PIONEER ACADEMY

Knowledge - Challenge - Integrity - Diversity

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Dear Pioneer Community,


We hope that everyone is continuing to do well and is staying healthy. As faculty and administration, we miss all of you so much.

We hope that all will return to normal soon. As a Pioneer community we stand strong, united and always optimistic. We need to stay highly motivated to successfully complete this academic year. Even under these very unusual circumstances, our students are resilient and determined, they all study hard and make us proud.


During this time, our goal is to provide you a high quality and engaging Cyber School education. As a college prep school, we work very hard with our families to secure top acceptances for our scholars. This year’s include Barnard College of Columbia University, Rice, NYU, Williams and many other top Universities, please read our college guidance corner for more information. It is a learning experience for all of us. The teachers are highly motivated and absolutely on fire to ensure that all of the students are engaged in learning and do not have any gaps in their learning. As you know, some schools or even districts may lose a year, we on the other hand adapt quickly and it just makes us stronger.


Our team, Superheroes, have proved to be leaders in education, by being resourceful, and implementing extraordinary ideas to ensure keeping our community connected and united. They are providing high expectations, structure, social interaction, school spirit weeks and competitions, helping us plan virtual school instructional meetings, activities at home, fitness workouts, and even ways to showcase the talents of our student artists. Based on a tremendous effort by all of our teachers and staff and the cooperation of the Pioneer community, our school is exemplary and sets the benchmark very high for all. High quality instruction must go on. We are also constantly re-evaluating and re-adjusting the cyber education system to ensure that it works for all of our students on all grade levels.


In order to gain a better understanding of how Cyber Education is working, we shared a survey and you have provided very insightful feedback. You are very welcome to let us know if things are going well and we are also happy to hear suggestions for how we might be able to do better. As a student centered school, your opinion truly matters to us and is appreciated. We want this to be a successful experience for all, and turn this challenge into our strength. We have all learned a lot through this process and now we have a newfound appreciation for even the ordinary things in life.


We would like to share some feedbacks from our parents:

“We especially appreciate how the school immediately responded to the situation at hand not allowing this global circumstance to affect our child’s educational development.”

“We appreciate the staff for always checking in to see how everything is going and how they can improve; It demonstrates their dedication and commitment to our children! Thank you!!”

“Thanks for cooperation and interest for pupils”

“Thank you all for your efforts.”

“Thank you to everyone working hard to educate the kids. You are so appreciated”

“My Stepson is in public school and I can't tell you how much more valuable the schedule and education you are making possible is. It breaks my heart for so many kids, but what you're doing is night and day better.”

We would like to send our appreciation, a big THANK YOU from the bottom of our hearts to our team for stepping in and making the cyber school a huge success in such a short time, as well as our parents for providing the support at home on a daily basis. As always, we work together, school, parents and students. It is evident how much our teachers and staff care about our students through all the communications and the amazing work they do. Our teachers immediately stepped up to the task with genuine goodwill, initiative, and dedication beyond anyone’s imagination. I remain convinced that we will succeed, and all learn a great deal in the process.


We would also like to share how proud we are of our students. Their motivation for learning and engagement made this an enjoyable experience for all of us. We are so proud of all of our scholars. We hope you rest and enjoy your spring break as well and share your experiences with us upon your return.


Finally, we would also like to thank our wonderful parents for their support during this time. We can see how deeply you care about your child’s success. Your dedication to ensuring best results and support for our teachers and school is astonishing. Even in these difficult times you are strong and remain excellent role models to our children. Thank you so much for your support. It means the world to us.


Well, it looks like the weather has finally turned the page to Spring! We hope that all of you will have a wonderful Spring Break and are ready to tackle the final nine weeks of school.

We look forward to seeing you all soon! In the meantime, we wish you health and peace.


Owen O. Akman

Principal

Table of Contents


  1. Upcoming Events in April
  2. Cyber Education Information
  3. Montessori Events
  4. Past and Upcoming ES Events
  5. Past and Upcoming MS Events
  6. MS Saturday Academy
  7. Past and Upcoming HS Events
  8. College Counseling Corner
  9. Pioneer Academy Calendar 2020-2021
  10. Quote of the Week
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Upcoming Events In April

April 6-9: Spring Break - School Closed

April 10: Good Friday - School Closed

April 13: 4th Quarter Begins

April 25: Virtual Open House 10 am to 1 pm.

Cyber Education Information

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Dear Pioneer Academy Families,


After the recent developments, we have been implementing our Cyber Education learning plan beginning Monday, March 23rd. We will reevaluate on a weekly basis and keep our families informed. You can see the detailed information below regarding expectations for our students during our digital learning days.


It is our goal to provide our students with quality instruction during this time. We are thankful for and appreciate the feedback received, as well as your patience as we try to make our Cyber school days just as seamless as our in-class school days. We are hopeful that the adjustments we have made for these cyber education days will be an improvement for you at home as well.

In order to continue with successful cyber school days, students are attending each of their Zoom sessions and participating in the classroom activities and assignments. Our teachers are working hard to plan new ways of keeping their students engaged in the new digital learning experience. Attendance is taken during these Zoom sessions through Alma. Your students are counted as present as they enter and participate in the Zoom session for each of their class periods.


While we would love to have all of our students join these live sessions each day, we understand that each of you may be facing different challenges as you balance this new cyber day environment at home. In the event that you have circumstances that your child cannot join the live sessions (multiple siblings and a shared device, internet concerns, your work schedule etc.), our Zoom sessions are recorded and posted on Google Classrooms for one week. Students are expected to watch and complete assigned activities, even in the event of these concerns.

We are following the schedule below for our cyber education days. These Zoom links are also available and accessible under each course’s google classroom.

CYBER Education (Zoom Classes) Schedule- ELEMENTARY

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MS / HS Daily Cyber Education Schedule

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Thank you all for your flexibility and willingness to make cyber instruction a success for our students! We know that it will also take some work and patience on your part and we are grateful.


Frequently Asked Questions:


· Are you taking attendance?

Yes, we take attendance at the beginning of each Zoom session and record attendance on ALMA, just as a regular school day.


· What if I am at home working and unable to have my child join live sessions?

All sessions are recorded and uploaded to google classrooms. If a child is unable to join a live session course, they should view the recording and complete any assigned activities. An email should be sent to the respective teacher by the end of the day, letting them know the video has been watched and assignments have been completed in order to be counted “present” for the school day.


· If I am at home working, how can I plan for my child’s day?

You should expect to receive communication from your child's teacher everyday. That email will include the following day’s Zoom links, materials needed, and any other important information you may need to arrange/plan out your day.


· What are teacher “office hours”?

These are set up for students to be able to access their teachers for questions they might have about the day’s activities, as well as if they need clarification/help understanding anything that was taught that day via Zoom. These sessions are intended for student support, but they are not intended for parent conferences.

As always, thank you for your continued support! Please contact us or the teachers if you have any questions.

Montessori Pre-K Events

In Pioneer Montessori we are constantly busy and learning!


This month we did a Science experiment with white carnations. We learned that the stem of the flower has veins and when we cut the ends and put them in colored water something wonderful happens ! The colored water travels up the stem and changes the white to the color! We had red, yellow, blue


On Thursdays, our after school club, Tumbling, is always thrilling! Mr. Hayes and Coach Tom teach us how to roll on the floor with out hurting ourselves. We also learned different ways to crawl with our bodies and to climb the floor ladder.

Past and Upcoming Elementary School Events

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Dr. Seuss and Read Across America Week

To celebrate Dr. Seuss and Read Across America Week the elementary school had Spirit Week. On Monday, the teachers read The Lorax and students wore mustaches and orange. Tuesday was Fox in Sox Day where students wore their craziest socks. Wednesday was Wacky Wednesday, students wore wacky clothes and hair. One Thursday the teachers read The Sleep Book and students wore their Pj’s and read books with flashlights. To conclude, Read Across America Week the Elementary School had our annual event called Mullberry Street Mall.

Mulberry Street Mall is a fun engaging event where there are Dr. Seuss themed literacy activities for grades K-3, based on various Dr. Seuss books. 4th grade students were the “Hooville Helpers.” They were shopkeepers that helped run the centers. Activity centers reinforced grade level standards.


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Science Fair

The elementary team had our first Annual Science Fair! Students in grades K-4 used the scientific method to experiment, plan and explain various scientific topics.

For science day kindergarten was learning about weather. They learned about rain, how rain forms, clouds, storms, and wind. The activity we did on science day was to show the parents about our rain clouds. The students had to predict how many drops of food coloring it would take to go through the shaving cream as it acted as a cloud. Once the food coloring went through, they had to draw a picture on what happened when it went through, and write of their hypothesis was true or not.

First grade has been learning about the structure and function of animals. They chose an animal to investigate and researched that animal. The “animal experts” shared their findings with our visitors.

Second grade was out of this world! Each planet was researched,discussed and presented. They excelled in their Jedi training and are now masters of the force!

The students in Mrs. Hickey’s class worked in groups to present their science fair projects. The projects covered various science topics like: Taste Perception, Talking to Plants, How to Stop Soda from Exploding, and Mood Ring Validity. The students had to form a hypothesis, test participants, measure plant growth over time, create charts/graphs, analyze data, and much more! Great job, 4A!

Past and Upcoming Middle School events

6th Grade Olympic Games Project!

Students in Mr. Benevenga’s 6th Grade World History class were tasked with creating two 3D models about the Olympic Games. Students did a fantastic job creating a piece of sporting equipment, one from the original Greek Games and one from the most recent 2018 winter games. Students had to build the pieces of equipment by hand and write a short description of how each item was used.

Middle School Saturday Academy

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Saturday Academy spent this past Saturday analyzing song lyrics, scripting a mailing address program, reading and analyzing reactions to Kobe Bryant’s passing, and preparing for their upcoming Math League competition. After their morning studies, students attended a trip to Monster Mini Golf where they were able to practice their short game and navigate through the interactive laser maze.

Past and Upcoming High School Events

PA Virtual Chorus

Pioneer High School has shown excellent adaptation skills to their online learning platform! The use of zoon has given them the opportunity to complete their courses in a way that we never even thought would be necessary. Amidst the chaos and uncertainty surrounding our community right now, students have found a way to educate themselves, entertain one another, and even think about ways to remain a unified student body. Our SGA held their first cyber meeting last week and is currently working on two projects. The first is to produce a Broadcast from Quarantine episode to our school. Juniors Zek Halilovic, Hikmet Ozdemir, and Imran T. are working diligently to record, edit and premier the episode. Our class presidents are also working with their team to bring news and uplifting messages to their classes.

Pioneer students are always giving back to their community. National Honor Society as well as Life Savers Club has been encouraging students to remain involved in the efforts to help others. With help from their teachers, they are finding ways to help others from home. Some of these efforts include monetary donation, or finding elderly people that need help during these troubled times. All year round, during times of hope or times of despair, our students can be counted on to help!

STEAM DAY

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Pioneer Celebrated its annual STEAM Day event earlier this month. High School Students showcased their investigative experiments in Human Behavior, CHemistry, General Science, The Science of Music and Education, Technology and The Environment. Students and visitors alike enjoyed art workshops and live music performances by a number of our students. The Pioneer SGA transformed the lobby into a music cafe while our students competed for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd prizes. Congratulations to all our winners. We are proud of the work you have accomplished and we look forward to what your innovative and creative minds will bring for the future!

Our Students and Social Media:

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Everyone today has an attachment to their social media persona. Social media and social websites help us stay connected with friends and family. It allows us to make new connections and keeps us up-to-date with the changes in our society. Sometimes however, social media can work against us if not used properly. Previous member of Governor Bruce Rauner political team, Ben Tracy visited Pioneer Academy this month to share his professional experience. Mr. Tracy shared with our students his own personal story of how his social media behavior in High School affected his professional career later in life. He also gave our students insight on the many ways that social media can be used positively and actually serve as a support mechanism for the future.

Tanzania Project

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It seems that just a little over a month ago, life was so different. Pioneer students have teamed up, travelled around the globe and helped others who needed their help. Pioneer's character education teaches students not only to achieve academically but also to give back. Contributing to others and serving as change agents in line with the UN standards are very encouraging. As role models, our students ensure that they recognize the needs, and use their resources wisely to ensure that other children around the world will have access to the very basic needs. As a result of this accomplishment, two schools had received access to clean water. That is over 2000 precious students who now have their basic human right granted. One might wonder what a life would be without water, and we cannot imagine it. These students lived like that for decades, and they still studied and found the strength to achieve. Another project was to renovate and build a library for underprivileged children. As we were stacking the resources, on shelves we wondered if we could have done more. Yes, we can. The important aspect is to realize that our students can be the world leaders and bring change. They were empowered to realize that they can help. The students also had a chance to visit orphanages, where students who lived there had no resources, no luxuries, only hope that tomorrow would be a better day. If they had food to eat it was a good day, if they did not they would go to bed hungry. It is truly heartbreaking.

Let's take a moment and thank our parents, guardians and everyone who is our provider for giving us more than anyone could ever hope for, love, food, shelter, and genuine care for providing the very best education. As things get tough, we must always keep in mind that there is someone else who may be less fortunate and who can use our help. We must learn to share what we have, and help one another especially in the time of need.

College Counseling Corner

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How to Self-Study for AP Exams

AP self-study is when you study for an AP exam on your own and then take the AP test without taking the class. This is possible because the College Board does not actually require you to take the class associated with a given AP exam to take the test!

Decide If Self-Studying Is Something You Should Do

You might self-study for a variety of reasons: your schedule doesn’t allow you to take an AP course when it’s offered at your school, your school doesn’t offer an AP course in a subject you want to study, you have a pre-existing knowledge base in a subject (like a foreign language you speak at home), and so on. Some students also self-study for an AP exam while they are taking the non-AP version of a course. For example, you might self-study for AP Biology while you are taking Honors Biology and just supplement what you learn in class with the extra material that’s covered on the AP exam.

Figure Out What You Need to Learn

Exactly what you personally need to cover will depend a lot on where you are starting from. If you already have a basic proficiency in the skill or subject, you will not need to cover the material as comprehensively as you will if you are starting from scratch. Similarly, if you are going to self-study for an AP while you are in the Honors (or other non-AP) version of the class, you will only need to cover the material that won’t be taught in the classroom.

No matter your situation, though, you will need to compare what you know with what you are required to know for the exam. So you’ll need a complete list of all of the core competencies necessary for the AP test.

Make a Schedule and Stick to It!

Once you’ve gotten a working document of what you need to cover for the test, divide it up into a schedule. Again, some topics may end up taking you a little longer than you thought, and some may take less time. This is fine, just so long as you keep a steady pace and don’t fall way behind in your schedule.

Find and Use a Variety of Study Resources

Once you’ve drawn up a rough schedule, you’ll need to figure out how you’re going to learn the material: what resources will you use?

I recommend using a variety of resources. Processing the information multiple ways and in multiple formats will help you retain it and keep the studying process interesting (well, as interesting as it can be). That said, do be aware of how you learn best—if you aren’t an auditory learner, for example, podcasts won’t be a particularly useful study tool for you.

Take Notes and Self-Assess

While you’re consuming all of your top-quality study resources—reading your textbook, watching your Khan Academy videos, perusing your review book—it’s very important that you interact with the material. That means take notes!

It’s also important that you occasionally test yourself to make sure you are actually learning the material. Your trusty textbook probably has practice problems at the end of each chapter you can complete. As you learn more material, you’ll probably want to use AP practice tests to make sure you’re really getting at the essential knowledge for the test.

April 25: Virtual Open House

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Pioneer Academy Calendar 2020-2021

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Quote of the Week

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Rated Niche's 2019 #1 private school

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Pioneer Academy is a leader in education. It is rated the #1 private school in Passaic County by Niche and College Board's Highest SAT performance in Passaic County among both public and private schools.

Pioneer Acceptance

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