New Academy Charter School
February 2023 Edition
From the Principal's Desk
Did February go as fast for you as it has for us? I cannot believe it is March already! We had an awesome month kicking our Fantastic Friday's into the next gear. The word is going around, behavior matters! We hope to have even more new faces at our reward events in the coming weeks! We celebrated Black History Month with some awesome projects and information boards and we spread the love with some Valentine's Day treats for everyone.
As we move into March we are looking forward to the Skating Trip, March Madness and our Open-House. You will see the invitation to our Open-House below. Come join us for a light lunch and raffle prizes, tour the school, meet the teachers and learn more about us. As we prepare for fun and engagement, I also want to remind everyone to keep up the good academic work we have been witnessing. The end of the 3rd quarter is not too far away, and I want to pass out even more Honor Roll Certificates this time.
We have been lucky with the weather so far, but, we do live in Pittsburgh and that can change at any moment. I do want to remind you to remember to check the local news stations for any closings or delays. We will also utilize our school messenger system to alert you of any changes.
Student Highlights 🥳
January Raffle Winner
Janiece was 'Caught Doing Something Right' and entered into the monthly raffle!
January Students of the Month
These students were voted on by their teachers and staff for excellence in Academics and Behavior.
Keep up the hard work!
🍎 Our Busy Classrooms
Please email Cherisha Thomas at Thomasc@theacademyschools.com to register for your PowerSchool Parent Login information. When you have a PowerSchool Parent account you will be able to access your students grades, schedule, attendance and their teachers!
Can you believe it’s already February? The 2023 school year is on a roll, a roller coaster ride to describe it at best. It has been days of thrills and chills for our students which is leading to an exciting ride in the special education department. We are adjusting behavior plans, students schedules and have implemented new positive behavior reward systems to best meet our students needs for them to be successful the second half of the school year. We are continuing to challenge our students in English and math as well as providing one on one support to our students as they need it. We are here for you and your children and riding with them all the way to the end.
The Math Department is still having success with Math Facts Friday. Miss Mervosh had a successful Black History project involving a prominent African American person in the area of STEAM. Mr. McCullough’s classes took chapter tests and quizzes and began learning new topics. The Math department is continuing to find ways to challenge the students while keeping them engaged.
At the New Academy Charter School, we believe your Health is the greatest wealth. For the month of March our Health classes will continue to explore safe and healthy friendships. Highlighting the recognition of negative peer pressure, refusal skill application and recognizing the benefits of abstinence. Also, students will work on identifying high risk behaviors that may lead to undesirable results in teen relationships. The Physical Education Department recognizes that March Madness is almost here and so is our annual school basketball tournament! We hope to provide fitness and fun to our students through sporting competitions like 2 vs. 2 basketball, 3-point shooting, badminton and possible kickball outside when the weather permits. Schoolwide fun is the goal for the month of March... it's Madness!
The English department is continuing with its reading and writing interventions. To add to the writing RAPS writing processes, the 9th grade students have been introduced to a new strategy called RACE (Restate, Answer, Cite, Explain) to add to the bag of tricks. 10th grades journey has taken them through the “hero’s journey” and are now looking at anti-heroes. 11th grade is reading up on contemporary, prominent African American figures and putting together posters. The 12th grade has come to a big turn in their chosen learning paths for black history and begun the drafting process for their next essay.
Science Department is putting together a plan to have an Earth Day celebration that will include planting trees and cleaning up around the campus with student volunteers. Biology classes are finishing up the unit on Cellular Energy, learning about how photosynthesis and cellular respiration work together to make life on Earth possible. Psychology is discussing the concept of learning through Pavlov’s Dog experiments. Anatomy is completing lessons about the largest organ of the body: the skin!
And just like that, February has come to an end. This month was highlighted by the Social Studies department/classes celebrating Black History Month. All classes took time to study and learn about the many influences of African American culture. In World Cultures, Mr. Zarko's classes learned about African American individuals who had major influences abroad. Mr. Shamitko's Civics classes learned about numerous individuals who had great contributions to the Civil Rights movement in our country. And finally, in Mr. P's U.S. History classes, students had the opportunity to complete a biographical poster about an influential African American of their choice. It was an awesome month learning about the many great people that have contributed so much to society. As a reminder, the 3rd Nine weeks will be coming to a close soon, so please make students aware to communicate with their teachers about all work needed to be made up. Think Spring!!!
Celebrating Black History Month
This month has been spent learning about the new graduation requirements for seniors in public schools in the state of Pennsylvania. Starting with the 2023 school year, seniors need to demonstrate college and career preparedness in order to receive their diploma. In order to ensure our students meet those requirements, we have been attending training on ACT WorkKeys as well as looking into other career certificates that would be useful in the workforce post-graduation. Our 11th and 12th grade interested Pittsburgh students will also be attending a Pittsburgh Promise eligible school college and career fair at Pittsburgh Greenway on Friday, March 17th. The New Academy Charter School is Pittsburgh Promise scholarship eligible for all Pittsburgh resident students. In order to receive Pittsburgh Promise, students must maintain a cumulative, unweighted grade point average of 2.50 and an attendance record of 90% or above. Come stop by the library or call for Mrs. Keener for more information.
To All Parents/Guardians of Seniors - Please remember to schedule your mandatory Graduation meeting with Mrs. Craighead. 412-515-2280 or Craigheadd@theacademyschools.com
At the New Academy Charter School our goal is to establish a school culture that reinforces positive behavior and academic success. In other words, "Catch a Kid Doing Something Right" is the motto of our school. To promote that motto we have established a reward system of positive incentives. In the month of January our students were recognized through our Live School program. This program allows students to earn points for academic accomplishments, attendance and positive behaviors displayed in school. Students can use these points to purchase things in the school store. In addition to the store students can earn their way into the monthly raffle to win items like 55" Smart TVs, Air Pods and Beats.
✨ Mental Health Tip
Mental Health Black History Month
Depression is the most common mental health disorder that is reported across BIPOC individuals. Though depression in the BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) community is reported less than other communities, it is found that BIPOC and Hispanic individuals experience depression more persistently. Racial trauma can increase the likelihood of PTSD symptoms in BIPOC due to increased amounts of stress. Trauma can also be a direct line to other mental health concerns, including depression, anxiety, and others. Stigma around receiving mental health care is continually prevalent in the BIPOC community, which leads to many in the community not receiving care.
The mental health tip for the month is to have a conversation with your student about mental health care and the benefits of receiving therapy. For continued resources please visit https://mhanational.org/black-history-month
Highlighting Black Individuals Contributions to Mental Health Care
- Bebe Moore Campbell: Bebe founded the National Alliance on Mental Illness- Inglewood in a primarily black community to advocate for Black Mental Health. On June 2, 2008, Congress formally recognized Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month to bring awareness to unique struggles of underrepresented groups.
- Herman George Canady, Ph.D: Herman conducted studies on the influence of IQ test proctors and the subjects, specifically researching how the race of a test proctor can create bias in IQ testing. He worked to provide an understanding of testing environments that were suitable to help black students succeed.
- E. Kitch Childs, Ph.D: She was a founding member of Chicago’s Gay Liberation Front. She owned her own practice and provided therapy to the LGBTQ+, people with HIV/AIDS, and other marginalized members.
- Mamie Phipps Clark, Ph.D.: Mamie was the first African American woman to earn a doctorate degree in psychology from Columbia University. Her and her husband, Kenneth Clark, were famous for working on the “Doll Study” which provided valuable evidence in favor of ending school segregation in the supreme court case Brown V. The Board of Education.
Heating Assistance/Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
The 2022-2023 LIHEAP season is open.
The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) helps families living on low incomes pay their heating bills in the form of a cash grant. Households in immediate danger of being without heat can also qualify for crisis grants. The cash grant is a one-time payment sent directly to the utility company/fuel provider to be credited on your bill. These grants range from $300 to $1,000 based on household size, income, and fuel type. Remember: This is a grant and does not have to be repaid.
How to apply
There are two ways to apply for LIHEAP:
- Online: Apply for benefits online using COMPASS, the online tool for Pennsylvanians to apply for health and human service programs and manage benefit information.
- On paper: You can download a paper application, print it, fill it out, and return it to your local county assistance office.
After your application is reviewed, you will receive written notice explaining your eligibility and the amount of assistance you will receive. Please allow 30 days for a response.
At ACTION-Housing, pride themselves on helping clients to achieve more self-sufficient lives. Since 1957, they have assisted a wide array of populations throughout Southwestern Pennsylvania, focusing on those generally underserved by traditional services including senior citizens, veterans, individuals with physical and/or intellectual disabilities, individuals on the autism spectrum, and youths who have aged out of foster care.
Over the years, their work has evolved from limited rehab-for-resale projects within the City of Pittsburgh to encompassing a wide variety of housing and social service programs serving thousands across the region. ACTION-Housing has become a nationally recognized leader in affordable housing development and social services provision.
Whether it be helping to find an affordable place to live, preventing foreclosure on a home, performing weatherization for low-income households, or simply checking in with a client to see how they are doing, people are the most important part of their service. They take an individualized, caring, and empathetic approach when communicating with clients and residents; taking time to understand each client’s unique situation and letting them know we are here to help.
Please contact 412-281-2102 ext. 2055 https://actionhousing.org/our-services/mortgage-counseling/
We recognize families have a variety of needs as they navigate life. Below are resources that address needs such as technology, school options, parenting resources and more.
Attendance Matters ✏️
The New Academy Charter School recognizes the importance of regular attendance in school as a means of helping students achieve academic success. We know your student may have a valid reason for being absent.
Some reasons for an excused absence are: doctor or dental appointments that cannot be scheduled outside of school hours, death of a family member, student illness, religious holidays, or required court attendance.
- Please provide a medical note or written explanation for all absences upon their return to school.
- Submit medical notes/or written excuses within 3 days of the absence to Ms. Melissa Miller email email@example.com, fax: 412 515-2299
- Phone calls to the school will NOT excuse your child.
- Only 10 parental notes can be accepted each school year. All others must be formal excuses.
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