The Eagles' Nest February 5, 2024
The Community Newsletter of EXCEL Academy PCS
🍎 FROM THE PRINCIPAL'S DESK 🍎
🎉 FEBRUARY: THE MONTH OF LOVE, CULTURE, AND HEART 🎉
We have officially entered the month of February (which happens to be my favorite month!). Of course we kick off this month recognizing the accomplishments and contributions of those whose roots are found in the African continent by celebrating Black History/African American Heritage Month. This recognition started as "Negro History Week" by Carter G. Woodson in 1976 and has become the blueprint of EVERY other heritage-themed monthly celebration since that time. Your scholars' educators are celebrating the month in various ways as are the non-classroom-based educators in the building. Our Black History Spirit Week activities will begin on February 23rd (see below.). We hope that scholars and staff will be creative and show that Eagle pride!
February is also heart health month. Heart disease has long been the leading cause of death in the United States, claiming nearly 700,000 lives a year. Nearly half of all American adults have at least one major risk factor for cardiovascular disease. During Black History Month, it is pivotal to focus on how heart disease impacts the African American community:
- In 2019, African Americans were 30 percent more likely to die from heart disease than non-Hispanic whites.
- Although African American adults are 30 percent more likely to have high blood pressure, they are less likely than non-Hispanic whites to have their blood pressure under control.
- African American women are nearly 50 percent more likely to have high blood pressure as compared to non-Hispanic white women.
One way for us to promote heart health is to have positive social-emotional interactions with one another. So, on February 14th, we will celebrate Kindness Day. More details on this day and other events for the month are shared below, including our 2nd Quarter awards ceremony on Friday, February 23rd.
Have a great month!
❗❗SCHOOLWIDE INITIATIVES AND EVENTS❗❗
i-READY ASSESSMENTS ARE COMPLETE!
💡 CELEBRATE 100 DAYS OF LEARNING: 100 DAYS BRIGHTER! 💡
On Wednesday, February 7th, we will celebrate the completion of 100 days of school in all grades K-8!
- Students can come to school in brightly-colored shirts - neon colors, bright pink, "highlighter yellows," etc., or sequins, sparkles, etc.
- A pair of sunglasses is a MUST!
- Students can also wear the bottom of their choice.
We will be completing activities that celebrate math and all things 100!
💘 KINDNESS DAY: WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 14, 2024 💘
On Wednesday, February 14, we will celebrate Kindness Day. Students will be by wearing red (or some shade of it) and/or clothing with hearts on it. To participate, students MUST bring a hand-made "kindness card" written to a classmate or other member of our school community in lieu of commercial "Valentine's Day" cards. Please take some time with your scholar to prepare their card at home, discussing with them what kind words they can convey to the recipient. Students must be prepared to show their card at the door in order to be excused from their uniform for the day (if students do not present a card they must come to school in uniform.) Students are allowed to create more than one but they must have at least one to participate in the no-uniform incentive.
We look forward to the creative ways our school community will demonstrate kindness to each other this day.
Friday, February 16th will be the day that our students take class and group pictures for the yearbook. Please note that students should be in their uniforms unless otherwise indicated. Refrain from sending children to school in various colored sweaters and sweatshirts as they will be asked to take them off and that will impact the schedule. We thank you for supporting us with this big day!
❤️💚🖤 FEBRUARY SPIRIT WEEK: FOR THE CULTURE! ❤️💚🖤
We are excited to celebrate Black History/African American Heritage Month as a family this year. We will begin our spirit week on Friday, February 23rd and extend our celebration through Friday March 1st.
As per usual, this is a POSITIVE BEHAVIOR incentive, so students who have challenges with demonstrating positive behavior may be removed from participating in one or more days of the celebration. Also note that the days with an asterisk (*) indicate days all students must be in uniform. If students are not able to participate in the theme of the day, they must be in uniform. We thank you for helping us create positive culture in our school community.
🏆 2nd QUARTER AWARDS PROGRAM IS FEBRUARY 23RD 🏆
It's that time of year again! Our scholars will be celebrated Friday, February 23rd for their accomplishments in academics, attendance, and citizenship (exact times will be forwarded to impacted families soon but the ceremony will be held in the morning.) Each scholar being honored can have a maximum of TWO guests. If you are unsure of your child's status, please reach out to their teachers directly.
We thank you in advance for your cooperation and look forward to the celebration.
🚌 SCHOOLWIDE FIELD TRIP: DA MAGIC BOOMBOX - 4.4.2024 🚌
EXCEL family - it has been a long year and we are not even finished yet! To celebrate the end of the third quarter, welcome the beginning of official MCAP season, and to complement our Cultural Arts Pillar, we are sponsoring a building-wide field trip for all students, K-8 on April 4, 2024.
We are excited to FINALLY be able to secure tickets to the annual school musical performed by The Jaguar Players at Charles Herbert Flowers High School. This year's feature is an original play that celebrates the milestone recognition of 50 years of Hip Hop music with the local DC-area musical heritage of Go-Go music from a historical perspective. We are excited to also share that several EXCEL Academy alumni will be featured in the play.
Due to the timing and length of the trip we will have to charter buses for all 450+ students, staff, and designated chaperones, so the tickets will be $25 each. We will NOT be collecting any funds until the trip is approved by the district so please do not send any money to school until we request it, but all funds have to be paid no later than February 22nd (we are telling you now because we want you to be prepared.) More information will be sent later with instructions on payment, as well as sign-up slots for chaperones. As a reminder, chaperones MUST be verified through PGCPS no later than two weeks before payment is due.
We look forward to sharing more updates about this exciting opportunity and experience!
💙💛 PGCPS AND COMMUNITY UPDATES 💙💛
🖥️ FEBRUARY 20TH: PARENT TEACHER CONFERENCE DAY 🖥️
On Tuesday, February 20th (the day after the Presidents' Day holiday) there will be a two hour delay for students (9:40 a.m.) During that time, teachers will have scheduled conferences with parents to discuss student progress. If you would like to meet with your child's teacher during that time, please reach out to them as soon as possible to arrange a meeting.
🗓️ LAST CALL FOR THE PGCPS LOTTERY!🗓️
This is a reminder that the PGCPS lottery is open for charter schools and the last day to enter your child into the lottery is Friday, February 9th, 2024. Again,families who plan to return their scholars to EXCEL Academy need not apply, but if you have younger/older sibling you would like to bring next year you must apply for that student.
To enroll your scholar in the lottery for the 2024-2025 school year, click this link.
REBOOTING THE EXCEL ACADEMY PCS PARENT ADVOCACY GROUP
As was announced last semester, the parent group that was partnering with the school at the beginning of the school year is no longer active. EXCEL's school leadership is now partnering with the Maryland Free State PTA to engage the community and discuss the steps in establishing a unit at EXCEL Academy Public Charter School.
The meeting will be held virtually on Tuesday, February 13th at 6:00 p.m. Interested parents or community members should register for the meeting using the link button below. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. You can submit questions for the Q/A in the registration form as well.
(Many thanks to Ms. Charity Price for sharing this information!)
The Prince George’s Community College GenCyber Program will be offering two Cyber days to introduce elementary (current 4-5th grades), middle and high school students to Cybersecurity. These events is open to all but seats are limited. It is intended to inform students about careers in cybersecurity and how to stay safe online. There will several interactive and fun activities and prizes will be given out. Please share attached flyers with friends.
- Saturday, February 17th , 2024 (virtual) – 9 am to 1 pm
- Saturday March 9th , 2024 (in-person) – 9 am – 3 pm
Please use the link or QR code on the flyer to register.
🌱 A MESSAGE FROM OUR CHARTER OPERATOR, SEED, INC.🌱
As always, we appreciate your patience and understanding as we await approval of our child care license to reopen the SEED Extended Learning Program (SELP). The Office of Child Care (OCC) conducted a successful pre-inspection on Wednesday, January 24. As a result of updates to the MSDE regulations, there are now rooms in Phase One that we are no longer able to use for after care. This will require the completion and inspection of three classes in Phase Two. While the rooms have been completed, OCC will return once the builder has secured the necessary inspections and permits. The target date for this to be achieved is mid-February.
We will continue to keep you updated as things progress.
👷♂️ EXCEL ACADEMY BUILDING CONSTRUCTION: PHASE TWO UPDATES 👷
PHASE TWO had a little bit of delay but our fingers are CROSSED that our 7th and 8th grade students will be able to move into their new, HUGE classrooms and new lockers this month. We also have a large physical education room, a health room for staff, and a newly-floored gym that many of you were able to see on our social media pages.
JUST IN CASE YOU DIDN'T - WE ARE SHARING IT HERE!
🗓️ EXCEL SCHOOL CALENDAR 2/5 - 3/3/2024 🗓️
- Wednesday, February 7th: World Read-Aloud Day, African American Read-In; 100 Days of School Celebration
- Friday, February 9th: MSAC Arts Integration kickoff assemblies (K-8); PGCPS Charter School Lottery deadline; Q2 Report Cards released to families
- Saturday, February 10th: EXCELlence Saturday Academy (targeted students)
- Monday, February 12th: Q2 grade appeal window opens
- Tuesday, February 13th: PTA Information Session @ 6:00 p.m.
- Wednesday, February 14th: Virtual Admin-Parent Office Hours, 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
- Friday, February 16th: Class Group Pictures; Q2 Grade Appeal window closes
- Monday, February 19th: President's Day: PGCPS SCHOOLS AND OFFICES CLOSED
- Tuesday, February 20th: Two Hour Delay (parent conferences) - students arrive at 9:40 a.m.
- Friday, February 23rd: 2nd Quarter Awards program; Spirit week begins
- Saturday, February 24th: EXCELlence Saturday Academy (targeted students)
- Monday, February 26th: Virtual Admin-Parent Office Hours, 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
- Wednesday, February 28th: 3rd Quarter Progress reports released online via SchoolMax Family Portal.
- Saturday, March 2nd: EXCELlence Saturday Academy (targeted students)
Have a safe and productive month!
🦅 EXCEL ACADEMY PUBLIC CHARTER SCHOOL 🦅