Letter from the MC Principal

Hello MC families,

The period after Spring Break is a busy one. There is a lot going on – some of it academic, some of it culture-building. Some of it can lead to stress, and some of it can relieve stress. Through it all we encourage students to enjoy these final weeks of their school year.

On the Tuesday after the break the 7th grade took a trip to the Zoo as part of a summative in which they were monitoring and analyzing animal behavior. That was also the day that our Executive Director finalists visited both campuses, so we had lots of energy at the Middle Campus that day. That week ended with the Annie Jr. wrap party. Ms. Hinton put together a great culminating event to celebrate our students and the adults that were involved in the show.

Last week we had MAP testing on Monday and Friday. The middle of the week included Principal for a Day on Tuesday. Seventh grader Charlie Kopp was our Principal for the Day and he chose for students to participate in a soccer tournament. Students played in Advisory groups in a single-elimination tournament to determine grade level winners and then the grade level winners (6th – Dewey/Jones Advisory; 7th – Feng/Grimes Advisory; 8th – Hinton/Pettes Advisory) faced off in a double-elimination tournament to determine our schoolwide champion. The 6th grade team ended up being our schoolwide champion! A good time was had by all on that day. On Wednesday ANCS’s 5th grade class came to visit the Middle Campus. In the beginning of the day before participating in (and transitioning between) sample Spanish/Performing Arts, Design, and Advisory classes, the 5th graders shared the things they were excited about, as well as the things that they were fearful of. At the end of the day students shared some of the things that they were no longer concerned about after their visit including getting from class to class, transitioning to IB, and being among older students.

This week our 8th graders are conducting Portfolio Exhibitions. A student’s year-end Portfolio Exhibition is a presentation that includes the use of the student’s digital portfolio as evidence to back up a claim that the student is making about their learning growth. This Exhibition takes place in Advisory and this year we are inviting parents to watch Exhibitions in person, whereas we were virtual last year. This is one of many things that we are still working to bring back after changes that had to be made due to COVID. Our 8th graders each conduct their Exhibition before a panel that includes their Advisor (someone with lots of context for the student), an additional staff member (someone who knows our school), and a community member who provides an outside voice to the panel. I’ve seen some great Exhibitions this year. Students have been very reflective about their learning, and in thinking about what helps them grow academically. Exhibitions are certainly a unique and important part of what we do at Neighborhood Charter School, but the skills that students develop as they reflect on their learning are skills that will benefit them in high school, college, and in life. This process is not just a unique challenge, it is an important part of the development of an ANCS student.

Sixth and seventh grade Exhibitions take place in front of their Advisory and the only panelists are their Advisors. These Exhibitions will take place the week of May 15th – 19th. Teachers will be reaching out to begin scheduling those with you soon.

We are wrapping up this week with an End of Year Pep Rally on Friday afternoon. During the Pep Rally we will celebrate the 8th graders who will have completed Exhibitions, we will celebrate the end of Power 30 and the work that students have done in preparation for Milestones, we will celebrate clubs, we will celebrate sports, and we will also have some student performances. We began this tradition last year (The question “What’s a Pep Rally?” was one of my favorite things from last year.), it was a lot of fun, and we are looking forward to doing it again this year. Thank you to Ms. Hardon for spearheading this effort!

In our faculty meetings we’ve been talking about Exhibitions, Milestones (which start next week), and putting together our year-end units as we continue the learning up until the last day of the school year. Regarding Milestones this is the general testing schedule:

Georgia Milestones End of Grade standardized test

The Georgia Milestones test will take place the first two weeks in May.

  • 6th grade Milestones will take place from Monday – Thursday on May 1st – 4th. ELA sections 1, 2, and 3 will be Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday respectively, and students will take Math sections 1 and 2 on Thursday.
  • 7th grade Milestones will take place from Monday – Thursday on May 8th – 11th. ELA sections 1, 2, and 3 will be Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday respectively, and students will take Math sections 1 and 2 on Thursday.
  • 8th grade Milestones will take place on M, W, & F the week of May 1st – 5th and M-W the week of May 8th – 10th (The sections of the test are broken up and spread out that’s why this is such a long window. For example, ELA sections 1, 2, and 3 are on three separate days from May 8th-10th.).
  • For students who are taking the Algebra I test, that will be taking place on Thursday, May 4th.

In preparation for students’ testing days please be sure to:

  • have your student(s) get a good night’s rest, 
  • go through their typical breakfast routine in the morning (you don’t need to do anything differently), and
  • arrive to school on time. 

Overall, as we work through these final weeks, please remind your students to have fun and enjoy all of these various events. Even the things that feel like they’ll be stressful like Exhibitions are definitely great learning experiences and we want students to get something out of both the good and the bad. As always, if you have any questions feel free to reach out.


Kind regards,