The Knightly Herald

Oct. 3-7, 2016

Principal's Message

Last week I listened to the Jimbo Fisher call in show. I do that occasionally...I'm a bit of a college football fanatic. My kids won't even watch games with me because I get a bit excited about the coaching and plays....especially my 'Noles (Let's not discuss this weekend!!) During the call in show, Coach Fisher had one particular caller ask him the difference between "physicality and focus". Coach Fisher has commented several times recently on the need for the 'Noles to focus and this particular caller wanted to know what the Coach deemed as the difference between the two. Coach Fisher's response was that anyone could lift weights and develop themselves physically to play the game of football, but that real football is a mental game. It requires a disciplined focus to not let the "noise" of the outside get inside your head and to remain focused on the task before you. You must know the players and team you are up against. You must study and anticipate what you need to do... you must constantly prepare and execute. As Coach Fisher was talking I couldn't help but think about us. I have heard so many interesting comments since coming to GCA. We definitely have noise that we have to contend with, and I recognize that it is hard to stay focused when there is so much noise. Stay focused anyway.....anyone can lose themselves in the noise. The real players stay focused on the game.

Focus on your task before you...know your students...know their data...know their needs. Focus on the heart that brought you to teaching to begin with. Focus on your instruction...what do you need to do to address their academic needs? What gaps do they have and how can you fill them?

As we move into October we will be discussing more data on our students. As data chats begin think think about the concrete steps you will take to address the needs of your students. How will you set up your small groups? How will you use your instructional software? How often? How will you set goals for your students?

As many of you know, the 'Noles lost this week's game in the last seconds...they had battled back from a 21 pt. deficit. It takes heart to keep fighting to stay in the game...we saw both teams demonstrate that this weekend (yes, Mr. Allen..that was for your NC loving side!)...

Stay in the game...stay focused...we are doing this everyday for our students...we stay in it for them.

Message from the Deans

When Students Fail to Meet Behavior Expectations

Discipline is often thought of as punishment, a punitive consequence, for violating a classroom rule or expectation. The more authentic purpose of discipline is behavior correction; in short, we want our learners to meet our expectations.

When students violate our classroom rules or expectations, what might we do? Each infraction should include:

  • 1. identification of expected behavior
  • 2. a brief discussion regarding how the infraction did not meet expectations
  • 3. helping the student identify how s/he might have avoided the infraction
  • 4. application of a consequence so that a connection is made immediately between choice and consequence.

Be sure to use an appropriate sequence of escalating consequences. For example, after verbal warnings, you might begin with suspension of a classroom privilege, followed by a type of detention. Be sure you contact the student’s parent at each level of consequence so that you can garner home support for the conduct corrections you are making in school.

Discipline is a method of helping our students become better learners and global citizens – it is NOT classroom management, but it is a tool. What if the tool doesn’t seem to work? At what point should a Dean be contacted to help a student correct his/her behavior? Let’s look at that next week!

Instructional Software

We have been working to make sure everyone is up and moving with the use of instructional software. Many of you participated in the Lexia training recently and will take part in the Think Through Math training this upcoming Wednesday. A refresher training on Reading Plus is coming soon, but if you have questions, please reach out to the CRTs. Ms. Lunan also has agreed to assist if anyone needs help getting Reading Plus going. It is important that we have our students utilizing these software programs daily. As a reminder the following programs are available:

K-5: Lexia (K-5), Think Through Math (3-5), Study Island (4 & 5), and Mathseeds (coming soon for K-2!)

6-8: Think Through Math, Reading Plus, & Prepworks (Civics, Alg. 1 & Geom.)

As you become familiar with each piece of software, don't hesitate to share information that may be useful to your grade level or content area team! We can all take a leadership role in accelerating our use and implementation of the software!

Anti-bullying Assemblies

October is National Bullying Prevention month. We have an Anti-bullying Assembly scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2016. Teachers please play the Five Fun Bullying sound bite sent by Mr. Allen during your morning meeting for the next three days. We will distribute the bullying forms that will need to go home by Monday, October 3rd.

Assembly Times:

1) Begins at 8:30 am for 6th - 8th grade

2) Begins at 9:30 am for 2nd – 5th grade

Middle school will need to be in place by 8:20, please leave your room by 8:15 so that we are seated and ready for the presentation. Second through fifth grade, please remain in your room until we announce that it is clear for you to enter. If you have any questions,

please see Mr. Allen or Dean McBride. Refer to the link below for additional information and resources on bullying prevention.

New to GCA

Tomorrow we welcome two new member to our GCA family: Ms. Brittany Buschmann will take over one of our fifth grade classes and Ms. Sheri Ezekial will take over one of our Kindergarten classes. If you have a moment, please stop by and make them feel welcome.

Also, if you have not had a chance to say hello to Ms. Angela Mills, our new 4-8 ESE teacher, please drop by the seventh grade pod! We are happy to welcome each of these educators to GCA!!

Homecoming Week Oct. 10-14

Our SGA is working hard to develop spirit week for this year's homecoming! The following days are planned:

Monday—Spirit Banner

Tuesday—Wild or Whacky socks day

Wednesday—Grade Color Day (Each grade level choose a particular colored shirt to represent their grade and with their GCA pants or shorts).

Thursday—Pep Rally (tentative)

Friday—$3 Dress Out Day.

Please look for more information from Mr. Ackerman and SGA as they finalize plans for this year's events!

Hurricane Hermine Make Up Days

The following message will go out to parents this week and will be placed on the GCA website:

As we all know, Hurricane Hermine resulted in Governors Charter Academy closing for three days in the month of September. Our instructional time with students is valuable to us. Therefore, we will make up the three instructional days lost during September due to Hurricane Hermine. Students are expected to report to school on the following make up days:

Friday, October 21, 2016 (formerly teacher planning day),

Thursday, December 14, 2016 (formerly an early release day),

Friday, December 15, 2016 (formerly an early release day),


Monday, February 20, 2016 (formerly school holiday).

Governors Charter Academy remains committed to providing quality instruction to all our students. Thank you for your continued commitment to our students!

Please start sharing this information with your students!!

Upcoming Events

October- Anti-bullying Awareness Month, National Cookie Month, Computer Learning

Month, International Drum Month

Wednesday, October 5, 2016- Antibullying Assemblies (Times: 8:30am 6th-8th grade; 9:30am 2nd-5th grade)

Wednesday, October 5, 2015- Faculty Meeting (Think Through Math Training) @ 3:30 p.m. Multipurpose room

Monday, October 10, 2016-Clubs begin on Mondays (tentative)

Monday, October 10, 2016-PTC meeting @ 6pm in the multipurpose room

Monday-Friday, October 10-14, 2016-Homecoming Week

Tuesday, October 11, 2016- Picture Day

Thursday, October 13, 2016-Homecoming game vs. Shanks Middle School @ 6:00pm (Home-Apalachee Regional Park)

Monday, October 17, 2016-Cookie dough sales forms are due

Tuesday, October 17, 2016-GCA FSA PREP tutoring begins (After Homecoming!)

Tuesday, October 18, 2016-SAC meeting @ 6:00pm in the multipurpose room

Thursday, October 20, 2016- End of the First Quarter

Wednesday, October 26, 2016- Quarter One Grades Due