When we go out into the world, we learn not only on an intellectual level but also an emotional level. SCA scholars participate in fieldwork opportunities to help deepen their knowledge and make genuine connections to their community. Exploring our world and experiencing it physically, engages our scholars more deeply than any in-classroom experience can. We believe that fieldwork makes our curriculum come to life.
Our second grade scholars were the first to participate in fieldwork this year by visiting Valdosta State University's Planetarium. This visit provided a deeper look at the processes and attributes of the sun, moon, and stars, which is a focus of second grade science standards. The scholars had an amazing trip!
Please see below the comments from a few of our second grade scholars:
Jax: I love that I got to learn about and really see all kinds of stars.
Rayna: It felt like we were moving, almost like a spaceship. It really helped me understand it better.
Colby: We learned about the moon and that it sometimes looks like a face. We got to see the phases of the moon across the sky.
Sammy: I learned that the Big Dipper is part of a constellation.
Brielle: At the planetarium they showed us a lot of different constellations. Now I really like to go out and look for them at night.
What better way to learn about our world than to talk to the people in it? Imagine a group of scholars becoming researchers and making first hand discoveries as scientists studying their community. The next fieldwork opportunity will be a Community Helper Exploration Day for kindergarten. First grade will have the opportunity to visit the VSU Planetarium in October. In November, fifth grade will be visiting Citizen's Community Bank.
SCA recognizes the rich and meaningful opportunity for learning that occurs when it’s experienced outside of the classroom. All grade levels will have multiple opportunities for fieldwork experiences during the 2017-2018 school year. Our teachers and staff strategically plan to create experiences that will spark curiosity and learning in a way that is unrivaled by what goes on in the classroom.
We will be sure to keep you posted on all the fun and learning from our upcoming fieldwork!
To the average person, this picture may just look like children playing with pattern blocks but to me it was so much more! This activity is included in “Toys and Play,” our first EL module, where students are learning how to work together, play together, and take care of our materials as they become play experts! Our EL curriculum gives children a chance to play and explore while also teaching our scholars the importance of having good character.
At the beginning of the year, sometimes it is hard for me to let go and just let the kids explore, but as they worked independently, the conversations I heard were incredible for nearly new kindergartners! So I decided I need to write them down and share them with the world. Here are just a few of the conversations I overheard:
"I love what you are making, what do you think if we take mine apart and we make yours bigger?"
"I will be happy to share my green piece with you because I see you need just one more."
"Yours is so cool! Can we make something together?"
I even had an entire table realize, on their own, that they could put all of their pieces together to work together and make something really amazing!
Now don't get me wrong, this was a learning opportunity and I did have a few scholars who initially wanted to snatch from others. I stepped in and helped to problem solve, but later in the day, one of the children that was snatching came to me and said they needed to apologize to the person they snatched from and their entire class! I realized that these little minds at work today will most definitely contribute to making our world a better place in the future!
Joanna Richardson, Kindergarten teacher
Welcome to the 2017-2018 school year at Scintilla Charter Academy! We are honored that you have chosen SCA for your child’s educational experience. For those of you who are new to our school, this year marks the beginning of our third year, and we feel confident it will be our best year yet!
Currently, SCA is at full enrollment capacity with a waiting list of over 80 children. SCA’s vision and mission incorporates diversity, and we are proud to have a well-rounded student population with services and programs that allow every child to succeed. For those of you who have family or friends interested in attending SCA, our annual application window will be held in January followed by a lottery for available spots which will be held the beginning of February.
If your child was in the third or fourth grade during the 2016-2017 school year, his/her Georgia Milestones test scores have been shared with you via Monday folders. The amount of progress our scholars made on the GMAS is extremely exciting! The percentage of third grade students scoring proficient and above in 2017 compared to 2016 increased by 87% in English Language Arts and 201% in Mathematics. Fourth grade students scoring proficient and above in 2017 as compared to 2016 increased by 72% in English Language Arts and 42% in Mathematics.
With that being said, SCA is not a test-prep or test-driven school, we believe that our job is much broader than preparing kids for a test. We are preparing our scholars to do well in college, in careers, and in life using an expanded view of student achievement through the EL Education model which serves as the essential framework for our school. SCA believes that student achievement encompasses three dimensions: mastery of knowledge and skills, an embedded character component, and the ability to produce high quality work.
It is evident by the sharp increase in scores that the EL Education model we implemented in 2016-2017 is working to improve scholar achievement through the use of innovative content-based teaching and a deeper learning approach. This approach, combined with a focus on character and producing high quality work, is what SCA feels every child deserves and needs to be successful. During the 2017-2018 school year, SCA will expand our implementation of the EL Education model to include multiple components that were not included in our first year of implementation. One of these practices includes the opportunity for our scholars to share their work with a public audience. SCA will host Celebrations of Learning as a culminating event to recognize and showcase what our scholars have accomplished during each quarter. Our first Celebration of Learning will be held on Tuesday, October 17th. Please mark your calendar and look for details in Monday folders in the next few weeks. This will be an amazing event you will not want to miss!
As we begin a new school year, we encourage you to get involved! The involvement and engagement of our families is essential to SCA’s success! Volunteer to read to your child’s class, look for opportunities for school wide volunteer support at www.volunteerspot.com, and/or join and get involved with SCA’s extremely active PTO.
Once again, we are thankful you have chosen SCA, and we are excited to have you as part of the SCA family! Please feel free to reach out to our teachers or administrators with any questions or concerns you have at any time during the year. We look forward to another fun year of learning at SCA!
Mandy Avera Amanda Miller
Dean of Students & School Support Director of Academic Enhancement