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True Christmas Spirit

On Friday, December 7, Middle and Upper Schools held their Christmas Program. Last night, Lower School had their Christmas Program. With choir, band, handbells, strings, and even a Preschool Nativity, the last week has really put everyone in the Christmas spirit. Family and friends came together to see students perform after weeks of practice. Up on stage, little faces beamed. In the seats, everyone had a smile on their face. If that had been the extent of the evenings’ events it would have been enough. After all,that’s why we came, to see our children, on stage, shine.

However, at one point during each of these evenings, there was a call for offering. Normally, these offerings ask for funding for the music department. And that would be fine, after all, our little musicians deserve it after all their hard work. This time, the offering call was of a different kind. Ms. Esther Aviles, Director of Music, asked us to think about our sister school in Paradise, California. She asked us to think about all they had lost, about what we were enjoying and how we could share. Our families came out to see an MHA Christmas program and in true MHA fashion, they brought the Christmas spirit to life. Our joy was not only on Friday night and Tuesday night, but today when we received the news that our families had given $1,347.95 to Paradise Adventist Academy. Thank you for giving unexpectedly!

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Hero in Your Own Story

Upper School language arts teacher, Jenni Eno, is taking her Real World Learners on a journey, asking them to find the “hero in your own story”. Only the story isn’t their own, but that of the 5th graders at Mile High Academy. Upper-school students are writing a graphic novel based on these real characters. This RWL assignment uses mentoring, leadership, writing, journalism, CHERISH values, and more to produce a final product that will have the ultimate authentic audience.

Mrs. Eno and Mrs. Little’s classes are partnering once a week so that their students can get to know each other through interviews and recesses. The students are getting to know each other and are finding out the likes and dislikes of their mentee and then taking this feedback and turning it into a Superhero character.

Little was quick to point out that the “kids look forward to playing with their older peers. It gives them confidence and assures them that playing is still okay even when they get older.” It’s mentorship projects like these that make a Preschool through 12th grade program so great. One 5th grader was so excited by the project, she had her own comments on the RWL, “I hope they give me a cape”.

The Upper School students are encouraged to find the unique in each child, asking questions that bring students out of their shells to be their genuine selves. When they start talking about their dreams and their real “super powers”, like kindness and sharing, the Upper School students start to see their story come alive. That is when they can go back and outline their plot and build their storyboards.

When they’re finished with their books, the students will present their projects to their mentees for critiquing. Seeing themselves through the eyes of their own heroes–that will be a special day.

Agape Hammond; text and photo

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History of #GivingTuesday

In 2012, Giving Tuesday was started by the 92nd Street Y in New York and the United Nations Foundation as an antidote to the consumerism of Black Friday and Cyber Monday that follows Thanksgiving. Hoping that people would take the same enthusiasm they had for shopping and apply it to giving it began as an idea but with some publicity and a hashtag, #GivingTuesday, they ran with it.

It was a success, #GivingTuesday was born and released, along with marketing advise and social media resources available to any nonprofit that wishes to use it.

The last five years have shown a sharp increase in charity giving on Giving Tuesday (see graph). However, Rachel Hutchison of Blackbaud, who takes most of the online donations, says that what really matters is that people are engaging in causes they care about. (1)

Have you participated in a #GivingTuesday? Maybe this is the year!

Works Cited

https://www.vox.com/future-perfect/2018/11/26/18098840/when-is-giving-tuesday

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RWL “I Am We”

Real World Learning takes classroom knowledge and applies it in real ways within the community. For Mrs. Lisa Venteicher’s RWL called “I Am We”, Upper School students are working on ways to impact the community in positive ways. Two students, Sara and Judy decided to focus their project on homelessness.  They decided to do a personal hygiene collection at the school.

By the end of the drive, the students had enough donations to make 50 women’s and 50 men’s goodie bags. Last week during finals the girls made their care packages. Then, this past Monday, Mrs. Venteicher took the two girls downtown to Civic Green Park to hand out the bags to the homeless.

As they handed out the bags to individuals everyone was very appreciative. Teacher and students were able to converse with those they met. Through this project, Sara and Judy’s perspective on homelessness and the people behind the “problem” changed. They have both decided to continue to do what they can to help the homeless population.

Sara had this to say, “It had an impact on my life. It just made me see homeless people differently, and that they are real people, too.  They showed me Jesus, the way they treated us.  They were really kind.”

(Photos by Mrs. Lisa Venteicher, making their bags last week, ready to hand out their bags)

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We Honor our Veterans!

Today, we honor our veterans. Veterans Day honors all American veterans, living and dead. We honor the tremendous courage represented by each veteran who has risked it all to protect his/her country. We offer our thanks to these extraordinary men and women.

“This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave.” – Elmer Davis

Thank you!

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Annual Auction 2018 – Update!

Update on Annual Auction 11-8-18

$125,000 – Gross Received

$30,000 – Class Projects

$70,000 – Appeal

$6,000 – Silent Auction

$19,000 – Sponsorship & Ticket Sales

You love class projects so much that this was the best year ever in the class project auction category – multiple grades were duplicated because the items were so popular! Even after the event, we received additional donations because people wanted to be a part of such a successful event.

Every year, you participate in an event called the Annual Auction. This is event is where our community comes together in a big way to play, eat, spend time with friends, and give to our Annual Fund. The annual fund benefits all of us. It is what allows our school to have the amazing programs that grow our students. It is what provides teachers with innovative resources for their classrooms. It is what takes our school to the next level year after year.

If you’ve never been before, consider going next year. It’s for everyone! It’s for our students! The event is about raising money for our school and sure, some of the big ticket items go for big bucks, we love watching the bidders raise their paddles, but it’s also about community, coming together in small and large ways to share what makes MHA great. So, don’t think that this event is for someone else, it’s for you, it’s for me, it’s for your neighbor, it’s for your co-worker. Let’s get together and have some fun!

Pictures of the night.

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Transitioning from School to School

At Mile High Academy we are fortunate to have a full school program that encompasses Preschool through 12th grade. However, that does not mean that students do not feel the stress of transitioning from grade to grade or school to school. Therefore, we have found ways to make these transitions exciting and smooth for students, parents, and teachers.

By definition, transition means the change from one place, state of being, or condition to another place, state of being, or condition (Merriam-Webster Online, 2015). From the moment parents drop their little ones off at Preschool to the day they watch their Seniors graduate high school, every day is a milestone of developmental changes. It’s not just classrooms and buildings but actual hormonal, mental, and physical changes with which each adolescent faces. “Each of these transitions affects young adolescents’ academic experiences, motivation, self-perception, and self-regulatory beliefs (Parker, 2013; Perkins, 1995).” (amle.org)

It’s not only our students that are affected, however, parents and teachers also experience these changes in their own ways. For transitions to occur properly, for programs to develop effectively, the expectations of the students have to be considered by those around them. (amle.org) Because as worries as we are as parents about how our students will fare once they are thrust into unknown environments, how much more stress are they experiencing going into these environments.

And, as the grades progress, the expectations of independence and responsibility also progresses. They go from Preschool, where they are with their teacher 100% of the time, to Kindergarten where they begin to have specials with different teachers, to Middle and Upper schools where students are expected to get to and from classes on their own, manage time wisely, use a locker, organize and keep up with materials for multiple classes, be responsible for all classwork and homework from multiple teachers, and at the same time develop and maintain a social life.

The main thing we can do as parents and educators is provide known expectations. From the moment we tell them they are going to start school, move on to a new grade, move on to a new school, we can provide them with a model within which they can begin to navigate. Giving students true transitions impacts students’ academic performance.

Some of the things we do at MHA:

  • provide Shadow Days where students can experience our classrooms before moving into the environment
  • school tours
  • parent and student receptions where we discuss the differences between elementary, middle school, and upper schools
  • question and answer sessions
  • graduation programs for all levels, Preschool, Kindergarten, Eighth Grade, High School

By implementing transition activities like these, your student, and by extension parents and teachers, will have an easier time moving forward, building community, and feeling comfortable through all stages of their educational career.

(see pictures of 8th Grade Reception below)

 

Works Cited

  1. https://www.amle.org/BrowsebyTopic/WhatsNew/WNDet/TabId/270/ArtMID/888/ArticleID/750/Transitioning-Young-Adolescents-from-Elementary-to-Middle-School.aspx
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Fall Festival 2018

November 10, 2018 | 6-9pm

Have you been to a Mile High Academy Fall Festival? Full of food, games, and friends, it is an evening that truly gets everyone in the spirit of the season. The crisp air, the hay bales, the smell of caramel from popcorn to apples brings out the kid in each of us.

Come out on November 10 at 6pm for an evening of fun with friends and family. The booths are each sponsored by a different class or group. However, whether you have a favorite student or a favorite food, it all goes to a great cause, Christian education at Mile High Academy.

Mark your calendars and plan an evening with us. Make sure and invite a few friends, too!

 

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Grandparent’s Day a Great Success!

Hello Grandparents and Friends,

Thank you for coming out to visit us. You made the day a great success in so many ways. Not only did you make the students so happy by being on campus, spending time in classrooms and eating lunch together, but you made our day with all the smiles you brought to our day. We hope that you had as much fun as we did.

The day started with grandparents bringing in their grandchildren or meeting them at the campus. How great to see the excitement of the kids ready to show off their day to their special visitors. And it wasn’t just grandparents, we know that some grandparents can’t be with their grandchildren on grandparent’s day so there were family friends and parents taking the time to spend with our students. Even those that may not have had someone on campus got to “share” a grandparent with friends. Throughout the day, you could find grandparents with multiple students gathered round for classroom activities. What a special way to get to know a different generation and share wisdom our learners.

We’re blessed to have a community that invests in our students. Thank you for making the day so special for all of us!

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What is your child learning?

Yesterday, Kindergarten spent some time learning about the American flag, symbols of our country, and ways in which they could show respect and love to those who daily sacrifice for our country.

A guest speaker came in and spoke to one of our RWL upper school classes on legislation and how it happens, the affect it has on each of us. Students asked insightful questions as our guest used real world examples of cases on which he has participated.

Tomorrow, the whole school will be participating in “Love Matters Most” an annual event that brings MHA, Centura Health, and the community together in service projects. (Find out more on our Facebook news vlog below)

On any give day, you will find a class involved in learning that takes students into the community or teaches them ways in which they can better affect their community. Isn’t that what we want for our children, future leaders that change the world, kids that don’t just do what’s required of them but look at the needs around them and find ways to make a difference?

By intentionally creating ways for our students to do this on a regular basis, our teachers are modeling and teaching students how to do this. So, if you find your child asking you for ways in which they can help someone today, that’s because we are all working together to make children that think about the world in this way, as citizens of a world that they can affect.

Check out more on CHERISH and how we use it to model and share great values for all!

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