Spark Online Academy

Family Newsletter - January 3, 2022

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Message from Mrs. Johnson

Greetings, Spark Online Community!


Welcome to a new year and new semester at Spark Online Academy. I hope everyone had a healthy and enjoyable holiday break. The Spark staff is ready to welcome back our students on Wednesday, January 5.


Wednesday, January 5 Schedule


  • 8:00 - 9:00 Morning meeting with your class


*Normally, Wednesday mornings are scheduled asynchronous learning for students. On our first day back from break, we want to welcome our students back properly with a welcome back morning meeting!


  • 9:00 - 11:45 - Asynchronous learning pathway provided by your teacher
  • 12:15 - 3:00 - Inquiry Learning and next round Spark Hour preview and selection


As always, please reach out with any questions or information needs. It's an honor and privilege to partner with all of you in the success and development of our learners.


Committed to your student's success,


Julie Johnson

Principal, Spark Online Academy

julie.johnson@d11.org

719-328-4302 Office

719-322-6270 Cell

Important Dates Ahead

January

  • 5 - Students return from Winter Break
  • 10 - 21 - Student-led conferences
  • 12 - Next round of Spark Hour begins
  • 17 - Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (Schools closed)
  • 27 - Spark School Accountability Committee meeting

2nd Quarter Student-Led Progress Conferences

Your student will lead their 2nd progress conference with you during the weeks of January 10 and 17, 2022. You will receive a sign-up form link for your spot before the week of the 10th. Students will be preparing to share their growth toward their goals and progress on their academic standards and habits of work.


These quarterly conferences are critical in providing another opportunity for your child to develop essential communication skills and take an active role in their learning. In traditional school models, conference events don't typically have students take an active part in the conversation, which can set conditions for students to be passive in their learning. Talking about accomplishments and challenges, setting goals, and plans to achieve those goals are skills that lead to success in college, career, and life.


An additional benefit of our second quarter progress conferences is to hear explanations of your child's demonstrated proficiency levels on specific Colorado Academic Standards and Habits of Work. Unfortunately, District 11's Information and Technology department has not yet completed our revisions to our report card, and our teachers will be able to interpret the report until the revisions to simplify the reports are complete.

Student Supply Refresh and Swap Outs

It's time for our mid-schoolyear supply swaps, additions, and replenishment. Grade level specifics are listed below.

*For all grade levels, if you have specific supply needs or need assistance returning or picking up supplies, please let your child's teacher or our front office know. 719-328-4300


  • Kindergarten - Updated and additional supplies were provided in December. If you did not pick them up yet, or need assistance in getting them, please call or front office. Hula hoops are now available for pick up for the 2nd semester.
  • 1st grade - Updated and additional supplies were provided in December, If you did not pick them up yet, or need assistance in getting them, please contact our front office. Hula hoops for PE are available now and stacking cups for PE will be available beginning on January 10.
  • 2nd grade - Please return the stacking cup set by Friday, January 7, and pick up a Hula hoop for the 2nd semester PE class.
  • 3rd grade - Hula hoops are available now and stacking cup sets will be available the week of January 10. You can pick them both up after the 10th. If you need assistance in getting this equipment, please let our front office know.
  • 4th grade - Please return the stacking cup set by Friday, January 7.
  • 5th grade - Pick up stacking cup set the week of January 10.
  • 6th grade - Return the stacking cup set by Friday, January 7.
  • 7th and 8th grade - Please let us know if you have any supply needs or replenishments are needed.


2nd, 4th, and 6th-grade parents - It is important to have the stacking cup sets returned on or before January 7 so we can sanitize and get them ready for other grade-level students.



Spark School Accountability Committee

Our Spark Online Academy School Accountability Committee (SAC) quarterly meeting is on Thursday, January 27 from 6:00-7:00 pm.

  • In-person - Trailblazer Elementary School, 2015 Wickes Road, Colorado Springs, CO 80919,
OR
  • Online - meeting link will be sent upon your RSVP


Please RSVP to Debra DePalo debra.depalo@d11.org

The purpose of a SAC is to inform, encourage, and provide opportunities for parents and community members to be involved in the planning and evaluation of the school's instructional program and quality improvement processes.

Agenda items include:

  • Review of the Unified School Improvement Plan (USIP) and comprehensive strategic plan
  • Review winter benchmark testing data
  • Overview of the high school expansion plan

Exciting new partnership!

Spark Online is pleased to announce a new partnership with Catamount Institute! Our instructional model places a high priority on experiential learning and our online and blended model provides the flexibility for students to learn out in the community and world.


The Catamount Institute has been providing outdoor education and adventures to youth in the Pikes Peak Region for over 20 years. Beginning January 12, Catamount will provide outdoor learning adventures for our kindergarten - 8th-grade students during Spark Hour.


This is just the beginning of great community partnerships coming to Spark to bring the best learning experiences for our deserving students!

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High School Expansion

Exciting new plans are in progress now for our expansion to 9th grade in the 2022/23 school year! Each consecutive year, we'll add a grade level, reaching a full K-12 model by the 2025/26 school year.


Our unique high school program will provide a continuation of our student-centered inquiry-based learning model with real-world experience with local and global businesses and organizations. We are excited to offer this relevant and rigorous pathway to college and career for high school students that builds a portfolio of knowledge, abilities, and life experiences that prepare students with the skills and confidence for success.

About Spark Online Academy

Spark Online Academy empowers learners through connected, rigorous, and relevant learning experiences that combine caring, skilled educators with the power of technology to connect with the local and global community.