In this eUpdate:
Greetings from Superintendent Linda Dawson
As we prepare for the winter break, I wanted to take a moment to wish all of you the warmest of Holiday Greetings and best thoughts for the New Year!
So many wonderful things have happened in the SIATech Charter School Network in 2013. Just a few accomplishments include our SIATech Charter Schools receiving recognition as a California Distinguished School, MYcroSchool sites in Florida being almost at capacity with waiting lists, three new Independent Study programs opening in Riverside County, CA, and SIATech Albuquerque receiving its five year renewal.
In our classrooms, the roll out of the Common Core Standards continued and teachers came together to participate in regular virtual meetings to support their Professional Learning Communities.
On the policy front, we convened our 2nd Annual Alternative Accountability Policy Forum and welcomed more than 80 alternative educators from 18 states and the District of Columbia to discuss a policy agenda for the coming year.
Fall Leadership brought together leaders from all our SIATech, NEWCorp, and MYcroSchool sites. Due to requests from board and staff members who were unable to attend Fall Leadership, we have made the keynote from Dr. Terrence Roberts available online for you to watch at your leisure.
When I visit our school sites I see energetic and passionate teachers, exciting curriculum, and engaged learners. I am inspired by the dedication and commitment to excellence!
We look forward to re-opening on January 6, 2014, re-energized and ready to provide kids a real chance for a bright future!
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Promoting At-Promise at MYcroSchool Jacksonville
by Terry Woolard
It was a night of promise for both a community and MYcroSchool Jacksonville. On November 20, the stars came out during the first Fall Leadership Annual Open House.
The students were "dressed for success" as they lined the doors to welcome both civic and educational leaders from their community. The look of pride and accomplishment was most evident as the students got to shake hands and converse with their future mentors and supporters.
In addition to the very prestigious list of community leaders, MYcroSchool Jacksonville was also very fortunate to have astute and prominent representatives from their local board members, the U.S. Military, past graduates, and guests from other states involved in the development of our At-Promise students.
The night continued on with fabulous dining, wonderful fellowship, and great networking for both staff and students.
The culmination of the evening was the many exciting motivational speeches given by our community leaders, encouraging our students to believe strongly in themselves and continue in their endeavors to be a positive inspiration to others.
The highlight of the night was the courage the students themselves showed as they gave their emotional and heart-warming presentations on what MYcroSchool has done for them and how the school has enhanced them academically and personally.
At the end of the evening, what had started out as a wonderfully planned social event, became a gathering of leaders, both young and old. As the night came to a close, the stars were never brighter.
Congratulations to a wonderful school community for a wonderful evening!
Terry Woolard is the registrar for MYcroSchool Jacksonville. View more photos of the event.
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Community Outreach at MYcroSchool Gainesville
by Randy Starling
Community outreach is an integral part of the MYcroSchool Gainesville culture. Staff and students alike are committed to the philosophy of always being in "recruitment" mode.
While we are in our third year of operation, there are still people in the community who tell us, "We didn't know you were here."
Shown in the photo are Registrar Delia Hunt along with current student Theresa Williams as they handed out flyers at a local Winn Dixie supermarket. Theresa had her elevator speech down pat by the time we finished up!
There are a variety of ways to let students know there is an opportunity to re-enroll in school at MYcroSchool Gainesville. Mailers, flyers on car wind shields, door hangers, emails, phone calls, setting up tables, attending community functions, and open houses are all activities that the MYcroSchool Gainesville staff does to share our important mission to serve students with the community.
Randy Starling is the principal of MYcroSchool Gainesville.
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SIATech El Centro Independent Study Cleans Up
by Esmeralda Lopez
On Saturday, November 23, SIATech El Centro Independent Study had a car wash fundraiser. It was a very successful event organized by the Student Council members.
Students were excited to participate in this year's first fundraiser. The donations will be used to help pay for this year's graduate field trip. It was thrilling to see the school spirit and student and staff working as a team!
Esmeralda Lopez is an instructor at SIATech El Centro.
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SIATech Los Angeles Students Meet
Echosmith at Grammy Museum
by Cheyanne Kinney
On November 20, 2013, SIATech Los Angeles took their students to the Grammy Museum to see a young American indie-pop band named Echosmith.
One benefit of SIATech's location in downtown Los Angeles is that it is near the heart of the music industry. Many students are very interested in getting into careers in the entertainment field. Students were enthusiastic about visiting the museum and meeting the members of this young band to learn more about how they got their start.
The band is composed of four siblings: Sydney, Noah, Graham, and Jamie Sierota. Echosmith was formed in early February 2009. They later signed to Warner Brothers in May 2012. The band's debut album "Talking Dreams" was released on October 8, 2012. The band released their new single and official music video "Come Together" in June 2013.
Their first song "Tonight We're Making History" was also released June 5, 2012 and was featured in the NBC promo for the 2012 Olympics. The oldest member is Jamie who plays guitar and sometimes sings. The second to oldest Noah plays bass and also sings. Sydney is the lead singer but she often plays the keyboard and guitar. The band's youngest member Graham plays the drums.
The siblings were raised in Los Angeles and grew up in a musical household. They each played instruments throughout their childhood. Their father is also a song writer and music producer. The band grew up listening to Coldplay, The Smiths, U2, Joy Division, and Fleetwood Mac. These bands influenced them to make music together.
Sydney is 16, Noah 18, Graham 14, and Jamie is 20. Jamie and Noah are finished with high school, while Sydney and Graham are home schooled.
The students who went on the field trip were able to ask questions at the end of the performance.
One asked, "How old were you when you first started making music?" They started making music when Sydney was 12, Noah was 14, Graham was 10, and Jamie was 16.
Another student asked, "Do you have any advice for the people in the audience who may want to pursue music? Sidney answered, "Try and do your best. Do your best, and it's all about patience."
Cheyanne Kinney is a student at SIATech at Los Angeles Job Corps Center.
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MYcroSchool Pinellas Welcomes
Families to Open House
by Syliane Manyari
MYcroSchool Pinellas' Family Holiday Open House was held on December 5. All staff were in attendance with a great turn out of students and parents.
It was wonderful to meet with our students' families and share with them our classrooms and the great learning happening at our school.
And, Mrs. Green's home-cooked meals were delicious and a big hit!
Syliane Manyari is the career technology / senior projects instructor at MYcroSchool Pinellas in St. Petersburg, FL. Click here to see more photos of the event.
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SIATech Perris: And the Winner Is...
by Bobbie Arterberry
This month, SIATech Perris wrapped up its first run of The Stock Market Challenge. Mr. Roger Reinecke and I piloted the stock market game activity in an effort to provide our students with experience in real world stocks, bonds, and mutual funds.
The game was extremely beneficial especially for my Government and Economics students.
The game began in early October and concluded December 12. Each week, Roger and I created standings and bar graph that indicated who was currently in the lead and by how much. This motivated the students to keep a closer look at their stocks and to research new ones that would increase their gains. It was fun and rewarding seeing the students excitement and anxiousness as the standings for the week were being posted.
The winner of The Stock Market game was Cristian Mendoza. He finished with $103,805.50, and had a net equity gain of $3,805. Account holdings in his portfolio included Advanced Auto Parts (AAP), Facebook (FB), Apple (AAPL), and SolarCity Corporation (SCTY). As you can see, although Cristian did have some popular well known stocks such as Facebook and Apple, his research lead him to some more obscure stocks which helped propel him to the top of the leaderboard and eventually the winner of the game.
The feedback I received from the participants was overwhelmingly positive. Most of the students had heard of the stock market but were not sure how it worked or even that they could own shares of some of their favorite brands.
Between the game itself, along with some of the supplemental activities I had them complete, the participants have a much better understanding of the stock market and its purpose. A couple of students have even approached Roger and me about investing in the real stock market because of their experience with the virtual game.
If any teachers were looking for a fun activity for your history students, I would whole heartedly endorse participating in The Stock Market Game.
Bobbie Arterberry is an instructor at SIATech Perris Independent Study.
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