Inaugural Monthly Newsletter

From the CAO - Dr. Michael Kennedy

Jefferson Chamber Foundation Academy is a phenomenal school because of the phenomenal students, staff, and stakeholders. We are making tremendous strides in reducing dropouts and increasing graduates in Jefferson Parish. It is not an easy task, but we are well-qualified to overcome the challenge.

We are excited to present you with this edition of our newsletter. Please enjoy learning more about our dynamic school and the difference we are making in this community through the lives of each of our students.

You are welcome to come experience it for yourself. We are here at 475 Manhattan Blvd on Delgado’s beautiful campus in Harvey, LA almost every day (Monday-Friday, 8am-1pm). We would love to give you a tour of our school. Enjoy this newsletter and know there are many more to come!

It’s time for US to take JCFA from a secret to the nation’s model! I’m READY, are you?!

What's Going on at the West Bank?

There is a lot going on at JCFA West. Check it out!

January - February 2014

January - February 2014 - Saw the introduction of new students to the West Bank Campus

February 2014 - Ms. Andrea Boll announced as new English Language Arts teacher

Field Trip to the Aquarium

Recently students who met required attendance and TABE growth scores were rewarded with a trip to the Audobon Institute's Aquarium of the Americas.

Ms. Martha Claire and Dr. Kennedy Enjoy the Aquarium's Interactive Display

JCFA WEST Running Club - Moderated by Mr. Collins and Ms. Breland

The running club has been training for the past month. The first scheduled event was the 504K run on Saturday, February 15th, 2014. 7 JCFA students finished their first 5K! The students who completed the race were Helen Stevenson, Dorothy Mundsinger, Dustin Bruney, Lamont Belle, Nick Hurley, Nick Alli, and recent graduate Chance Edwards.

The 504K was a race for all communities around New Orleans to come together to support Youth Run Nola. This program spans 19 schools around the area and gets students to be more active and healthy by participating in 2 practices a week and monthly 5Ks. Students also learn valuable lessons on leadership and dedication.

JCFA has been practicing twice a week for the past 3 weeks. The weather was chilly, but we all warmed up during the run. JCFA represented 7 of the 138 students who participated in the race, where a total of 1000 people registered. Our students will continue to practice for the upcoming 10k, The Crescent City Classic in April.

Mr. Billiot's Class - Social Studies/Electives

Mr. Billiot and Ernesto recently redecorated the Social Studies Classroom. Some of the changes included New Posters highlighting the reinforcement of standing rules and procedures. The posters help strengthen the goals of a productive learning environment and brighten up the atmosphere. Thanks in part to recent graduate, and outstanding student, Destiny Lancon who worked to complete phase one of the class room redecoration. More to follow.

JCFA Celebrated Black History Month

Mr. Billiot recently challenged students to bring photos, articles, etc. in honor and celebration of Black History Month in America.

Ms. Boll premiered two films in her class: Dear Mr. President and All on Mardi Gras Day.

Rickie Nelson asked the question...

Rickie Nelson showed interest in African American Poets. He asked if I knew any he could research, and immediately to mind I recalled James Weldon Johnson, Claude McKay, Langston Hughes (one of my favorite poets), and Maya Angelou. I suggested he research Angelou, because I could have imparted some information about Johnson, McKay, and certainly Langston Hughes, but I realized that although I was familiar with Angelou's works, I really hadn't learned much about her personal life. Rickie located Angelou's working home page, so I decided to take on the task of learning more about her personal life. But first I wanted to share a couple of poems from some mentioned in this article:

America by Claude McKay

Although she feeds me bread of bitterness,
And sinks into my throat her tiger's tooth,
Stealing my breath of life, I will confess
I love this cultured hell that tests my youth!
Her vigor flows like tides into my blood,
Giving me strength erect against her hate.
Her bigness sweeps my being like a flood.
Yet as a rebel fronts a king in state,
I stand within her walls with not a shred
Of terror, malice, not a word of jeer.
Darkly I gaze into the days ahead,
And see her might and granite wonders there,
Beneath the touch of Time's unerring hand,
Like priceless treasures sinking in the sand.

I, Too, Sing America by Langston Hughes

I, too, sing America.

I am the darker brother.
They send me to eat in the kitchen
When company comes,
But I laugh,
And eat well,
And grow strong.

I'll be at the table
When company comes.
Nobody'll dare
Say to me,
"Eat in the kitchen,"

They'll see how beautiful I am
And be ashamed--

I, too, am America.

So as for the poet that Rickie Nelson was interested in, Maya Angelou:

I knew Dr. Angelou was a professor at Wake Forest University, I knew that she held several honorary degrees also (about 50 to be exact) and I knew that she won a Pulitzer Prize, 3 Grammy Awards, and garnered numerous arts awards including the Presidential Award, and the Lincoln Award (2000 and 2008 respectively). She even composed a poem for the 1993 Presidential Inauguration. I knew all of that because it is recent history, or knowledge I learned when reading I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings for a college literature class.

What I didn't know, and some of the things I learned from Dr. Angelou's Website:

Her Birthday falls on the day of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination. In 1964, in Ghana she met and formed a plan with Malcolm X to help organize the African American Unity group only to learn of his assassination a short time later. She was born in 1928 (I really had no idea she was that old). She was the first female cable car conductor in San Francisco, and during her time in Egypt she mastered several languages including, French, Spanish, and the West African Fanti. Learn more about Dr. Angelou at http://mayaangelou.com/bio/

Aaliyah Andrews gives a reflection of Madam C. J. Walker

Madam C. J. Walker (Sarah Breedlove) - 1867 - 1919, was an African American inventor who invented a scalp conditioning and healing formula, after she suffered from a scalp ailment that caused her to lose most of her hair in the 1890s. Calling the product "Wonderful Hair Grower" she sold the product door to door before building a factory in Indianapolis, Indiana. But she was not simply a pioneering African American Entrepreneur, she earned wealth and notoriety for her philanthropy and activism as well. She was a member of the 1917 Negro Silent Protest Parade Committee, and donated large sums of cash to help build "Colored" YMCA in the town where her factory was located, as well as to the NAACP's anti-lynching campaign in Harlem, in the early 1900's. I relate to Madam C. J. Walker because I feel we are very much alike. I share a love for my hair, and about standing up for what is right. It's a wonderful combination of traits that we share... beauty and brains.

-Aaliyah Andrews

Black History Month (Promo) - The Hub

Mr. Collins' Class - Science/Electives

Mr. Collins Highlights a Scientists of the Month for January and February

Mr. Augusts' and the J.A.G. Class

Recently, Mr. August selected students to accompany him as representatives of JCFA to the Beautiful University of Louisiana at Lafayette Campus where they attended the Student Leadership Conference in the ULL Dome. This event was held in November.

Ms. Boll's Class - English\Language Arts

Ms. Andrea Boll becomes the new English and Language Arts Teacher

Ms. Chaun

Ms. Chaun helps provide fun activities for faculty and staff professional development in January

Ms. Jourdan explains the REAP rewards program

PBIS Perspective

At Jefferson Chamber Foundation Academy, we understand the importance of promoting positive behavior among our students. Problem behaviors are barriers to academic achievement. At JCFA, we reduce negative behaviors by striving to create a unique and nurturing environment in which students can appreciate the benefits of demonstrating positive behaviors. A key strategy to creating this environment has been implementing school-wide positive behavioral interventions and supports (PBIS).

Being a nontraditional school, JCFA has a unique set of circumstances and challenges. At JCFA, we embrace these challenges by creating a system that emphasizes rewards for positive behavior instead of punishment for negative behavior. This system is based on the core values of respect, responsibility, effort, academic progress, and positive behavior. Teachers and faculty have supported PBIS by rewarding students with JCFA cash. Students are also rewarded for demonstrating these core values by being recognized on the R.E.A.P. Rewards board.

The R.E.A.P. Rewards board is used to reward positive behavior, but the ultimate goal of the PBIS system is to instill in the students the value of the behavior itself. I hope that students will take the skills and values that they learn through the PBIS system to become better individuals and productive members of the community. My vision is for both the students and the PBIS system to continue to grow and improve the JCFA community.

Next Month - Highlights of Graduation Events

In the meantime check out the news article by clicking the link below: