Arcadia This Week 9/7/2019

Hello, Arcadia families,

We are off to a strong start to the school year, and I am excited for you to learn more about what’s happening! At the beginning of each week, please look for a message from me containing events for the week, housekeeping items, an educational programming spotlight, a mission spotlight, announcements, and more.

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

Monday, Sept. 9: Ace of Clubs 

From Matt: Attention all students! Do you like tabletop games? Do you want something to look forward to at the end of Monday? Then you should come to Ace of Clubs, the Arcadia after-school tabletop gaming club! We meet every Monday after school from 2:45pm to 4:30pm. Join Matt for board games, party games, and card games! Be sure to coordinate your own transportation if you plan on coming. 

Tuesday, Sept. 10: ILEO Informational Meeting

From Gary: Interested in Legos and robotics? ILEO will again be offered as an after school activity for all students. An informational meeting will be held on Tuesday, September 10 at 12:20 in the ROR. Please see Gary if you are interested but are unable to attend.

Thursday, Sept. 12: Groundbreaking Celebration and Curriculum Night, 6:30-8:00pm

Come celebrate the construction of a new wing to the school! There will be pizza and the official naming of the new spaces. We’ll start in the picnic shelter behind the school, or in the Great Room in the event of inclement weather.

While the renovations on the existing building have been completed, the new space currently being built will provide us with a large new classroom, a space for small group instruction, and one new office. 

After the celebration of our new space, stay to learn about how Arcadia’s advisors build community in advisory, how the project process works and how projects are assessed, and learn more about the core and elective classes that are being offered this quarter.

Look for an invitation in your email! Please RSVP by Thursday morning at 9:00am so I know how much pizza to order.

Housekeeping Items

  1. So far, drop off and parking have been going well, even with the construction factor. Thank you! Continue to look for announcements about changes to traffic flow or other requests as we move forward with the construction process.

  1. Our new lunch provider is making delicious food, but we have had a few hiccups in getting the count right as we move to our new system of ordering ahead. We want to make sure everyone has lunch every day, but because our lunches are individually packaged, we need to have an exact count. The same is true for milk at breakfast. We do have some food available in the Health Office if a student forgets their lunch or there is a mixup, but there are not extra hot meals. Please be sure to order when the form comes out if you would like your child to receive a hot lunch. ALL students intending to eat hot lunch or take breakfast milk need to order, whether paying for lunch or receiving a free/reduced lunch. 

  1. Also related to lunch, paying for lunch is on a month-by-month basis, there is no declining account. I am working on simplifying the form to make totaling the cost easier. I am open to feedback on the form! For now, please pay via cash or check (written out to Arcadia Charter School). 

Educational Programming Spotlight

Parents have, at times, asked me about teachers’ professional development. What are we learning about and thinking about as professional educators? This year, we are spending a lot of time implementing Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) and the Accountable Talk discussion frameworks. There is meaningful professional development involved with that implementation. We will be spending a lot of time thinking about how these frameworks fit in with our identity as a progressive, project-based school.

Individual or small groups of teachers are also attending a range of conferences on topics like Assistive Technology, Developmental Designs (the basis of our advisory program, especially in the middle school), and progressive education. There is a lot of learning going on at every level of our school!

If you would like to learn more about any of these things, too, let me know! I love talking about education, and I know how important the parent-school connection is for students’ learning.

Mission Spotlight

In an effort to clarify and amplify Arcadia’s mission, I am hoping to include this section each week to highlight specific parts of the mission and show ways that we are working to fulfill it. 

Our mission statement is: 

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.

Today, I’m focusing on “us[ing] technology with innovation, imagination, and responsibility.”

Last week, I had the opportunity to have a great conversation with the middle school students about using technology responsibly. It is not our goal to prevent or discourage students from using any particular technology, but to give them information that will allow them to make good choices about their own technology use. 

Part of learning to be responsible means that we, as adults, can help by placing some limits on technology while they are still learning that responsibility (like not allowing online games during class time). However, our real emphasis is on developing savvy, responsible digital citizens. They had a lot of great questions and ideas to add. For more tips on helping your children navigate their use of technology, check out this article from the American Academy of Pediatrics, available in English and Spanish:

In addition, this past week all students at Arcadia created online portfolios where their project work will be documented and stored going forward. Students can share their portfolios with all of the adults who support them, including you! This is a great opportunity to see what your child is working on and to follow their work through the project process.

Change to Chill

From Lisa and Allina Health: Change to Chill (CTC) is a free, online resource offered by Allina Health that provides tools and resources to help teens figure out what stress is, what causes it, and, most importantly, how to manage it. The website offers a wide variety of activities and information for both teens and caring adults around topics such as mindfulness, guided imagery, practicing gratitude, resiliency building and more. For the 2019-2020 school year, your student’s high school has been awarded the CTC School Partnership! This in-depth, school-based component of CTC provides high schools across Minnesota and Western Wisconsin hands on support from Allina Health, specialized staff trainings, and funding to create a “Chill Zone”--all focused on creating and supporting a culture of mental well-being in the school community. Spend some time, either alone or with your student, familiarizing yourself with CTC. 

Learn more at:

Homework Help

From Maggie: Homework help will be starting Tuesday, September 17th. Offered Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2:50-4:00pm, homework help is a time for students to work on and get extra help with their homework in a quiet setting. Your child must be picked up by 4:00pm. A snack will be provided. 

Upcoming Events

Sept. 12, 6:30-8:00pm, Groundbreaking Celebration and Curriculum Night at Arcadia

Sept. 17, 6:30-8:30pm, Arcadia School Board Meeting

Sept. 20, 7:00-9:00pm, YMCA Family and 6th Grade Mingle Night at the Northfield YMCA