Diamond Gazette

May 2017 ~ Graduation & Celebration Issue!

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This month's issue celebrates ARVA families!

May's edition of the Diamond Gazette is LOADED with information for ALL ARVA families! In this month's issue we are highlighting our amazing ARVA students who SHINE in numerous ways! Check them out below!
Then, be sure to scroll all the way through to access the detailed goodies within, including:
  • Congratulations to our first ever high school graduates!
  • ARVA Diamonds (students) Shining Across Arkansas (pictures of YOU!)
  • School Resources and Information
  • Booster Club and Outing Information
  • Community Resources, including Special Needs Activities in Your Community
  • K12 Resources and Information
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Congratulations to our First Ever...

Introducing ARVA's 1st Senior Graduating Class ~ 2017

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We are proud of you and look forward to hearing of your accomplishments as you 'go out' into the world!

ARVA Students have Earned over $215,000 in Scholarships!

McKay Clark: Oklahoma City University Music Scholarship $100,000.00

Spencer Golden: Williams Baptist College Swimming Scholarship $8,000.00

Lexy Grice: University of Arkansas Monticello Academic Scholarship $24,000.00

Kristopher Johnson: Southern Arkansas University Presidential Scholarship $44,000.00

Tristian Sloate: Southern Arkansas University Blue & Gold Award $26,400.00

Laurel Smith: Tasseltime Scholarship $150.00

Nicholas Walters: University of Central Arkansas Freshman Scholarship $14,000.00

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Announcing the 6th Annual 2017 Spelling Bee Winners!

We are proud of all participants of ARVA's 6th Annual Spelling Bee, held on Friday, May 5th. Congratulations to our winners!
  1. Justice Patterson
  2. Kaitlyn Munroe
  3. Maliha Zainab
  1. Zeb Biddle
  2. John Montgomery
  3. Isaac Ayers
  1. Malachi Jones
  2. Zephi Biddle
  3. Tahira Marcano

ARVA Students Elected to Boys and Girls State!

American Legion Boys and Girls State is among the most respected and selective educational programs of government instruction for U.S. high school students. It is a participatory program in which students become part of the operation of local, county and state government. We are proud to announce these ARVA students are going to Boys and Girls State, respectively:

Boys State: John Reynolds-Leblanc and Dane Roset

Girls State: Jaylyn Bounds, Sidney LaCaze, Martha Lagasse, Grace Turner and Krisangela Welch

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High School Counselor Office Hours

Attention: 8th Graders

Mrs. Amy Smith (9/10 Counselor) will be hosting an open office hour to answer your questions about 9th grade. This is optional and will occur Mondays from 3-4pm. Look for the link in your Class Connect Schedule.

Attention High School Students: Don’t quit now. Remember a “D” earns credit. If you are failing, there is still time to turn it around. Reach out to your teacher, make a plan of attack, and push to the end.

High School Seniors:

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


Seniors: Ms. Carol Heavin needs to know if you have been accepted to a college/university and any scholarships you have received and accepted. Also, if you are going into the military, she needs to know this as well.

If you have not applied for the Academic Challenge Scholarship it is not too late. You must have a 19 on the ACT. If you have applied you need to be checking your e-mail to see if you have been awarded the scholarship AND ACCEPT IT! If you do not accept it, you will not get it.

Lastly, to have your final transcript sent, please use this form: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0Byiu66oA4VBfMFBWeVpPeFM3V2s

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.

ARVA Summer School for High School Students

For students who are credit deficient, ARVA is offering two summer school sessions this summer. We will have summer school available for several subject areas. There is a cost to attend and a maximum of two credits may be earned over the course of both sessions of summer school. For each course in which they are enrolled, students should plan on working approximately ½ day, each day during the session. Session one will cover first semester courses and session two will cover second semester courses. Your high school counselor is available to give direction on which credit recovery courses will be selected. It is very important that you not return materials for courses which you are currently failing until your summer school course assignments have been made. You will use those materials for your summer courses.

Watch your email for coming information and requirements for summer school.

Please contact your HS Counselor with any questions:

Amy Smith, 9th/10th Counselor: asmith@arva.org

Carol Heavin, 11th/12th Counselor: cheavin@arva.org

Middle School Parents ~ Take Note

Past Town Hall Meeting Recordings:

Preparing for High School, hosted by Amy Smith, 9th/10th Counselor

Internet Safety for Families, hosted by Hollie Gumm, MS Principal

Anxiety and Depression, hosted by Amanda Weaver, Family Resource Coordinator

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.

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
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Student Enrichment Activity Calendar

Click here to see what's happening around Arkansas! Upcoming outings are shown BELOW.

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Wish there were more outings near you?

Plan an outing that your student would love! Share it with us and we'll invite other ARVA families for you. Click here for specific directions on how to host an event.

Booster Meetings

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. Contact Beth Moore if you have any questions: bmoore@arva.org
Click here to access the Feb. meeting recording. Our next meeting is May 11 at 8pm.

Facebook Pages for ARVA Learning Coaches

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Summer Fun Activities (mostly Summer Reading Programs!)

http://www.kidsbowlfree.com/ offers children 2 free games of bowling a day during the summer at many bowling alleys across AR!

Summer reading programs (some online!):

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UALR's College of Engineering & Information Technology is hosting a number of free residential summer STEM-based camps.

Middle School (rising 6th through 8th grade)

Exxon Mobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp from July 9-21. Minimum B average in math and science required and be enrolled in an Arkansas school. Applications must be postmarked by May 2. Additional info and applications available here: http://theharrisfoundation.org/sitecontent/565/summer-science-camp/category/457/education.aspx

High School (rising 9th through 12th grade)

Geology Camp from June 11-17. One week program that introduces students to geology through classroom instruction, labs, and field work. Applications must be postmarked by April 17. Additional information and applications available here: http://ualr.edu/eit/additional-info/outreach/#geo

Engineering Scholars Program: Two one-week sessions. June 18-24 and June 25 - July 1. Open to any student in US. Applications must be postmarked by April 17. Additional info and applications here: http://ualr.edu/eit/additional-info/outreach/#esp

High School Research Program: Three-week research program from July 9 - 28. Minimum 3.0 grade point average preferred. Applications must be postmarked by April 17. Additional information and online applications available here: http://ualr.edu/eit/additional-info/outreach/#hrsp

National Summer Transportation Institute: Two-week program exploring civil, mechanical, and environmental engineering as they pertain to transportation related careers. Program is sponsored by the Federal Highway Administration and the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department. Applicants must be residents of Arkansas or Memphis, TN. Applications must be postmarked by April 17. Additional information and applications available here: http://ualr.edu/eit/additional-info/outreach/#nsti

Middle and High School (rising 8th and 9th grade)

Girl: CODE One-week female coding camp from July 23-28. Applications must be postmarked by April 17. Info and applications available here: http://ualr.edu/eit/additonal-info/outreach/#gcc

Summer Camps for Rising Sophomores at ASMSA

Summer at ASMSA offers exciting camps where rising sophomores can participate in fun and challenging programs focusing on art, music and acoustics, mathematics, computer programming, and robotics. Camps are tuition free and space is limited. Click here for individual camp information.

Henderson State University ~ Reddies Near You

Are you searching for a university that will challenge your intellect and broaden your perspective? Support your personal and professional growth? Engage you with expert educators and innovative ideas from around the globe? Allow you to make a positive impact in your local community? Prepare you to excel in your future career? Henderson State would like to invite you and your family to discover what it means to Live Reddie at a location near you. Join one of their pop-up receptions to meet faculty, administration, current students, and alumni as we share the Reddie Spirit and what Henderson State offers its students.

Calling all Artists, ages 13-18! Check out all the contests you can enter!

This article contains a comprehensive list of local, national and international high school Art competitions for students aged 13–18 years. It is regularly updated with painting, drawing, design, sculpture, video, architecture and fashion design competitions from around the world and focuses on those that offer significant prizes, fame or glory.

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.

If you know of other opportunities in your area for special needs students, please share them with us so that we can share them with the rest of the ARVA community.

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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.

K12 Online Summer Camps

Check out K12's online summer camps! These camps are a great way to get and stay connected to your school community this summer. These virtual camps are each only one-hour long and are scheduled late-June through mid-August.

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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 hosted 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.

Recordings from past sessions:

Below is the latest list of K12 National College and Career Workshop recordings. Several of you have requested these.

PSAT, SAT, ACT Testing - Why They matter & Tips and Tricks
PSAT, SAT, ACT - Planning & Prep
Goal Planning
Finding Scholarships & A Parents Role in College Admissions
Insider Information to Financial Aid
GRIT - Giving Extra Effort and Determination
Choosing a Major & Finding the Right College
Applying for College

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.

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
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