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Producing Oklahoma! How YOUR Support Helped Shape the Performance

It’s no secret that the bi-annual All Saints Academy All School Musical takes a village (or in the case of this year’s show, a town) to pull off, and the 2018 performance was no different. Oklahoma! was a huge success and was enjoyed by all who were able enjoy the live action! While our multiple student and faculty cast members did an outstanding job with their singing, dancing, and acting, we realize that the success of the show relied just as heavily on the behind-the-scenes support received from family, friends, and staff in the weeks leading up to the show.
Many people don’t understand just how deep that support goes. For the all school musical to be successful, students are needed to spend long hours well into the evening each night leading up to the play. So much so that they wouldn’t even have a break for dinner…unless someone brings it to them. Special thanks to Aggy Tolentino for organizing meals year after year! Our theater parents always come through, and they never fail to sign up and provide food for all of the theatre performers, musicians, directors, etc. In addition, these same parents have to spend time hunting down specific makeup, portions of their costumes, driving their student(s) back and forth to multiple rehearsals and practice performances, and still mange to keep their families on the rigorous school schedule that is well-known (and appreciated) at All Saints Academy. As you can see, the ASA All School Musical is greatly tied to our ASA parents and ASA community.
We also owe a huge thank-you to the staff of ASA, from stepping up and helping with last minute things related to the performance, to giving students specialized help to keep up with their studies in the midst of preparation for Oklahoma! and other extracurricular obligations. We believe that the skills learned through participating in performances like our all school musical are a huge asset to our students, and help them grow in ways that enhance their education instead of hinder it. Our educators believe in supporting our students’ various talents and will work hard to make sure they keep up academically while still putting their all into their acting.
Oklahoma! was so much fun, and while it took a village to pull off, it was well worth the effort! Thank you again to all who made this year’s fun performance possible. Stay tuned to find out what the next theatrical production by ASA will be!

ASA Serves: Our 2018 Special Olympics

An important aspect of student life at ASA is cultivating a heart of service. Community involvement, volunteer work, and other service-based projects are an integral part of not only our core values, but also our campus environment and education. One of our greatest and most beloved ways of instilling this service-driven mentality into our students is by our annual hosting of the Polk County Special Olympics.
While there are many articles and posts written online about how the Special Olympics benefit and enrich the lives of the participants, we want to give you some insight on how it benefits our students as they serve and volunteer their time and efforts to make the event possible. There are so many wonderful outcomes from time spent volunteering for our Special Olympics including:
  • Learning to celebrate diversity. The Special Olympics give insight that people of all backgrounds, walks of life, and abilities have value and are fully capable of achieving their goals. It’s important for children (and adults) to recognize that we all have varying talents, looks, resources, etc. but we are all an important part of society and the world around us.
  • Aspirations to achieve goals. Our students get to see, firsthand, the goal-driven and inspirational personalities of the various participants in our Special Olympics event. These athletes overcome obstacles, statistics, life circumstances and more to achieve their goals and our own students come away inspired to do their very best and reach their goals as well.
  • Learning to have a servant’s heart. Learning to serve is an important part of learning to be a true leader. By participating in the hosting of our ASA Special Olympics each year, our All Saints students are learning to go through life with the mentality of serving others and enriching the lives of those around them, and that will spill over into their daily life with peers, family, and future relationships.
Thank you to everyone who came out and made our 2018 Special Olympics so wonderful. We are so appreciative of the hard work and countless hours spent by volunteers to make it successful, and we know all participants and their families are thankful as well. We are already looking forward to Special Olympics 2019!

Lights, Camera, Action: Why Theatre Is Important at ASA

All Saints Academy is known throughout the Central Florida area for our high standards in curriculum and education. Our students enter college and, eventually, the work force, with complete mastery of all core subjects needed for their respective fields. We are also intensely invested in the arts, including music, dance, painting, theatre, and more. Theatre is an especially beloved extracurricular at ASA, because it pulls together students of all ages, various faculty and staff members, and a variety of other resources from our school to put on performances of professional quality. Our bi-annual all-school musical is a favorite among ASA families and the community alike, and we’ve enjoyed some wonderful performances over the past few years, including “The Wizard of Oz” and “Oliver”, and we’re looking forward to the upcoming show “Oklahoma!” in March.
While theatre performance is fun, there are a plethora of educational and social benefits reaped by participating in the various shows we put on at ASA including:
  • teamwork
  • confidence
  • exposure to music, dance, voice, and other fine arts needed for performance
  • community involvement
  • relationship building with participants of all ages
These reasons, and more, are why so many of our students look forward to being part of the all school musical every two years, and from costuming and backdrop design, to actually being in the spotlight on stage during the final curtain call, everyone is vital to making the show a success.
If it weren’t for our theatre faculty here at All Saints Academy, the show just couldn’t go on, and two of our performing arts staff members are an integral part of each year’s various performances at ASA. Paul Hughes brings a background strong in performing arts, and has served as the Theatre Department chair at Lois Cowles Harrison Center for The Visual and Performing Arts in the past. Here in our own area, he has held the position of Artistic Director at the Lakeland Community Theatre, and Programming Director at The Polk Theatre. He brings lots of experience to the table and serves our school community with his skill in putting on a show that will be enjoyed by all. Elizabeth Burton is another key component of our theatre staff serving as a guest artist when we put on performances like our upcoming “Oklahoma!” show. She has years of experience as an actress, singer, dancer, and theatre coach and is able to offer a well-rounded performing arts education to our students who participate in performances at ASA. She has, herself, toured with major performances throughout New York, Boston, Chicago, and more, and can give students perspective from someone who is not only an instructor, but also a performer. Elizabeth is a Lakeland, FL native and has returned to her roots to educate students and help them reach their full potential. Finally, our very own Laura Hutson is providing all music for this event. We are proud (and thankful) to have her as the music teacher here at ASA, and she does a wonderful job instilling the love of music into our students of all ages. Her talent and the hard work of her students is sure to take the “Oklahoma!” performance over the top.
We look forward to seeing what our All Saints Academy theatre group has in store for us with the upcoming “Oklahoma!” performance. It’s sure to be a show you don’t want to miss! Join us at the Polk Theatre in Lakeland March 9th-11th. Tickets are on sale now, and are available in the school business office or at the box office on the days of the performance. We’ll see you there!

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!

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