Diamond Gazette

April 2016

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You're Almost There!!

The schedules, the lesson plans, the goal charts, the pacing guides and the curriculum..... It's all starting to wind down to the end. The end of the 2015-2016 School Year. It's so easy with the beautiful Spring weather to NOT want to do the school work. You can't stop now though! You are in a Race to the Finish Line! The end is in sight. Keep digging into your school work. You are Almost There!!

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Look at all the ways ARVA Diamonds SHINE across our state!

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Science Olympiad Takes Home Awards!!

Congratulations to the ARVA Science Olympiad team!

The ARVA community sent our Science Olympiads sent the team off with LOTS of well wishes! Check our your encouraging words here: tinyurl.com/Olympiad-cheers

Olympiads brought home four medals and the coveted Spirit Award in their first year of competition against much larger and experienced teams! The competition on the campus of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock featured 290 competitors from 18 schools.

  • 7th graders-Trenton Gorman and Max Green won first place/gold in Mission Possible for the Rube Goldberg machine they built.
  • 9th grader- Giovanni Mannon won second place/silver for the food science category which involved conducting hands on analytical experiments.
  • 6th graders- Ethan McFarland and Claire Green won third place/bronze for Write It/Do It, a contest about instructional writing and building.
  • 8th grader- Jainy Greene and Max Green also won third place/bronze in bio-process lab which tested a variety of lab science skills including microscopy, measuring and reading a dichotomous key.
  • Other members of the team participating in the competition were Niko Mannon, Zak Cabibi-Wilkin and Zino Schroeder.

We are so proud of our team and grateful for all of the parents and learning coaches who dedicated their time to making this happen for these students and especially to Jason and Jennifer Green, the parents who coached the team!

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1st Ever ARVA Photo Contest

In February, ARVA held its first ever photography contest, sponsored by learning coaches, Jason & Jennifer Green. Here are the winners of ARVA's first-ever ARVA Booster Club photo contest:

Judge's Choice:
Best Portfolio: Entrant Five - Ava Norman, 7th grade
Best Photo: Entrant Two - Waiting - Lane Grotjohn, 5th grade

Student Choice
Best Portfolio: Entrant Two - Lane Grotjohn, 5th grade
Best Photo: Entrant Four - Secret - Stella Norman, 5th grade

We appreciate so much everyone who entered. Our judges were very impressed! To view all entries, including the winning photos, click here.
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School Spirit Days at Testing

We've had a successful first week of testing with the 1st & 2nd grade students across the state. This month's Diamond Gazette background showcases many of our families from testing last week as they proudly wore their school colors and enjoyed a Silly Sock Day. (Next month's issue of The Diamond Gazette will have even more pictures!) Join the fun and show off your school spirit by participating in these school spirit days while testing this month.

  • Mon., April18: School Colors (teal or blue and white)
  • Tues., April 19: Silly Socks (mismatched or crazy/colorful socks)
  • Wed., April 20: Americana Day
  • Thurs., April 21: Camo Day
  • Fri., April 22: Arkansas Day (Woo Pig Sooie!)
  • Mon., April 25: 70's/Tie Dye Day
  • Tues., April 26: Sports Team Day (show off your favorite sports team)
  • Wed., April 27: Neon Day
Our school will have 8 days of testing over the next two weeks but each student is only assigned to 2 days. Because the schedule changes slightly for each site, not every student will participate each day.
School spirit days are limited to clothing. No face paint please.

RoCk that TeSt!!

Helpful Tips to ensure your student can RoCk that TeSt!!
  • Make sure your student has a daily routine.
  • Set a bedtime, yep, even for those older kiddos. Sleep=brain power!
  • Breakfast is like the gas in your car. They got to have it to run well.
  • Turn the volume down in your household. Start your days peacefully.
  • Think POSITIVE thoughts.

Here are some more helpful tips for Spring Testing. Also, check out the LCU: State Testing Strategies recording that was hosted by ARVA's own Beth Moore located in the Strong Start Website's Learning Coach University.

Special Needs Families ~ Check out the resources below!

Do you know of more opportunities for children with special needs in your area?

Let us know so that we can share it with the rest of our ARVA community!

ARVA's 5th Annual Spelling Bee for K-8

We will be hosting our 5th Annual ARVA Spelling Bee for grades K-8 in May! Spellers will be divided into grade level bands. If your students are interested, you are invited to attend the information session here, BUZZZ!! The information session will be held Wed., April 13, 11am.

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Celebrating Teachers during upcoming Teacher Appreciation Week

Join us in showing our hard-working teachers how much we appreciate them! We invite you to share your thoughts with your ARVA teachers (past or present) here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Thank-You-ARVA-Teachers_2016
Responses will be pulled and shared with teachers during Teacher Appreciation Week, May 2-6.

Dear Gem Diamond,

This month's question is from 'S': "When is the graduation or end-of-year awards ceremony this year?"
This year's Academic Honors Ceremony and K & 8th Grade Graduation will be held on Friday, May 20th in Little Rock. Look for your invitation and more information in your kmail this week. ALL families are invited.
Do YOU have a question for Gem Diamond? Send it to "Dear Gem Diamond," and your question, along with the answer, could be published in the May 2016 edition of The Diamond Gazette!

ARVA's Parent Lending Library has been busy this month!

ARVA's Parent Lending Library has books and games to loan to parents and learning coaches. It includes titles such as Setting Limits with your Strong-willed Child, What Do You Stand For?, and non-book selections such as A Trip to Bugland, among other fun titles. To find out more information about the ARVA’s Parent’s Lending Library or to check out a book, click here.

(Click images below to read more about these featured titles.)

Resources from Amy Smith, HS Counselor

For ACT test prep resources, check out: ACT Mobile Apps
For information on Credit Recovery via Summer School, click the image to the right. -- >>>
High school students, remember...Every credit counts!
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Do you love baseball? Are you looking for an inexpensive family activity?

Enjoy a night out at an Arkansas Travelers home game for free! ARVA has season tickets at Dickey Stephens Park that we want to share with our families. Simply look at the Travelers’ game schedule below,pick a date you would like to attend a home game with your family, and claim your tickets: http://www.milb.com/schedule/index.jsp?sid=t574

To claim up to 4 free tickets at any Arkansas Travelers home game, email Stephanie Byrnes at sbyrnes@arva.org. Tickets will be granted on a first-come, first-serve basis.

K12 Poetry Contest

This year’s theme is Your Favorite Fictional Character in Literature. We invite you to write a haiku, a cinquain, limerick, ballad, sonnet, free verse, or any writing style that suits your fancy. Whether you see yourself in a particular character, want to be more like them, or their story portrays something important about your life and who you are, let us see your creative powers at work! Register to enter here...You're a Poet and You Know It!!

Deadline to enter is April 29th.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle! April 12th @3pm

Calling all 7th -12th grade students who love to learn how to make and create new innovative projects. Learn how to reuse newspaper to make baskets and recycle at the same time. We'll also learn about the impact of paper on the environment and how we can help. Grab these items from around the house: newspaper, scissors, glue (stick

glue if you have it), and tape. Students sign up for session here: http://goo.gl/forms/uDhV8QRNL1

Keep the planet GREEN

Did you know that Earth Day is April 22?! Check out this cool website to locate an Earth Day event near you! We AR for the Earth!

For some Earth-Friendly activities, games and crafts all about the check out the TinkerLab!

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Why Study Island?

Study Island is a web based program designed as a supplemental educational tool geared specifically to each individual state’s achievement tests. Study Island is built to meet each state’s unique standards.

Study Island helps students practice and master grade-level academic standards. Teachers will also place assignments in Study Island. Be sure to check your grade-level and teachers' assignments & requirements for Study Island.
Students log into Study Island using their student ID number in this convention: 12345@arva and using the password: arva.

Student Enrichment Activity Calendar

Click here to see what's happening around Arkansas!

ARVA's Family Academic Support Team (FAST) and the Strong Start Site

ARVA's Family Academic Support Team (FAST) provides comprehensive preparation and sustained support for engagement to promote improved achievement outcomes through strengths-based, proactive, and positive intervention. FAST publishes the Diamond Gazette newsletter, shares information from K12's National Family Academic Support Team, engages families at outings, and works to promote student engagement for academic success. Stay tuned to ARVA's Strong Start site for real-time updates and be sure to bookmark the site. Helpful videos, meetings through K12's Parent Network, local student activities, and more resources can be found here.
The Diamond Gazette is published monthly for all families at Arkansas Virtual Academy. It is sent via kmail and posted to the Strong Start site.
Gina Moore, editor
Amanda Lloyd, assistant editor
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Enduring the pressure yields precious results.