Spark Online Academy

Family Newsletter - July 27, 2022

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Message from Mrs. Johnson

Greetings, Spark Online Community,


We are starting to see signs of a new school year approaching! School supplies are showing up in stores and getting our attention that it's time to start thinking about the 2022-2023 school year.


After a very successful inaugural year, we are delighted to kick off year two at Spark Online Academy. As word spreads about our student-centered and inquiry-driven learning model, many families are recognizing that traditional models of school aren't meeting their student's needs. The world has changed exponentially since the traditional education model was implemented, and Spark has taken action to create learning relevant to today's and tomorrow's world. We are delighted to lead the way in the future of education.


In the next few weeks, our staff will keep busy preparing to welcome our students to school and ensuring supplies, equipment, and processes are completed for the best learning from day one. In this newsletter, you will find important dates and steps you'll need to take to be ready for a solid start to the school year.


We welcome our returning families, students and staff, and new members joining the Spark family. Our front office is available to support you and answer any questions you may have.


Please stay safe and take care of each other and yourselves.


Empowering learners every day,


Julie Johnson

Principal

719-322-6270 cell

julie.johnson@d11.org

Student Information Update

The beginning of a new school year is a great time to update our student and family information. Please complete the brief form linked below with the most recent and accurate information and confirm your attendance at orientation.


LINK TO UPDATE FORM

Student and Family Orientation - August 10, 2022


This important first step will set the stage for a successful year of learning for your student. Orientation will take place at our space inside Trailblazer Elementary School, 2015 Wickes Road, Colorado Springs, CO 80919. MAP LINKED HERE Signs at the front of the school will direct you to the orientation. Please plan on being here for the entire time we have scheduled for your student's grade level. We have prepared for an efficient process and ask for your support in being on time and helping us stay on schedule.


If your family has students in multiple grade levels, please choose one of the orientation time slots, and we will provide orientation for all students in the family at that time.


At this mandatory orientation, you and your student will complete the following steps:

  • Device and supply checkout
  • Initial logon and learning application set up on student devices
  • Review and complete parent/guardian and student contracts
  • Recieve school schedules and important information
  • School pictures are taken, and student ID badges issued
  • Grade level and essentials presentations and Q & A with teachers


Schedule

8:00-9:00 - Kindergarten and 1st grade

9:00-10:00 - 2nd/3rd grade

10:00-11:00 - 4th/5th grade

11:00-12:00 - 6th/7th/8th grades

12:30-2:00 - 9th/10th grades


Please note - Your student will not be able to access school and learning at Spark until the orientation processes have been completed.

Brick or Click...?

We are excited to provide weekly in-person learning opportunities for our students this year!


You'll notice on the calendars above that "Brick or Click" days are scheduled for certain days and times. During these times, your student's teachers will be offering in-person learning labs and experiences at our "Brick" and mortar flexible use learning spaces. This will provide an opportunity to participate in hands-on activities for a half day each week. We strongly encourage these opportunities as part of your child's school week.


AM scheduled times are from 8:00 - 11:00

PM scheduled times are from 12:00 - 3:00


We understand that this may not be possible for all students every week and will have "Click" or online learning taking place at the same time for students unable to participate in the in-person opportunities.


Your child's teacher will include Brick or Click day information for you in their weekly communications.

High School Course Registration

All 9th and 10th-grade students will be automatically enrolled in our pathway courses for each quarter this year.


  • Quarter 1 - Outdoor Learning
  • Quarter 2 - STEM
  • Quarter 3 - Business and Industry
  • Quarter 4 - Arts and Civic Engagement

During each quarter, students will receive direct instruction in each content area and work on their end-of-quarter presentation for each pathway focus. Each quarter, students will choose which Essentials course they would like to take. Students may select the same or different courses for each quarter as the course content will differ.


Available Essentials courses for Quarter 1 - Outdoor Learning


  • Art - Students will explore one or several art forms (e.g., drawing, painting, two- and three-dimensional design, and sculpture) and create individual works of art as part of their Outdoor Learning inquiry and research of the water crisis in Colorado. Emphasis will focus on observations, interpretation of the visual environment, visual communication, imagination, and symbolism. In addition, the course will cover the language, materials, media, and processes of a particular art form and the design elements used.
  • PE - Physical Education 9/10 involves participation in units based on bio-kinetic fitness. This quarter, students will participate in outdoor experiences like hiking, climbing, and more…
  • Music - Students will describe and analyze the influence of music on popular culture and historical events. They will coordinate an event to bring attention to the water crisis in Colorado at a collaborating venue, inviting stakeholders to attend the event and book community musicians to perform. Students will curate the event to ensure its content reflects relevant environmental issues. Students should be involved in relating the issues identified by environmental experts to the artistic content - through alignable lyrics, themes, and cultural or historical significance.

The Essentials course selection deadline is Friday, August 5, at 3:00 PM. If no selection has been made, a course will be selected for the student by our registration staff.


LINK TO ESSENTIALS COURSE SELECTION

Spark Online Academy Case Study

We are pleased to share a case study conducted on Spark Online Academy by Learner Centered Collaborative. We are thrilled to have gained the attention of this respected organization for our continued commitment to putting learners at the center of all we do and bringing relevant learning experiences to students that nurture a love of learning in a safe environment.


You may read the case study at the following link:

SPARK ONLINE ACADEMY: A LEARNER-CENTERED ONLINE PUBLIC SCHOOL