Lighthouse School Newsletter

September 23, 2020

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Mr. B's Corner

Lighthouse School Community,

We are now in our second full week of school and it has been great to reconnect with our learning community. Although cliche, many of our students have grown so much! Their growth is only accentuated by the length of time that we have not seen everyone-we are now six months from Spring Break last year when everything changed.

As this year is quite different again, we have really appreciated your flexibility and patience as we unroll our Modified and Extended Flexible Learning Models. We really appreciate your feedback, too, as we continue to "learn by doing."

Speaking of "learning by doing," we have many broad inquiry ideas being batted about right now:

  • Traffic Management
  • We don't know much about Snow Leopards-Why?
  • What makes "good" music?
  • Body Temperature
  • Electric Circuitry
  • Minecraft Biomes
  • Zebras
  • History of Policing
  • Ellis Island
  • Politics: What are the differences between republicans and democrats
  • Endangered Species
  • Lego Creators
  • Vestigial Body Parts
  • Loss of Senses
  • Diets: Salt, Sugar, and Fat
  • Hacking: White, Gray, and Black
  • Radioactivity and the Math
  • Planets
  • Impacts of Screens on Vision
  • Greek Gods
  • Electoral Process and Voting Systems
  • Creating a Musical
  • Origin of Music Theory
  • What is the driving need to conquer other empires?
  • Gender Differences in the Brain: Fact or Fiction
  • Multi-level Marketing versus Pyramid Schemes
  • Corporate Bail-outs
  • Football
  • Helpful Home Robotics
  • Samurai
  • Yellowstone
  • Bulgaria
  • Dolphins
  • Climate Change
  • Fireworks

As you can see, many of these topics are quite broad right now, but through the act of asking questions, having BIG family conversations, meeting 1:1 with advisors, and following their research to its natural end, students will narrow these topics quite a bit and will take some unexpected detours. I cannot wait to see what students create with their learning!

Please continue to have BIG conversations with your child about their inquiries to encourage their success.

As always, thanks for entrusting your child(ren) to Lighthouse School for Gifted and Insatiable Learners,


Although the student chose not to dive into changing leaf colors for their broad inquiry topic, we did have a great conversation. See graphic below to learn a bit about autumnal leaf changes.

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National Merit Semi-Finalist: Natalie Horwath

Lighthouse School for Gifted and Insatiable Learners senior, Natalie Horwath, was announced this week as a National Merit Semi-Finalist. More than 1.5 million juniors entered the competition last spring by taking the Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT). Natalie was 1 of only 288 Minnesota Students to qualify as a National Merit Semi-Finalist. Way to go, Natalie!

Please check out the Star Tribune article to learn more.

Natalie has been a Lighthouse School student since 2009 when she enrolled as a 1st grader. With the exception of Ms. Dougherty, Natalie predates all of our Lighthouse staff! And because Ms. Dougherty has such a great memory, we chatted about Natalie's time at Lighthouse. In addition to Natalie's great academic prowess, it is fun to reflect on her Lighthouse School days.

  • Natalie has seen the Lighthouse School moved three different locations in the High School
  • Natalie has had three Lighthouse School coordinators
  • Natalie has seen thirteen (or more) facilitators during her time
  • Mr. Endrizzi shares that his introduction to Natalie was seeing her comfortably reading in (not on) a book shelf
  • Natalie played the part of Creon in a school production of Antigone
  • Natalie has participated in the University of MN Talented Youth Mathematics Program
  • Natalie's Destination Imagination teams have gone onto World Competitions

Make sure to congratulate Natalie!

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Physical Education and Health Class Update

Hello Lighthouse families!

We have been lucky to have some great weather this week, so I hope everyone is taking the opportunity to get outside and take advantage of it while we can!

Pleaser remember the goal for PE this trimester is for students to engage in any type of physical activity for at least 30 minutes per day for at least 3 days each week. The activities should then be reported through the Google Form so that I have a record. We will NOT be having synchronous classes, so please help your child(ren) add some time slots into their schedule for physical activity each week. I will continue to send out email reminders, but thank you for helping out at home and reminding them as well. I know there is a lot to juggle right now, and I appreciate all of the tremendous support you are providing at home to help meet the physical, social, emotional, and academic needs of your child(ren).

Health class assignments will be posted on the Schoology pages next Thursday, October 1. All students will have 3 assignments to complete by the end of the trimester, and they can complete them at their own pace.

As always, please feel free to contact me with any questions!


Katie Hunt

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Music: Learning, Health and Safety

We continue to offer meaningful and safe music education opportunities for students in both the Modified Campus Schedule (Hybrid) and Extended Flexible Learning (Distance Learning) learning models. Our music educators and health staff have spent significant time developing opportunities and reviewing health and safety guidelines to support deep learning and protecting health.

If your student participates - or is considering participating - in music opportunities, please take a moment to learn more about how we're approaching the learning and health and safety protocols on the Music: Learning Approach and Health and Safety page.

At Lighthouse, all music work will happen virtually.

What to expect if teachers need to be absent

Absences are going to occur as they do in any school year – for all kinds of reasons. Fall allergies, colds and flu are on our doorstep as we also continue to see COVID-19 cases in our communities. We expect teachers will have days when they aren’t at school or are not able to fully engage in learning. We will honor a teacher’s right to privacy, and we want student families to know what to expect as teacher absences occur this year.

For Modified Campus (Hybrid) Learners:

  • If a teacher needs to be absent and is unable to teach, your student will have another teacher in the classroom. We will communicate a plan with families any time a teacher's absence will exceed a week.
  • If a teacher needs to be absent and is still able to teach, they will continue to teach from home using our technology tools with support in the school classroom provided by other staff members who are onsite.
  • Lighthouse Learners will continue to work toward their negotiated work goals.

For Extended Flexible Learning (distance learning):

  • If a teacher needs to be absent and is unable to teach, Lighthouse Learners will continue to work toward their negotiated work goals and any synchronous meetings may be rescheduled.

  • If the absence is extended, we will communicate a plan with families.

If you have questions about the approach for supporting the continuation of learning, please contact the school office.

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Picture Day!

LIfetouch picture days will take place on October 19th & 20th. More information will be sent to families in the next week.
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In case you missed important information from last week's newsletter, check out the topics below and click to learn more.

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Translate This Newsletter / Traducir Este Boletín

To translate this newsletter information to another language, please click anywhere on the newsletter to open it in a web browser and at the top of the page, select your language from the dropdown menu.

Para traducir este boletín de noticias a otro idioma, por favor presionen en cualquier lugar del boletín para abrirlo en un navegador web y en la parte superior de la página seleccione su idioma del menú.

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