Letter from the MC Principal – February 4, 2015

Dear ANCS Families and Friends,

“… And the award for 2015 GCSA Charter School of the Year goes to Atlanta Neighborhood Charter School!” These words from Cathy Ramos of the Coca-Cola Foundation last Friday at the GCSA Leadership Conference were so very sweet to hear and I couldn’t be more proud to be part of this team. The pride doesn’t come from the public acknowledgement or the check we received, though both are very nice. Instead, it comes from knowing that the hard work and dedication of our school family is recognized beyond the walls of our two buildings. We know we have something special!

There are so many reasons to be thankful for being a member of the ANCS School Family. I am thankful for those who worked so hard to establish these two great schools now merged into one. I am thankful for the teachers and support staff who are the hardest working, most dedicated crew with whom I have ever worked. I am thankful for the students and the way they come to school each day ready to learn. I am thankful for the parents who trust us with their best and brightest and believe in us as a school of choice. Though I have been here less than two years, I honor those who have made this school what it has become and am proud to call ANCS home!

Just before the big announcement on Friday, Lara Zelski and I presented a session with a colleague from Amana Academy about Building Community through Morning Meeting. We talked to the attendees about the philosophy behind morning meeting and why it is important to all stakeholders to be a part of the community in this way, among other things. We greeted each other, actively listened, danced, and performed brain breaks. We successfully shared with others why Morning Meeting is so important to us. We are a school family and coming together on a daily or weekly basis helps keep us strong together. At the middle campus we are modeling Morning Meeting after the concept of the Brain Smart Start. There are four components of the Brain Smart Start: Unite, Disengage Stress, Connect and Commit. Our “opening moves” for each Morning Meeting serve to unite us through music and movement. The activity that follows the opening moves helps us connect in pairs, groups of three or sometimes advisory groups. Our “closing moves” of either quiet time or breathing, help us to disengage the stress response. Finding a committing activity has been our biggest challenge, but a few of us fell in love with one while at Winter Meeting in Tucson a few weeks back. Stay tuned to see if we unveil this new commitment in the coming weeks.

Finally, registration for new families, for the (2015-16) school year begins next week. If you know families who are interested in enrolling their children at the middle campus for the upcoming school year, please share these important dates:

• Monday, February 9 – Registration begins (K-8)
• Saturday, February 21 – Middle Campus Information Session, 10:00am
• Thursday, March 5 – Middle Campus Information Session, 6:30pm
• Monday, March 9 – Registration ends (K-8), 3:30pm
• Thursday, March 12 – Enrollment Lottery, 6:00pm

Wishing you well,

Cathey