Dear Academy Community:
We are launching our Parent Portal on Monday, Sept 26th, to provide parent's information about student grades, assignments and attendance. See below for more details.Keep reading to find out about the learning in each classroom.
NO SCHOOL on September, 23, 2016 for a Faculty Academy, teacher collaboration day. Read more details below.
Students are encouraged to attend after school study hall to get assistance with homework or classwork.
Attendance is very important at the Academy. Please be sure to arrive ON TIME (7:50 a.m.). Please bring a note signed by a parent for absences or tardies.
VOICES FROM OUR COMMUNITY
"My child goes here and I can't tell you how happy we are to be apart of this great school. My daughter loves it here. Small classes, and unique teaching styles unlike any other school."
"I wanted to tell you that I am so relieved and excited for my child and how he has been so successful at the Academy. He has a history of resisting going to school but has not tried to get out of it once since attending the Academy. He is genuinely enjoying his experience there and told me yesterday that he feels his acquaintances have become friends. He is also happy to share about the work he has been doing in the classroom and all the interesting ways the teachers have to engage the students. I couldn't be more happier with the school so far. Thank you so much for creating such an educationally rich and emotionally supportive environment for my son. It means the world to me."
"My son has not come home from school so excited in quite some time! Keep doing what you're doing..."
I BELONG, YOU BELONG, WE BELONG: OUR COMMUNITY
We view our home-school connection as essential to student success. Therefore, we have enabled a website called Illuminate to collect and share information about student learning, grades, assignments, and attendance. YOU will have access to this information from wherever you have Internet access! We are here to assist you. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 562.283.4456.
Letters will arrive in the mail, and through email early next week, providing each student/family with instructions and an access key.
Complete the page by filling in your contact information, your username (your email) access key (provided).
You will create your own password.
Once you are in Portal, select grade book, attendance, or any other information you would like to see.
THEATRE: Mondays and Wednesdays: 3:10 p.m.- 5:00 p.m.
CROSS COUNTRY: Tuesdays: 3:10 p.m.-4:00 p.m. and Thursdays 1:20-3:00 p.m. Our first meet is on Oct. 1st in Huntington Beach. Save the date!
LEADERSHIP: Wednesdays during lunch.
GREEN CLUB: Mondays during lunch.
LEARNING AT THE ACADEMY
In Algebra, we are continuing through our unit on the Overland Trail, exploring patterns and constraints in a historical context. In other words, our curriculum ties Algebra into mid-19th century Western migration, so students are provided with the opportunity to make mathematical connections to real life situations.
I have been pleased with the way that most of the students have been engaging with the content and demonstrating curiosity. They are working together in groups in class and learning to be attentive, careful, and tenacious in their problem solving. It is a work in progress but I'm happy with how it is coming along so far.
ENGLISH & WRITING LAB
In English, we have two different projects going on.
First, we are discovering independent reading using our digital library, LightSail. This program meets the student at their reading level, tracks their reading time and engagement, and challenges their critical thinking. You can support your son or daughter by reminding him or her to read for a minimum of 30 minutes every Thursday. Ask him or her to show you how LightSail works!
Second, we are considering this essential question: what bonds connect people? I shared the song "I Hope You Dance" with the students and asked them not only to identify the bond that this song is about, but also to connect with the song, identifying who in their lives wish for them the sorts of hopes featured in the song. Based on this model song, I asked students to research a song that THEMATIZES (that's academic vocabulary) a bond between people. We're sharing our work this week.
In Writing Lab, we've been busy writing about ourselves. We have written a letter to our future self, designed visual representations of ourselves, and begun a life map presentation: we identify at least ten people, places, events, and activities that have made us who we are. We will share out once the work is completed.
Please feel free to stop by if you have the time. I am certain the students would love to engage you as thought partners.
For the last couple of weeks, we have been working on recognizing the structure of arguments and developing our understanding of what we can know from the information we already have (and also importantly what we don't know).
For instance, consider the following:
A very special island is inhabited by only by knights and knaves. Knights always tell the truth, and knaves always lie. You meet two islanders: James and Mickie. James says Mickie is a knave. Mickie says "Neither James nor I are knaves." What are James and Mickie?
This isn't a trick. The answer logically follows from the information given, but requires careful attention to what we know from the information and what we don't. Ask your daughter or son if they remember the answer, and can explain it.
We've also begun taking these abstract reasoning skills and connecting them to major social issues. We have discussed how we sometimes think (mostly mistakenly) that we can infer information from what we know about people, which leads to generalizing, stereotyping, and sometimes profiling. Throughout the year, we will continue to develop our reasoning skills and applying them to issues that we encounter everyday.
Your kids are incredible! I'm having so much fun beginning this journey with them!
The Physics classes have been focusing on how to measure reality. What is the nature of reality? How do you document reality in a way that we can study it? To guide students through this process we discussed the 11-dimensions of reality (10 dimensions, including Time). We explored what it looks like to imagine a universe from a point, from a plane, from a 3-dimensional object, and how we could possibly guess what other dimensions look like.
Students are creating "Lab Books" which document their own personal journey in understanding the laws of the universe that create the boundaries of our understanding. Lab Books have all student notes, labs, and other discovery activities, so that students can use their own documentation to explore the world.
The Honors class will soon be introduced to their final, year-long research project, which will culminate with a recorded TED-like talk for the school.
We have started our first unit of frisbee, implementing important hand eye coordination techniques. We have learned some new fitness games with our favorite being, Cholesterol.
Fitness testing started this week, therefore our class discussed how the results can be used as a tool to measure our health. Students engaged in a conversation about our unique and diverse levels of fitness, and how important it is for us to set fitness goals without comparing ourselves to one another. We also shared how we can continue to make healthy choices.
To continue to establish a healthy community, we defined the four types of bullying and how to prevent these mistreatments from happening. Students also participated in skits to highlight the role of an ally, and explored ways they can be change-makers in our community.
It has been truly inspiring to work in collaboration with the teachers. I have enjoyed my time spent in each course assisting students. It has also been wonderful to connect with the families. If your student has an existing IEP or a 504 plan, we have either already met, or will be meeting by the end of the month. If I haven't contacted you to set up a meeting, please email me to let me know.
Also, if you have requested an assessment, a letter was sent home along with a consent form. Once that consent is signed and returned, the assessment process can begin. Please contact me with any questions!
The Academy Academic Calendar is 180 days of instruction, using curriculum and pacing that support a culture of thinking. Teachers will have five additionalFaculty Academy days where students do not attend. These days are opportunities for our staff to think, alone and together, about each student's work and progress toward goals.
As we take this time for thoughtful evaluation, we ensure that our students are offered the most rigorous, yet personalized, instruction. Faculty Academy Days days are scheduled for the day before school starts, after the first month of classes, at the end of the fall semester, halfway through the spring semester, and after the last day of the school year.
Because we are committed to providing an excellent education for all students, our staff also works to continually develop our own growth in intellectual virtues, so that we may model the sort of thinking and learning that creates the desire to always want to know more.
The Academy accepts applications on a rolling basis. All students who would like to enroll in the Academy must submit an application and complete a registration packet.