Hello MC families,
I’d like to start my Courier letter by congratulating 8th grader Nick Aaron who was awarded a scholarship through the REACH Georgia Scholarship Program. Earlier this year Nick was nominated by ANCS due to his scholarship and his leadership, and a few weeks ago we learned that he would be awarded this honor. Nick earned a $10,000 scholarship through REACH and he will be matched with a mentor throughout the remainder of his secondary schooling. Congratulations Nick!
Next, I’d like to shift gears to a couple of reminders related to some things that are happening this week. Tomorrow the Spelling Bee will be taking place at the Middle Campus in the Media Center at 3:15. The winner will move on to the APS bee in January.
Dress Code Parent Conversation Reminder: As we’ve worked through the process of re-evaluating our dress code we got feedback from students and teachers in the spring and our next move was going to be involving parents. We relaxed our enforcement of the dress code last year, but the dress code didn’t go away. The next step in this process will be coming up with an ANCS dress code that helps create a safe and comfortable learning environment for students and teachers alike. We will have a virtual parent meeting about dress code on Thursday, December 8th from 6:30-7:30 pm. RSVP at this link (dress code meeting) to help us know how many people to expect. We will also use this form to collect email addresses so that we can send out a Zoom link.
School Dance Reminder: On Friday, December 9th Student Council will be sponsoring a dance (the Snow Ball) from 7:00-9:00 pm at the Middle Campus in the gym. Students are free to “come as they are” in terms of dress, but they were asked by Student Council to dress to impress. As students consider what they plan to wear they should be sure to make sure that their clothing is school-appropriate. NOTE: After the dance students must be dropped off and picked up by an adult on Essie Avenue. We dismiss the students from the dance similar to the way we do at dismissal. Leaving a dance though, students must either be picked up in the car line or they must be walked home by an adult – they may not walk home alone. For students who are being picked up on foot we will release those students directly to an adult who is walking them home.
Student Early Pick-Up Reminder: We have had several instances over the last few weeks of students going to the bathroom to call or text their parents and asking their parents to pick them up without speaking to any of the adults at school. This is problematic, because students should not be on their cell phones making calls or texting at school, including if they are reaching out to their parents. If a student needs to reach out to their parents they should go to the main office, and we will let them use the phone. Students are aware of this expectation. More importantly, if a student is actually sick they should see the school nurse so that she can direct them on the best course of action. Nurse Leslye’s guidance can help a student get the support they need immediately. We also don’t want students to miss school if it’s not necessary, especially if they are not actually sick. Supporting students in being resilient is very important, so we don’t want our students asking to get picked up early if they don’t need to be.
Formative and Summative Assessments: As we close out this semester your students are probably talking about the summative assessments that they have going on in their classes. You also should have seen formative assessment feedback posted in ManageBac over the last several weeks. A summative assessment is a culminating assessment in which students demonstrate their knowledge after the completion of a unit of study (a unit is a collection of learning experiences that are connected by theme or topic – a Math class may have a unit on fractions).
As an IB school we ground our summative assessments in real-world experiences. Our 7th grade Design classes just finished a unit in which they learned woodworking skills that they applied towards creating a “memory keeper.” (A memory keeper is anything that can be used to capture a memory – it could be a box, picture frame, shelf, or whatever kids come up with.)
Along the way as students progress through a unit teachers administer formative assessments which are check-ins to see how the students are doing. Teachers are giving feedback on these formative assessments that let students (and parents, because it is posted in ManageBac) know if the student is making “limited,” “adequate,” or “substantial” progress towards the aims of the unit. The students also get feedback on their formative assessments that they can use to improve. If your student is at the level of “limited” or “adequate” progress at a given point in time it’s ok! It’s just a check-in and a snapshot of where the student is at that moment. Students can also take that feedback to show improvement as they move towards their summative. We don’t want kids chasing grades anyway – we want them to simply focus on doing their best. We’re all growing! We also all have our individual strengths and weaknesses across subject areas. If you aren’t where you want to be at a given point that’s fine, but formative assessment data helps us to know where we are along the path and it helps us grow. As formative and summative feedback comes in, and as you talk to your kids, hopefully this gives you some context for what you are hearing, and for what you are seeing on ManageBac.
As always if you have any questions feel free to reach out.