The Plato Periodiko

January - 2022

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Chairman's January Letter

At Plato Academy, we pride ourselves on creating warm, nurturing environments where children are well known and cared for. That is part of our culture that we will never change as we grow.


During its first year of operation, the school had approximately 100 students.


Today Plato Academy serves:


  • 3,700 students
  • 1,600 families
  • 500 educators &staff
  • 9 schools
  • 7 A-Rated High Performing Charter Schools
  • 97% parent, teacher and student satisfaction
  • Daily instruction in Greek Language, Tradition, and Culture for students in Kindergarten through 8th grade.


Most Importantly: Our schools remain places where students are well-known, loved, and safe to focus on their studies and preparing for their futures.


Sincerely,

Louis Kokkinakos

Chairman of the Board

Plato Academy Schools

CEO's Corner--Getting Better, Every Day!

How Can We Better Support Plato Academy Teachers?

Over 2,000 years ago, Plato wrote, "A nation prospers to the degree that it honors its teachers."


The same holds true for Plato Academy Schools. Our schools will prosper as much as we honor our teachers. Maintaining our success as small, family-friendly, A-rated, high performing schools of choice that teach Greek as a second language will rely on our successful recruiting, supporting, retaining, and honoring our amazing teachers.


It is time well spent asking ourselves how we can do a better job showing our beloved teachers the respect, the esteem, and the reverence they deserve. After all, they are spending over 7 hours a day caring for our students, your children--the futures of our families and our nation.


Speaking from my 15 years experience as a classroom teacher, when a teacher who is accountable for the academic and behavioral success of their students knows they have the support of their school's administration and especially the parents of the students they teach, it is incredibly encouraging. Teachers spend their entire days, weeks, and months of the school year encouraging students to believe in themselves, to try harder, to do their best, to never give up, and to trust in the process. Teachers will never ask for it, but believe me, just like their students, they thrive in an environment that is supportive, encouraging, built on trust, and rooted in love.


9 Ways Parents Can Honor and Support Their Children's Teachers:


  1. Help your child arrive at school each day ready to learn and fly high with a good breakfast, completed homework, all their supplies and lots of love before they get out of the car.
  2. Communicate the message that we are all a community united to put students first.
  3. Be on our side: Support teachers when they reach out for help with schoolwork or behavior.
  4. Offer constructive feedback directly to the teacher or administration when you have concerns.
  5. Know that we know Plato parents are doing their best.
  6. Ask the school for help when needed. This is a challenging time for everyone and Plato Academy is here to help as much as possible.
  7. Read teacher communications.
  8. Ask if there's anything your child's teacher needs.
  9. Let your child's teacher know how they have helped your child.


Teaching and parenting share a lot in common. It's often exhausting, always important, and incredibly rewarding. Thank you for doing your part as parents and community members to help our teachers feel honored and supported!


Sincerely,


Matt Gunderson

CEO-Plato Academy Schools

gundersonm@platoacademy.net

#platostrong

#forwardtogether

Chief Academic Officer Update

Plato Academy Schools is proud to be a Cognia accredited system of schools, a seal of quality that is recognized internationally. Our Cognia accreditation was renewed in Spring 2021 by an outside team of Cognia reviewers. The process of accreditation includes evaluating our system using a set of research-based performance standards that provide a shared framework to pursue measurable, meaningful continuous improvement. At Plato our mission is focused on assisting students in achieving their full potential in academics and behavior. Similarly, we choose to maintain this review process with an annual internal review process called School of Excellence to ensure our system of schools is reaching its full potential as a system of schools. This year our internal teams included administrators, teachers, and parents. Highlights from our School of Excellence school visits include:


  • Caring and attentive teachers

  • Rigor in academics

  • Small school environment

  • Family feel


Areas we are focused on include:


  • Extracurricular activities

  • Full integration of technology in project based learning

  • Exploring field trips related to our Greek program


We thank our families for entrusting your children in our care each day. We remain committed to the continuous improvement pursuit of excellence in academics and the whole child.


Sincerely,

Danielle Cicetti

Chief Academic Officer - Plato Academy Schools

#PlatoStrong #AcademicExcellence

Plato+ Academic Enrichment


  • Plato+ will be open for Teacher Work Days and Spring Break.
  • Are you satisfied with how your student spends their time before or after school?
  • Do you just love checking homework and making sure kids read, etc., rather than just relaxing into family time?
  • Do you believe your kiddo is getting the fun, extra learning experiences that will give them a little extra advantage?
  • If you are ready for some help giving your child what they need, I have a solution for you: our new Plato Plus program.
  • Designed by a gifted-certified curriculum specialist and our own team of experts, Plato Plus is a before and after school enrichment program appropriate for all learning levels.
  • Yes, your student will have a chance to finish their homework with support and be with their peers, but they will also do so much more: study secret codes, make slime, get outside, read, discuss, and debate...so many great things happen inside Plato Plus. Best of all, it doesn't feel like "school." Your student will love it, and we can't wait to give you the peace of mind knowing you are doing something special for your child's education.
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PLATO+ INFORMATION NIGHT

Did you miss our Parent Information Night for Plato+? No problem, below is the recording to review. Please email us at PlatoPlus@platoacademy.net with any questions.

Plato Plus Information

Volunteer Opportunity for Parents and Teachers: Strategic Plan Task Forces

Do you want to help make Plato Academy even better? After an incredibly challenging beginning to the school year due to a huge uptick in Covid, we are finally settling into a good groove where we can focus on the exciting and rewarding work of strategic planning. Below, you will find a list of the Task Forces and the Administrators who will be facilitating those teams. If you are interested in donating your time and talents to helping Plato Academy Schools become even better than they already are, please indicate below which of the Task Forces you would like to participate in. These task forces identify areas in which we want to improve over the next five years. Simply click the link below to learn more and sign up!


https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeqjLeKsuqrhFndKW30P--c6KiGTf-tcKwEa6YmAZpxgF58uw/viewform?vc=0&c=0&w=1&flr=0

Plato Statue Dedication - Unveiling Ceremony


On January 4th, we celebrated the dedication of Monument Statute of Ancient Greek Philosopher, Plato by the Terry Tsafatinos Foundation. Recognizing The namesake of our schools.


Plato once said: Good actions give strength to ourselves and inspire great actions in others.


We want to thank Terry Tsafatinos for all of his good actions that helped Plato Academy get started. His actions have inspired great actions in many others who have dedicated themselves to making Plato Academy Schools the largest and most successful group of Greek charter schools in the USA. As the founding chairman of Plato Academy, Terry Tsafatinos worked very hard to bring Plato Academy into existence.

Plato Academy Schools - All Pro Dad - Camping Trip Meeting

HELLO PLATO ACADEMY CAMPERS,


We are about 6 weeks away from the 2022 All Pro Dad Camping Trip and excited to meet at the Westgate River Ranch for a memorable weekend.


Many of our campers may have preparation questions so we have scheduled a "Camping Trip Information Meeting" as a format to address everyone's questions and concerns.

At this meeting, there will be a presentation going over all the various components that will make up the trip. After each component is discussed, time for Q&A will be allotted. We will cover all the information that you will need to know for this camping trip. This is a great opportunity to prepare your family for an awesome, fun-filled, weekend.


The meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, January 25th at 6:00pm and should last about 1 hour. It will be held at the Plato Academy Largo Campus inside the cafeteria. The address is 7100 142nd Ave N Largo, FL 33771.


No food, beverages, or daycare will be provided.


We have just a few spots left. If you have not yet booked and would like to attend, please go to www.tinyurl.com/campingtrip2022

Thank you again for your support and participation in this school years camping trip. Look forward to seeing you at the meeting.



Gratefully,


James Sciandra, All Pro Dad Team Captain


All Pro Dad Plato Academy Facebook Page:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/183890615045886

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National School Guardian Appreciation Day!

National School Guardian Appreciation Day was this past Monday, January 10. Our Campuses came together to celebrate and recognize the tremendous work our guardians do to keep us safe!


To show our love and appreciation for our guardians, our students and staff organized to all wear YELLOW on Monday. Making for a wonderful this a surprise.

Help Plato Academy Rise Up in the Rankings with your Honest, Supportive Reviews $1,000 School Survey Sweepstakes !

Take a short survey on your school and be entered for a chance to win $1,000. Open to students, parents, and recent alumni. DEADLINE: December 31, 2022

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ARETE AWARDS

Wellness Check

Due to the recent surge in local Covid-19 cases, please take a moment to review the decision tree from the Florida Department of Education regarding Covid-19 protocols. Keeping our staff and families healthy and safe is always our first priority. If your child is symptomatic, please keep them home and communicate with the school regarding the next steps needed for their return.


Covid-19 Symptoms Include:

· Fever (100.4ºF or higher)

· Chills

· Sore throat

· Continuous cough

· Congestion or runny nose

· Fatigue

· New loss of taste or smell

· Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea

· New or unusual headache

· Muscle or body aches


According to the Florida DOE Decision Tree, your student must fulfill 1 of the 3 following options in order to return to school:


Option 1: Self-isolate for 10 days, returning when all symptoms have improved AND remain fever-free for 24 hours without medication.

Option 2: Evidence of a negative diagnostic COVID-19 test (excluding home test kits) and is asymptomatic.

Option 3: A Physician’s written release to return to school with a return to school date.

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Plato Academy and friends of Ms. Melby--a long-serving and amazing teacher in the Plato Academy Family-- are fundraising to assist her family with medical/other expenses at this time. In August, Aaron (Ms. Melby’s fiancé) was admitted to the hospital because he was having some stomach pains and was jaundiced. They found a growth on his pancreas. In early September he was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer. The plan was to get him through chemotherapy treatments to shrink the tumor so he can have the Whipple surgery done to remove the tumor. Through the months of September-December he was admitted to the hospital multiple times because of complications from the tumor. He completed his chemotherapy treatment in late November and was scheduled to get the Whipple surgery on January 4th. When the surgical oncologist went in to remove the tumor, he found that it was much larger and much worse than what showed up on all of the scans. They ended up completing a gastric bypass surgery (minus stapling his stomach) because the tumor was blocking the entrance to his small intestines so he was unable to digest any food. He was released from the hospital with strict orders to eat as much food as he possibly can to prepare for the next step of treatment. In February, Aaron will hopefully be able to receive radiation and chemotherapy treatments to shrink the tumor and get him as much time as possible to spend with his family. Aaron is a loving and devoted parent and partner. Any donation is SOO very much appreciated for a wonderful teacher, dear friend, colleague, and her family. Thank you and warmest regards to everyone!

Greek Word of the Month

Arete (Greek: ἀρετή) relates to virtue, excellence, moral excellence in all that you do. According to Aristotle: Excellence of character, is to act excellently in all that you do.


A person who exemplifies Arete is one who is of the highest effectiveness, using all of their abilities and potentialities available to them.


At Plato Academy, one of the founding principles of our mission is that each student is given the ability to reach their fullest potential.

Contact our Board Members:

Louis Kokkinakos - Chairman of the Board: lkokkinakos@platoacademy.net

John Petalas - Vice Chairman: jpetalas@platoacademy.net

Yale Walker - Treasurer: walkery@platoacademy.net

George Antonaklas - Secretary: antonaklasg@platoacademy.net

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Plato Academy Schools Mission Statement

The mission of the Plato Academy Charter Schools is to assist students in achieving their full potential by requiring and nurturing high academic and behavioral standards in a safe, supporting, challenging, and enthusiastic environment, providing a well-rounded K-8 education fortified by a study of the Greek language and culture, and fostered by a commitment and cooperative effort among the school, students, parents, and community: our family.