Diamond Gazette

Aug./Sept. 2016 ~ Let's get off to a Strong Start TOGETHER!

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Time to Reflect

We are already finished with our THIRD week of school! You have earned the well-deserved 3 day weekend, with the celebration of Labor Day on Sept. 5. Take some time to reflect on how far you've come already this school year; write your goals down and discuss them as a family; reflect on your reasons for schooling with ARVA. The reasons that parents enroll their children in Arkansas Virtual Academy are as different as the families themselves but all families have one thing in common - they all want the best education for their children!
Mountains of research has proven that students with highly-involved parents do much better in school and are more prepared for what adulthood will bring. You have definitely chosen to be more involved, through schooling with ARVA! If you experience difficult days - no matter the reason - recognize that is normal and your days will get easier and more enjoyable as your routine settles in.
Remember
: anything worth having is worth working hard to achieve! We are here to help you achieve those goals you've set. Just let us know how we can support you.
Enduring the pressure yields precious results.

ARVA's Annual Bookfairs are here!

Barnes & Noble Book Fairs in September:

Join your classmates at your local Barnes & Nobles for fun activities for all grade levels (games, crafts, student presentations, prizes). Click the links below to sign up for the one nearest you!

· Sept. 9: Fayetteville https://www.eventbrite.com/e/back-to-school-open-house-book-fair-at-barnes-noble-fayetteville-20162017-tickets-27445850277

· Sept. 16: North Little Rock https://www.eventbrite.com/e/back-to-school-open-house-book-fair-at-barnes-noble-north-little-rock-20162017-tickets-27445693809

· Sept. 30: Jonesboro https://www.eventbrite.com/e/back-to-school-open-house-book-fair-at-barnes-noble-jonesboro-20162017-tickets-27444770046

Picture Day Is Coming!!

Do you miss having school pictures of your student?

Get ready! They are coming back! They will coincide with some of the Hearing/Vision screenings offered throughout the state (see below). Be watching your email for more information.


Friday October 14th in Jonesboro

Craighead County Public Library (Round Room)

315 W. Oak Ave. Jonesboro, AR 72401

9am to 2pm


Monday October 24th in Little Rock

Hillary Rodham Clinton Children's Library

4800 W. 10th Street Little Rock, AR

10:30 am to 2:30 pm

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Booster Meeting Recording

ARVA held it's first Booster meeting Thursday evening for parents interested in being more involved. Topics of discussion: local social groups, upcoming outings, how to organize a Booster outing, school swag. Click here to view the recording and contact Beth Moore if you have any questions: bmoore@arva.org

2016-2017 ARVA Student/Parent Handbook

Handbooks were provided via email to all families enrolled by the first week of school. It has also been posted on the Strong Start site, here: View the Student/Parent Handbook
It is important to read and understand the handbook, whether you are a student or a learning coach. Once you have read the handbook, please sign the online form here: surveymonkey.com/r/16-17_ARVA_Student-Parent_Handbook

Newsletter Archives on the Strong Start Site

We store our monthly issues of The Diamond Gazette on the Strong Start site so that you can easily go back to review past issues and have the resources shared at your fingertips. Check it out!

Strong Start Support through FAST

Engagement coaches, as part of the Family Academic Support Team (FAST) have been calling all families throughout the summer to ensure that our new and returning families are off to a strong start this school year. They have information to share about this school year and are enjoying speaking with each of you. If you have not spoken to your engagement coach or have forgotten who she is and need a call, please contact:

These ladies will put you in contact with your family's assigned engagement coach.

The Great Messaging Switcheroo

We've done it! We have switched from Kmail to Email using the internal system K12 designed for us. Hopefully you found the Email Migration Training Sessions informative and helpful. If you still have some lingering questions check out the School Email Resource Guide.

Tech Issues?

K12 is constantly and consistently investigating the technical glitches that arise. A majority of issues can be resolved by clearing your cache/cookies or switching browsers (especially if you are trying to login with Internet Explorer 8 or Windows Edge 10). If you have tried both of the above and are still receiving an error, please submit your issue with the following information to K12 Customer Support: 866-K12-care

-User’s identity id of the account that is not working along with the username

-URL you are using to log in with

-Browser(s) and version #(s)

This will help expedite your issue by providing needed information immediately to the K12 Tech Team.

K12's Customer Support is also offering open office help sessions. Click here to see the schedule: https://www.help.k12.com/s/article/Customer-Support-Office-Hours


Questions about your K-5 Music Course?

A special session was held for K-5 students having trouble accessing their music courses. Click here for the recording.

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

Brooklyn, 6th grade, (below) is a competitive gymnast. You may see her in advertisements for ARVA/K12! She is an ARVA student so that she can continue to work toward her gymnastic goals on a more flexible schedule than a brick and mortar school would be able to accommodate. Her work ethic would be admirable of any adult. She spends 8 hours daily at the gym, broken up into chunks with time for lunch, class connects, and schoolwork built in. During the winter months, she adds traveling for competitions to her schedule. Join us in cheering Brooklyn towards her dreams of becoming an Olympic gymnast one day!

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Cadence (featured below) recently performed in a production by the Young Players early stages group at the Royal Theatre in the musical Thoroughly Modern Millie Jr. Cadence attended a 2 week intensive day camp that included acting instruction, vocal training and dance instruction to prepare for her role in the musical. Keep shining Cadence!
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Say hello to Tyler, an ARVA Diamond at the Hope Center, a medical and missionary compound in Thoman, Haiti. Tyler and his family stayed for 1 week, performing medical treatment, building chicken coops to help establish a source of income for families by raising chickens, supplied the funds to build 1 home for a family in need while providing the workers the income that will support their families for weeks, AND built and installed basketball goals. Tyler and his family say that it was a long exhausting week that consisted of daily malaria prevention medication, little usable water, intermittent power, extremely hot nights spent in bunks covered with mosquito nets, and local food cooked in the compound. Tyler's family made MANY new friends and Tyler found a new passion in his life.
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Northwest Arkansas ARVA Families

NW AR ARVA families enjoying visiting both online and offline. If you are a NW AR family, consider joining the Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/NWA.ARVA.Community.Group/
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Bentonville Summer Splash Park Outing!!

North Central AR Families

There is a North Central AR ARVA family Facebook page for you! https://www.facebook.com/groups/twinlakes.arva.community/ Log in to see what's happening in your area and meet other ARVA families.

Go Exploring!!

Beginning September 1st all kids in the fourth grade have access to their own Every Kid in a Park pass. This pass provides free access to national parks across the country.

The Every Kid in a Park pass is good for the 2016-2017 school year, until August 31, 2017. Information on obtaining the pass is available by visiting www.everykidinapark.gov.

ARVA's Parent Lending Library

ARVA's Parent Lending Library has books and games to loan to parents and learning coaches. It includes book titles such as Basic Social Skills for Youth (shown here) and non-book selections and games. To find out more information about the ARVA’s Parent’s Lending Library or to check out a book, click here.

*Note that you can also request titles at most Arkansas libraries. They will often request the book from another library or order it for you to check out. Find your local library here.


FEATURED SELECTION for September: Reading Magic

Best-selling children's author and internationally respected literacy expert Mem Fox reveals the incredible emotional and intellectual impact reading aloud to children has on their ability to learn to read. With passion and humor, Fox speaks of when, where, and why to read aloud and demonstrates how to read aloud to best effect and get the most out of a read-aloud session. She discusses the three secrets of reading, offers guidance on defining and choosing good books, and—for this new edition—includes two new chapters on boy readers and phonics, a foreword, and a list of "Twenty Books That Children Love." Filled with practical advice, activities, and inspiring true read-aloud miracles, this book is a turn-to classic for educators and parents.

Recent Parent Workshop and Series Recordings

School is out and you may find yourself with some extra time to dig into some topics you've missed out on. Visit the ARVA Strong Start site to find all of the available links to recordings that will help you with everything from behavior strategies to managing multiples.

Special Needs Families ~ Click the pictures below to read more!

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!

Have a Preschooler in Tow?

YOU are your child's first and most important teacher!

ARVA's learning coaches are already busy with coordinating their student's learning. Adding a preschooler or young child to the school day adds an additional level of planning. If you have questions on how to manage it all, we have Engagement Coaches who have expertise in schooling multiple children at once and schooling while also raising preschoolers who would love to share strategies with you. There are also several resources that we recommend you check out:

  • Embark, K-12's preschool curriculum is a curriculum families can purchase to assist in building school readiness skills in their preschoolers.
  • HIPPY: a free, school readiness program for parents of preschoolers
  • Head Start program's approach to school readiness means that children are ready for school, families are ready to support their children's learning, and schools are ready for children.
  • ABC Programs serve children, ages birth to 5, with a variety of risk factors.
  • Join Me as I Play: Fun ideas to implement throughout your day or week
  • Kindergarten Readiness Checklist provides a thorough list of skills that your preschooler should master prior to entering Kindergarten. Here is the same document in a more concise format: K Readiness Checklist flyer
  • Getting Ready for Kindergarten calendar of daily activities to support your preschooler's learning.
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 the school messaging system and posted to the Strong Start site.
Gina Moore, editor
Amanda Lloyd, assistant editor
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