- 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.
- exposure to music, dance, voice, and other fine arts needed for performance
- community involvement
- relationship building with participants of all ages
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!
- 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.
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.
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!
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!