Letter from Cathey Goodgame – December 3, 2014

Dear ANCS Families and Friends,

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and got a chance to relax a bit as we enter this very busy time of year. Along with the typical December school work, each of our advisory groups is planning a community service project for the upcoming Extended Advisory Day on December 19. Projects last year included a clean-up at Brownwood Park, bingo with residents at Branan Towers, clothes sorting at Intown Clothes, and mulching on the Beltline with TREES Atlanta. One group, the Soesbe Advisory, has chosen as its service project this year to manage the Middle Campus food drive for the Atlanta Community Food Bank (ACFB) and they got the drive started by making the announcement at today’s Morning Meeting. The drive will run through Friday, January 9 and the winning grade level will earn a pajama day on a to-be-determined date in January. We share ACFB’s dedication to providing healthier foods to families and ask that donations come, when possible, from the following categories of items:

  • Whole grain foods, including wheat pasta, brown rice, and grain cereal
  • Shelf stable milk (cow, soy, rice, etc)
  • Fruit, dried or canned in light syrup or juice
  • Low-sodium, no salt added vegetables
  • Low-sodium pasta sauce in plastic containers
  • Foods high in protein, including natural peanut butter, dried beans, canned (in water) tuna, salmon or chicken       and unsalted nuts
  • 100% fruit and/or vegetable juice
  • Olive or canola cooking oil

This week we are celebrating Inclusive Schools Week on both campuses with a variety of activities. Our advisory groups have been discussing related topics and asking what it means to be inclusive, why choices are sometimes made to exclude people, and what connections can be found between being inclusive and being unique. Today in Morning Meeting we continued this conversation, led by several students from the group Excellent People at Work, and we enjoyed the inspiring words of our guest speaker, Foster Deck. Below is additional information about the goal of Inclusive Schools Week. Consider using this or other resources to continue the conversation at home and strengthen our ANCS School Family.

From Inclusive Schools Network – http://www.inclusiveschools.org/inclusive-schools-week/ Inclusive Schools Week is an annual event sponsored by the Inclusive Schools Network (ISN) and Stetson & Associates, Inc., which is held each year during the first week in December. Since its inception in 2001, Inclusive Schools Week has celebrated the progress that schools have made in providing a supportive and quality education to an increasingly diverse student population, including students who are marginalized due to disability, gender, socio-economic status, cultural heritage, language preference and other factors. The Week also provides an important opportunity for educators, students and parents to discuss what else needs to be done in order to ensure that their schools continue to improve their ability to successfully educate all children.

Tomorrow night we will host a New Parent Information Meeting at 6:30pm in the Middle Campus Media Center. The purpose of the meeting is to help families who are new to our school community better understand standards-based grading, our End of Term Reports, and portfolios. Please bring your child’s recent End of Term Report to the meeting. This session is strongly suggested for new families, including families of 6th graders, and we also welcome our returning families to attend. Please RSVP to Mr. Sanders at msanders@ancs2016.wpengine.com so that we know how many people to expect.

Finally, we typically have the Middle Campus Principal’s Coffee on the fourth Friday of each month. In both November and December the fourth Friday falls during a holiday break so we have split the difference and will have our next coffee on Friday, December 12, 8:15am-9:15am. Our counselor, Kristin Lee, has secured a speaker for the morning to discuss an important topic to parents of teens: Teen Dating Violence Prevention. Samantha Macedo from Partners Against Domestic Violence (PADV) will join us to discuss warning signs, safety planning and other strategies and resources. In case you are wondering why we feel this topic is important, here is some information shared with us by PADV:

Teen Dating Violence statistics

  • 1 in 3 teenagers report knowing a friend or peer who has been hit, punched, kicked, slapped, choked or physically hurt by their partner.
  • 8 out of 10 girls who have been physically abused in their dating relationships continue to date their abuser.
  • About 1 in 5 high school girls has been physically or sexually assaulted by a dating partner.
  • Georgia has the highest percentage in the nation of high school students who experienced dating violence: 1 in 6.

PADV believes it’s critical to reach preteens and teens while they are still forming their attitudes toward dating and relationships. With preventive education, patterns of abuse can be avoided before they become learned and ingrained. Teenagers can choose better relationships when they learn to identify the early warning signs of an abusive relationship, understand that they have choices, and believe they are valuable people who deserve to be treated with respect.

We hope to see you tomorrow for the New Parent Information Session at 6:30pm and next Friday, December 12, for the Principal’s Coffee.

Wishing you well,

Cathey