Arcadia This Week 2/23/2020

Hello, Arcadia Families,

Here’s what’s up at Arcadia for the coming week!

Monday, Feb. 24: Day 5

  • VocalEssence: Witness Field Trip, during the school day, all middle school students, plus high school history and high school dance, led by Gary and the MS Team

  • Ace of Clubs, 2:45-4:30pm

Tuesday, Feb. 25: Day 6

  • Homework Help, 2:45-4:00pm

  • Rachel Ries Arts Residency, during the school day

  • Rachel Ries Community Choir Rehearsal, 7:00-8:15pm--all parents, students, staff, and Northfield community members are welcome!

Wednesday, Feb. 26: Day 1 (late start)

  • Youth Climate Justice Summit, during the school day, Intro to Civics class with a few other interested students, led by Matt

Thursday, Feb. 27: Day 2

  • Homework Help, 2:45-4:00pm

Friday, Feb. 28: Day 3

Mission Spotlight

It is the mission of Arcadia Charter School to prepare our students to transition intellectually, emotionally, and ethically to higher education, future employment, and engaged citizenship.

Arcadia Charter School envisions a supportive learning community that, through collaboration and student-driven, project-based learning, encourages and assists students to:

  • Express themselves creatively through the visual, literary, and performing arts.

  • Use technology with innovation, imagination, and responsibility.

  • Develop critical thinking and creative problem solving skills.

  • Construct knowledge and meaning for themselves.

  • Value, advocate, and strive for the wellness of the whole person.

  • Be empowered to act as local citizens within a rapidly changing global community.

Every now and then, I like to go back to my philosophical roots--reading ideas from Kurt Hahn, John Dewey, Maria Montessori, and other educators who paved the way for more progressive models of education. Lately, I’ve been re-reading Experience and Education, by John Dewey. It’s a short book, but it expounds upon the idea that experience is critical to education--when those experiences are thoughtfully constructed by educators. It’s also in the public domain. Here is a link if you are interested!

With a number of field trips occuring right now, and May Term on the horizon, I thought I would zoom in on a couple of those experiences to highlight why those trips matter to the core curriculum--they are not just extras. 

On Friday, the high school performing arts classes attended the “Ordway Cabaret: Gotta Dance!” performance. This was not simply a dance show. The members of the cast--dancers, singers, actors--shared their personal stories: how they developed into the performers they have become. They shared their struggles, triumphs, and how they are impacted by their art. The stories were woven into their performance. As the audience gained more insight into the people on stage, they came to understand the connection between art and identity. What a powerful message for students interested in performance! Following the performance, Bob invited the student attendees to a reflective conversation on what they had seen, giving them an opportunity to connect it to their own experiences, and grow in their personal understanding of their art. 

On Wednesday, Matt is taking his Intro to Civics class to the Youth Climate Justice Summit. One of the important ideas in civics is an understanding of “governmental institutions and political processes.” Through this trip, students will have the opportunity to meet Minnesota legislators, including their local representative. They will work with other students from throughout the State, participating with their peers in advocating for better legislation around a specific topic. They will also attend workshops where they can practice some of the skills needed to be effective participants in our democracy. In other words, they will not just be learning about civics, they will be participating in civic life.

These are only two examples of how the experiences that we provide students are integrated into our broader curriculum and further our mission. We are lucky to have educators at Arcadia invested in creating these experiences for students’ education--creating these relevant experiences is not an easy task. In the words of John Dewey:

“A primary responsibility of educators is that they not only be aware of the general principle of the shaping of actual experience by environing conditions, but that they also recognize in the concrete what surroundings are conducive to having experiences that lead to growth. Above all, they should know how to utilize the surroundings, physical and social, that exist so as to extract from them all that they have to contribute to building up experiences that are worthwhile.

Traditional education did not have to face this problem; it could systematically dodge this responsibility. The school environment of desks, blackboards, a small schoolyard, was supposed to suffice. There was no demand that the teacher should become intimately acquainted with the conditions of the local community, physical, historical, economic, occupational, etc., in order to utilize them as educational resources. A system of education based upon the necessary connection of education with experience must, on the contrary, if faithful to its principle, take these things constantly into account. This tax upon the educator is another reason why progressive education is more difficult to carry on than was ever the traditional system.” 


$5 Donations for Senior Presentation Day

On March 3rd, seniors will present their final, year-long projects. Following the presentations, we would like to send our seniors out in style with a catered lunch--a meal to bring the seniors together in fellowship one last time before graduation. Arcadia’s 6th-11th grade students will have dessert with the seniors, then the seniors will leave for the day, and the 6th-11th grade students will participate in a series of team-building activities. To help make this day possible for all students, we ask each student to contribute $5, if they are able. 

Help us make school more comfortable for students! Items we need:

If you have extra feminine supplies, or would be willing to purchase some for the school, we try to keep our bathrooms stocked, but are currently running low. Thin, absorbent pads (sample in link) and a range of tampons would be helpful! 

Snacks to restock the Health Office and for during Homework Help would also be wonderful! Things like breakfast bars, granola bars, peanut butter crackers, dried fruits and trail mix can be stored from week to week, but are easy to hand to hungry students.

Kleenex and disinfecting wipes are particularly helpful right now, because it’s cold season, and we’re trying to prevent the spread of germs!

Upcoming Events

Feb. 24, VocalEssence: Witness Field Trip to Orchestra Hall, all middle school students and the high school history and dance classes

Feb. 25, Arts Residency with Rachel Ries (school day, periods 4, 5, and 6)

Mar. 4, Innovation Day 3: Senior Presentation Day (during the school day--families welcome!)

Mar. 5, Arts Residency with Rachel Ries (school day, periods 4, 5, and 6)

Mar. 9, Arts Residency with Rachel Ries (school day, periods 4, 5, and 6)

Mar. 10, Arts Residency Community Choir Rehearsal with Rachel Ries, 7:00-8:15pm

Mar. 12, Finance Committee Meeting

Mar. 12, Arcadia Information Night, 6:30-8:00pm--presentation on project-based, progressive education at 7:15pm

Mar. 13, Arts Residency with Rachel Ries (school day, periods 4, 5, and 6)

Mar. 13, Arts Residency, final performance with Rachel Ries, 7:00-9:00pm

Mar. 17, Arcadia School Board meeting, 6:30-8:30pm

Mar. 19, Marketing Committee Meeting

Mar. 20, Presentation Afternoon, 12:40-2:42pm--everyone welcome!

Mar. 20, End of 3rd Quarter

Mar. 23-27, No School, Spring Break

Mar. 30, No School, Teacher Professional Development Day