ISPA Back-to-School Newsletter

Welcome to the 2019-2020 School Year!!

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Dear ISPA Family,


Welcome to the 2019-2020 school year! We are so excited to forge meaningful connections with each of you to ensure our students achieve their highest potential. Together, we will create a year of excellence for our children!


This new school year promises a multitude of exciting experiences: monthly field trips & face to face events, Learning Coach Workshops, Parent Ambassador Program, Destinations Career Academy, eSports, monthly help desk sessions, student contests, and so much more!


Through collective effort, effective & creative teaching, and a strong family-school-community partnership, we are confident that we'll fulfill our Mission, Vision, and Shared Values:


Our Mission:

The mission of Insight PA Cyber Charter School is to enable, inspire and prepare students to achieve the highest levels of academic standards so they make a powerful contribution in their communities.


Our Vision

The vision of Insight PA Cyber Charter School is to ignite a desire for learning in every student and nurture them to understand their goals and create a clear path to achieve them.


Our Shared Values:

  • Setting high expectations for all
  • Identifying and removing barriers that impede student growth

  • Identifying the best individualized learning approach to meet students' unique needs

  • Engaging in meaningful, direct communication about goals and progress

  • Fostering deep, collaborative partnerships among students, parents, community, teachers, staff and administrators

  • Utilizing research-based instruction to ensure mastery for all

  • Respecting that time is a limited commodity that should never be wasted


As your partners, we share the responsibility for your children’s success, and we look forward to working with all stakeholders--families, staff, and communities--to ensure students' optimal achievement. Thank you for your continued dedication to your child’s education and ISPA.


Best,


Marquise Hargrove, Community Engagement Specialist

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Meet the Leaders of the Pack

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National Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 to October 15) specifically salutes the very important presence of Hispanic and Latino Americans in the United States & celebrates their countless contributions, beautiful heritage & amazing culture.


National Hispanic Heritage Month begins each year on September 15 (the anniversary of independence of five Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. Mexico, Chile and Belize also celebrate their independence days during this period and of course, Columbus Day is October 12).


The term Hispanic or Latino, refers to Puerto Rican, South or Central American, or other Spanish culture or origin--regardless of race. Nearly 58 million people, or a whopping 18% of the American population are of Hispanic or Latino origin!


We are grateful for the profound and positive Hispanic influences, and we can all share in this annual commemoration by learning & celebrating the generations of Hispanic and Latino Americans who have positively influenced and enriched our nation & society. Here are just a few:


*Source:https://www.hispanicheritagemonth.org

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Attendance Awareness Month

September is Attendance Awareness Month, and we're celebrating all year long! In honor of Attendance Awareness Month:


1. Parents will be invited to attend virtual workshops every Thursday evening this month (9/12, 9/19, & 9/26) to discuss good attendance habits, truancy prevention, and why going to school everyday matters.


2. Students are encouraged to participate in our school-wide Attendance Awareness Poster Contest which will run through October 15. A winner will be chosen from each grade band (Elementary, Middle School and High School), and posters will be judged according to the following criteria:

  • Relevance to the theme: "Attendance Awareness"
  • Creativity and originality
  • Visual clarity and appeal



*Please submit artwork to Ms. Marquise Hargrove at mhargrove@insightpa.org .

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Where Is ISPA Today?

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Take a commitment to edifying students and add to that a love of books & a bit of creativity, and what do you get? You get "Where Is ISPA Today?", our library roadshow! Envisioned & organized by Advisor, Mrs. Carolyn Whalen, this tour has already visited York, Allegheny, Lancaster, Philadelphia, and Berks counties, and will continue to travel the state all year long.


Mrs. Whalen is both a Student Support Services Team member and a real-life Learning Coach (with one student still in school & two previous K12 graduates), and she recognized the need to make personal academic connections with our students.


While offering OLS or minor technical support and also promoting local library resources, this roadshow will be coming soon to a library near you!

  • Come meet ISPA staff & other ISPA families.
  • Ask questions & bring your laptop if you need support.
  • Pick up school swag while supplies last.


The remaining September dates are listed below in the "Parent & Learning Coach Engagement Opportunities" section, but always check our Facebook page & our website for the most up-to-date details. Lehigh, Bucks, Dauphin, Delaware, Washington, and Luzerne Counties are up next, and we hope you will join ISPA staff when we reach your neck of the woods!

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CALLING ALL GAMERS...

Are you a gamer? Do you like competing against other gamers? Are you interested in learning more about the world of eSports?


If you answered "yes" to any or all of the questions above, then come join the ISPA eSports team!


This year we will be focusing on the very fun, strategic, online card game, Hearthstone. Hearthstone is a very accessible game that can be played on a computer, tablet, or smartphone; and it is a game that can be played by anyone!


Never played Hearthstone before? Never even heard of Hearthstone?? No worries! That's why I'm here! I was a new player this past summer, and now I am hooked! I will be coaching the eSports team on Hearthstone, teaching beginners how to play and strategizing with veteran players to improve their game. Come one, come all!


More info on Hearthstone can be found below. If you are interested in joining our team, please email me at bleskovansky@insightpa.org. I look forward to the upcoming season!


Hearthstone Resources

● Game Guide - https://playhearthstone.com/en-us/game-guide

● Character (Hero) Overview - https://playhearthstone.com/en-us/game-guide/heroes

● Lessons - https://playhearthstone.com/en-us/game-guide/lessons/

● Gameplay Walkthrough - Coming soon… Recorded by me!


Ben Leskovansky (Mr. Lesko)

Programming & Gaming Instructor

Head Coach, eSports

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HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS:

Earn Your Diploma & a Certification at the Same Time

Our Career and Technical Education (CTE) program gives ISPA High School students a personalized education that prepares them for success in today's high-skilled careers. In addition to core academic courses, students will take electives that allow them to explore career areas of interest and prepare them for the next steps—whether that is college, career, or both. For more information, contact Ms. Tracy Hockenberry: (484) 713-4353 x3057 or thockenberry@insightpa.org.
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Site Visit to Orleans Technical College

Critical shortages in all fields: HVAC, electrical, carpentry, plumbing and heavy equipment operations!


Training provided by Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) at their training facility in Philadelphia, PA.


Open and free to all ISPA students 16 years and older.


Opportunity for work experience with a construction employer after completion of program!



**Please contact Tracy Hockenberry, CTE Coordinator for more information: thockenberry@insightpa.org 484-713-4353 X3057

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Parent & Learning Coach Engagement Opportunities

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Nurses' Corner

Give Kids Sight Day

Both Nurse Mary Sue (below) and Nurse Wendy (right) want to let us know about Philly's Give Kids Sight Day. This event encourages all children 17 years & under from Philadelphia and surrounding counties--who have not had, or who have not passed an eye screening, and/or who are uninsured--to come out on Saturday, October 5 for free eye care & eyeglasses. For more information email: gksd@pccy.org or call 215-563-5848 x21.

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CDC Issues Health Advisory for Lung Disease Associated with Vaping

Recently, the CDC released an advisory warning of a new, severe pulmonary disease associated with the use of e-cigarette products. More than 200 cases spanning 25 states have been reported, with patients experiencing respiratory symptoms such as cough, shortness of breath, chest pain, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, and fever.


There are many unknowns about vaping, including what chemicals make up the vapor and how they affect physical health over the long term.


One thing that's certain, however, is that "vaping" (or e-cigarette usage) is especially harmful to youth. Nevertheless, it's on the rise among children and teenagers. Last year, use of e-cigarettes rose 80% among high schoolers and 50% among middle school students from the year prior--with nearly 4 million teenagers reporting the use of the devices.

This dangerous new lung disease isn't the only reason to prevent vaping among adolescents; vaping also increases potential harm to brain development and the likelihood of future cigarette smoking.

For more information to equip students with the knowledge and skills they need to make informed decisions about the use of E-cigarettes, click here.


Source: Action for Healthy Kids

National Preparedness Month

Thankfully, Hurricane Dorian missed our area, but Nurse Mary Sue is reminding everyone that September is also National Preparedness Month--which is designed to promote family and community disaster & emergency planning now and throughout the year. Some tips include:


  • Make a plan to prepare for disasters: keep cash on hand, snap photos of important documents & personal belongings to help you quickly file an insurance claim.
  • Build an emergency kit: have enough food, water and meds to last for at least 3-7 days.
  • Teach youth to prepare for disasters: include kids in the disaster planning process, and review your plan together. Review sending text messages, contact numbers and dialing 9-1-1 for emergencies.

Click here for more resources to assist when an emergency situation or disaster strikes.
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Attendance Information

A student is considered truant when he/she has accumulated 3 unexcused absences, and habitually truant with 6 unexcused absences. If your student accumulates 8 unexcused absences, a Student Attendance Improvement Conference will be necessary, and should your student accumulate 10 consecutive absences--he/she will be withdrawn. Therefore, please always contact attendance@insightpa.org if your student will be absent from school.

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Staff Updates

Professional Development

We invest in our staff so they will invest in our students. ISPA staff receives ongoing training to aptly support our students' needs & provide superior instruction. Having just completed 2 weeks of Professional Development at Penn State Great Valley--and we are fired up & ready to serve! We participated in several events:

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STAFF SPOTLIGHTS

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Mrs. Bobbi-Jo Lundy, Kindergarten Teacher

Mrs. Lundy, pictured above with hubby Nathan, and daughters 10 year old Karli & 8 year old Kenzi remains a fan favorite of our Elementary families, and we greatly appreciate her hard work & dedication. Here's what some of her parents have had to say:


"...I wanted to say thank you for everything this year! We absolutely loved having you as her teacher. She started to tear up because she said she wishes she had you next year, too! Thank you so much for working with us through everything...and for always being so helpful, patient, and kind! We will miss you so much, Mrs. Lundy!!!


"...He turned into a fine little boy indeed!! He’s now reading EVERYTHING, and I attribute that to you and K12."


Thank you, Mrs. Lundy for all you!

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Mrs. Nicole Manley, Elementary Math Interventionist

Everyone who loves math, please raise your hand!


If you, like me, wouldn't be able to raise your hand if your life depended on it--Mrs. Manley is about to shift our thinking & change our perspectives.


Many of our parents have previously indicated that they desire more Math support from our staff. Further, our Title I survey answers reflect parents' great interest in the idea of a Math Night, specifically. Moreover, Mrs. Manley has discovered that many of our Learning Coaches struggle to support our young learners in Math--because they are not confident with the content themselves--or do not know how to explain it in a way their students can understand.


Cue the applause...piloting next month, her initiative will bridge that gap and help our families feel more supported! Coordinated regionally, Math Nights will be a fresh & fun combination of virtual & face-to-face opportunities for families to focus on different math strategies that can be utilized at home with their students.


Well done, Mrs. Manley! We are excited about this new program & anxiously await its unveiling!!

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