The Eagles' Nest October 23, 2023
The Community Newsletter of EXCEL Academy PCS
🍎 FROM THE PRINCIPAL'S DESK🍎
🗣️ COMMUNICATION 🗣️
We are coming to the end of the first quarter of this school year. As an educator/school leader who embraces being a reflective practitioner, I want to take advantage of the feedback I have received over the quarter to determine what we can do better. It is almost time for recruitment season for SY25, and getting better at what we do is a priority before we bring new families into the school community.
We have accomplished a lot so far: opening the school building, receiving a student body of approximately 70% new students, onboarding staff members that are almost 50% of our full-time educators, and navigating unanticipated delays in how we accomplish our work. I also recognize we still have some things to complete: entirely staffing the building, distributing devices to all students (coming soon!), and completing baseline data collection, to name a few. These are technical challenges that will be solved with time.
The more significant issue for me is a theme I have heard frequently from various stakeholders: communication. The quality and frequency of how things are communicated across our community is embraced by some but problematic for others. As communication is one of my top strengths and values, I must dig into this to see what it looks like on a granular level to implement improvement strategies. It is VITAL because communication is the thread that binds us to each other and ensures everyone is on the same page.
As such, a stakeholder communication survey will be distributed at the beginning of the second quarter. I am asking that everyone complete it and be as transparent and honest as possible to improve our work. I believe that by improving our communication, we can add that to the bedrock of our foundation and continue to build upon it to continue our work to provide a quality choice in public education.
I thank you in advance for your participation.
❗❗SCHOOLWIDE INITIATIVES AND EVENTS❗❗
❤️ RED RIBBON/PBIS SPIRIT WEEK ❤️
Monday, October 23rd, is our first day of Red Ribbon Week, a week where we celebrate healthy, drug-free kids. Our Positive Behavior Incentive Systems (PBIS) team and Counseling Department have partnered to present "EXCEL Spirit Week." We want to give ALL of our students, K-8, the opportunity to show their school spirit in celebration of positive behaviors this month and improvements in middle school behavior.
We look forward to seeing our scholars embrace the spirit of the week!
**Maintenance of positive behaviors is necessary to participate in ALL the days throughout the week. **
📸 INDIVIDUAL PICTURE DAY IS COMING! 📸
Interested in Pre-Ordering??? Go to: www.Classic-Photo.com, then click "Schools" then "Pre-Order Now" using the Access Key located on the picture form.
If you have any questions please reach out to Mrs. Reese at email@example.com.
💻 NOVEMBER 3, 2023: ASYNCHRONOUS VIRTUAL INSTRUCTION 💻
Friday, November 3rd is the first asynchronous virtual learning day approved by the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) for the 2023-2024 school year. On this day, students will remain at home and complete asynchronous assignments provided by their teachers. Virtual instruction will help schools maximize teaching and learning opportunities for students while providing teachers with critical additional planning time at the end of each marking period.
Because November 3rd is a half day of school, learning plans will be given to students for only the first two periods of a secondary school schedule (6th - 8th grade) and the first two content areas of an elementary school schedule (K - 5th grade.) Assignments will be provided to students by the start of the school day, Friday, November 3, 2023 by the classroom teacher.
Please keep your eyes open for more information from your child's teachers on the details, including how attendance will be captured for that day.
🌍 A MESSAGE FROM MS. WALSH: IB COORDINATOR 🌍
The PYP program at EXCEL Academy is for students K-4. We will host a pasta dinner and information night on Monday, October 23rd at 6:00 p.m. Families who attend will learn more about the IB Programme at EXCEL. Registration is closed, but we look forward to the families who have signed up. We are excited to share a family meal and our vision for the IB Programme here at EXCEL Academy PCS.
📊. FALL ASSESSMENTS UPDATE 📊
EXCEL families - we have had to adjust our fall assessment schedule. We have had to delay the launch of iReady assessments due to required district and state-level assessments with external due dates. The delay in the arrival of our Chromebooks and the need to reset passwords for ALL students has also impacted this rollout.
The good news is that the state-required KRA (Kgn.), DIBELS (K-2nd), OLSAT (3rd), and Reading Interest (6th-8th) are complete, and PSAT 8/9 will be administered tomorrow for all 8th graders. Please keep your eyes open for an updated schedule for iReady (although some classes and students have begun.) All assessment data will be shared with families once it is made available by the respective platforms. We thank you for your patience during this unprecedented delay and look forward to sharing the results soon.
💻 CHROMEBOOKS ARE IN! 💻
Please understand it is a tedious, laborious process, and our Technology Coordinator is also your child's full-time music teacher. 😉 Keep your eyes open for information on the process.
💙💛 PGCPS AND COMMUNITY UPDATES 💙💛
🗓️ PGCPS CULTURE AND CLIMATE SURVEY🗓️
Share your thoughts on your school and the PGCPS community! The PGCPS Culture & Climate Survey helps us gather stakeholder feedback that will guide us in setting priorities and strategic plans for the future.
Families, staff and students in grades 6-12 can take the 10-12 minute survey October 2-31. Students will also have the opportunity to complete the survey during their Social Studies class.
We appreciate your feedback! Everyone who completes the survey can enter a drawing for a $50 gift card ---> click the button below.
TOWN HALLS WITH SUPERINTENDENT MILLARD HOUSE, II
Attention Prince George’s County Public School (PGCPS) parents! PGCPS is continuing its series of town halls with Superintendent Millard House II. Parents are encouraged to attend to share your ideas on the future of our school system. The last town hall is tomorrow, October 23, 2023, from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM, and will be virtual. Learn more about the town halls here: https://www.pgcps.org/offices/superintendent/town-halls
¡Atención padres de las Escuelas Públicas del Condado de Prince George (PGCPS)! PGCPS continúa su serie de reuniones públicas con el Superintendente Millard House II. Se anima a los padres a asistir para compartir sus ideas sobre el futuro de nuestro sistema escolar. La próxima reunión será el lunes 23 de octubre, de 6:00 PM a 8:00 PM. Obtenga más información aquí: https://www.pgcps.org/offices/superintendent/town-halls
🌱 A MESSAGE FROM OUR CHARTER OPERATOR, SEED, INC.🌱
The kitchen is up and running! Many thanks to the entire community who have made this process a big success!
FAMILY MARKET: NOVEMBER 2, 2023
Our next family market will be Thursday, November 2, 2023. Please see the flyer below for details.
BOCK ROAD SAFETY
This week, Dr. Marcus Newsome and Mr. George Henderson of National Christian Academy made a surprise visit with Principal Sothern to discuss traffic-calming measures in the wake of the tragedy that occurred on Wednesday morning. Although we are aware that progress is being made behind the scenes, it was their hope that a united voice from both schools and their respective stakeholders might expedite the process. Please listen out for more updates and opportunities to lend your voice to the call for safer measures on this busy thoroughfare.
🗓️ EXCEL SCHOOL CALENDAR 10/23 - 11/5/2023 🗓️
- Monday, October 23: Red Ribbon/PBIS Spirit Week begins (see schedule above), PSAT 8/9; Pasta and PYP Night @ 6:00 p.m.
- Tuesday, October 31: Fall Individual Picture day: UNIFORMS REQUIRED
- Wednesday, November 1st: PGCPS Charter School Lottery opens - if you have a rising kindergarten student or other sibling of a current EXCEL scholar and would like for them to receive sibling preference, you must apply for that student. Current students do not need to reapply.
- Thursday, November 2: Quarter 1 ends
- Friday, November 3: Asynchronous Learning Day for students
🦅 EXCEL ACADEMY PUBLIC CHARTER SCHOOL 🦅