Lighthouse School Newsletter

April 28, 2021

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Mr. B's Corner

Recently, I have enjoyed chatting with a number of our Lighthouse Alum. Each have shared with me that they miss our inquisitive environment where, in addition to the serious discussions that occur, “fun, nerdy conversations happen all the time too!” As a recent lunchtime example, students have been discussing silly syllogisms during lunch; “If soup is a liquid with items suspended in it, is cereal soup?” (Etc. ad nauseum!) In addition to sharing their current successes and struggles, alum shared an immense appreciation for Lighthouse School’s commitment to strength-based and interest-based negotiated work plans. Although I am immersed in this learning environment each day, these conversations help me reflect upon the importance of our daily work. The conversations remind me of a study I shared with the community in recent years. In April 2019, Vanderbilt University shared new revelations from its 45 year-long ongoing study examining the life of Gifted Students as they progress into adulthood through age 50.

To summarize, they found that those talented individuals who connected their gifts to their affinities were more likely to achieve eminence in each field. This seems, perhaps, like an obvious conclusion, but it is one that is imminently important to our work in education. Camilla Benbow, Educational Psychologist and a university professor, shares the ramifications thus far “If gifted children’s abilities and preferences at age 13 indicate the types of fields they might ultimately contribute to, it makes sense to help them develop in these fields at an early age if they so choose.” I couldn’t agree more. As adults, some of us are lucky enough to pursue a career that both matches our abilities and our interests, but we often overlook this notion with children by focusing our attention on weaknesses and deficits. Imagine the possibilities if we could align our practices to enhance the intersection of ability and interest in our students and children! I hope you were able to see this intersectionality in your children.

An analogy made by David Lubinski, American psychology professor, cautions us not to focus on gifts alone. “It’s like saying if you’re tall you’re going to be a basketball player. There are a lot of tall kids who don’t want to play basketball. It’s the same with academic talents. We need to really encourage kids to get in touch with not only their gifts, but what they are passionate about.” This really hit home for me. As any of you can attest, I am a big guy and was, indeed, a big kid. To this end, I was constantly asked “You’re a big guy, do you play football?” It made me giggle each time I replied, “No sir, I play the cello.” This attention to my size completely, unintentionally as it may have been, discounted any other natural gifts and affinities I may have had.

Of course, this is not to say that students do not need to dive into topics that are not their strongest interests. Sometimes a scary introduction to something new may illuminate an unknown ability or latent interest. Sometimes our weak abilities need to be strengthened to better support our interests. I think this is definitely on display with our music students as they write their own songs, build their own instruments, and combined humor with focus. Our art students, too, take their artistic endeavors through 3-D printing and design process. The intersection of strengths, struggles, and affinities results in some great learning!

Please take some time to reflect with your child on both their abilities and interests and continue to help them pursue intersecting topics. How can we connect those affinities and strengths to their learning; inquiries, writing plans, and book challenges?

Lastly, we continue to focus much energy on maintaining a safe learning environment by reminding our students to maintain 6 feet of social distancing, to keep their masks over both their mouths AND noses, and to stay home if they are not feeling well. Our continued efforts have resulted in our ability to maintain an in-person learning model. We urge families to continue to have conversation at home about these safety measures and to highlight vaccinations for students who are 16+. Thanks to the Lighthouse community for their continued partnership!

As always, thanks for entrusting your child(ren) to Lighthouse School for Gifted and Insatiable Learners,


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Panther Spirit Day is Friday, April 30

The SLPHS Student Council has designated this Friday, April 30 as a Panther Spirit Day! Be sure to wear your SLP Panther gear or school colors and share photos using #SLPPantherProud.

Last chance - purchase your "Spamalot" tickets today

This weekend, April 30-May 2, is your last chance to see the live theater event "Spamalot," presented by the talented SLPHS theater cast and crew. Lovingly ripped off from the classic film comedy Monty Python and the Holy Grail, MONTY PYTHON’S SPAMALOT retells the legend of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table. Featuring cows, killer rabbits, and French people. The outrageous, uproarious, and gloriously entertaining story of King Arthur and the Lady of the Lake will delight audiences as they search for the Holy Grail and “always look on the bright side of life.” This is a performance you don't want to miss! Purchase your tickets today.

Daily Health Screening Reminder

Please continue daily health screenings before sending students to school. If your child has any symptoms, they need to stay home. We are all tracking news of variants and their spread. We ask that everyone remain diligent to help keep learning going at school with as few interruptions as possible.
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Matthew 25 Free Food Distribution

Matthew 25, a nonprofit organization, is holding a free monthly food distribution drive-thru on the second Sunday of every month from noon-2 p.m. at the Coon Rapids United Methodist Church. There are no requirements, and no data will be collected. Everyone is welcome. The next distribution date is Sunday, May 9, 2021. See the flyer for more details.

Register for Summer 2021 Camps and Clinics

Spring Lake Park Schools Community Education partners with our coaching and teaching staff to offer athletic and activity camps and clinics during the summer. A variety of engaging camps and clinics are offered for all ages and skill levels. Learn more about our Camp and Clinic opportunities.

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Club Spotlight of the Week:

Youth Volleyball Camp

For students entering grades 3-5 for the 2021-2022 school year. This camp is designed to teach young players the basic skills used in volleyball. We will cover all the primary skills and put the players in playing situations. They will get lots of practice and will have fun as they learn skills and play together. Taught by SLP Varsity Coach Joy Johnston. Sign up for Youth Volleyball Camp.

MS Volleyball Camp

For students entering grades 6-8 for the 2021-2022 school year. This camp is designed to teach young players the basic skills used in volleyball. We will cover all the primary skills and put the players in playing situations. They will get lots of practice and will have fun as they learn skills and play together. Taught by SLP Varsity Coach Joy Johnston. Sign up for MS Volleyball Camp.

HS Volleyball Camp

For students entering grades 9-12 for the 2021-2022 school year. This camp is designed to be a high-rep and fast-paced camp! It is for players going into grades 9-12 who have beginner or advanced volleyball skills and knowledge. We will focus on the development of all volleyball skills throughout the week. Players will also get an opportunity to work on a specific position that they are interested in focusing on. Along with skill work, the players will get lots of playing opportunities each day that will prepare them for the fall season! Taught by SLP Varsity Coach Joy Johnston. Sign up for HS Volleyball Camp.

High School Boys Lacrosse

For students entering grades 9-12 for the 2021-2022 school year. This camp will provide a prep Lacrosse experience for boys interested in playing the high school level. Taught by Summer Program with SLP Head Coach Ian Pollard. Sign up for High School Boys Lacrosse.

Beginning Band Summer Camp

For students entering grades 5-6 for the 2021-2022 school year. Come and learn ALL of your instrument basics! Students will have four days of individual and small group instrument work and full band rehearsals with SLP Band Directors. You'll learn lots about your instrument, a bunch of fun songs, and play music with other students. This is a great way to be ready for your school year and 5th & 6th grade band. Taught by SLPHS Band Directors Nora Tycast and Ross Wolf. Sign up for Beginning Band Summer Camp.
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