Hózhó Academy Newsletter

For the Week of September 18th - 22nd, 2023

Weekly Updates

Dear Hózhó Families,

9th Grade Promotion Tomorrow 9/19: Parents of 9th graders, please go to the junior high location at 306 NM State Rd 564 at 8 AM to line up for the parade. Mr. Balok will meet you there and lead the parade. Once you drive through the track area you will park across from the gym and come inside. Mr. Malcom and Mrs. Terrill will meet the 9th graders and line them up to process in. After the ceremony, we will have light refreshments and students will return to class by 2nd period.

NWEA Beginning-of-the-Year Assessment -

Grades 2-6 will be testing on Monday, September 18th and Tuesday, September 19th.

Grades 7&8 will be testing on Wednesday, September 20th, Thursday, September 21st and Friday, September 22nd.

Grades 9&10 will be testing on Wednesday, September 20th and Thursday, September 21st.

Please be sure that your student comes to school well-rested and on time so that they can eat a good breakfast on testing days.

Thank you for your support.

After School Programs - There will be no bussing for after-school programming so please pick up your child no later than 5 PM. The school office will be closed at 4 p.m. After 4 PM, you can call 505.906.2331. For this week, school students will meet in Mrs. Malcom's classroom (rm 104) and we will direct them to their program. School ID should have all these programs available.

Transportation Contact - For any transportation-related calls, please call Keith Hillock at (505) 458-4923 or email khillock@hozhoacademy.org. Messages are checked regularly throughout the day. Transportation finalizes its daily list at 2 PM every day. If you call after 2 PM, it will be too late to get your child off of the bus list. We are here in the office every day until the last child gets dropped off.

If you have questions, please reach out to our front office at (505) 722-8922.

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Important Dates

September 18th-22nd- NWEA Testing (Grades 2-10)

September 19th - 9th Grade Promotion Ceremony

October 4th - National Diversity Day (Wear Cultural Attire)

October 4th - Early Start/Release Day (7:45 AM - 1:15 PM)

October 5th and 6th - No School (Parent-Teacher Conferences)

October 6th - End of First Quarter

October 9th - No School (Indigenous Peoples Day)

Important Links

After School Programs

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National Diversity Day

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Hózhó Sports

Literacy Corner by Elise Farrell

Why is my child not coming home with words to practice?

This is a great question, and for families new to Hozho this may seem very odd at first. You may have even asked for some only for the response to be something along the lines of "We have a structured/unique literacy program that our teachers are trained in and we do not want to confuse the students." As a former teacher at Hozho, this was also the elevator pitch I would give my parents. It is not wrong, it is simply the quick, on-the-go answer that saves the parents from what could easily be an hour-long conversation.

Well, now as a literacy coach with a literacy corner, I can offer a more in-depth explanation.

Most literacy/spelling/reading programs often look some like this...

  1. Student receives 10 new spelling words for the week.
  2. Students drill the spelling words at home and in the classroom.
  3. Student receives homework assignments such as writing a sentence for each spelling word or writing each spelling word three times
  4. Student takes a spelling test on Friday.
  5. Repeat with new words the next week.

Does this sound familiar? It is how many of us were taught to spell. Well, this methodology is based on what was called the "whole word approach" from the early 19th century. The whole word approach taught students to spell through memorizing words, skipping many key foundational skills and jumping to the words as a whole. It was thought that if students simply memorized words, the patterns and spelling 'tricks' would eventually click.

Well, I do not know about you, but it was not until college that I learned why /Y/ is sometimes a consonant and sometimes a vowel (did anyone else learn the vowels as a e i o u and sometimes y?). That is also why we learn these 'tricks' that often contradict themselves such as;

i before e except after c ( isn't that simply deceiving?) and why we have words spelled similarly but pronounced differently; though thought - rough thorough

So what does Hozho do differently? We teach those subskills first. We teach our students how to spell before they learn how to read starting with the 42 sounds in the English language, the 72 ways to spell them, and the corresponding orthographic rules that accompany each sound. For example, instead of i before e except after c, students learn the various phonograms that say /E/ (ie, ei, e, ey...etc) and when we likely use them (for example you will not find ei at the end of an English word because English words do not end with the letter i.) They learn the foreign roots of many words as well as the prefixes and suffixes that change the meaning of a word (proper versus improper).

These subskills are taught through structured, multi-sensory techniques (cued choral responses, hand motions...etc) in which your child's teacher is well trained. Because of this method, students learn upwards of 30 words per week, not just 10, and at the end of two weeks take a test on approximately 50 words. They are not memorizing the words, they are learning the foundations of the English language and using those skills in order to spell and read complex vocabulary.

That being said, when your child does come home with a spelling list, it is because they have already tested on those words. At this time, students may practice drilling the words because they have learned to spell them (and most importantly why they are spelled the way they are spelled) and now simply need to practice being able to automatically recall the words.

Book of the Week

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

By C.S. Lewis

This is the perfect, cozy fall story that the entire family will enjoy! Four children are evacuated from London during the bombings of World War II and sent to live with a strange professor in the countryside. There, they discover a strange wardrobe that takes them to the magical world of Narnia, full of talking animals and mystical creatures but ruled by the White Witch who keeps the land in an eternal winter.

This book also has wonderful audio versions, including Radio Theatre's dramatized edition (complete with voice actors, music, and sound effects!).

Hózhó Academy 2023-2024 School Calendar

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Hózhó Academy Charter School