“You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.” —Kahlil Gibran
March 20, 2019
We are approaching the midpoint of our second semester and it has been amazing to witness the eclectic array of approaches and outcomes stemming from our engaging and purposeful courses, as well as leadership seminars, all-school meetings, internships and community service efforts. What has been most noticeable since the start of the school year has been the growing sense of ownership and shared responsibility among our students.
For example, when the school had been struggling with consistency in honoring the uniform dress code norms, it was our students who agreed to stand-up and step-in and to monitor one another to ensure expectations related to appropriate attire was adhered to by fellow peers. The result of entrusting students to address and resolve this issue has proven positive and effective. Another example is seeing a cross-section of students from several classes working towards an ambitious school-wide project to construct a park-like outdoor classroom space at the back of our campus. While this endeavor is still early in the process, the groundswell of interest and support these students are generating within the school and also the surrounding community demonstrates the power of influence our student leaders have when they become passionate about a cause. There are numerous other ways student engagement and voice is taking hold in a big way at CLA, and I encourage you to discuss with your child if and how they are noticing these positive shifts in our overall school culture.
Our 3rd Quarter comes to a close this coming Tuesday (3/26). Teachers will be posting grades and report cards will prepared to share as part of scheduled student-led family conferences next Thursday (3/28) and Friday (3/29). Both days will be half-days for students in order to allow time for these interactive in-person mid-term progress reports. Your child’s Leadership Coach will be contacting you directly to select a conference time to meet.
At the conference, beyond reviewing mid-term grades and projected credits that will lead to a discussion about academic scheduling plans for next year, students will be presenting a sample of high-quality work that they feel reflects their skill growth in writing (a school wide improvement goal). We will also need to collect unpaid student activities and tech. fees that are past due, and will have a list available to let you know any amount needed to pay.
At the start of the semester, the school collected re-commitment forms to secure your child’s enrollment for our 2019-20 school year. We appreciate all those who submitted those back to us in a timely fashion. As the school continues to grow, enrollment will be capped at each grade level. Earlier this month, we held our first lottery for next year’s 9th grade and have had to start a wait list for students wishing to enter as freshman in the fall. To accommodate the increase in student enrollment, the school is currently exploring options for expanding into different parts of our building, as well creatively re-purposing existing spaces to better serve our needs. Stay tuned for updates on these plans.
As a Title I school (which makes us eligible to receive a sizable amount of federal funds to support students and promote family involvement), we are required to solicit feedback through a survey that can be accessed through the following link:
Thank you for taking the time to complete the survey as the responses assist us in improving our educational program and means of communications and outreach with our families.
Finally, please be on the lookout for a May Showcase calendar that will be shared shortly after our spring break vacation week (April 15-19). Rather than one large full-school showcase, the school has instead opted to host a series of smaller scale events to allow for more time and attention on students’ individual and collaborative work. We believe this format is more respectful and consistent with the personalized instructional approach we aim to foster as an intentionally small learning community.
As always, thank you for entrusting us with being part of your child’s educational journey and partnering together in helping them discover how smart they are and the ways their positive contributions make CLA the special school that it is.