The Flex Gazette
21st Century Cyber Charter School Newsletter: February 2019
Welcome To Our New Middle School Principal
Most recently I served as the principal at Schuylkill Elementary in the Phoenixville Area School District since 2012. Prior to Schuylkill, I was the principal at Octorara Elementary from 2008-2012. For nineteen years I was a classroom teacher, Extended Day Coordinator, and assistant principal in the Norristown Area School District. All of these experiences helped to shape my educational beliefs and practices.
I attained my undergraduate degree from Penn State University, my Masters in Education and Principal Certification from Cabrini University, and my Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Nova Southeastern University. Since joining 21st Century Cyber Charter School in early January, I have had the opportunity to see first hand the middle school staff working with their students. The staff is comprised of first rate educators, but more importantly they care about their students. The teachers are continually working with students to guide them through the curriculum, and the students are working equally as hard to master the content.
I look forward to being a part of the 21st Century Community as we strive to grow our students academically and prepare the students to meet their future goals with confidence.
Dr. Kelley Harmer
A Note From Our High School Principal
Hello to our students and families of 21st Century Cyber Charter School,
First of all, I would like to extend a warm welcome to Dr. Kelley Harmer - our new Middle School Principal. We are very glad to have Dr. Harmer on board and are excited to see what all he brings to 21CCCS with his experience and knowledge.
With 2019 in full swing, 21CCCS is bustling forward! We have had a great start to Quarter 3 and it’s hard to believe after the end of Quarter 2, we are more than halfway through the school year!
As a short month, February is filled with wonderful opportunities for students and families. We are continuing our fun-filled field trips to the Pennsylvania Military Museum, Arnold’s Go Karts, and the Carnegie Science Center. Please continue to keep up to date on deadlines and events through Moodle and our social media pages.
Staff and teachers have been busy preparing for the 2018-2019 PSSA and Keystone testing, but we also need students and families to work alongside of us, so please be sure to keep an eye out for emails with testing details in the future. We will be testing during the weeks of April 30- May 2nd and May 21st- May 23rd. Please keep these dates in mind for the upcoming months.
Again, I would like to provide a reminder to keep students on track for the rest of the 2018-2019 school year: Let’s focus on what is in front of us, not what is behind us. Don’t forget these strategies for success:
Utilize your resources - your teachers are here to help you succeed! Asking your teachers, academic advisor and other faculty questions will help you learn both in and out of the classroom! Also, visit the Virtual Library and other resources through Moodle regularly.
Act now - today is the best day to start succeeding! If you don’t procrastinate with your schoolwork, you won’t have to stress to finish everything last minute!
Work with your classes - Whatever live class you have on a given day, read for that class, study for that class and do your assignments for that class. Working through on the same subject as your live class keeps the lessons clear in your mind!
Greetings 21CCCS Families! During the month of February we want to focus on Random Acts of Kindness. Think about how you feel when someone does something nice for you. Doing something nice for someone else and not expecting anything in return is a Random Act of Kindness. You can never know what is going on in someone’s mind and a small act of kindness might turn their day completely around. Here are some ideas for some Random Acts of Kindness:
Hold the door for someone
Give someone a compliment
Offer to take your neighbor’s dog for a walk
Pick up trash on the ground
Put your phone away when you are with others
Cook a meal for someone
Clean up the house for your parents
Clean the dishes
Offer to babysit or just spend some time playing with a child
Help an elderly person with their yard work or carrying groceries
Random Acts of Kindness Week is February 17th - 23rd. One small act can make a difference. Stay warm 21CCCS!!!
From the Health Center
Take Valentine's Day to heart with these 10 tips to better heart health.
- Stay active. The key to heart health is to keep moving and avoid being sedentary. Ideally, aim to get your heart rate up with at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise at least five days a week. However, any movement will be good for your heart so keep moving and stay active.
- Limit your consumption of red meat, sugar and unhealthy fats. There are plenty of foods you can eat instead to enjoy a heart-healthy diet. Add fruits and vegetables to your diet to increase your fiber consumption.
- Reduce your salt intake. Can't imagine your favorite foods without that added salt? Over time, however, you can re-train your taste buds to become accustomed to a lower-sodium diet, and you will start to notice subtle flavors in your foods again.
- Stop smoking. Smoking not only damages your lungs, it also negatively affects your heart health. Once you stop smoking, your odds of developing heart disease drops rapidly. Breaking that smoking habit is essential for your overall health.
- Keep your weight under control. Ask your doctor if you are overweight. Obesity increases the risk of heart attacks, heart failure and diabetes. A healthy diet with portion control and regular exercise is the best way to maintain a healthy weight.
- Know your cholesterol levels. High cholesterol is a risk factor for heart disease. If you have not had your cholesterol levels checked in the past year or two, get them checked now to find out if you're at risk for heart disease.
- Know your blood pressure. High blood pressure, or hypertension, is a major risk factor for heart attacks, strokes and heart failure. Many people with high blood pressure are unaware that they have this condition. There are effective treatments for hypertension in addition to lifestyle modifications of exercise and salt reduction.
- Know your blood sugar levels. Over time, elevated blood sugar levels can lead to diabetes, a strong risk factor for heart disease. Ask your doctor if you are at risk. If you are pre-diabetic or have "early" diabetes, lifestyle changes can be effective.
- Reduce stress. Stress is a strong risk factor for heart disease, especially for women. Try meditation, yoga, or simply being silent and still for 10 minutes a day. Be mindful of stress in your life and take extra care of your heart.
- See your doctor regularly. Regular medical follow-up is one of the best ways to prevent cardiovascular disease. Studies show that individuals who stop their cardiovascular medications are at higher risk for heart attacks, strokes, heart failure and reduced survival.
Look What's New
As part of Pennsylvania’s Act 44 that was passed in 2018, all school districts in the Commonwealth will soon train staff and students on how to use an anonymous reporting mechanism called Safe2Say Something (S2SS). The State of Pennsylvania has been working with Sandy Hook Promise to release a reporting method that will maintain many school goals of making safe school environments for our children.
This system will NOT replace the need to call 911 in the event of an emergency, but it will also allow all students across the state to report a concern anonymously through the Safe2Say Something program.
Pennsylvania will be the first state in the nation to offer this state-wide threat reporting method devised by Sandy Hook Promise. Sandy Hook Promise is a non-profit organization that was formed following the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Recently, our Crisis Team attended a two-hour training by Safe2Say Something to learn all about the program.
Tips can be submitted 24/7 via the app, website, or through a dedicated hotline and each tip is reviewed by the S2SS Crisis Center housed in the Office of Attorney General.
Our team is in the process of training staff and will be prepared to train our students on February 20, 2019 with a training video that will be accessible in Moodle. We will also host two Q&A sessions for both students and parents in the Auditorium Virtual Office on February 25, 2019 from 12-12:30 pm and 7:00-7:30 pm.
How S2SS works:
1. A tip is submitted via mobile app, website or by calling the PA-based 24/7 Crisis Center.
2. The tip is then triaged by the crisis center to gather enough information to act on it.
3. The tip is then delivered to the impacted school and, as needed, local law enforcement.
4. The school and local law enforcement, if needed, assess and intervene with the at-risk individual.
5. The school then closes out the tip and reports actions taken as a record for their school.
The program has and will result in countless threat interventions across the nation relative to suicide, school shooting, as well as, interventions on bullying, drug use and other acts of violence and victimization.
-The Crisis Team
Mobile-Responsive Parent Portal
The Instructional Systems Department (ISD) is responsible for the development and maintenance of our school's instructional technology systems. Last year, the ISD team released the first phase of the Parent Portal - a one-stop-shop for grades and weekly progress. This year, the team has implemented a mobile friendly design for parents who are on-the-go. The ISD team is always collecting feedback for future updates to the grades portal. They can be reached anytime via the suggestion box on the front page of moodle (school.21cccs.org).
iPad Tip of the Month
Put your creativity skills to work with the Clips app! This Apple app makes it easy and fun to create your own movies. The app includes built-in soundtracks, posters, a variety of camera filters, stickers, labels, live titles, emojis and even animated stickers! You can record your own video clips or import pictures and videos from your Photos app. You can make your videos as simple or as creative as you'd like....what movie will you make?