News

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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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CHERISH Worship

This year, CHERISH worships have taken on a new vision for our students. Over the summer, Kindergarten teacher, Ms. Kate Kamarad, was moved to pray over the weekly Lower School (LS) CHERISH worships that bring the youngest in our school together at the end of the end of each week. She then brought her plan to the other LS teachers who jumped right into the idea.

The plan is to inspired our students to lead the worships themselves. These student led – service oriented meets are just what our little ones need to feel encouraged and inspired.

The first few weeks will be led by Upper and Middle School. Already, we’ve had Michael Brodis, a senior at MHA, telling his story and showing the LS students how to stand up and speak. This week, first grade led out in singing and prayer and three of our Middle School students gave the worship. It’s wonderful to see our youth take the stage with their stories and leadership. The confidence students show when they get up front lets our students know they can do it, too.

Going forward, our own LS students will take front and center with service projects, small group discussions, skits, and stories. How exciting to see every part of our school take a leadership role and show that have something to say.

Thank you, teachers, for showing the ultimate leadership by putting our students in the lead. Because when students take ownership of their stories, their learning, their God-given talents, they shine brighter.

After today’s Middle School worship, Kindergarten student, Emma, whispered to Ms. Kate, “Maybe next time we can be up there talking about Jesus?!” Exactly, Emma, that’s exactly what we want you to do.

We are all so excited to see our little ones stand up and lead!

(pictures and quote from Ms. Kate Kamarad)

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MHA “Houses” Build Community

Friday, August 24, 2018, kicked off the new “Houses” system at Mile High Academy. Intended to create community and a sense of fellowship within the school, each student was randomly inducted into their house with cheers, hugs, and decked out in their colors as a sign of their new tribe.

Each house represents values that MHA already incorporates every day into its teaching through CHERISH. With the house system, names, colors, values, all work together to unify students with their peers and teachers. For instance, the Red House is named Avodah and stands for honor and service in all things. The Green House is Veritas, its calling is integrity. The Black House is Asmund and it upholds the value of exploration. The Purple House is Leocor, with its strong name and pursuit of heroism. Each student is a part of a house with these strong values that they can internalize and uphold for themselves and their team. And overarching it all is CHERISH, incorporation all the values in one, Christ-centered, Honor, Exploration, Responsibility, Integrity, Service, Heroism.

Over the summer, faculty and staff met to go over plans for implementing the house system. Ideas for names, colors, how to engage students, were round tabled until everyone could agree on exactly how the system would work for MHA students. The faculty had specific goals for MHA students so it was important for everything to be planned perfectly.

From how students were introduced to their houses, confetti spilling from popped balloons, to Upper School students welcoming their Middle School team mates, each step was carefully orchestrated for maximum excitement. The cheers after each student was chosen into their house shook the gym. The school day ended with all houses playing games and eating cookies together.

For all of this to have its desired consequences, team work, growth, enrichment of school spirit, the buy in must be school wide. So, it’s not just students and teachers who are out there wearing their house colors, staff and administration all have houses to which they belong. And really, that’s what this is all about, belonging, because when a child knows they have a place where they can truly be themselves, truly belong, that becomes a safe place, a place they want to be. We want Mile High Academy to be that place for all our students.

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College Ready?

Mile High Academy is a college prep school. This means that your child will graduate with the grades, test scores, and skills required to enter college. But what does being College Ready mean? We often think these two are the same thing.

Well, at MHA we want our students to be both college prepared and college ready. This means that they not only have the academic skills but the social/emotional skills to enter college and the next part of their life journey.

A recent article from the New York Times put it this way, in “adolescence, we expect more initiative and investment regarding duties and obligations, but most parents don’t abdicate oversight altogether. In other words, the parent and adolescent co-own the adolescent’s responsibilities.

The most reliable signal that the transition to emerging adulthood has begun is evidence that the child has begun taking sole ownership of these responsibilities — independent of parental involvement.” (1) You can read more about what the New York Times has to say on the subject.

However, here’s what we have to say on the subject. At MHA we create an environment where responsibility is clearly articulated. The distinction between what is the student’s and what is the parent’s responsibility should always be clear.

Preschool through 5th grade is a learning curve of parents involved in the day to day details, folders going home, daily conversations with teachers. But heading into middle school, students start taking on their own schedules. Something as seemingly insignificant as a locker becomes ownership of property and responsibility for the care of it.

And yes, once they are in Upper School, there is a lot more responsibility on our students’ shoulders, but isn’t that what we’ve been preparing them for all along. After all, if your child can take advanced placement classes, can’t they handle the other responsibilities that come with getting ready to enter the world. We know they can!

If you ever have questions about how we prepare our students for the future, contact one of our amazing teachers.

 

  1. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/26/well/how-to-help-a-teenager-be-college-ready.html
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The facts are in on Real World Learning (RWL)

Real World Learning asks teachers to “guide” students through the learning process. Traditional teaching is re-framed in the context of a project that reaches out into the real world.

Projects within RWL do not mean just presenting a poster or speaking on a subject they learned about in class. Instead, RWL asks students to answer a “Driving Question”, open ended content that they must explore and delve into in order to become experts. This is done in collaboration with a team, guided by the teacher, is a sustained inquiry process that takes them until they have created a product that is authentic to the real world or the student’s life.

Check out more on RWL at milehighacademy.org/realworldlearning.

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Seventh-day Adventist Schools are a Network

There is a lot of discussion these days about “school networks”. The idea that we need to join other teachers and administrators in order to gain knowledge and inspiration to grow as educators. This is a great idea. (1-2) Working together, collaboration, is something we talk a lot about here at Mile High Academy (MHA). We work with our teachers and students to make sure they are great collaborators because this is a skill that is important in all aspects of life.

It is even part of the Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) educational philosophy, “Working together, homes, schools, and churches cooperate with divine agencies to prepare learners to be good citizens in this world and for eternity.” (3)

This spring, I had the privilege of attending graduation events at Mile High Academy and Vista Ridge Academy. Following these, I made it to the Grand Opening of the newly constructed Fort Collins Christian School. I had so much fun seeing great educators shine as they spoke highly of their students on stages where graduates in caps and gowns beamed. The Fort Collins event was a culmination of dreams and prayers. The smiles on everyone’s faces said it all.

These amazing schools are part of a larger whole, a world-wide network of Christian education that has been around since the first school started in 1853. (4) These are just three of the close to twenty SDA schools in Colorado.

So, while other schools have to work hard to find programs and communities with which to partner, here at MHA we have a partnership of 7,500 schools around the world. We can work together with 85,000 teachers across the globe to find out what works for them, how the world looks through their teaching eyes. That’s true collaboration.

This means, that no matter where you are in the world, there is probably a school with passionate and caring teachers, dedicated families, and a network of partners just waiting to add support for the mission of Christian education that prepares students for the future.

-Agape Hammond

  1. http://www.gettingsmart.com/2017/02/how-school-networks-work-and-why-thats-important/
  2. https://newtechnetwork.org/resources/network-effect-school-networks-future-education/
  3. http://adventisteducation.org/abt.html
  4. http://adventisteducation.org/stat.html

 

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Senior Events

Were you at the Senior events last week? Senior Blessing, Consecration, Baccalaureate, Commencement? Four events to send off our seniors into the world. Some say this is an excessive amount of events. We all end the the week on Sunday night, crash on our beds with a sigh and wonder how we made it through it all. And then we remember, each one was so amazing.

Senior blessing brings parents out to cherish their children with words of affirmation and prayers. Consecration is a night where students honor their parents sacrifices. The Baccalaureate is songs, words of wisdom, a whole congregation of love for our students. And finally, the night they have been waiting for, it all culminates as they walk the aisle in style, it truly is a celebration of their accomplishments.

If you have never been, come to a Mile High Academy celebration of seniors. It’s four days of caring, celebrating, encouraging, sending theme into the world in the best way possible, our arms wrapped around them as a whole community. We do it big and we do it well!

Check out the videos on our Facebook page and some of our pics here.

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Kindergarten Graduation 2018

This is a week full of milestones. Some we consider bigger than others. Last night, for instance, was the 8th grade graduation. Saturday night will be the Upper School graduation.

But for our Kindergarten parents, Tuesday evening was a milestone of epic proportions. Watching little ones march down the aisle poised and confident, step up to the microphone and pray, read, speak articulately. There was laughter and tears as the deepest thoughts of our newly minted first graders were read aloud. From the meaning of love to their biggest Kindergarten achievements, each Kindergartner shared a little of themselves with us.

So, it may have been a year of growing and learning for some of our littlest on campus but it may be that we learned the most on Tuesday night.

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Senior Walk 2018!

What has now become a tradition, the Senior Walk of 2018 went on with music, cheering, and high fives yesterday morning. Our seniors get to strut their stuff once before their big day next week when it all becomes official. Plus, they’ve completed they’re exams and are on their way to senior class trip, so this is a great way to blow off some steam and let loose with their peers.

This is a ceremony that includes the whole Mile High Academy campus as a way of sending off our seniors with great aplomb, letting them know that though they are leaving our campus, they are not leaving our hearts.

As they dress in their gowns, don their caps and march with swagger down the halls, our Preschool students all the way up to Juniors, high five and cheer their friends on to the next step in their journey.  And we know it’s going to be a great one, because each of our seniors has already made an impact her on our campus and is ready to make an impact on the world.

(pics: Becky Watson, parent of a graduating senior)

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