Compass Chronicle

Online Elementary School | Fall 2018

Happy fall, everyone!

The K-8 team had an exciting month of October! Our teachers hosted fun, exciting Learning Labs, and scholar participation continues to grow. We are so proud of our scholars for using their voice and participating during live lessons. Scholars are using a variety of interactive online tools to show mastery in their courses. We have begun using Vocaroo, FlipGrid, Nearpod, and Go Formative just to name a few. While they are still learning to use these applications, the scholars are showing enthusiasm and creativity and it sure is a lot of fun!


Ashley Daugherty, K-8 Coordinator

adaugherty@compasscharters.org

@CCSMissD

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Table of Contents

  • What's New
  • Family Spotlights
  • Staff Spotlight
  • Scholar Work Samples
  • Share your Story
  • Counseling, Engagement, and Exceptional Scholar Services Newsletters
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What's New in Online K-8?

FLIPGRID ~ The Kindergarten through 5th grade online teaching team has begun to implement the use of Flipgrid in their weekly online Learning Labs. We collectively noticed how much our scholars love having the opportunity to interact with each other in our Learning Labs. Flipgrid allows us, as teachers, to ask a question or solicit feedback on a topic through a video discussion platform that is taking technology in education by storm. This social learning application is easy to use and allows our scholars to connect face to face through video responses and replies. Because the platform can be accessed from any device and at any time, the learning never stops!


We want you to know that Flipgrid is a safe alternative to other social media platforms. The only way that anyone can reply to a topic is if they have a Compass Gmail account. Even if a link is shared out publicly, no one can enter without the Compass Gmail account. As an additional safety net, each teacher has the moderator control which allows us to view each response before it is posted on the topic or grid for your scholars to see. The speaking and listening skills that scholars can gain from this platform, the shared learning that we can accomplish, and the connections we can create with friends and teachers are very beneficial. There are also many other skills we can practice and other technology that can be integrated with this platform, and our teachers are eager to explore all that Flipgrid has to offer for our Compass scholars. Please join us weekly in our Learning Labs so that you, too, can amplify scholars’ voices.


FALL FUN ~ During the month of October, the K-8 team embraced all of the fun, fall seasonal activities! Our Elementary Teachers hosted their annual CCS Virtual Halloween Parade, and our Compass families had a blast watching our scholars share their fantastic costumes! The K-1 team did an amazing Pumpkin Project with their scholars, and our Middle School Teachers hosted October-themed Learning Labs, including Spooky Science Learning Labs where our scholars got to learn all about germs, see some exciting chemistry experiments, make a witches brew, and more! Scholars also got the opportunity to decorate pumpkins together, do some fun Kahoots, and participate in a spooky Reader’s Theater together! Science was also a big focus for our team during the month of October! Our 4th-grade scholars participated in a Science Unit on Earth’s Atmosphere, learned all about Barometers and Anemometers, and had an amazing STEM challenge as well!

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FAMILY SPOTLIGHTS

We are featuring learning coach Bonnie S. and her middle school scholar, Petra S.

CCS: We know that often with our scholars that each day is different, but what would a typical day look like for you and your scholar?

Bonnie: The great thing about homeschooling is that a later alarm clock is a bonus! Petra wakes around 8am and has some breakfast. She dedicates a small journal to her daily schedule and I write out each day with what she should accomplish. I take into consideration a few break times, lunch etc... before her daily Learning Lab, Petra will usually have a tutor come for Math (she is doing Algebra 2), French (Petra is in her 8th year of studying the French language) or Violin (she has been playing since 1st grade). Her "school day" usually ends around 4pm, mostly because she needs to catch up on work because of her Tuesday STEM classes in Brentwood. She is with other homeschoolers from all around the city from 9am to 3pm and studies, Physics, Math, Tech Expression & Chemistry - it's called ASTEME and I highly recommend it for anyone in the area!


CCS: What has been your greatest joy in schooling your scholar at home?

Bonnie: The greatest joy for our family about having Petra homeschooled is the freedom. Petra can work at her own pace. We can go for a walk or run errands and still have time for her studies. We have only been doing this for about a year, so it's still new, but for our family, it really works. I love being able to kiss her on the top of her head ANY time I want to and sneak in snacks or treats while she is doing her school work. Another joy is knowing that she is safe, happy and still very involved with her friends.


CCS: Share a challenge that you have experienced as a learning coach and how you have worked to overcome the challenge.

Bonnie: We have had a few challenges, especially in the beginning. The schedule took a little time to get used to and organizing Petra's day. I soon realized that I couldn't just say "OK, get to work on your stuff," because Petra likes a "schedule" and being told what is expected of her. The daily scheduling journal we use works great. I put an inspirational quote on the page as well, to keep it light, because sometimes it does look daunting, especially when you are working alone! Another challenge has been "defending" the choice to homeschool. So many people assume it's easier or less challenging or they assume she has no friends or social interaction, but to be honest, we have made sure that Petra is always challenged and between her close friends (who text or call her daily) and playing Club Volleyball, she has plenty of social interaction. She is also a member of NCL, a philanthropy organization that keeps her with a few dozen girls her age all of the time!


CCS: Why did you decide to school from home with Compass Charter Schools?

Bonnie: Our reasons for choosing homeschool stemmed from a severe change at the school Petra had attended since Kindergarten. We pulled her out last year (7th grade) about this time and needed to find a solution immediately. We scoured the internet, knowing that we would be homeschooling until 9th grade and called a few places. Compass Charter really was the ONLY one that spoke with us over the phone with our relentless questions and concerns. My husband and I felt confident that with a little bit of supplementation, Compass Charter was the right fit. We were right :)


CCS: What do you enjoy most about being part of our Compass community?

Bonnie: Our family enjoys the ease of Compass and the communication is great. We have gone on a few social outings that are offered and have had a really fun time getting to know other families. If we have questions, we are answered immediately and that means a lot! You never feel alone.


CCS: Share a piece of advice you’d give to a parent thinking about taking their child out of school to school at home?

Bonnie: It's scary, I know. There are SO many things to consider, but the most important is your child's true happiness. If your child is stressed out, burnt out, begging to be homeschooled or just feels unsafe in their school surroundings then I encourage you to take the leap. Don't listen to those who say "it's too much for me" or "my child will miss their friends" - yes, there are some sacrifices, but the benefits have far outweighed them for our family. We are lucky because we both work from home, but there still are challenges... find a local group for working families who homeschool or bring your child to work with you - I've met a few families who do this.... there are other solutions. It's the best decision we have ever made for our daughters well being. It takes a little getting used to, but SO worth it!


CCS: What do you, your scholar and the family enjoy doing together during your free time?

Bonnie: During our free time, we enjoy traveling. Petra also surfs, skis, rides horses and plays volleyball, so we lead a fairly active lifestyle. We also like to watch movies as a family...recently watching Poltergeist (in preparation for Halloween) and The Breakfast Club... We have 5 animals at home as well that take up some of our time and Petra volunteers about 50 hours a year at local philanthropies. Art and music also play a large role in our family. Homeschooling has afforded us some great "extra" experiences because our time is our own! Thank you Compass Charters!!

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STAFF SPOTLIGHT

Roxi Slakey, Elementary Teacher

CCS: What is your job title and what are a couple of the things you do at Compass Charter Schools? How long have you worked for this organization?

Roxi: I am an Online Elementary teacher. I am co-leader of the Virtual Field Trip Club. This is my third year at Compass.


CCS: Tell us your “why” for doing what you do here at CCS?

Roxi: I originally started teaching in the virtual world when I started having babies of my own. I wanted to be a stay at home mom, but did not want to be out of the education field! Working at CCS has allowed me to be the mom and wife I want to be and still be involved with scholars on a daily basis!


CCS: As an educator, is there a piece of advice you’d like to share with learning coaches or scholars?

Roxi: One thing I have always told parents is to meet your scholar where they are! It doesn't matter where you end up as long as constant progress is made!


CCS: Share one thing about you very few people know?

Roxi: There is not much I keep a secret! I am an open book! However, most people do not know that I love the old VW bus! I want to own one at some point in time!


CCS: What do you and your family like to do during your free time?

Roxi: We enjoy all sorts of sporting events! We like to ride our bikes around our backyard and through the orchard behind our house.

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SCHOLAR WORK SAMPLES

The 7th-grade scholars also created 3-D images of different molecules using toothpicks and different colored marshmallows that showed the atomic composition of each molecule, including one that had ionic bonding.

SHARE YOUR STORY

Are you enjoying the educational experience at Compass? Tell us! We want to hear from you. Why did you decide to join the Compass family? Or, what do you love most about being part of our community? Share you comments and all of your wonderful experiences at Compass with us! Click here to share.
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Continue to Counseling, Engagement and Exceptional Scholar Services Newsletters

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Compass Charter Schools

Visit our website for more information about our academic programs. Or, contact Ashley Daugherty, K-8 Coordinator at adaugherty@compasscharters.org.
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