Ascend Leadership Academy
MIDDLE SCHOOL WEEKLY AVIATOR BULLETIN
My name is Jeff Whitt and I am the ALA Middle School Principal. I have 24 years experience in education as an Educator, Facilitator, Director, and Administrator. I believe in teamwork and bridging the communication and involvement gap between home and school for everyone's best interest and success of our students. Communication should never be a barrier - so please reach out to me if you feel you are not connecting with your child's teachers or if you are not receiving school-wide information as well.
I am married to my beautiful wife of 23 years, Lisa and we have 5 boys; Ken (age 32), Matt (age 28), Jonah (age 22), Brayden (age 20), and our youngest Carter (age 18). I look forward to introducing them more to you along this incredible journey we are taking together at ALA.
Parents, as we start our new school year off in a very non-traditional way, we are going to need to stay in contact with one another for the benefit of the students. There are several platforms we can stay connected and you can be assured to know all of the happenings at ALA this school year. You can follow me on Twitter and with our SMORES communication of weekly events up to a month ahead (larger events you will be notified in plenty of time as well).
If you have any questions, would like to have a conversation, or would like to volunteer this school year for the many activities we are planning in the Winter/Spring, please feel free to contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for welcoming me to the ALA Family.
Jeff Whitt, Principal
INTRODUCTION OF ALA'S MIDDLE SCHOOL 2020-2021
FROM OUR CLASSROOMS TO YOUR HOME
FROM OUR HUMANITIES TEAM
Humanities and Social Sciences challenges students to understand their responsibilities in a globally changing world and provides opportunities for developing socially responsible future citizens that encompass our core values of respect, accountability, integrity, service, and excellence in order to work collaboratively to make the world a better place. As the academy leader in offering high-quality, innovative education, the department prepares students for a successful life in a democratic society through preparing them for future careers of choice.
-Ascend Leadership Academy Humanities Department Mission Statement, 2020
The Humanities Middle School Department in Ascend Leadership Academy puts our mission statement into action by developing thoughtful, thematic units that dive into diverse perspectives and life experiences across place and time.
We begin with our 6th grade curriculum and the development of civilizations and societies in the Ancient World. The 7th grade curriculum expands upon the development of society by diving into how culture, time, and place influence the development of identity in America. The 8th grade curriculum culminates our overarching themes by investigating the creation, dismantling, and response to barriers across time and place in North Carolina and America.
6th Grade Unit 1: Early Human Migration and Prehistoric Age; Mentor Texts: Various Nonfiction Articles
7th Grade Unit 1: Identity Mini-Unit; Mentor Text: A Long Walk to Water
8th Grade Unit 1: Defining Barriers; Mentor Text: Refugee
Ms. Kimberly Sidorowicz - Team Leadership Representative
FROM OUR SCIENCE TEAM
The goal of science education is to prepare students to be responsible citizens in an increasingly complex and dynamic world. At ALA, we will provide students with the foundation to achieve, collaborate, and participate in engaging learning experiences. Our science curriculum will accomplish these goals through NC state science standards, Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), and Project Based Learning.
Our 6th grade ALA students will begin the 2020-21 school year learning about the Scientific Method to include the purpose of each step. They will then move on to understanding the concepts of waves and its properties. Our 7th grade ALA students will begin the school year with learning about Weather to include Earth's Atmosphere and different weather patterns. This is an exciting unit to begin the school year with and we look forward to tracking weather patterns such as hurricanes.Our 8th grade ALA students will begin the year learning about Earth's History to include Rock Layers and how the Earth was formed. This unit will expand student knowledge and provide more detail about how fossils and rock layers are used to date the Earth and how the continents have moved over time as part of the Theory of Plate Tectonics.
Mrs. Erika Weidner - Leadership Team Representative
FROM OUR MATH TEAM
Ms. Elizabeth Jackson - Leadership Team Representative
FROM OUR DIGITAL MEDIA TEAM
Next Week grades 6-8 will be participating in "Getting to Know You" activities, learning how to use the ipad and the canvas app. The following weeks grades 6-7 will be learning keyboarding skills, and how to be a good digital citizen. Grade 8 will study media and the design process through the use of storytelling.
Look for "I can" statements such as:
"I can type without looking at the keyboard."
"I can respect other in person and online"
"I can be safe online"
"I can use media and my voice to tell a compelling story."
Mrs. Tamara Lamb - Leadership Team Representative
FROM OUR ELECTIVE TEACHERS
Hello Parents and Guardians,
As the Educational Leadership Team representative for the Elective teachers, I’d like to take a moment to welcome you to the 2020-21 school year here at Ascend Leadership Academy.
Though this year may look different from last year, we are working hard to give students the best learning experiences possible.
The Elective teachers have created, found or adapted lessons to accommodate this year’s learning environment, whether it be remote or blended instruction.
We are using the tools and technology available to us to virtually take students to visit an art museum, walk around an historic site in a spanish speaking country, hear from leaders in business or nutrition, attend a musical/theatrical performance, learn how to self-care from leaders in mental health, and spend a day in the life of an athlete. Students will then be able to apply what they've learned to their own lives and grow from the experiences.
We are excited about the year and can’t wait to begin on Monday.
Mrs. Dawn Louis-Jean - Leadership Team Representative
WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT HOW TO USE CANVAS? HERE'S A GREAT PARENT REFRESHER
GETTING TO KNOW OUR NEW MIDDLE SCHOOL TEACHERS
New Teacher Highlight - Mr. Markofski - 8th Grade Digital Media Teacher
Hello, everyone! It’s great to meet you. I’m originally from Mooresville, North Carolina. My alma mater is Appalachian State University. I was the Captain and President of the Rugby team in college, and I graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Electronic Media and Broadcasting.
My teaching journey started in Warrenton, North Carolina where I taught Digital Media for three years at Warren New Tech High School.
Being a teacher has offered me tremendous global opportunities: I visited schools in Scotland and Ghana, and most recently taught for two years in Japan.
I worked as an Assistant Language Teacher in the small town of Nishiki, Kumamoto. I learned a wealth of information about Japanese culture, education, and even learned how to sumo wrestle along the way.
Now, I’m back in North Carolina to teach 8th Grade Digital Media here at Ascend Leadership Academy. I’m excited to be a part of this great staff, and I’m looking forward to teaching some amazing students this school year.
FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL
Monday, Aug. 24th, 9am-3pm
This is an online event.
Let's get ready for a great start to the best year yet at ALA Middle School.
Are you Interested in Joining ALA's Parent E.A.C. Program?
Thursday, Sep. 17th, 6-7pm
This is an online event.
INTERESTED IN LEARNING MORE ABOUT OUR MIDDLE SCHOOL COMPETITION CLUBS?
- Quiz Bowl
- Quill (Writing)
- Art Showcase
- Middle School Forensics
- Show Choir
Stay tuned for more information! It's going to be a great year at ALA.