Diamond Gazette

February 2017

Big image

Take a Peek at What's in February's Edition...

February's edition of the Diamond Gazette is LOADED with information for ALL ARVA families! Be sure to scroll all the way through to access the detailed goodies within, including:
  • School Resources and Information
  • Booster Club and Outing Information
  • ARVA Diamonds (students) Shining Across Arkansas (pictures of YOU!)
  • Community Resources, including Special Needs Activities in Your Community
  • K12 Resources and Information
Big image


Testing Information - Important

Please see the testing dates below. **Note: Please remember that these tests will be given in person. You will be asked to bring your student to a designated location near your home.**

1st & 2nd grade students will take the IOWA test in person. This test will be given on Tuesday, April 4th & Wednesday, April 5th, 2017. More details and specific locations will be coming, but please mark these days on your calendar.

3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, & 10th grade students will take ACT Aspire in person. This test will be given from Tuesday, April 18th through Friday, April 28th, 2017 (not including weekends). Each grade level will test two days only. Specific times and locations will be coming, but please mark these days on your calendar.

3rd-10th grade students should also go ahead and download the ACT Aspire TestNav application to prepare for the interim assessment. You will be receiving more information regarding this soon. You received this information in an email from Lauren Throneberry on Friday, Feb. 3.

11th grade students will take the ACT in person. This test will be given on Monday, February 27th and Tuesday, February 28th, 2017. Students must attend BOTH days. Specific times and locations will be coming, but please mark these days on your calendar.

ALL 11th grade students in the state of Arkansas are offered a FREE ACT exam. This is the ONLY test you will be asked to bring your 11th grade student to this spring. They will NOT participate in the ACT Aspire or IOWA exams. These exams are for our 1st-10th grade students.

>> Parents should check their email for an email from Lauren Throneberry on Friday, Feb. 3. This includes important information on your ACT test locations (if applicable to your student) and that grades 3-10 need to download the TestNav application. <<

All questions regarding this information should be directed to Lauren Throneberry, lthroneberry@arva.org.

Save the Date for our End-of-Year Celebrations (below)!

Big image
Big image
Big image

DECA comes to ARVA!

We have a new CTSO (Career/Technical Student Organization) at the HS. (www.deca.org) DECA is a professional marketing and entrepreneurship organization (club) for high school students with a strong interest in these areas who are focused on college and careers. Presently we have 6 students competing in the VBC series (Virtual Business Challenge) and they will attend the state DECA conference in March. We can't wait to hear what they learn at the conference!

High School Counselor Office Hours

An office hour for Counselors will be available weekly for students from 8-9 am on Wednesdays. If you have questions regarding credits, colleges, scholarships, etc, come on in and talk with your Counselors! The link to attend is:


Mrs. Carol Heavin, 11th and 12th grade counselor, will be offering an evening office hour session on Thursdays for Seniors at 6:30pm. Check your email for more details.

Also, multiple opportunities to apply for scholarships are compiled in a list by your counselor. New ones are added all the time, including the Essay Scholarship for Juniors and Seniors, the AXA Achiever's Scholarship, and more! See the full list here.

Middle School Parents ~ Take Note

There is a Middle School Town Hall (online meeting) scheduled for Feb. 24th at 1 PM. The link is forthcoming. This session will focus on Suicide Prevention and Dealing with Depression & Anxiety.

Also, look for Smart Core Information along with a survey link coming from your MS teacher this month. Please make sure to review and complete the survey.

Click here for the recording for the Internet Safety for Families session, hosted by Hollie Gumm, MS Principal.

Middle School Students - Come see FAST for OMS Platform Training!

Check your Class Connect schedule for an invitation to attend Online Middle School (OMS) Platform Training with the FASTeam (Family Academic Support Team). If you need help maneuvering through the new platform, come see us and let us help! Currently offered to all MS students during new student orientations on Mondays at 3pm.
Prefer to view a recording that you can pause and rewind as needed? Click here.

Attendance Reminders:

•Taking a few days off? Obtain approval from your teacher prior to taking vacation. Work ahead and enter your attendance hours ahead of time.

•Out sick or at a Dr. appointment? Send your homeroom teacher your Dr. note. Be sure to catch up on what you missed.

•Supplemental attendance time can be counted for outings, music lessons, scouts, etc. Ask your teacher if you have specific questions.

•Attendance should be logged daily in the OLS. Students should be logging an average of 6 hours a day or 30 hours a week.

•Attendance should only be logged on school days but progress in the curriculum can be made at any time.

•See pages 18-21 in the ARVA Student Handbook for more information.

Celebrating Black History Month while Spotlighting Arkansas Gems

Click the images below to learn more about these Arkansans in honor of Black History Month.
Would you like more resources? Click here for a multitude of resources provided by the ADE. There is even a Black History coloring book to involve your youngest learners.

Ready to Drive? Check here first!

  1. High School students must contact their counselor. Students not yet in high school should contact Hollie Gumm, K-8 Principal: hgumm@arva.org
  2. Counselor or Principal will check the last semesters’ GPA to see if it is a 2.0 or higher.
  3. Counselor or Principal will send request to ARVA's registrar to send form to the student if the student is eligible.

Please note: Student must complete one semester with ARVA before ARVA will grant eligibility for a driver's license.

Forms will be sent via US Mail only. Please request 2-3 weeks prior to driver’s test.

Science says Parents of Successful Kids have these 13 Things in Common

Good parents want their kids to stay out of trouble, do well in school, and go on to do awesome things as adults. And while there isn't a set recipe for raising successful children, psychology research has pointed to a handful of factors that predict success. Unsurprisingly, much of it comes down to the parents. If you've not already read this great article, click here to see what parents of successful kids have in common.

ARVA's Parent Lending Library

ARVA's Parent Lending Library has books and games to loan to parents and learning coaches. It includes book titles such as How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk and non-book selections and games. To find out more information about the ARVA’s Parent’s Lending Library or to check out a book, click here.

*Note that you can also request titles at most Arkansas libraries. They will often request the book from another library or order it for you to check out. Find your local library here.


What Do You Stand For? For Kids: A Guide to Building Character
Even elementary school children can build positive character traits like caring, citizenship, cooperation, courage, fairness, honesty, respect, and responsibility. The true stories, inspiring quotations, thought-provoking dilemmas, and activities in this book help kids grow into capable, moral teens and adults. Previously titled Being Your Best, this award-winning book has a fresh new cover and updated resources.

2016-2017 ARVA Student/Parent Handbook

Handbooks were provided via email to all families enrolled by the first week of school. It has also been posted on the Strong Start site, here: View the Student/Parent Handbook
It is important to read and understand the handbook, whether you are a student or a learning coach. Once you have read the handbook, please sign the online form here, if you haven't already: surveymonkey.com/r/16-17_ARVA_Student-Parent_Handbook
Big image


Big image

Wish there were more outings near you?

Click here to see the current list of outings.
Plan an outing that your student would love! Set it up and we'll invite other ARVA families for you. Click here for specific directions on how to host an event.
Student Enrichment Activity Calendar

Click here to see what's happening around Arkansas!

Big image

ARVA Booster t-shirt fundraiser has been activated for the spring semester!

Support our school when you are out and about by proudly wearing an ARVA t-shirt. Order by Feb. 21: https://www.booster.com/arvafundraiser

Booster Meeting Recording

ARVA holds monthly Booster meetings for parents interested in being more involved. Topics of discussion: local social groups, upcoming outings, how to organize a Booster outing, school swag. Click here to view the most recent recording and contact Beth Moore if you have any questions: bmoore@arva.org
Our next meeting is February 16.

Facebook Pages for ARVA Learning Coaches

Big image


Big image
Big image


Girls of Promise STEM Conference for 8th Graders

Educators from around the state recommend high-achieving girls to attend a Girls of Promise® conference for two days of activities focused on the importance of higher education and the payoff of hard work (and fun). Girls meet others like themselves and realize it’s okay to be a bright, motivated person with big dreams. They also meet and learn from women with amazing careers such as scientists, welders, physicians, computer systems engineers, and coders.
Click here for more information: http://girlsofpromise.org/join/student/

Calling all student filmmakers! AETN announces the 2017 Student Selects: A Young Filmmakers Showcase.

This annual event invites K-12 students across Arkansas to create videos - on their own or as part of a class - and enter them for a chance at broadcast, film festival screenings, THEA Foundation's Young Filmmaker Scholarships, Arkansas Historic Preservation Program's Arkansas Historic Places Film Prize and new this year, the Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site's Reel Civil Rights Student Film Prize: Make a documentary about the social justice change you want to make in the world.

Workshop opportunities to help students gain inspiration, insight and skills to create videos for the upcoming competitions will be announced in early 2017. Click here to learn more. Entries must be submitted electronically or postmarked by March 31.

AETN/PBS Kids Writers Contest 2017

Through Friday, April 7, AETN will be accepting entries from kindergarten through third grade students for the PBS KIDS Writers Contest! Fact or fiction, prose or poetry, hand-drawn illustrations or original photography, we encourage the creative young minds in your school to submit whatever tale they choose. Stay tuned here submission details.

Crystal Bridges, in NW AR, Offers a Wide Variety of Student & Family Activities

From youth art classes to family activities, Crystal Bridges offers a variety of programs your students will love! Every Saturday and Sunday, guests are invited to drop into their studios between 1 and 4 p.m. for creative play and artmaking the whole family will enjoy. Over the Winter Break, they're planning Winter Break Wonders each afternoon, including artmaking, music, puppets, dance, and more. Crystal Bridges also recently won the Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette “Best of the Best” for Family Outing! We hope you’ll take part in some of these wonderful programs to spark the imaginations of your young artists! Find out more.

Free Symphony Orchestra Tickets

The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra presents its newest outreach program to all children and parents in the entire state of Arkansas. This program offers every student, from Kindergarten to High School seniors—all 400,000 of them—the chance to experience live orchestra performances, some of them, perhaps for the first time in their lives. Free!!

Know of other community resources in your area?

Share them with us so that we can share them with the ARVA community.

Click the pictures below to read about Special Needs Community programs in AR!

Big image


Learning Coach Certification Course Now Available!

K12 has created a Learning Coach Certification Course to provide more in-depth knowledge to our learning coaches striving to be their very best. We encourage you to click the link below to complete the 1-hour course.

Starting Strong for the Second Semester

Are you new to K12? Or a returning family who is looking to start the second half of the school year strong? Attend one of our LIVE online sessions brought to you by our K12 Customer Support Team.

Click here for more information about the sessions. See below for the schedule. (Remember all times shown are in Eastern time!) Click here to access the session schedule and live links to the sessions.

Big image

K12 National College and Career Workshops

Have you thought about life after high school? Have you considered the careers that you might be interested in and whether or not you want, or will need, to attend college?

There is a lot to think about to get ready: where to go, what to study, how to apply, how to pay or it, and more. It’s never too early —or too late— to explore your options!

K12 will be hosting two live workshop sessions each month through the end of the 2016–2017 school year for students to talk about college and career prep topics.

College & Career Workshop Sign Ups

Big image

Motivate 2 Activate

K12 and School at Home Effectively are pleased to offer the monthly Motivate 2 Activate Series, an introduction to principles and techniques that offer suggestions and strategies for Learning Coaches to help their students become motivated and involved in their academic success. Each session is scheduled for 30 minutes of discussion with follow up question and answer. Please join us for the session dates that work for your schedule. One RSVP will keep you informed, and session reminders, recordings, and details will be sent to your email. RSVP here: surveymonkey.com/r/K12M2A

Also, visit the ARVA Strong Start site to find all of the available links to recordings that will help you with everything from behavior strategies to managing multiples.


Praise Versus Encouragement

Tuesday, March 7, 6:30 PM

Offering meaningful feedback rather than empty praise gives students a sense of whether they’re on track, and that can go a long way toward motivating them. Rather than saying, “You’re so smart,” encouragement that’s effective rewards student effort.

Helping Students Self-Correct

Tuesday, March 1, 6:30 PM

Students can easily get sidetracked from schoolwork, making their day ineffective. Teaching them how to self-correct will help them avoid distractions and stay on task.

ARVA's Family Academic Support Team (FAST) and the Strong Start Site

ARVA's Family Academic Support Team (FAST) provides comprehensive preparation and sustained support for engagement to promote improved achievement outcomes through strengths-based, proactive, and positive intervention. FAST publishes the Diamond Gazette newsletter, shares information from K12's National Family Academic Support Team, engages families at outings, and works to promote student engagement for academic success. If you have need support from your engagement coach or have forgotten who she is and need a call, please contact:

Need resource information for a financial or emotional need or crisis? Contact ARVA's Family Resource Coordinator, Amanda Weaver: aweaver@arva.org

Stay tuned to ARVA's Strong Start site for real-time updates and be sure to bookmark the site. Helpful videos, meetings through K12's Parent Network, local student activities, and more resources can be found here.
The Diamond Gazette is published monthly for all families at Arkansas Virtual Academy. It is sent via email and posted to the Strong Start site.
Gina Moore, editor
Diamond Gazette - suggestion box

Do you have suggestions for what you'd like to see in the newsletter? Share them with us here.