The Plato Periodiko

February - 2022

International Greek Language Day - February 9th

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Chairman's February 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.


National School Counseling Week 2022 is February 7th through the 11th, this is a week to focus public attention on the unique contribution of school counselors within U.S. school systems and how students are different as a result of what school counselors do.


All of our Plato Academy campuses have a qualified and dedicated guidance counselor that implements comprehensive school counseling programs, a vital part of the educational process for the whole child.


Students are more than welcome to meet with the guidance counselor to help if they're having a hard time solving a problem, there is a big change in their life, or any other academic, career, or social/emotional problem. Contact your principal for more information about how to plan a meeting with your school counselor.


If you would like more information on School Counseling visit www.schoolcounselor.org/.


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


Sincerely,

Louis Kokkinakos

Chairman of the Board

Plato Academy Schools

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

Dear Plato Academy Family,


When people ask me what makes me most proud, in the top-5 would have to be Plato Academy's excellent track record serving historically underserved student groups.

Specifically, compared to their peers in traditional public schools, Plato Academy second language learning students performed 192% better, ESE students performed 30% better, African American students performed 34% better, Hispanic students performed 21% better, and Economically Disadvantaged students performed 102% better. I am so proud of these students and our teachers' unyielding belief that all students can learn and excel.


Starting this week our campuses will be launching a new program called S.T.A.R. (Student Talent and Aptitude Recognition) that occurs during regular school hours for 1 hour per week. STAR is a program that recognizes the talents of the students who may not qualify for the Gifted class, but they still show up with a positive attitude and a great work ethic every day. These are the students that may not get recognized because they are always doing the right thing in class. At Plato Academy, we want to help every student achieve their full potential and STAR is a great program to make sure we are meeting the academic needs of each student and inspiring them to develop their own unique gifts, talents, and interests.


Our new Plato+ Academic Enrichment program has been doing an amazing job at providing the students with hands-on project-based learning at the Palm Harbor, Largo, Seminole, and Tampa campuses. Plato+ is an academic enrichment program, managed by Plato Academy Schools Corporation, a non-profit organization, in the morning and afternoon from 7:00 - 8:15 am & 3:10 - 5:45 pm. Plato+ stands apart because while it feels like fun and engaging hands-on activities for the students, there is also an element of education behind each project. For more information on Plato+, you can visit the website at https://platoacademy.net/platoplus/ or email PlatoPlus@platoacademy.net.


Last, but not least, please know that my door is always open. I truly appreciate your feedback.


Sincerely,

Matt Gunderson
CEO-Plato Academy Schools
gundersonm@platoacademy.net
#platostrong

#forwardtogether

Chief Academic Officer Update

Research Supports Parent Involvement in Children’s Education

When the topic of parent involvement comes up, volunteering on school campuses is what comes to mind for most people. While that is one form of parental involvement, and one that gets the most attention, research shows some of the most impactful parental involvement happens close to home.


Here are some ways parents can help support their child’s success in school:


✔ Set high expectations for your child.

✔ Make sure your child is in school every day and on time.

Attendance matters!

✔ Work collaboratively with your child’s teachers and talk to them about goals and expectations for your child.

✔ Talk to your child each day about what he or she is doing in school and discuss what he or she learned.

✔ Encourage your child to complete assignments, and see that she or he finishes them.

✔ Attend parent-teacher conferences.

✔ Place value on learning activities.

✔ Just read! It doesn’t matter what or how, just model and expose them to words and language.

✔ Participate in family engagement and volunteer

Opportunities.


Plato Academy educators are committed to your child’s education and welcome your support and partnership.


Primary Sources: America’s Teachers on Teaching in an Era of Change, Third edition (2014). Scholastic Inc. and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, available on p. 103 at http://www.scholastic.com/primarysources/PrimarySources3rdEdition.pdf.


General Counsel Visit

We were so honored to host the General Counsel of the Hellenic Republic Ministry of Foreign Affairs this past Thursday. We are proud to be recognized as the largest group of charter schools in the world that teach only Greek to all students every day by the Honorable Consulate General of Greece, Loukas Tsokos and the Honorable John Chrysoulakis, Secretary General for Greeks Abroad and Public Diplomacy.

Student Talent and Aptitude Recognition (S.T.A.R.)

Our Plato Academy Schools will be starting a Student Talent and Aptitude Recognition (S.T.A.R.) program in the upcoming weeks. Students are identified based on their good academics, responsibility, and leadership. Preference will also be given to those who display exemplary behavior and work habits. This new talent development program is aimed at high-achieving students who do not qualify for gifted services.


This exciting enrichment opportunity will take place during the school day and includes social-emotional learning, hands-on projects, research, and other rich exploration beyond the typical classroom experience. Topics include robotics, coding, ancient history, art, animation and more! We will play with concepts in science and do our own problem-solving research, as we grow our skills in collaboration, presentation, organization, and connection. Ready to create a Rube Goldberg machine? Program a robot? Make your own film? With S.T.A.R., the sky is the limit!

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Plato+ Academic Enrichment Activities!

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 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 peace of mind knowing you are doing something special for your child's education.
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Annual Greek Parade

Tarpon Springs - Sunday, March 20, 2022 @ 1:00 pm


Plato Academy Families,


March 25 is a national Greek Holiday – the revolution against the Turks. Greek communities from all over the world, both large and small, are hosting a variety of events and parades for the March 25th Greek Independence Day Holiday.



The 2022 Annual Greek Parade in Tarpon Springs will take place Sunday, March 20th. The parade will begin at 1 p.m. Sunday. The route heads north on Alt. U.S. 19, west on Dodecanese Boulevard and south on Roosevelt Boulevard. The parade route will be closed to traffic until about 3 p.m. to City Hall.



Plato Academy will honor this tradition once more and be part of this celebration and invite our families to participate with us. We believe that this is a great opportunity for all of you to come and join our students, staff and Greek teachers and make this into the greatest street parade ever. We will meet at 12:00 on Lemon Street in Tarpon Springs. Plato Academy will have a float and two buses participating. Please inform your teachers or better yet, fill out the form below by Friday, March 11th, if you are going to be part of this enjoyable event. Once the parade is over, the two Plato buses can drop anyone not wanting to walk back to the starting point.


Due to the fact that the parade will take place during the hours that the sun rays are most harmful following are some tips to keep in mind when participating in the parade: wear sunscreen, sunglasses with UV ray protection, hats, and of course a bottle of water would be good. In addition, students are requested to wear their school uniforms.


Thank you for your commitment.

Plato Alumni Update

Spring Iskra was part of "The Originals", the first graduating class from the Plato Academy Seminole campus in 2018. Her best memory of Plato Academy was being a member of the first Cheerleading Squad. One important lesson she learned at Plato Academy was how to study, work hard, and have fun.


She graduated high school as Salutatorian at Keswick Christian High School in 2021. She then received a full Academic Scholarship to Southeastern University and will graduate in the Fall of 2025 with a Communication Major and a Minor in Graphic Design. She also received the great privilege of being accepted into the School of Honors.

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Thank you to our School Guidance Counselors for providing life lessons and carrying through Plato Academy's mission to educate the whole child. You are so appreciated for all of your hard work and dedication to our young scholars.


The theme of this year’s week is “Better Together.” To help support students' success, our counselors often collaborate with other school staff, such as the school psychologist, school social worker, and school nurse.


“Little Women” author Louisa May Alcott said, “It takes two flints to make a fire.” You’ve probably also heard the phrase “two heads are better than one.” Look around, how are you working in teams today? Are you collaborating on school projects, helping a friend, or playing a sport? We are so much stronger together – and, sometimes, you encounter work that requires more than one person to complete.


Your school counselor is there for our students to help them build teamwork skills so they can be successful in groups both big and small.

GIRLS ON THE RUN

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Help Plato Academy rise up in the rankings by giving a honest and supportive review of your school.

Send your rating to your principal and receive a volunteer hour! (1 hour/review)


Click the picture links below, find your school & leave a review on these platforms:

Read-a-thon

This month our schools are participating in Read-A-Thon. This is a fundraiser to reinforce good reading habits while raising funds to support reading. We encourage students to get pledges from relatives and neighbors. Sponsors may pledge an amount for each page read (ex. $0.10 per page) or a flat amount for the day (ex. $5.00).


We are excited to start a competition between each of our 9 schools every year to see which school can read the most to win the top honor and receive the Read-A-Thon Trophy!


Read-A-Thon

Helps your mind and school GROW!

GAME DAY WITH THE RAYS!

Tampa Bay Rays vs. Boston Redsox 4/23/22



We are excited to announce a Game Day with the Tampa Rays. On April 23rd we will watch our hometown champion Rays take on the Boston Redsox. The time of the game is to be determined.


This is event is for the entire family to attend. Our All Pro Dad program is hosting the event but moms, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and more are attending as well as dads. This will we great fun as our greater Plato family joins together for a unique experience.


We have negotiated 3 different ticket options at a greatly reduced rate. Each ticket will include an official Tampa Rays hat! Attached is a flyer with more details and information on how to purchase your tickets.


If you have any questions of concerns, please email jamessciandra@hotmail.com. Hope to see you there. Go Plato and Go Rays!


Gratefully,


James Sciandra

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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

Sophrosyne (Greek: σωφροσύνη) is an ancient Greek concept of an ideal of excellence of character and soundness of mind, which when combined in one well-balanced individual leads to other qualities, such as temperance. moderation, prudence, purity, decorum, and self-control.


Sophrosyne was the personified spirit (daimona) of moderation, self-control, temperance, restraint, and discretion. She was one of the good spirits to escape Pandora's box and abandoned mankind in her flight back to Olympos.


At Plato Academy, one of the founding principles of our mission is to assist students in achieving their full potential by requiring and nurturing high behavioral standards.

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.