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Celebrating Diversity at All Saints Academy

At All Saints Academy, we know that we are preparing students to enter a world that is increasingly globally-minded and connected. We. are fortunate to have a variety of cultures represented, both within our family community and on our faculty and staff. This provides a unique opportunity for our community to explore and celebrate the history, traditions, and customs of those cultures in an authentic and respectful environment.

One of the ways that we help create a global awareness is through strategic partnerships around the world, such as the one we share with the Nannestad High School in Oslo, Norway.  The Nannestad students work in tandem with ASA students to solve problems, brainstorm ideas, and collaborate to create solutions. These skills will be used in the future to impact the world around them. We look forward to hosting the engineering and tech students from Nannestad each year, and it’s always a delight to see our students meet their partners from across the ocean in person. We have enjoyed hosting these students this week, and can’t wait to see how the collaboration continues to grow.

All Saints Academy is proud to represent multiple cultures within our student body and staff, and we enjoy learning about the history, traditions and other elements of those cultures. It’s an honor for us to celebrate the diversity seen within our own school with events such as the Early Childhood International Morning and our International Festival, which take place at the end of this week.

The International festivities across campus will include demonstrations and presentations on the culture of multiple countries from around the world, represented with music, dance, entertainment, food, and more. Students from Pre-K to our 12th grade classes will have opportunities during to enjoy a wonderful day of learning and fun.  The International Festival, beginning at 12:30pm in the Jack M. Berry Gymnasium, is open for our full school community to attend and we hope you will consider joining us for an afternoon of cultural presentations and performances representing more than 20 countries around the globe.

We are thankful for the diversity of our All Saints family, and appreciate the unique blend of students, faculty, and families that makes us who we are. Our goal is for our students to impact the world around them, and developing a multicultural perspective is an imperative aspect to achieve that goal. We hope you will join us for Friday’s International Festivities, and we look forward to sharing the ways our students and community continue to connect globally!

Grandfriends Day at ASA! Celebrating Generations of Love and Support

Parental support for students is a topic widely discussed in the educational world today, and it’s no secret that students who feel supported by adults in the home perform better and more easily achieve success in their endeavors. However, support can come from many other avenues as well, and one major outlet for many students of all ages are grandparents, or “grandfriends” (older, influential adults in their lives). This support system is unique in that it offers children a broader perspective from someone who has lived longer, and experienced more, than younger influential adults in the students’ lives, and that is invaluable when teaching the next generation about the world around them.

There are many ways you can support this multi-generational influence in the life of your own child, including:

  • Scheduling time for your child(ren) to spend with grandparents. Whether this is a routine meal out together, having them visit on a regular basis, or planning activities for your child to do with them, be intentional in including the older generation in your daily life.
  • Finding “grandfriends” if your child is unable to interact with their biological grandparents due to distance or other circumstances. In your community, church, local clubs and organizations, etc. you can find older adults who would love the opportunity to spend time with the up-and-coming generation of young people. This could be a great time to not only benefit your child, but also brighten the days of someone who might not have grandchildren or family nearby who want to be involved. It’s a mutual benefit!
  • Encouraging attendance at events (like ASA’s upcoming Grandfriends Day) when possible. Your support demonstrates to your student that you value multi-generational involvement, and that people of all ages are important for learning and experiencing life.

Grandfriends Day is a beloved tradition here at All Saints Academy. We enjoy seeing multi-generational interactions amongst our students and their visiting family and friends, and we’re thankful to have the opportunity to show our special visitors how much we appreciate the support our students receive from them.

We look forward to welcoming grandparents and grandfriends to our campus for GrandsFriends Days later this week! Middle and Upper School students are celebrating February 15th at 2:00 PM beginning in the Pou Chapel, and our Lower School will be hosting GrandFriends on February 16th at 8:30 AM in the Lower School Gathering Hall. Mark your calendars and join us for a great time!

 

Now Open: 2018 Re-Enrollment at All Saints Academy

This week, on February 5th, we are kicking off our 2018 re-enrollment period here at ASA. All Saints Academy operates with two separate enrollment periods each year. The first, priority re-enrollment, is reserved for current ASA families to register their children for the upcoming school year before those seats are available to the public, ensuring that their child has a place. Once priority re-enrollment ends, enrollment will open up to the public. That means you can still find a spot for your student at ASA if you are already part of our school, but you will be doing so alongside new families who wish to join the All Saints family as well.
There are a variety of benefits to re-enrollment, not just for parents, but for our teachers and faculty as well. Open enrollment offers:
  • An estimate on what the incoming class for the upcoming school year will look like. By knowing which grades have more/fewer openings, we know how to tailor our efforts during open enrollment through marketing, Open Houses, and other community outreach opportunities to bring new students into our classrooms. Having an early estimate of what the next year will look like in regards to the student body is a huge help to the faculty here at ASA.
  • Help for our teachers when planning for their individual classrooms. Needed supplies, amount of space, number of chairs and/or desks, etc. are all dependent upon knowing how many children one will have in his or her classroom. Our teachers at ASA like to plan and prepare early each year, since their goal is to offer the very best to their classes on the first day of the next year. That planning begins before the previous year has ended, and our re-enrollment period helps immensely. Teachers will have a “pre-estimate” of the number of children in their classrooms, and that is a huge factor in preparing for the upcoming school year.
  • An idea of how many “extras” are needed. From sports, to arts, to clubs and activities, we pride ourselves on an extensive extracurricular selection at All Saints Academy. These electives take effort and time on the part of staff, coaches, and other leadership though, and being able to plan early for them is important. An early opportunity to know how many potential students we could have will help us as we plan for the learning that will take place outside of the classroom.
As we embark on re-enrollment this year, we encourage you to take advantage of our priority re-enrollment period, and secure your spot for the 2018-2019 school year. While you’re at it, share your ASA experience with your friends and neighbors. Getting them excited about open enrollment could be all it takes to make sure their children are next to your own on the first day of classes next year. We are ready to make this the biggest, and best, school year yet.

All Saints Academy Named 2018 Winner of the National FETC Excellence in STEM Award

At All Saints Academy, STEM learning is an integral part of our curriculum in all Divisions, starting in Early Childhood and continuing through our Upper School. We feel strongly that preparing students with strong fluency in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics will better prepare them for the world into which they will enter. Additionally, as we help them gain these skills, students are also exercising their skills in collaboration, creative problem solving, innovation, and communication, all of which are invaluable as prepare for success in college and beyond.  We have intentionally increased our focus on STEM areas in recent years, proactively seeking opportunities to both enhance our programming and highlight the work that our faculty and students have done.

Last week, All Saints Academy’s efforts were recognized with the STEM Excellence Award for high school at the annual Future of Education Technology Conference (FETC). This national award was presented to a cohort of faculty and administrators in recognition of our Innovation Studio curriculum and our partnership with NuVu Cambridge.  During the presentation, a video compilation of our Fall 2017 Exhibition was displayed for the audience of several hundred attendees, showcasing our students’ work and the unique nature of our Innovation Studio curriculum. Following the award presentation, Mrs. Knowles gave a detailed presentation about our NuVu partnership and how we are inspiring independent thinkers, principled leaders, and humble learners at All Saints Academy.

We are honored to receive the national STEM Excellence award and are excited to see how this will have an energizing effect on our curriculum planning for future years. We deeply believe that the time our students spend in Passion Periods, Tech & Design, and Innovation Studios compliments our core curriculum to establish a learning experience that is unique to All Saints Academy. We are proud of the many ways our faculty draw out each student’s individual talents while also challenging the student to achieve his or her personal best. This drive, paired with state-of-the art learning spaces, like the Baldwin Center for Innovation & Collaboration, create an environment where creativity and innovation thrive.

In the coming year, we plan to expand our partnership with NuVu Cambridge and actively seek opportunities and experiences for our students that result in a transformational education, providing them with the tools and skills on which future success is based. At All Saints Academy, STEM programming is simply an extension of the extraordinary learning opportunities that take place each and every day.

Quality Education with Plenty of Extras: How Extra-Curricular Choices Are Different at ASA

Electives, co-curricular courses, and extra-curricular options are certainly not new concepts to enhance education; however, they can sometimes get pushed to the side or eliminated altogether in the wake of testing requirements or budget restrictions. At All Saints Academy, we recognize the importance of supplementing the core curriculum subjects of language arts, mathematics, science, and the humanities, with coursework that is integrated into the school day through electives and co-curricular options, plus opportunities for extra-curricular activities before and after school. These opportunities both play a major role in understanding and mastery of core subjects as well as allow a student to engage in their learning process in their own way while pursuing activities and experiences about which they are passionate to learn.

In support of this goal, we have tailored our class schedule to give students the opportunity to choose multiple electives, which provides them with exposure to an expansive array of topics to pursue, including fine arts (dance, painting, music, etc.), technology, athletics, and many more. Since electives give our students more chances to connect their in-class learning with hands-on experiences, we know that their education is being enhanced in the best ways possible.

In addition to electives, there are a variety of extra-curricular activities at ASA in which students are actively encouraged to participate. Students have the opportunity to strengthen leadership skills through various clubs and organizations, explore and enhance their talents in dance and theatre, and improve their performance in the athletic arena. Coaches and mentors are pro-active in establishing partnerships that will make the experience shine. For example, our Dance Ensemble students just had the honor of participating in Master Class dance workshops at the Walt Disney World complex, culminating in a performance in front of guests at Disney Springs. This provided the dancers with the opportunity to learn from new instructors and hone their performance skills — both of which helps prepare them for future success.

The best part about our extra-curricular options are they’re not just limited to high school students; dance, sports camps, the musical, and more, are all available for student participation in the Lower, Middle, and Upper divisions.
Are you considering All Saints Academy for your student this coming year? We would love to discuss the many options available, and create an educational experience uniquely designed for your student. Contact our Admissions team today and explore the many ways that electives and extra-curricular courses can enhance your child’s educational journey!  

ASA: The 2018 Merit Scholarship Competition

All Saints Academy is proud to offer an independent, college preparatory education of the highest quality in Polk County. As a school, we are committed to making the All Saints Academy experience accessible to mission appropriate students. We frequently reach out to the community to share information on the various tuition assistance and scholarship opportunities that are available. We feel fortunate to be able to offer these opportunities to families in our community, in recognition of a student’s hard work and dedication.

One example is our Merit Scholarship, which is awarded through an annual competition that is open both to students currently in our ASA family, as well as prospective students who would excel in an independent school setting.  The merit scholarship competition is for students entering the 6th or 9th grades in the upcoming school year, giving them the opportunity to compete with their peers through an exam created specifically for this contest. This exam is teacher-written to showcase students’ strengths and skills in both humanities and math. Top-scoring students will advance as finalists, and will then participate in a panel interview with select All Saints Academy faculty and administrators. In the end, multiple winners will be selected, and those winners will receive our merit scholarship and be invited to join the ASA family in the coming school year.

This year’s scholarship competition takes place on Saturday, January 20th. We look forward to seeing all participants at the scholarship competition on Saturday, January 20th. We wish the best of luck to all students taking the exam and can’t wait to find out who will be our next recipients of the Merit Scholarship Award!

Meet the New Staff at ASA: Getting to Know Coach Stuart Weiss

We are thankful for our excellent team of teachers, coaches, and staff that make All Saints Academy one of Polk County’s best educational opportunities. One of those valued team members is Stuart Weiss, our Athletic Director and Head Football Coach who joined ASA in the summer of 2017. From his first day as a Saint, Coach Weiss got to work to preparing the student athletes for a successful year. His efforts certainly paid off, as our Fall Sports teams had tremendous results, with a second Football State Championship title, and players from both the Golf team and the Swim/Dive team heading to the state level of competition. Not bad for the first semester at ASA!

So who is Coach Weiss? The son of a career military father, he felt a strong pull towards serving and protecting his community, and worked as a law enforcement officer for 20 years. Following retirement from the police force, Coach Weiss returned to school and earned a degree in religion and criminal justice from Liberty University.

Coach Weiss’s coaching career began at Cambridge Christian School in Tampa before continuing to Seffner Christian Academy where, along with coaching football, he taught PE, religion, and high school elective courses. He became president of the Sunshine State Athletic Conference and accepted the opportunity to serve as the Head coach of International Community School of Orlando. Through his work with the Sunshine State Athletic Conference, he worked with Coach Hollway and became familiar with ASA’s athletic program; that knowledge helped him hit the ground running when he joined the All Saints Academy family in July.

Coach Weiss and his wife, Joanna, live in Valrico and enjoy an active lifestyle with their 5 sons, ranging in ages from 8 to 27 years old. They enjoy family trips to the beach or the lake when they have down time. In his pre-coaching life, Stuart enjoyed racing cars. Some other fun facts about our own Coach Weiss:

When asked about plans for the future, Coach Weiss shared his excitement as our student athletes continue to represent the Saints with integrity and good sportsmanship – and he anticipates additional championships to come! We are thankful to have Coach Weiss here as part of the ASA family, and look forward to seeing our student athletes achieve excellence under his leadership.

Want to learn more about athletics at All Saints Academy? Check our our school athletics web site for information on coaches, teams, and upcoming competitions.

New Year, New Beginnings: Making 2018 A Great Year at ASA

Happy New Year to all of our ASA students, families, and staff! We are excited to see what 2018 holds for all of us here at All Saints Academy, and we want to encourage our students to think of this year as a time for a fresh start. This is a wonderful time for setting new goals, trying new things, and putting your best foot forward as we begin our second semester. We wanted to share a few habits to incorporate into your new year to make it your best yet:

  • Set up a new routine: Sometimes, a fresh start needs nothing more than a few adjustments to your schedule. Getting up 30 minutes earlier than you did last semester could be exactly what you need to make sure you can begin your day with a good breakfast, plenty of time to prepare for school, and much less stress than a rushed schedule caused by sleeping too late. Ensuring that you get enough rest is important too, so keeping a consistent and reasonably early bedtime is another great way to kick off the spring semester in the right way.
  • Branch out and try something new: While it’s great to have sports, clubs, and activities in which you are comfortable and experienced, there’s much to be gained by exploring new opportunities. This could be your year to step forward and try out for a new sport, pick up a new instrument, or join a new club. You never know what talents and skills might be revealed!
  • Be proactive and have a plan: Creating a plan and setting goals is key to building a framework for success, whether they be academic, personal, or (in the case of our graduating Seniors) professional. Take the time to write down your goals and place them where they will be a frequent reminder to keep you motivated as the semester progresses.
  • Reach out and expand your social circle: We are excited to have several new students join the All Saints Academy family this semester. Look for opportunities to get to know our newest Saints and encourage them to join in the many aspects of life at ASA.

We look forward all that the coming year holds for each of our students. All Saints Academy families know that faculty and staff are here to work alongside each student to ensure success on all levels, and we make it our own personal goal to see each child achieve his or her highest potential both in the classroom and out in the world.

Let’s make 2018 the best year yet at All Saints Academy!

Home for The Holidays

Christmas is quickly approaching, and All Saints Academy is bustling this week with students taking midterms, faculty completing first semester lessons, and preparation for the celebration of love, joy and peace with friends and family from far and near. We are enjoying the many visits from alumni who are back home for the holiday season and are looking forward to spending time with them at various school events and at our annual Alumni Holiday Party.
This year’s event will be held at Lakeland Brewing Company on December 22nd. We’ll be celebrating together from 6-8 PM in this fun venue right beside Lake Mirror. Come out and enjoy catching up with other ASA alum and faculty as we enjoy delicious food, a beautiful view, and the relaxing ambiance of Lakeland Brewing Co. Please RSVP to events@allsaintsacademy.com by Monday, December 18th so we can save your spot and add you to the guest list!
Another meaningful way for our alumni to participate in the festivities at ASA this year is by giving back to our school as we continue to serve the current student body and prepare future All Saints alumni. This year has been both wonderful and challenging so far, as we kicked off the 2017-2018 school year with Hurricane Irma and saw the beauty of our community rallying around our school amidst the damage sustained in the storm. Charitable gifts go a long way in helping us get return to normal, and therefore open our doors to even more students in the coming year. If All Saints Academy has touched your life, either as a student, parent, grandparent, or faculty member, and you feel led to give back this holiday season, visit our site for more information on how you can help us inspire independent thinkers, principled leaders, and humble learners. We thank you in advance for paying it forward and helping us continue to create a transformational experience for students.
Welcome home to our alumni, and Happy Holidays to our friends and neighbors from All Saints Academy!

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