Spark Online Academy
Family Newsletter - July 26, 2021
Message from Mrs. Johnson
Greetings, Spark Online Community!
I hope you are all enjoying some summer fun and staying healthy and safe. Catching some of the beginning events in the Summer Olympics, I find myself even more inspired by the athletes than I normally am. Like the rest of us, they have had their lives turned upside down, and the journey to success completely changed. Yet, they stayed focused, adapted, and continued pursuing dreams with new energy and spirit.
While every family and student has a different story and journey leading to Spark Online Academy, you all have taken new and unexpected paths, and the Spark Online staff is preparing learning experiences and materials for you that honor your unique journeys. Our focus and commitment are toward connected, caring learning that brings energy, excitement, and relevancy and keeps it growing.
In this newsletter, you’ll find:
- Important upcoming dates
- Information about orientation and device/supply pick up
- What we've learned and how that will make Spark Online even better
- Ways for you to take the mic and spotlight
As always, please reach out with any questions or information needs. It’s an honor and privilege to partner with all of you in the success and development of our learners.
Committed to your student's success,
Principal, Spark Online Academy
Important Dates Ahead
Orientation and supplies distribution
On August 2 and 3, Spark Online will host orientation and device and supplies distribution. At these sessions, our teachers and staff members will help you learn about the new devices students will be using and how to access the learning platforms and applications that will be used throughout the school year.
With new D11 devices, it will be necessary for students to log on at a D11 site the first time. We will also assist in setting up parent accounts on our learning management system, necessary for your partnership in your student's education. Our teachers are preparing a brief introduction and information presentation for families and students.
These sessions are scheduled to take place at our flexible learning spaces at Trailblazer Elementary School, with windows open and staff will be wearing masks while we are indoors. While it is most efficient to distribute information and supplies at a scheduled session, we understand that some people may not be able to, or are uncomfortable attending an indoor session with other families and students. Please let us know on the RSVP form linked below and we will make other arrangements for you to receive the information, devices, and supplies.
Our grades 6-8 orientation is scheduled for
Monday, August 2 from 1:00-4:00 as follows:
- Grade 6 - 1:00-2:00
- Grade 7 - 2:00-3:00
- Grade 8 - 3:00-4:00
Our grades K-5 orientation is scheduled for
Tuesday, August 3 from 1:00-4:00 as follows:
- Grades K-1 - 1:00-2:00
- Grades 2-3 - 2:00-3:00
- Grades 4-5 - 3:00-4:00
If you have students in multiple grades, we will accommodate your needs for combining device and supply distribution, however, our teachers will only be available at the times listed above for each grade level. We will have a "station rotation" schedule in order to keep the number of people in a space lower and yet give you access to the information and supplies needed.
Kindly complete the RSVP form linked below to help us plan for the best orientation experience.
2015 Wickes Rd.
Colorado Springs, CO
Monday, August 16
First day of school for all students
What we've learned and why it matters
These experiences have had a huge impact on planning for Spark Online Academy. Our staff is fully committed to consistent online learning with the confidence of knowing that Spark Online is not temporary or fluctuating in response to other events. A full day of engaging, interactive, both on-screen and off-screen learning will be planned for all of our students by teachers who recognize and celebrate the benefits and opportunities opened up with virtual learning and remove the need to be bound to traditional learning structures.
Rather than longer, more passive learning episodes, Spark students will have shorter, more focused, and personalized direct instruction accompanied by hands-on, group, game-based, or problem-based learning. that will help kids stay engaged in their learning.
We know the negative effects of feeling isolated or disconnected from a community and are intentional in creating active, ongoing webs of support and connectedness to peers, caring adults, and the local and global community. We are a school without walls and the ability to leverage technology to open new doors and ways to engage with the world.
Starting the school day without the trusty tardy bell ringing helped us rethink a better way to prepare our bodies and brains for learning without the adrenaline rush of making lunches, grabbing backpacks, and catching the bus on time. Spark students start the day in a more human-centered approach by giving students a choice in an active or creative entry into their learning day. By getting centered and prepared, we set the day up for success.
We listened and paid attention to our students and families to design Spark and we will continue to access your feedback and be responsive to continuously improve learning experiences and outcomes for students.
This might help
Our school's master schedules are below; please keep in mind your student's teacher will have a more detailed schedule for your child's day. You will notice some common learning and break times between the grades to support families with more than one Spark student. Also, our "CAB" time is when all students will start the day in a Creative and Active Beginning to get their brains and bodies ready for learning. Students will have a choice of classes to attend for CAB time.
Don't be shy!
Please consider chatting with one of our local news stations about your success and choice of online learning. Send me an email or give me a call for more information.