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Thank You to Our Teachers!

As we wrap up the 2016-2017 school year here at All Saints Academy, we can’t begin to convey our gratitude to each of our educators.  From our devoted Preschool teachers to our high school professors to our team coaches, the teachers at ASA are the very best, and they are the heart and soul of our school.
Teachers work tirelessly, often behind the scenes, and their hours are rarely clearly defined.  They show up early to decorate classrooms, head home to grade papers after their kids are in bed, or come in on the weekends to prepare the perfect activities to help each of their students succeed.  It takes a deep passion to be able to show up each day and not only teach facts, but instill a love of learning in each individual student that comes through their classroom door.  Teachers at ASA do this and more, as they go beyond the textbooks and the curriculum to bring subject to life for their classes. Students at All Saints go far because the teachers take the time each year to prune and shape and lovingly care for that love of learning to keep it growing and maturing into high school.  Because of this, our teachers are impacting lives far beyond our campus here in Central Florida.  Our students go on to change the world around them, largely because they have a lifelong love of learning that keeps them pursuing their dreams and meeting their goals.  Our teachers will never fully know the far-reaching benefits of what they do each day, but our goal is to do our best to show them!

Help us thank our teachers for another great year here at All Saints as you say goodbye for this school year.  We enjoyed a wonderful celebration with each of our instructors at our Teacher Appreciation event in Lakeland this past week.

Thank you teachers for ALL you do!

Getting Through Finals 101: Taking Care of Yourself at The End of The School Year

The 2016-2017 school year is almost over, and here at All Saints Academy students in the lower school and upper school are enjoying end-of-the-year activities, finishing up lessons, and working hard to do well on their last tests and exams.  Older students are feeling the pressure of finals, and while we know they are all more than capable of doing an exceptional job on any academic test thrown their way, we understand that these tests can be stressful or cause some anxiety.  When you pair this with long hours spent studying, students can quickly become drained and that can affect not only their mental abilities, but their physical ones as well.

We want to see our students head into summer with plenty of energy and a clean bill of health, and self care is an important part of that!  Here are some tips for staying at your best in the midst of final exams and end-of-the-school-year busyness.

1. Drink plenty of water!  Staying hydrated is key, all day every day.  If permitted, keep a bottle of water with you throughout classes and exams, and make it a personal goal to drink a minimum of the recommended 64 ounces each day.  Your body will thank you!
2. Brain food isn’t the only food you need.  Skipping meals to study or living off of granola bars won’t get you very far.  Opt for healthy, filling breakfast choices to give you a great start to the day, and attempt to eat small meals or healthy snacks every 2-3 hours to keep your blood sugar up and your energy high.
3. Rest, rest, rest.  We can’t stress the necessity of getting plenty of sleep enough.  While studying is important, staying up all night in the books will adversely affect your test-taking skills and could cause more harm in the long run.  Aim for a (relatively) early bedtime and aim for no less than 7 hours of sleep if possible.
4. Relax.  Whether you enjoy going for a run, reading a good book (for pleasure), or simply spending time with friends, take time for yourself and relax during the period of test taking this year.  If you focus on other things outside of your schoolwork, in moderation of course, you will be giving your brain a much-needed break and that can help a lot with exams of all kinds.
We hope these tips offer some help as you head into the end of the year!  The same rules apply for parents, since we know you are behind your student 100% and will be just as busy as they are during these last weeks of school and extracurricular activities.  Let’s finish the year strong at ASA!

Summer Plans Simplified: Preparing for Your Summer Vacation

Summer break is right around the corner here at All Saints Academy, and once school ends, the fun of traveling, relaxation, and making memories with your family begins!   However, if you aren’t prepared ahead of time, summer break can easily be frustrating due to a change in routine and lack of structure.  You can avoid this headache by establishing a loose “game plan” for your break, so you stay on top of vacation instead of heading back to school in the fall more exhausted than you were at the beginning of summer!

Here are our top 3 tips for planning ahead for summer break 2017:

  1. Organize your calendar. Whether you use a digital calendar or app on your phone, or an old-fashioned desk calendar, making sure that your days/times/appointments are written down in one place makes it much easier to plan out your summer. For example, you don’t want to plan a 2 week trip when you have long-awaited dentist appointments scheduled for your kids. Additionally, activities like summer camps and travels need to be mapped out carefully so as not to interfere with each other, or with the first day of school starting back up in the fall.
  2. Continue learning at home! Just because school is over for summer, your child’s education is not. Enhance your child’s learning with educational camps (such as those offered here at ASA), art classes, music lessons, educational trips, etc. Also, encourage daily reading for your kids. They can choose the materials (as long as they are challenging and at least on grade level) but require a minimum amount of time spend in books each day. This will keep their brains engaged and will make the transition back to school at the end of summer much easier.
  3. Make a bucket list! At the beginning of summer break, have each of your children make a bucket list for what they’d like to accomplish over the coming weeks. They could be simple, individual goals (like perfecting their free-throw, or beating their own running time) or an activity for the whole family (like a trip or a local outing), but take the time to sit down and discuss each child’s list as a group. While you might not accomplish every single item on each list, you can condense the lists down to one master family list, and work hard to check off the items over your summer break. It prevents boredom, and builds relationships within your family!

While we know it’s hard to stay engaged when summer is this close at hand, we encourage our students, faculty, and parents to finish the school year strong! We are so proud of our ASA students and all they have accomplished this school year, and we can’t wait to see what you do over the summer!

Stay Connected at ASA with A Swipe of Your Screen

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All Saints Academy is very open with our support and promotion of digital media and technology, both on our campus and in our curricula.  This support carries over to our school within the community and among our ASA families as well, through social media, our website, and even our blog.  No longer do you have to keep a printout of your child’s school calendar on your fridge or your desk.  You simply click the site and the calendar is always right at your fingertips, no matter where you are!  In this same way, our social media sites allow you to stay up to date with what’s going on at All Saints and communicate with other parents, students, and faculty.

Where can you look for All Saints online?

Facebook is our primary way to share ALL info about what’s going on at ASA.  Here we can create events for you to join, share photos, advertise for our school, and more.  We post on here consistently throughout the day so chances are you’ll find what you’re looking for!  Like our page, and our posts will show up in your own personal newsfeed as they go live, so you won’t miss out on anything going on at our school.  Find our Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/LetsGoSaints/.

Not a fan of Facebook, or don’t want to go to the trouble of getting an account?  We share school events, photos, and information about our school on our Google+ page daily.  This account is accessible without being a part of Google+ yourself, so you don’t have to commit.  Simply follow this link https://plus.google.com/117265607845281462002 to keep up with ASA!

Finally, if Twitter is more of your style, you can find us there too!  We share short updates about what’s going on at All Saints on our Twitter page each day, and it’s also a great way for us to connect with other Twitter users in the community.  Follow us at https://twitter.com/AllSaints_FL to stay in touch!

We can’t wait to hear from you, and interact with you through our online pages.  All Saints loves using the same technology we integrate into our school to connect with our families and our neighbors in the Polk County community.  Get on your phone, your tablet, or your computer and get connected with ASA!

Easter at ASA: What This Holiday Means for Our School

A Message from Father Rick during this Holy Week:

“Hallelujah Christ is Risen!  This two thousand year old greeting celebrates two world changing realities!  One, that Jesus/Yeshua is the long promised Lamb of God who takes away the sin of all humanity, including yours and mine… SO that Life that He had within himself and with the Father and Spirit, are now yours to learn how to live in.  Secondly, when He died, I died.  When he arose, someone new arose in me as well!  So, we get to explore what it feels and looks like for us to THINK, LOVE, PROBLEM SOLVE and CREATE FROM the ONE within.  This personal transformation remakes us to partner with the inner Presence and with each other to demonstrate heaven on earth…a very blessed Passover for all of us!”

What This Holiday Means for Our School…

With Easter break this long weekend, many of us who observe the Easter holiday appreciate this time with a sense of remembrance and thankfulness for what Easter Sunday and the week leading up to it represent for us personally.  While not everyone practices Easter for religious reasons, many of us here celebrate the holiday as a time to gather with family and enjoy traditions and time together, whether it be time spent dressing in your best and going to a church service followed by a lunchtime feast, or simply a Sunday brunch and egg hunt for the little ones (or big ones!).  At ASA, our school’s Episcopal heritage means our students learned about Holy Week, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday in our weekly chapel services and numerous classroom lessons. Visiting our Lower School, you will find the walls adorned with activities representing the meaning behind this special week. Our Upper School students have spent time discussing and studying these topics in some of their classes and in our chapel services as well. We are thankful for the opportunity to share in this time of learning altogether as a school body.
Our hopes are that your Easter Break will be a time of rest and reflection, and you will return to school refreshed and ready to finish the school year strong!

2017 Summer Camps at ASA

Now that Spring Break is behind us, many of us here in Polk County have summer on the brain, and we are gearing up for fun vacations with family, soaking up the sun, and resting up after another successful school year.  Many parents also use the summer months as a way to enrich their children’s educations with various camps and activities that continue the fun of learning outside of the classroom.  All Saints Academy is a popular choice for summer camps each year, because it allows children from throughout our community, whether an ASA student or not, to enjoy time with our fully qualified counselors and instructors, and spend their days on our campus.

Camps at ASA are of varying lengths, are open to differing age groups, and have an array of subjects and activities to choose from.  Our sports camps focus on soccer, football, cheerleading, or lacrosse and, depending on the sport, are offered to children starting as young as Kindergarten.  Pre-K and Kindergarten students can enjoy our day camps where they will participate in outside activities, arts and crafts projects, fun with friends, and more.  These camps also focus on Kindergarten readiness skills, so you know your child’s summer is being instrumental in preparing them for the following school year.

For elementary students and middle school students, our Recreational and Instructional camps are a huge hit!  Grades 1-5 can participate in Discovery Camps where we cover topics such as crime scene investigation, nutrition and health, space and planetary studies, and even physics.  Rising and current middle school students can choose from instructional camps focusing on engineering, drama, digital media, or even video game design.  The learning opportunities are endless!

If you are interested in signing your student up for one or more of our upcoming summer opportunities, check out our list and register your student here.  We can’t wait to see you this summer at All Saints Academy!

Be YOUR Best: Athletics at ASA

All Saints Academy is known throughout Central Florida for our pursuit of excellence in education by including the arts, science, technology, and intense mathematics into our rigorous curriculum from PreSchool through Twelfth Grade.  Our focus on excellence in every area of learning also includes our Athletics Department (found here), and we encourage our student-athletes to compete not against one another, but against themselves.  Our goal is for every young person to achieve his/her personal best as a student, an athlete, and a citizen in our society.

This encouragement brings about success in many areas, recently evidenced when our ASA football team won the state championships for our division here in Florida.  Our student-athletes regularly advance to district, regional, and state competitions and receive accolades and recognition for individual and team achievements.  Accomplishments like these not only benefit our school, but also each member of the team.  Winning games, qualifiers, and championships leads to being noticed by colleges and that has turned into scholarship opportunities for several of our student-athletes.

The key point we want our student-athletes to understand is that even their sporting abilities and gifts can be used to benefit those around them, and that pursuing their own personal best extends beyond a field or a court and will impact the rest of their lives.  We encourage all of our students to show support for one another and synergize whenever possible.  A great example of this idea is our upcoming Green-to-Green-Challenge.  This fun golf scramble allows our athletic department, students, and community to come together for a greater cause.  The tournament will raise money in support of our Athletic Department, and allow ASA to continue to provide top of the line equipment for our teams.  Our student-athletes, families, and YOU can play a part by supporting and/or participating in this event.

If you have questions about the athletics here at ASA, or would like to know more about our upcoming golf tournament, feel free to contact Coach Rob Hollway!  Thank you to all of our student-athletes and their families who spend hours on the road, in the bleachers, and on the field to make our school successful.

Go Saints!

Service Is Our Foundation: How All Saints Academy Impacts The Community

Here at All Saints Academy, it’s no secret that we strive for excellence in every area of education.  From incorporating fine arts into our program starting at the earliest elementary ages, to offering a wide variety of extracurricular options for our students, we believe that a rigorous curriculum, unique opportunities, and committed staff and educators produces students that are ready to not only take on the world, but change it for the better.  An equally important part of our mission here at ASA though is to develop a deep understanding of, and appreciation for, service within one’s own community.  For our students, that means not only serving here within our own campus parameters among their peers and teachers, but also out in the local Polk County community.

We are continually giving our students, families, and our own staff a chance to serve in various ways within our small region of Central Florida.  We have ongoing service options such as FCA (Fellowship of Christian athletes) where the principle of serving others is reiterated in their meetings, but we also participate in frequent service projects within the 16487259_10158176627875321_2601066545224601155_o.jpgcommunity.  In the month of February alone we had the privilege of partnering with KidsPack, an event organized by our 3rd grade students, faculty, and parents where we packed food for children in need.  We also hosted the “Sonatas on Sunday” event benefitting Strings in Need, an organization founded by one of our very own former students.  Throughout each year our middle school and high school classes participate in class service trips to offer assistance to a variety of areas in whatever way is needed, and these trips always leave a positive impact on those organizations and individuals receiving the help but also the students that are serving.

17240399_10158333759585321_6824815654098867614_oOne of the highlights of our year 2016-2017 school year thus far was recently hosting the Special Olympic games this past Saturday on March 11th.  We had 180 volunteers, and out of those 180, 120 were representing All Saints Academy.  We are so proud of our ASA families (moms, dads, children, and even grandparents) for supporting this event like they did, and rallying for such a great cause!  This special day was not only helpful to those participating in the games, but was inspirational, encouraging, and fun for those of us who were privileged to help out and support it.

All Saints Academy is thankful to be in such a wonderful area here in Florida, and it is an honor to give back in whatever ways we can.  We love seeing our students leave our school ready to change the world around them for the better, and it’s amazing to see the effects of our program reach far beyond Winter Haven.  Thank you to our students and families who make each and every service-related endeavor at ASA a success!

The Season of Lent at All Saints Academy

church-304637__340Today is “Ash Wednesday,” and thus begins the season of Lent.  We celebrated “Shrove Tuesday” with yesterday’s pancake breakfast at ASA in the Lower School Gathering Room, and we enjoyed a time of feasting before giving up pleasure and excess for the coming weeks of Lent.  Here at All Saints Academy, we try to focus on Lent as a time of self-introspection and bettering oneself by giving up either physical or emotional habits.  Ash Wednesday is the time when, historically, people took the time to recognize the less-than-attractive traits in themselves, and would represent their sorrow for these things by placing a mark made with ash upon their foreheads.  From this point on, until the end of Lent at Easter, people work at removing these traits and practices from their lives.

Giving up habits during Lent isn’t always a simple as it might seem up front.  While some people do choose to give up things such as entertainment, social media, purchases, or food choices (chocolate, coffee, or any other food that they feel isn’t a positive contribution), others take a more abstract technique in deciding what to give up for Lent.  Emotional habits can be just as harmful those that are physical, yet they often get overlooked when it’s time to celebrate Lent.

What are “emotional habits?”

How about choosing to give up negative thinking, and instead embrace a positive mentality?

What about giving up judgment of others, and instead choose to think the best of those around you?

You could choose to give up focusing on differences, and instead hold onto the idea of unity of life among all of us.

Selfishness, laziness, anger, depression and despair, and countless other traits can be given up for the season of Lent.  It depends on where you struggle, and how you feel you could become better for yourself and for those around you.  All Saints Academy encourages our students to continually focus on bettering themselves academically, socially, and emotionally for the greater good of the world around us.  We look forward to growing as a school during this Lent season, and enjoying the benefits of positive changes in our lifestyle.

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