FRONTIER NEWS

OCT-NOV 2016

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We are so grateful to be a part of your community and thankful that Frontier is a part of yours.

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College Readiness and Leadership Program (CRLP)

Students involved in Frontier's College Readiness Leadership Program (CLRP) went on their annual Fall Camping Trip. The CRLP boys traveled to Lake Doniphan in Excelsior Springs and the CRLP girls spent their camping weekend at The Salvation Army 3 Trails Camp. CRLP weekend trips are an opportunity for all the mentor groups to both work hard and play hard. Both camping trips provided the students with ACT prep and college mentoring, but students were also able to experience the outdoors by hiking the trails, paddling in the lake, and even rock climbing. Perhaps most importantly, students strengthened their bond with their peers and mentors on their path to become college ready.

Hispanic Heritage Month & Celebration

Frontier Schools takes part annually in National Hispanic Heritage Month – observed September 15th - October 15th. Throughout the month, teachers and students spent time in the classroom learning about Hispanic countries' histories, cultures, and contributions to America.



The school community came together at Frontier STEM High School for their 2nd annual Hispanic Heritage Celebration. They partnered with a local Hispanic congregation to celebrate with students, staff and parents. Parents generously donated their time by decorating the new STEM High School gymnasium and by providing authentic Hispanic cuisine. Students emceed the entire event, performed a traditional Hispanic dance, gave a presentation, and then introduced the entertainment seen below, provided by Jesus Cristo del Buen Pastor.

Frontier Schools: National Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration

Red Ribbon Week

Throughout October 24th -28th , Frontier students participated in National Red Ribbon Week. Red Ribbon Week is the oldest and largest drug prevention program in the nation -- it's a way for people and communities to unite and take a visible stand against drugs.


During Red Ribbon Week, students wrote a pledge to stay drug-free and then posted their pledges throughout the school. Students and staff also wore red to represent their vow to say no to drugs. Teachers provided classroom lessons on the dangerous effects of drugs and each school organized school wide assemblies to take a stand against drugs together. In addition, information and resources were shared with parents on how to talk to their students about staying true to their commitment to lead a healthy, drug-free life.


Students and faculty participated in a door decorating contest to display messages related to the drug-free lifestyle. Frontier STEM High School National Honor Society and Student Council students volunteered to select the winners of the Door Decoration Contest in both the elementary and middle school (see videos below).

STEM Blood Drive

Frontier STEM High School Biology Teacher, Andrea Finley, along with some of her Bio-Medical students, partnered with the American Red Cross to organize their second annual Blood Drive. Staff, students, parents, and community members came out to the Frontier STEM Gymnasuim to roll up their sleeves and donate blood.


Based on how many pints of blood are donated, the American Red Cross provides scholarship money to a worthy student who helped organize the Blood Drive. Most importantly, each pint of blood collected goes towards saving three lives. We are proud to partner with such a historic agency that helps provide humanitarian relief throughout our local, national, and global community.

Outreach Talk Series with Community Leaders

Frontier's Outreach & Communications Team organizes a bi-monthly Outreach Talk Series with Community Leaders. Each talk series begins with a catered luncheon at our Student Engagement Center, followed by a guest speaker presentation on an engaging, relevant and current topic that impacts our students, families and community.


4th District Councilwoman Katheryn Shields, was our talk series speaker on October 4th. The focus of her presentation was on life after high school and making a change for the better. The audience included Frontier School of Excellence seniors, parent champions, staff, and local community leaders.


Tim Carlson, Human Resources Director with Bayer Healthcare was our talk series speaker on November 9th. The focus of his topic was on STEM - including his ideas, thoughts, and concerns for graduating students. The audience included Frontier STEM High School seniors, staff and local community leaders.

Katheryn Shields

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Tim Carlson

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Bully Prevention and Unity Week: November 14th-18th

Frontier proudly participates each year in an Anti-Bully campaign. At Frontier, we take the responsibility of making all of our students feel safe within our school walls very seriously. Each building provided classroom instruction throughout the week and discussed how to combat bullying. Students dressed in blue to make a visible stand of unity to stomp out bullying. Although the week was organized by staff, it was led by students.


NHS High School students wrote and illustrated books about bully prevention and how to treat others - then they visited elementary classrooms as special guest authors, read their books to the students, and discussed bullying with them! High school students also visited the middle school building and answered middle school students' questions about the impact of bullying and how to prevent it. At Frontier, making our community more unified is one of our biggest priorities!

Professional Development Day - Danielson Training

Frontier Schools have adopted Charlotte Danielson’s Framework for Teaching as a classroom observation tool. The Framework is a validated instrument that defines effective teaching. By consistently implementing a classroom observation model throughout the campuses, Frontier Schools strives to promote a common definition and understanding of excellence in teaching, one that everyone—teachers, administrators, and the larger community—can easily comprehend.


Recently, all academic campus administrators and Central Office personnel participated in a series of training sessions by the Danielson Group. Full day workshops aimed to improve observation skills and develop principles of reflective communication practices. On October 21st, teachers were introduced to the Framework at a greater depth during a district-wide in-service day.


Overall, Frontier Schools strive to establish a support ecosystem that stimulates teachers’ self-assessment and reflection and promotes professional growth among educators.

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Frontier Schools' Staff Tournament

On October 6th, school staff tapped into teamwork and team spirit when they came together for a fun-filled afternoon of competition during their first annual volleyball and table tennis sports tournament.


Congratulations to our Winners!


Volleyball: Tied for 1st place - Frontier STEM High School & Frontier School of Excellence

Table Tennis: 1st place winner - Ikram Kuchkarov

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Home Visits

Home visits are not a new concept to Frontier Schools. Visiting our parents on their own turf has always been key for building partnerships between our staff and our parents. With our diverse student body, home visits have been paramount in bridging cultural gaps that might exist. These visits also provide opportunities for staff to understand their students better by visiting them in their home environments. The goal is to foster a true partnership - with both students and their families.

There are a variety of reasons behind why Frontier values home visits. Research shows that home visits improve relationships between the school, student, and parents. Home visits encourage stronger communication and trust between all parties involved. We also view home visits as an opportunity to address concerns, answer questions, and develop respect and accountability for both the families and staff. Below is a quote from one of our experienced teachers, Ms. Fern, who has visited 70 students!


"I have seen a student go from below average in core classes to honor roll since we met in the early fall. Furthermore, this student is more active in other extracurricular activities. I have felt more comfortable making parent phone calls since I've already built a relationship and understand the parent preference on communication needs. Home visits beforehand makes for a smoother conversation when issues arise.


Even though we are all very busy, taking a couple weekends might be just what is necessary to show the kiddos how serious we are about their academic success and how we really are their biggest fan. They truly do appreciate our visits and enjoy us being a guest in their home on a Saturday afternoon."


-Ms. Fern, FSI Middle School, Language Arts Teachers


Our goal is to visit each and every home of our student's families across all four Frontier buildings. Thus far in the 2016-2017 academic school year, we are well on our way of reaching our goal.


  • Frontier School of Excellence staff has visited 60 students,
  • Frontier School of Innovation (Elementary) staff has visited 29 students,
  • Frontier School of Innovation (Middle) staff has visited 144 students,
  • and Frontier STEM High School staff has visited 158 students.

That is 391 students visited in all - and we are so excited to keep increasing that number!

Visitors

Partnering with our community to promote student success.
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Linda Cole, Executive Vice President, Country Club Bank

Linda Cole visited Frontier STEM High School to see the new 2nd floor renovations and the new gymnasium. Both projects were financed through Country Club Bank.



"I was very impressed when I visited Frontier STEM High School recently. With all we hear about education today, it is refreshing to see such a success story right here in Kansas City. The innovation of the STEM program is certain to engage students in a field vital to our country's success and provide advancement in careers that was not possible a few years ago.

What impressed me also was the teacher commitment. First class facilities, which you have, and all the innovative programs do little if not advanced by a committed staff. It appeared to me that everyone is on board. Congratulations to you!"


-Linda Cole, Executive Vice President, Country Club Bank

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Justin Perry, Ph.D., Dean of UMKC School of Education

Dr. Justin Perry toured and visited all four Frontier Schools campuses during visits in October and November. After seeing first hand and learning about more about Frontier Schools, Dr. Perry, school administrators, and board members came to the table to discuss opportunities for on-going support and collaboration with the UMKC School of Education.


Frontier Schools, sponsored by University of Missouri - Kansas City (UMKC), is excited to collaborate and partner with UMKC.

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5th District Councilwoman Alissia Canady

On October 27th, Councilwoman Canady toured and visited Frontier School of Excellence.
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5th District Councilman Lee Barnes, Jr.

On October 28th, Councilman Barnes toured and visited Frontier School of Excellence.
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Michael Strohschein, Sr. Director Continuing Education, UMKC

On November 1st, Michael Strohschein visited and toured all 3 Frontier School of Innovation campuses.


"Thank you for a wonderful tour of Frontier Elementary, Middle, and STEM High School today. I learned a great deal about these schools and am excited about exploring opportunities to further integrate Frontier Schools and UMKC School of Education.


-Michael Strohschein, Sr. Director Continuing Education, UMKC


Frontier Schools, sponsored by University of Missouri - Kansas City (UMKC), is excited to further collaborate and partner with UMKC.

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Tricia Johnson, Founder, Show Me KC Schools

On September 29th, Tricia Johnson, founder of Show Me KC Schools, toured Frontier STEM High School. Students led the tour and exhibited some of their projects and classwork.


"Many, many thanks to you and all of your students for the fabulous tour of Frontier STEM HS! I've already enjoyed telling multiple people how impressed we were with the students, their projects and the curriculum. Truly, the level of engagement reminded me of what you would find at a college level - the students were both passionate about their studies and supportive of one another's learning. I can't wait to hear about the students' successes in college!


Really looking forward to bringing Show Me KC Schools' board to Frontier STEM HS next month. I will definitely look for opportunities to encourage other families and community members to learn more about and visit your school.


Thank you for the warm hospitality! Please give our best to the students and keep up the great work! Hope to see you in November!"


-Tricia Johnson, Founder, Show Me KC Schools

Ivy League Trip

A select group of Juniors were able to attend Frontier's annual Ivy League College Trip. Students traveled to the East Coast with school chaperones and were given the opportunity to visit and tour: Harvard University, M.I.T., Boston University , NYU, and Princeton University.


"Harvard and Princeton were my favorite universities to visit because it felt more like home and the people were very welcoming to all of us. M.I.T. was beautiful and had unique architecture, as well. It was so helpful to learn about the application process and financial aid resources from the staff and students who works there. It was great to hear from their first hand experiences. We also got to visit Times Square at night, which was my very first time! I am very glad I had the opportunity to go."

-Dayanna Gonzalez, 11th Grade

Gifted and Talented Education Program

Frontier Schools is excited to bring an exciting new program to all four of our schools, Gifted and Talented Education! In the Gifted and Talented Education program, students that excel beyond their peers will be able to grow and learn about engineering, science, and technology. Ms. Megan Sturges’ classroom will be located on the second floor of the Elementary building, and we are excited to announce that it will be named the “Creativity Garden.” All students are considered for the program based on their NWEA MAP test scores, and a selective number of students will complete further testing. We look forward to an innovative, creative Spring semester in the Garden!


Any questions can be directed to Rasul Iskander at riskander@frontierschools.org or Megan Sturges at msturges@frontierschools.org

Frontier Alumni Spotlight: Kallissa Hollins

In the Alumni Spotlight, we have Kallissa Hollins. Kallissa Hollins graduated from Frontier School of Excellence in 2012 and received her Bachelor’s Degree in Digital Arts and Design at Full Sail University in 2015. Kallissa currently works for Frontier Schools as an in-house graphic designer at Central Office. She is always behind the scenes, but many have seen her designs. Her designs range from advertisements, new branding and many more projects that is attended for Frontier Schools. Be on the lookout for her designs.


“There was this one computer class I took at Frontier School of Excellence that decided my career. It’s only right to return and become their Graphic Designer.”


-Kallissa Hollins, Graphic Designer, Frontier Schools

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