The Inaugural Post

As this is the inaugural post for this blog, I think it is appropriate for me to express how excited I am to get this off the ground.  I think this will be a great opportunity to provide information to the parents, guardians and other stakeholders who are interested in the activities, accomplishments and continued growth of the Charles R. Drew Charter School Senior Academy.

I am going to start the blog in the format that I use to send out information to our staff each week, but I am interested in feedback on how to improve the the blog to provide the most useful information in an easily accessible format.  As such, I have included three sections below – Shout Outs, Calendar and Announcements.  Please leave comments to let me know how you like this format

Shout-outs:

  • To Ms. White, Ms. Simmons, Ms. Cowart and Mr. O’Neill for organizing the junior field trip to the landfill this past Friday as an entry event to their interdisciplinary project on recycling
  • To Mr. Baker and Mr. Canney for the entry event for their first project, which introduced students to raw footage that they will edit into a commercial for the American Lit./Drama integrated course
  • To the volleyball team for winning their first game of the season in a nail-biter over Therrell on Thursday
  • To the following slate of Student Government Association officers who were elected last week:
    • Alvin Winston II – SGA President
    • Kendall Bean – SGA Vice President
    • Kaya Wright – 11th Grade President
    • Delshanee Martin – 11th Grade Vice Presidents
    • Noa Holloway – 10th Grade President
    • Jurnee Miller – 10th Grade Vice President
    • Trinity Mosley –  9th Grade President
    • Asia Foster – 9th Grade Vice President
  • To Coach Tracy, Ms. Miller, Mr. Cicero and the coaches for organizing our first pep rally on Thursday
  • To Ms. Kaney and all of the proctors for the mock ACT exam that was administered to all Juniors on Thursday
  • To Mrs. Ali-Ferguson for organizing the “A Day in the Life” Open House last Tuesday night
  • To the Junior Class of 2017 for stepping up to lead orientation sessions for the Freshmen Class of 2019 during the first two days of school
  • To Ms. Kaney, all of the staff and a few parents who supported in organizing Midnight Madness the first week of school
  • To the Band Booster Club, who hosted their 2nd Annual Pool Party at the YMCA Teen Center this past Saturday

Calendar:

  • Note: In the schedule below, you will see references to Flex Time.  Flex Time is a 65-minute period that occurs in the middle of the day with lunch.  This period is used for a variety purposes that are described below.
  • Note: I have included athletic matches in the calendar below, but will not always be able to update this blog with cancellations.  Please call the school to confirm.
  • Monday, August 17th
    • B-Day
    • Flex Time – Extended Learning (Students can work independently on homework, get help from teachers or collaborate with group members on their projects.)
    • 12:00-2:00 – Gifted Testing
    • 5:30 – Volleyball vs. North Atlanta [Away]
  • Tuesday, August 18th
    • A-Day
    • Flex Time –
      • Advisory (Students are grouped by grade level and paired with an advisory that will follow the for all four years.  These sessions include activities related to college and career readiness and social-emotional development)
      • Yearbook Pictures (Students must wear a blazer and tie in order to appear in the yearbook.  I have received considerable feedback about the challenges related to getting blazers.  So we will have another picture day in a few weeks to accommodate students who receive their blazers late.)
    • 5:00 – Softball vs. Mt. Vernon [Home – Southside Park]
  • Wednesday, August 19th
    • B-Day
    • 8:15-9:15 – SA Principal’s Coffee [Eva Davis Board Room] – Topic: Communication [See below]
    • Flex Time – Extended Learning
  • Thursday, August 20th
    • A-Day
    • Flex Time – Clubs/Organizations (During this time we offer 23 different clubs and organizations ranging from beekeeping to robotics.  These clubs provide additional opportunities for students to pursue their interests, often alongside staff members with similar passions.)
    • 5:30 – Volleyball vs. Washington and Riverdale [Away – Washington HS]
  • Friday, August 21st
    • B-Day
    • Flex Time – Trust Card Free Friday (Students who have their Trust Cards, ties and are passing all of their classes have the opportunity to work independently or in groups in the PBL labs and Learning Commons or visit the gym or athletic field.)

Upcoming Events  

  • Saturday, August 22nd – Road to East Lake 5K (Register at this link)
  • Monday, August 24th, 5:30 – Softball vs. St. Francis [Home – Southside Park]
  • Tuesday, August 25th, 5:30 – Volleyball vs. Coretta Scott King and Banneker [Away – Coretta Scott King]
  • Thursday, August 27th
    • 5:00 – Softball vs. Landmark Christian [Away]
    • 5:30 – Volleyball vs. South Atlanta and Carver [Home]
    • 6:00-7:30 – PTA Meeting [Theater]
  • Saturday, August 29th – Westminster College Fair for Juniors
  • Friday, September 11th – Full-Day Parent Teacher Conferences
  • October 15th, 4:00-6:00 – Quarter 1 PBL Showcase
  • October 28-29th – AdvancED Accreditation External Review Visit 

Announcements:

  1. Senior Academy Principal’s Coffee – The next Principal’s Coffee will be held this Wednesday from 8:15-9:15 in the Eva Davis Board Room. The topic for this session will be communication and we will specifically discuss the following communication channels:
    1. Echo
    2. Weekly Constant Contact emails
    3. This blog
    4. The new Drew College and Career Readiness website
    5. Naviance
    6. Remind (a text message alert service)
    7. The electronic marquis
  2. Student Laptops
    1. 9th grade laptops are now all in the building. We hope to have them imaged, labeled and deployed by the middle of this week.
    2. 10th and 11th grade laptops are available for students who have returned the Student Technology Handbook and User Agreement Acknowledgement.
    3. It is critical that students either bring their own laptop or use a school-issued computer to access Echo and complete their assignments.
  3. Technology Support – Having trouble accessing Echo? Email tech.support@drewcharterschool.org.
  4. CREW Teens Transition – Charles Allen, CREW Teens College Readiness Coordinator, ended his tenure with Drew Charter School effective Friday, July 24, 2015. Moving forward, Randie Henderson, our second College Advising Corps (CAC) adviser and former CREW Teens participant, and Kevin Parker will lead the CREW Teens Program. They will work closely with Rachel Kaney, Olivia Knight (CAC adviser) and the College Counseling team to fully integrate the CREW Teens Program with the College and Career Program.
  5. Uniform Policy – A copy of the 2015-2016 Senior Academy Uniform Policy is available at this link. I apologize for some of the challenges families have been having in getting items ordered, particularly blazers.   Below are some key points in the policy that families may not be aware of, but staff have noticed so far this year:
    1. Khaki pants and shorts should be plain, not cargo-style.
    2. White shirts should be button-down-style, not polo.
    3. Ties are required every day, but blazers are only required on occasion.
    4. Students only need to purchase their ties and blazers from the uniform store. All other items can be purchased at other stores.

A Quote to Think About – “Play is the highest form of research.” –Albert Einstein

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