VIEWS: 9 PAGES: 11 POSTED ON: 11/11/2011
The Eagle’s Nest February 3, 2011 Volume 1, Issue 8 Looking Out From The Nest February 10, 2011 Principal Coffee Hour February 17, 2011 Principal Coffee Hour February 21, 2011 No School – Presidents Day Our Principal’s Corner Dear NACS Parents/Guardians, It is hard to believe that we passing the mid-point of the year. As I look back at the fall it might seem like very little progress has been made but I believe we are putting very important foundation stones down to guide the school forward. I believe a good analogy to this became evident to me during one of my trips down in Denver a couple of months ago with my boys when they noticed a big hole in the ground where a building was about to be built. What struck them was they had passed the same sight several weeks earlier and in their mind it didn’t seem like anything had changed because the hole looked the same to them. I let them know, however, that while it looked like very little was happening the builders were working on the most important part of the whole process--they were laying the foundation of the building. And that if great care was not taken during this crucial phase, then, everything built on top of that foundation will not be secure. This philosophy of taking the time to build the foundation of that which you want to truly last is an essential step that holds not only when putting a building up but also in the context of a school turnaround or even raising a child. I think intuitively we all know this, but there exists a tension between what we know to be true and the undercurrent in our society that says “I want things now and I don’t like waiting.” This tension has been particularly evident at NACS this year following all of the changes that took place prior to the start of the year. As I look toward the second half of this year, I want you to know that we are taking very positive steps that will help us strengthen our foundation. One important step that I want to let you know about involves my decision to hire Ms. Jere Pearcy as the new Assistant Principal for Curriculum and Assessment. Ms. Pearcy comes to NACS with over nine years of administrative experience and two of the schools she has led have received schools of excellence awards. Ms. Pearcy will guide and coach our teachers in the implementation of our Core Knowledge curriculum and she will have leadership over the schools assessment program, which includes CSAPs. I am excited to about the foundation stones that we are putting in place and some of the fruit of this will gradually become more evident to our families during the second half of the year. Thank you for your continued support George Sanker Interim Principal Northeast Academy Charter School Full Day Kindergarten Registration for 2011/2012 School Year We are currently enrolling kindergartners for the 2011/2012 school year. Your child must be five years old by October 1, 2011. Please bring the following information when enrolling your child: Verification of the child’s birthday through a birth certificate or hospital certificate. Health information (shot records) that proves your child is in compliance with the state’s immunizations laws. Address verification (such as a current phone or public utility bill) Proof of income (last (2) check stubs) to determine tuition assistance eligibility. I look forward to meeting with you. Ms. Pat Swann Registrar Student Council Update The Northeast Academy Student Council has been working diligently on several programs and events this past month. First off, the students have instated a variety of programs to try and build an even more positive school culture at Northeast Academy. A few weeks ago the students hosted an all-middle school assembly to discuss issues of disrespect between students and ways that we should be taking care of our school building, including picking up trash. Continuing with this initiative, Student Council began our Middle School Hall Monitor program this past Monday. These hall monitors were nominated by the faculty, administration, and student council because of their upstanding moral character, integrity, and leadership. These students are present in the hallways and near the bathrooms before classes begin, during passing periods, and after classes are dismissed to ensure that students have their shirts tucked in, are quiet, and being respectful of the building and each other. To reward students who have been behaving well, the Student Council also delivered surprise cookies and a thank you note to all middle school students who did not receive any detentions or pink slips during second quarter. Our student leaders have also been planning some fun upcoming activities surrounding Valentine's Day. First, the student store will be open February 14-18th from 3:30- 3:50 p.m. and for one week each month here after. All students may purchase school supplies and fun holiday related gifts at the store. Second, there are two events coming up for Elementary and Middle School Students. The Elementary Valentine's Day Party will occur Wednesday, February 16th from 3:45-5:00 p.m. in the cafeteria and two downstairs classrooms. Students will have the opportunity to eat food, dance, listen to stories, and make arts and crafts, including valentines for patients at Children's Hospital. The Middle School students will also be making these valentines for Children's Hospital in their supplemental studies classes. In addition, all 6-8th graders are invited to attend the Valentine's Day Dance on Friday, February 18th from 6:30-8:30 p.m. in the cafeteria. Thank you to our Student Council for all of their hard work! If you have any questions or comments about student council, please do not hesitate to contact Ms. Kamm at email@example.com or extension 212. Random Acts of Kindness Week 2011: February 14-20 Elementary Corner Kindergarten The News From Mrs. Replogle's Kindergarten Class Friday, January 21, 2011, I had a lovely teaching day! Everyone in my class achieved an 'A' on their spelling test. What a remarkable accomplishment for children so very young, and for some students that are new to speaking English. I do not work alone: our Riggs phonics program is just fabulous, Miss O'Neal is a dedicated tutor and teacher, and I thank you, parents and guardians for all of your help. This month I have two new reading tests to complete with each student. During our busy test days, your children will be learning about the Chinese New Year, and Ground Hog Day! In February, our class will celebrate St. Valentine's Day, on Friday, February 11th. We will be learning about the historical origin of St. Valentine's Day, and of course having just a little party on the last Friday before the holiday. Please excuse me for celebrating early, but as St. Valentine's Day falls this year on a Monday -- having a party on Monday is just too much fun, even for kindergarten. I will sending out a list of all of my students for your valentine list, please do not forget a single child. Remember, we are not fussy, homemade valentines are treasures every bit as much as the store bought variety. As always, if you have questions or concerns, please let me know. I am here to be of assistance and help to you. Mrs. Replogle First Grade Greetings from First Grade! This February First Graders are looking forward to diving into their study of the oceans and the American Revolution. Students are continuing their hard work towards their Big Goals, to read and write like Second Graders and in math to become Number Experts. 2nd Grade News Mrs. Hannah's 2nd grade class is moving quite quickly through our RIGGS Spelling. We are learning so many words and putting them together in our sentences. We have just finished reading Little House on the Prairie and loved it! We are working a small book report on the book. We will then start reading Peter Pan. In History we are learning about the Civil War, we can't wait to find out who wins: The North or the South?? In Science we will be moving in learning about our Digestive System and how we digest our food. In Geography we have 7 more states of our United States left to learn and we will know all our 50 states! We are also learning about North America and will soon start learning about South America....We are so excited:) Ms. Tillson’s 2nd grade class is just starting several exciting new units. We will begin studying cells in science, the Civil Rights movement in history and Central America in geography. We haven’t quite finished Peter Pan in literature, so we will continue to read that alongside our new South American tales. Ms. Algien 4th Grade Fourth grade students in Ms. Algien’s class are now making the connection, that the effects of the American Revolution are still felt today. As student citizens in the classroom, they have a duty and responsibility to uphold. As classroom citizens their duty is to the learning process and their responsibility is to put forth their best effort each and every day. Students have taken their phonetic responsibility to the next level, as they transitioned from Riggs Spelling to Spalding. It is not an uncommon occurrence to hear a student using decoding skills to pronounce new words. In the realm of science students will be leaving the respiratory system and lung disease to discover what really matters, chemistry. The fifth graders have just started reading the Narrative of the Life of Fredrick Douglas: An American Slave. In social studies, we have spent time discussing world exploration from the 1400’s to the 1800’s. We just finished discussing the beginning of slavery and are working our way towards Westward expansion in the United States and the Civil War. In writing, the fifth graders enjoyed writing their own personal narratives, telling about an exciting event in their lives. They are learning about plants and photosynthesis in science. We have done two experiments to help us better understand these concepts. Fifth Grade Times by Michael C. Brewer “I’ve got a Fork.” “Checkmate!” “You can’t do that!” “Good game!” These are a few of the sounds you will hear emanating from room 209 just after lunch during our chess class. The ultimate thinking man’s game chess has become a favorite of many fifth graders this year. We began with a thorough introduction to basic movements of the pieces on the board and continue to progress. The grandmasters in training have learned about basic tactics and mating patterns as they move on in the continuum to learn the basic imbalances of every board and how to exploit them for their own advantage. In addition to sharpening our skills of observation and pattern recognition we learn important everyday life skills such as decision making. Everyday we draw analogies from the chessboard to real life to improve not only our chess game, but also our character. The education train continues to burn plenty of steam as we tackle rigorous content such as cytology and reproduction in science. The students will be off exploring with European explorers such as Prince Henry the Navigator. In mathematics we continue exploring decimals and fractions extending our ideas about place value and the base ten number system as well as our mathematical prowess by acquiring proficiency with decimal based arithmetic. In grammar we continue to diagram sentences and discover all the functions of the part of speech including elements such as participles and gerunds. The students have been working on short answer construction in composition and will be progressing to extend responses short essay questions as well as multi-paragraph essays. We conclude our exploration of human change through the Secret Garden, and now set off to discover the heights and depths of humanity by entering the world of slavery through the eyes of Frederick Douglass. Please continue to have students read every night, study their vocabulary, and phonograms. Fifth Grade News by Michael C. Brewer I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal." I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together. And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true. So let freedom ring from the hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania. Let freedom ring from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado. Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California. But not only that, let freedom, ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia. Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi and every mountainside. When we let freedom ring, when we let it ring from every tenement and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old spiritual, "Free at last, free at last. Thank God Almighty, we are free at last." School Community Information THERE IS A LOT GOING ON! DID YOU KNOW: Reach for the Stars – Keep America Reading! February 7 - February 18, 2011 This afternoon your Northeast Academy scholars attended an assembly to kickoff our Reach for the Stars reading challenge! This program not only encourages a habit of daily reading, but also provides great high quality educational reading books for everyone participating. 100% of the sponsor money collected is returned to the school. Every student has brought home a packet of information with a reading log in their Thursday folder. Please read through it so you can fully participate! Catalogs, wish lists, and a calendar of the program are provided for the teachers. Your children should pledge to read or be read to aloud at least 300 minutes over the next two weeks and all reading counts! Then they will collect pledges from friends, neighbors, and relatives who want to support their reading activity. Children log their minutes read, sponsors and pledges on the reading journal provided. Students will turn in their reading log daily to their teacher so that we may track each grade level's progress throughout the two weeks. When it comes time to collect the pledges, your student should collect cash and checks made payable to Usborne Books. 60% of the pledge money is awarded to the children to choose books for themselves to take home and keep forever. The school will receive books for each classroom with the remaining 40%, which all our students will get to read! 100% of the sponsor money will benefit our school and students. Additional prizes and incentives were announced at our assembly, so ask your student about them! If you have any questions about this program, please do not hesitate to contact Ms. Kamm at firstname.lastname@example.org or (303) 307-8837 ext. 212. Enrichment@NACS by Michael C. Brewer The Northeast Academy is excited to announce Enrichment@NACS. An after-school opportunity dedicated to enriching the extra-curricular passions of our junior scholars. At Northeast we believe in cultivating the scholar’s whole humanity not just their book smarts. Enrichment at Northeast Academy will look to embellish already existing programs like the Boy Scouts and Northeast Academy Choir, while introducing an array of stimulating sessions such as Northeast’s own story corps project or the Chess Academy. In addition to providing this smorgasbord of samplings for your intellectual appetite Enrichment@NACS will also provide a gentle but firm hand for our after- school scholars assisting with overall maintenance and logistics of the after-school operations. The Coordinators of this project will be Michael C. Brewer and Rachelle Oliver experienced Northeast Academy educators dedicated to the holistic education of our scholars and therefore our community. Please be on the lookout for more information soon Enrichment@NACS is coming soon!!! Student Support Services Dear Parents and Students- We are half way through the year and have made great head way to provide support to your children in our building. We have many new exciting updates since the beginning of the school year. Again, if you have any questions or concerns about your child please never hesitate to call me or any of the student service providers. Parents, teachers, and support personal a BIG thank you for all you do to support our children achieve and learn! We can only do this together to rally around your child’s success in school. Ms. Rachael Gurian M.Ed. /Director of Student Support Services SIT Team Since January we have created a Student Intervention Team (SIT) that meets weekly to address students who need academic and social support or consideration for academic testing. If you are concerned about child’s success please contact Ms. Gurian, so a referral can be made to the SIT team to offer support to your child. Please note if your child is more than 4 years behind in school or is a non- reader you have already been contacted. Your child has been automatically referred to the SIT team and is receiving intensive weekly interventions in literacy or math. The SIT team will assign a case manager to work with your family and child to monitor growth and support. The current SIT team case managers: Rachael Gurian-Director of Student Services Michelle Jackson-School Counselor Jacob Heiney-Assistant Principal of Discipline Sarah Bates Harmeling-Learning Support Teacher Elizabeth Sommer- Elementary Teacher Dan Culp-Music Teacher Jacqueline Kamm-Middle School Teacher Literacy and Math Intervention Classes Literacy Intervention Class We are very fortunate to have hired a literacy specialist, Ms. Amie Sharp to support our most struggling readers and non- readers (K-8) in the building. Ms. Sharp comes from Ridgeview Academy with years of experience in special education, science, and reading. Specifically, the literacy intervention class will meet on a weekly basis in elementary and middle school. All students will be closely monitored for instructional and grade level growth. Middle School Math Intervention Class Ms. Bosworth and Ms. Sharp will be meeting with students daily who need extra attention in math in reviewing basic skills. All students will be closely monitored for instructional and grade level growth. Kindergarten Individual Literacy Plans Parents by the end of the first or second week of February your child will be sent home with an Individual literacy Plan (ILP) if your child needs additional support in reading. The plan will review what the school will do to provide support and what support we will need from you to help enhance your child’s reading skills. We will ask you to review the plan and sign the plan and have your child return the plan with your signature. Thank you for collaboration in your child’s academic success. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to call your child’s teacher or Ms. Gurian. Gifted Program We officially started a K-8 gifted program in January. We are thrilled that Amanda Brazzel, has taken on the position as the gifted coordinator to not only teach students through daily pull out, but also help teacher identify students. Parents all 2nd and 4th grade students will have mandatory gifted testing by DPS in March. Please note if you wish to have your child tested for gifted or interested in just learning about gifted programming and eligibility in DPS please contact Ms. Gurian or Ms. Brazzel. English Language Acquisition Program (ELA) We are very excited since January to be servicing 33 percent of our students who need English Second Language Support. Ms. Siler has taken on the role as the ELA support teacher. She is meeting daily with these students and supporting teachers to support our ELA students in the classroom. Junior Scholars Pilot Program Update Mr. Brewer and Ms. Summer lead a wonderful after school Junior Scholars Program (K-5) for the last two months which ended in the middle of January. We heard great feedback from many parents and students. Please note the students received T-Shirts for participating in the program and can wear their shirts any day of the week for the remainder of the year. We would like to continue the program. Please stay tuned for more details at the end of February for when the program will return. 504 Plans Please note according to federal law all students must have documentation from their physician stating that their health or mental issues are a barrier to their learning if parents wish to place their students on 504 plans. Please contact Ms. Gurian if you believe your child is eligible for a 504 needs to be crafted for your child. IEP/Educational Testing Please contact Ms. Gurian, if you or your child’s doctor believe that your child should be placed on an educational plan (IEP) or receive academic testing. Your child will be referred to the Student Intervention Team (SIT) to review your child’s educational progress, monitor intensive interventions with instructional, behavioral, or grade level monitoring with their teachers and your child over 6 weeks to determine if educational testing should be recommended. Welcome Aboard We have hired two new assistant teachers to support Special Education and English Acquisition Learners. Please welcome Ali Rudolph who has been working with ELA and Nikki Weddle who has been supporting special education. Both assistants have a love for working with our students and the families at Northeast Academy. Welcome Ms. Rudolph and Ms. Weddle. TEEN CREED Don't let your parents down,They brought you up. Be humble enough to obey, You may give orders someday. Choose companions with care, You become what they are. Guard your thoughts, What you think, you are. Choose only a date, Who would make a good mate. Be master of your habits, Or they will master you. Don't be a show off when you drive, Drive with safety and arrive. Don't let the crowd pressure you, Stand for something- Or you'll fall for anything. Middle School Corner 8th Grade Corner Science: Our 8th grade science classes recently took their semester exams. The results were mixed with many students performing wonderfully and others requiring continued persistence when it comes to integrating ALL material covered over the course of this semester. We are currently busy exploring the concepts of potential and kinetic energy. Last week we used pendulums (strings tied to the ceiling with small weights attached to them) to explore gravitational potential energy and its conversion to kinetic energy as each mass (weight) gained speed and momentum. This week we will be doing a more in-depth analysis by utilizing Hot Wheels and Hot Wheel track to see the direct effects of friction, velocity, gravitational acceleration and potential & kinetic energy! History: Our 8th grade history classes continue to polish their creative writing pieces which involve their exploring the Pacific Northwest. I cannot tell you how impressed I have been with their creativity and attention to detail. We have had to do considerable work with regards to grammar and edits, but, with your help, we will continue our metamorphosis into excellent young writers. If you have not yet seen a final, typed draft from your child, please strongly encourage him/her to show it to you seeing as it was due on the last day of January. I will be selecting the top five essays from each class. Students will then have the opportunity to read them aloud in front of their peers. A voting system will allow the class to select their favorite two pieces, and I will select the final winner from each class. We will also be turning this rather extensive writing assignment into a group project that will include web-design, photo & video editing and a variety of other skill-sets. We can't wait to share our final product with you! Projects (Wish List): I believe we can accomplish several (if not numerous) of the following with the help of our parents and community members. Parent involvement: community events, volunteering, campus beautification, fund-raising & improving school culture. Vines on the fences surrounding Northeast. Plant seeds for a future band & orchestra (feel free to request private music lessons) Fieldtrips: Denver Museum of Science & Nature, Mountain Trip (skiing, tubing, sledding, geology, etc). Clubs: Ski & Snowboard, Student Newspaper (with website & blogs), Outdoor Adventure. Coaching: Co-ed middle school soccer (acquire or build goals & nets, improve the field, consider off- campus practice) Guest speakers: CU Science Speakers, Andrew Benson (electric guitar manufacturing), etc. Compost, garden, sustainability (transportation to/from school, energy policy, etc). Food: student involvement, local produce, health (films: Food Inc, Fast Food Nation) [books: Michael Pollan's Omnivore's Dilemma, In Defense of Food] Science experiments: Erosion, Mentos & Soda (chemical energy & forces), Scooters (velocity), Hot- wheel track (potential & kinetic energy), and Dissection (anatomy). 8th Grade Spring Trip (mountains, historical sites, 2-4 days) [Late Spring] Field Day: I will be publishing a website modeling a successfully implemented multi-activity blueprint first implemented at the University of California at Santa Cruz. Please contact me at email@example.com if you are interested in helping any of these seeds come to fruition. Kind Regards, Mark Walser In 7th grade English we are still reading The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. We have now shifted our focus from reading comprehension strategies to writing. This next unit students will learn to refine their conventions, as well as write strong, succinct summaries, and descriptive narratives. We will be working on writing composition through mid-March. Ms. Kamm In 7th grade science we are continuing with our chemistry unit with a few fun, hands on activities and experiments. In 6th grade we are plugging along in our energy unit. We are working in a strong literacy component and Classical twist with excerpts from The Story of Science by Joy Hakim. Ms. Bosworth's students are beginning solving and graphing algebraic equations, and then we will move into geometry. Ms. Bosworth will continue reviewing all material covered, and expects students to study the different math rules learned so far, and complete their classwork and homework. Math needs memorization of many rules, and lots of practice in order to do well this year and retain rules for future years. Ms. Oliver Mr. Dukette's 8th grade classes will be continuing through the court drama section of To Kill a Mockingbird and acting out parts of the scenes. They have gone over some legal terms before studying that portion of the book. The 6th grade classes will be stepping into the Classical Writing lessons which will give students intensive work in reading comprehension and sentence structure through a series of short readings from Homer and Aesop. Mr. Dukette NACS SCHOOL BOARD NEWS The Board has been very busy working on the Strategic plan for the future. As you may or may not know Chris Martinez has stepped down as the Board President. Chris is running for the Denver City Council, District 11 seat. Sandra L. Bradshaw is now the interim President until the May Annual Meeting and Carleena Watson is the Chairperson. If you are interested or know of someone that is interested in being a Board member please leave a message at the school or email your resume and letter of intent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Our next Board meeting will be February 17, 2011 at 6:30 pm. Important Changes Please make sure that you make the following changes to your school calendar. Changes have been made, In order to make sure that the staff get the planning time and training necessary to develop and move the school to the next level, the Board has added a couple of no student contact days. No School: February 22, 2011 May 6, 2011 Students will have school February 14, 2011 New Website Have you checked out our redesigned website. You should be able to find out any and everything on the website. Please visit www.nacsdenver.org, if there is something that you would like to see let us know and we will try to make sure it is on the site.