to receive support. As soon as we receive and distribute these phones, we will send an email with a link to contact information on our website.
- If you need computer tech support, either send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with a short description of the problem along with your preferred contact information. You can also go to https://webhelpdesk.ideafamilies.org and log in using your IDEA credentials to create a tech help ticket. Someone will call you very soon after you’re submitted either of these requests. By next week we will provide you with phone numbers to each of our computer techs.
- If you have questions about orders or reimbursements, for now, send an email to email@example.com and someone will return your call shortly. By next week we will provide you with phone numbers to each of our business office personnel.
We are here to support you and we will keep you apprised as we continue to adapt.
Thank you for being an IDEA family!
March 16, 2020
We have sadly concluded that we must cancel the IDEA Curriculum Fair for 2020. We very much look forward to celebrating homeschooling at the Fair again in 2021! In the meantime, we are working on plans for some sort of online event during the scheduled Fair dates, so stay tuned!
Field Representative/Administrative Assistant
March 15, 2020
Dear IDEA Parents,
It seems that governmental recommendations regarding how businesses, schools and governmental offices respond to the spread of the Covid-19 virus are changing daily; sometimes hourly. In the past 24 hours, various governmental agencies in Alaska and around the nation have increased the seriousness of their warnings and lengthened the list of mandated and recommended closings. As much as it saddens us, IDEA will have to close our offices to foot traffic until at least Monday, March 30. However, staff will be at work and ready to serve you via phone or email.
Unlike the drastic instructional challenges faced by the closing of “brick and mortar” schools across Alaska and the nation, students in IDEA are well-positioned to continue their educational pursuits largely as they always have; and all departments in IDEA are ready to serve you via phone or email. Also remember the IDEA App, where you can receive tech support, email your contact teacher and upload work samples directly with just the click of a button.
This is an ever-changing situation. I appreciate your patience and understanding as we continue to stay apprised of mandates and recommendations from pertinent governmental agencies. We will provide updates as needed.