Blog

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We wish Ms. Jessica Reeder well!

“Dear Mile High Family,

I have had the honor of teaching 5th grade, as well as some subjects in other grades, for the last 5 years at Mile High. This was my first job out of college, and I have learned so much from being a part of this community. However, God has opened doors for me to take another teaching position where I will be closer to my family, and after lots of prayer, I have decided to accept that job. Part of my heart is staying here, especially in the 5th grade classroom, and with all of the incredible students I have had the honor of teaching, and with the co-workers who have become like family to me. I will always treasure the memories and relationships I have formed while at Mile High Academy. And to each and every student I have had the privilege to teach, you will always and forever have a special place in my heart.

I wish all the best for the school and community and pray that God will bless each of you abundantly.

Thank-you for the memories.“ – Jessica Reeder

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Volunteer Profile – Emmanuel Makizimana

If you’ve ever gone through the pick up line, you may have seen Mr. Emmanuel Makizimana’s smiling face as he calls numbers and helps with directing traffic. Mr. Makizimana is just one of the parent volunteers that make Mile High Academy a better place for our students.

After seeing him in line, myself a few times, I decided I need to sit down and ask him why it is he gives back at MHA. But like all our parent volunteers, he was reluctant at first. There always tends to be a “who me?” implied, if not outright asked, when I approach volunteers about why they volunteer.

Still, I managed to ask a few questions eventually and it was worth it.

Me: How long have you had students at MHA?

Mr. Makizimana: Let’s see, 4 years.

Me: I see you at the pick up line. This is a job that not many parents take on. Why were you willing to volunteer?

Mr. Makizimana: It makes me happy to give back to MHA!

Me: What is the benefit of volunteering, to you or to your kids or to the school?

Mr. Makizimana: Well, it is an example to the community, to my kids, it is the right thin to do. I do it happily because it give me joy.

Me: Are there particular jobs you like more than others?

Mr. Makizimana: (With a quizzical look on his face) Anything I can do to help, I will do it!

Thank you for all you do, Mr. Makizimana! And for all our volunteers!

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All School Exhibition 2018

If you were at the All School Exhibition last night you know it was amazing to see our students presenting their Real World Learning (RWL) projects. The passion with which they shared their learning, the amount of information they conveyed, all of it went far to demonstrate that RWL really is the best way for learning retention to happen.

From Preschool to Upper School, each student was able to answer questions, present confidently, and through it all, shine with the pride of a job well done. Ultimately, that is really what RWL is all about, instilling ownership of learning onto the student.

And as teachers, isn’t that what we want for our students, true knowledge, something they will take with them beyond the classroom.

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Life-Focused Education?

This is our second year in Real World Learning at Mile High Academy. During that time, teachers have explored topics such as podcasting, clean water filtration systems, local refugee populations, and career leadership.

Each of these subjects asks the students to imagine they are the project managers. They have to research, understand the tasks, take charge of the outcomes. It’s easy to imagine a high school class taking this on, but how about asking a group of third graders to do the same.

With Real World Learning (RWL), teachers lead students on a journey of discovery, and this can work for any age. Because, this can mean that ultimately the project does not end where the students imagined it might, but that’s real life. Part of RWL is problem solving these outcomes and figuring out a new way to go and how that changes the outcome. Also, by interacting with authentic audiences, peers, community leaders, faculty, parents, they get feedback on whether they are heading in the right direction or need to change along the way. And sometimes failure happens.

However, failure is just another opportunity for students to learn what works and what doesn’t, receiving feedback from teachers and peers and then being able to move on to the next step in order to create a better product, a brighter solution, find areas of improvement, this is growth.

The focus in education today is in preparing students that can lead, fall and get back up, collaborate with peers, and find solutions to problems that haven’t even been thought up.

The latest education surveys are coming back and they aren’t asking for better test scores, instead they are asking for what we already offer here at MHA. “When it comes to judging a school’s quality, what matters most? A new poll suggests the American public puts a premium on offerings outside of traditional academics, including career-focused education, developing students’ interpersonal skills…” (Richmond)

Yes, we will continue to provide academics that push our students, but we also want them to have those intangible skills that make them amazing out in the world. “Employers are clamoring for well-qualified workers who not only have solid academic and technical skills but are also innovative problem solvers who can fill the jobs of the future.” (Adams)

Let’s give our students all the tools they deserve!

-Agape Hammond, Director of Marketing

 

Adams, Carlee. “Does Your STEM Curriculum Teach These 4 Skills? (Students Need Them in the Real World). https://schoolleadersnow.weareteachers.com/stem-curriculums-teach-skills-students-need/

Richmond, Emily. “New Poll: Public Values Career Classes, Support Services at Schools”. Education Writers Association. https://www.ewa.org/blog-educated-reporter/new-poll-public-values-career-classes-support-services-schools

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Shinu Lee Wins Photography Contest

At Mile High Academy we offer many classes that students have to take in order to graduate. However, we also offer a lot of classes that resonate with students interests and become more than just homework. We love to see that. The last couple years, Mr. Kyle Berg has seen this in one of his students, Shinu Lee, who has taken many of his Humanities classes, getting to know him along the way.

As yearbook editor this year, Shinu has used his gift of photography to take pictures on our campus, many of which will be included in yearbook this year. When we see that kind of passion in a student, well, it’s hard not to keep encouraging it. As his advisor, Mr. Berg has really seen Shinu thrive creatively.

So, it wasn’t too surprising but definitely exciting when one of Shinu’s photographs one 1st place in the Jostens’ 2018 photo contest for Landscape Photography. “This is a national contest and a pretty big deal! When you see him, congratulate him. He poured himself into the senior pages of our yearbook and truly has a creative gift!” said Mr. Berg excitedly about Shinu and his big win.

The choices our students make along the way can lead to finding passions. That’s what having Real World Learning, electives in all areas of learning, and passionate teachers means on the MHA campus.

Have you met Shinu Lee? Make sure you do before he leaves us as he’ll be graduating in May.

 

Photograph on page 17.

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“Parting is Such Sweet Sorrow”

It is bittersweet when we have to say goodbye to someone we’ve loved having on our campus, who has served, shared, and will be missed by so many. However, we also know that God is working in ways that are bigger than us. So we share this with you know thing that.

The last four years we have had such joy, excitement, and learning coming from our 3rd-grade classroom.  Mrs. Cress has brought such great leadership to Mile High Academy.  We will miss the whole family but we wish them well and will pray for them as they make their transition into the next chapter of their lives. Thank you for all you’ve done and all you will do! MHA Administration

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Refu-Jesus Updates

April 5

This week for Refu-Jesus class, we bought almost 2000 diapers and baby wipes at Target for the refugees here in Denver . We have asked two refugee centers what they are most in need of and they both said emphatically, DIAPERS! It was such an incredible divine appointment at Target because that day there was this awesome deal going that just happened to be on diapers, (the exact thing we were there for, praise God!) that gave us $10 back in gift cards for every $50 we spent on diapers. The even more amazing and miraculous thing was how we got the money. We had $380 to spend at Target that came COMPLETELY from the students in my class! The students donated their own hard earned money to help support the refugees in any way they could. These children are truly leading the way.

March 29

We sorted almost an entire room of donated clothes, and helped to organize the clothes pantry so that all the clothes could be hung up for the refugees to see them better and “shop” through the racks like a real store. Today, the head of the Mango House pantry (Corrie) paid my students and I such a high compliment. We were running around the Mango House trying to get the kids going on the next project and she stopped right her tracks and said, “It Just blows my mind and rocks my world that your group shows up every single week to help us out.” She went on to say, “I have never in all my years working here, had a group come consistently every week; every group comes once to help and then we never see them again.” I told her that my students are here to serve and make a lasting impact on the refugee community here in Denver. She said that she would take my students and I every day of the week if she could. Finally, Corrie honored us by saying that if she is ever out of town, she would trust my group to run the pantry on our own! I am so proud of my students for the great impression that they have made, and that Corrie would have the confidence in us to run this place in her absence.

Painting project at the Mango House for my real-world-learning class (Refu-Jesus). This is a room where the teenage refugees come to hang out and have quiet time after school. After we painted this room we got to pray over it and dedicate it to God so that he would use it to provide a small place of refuge for the teenage refugees here in Denver.

For the past two months for my real-world-learning class (refu-Jesus), we have been serving refugees at the Mango House in Denver. We have sorted clothes and food in the pantry, cleaned, swept, mopped, vacuumed, painted, organized books, cleaned windows, washed dishes and everything in between, to help keep this place running smoothly. We have had students bring in soap that they actually made in another RWL class, and when they went in to the pantry to put it away, refugees walked in at that very moment and were in real need of soap. My students got to hand their soap, in beautiful gift wrapped bags, to the refugees and say, “I made this especially for you!” These students are truly getting out into the world to serve “the least of these.”

by Mr. Russell Palmer

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#googleexpeditions on campus

“Thank you for your participation in the Google Expeditions AR Pioneer Program. We’re thrilled that you want to tell your local community about bringing innovation to the classroom!” – Google Expeditions AR

That is how Goggle Expeditions AR starts their press release to schools interested in participating.

As part of her innovation research at Mile High Academy, Mrs. Jamie Frain found Google Expeditions and asked them to come to MHA as part of their Pioneer Program. Currently, MHA has iPads and phones with the same learning content in Virtual Reality models throughout the school. However, Google Expeditions is now unrolling this Augmented Reality Pioneer Program to schools in order to receive feedback for future classroom use. MHA students and faculty are now part of that process.

What really motivated Mrs. Frain to bring the AR program into our school was watching videos of other students using AR in their classrooms. She remembers one student in particular working on the heart calling out, “That’s inside of me!” We can present a book on the subject, even dissect a heart, but watching a pumping heart in front of us and realizing that it is a living thing, that’s special.

Mrs. Jamie Frain herself is quick to point out that, “Any opportunity we have to better students learning by bringing abstract ideas to life is worthy of exploration.”

Teachers at MHA are charged with bringing 21st Century Learning into the classroom. Opportunities such as this one offer skills such as collaboration, communication, creativity, and let students be the explorers of their own learning. As groups of two to three students gather together and discuss what they’re seeing, how it works, they are living out 21st Century Learning. Teachers guide them as facilitators roaming the room. This is the goal of projects like these and others that currently go on at Mile High Academy.

To learn more, contact us at [email protected] or call 303.744.1069. You can also follow us on social media.

 

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