The Highland Academy Weekly

Educating for Leadership, Educating for Life

Principal Greetings

Dear Highland Community,


One of the exciting changes to our program this year is a modified bell schedule. You will notice that we now have "A" days and "B" days with longer blocks. You'll also notice that our two hour block of Working Wednesday is no longer built into our schedule. Students will have the option to enroll in a Study Hall class to give them extra time and support during the day to complete work. Please note that the early release time on Wednesday has not changed.

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Registration for 2019/2020

All students (new and returning) must complete the online registration process. Let us know if you need help with your PIN.

EVENTS THIS MONTH

July 22 - Admin Back

July 29 - School Open for Business

August 7 & 8 (9:00 am) - Placement Testing For New Students

August 7 (9:00 am) - New Parent Orientation Q&A

August 8 (12:00 pm ) - New Parent Orientation Q & A

August 20 - First Day of School

NEW TO HIGHLAND PARENTS - WELCOME!

Welcome to the Highland Parent Community,


We are excited to share this amazing school with you! Highland Academy Charter School blends a rigorous academic program with growth mindset and social emotional learning in our small school setting. The adage “you get back what you put in” stands true at Highland, now more than ever. Active parent involvement is a key to your child’s success, but this is often challenging between the many responsibilities parents must juggle, and trying to understand the non-traditional approach to educating your child. In order to make it easy for you to get involved and stay updated, we have three powerful processes: advisory, quarterly progress reports, and Empower.


The primary objective of advisory is to build critical connections between you, your child, and their advisor. Our advisors are academic coaches who focus on goal setting, character development, team building, service learning, and college/career portfolio building. Your child’s advisor has their finger on the pulse of the academic progress, discipline issues, goals, and celebrations of each advisee. Our advisors seek to teach to the whole child, and part of this we know, is learning about each student’s life beyond the walls of Highland. We encourage you to intentionally build connections with your child’s advisor. This not only keeps you connected to the Highland community, but it helps advisors know their advisees better.


We strive to keep you informed by sending home quarterly progress reports. These reports will inform you of the quality of the work, the amount of work completed and turned in, and whether your child is on pace to finish the level by the end of the year. Teachers may also leave comments about classroom habits to let you know what areas could be improved or celebrated. We are not a time-bound learning system, which means we don’t assign grades at the end of each reporting period. It’s never too late to improve work ethic, get extra support, or just “turn it around”. Every student will have guided work time built into their schedule to keep them on pace.


If you really want to roll up your sleeves and dig in to the work being done, you can access Empower. There is a link on our webpage, or you can bookmark this one: https://hth.empowerlearning.net. Parents have reported that the student view is more user friendly, so feel free to login using your child’s account. You also have an account and a username/password will be sent to you in a separate email. There is more detail and information here than any textbook could offer in terms of the scope and sequence of instruction. You can dig in as deep as you’d like to go. However, if you just want a quick view of what was assigned and when it is due, use the calendar icon in the top right corner. From there, you can learn more about the assignment, leave a comment or question for the teacher, or access their email address.


Teachers love hearing from parents. Please reach out to them directly with questions. We recognize this is a unique learning experience that none of us experienced as students. It can be daunting to lead your child through this alone. Rest assured, there is a community of parents and teachers to reach out to, who have taken the leap and have fully engaged in the learning community. Teachers welcome questions and are prepared to help you on the journey.


The Parent Teacher Student Organization (PTSO) is fun way to get involved. It doesn’t take much to help out, and the PTSO is a dedicated and inspiring group of people to work with. Consider joining the organization, attending meetings, and/or attending our events.


We have a strong Culture of Respect for Everyone (CORE) at Highland, which is active and alive. It drives many conversations about behavior, expectations, and our school climate. This is one of the first things our visitors notice when they walk in the doors, and it’s what they talk about as they leave. We have a lot of pride in this small school, and hope you will too.


Finally, your admin team is honored to help you along the way. We are committed to providing a relevant, innovative, and rigorous academic program that will prepare your child to take ownership of their academics while in school, and lead the way to post-secondary opportunities, through scholarship, leadership, and citizenship. We look forward to working side-by-side with you as we share in this journey to provide learning opportunities, see the work students choose to do, what they learn from the work, and ultimately, who they become because of the work.


Please don’t hesitate to reach out with questions, comments, or concerns. We are here for you and your child, and will strive to make this transition to your new school smooth and efficient. Take time to review the New-to-Highland Handbook attached in this email. It has timely information that will be helpful. We are anxious to get to know you, and will be offering office hours in the first couple of weeks to meet you, answer any questions, and start the year strong. We’ll also be sending home a newsletter via email twice a month, letting you know about upcoming events, and sharing relevant information. We try to keep these short and informative. Please take time to read these, and follow up with questions.


We are happy to have you on the team. Thanks for choosing Highland Academy Charter School.


Sincerely,


Ayme Johnson & Nicole Crosby

johnson_amelia@asdk12.org

crosby_nicole@asdk12.org

PTSO INFORMATION

Our Parent-Teacher-Student-Organization is a thriving group of dedicated community members. You can see the great work they do and learn how to support them by visiting their website: https://www.phoenixes.org


Our first meeting of the 2019/2020 school year will be August 1 at 5:30 pm, here at Highland.

COUNSELOR'S CORNER

Ms. Karin Hermansen has changed roles at Highland! She will be offering counseling services, assisting students, meeting students emotional needs, ensuring 504 plan needs are met, assisting with testing, and more. We are very lucky to have her back on our team in this new role. Don't hesitate to reach out to her - she'll use this space each week to send updates, share resources, and more.



Feel free to email her at hermansen_karin@asdk12.org. She'll start back on August 1 to help us get ready for the new school year.

First Day of School!

Tuesday, Aug. 20th, 8am

5530 East Northern Lights Boulevard

Anchorage, AK

EMPOWER

Hint of the week: Use the calendar icon to see work in progress and upcoming due dates. Schedule conferences with your child regularly to review work.