Spring has sprung! With one 36 (!!) school days left, this particular letter from the principal will be dense with information of upcoming events. To help navigate this email, I have provided the headlines for each update, so you can easily find pertinent information. This month’s letter includes:
School Dance this Friday
The middle school dance is just around the corner! This Friday, April 5th, from 5:-8pm at the Mostenbocker Campus, we will be holding our final middle school dance of the year. The cost is $5 per student, or a donation of food for the dance with the receipt. The theme of this dance is Anything Goes, meaning students can wear whatever they like in line with the AA Dress Code. As always, only students who attend one of the middle schools at American Academy may attend. This dance will only be represented by the Motsenbocker and Lincoln Meadows campuses.
CMAS State Testing Next Week
Just a friendly reminder that on Tuesday, April 9th through Thursday, April 11th, we will be having state testing throughout the building. This means no parent volunteers are allowed in the building, per state testing policy. Please make sure your children get plenty of rest and have a belly full of breakfast before every testing day. There will not be any instruction or homework over these days in the middle school. Additionally, we will be allowing students to wear whatever sweatshirt they would like during testing, while keeping everything else in uniform. If you have any questions about state testing, I ask that you direct emails to our State Assessment Coordinator, Robyn Hunt (firstname.lastname@example.org).
How to Handle Bullying Presentation
On Wednesday, April 17th, we will be having a special guest come into our building and hold an assembly on how to handle bullying. Brooks Gibbs is a public speaker who travels around the country, presenting his personal stories and methods of how to deal with bullying. Additionally, we will be holding a parent forum that afternoon, regarding his presentation. See information below:
Parent Assembly: Building Resiliency in our Kids
Join us on April 17 for a Parent Forum with renowned speaker, Brooks Gibbs.
Just as physical fitness is important to our health, mental fitness aids in our overall well-being.
Resiliency, one of the main components of positive mental health, allows students to stand in the face of challenges and persevere through times of disappointment or frustration.
Brooks Gibbs is a well-known expert on the topic of resiliency, and we are excited to welcome him to American Academy mid-April! His upbeat presentation is fun and relatable, as he delivers a message that empowers students to feel in control of their responses to feelings. With special attention paid to the issue of social conflict, Brooks Gibbs provides practical techniques that instill confidence in students and their ability to bounce back.
Our students will be hearing Mr. Gibbs speak during school day assemblies, so you can decide if you would like to bring them for this evening assembly. Let us know you're coming with an RSVP so we can have enough seating.
Parent Forum April 17, 2019 6:30 PM Mostenbocker campus gym
Parent Teacher Conferences Reminder
On Thursday, April 25th, 2019 from 4:30-6pm, we will be hosting Parent/Teacher Conferences for middle school teachers. As always, these will be held in the AA Motsenbocker Cafeteria. In middle school, conferences are a first come, first serve basis. We ask that parents try to keep the conferences with each teacher to around 10-15 minutes. If you need more time, please arrange a meeting with that teacher.
Erika Smith Update and how families can help
After I sent out the email earlier this week regarding Erika Smith, I received a flood of emails wanting to know how they can help! I have received communication from both Erika and her husband and they were overwhelmed with the support from the families here at AA. Erika is getting better every day and was uplifted hearing about the notes from students here at school. If you feel there is anything you want to give to Erika and her husband at this time, we will be happy to collect them at the front office and deliver them to their house through the end of the school year.
8th Grade Retreat Replacement
With the unexpected weather just before spring break, we unfortunately had to cancel our 8th grade retreat. We have every intention of supplementing the 8th grade retreat with a replacement day in May. Due to how much planning and scheduling goes into the 8th grade retreat, what will eventually become its replacement won’t be anything as dynamic or involved as the retreat at Stone Canyon. Either way, we will be announcing what our replacement plan will be next week. Stay tuned for details!
Start Making Plans for Summer Camp - registration is now open!
We hope your kids can join us for one or more of the fun camps hosted by American Academy teachers and staff. There are many great options, and some camps even start the first week of summer break.
For more details and information about current summer camp offerings, visit the American Academy Summer Camp page (info is on the main website, under quicklinks >> parents >> summer camps).
Please note: ANY American Academy student can attend ANY of the summer camps listed, regardless of where the camp is being held. i.e. If your CP student wants to attend a camp being held at LM, simply log into your school store account but click on the other campus school store; all their camps will be listed under the Summer Camps tab. If you have questions, please email Catrina Phillips.
Yearbooks Still Available!
Yearbooks are still on sale through April 1st! The cost of each yearbook is $20. This year, we are again offering 2 customized pages at no additional cost. To order yearbooks and create customized pages:
Don’t delay and order today! Contact Kathy Weil with any additional questions at email@example.com
8th Grade Yearbook Dedications
Your son or daughter will soon be graduating from American Academy! The yearbook staff would like to invite you to honor your child and all of his or her accomplishments with a special tribute in the 2018-2019 American Academy yearbook.
To honor your child, you may purchase a 1/6 page for $20. You can pay by check (made payable to American Academy) or cash. You may drop off payment at the front office. This money will contribute to the 8th grade gift at the end of the year! After you’ve placed your order, please email one photo (preferably a baby or toddler photo) and a note (6 sentences or less, including their name!) for your advertisement to firstname.lastname@example.org. Your photo must be at least 300dpi or they will be blurry in the yearbook. It is also suggested that your child be the only person in this photo, but this is not required. Please place your order no later than April 1st. Orders cannot be accepted after this date. It is necessary to enforce this deadline so we have adequate time to complete the yearbook.
Please note that we will do our best to keep all 8th grade special tributes a secret unless you choose to share yours with your child ahead of time. If you have any questions, please contact Kathleen Weil email@example.com. Thank you for your cooperation, and we hope you will take advantage of this wonderful opportunity!
Middle School Dances
For those parents new to the middle school scene, middle school dances are essentially a school social. We try to discourage the kids from asking “dates” or pairing off for these events, and no formal dress is ever required, though the Student Council will sometimes pick an optional fun theme and announce it to their classmates at school. We just want the kids to relax and have fun together!
IMPORTANT: for accountability, health, and legal reasons, these dances are open to currently-enrolled American Academy students ONLY.
Dances are chaperoned by their own middle school teachers. Occasionally, the Student Councils at each campus will opt to plan a cross-campus event; these are chaperoned by American Academy middle school staff from all campuses involved.
All dances charge a $5.00 admission fee (to cover snacks and a DJ for the evening, as well as to fund raise for student council programs). Please plan to be on time to pick up students after the dance. The teacher chaperones are volunteering their Friday evenings so your students can have a safe and fun place to hang out, and they have already put in a full day of teaching prior to setting up, chaperoning and cleaning up the dances. They are certainly very tired and ready to head home by 8:00 pm and on-time pick-ups are MUCH appreciated!
Thursday, November 29th
Letter from the Principal - November
Keeping up with your child’s assignments
Through the start of the year, we understand that transitioning into a new grade can be difficult for both parents and students. After having numerous conversations regarding the tracking of assignments, it feels necessary to refresh on how and where to check assignments for classes.
All students have their own system for tracking homework. Every student in the 6th grade has a daily planner and this tool is frequently used in their classes. Whether your child uses the planner or not, it’s helpful to have a central location to write down their daily assignments. Having these conversations at home about tracking assignments can help close a gap of miscommunications occurring at school.
Additionally, teachers are required to have assignments entered into Infinite Campus by the end of every school day (some have them in WAY earlier!). Log-in to the parent portal for Infinite Campus (https://campus.dcsdk12.org/icprod/portal/icprod.jsp) or the Infinite Campus app, and find your child’s To-Do List on the left hand side (on the app, go to Assignments and click Today on the upper right hand side). This is a list of assignments that your child needs to complete and is a great central location for this information.
When your child has a missing assignment in Infinite Campus, the gradebook will reflect this with an M in place of a score. We understand this always causes some confusion, so I want to help clear up any questions or misconceptions.
When an M is put into Infinite Campus (IC), this is both a score of 0 AND triggers a reminder in IC to each family that this assignment is currently missing. This occurs EVERYTIME an assignment is not turned in. This includes: being out absent (whether excused or unexcused), out on a STEM trip, leaving it in the car, dog eating it, et al. The reason we always place the missing tag is to alert the child and family that the assignment has NOT been turned in. Whether the assignment is graded for full credit is dependent on the reason for the missing assignment. Also, please remember that students have 2 days to turn in a missing assignment, with full credit, for every day they were absent.
Finally, I am always asked about student participation in Extra-Curricular Activities (ECAs) in regard to missing assignments. If a student is failing a class, directly due to missing assignments in regard to an EXCUSED absence, they are ALLOWED to participate in ECAs.
Math Lab has returned!
For those families looking for after school math help, the middle school math department has brought back Math Lab. Math Lab is after school (3:30 to 4:30pm) on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Each day, one of our middle school math teachers will be in the room to work with students individually on their math assignments or help refine any concepts. This is a drop in course that is available on the school store (https://americanacademyk8.revtrak.net/Motsenbocker-Campus/Extracurricular-Activities-1021/). Click Academics and sign up whichever day your child needs help!