Arcadia This Week 6/21/2020

Hello, Arcadia Families,

Thank you for filling out the surveys for the State and Arcadia! Your feedback is very helpful, and I do take it seriously, so if there is anything else you want us to consider as we plan for next year, please let me know! Again, you are also welcome to join the District Advisory Committee, which will play a central role in that planning, as well! :)

State Distance Learning Survey: 

Arcadia Distance Learning Survey:

Join the District Advisory Committee:

Monday, June 22: Building Closed

--Laura out for real this time... :)

Tuesday, June 23: Building Closed

--Laura out, except for the School Board Meeting (6:30-8:30pm, online)

Wednesday, June 24: Building Closed

--Laura out

Thursday, June 25: Laura available from 10am-1pm at Arcadia if you need to pick up/drop off items! You can also call during these office hours if you want to chat, or log into the 11:00am-11:30am Google Meet with Laura!

Friday, June 26: Building Closed

--Laura available by email

Mission Spotlight

Before I write about our mission, I want to thank two people who have been wonderful stewards of our mission and an important part of Arcadia for five and twelve years, respectively, but who are moving on to new opportunities. We will miss them!

First, thank you so much to Matthew Everhart, a red advisor and social studies teacher for the past five years, for starting his career here at Arcadia, and bringing so much to the position. From well-planned, engaging social studies lessons, to field trips, to gym class, Matt has ensured that our students have opportunities to continually learn and grow. He is a caring, knowledgeable, and creative teacher, an advocate for students, who gives so much of himself to the role. Thank you, Matt! We will miss you!!

Lisa Malecha, our school social worker of twelve years, we couldn’t be more grateful for all of the ways that you have built up the school and the people around you through your work. Arcadia’s culture of kindness and inclusion--set in an open, caring, accepting environment--grew in so many ways through your leadership. Thank you for the daily care you gave Arcadia’s students, your attention to all manner of things that might impact their progress, grant writing to bring more resources to the school for them, guiding students to and through graduation, and being ready at all hours of the day and in the evening to advocate for students’ needs. Lisa, we couldn’t be more grateful for all that you have done for the Arcadia community! Thank you! Good luck with all of your future endeavors!

Our Mission:

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.

Reflection: When you look at our mission statement, what stands out to you? What is important to you about this mission? What did you see last year or in previous years that reflected this mission? Where do we have room for growth? 

Take some time to consider these questions--in the future, I will be asking you to join me in a conversation around this! (This goes beyond distance learning--this is more about our long term planning.) You are, of course, welcome to share your thoughts before that, too, via email or visiting my Google Meet on Thursdays! 

Progressive Education, Arcadia, and Anti-Racism

As I wrote previously, “it is part of our mission [as a progressive school] to educate children to be active, engaged citizens. We encourage empathy, compassion, and courageous participation in discussion and action. We strive to empower students with the skills to meaningfully take part in the creation of a more just, equitable version of our democratic society.” Fulfilling this aspect of our mission requires ongoing work and practice, not just for students, nor just for teachers, but for the Arcadia community as a whole, especially if we are striving toward putting an anti-racist lens on everything that we do. 

There are a lot of lists, folders, books, and other resources available online right now. One document that may be useful specifically for white adults working to build their knowledge base around anti-racism, but maybe struggling to decide where to start, is a document called Scaffolded Anti-Racism Resources, because it acknowledges the stages of white identity development, and provides resources and action ideas that fit with each stage. 

However, as Ibram H. Kendi says, education alone does not address racism, because ignorance is not the root cause of racism. In this article from 2017, Kendi further explains:

Let’s do the work--together, as a community. This is another area where the District Advisory Committee will play a central role! 

New Guidance from the State

The State, as promised, put out guidelines for the three possible scenarios we may find ourselves in for the 2020-2021 school year. If you are interested, you can read that guidance here:

Minnesota Department of Education Guidance

Minnesota Department of Health Guidance

Or find it on the Minnesota Department of Education’s COVID 19 webpage:

In their messaging, the State noted that we may actually use all three of the scenarios they describe at some point during the next school year. The scenarios are: 1) all face to face, 2) a hybrid model where some students are face to face and others are in a distance learning model, possibly on a rotating basis, and 3) distance learning only.


Announcing...our new School Social Worker!

We are excited to announce that Kara Fahey will be joining us as our new School Social Worker, starting July 1st! She brings knowledge and experience that are a perfect fit for Arcadia. We will set up opportunities for you to meet her (online) later this summer!

Meet with Laura

I am going to hold a Meet this week, on Thursday, 6/25 from 11:00-11:30am. Feel free to stop by if you need anything or have any questions!

Here is the address for the Meet: 

To join the video meeting, click this link:

Otherwise, to join by phone, dial +1 513-796-6467 and enter this PIN: 493 475 105#

Chromebooks: If you have a school Chromebook, you are welcome to use it over the summer, or you can return it if you would prefer. Knowing that some form of online instruction may occur in the fall, we decided it would be best to leave the computers with students, but understand that some families may not want to have them over the summer. Either way is fine.

Meals for Children: We will continue to partner with Northfield Public Schools. Here is the information they are currently providing to families: 

Beginning Monday, June 8th, through June 29th, the Child Nutrition program will serve meals on Mondays and Wednesdays at Emmaus Church, Sibley Elementary, and Northfield High School. The meals will be bundled for multiple days. Meal bags will have two days of meals on Monday and three days of meals on Wednesday. Beginning July 1, the program will operate at reduced locations based on the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) summer food service program guidelines. Please continue to watch our website for further summer meal program information.

In addition...

The Minnesota Department of Human Services is now offering additional funds for the families of children ages 5 to 18 who qualify for free and reduced-price meals. This new program, called Pandemic EBT (P-EBT), will provide $325 per child that families can use to purchase nutritious food for their household. Families with children who received free or reduced-price meals at school, and who were between the ages of 5 and 18 on Sept. 1, 2019, may qualify. Benefits are available to two groups:

Families receiving Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP) or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits on March 18, 2020. Benefits for these families were issued automatically and appeared on their EBT balance on May 30, 2020.

Families receiving free or reduced-price school meals, but not SNAP or MFIP benefits. These families need to fill out a short application for a P-EBT card. Families can apply here between June 8, 2020, and June 30, 2020. If approved, families will receive a P-EBT card in the mail, which will arrive with the funds preloaded.

Upcoming Events

June 23, 6:30-8:30pm, Arcadia School Board Meeting (online, with no representative at the school due to the pandemic)

To join the video meeting, click this link:

Otherwise, to join by phone, dial +1 513-796-6467 and enter this PIN: 493 475 105#

June 25, 11:00-11:30am, Meet with Laura

To join the video meeting, click this link:

Otherwise, to join by phone, dial +1 513-796-6467 and enter this PIN: 493 475 105#

June 25, 10:00am-1:00pm, Laura at Arcadia, material drop off/pick up available