KCS AIG Year in Review

A Review of the Year and Some Tips for Summer!

Kannapolis City Schools AIG Department

Elementary: Leah Sweatt (K-4 Gifted & Nurturing)

Kannapolis Intermediate School: John Bugaiski (Math), Margie Zimmermann (ELA)

Kannapolis Middle School: Jessica Hatley (Math), Sara Newell (ELA-KCS AIG Lead Teacher)

AL Brown High School: Michele Pitts (AP Academy-Counselor)

Happy Summer!

As the end of the year approaches, we know everyone is looking forward to relaxing, taking family vacations, playing video games, and enjoying their time off from school (don't worry- so are we!). Yet let's not forget that it is valuable to keep up academically, and make our minds think critically when we are not in school.

* Would your child be interested in a week long camp at KMS (for rising 7th-9th graders) where they would complete STEM activities, visit a local college, learn about photography, work on their artistic/acting skills, and get to know their peers better? Click on this link for more information.

*What about camps throughout the county? Use this link to help find something that would interest your child!

*Find some other amazing ideas from teachers here! Some of our favorites include: go to a museum, have your child plan a vacation (budget and all!), or have students follow directions and make a recipe they think sounds delicious!

Don't Forget to Read!

Why Summer Reading is Important!

What is one of the best things you can do for your child this summer? Encourage them to read! Many KCS school libraries will be open this summer for children to check out books, and the Cabarrus County libraries are open all summer for students to check out new books!!

- Look at the research by Jim Trelease on "Why Summer Reading is Important."

- Try one of the reading challenge puzzles pictured below!

- 7th-12th graders: Don't forget your summer reading assignments due on the first day of school :-)

7th grade

8th grade

9th grade

10th-12th grade

What a WONDERful Year it Has Been!

Family Nights!

We want to thank you for joining us this year at our family nights: AIG Christmas Present Wrapping, and AIG Game Night. Your support and participation allowed us to to bring donations to four elementary schools in the Kannapolis City School district over the holidays, and to bring together all ages and grades to play games and get to know each other at Family Game Night.

Please plan on attending our annual family events this coming year:

* AIG Operation Christmas Child (beginning of December)

* Rube Goldberg Night- taking place of AIG Game Night (in early Spring)

Elementary Students Thrive with Project Based Learning

This year, the elementary students have been working with a new curriculum that has a foundation in problem-based learning. This program focuses on problem solving, research, inventions and creative projects. Ms. Sweatt has also been working within classrooms with many teachers and students to enhance the learning for our gifted students. Elementary studies have been involved in math games with QR codes, learning about LCM, GCF, geometry, algebra, fractions, and equations, reading short stories, poetry, learning about the solar system, the brain and human body, inventions, force and motion, and creating tangrams, pentominoes, analogies, and creative writing. Some of the projects students have developed included picture collages, designing a NC city bumper sticker, designing an amusement park, creating a brochure for a NC lighthouse, creating a creature, and writing endangered animal poetry.

If your elementary student is interested in keeping up with their academics this summer, here are some links you/they might find useful:






Ms. Sweatt looks forward to continuing this enriching curriculum with her students next year.

KIS Grows Academically Through Creative Outlets

The AIG/Honors classes at KIS have spent the year focusing on acceleration and depth of learning in all areas. We’ve tackled the Amazing Maize Maze, a massive 7 acre corn maze, and expanded our horizons by taking in theatrical productions. Many students have also taken their Tuesday afternoons to stay after school for our Nerd Herd club, in which we go beyond the regular curriculum and explore learning in many different ways, including service projects, acting, creating humor, and building catapults.

In math, with Mr. Bugaiski, our 5th and 6th graders have been taking on the regular challenge of above grade level standards, while accelerating through the regular curriculum. They eagerly and cooperatively work in small groups to “talk math,” solve complex problems, and learn from and with each other. Students aren’t just learning math, but discovering personal strategies to persevere when presented with tasks that are difficult, and realizing that learning is not just a goal, but a life-long process.

In Mrs. Zimmermann’s language arts class, students have focused learning around a yearly theme, different for each grade level (fifth grade is “Change” and sixth is “Courage”). Through these themes students have explored a variety of genres while learning the Common Core Standards to develop critical reading skills. Looking for depth of understanding, students answer higher-level and open-ended questions. They have written for authentic purposes, completed projects, engaged in Socratic discussions, participated in book clubs and used media and technology to support their learning. They have also focused on national and global current issues through literature, often engaging in a variety of collaborative structures so they can learn from one another.

Each day, we are impressed by the ability, work ethic, and cooperation we observe. The AIG/Honors students at KIS have grown tremendously this year, and we look forward to continuing with them, as well as getting a new group, next year!

KMS Serves and Recognizes

Kannapolis Middle School students have spent the year making their mark on the community, being recognized as Scholar Athletes, and as being part of the inaugural Junior National Honor Society chapter at KMS.

Starting in November with the Literacy 5K, KMS students developed literacy centers for elementary aged students requiring them to run from station to station where they would read, write sentences, and create words with letters. Then, after reading The Christmas Carol in Honors ELA, students donated and wrapped presents for children in the community, delivering them to the local elementary schools prior to the holidays.

In January, many of these students were inducted into the Junior National Honor Society where they continued to serve. Students made candygrams for the Veteran's hospital and local nursing homes in January, worked at Seuss at the Mall in February, helped at the Birthing Tea at The Refuge Church in March, walked at Relay for Life in April, and completed a clothing drive in May. About 50 JNHS members also spent Thursday afternoons from February through May walking to Shadybrook Elementary to mentor 2nd-4th graders. During mentoring, students played games, worked on homework, and made arts and crafts together.

In the classroom, students continued to receive gifted services in Math and ELA. Beyond the rigorous curriculum provided in Math and ELA, KMS teachers have been working closely with Ms. Hatley and Ms. Newell to differentiation daily for their students. Students have done debates, research projects, book studies, and many creative projects in their Science and Social Studies classes as well as their enrichment periods.

All of these opportunities have shown Ms. Hatley and Ms. Newell that the gifted students at KMS are extremely well-rounded and deserve all of the recognition that comes to them. We know that they will be very successful in life and wish them the best! We are looking forward to having 7th graders as 8th graders, and expect the rising freshman to come back and visit!

AL Brown Students Continue to Soar to High Heights

As the year comes to a close at A.L. Brown, the AP and AIG programs have provided students with numerous opportunities. Marco Gonzalez was accepted to the North Carolina Governor's School and will be spending six weeks this summer networking with other students from across the State. A.L. Brown also has two rising juniors, Madison Crabtree and Breanna Hart who will be attending the HOBY Leadership Seminar for four days this summer. We're looking forward to hearing about their experiences, especially meeting students from other districts throughout North Carolina.

The A.L. Brown Mentoring Program has been an important part of the AIG Program at the high school, along with the Food for Friends Pantry. These programs serve students in need throughout our district and continue to grow by leaps and bounds due to the commitment of our high school students. Also, a number of our students will be volunteering over the summer to help with Camp Wonder which serves children whose families are in transition.

Furthermore, we are celebrating the numerous accomplishments of our AP and AIG seniors as they prepare to graduate on June 11th! At our Senior Awards Ceremony on May 17th, 35 students in our program received scholarships due to their academic success while attending A.L. Brown. Many of these same students have also been awarded scholarships through the college and universities they will attend next fall.

A.L. Brown is looking forward to the 2016-2017 school year which will bring additions to the AP/AIG and AP Academy programs, including academic competitions, college visits, and academic field trips. Please contact Ms. Pitts if you have any questions about the AIG program at the high school.