I hope everyone has had a great start to the school year! I wanted to share a recent message that I received from one of our schools. We are looking forward to hearing stories of "Making a difference in our students' lives - one star at a time".
A Note from a Student to One of Our Teachers:
Thank you so much for these motivational speeches. It really speaks to me. I believe I am smart but I had lost all hope because of the current problems. It even got to the point where I was considering to dropping out. But your speeches helped me understand I still have a chance. I am working on becoming a better person and not letting my problems affect me. A child with big dreams and no confidence but I am working on it. Thank you, thank you. I wish more teachers took the time to do what you do! Thank you!
Please remember our focus this year
Better PD planning/delivery and mentoring
Better grading policy and accountability for students
Better instruction with more engaging activities (including technology integration and cross curricular activities)
ENGLISH EVENTS TO ENLIVEN LEARNING IN 2013/2014
Concept Schools will again manage 3 English events for our students. We encourage all our students and staff to participate in these exciting and real life experiences. The first event, the Concept Schools' Spelling Bee, will take place on December 7th in Chicago and this year's theme is Spellbound.
In addition, entries for our annual writing contest, themed Rally for Writing, will be due February 4, 2014 and last, but not least our speech and spoken word event will be held in Columbus, Ohio on April 12, 2014 and participants will create and prepare works around the theme Words on Fire. More information for the writing as well as the speech and spoken word competition will be forthcoming.
NEWS FOR EDUCATIONAL TECHNOLOGIES
Year by year Concept Schools are enhancing the learning experience for students. Last year we began with engineering electives (PLTW) and robotics clubs for middle and high school students. This year we have broaden our engineering curriculum to middle school (Gateway to technology -GTT) and our robotics clubs to elementary students.
Another initiative we are looking for this year is project based learning and technology integration in our schools. This year our main focus will be increasing the teacher collaboration and technology usage in classes. To support this we are acquiring more tablets and interactive boards as well as other devices for students' and teachers' use.
HISPANIC HERITAGE MONTH
Every year during
National Hispanic Heritage Month
(September 15 to October 15) we recognize the important accomplishments and essential contributions made by Hispanic and Latino Americans. It is also a time to highlight and celebrate the group's rich heritage and culture.
National Hispanic Heritage Month began as Hispanic Heritage Week (1969) under President Lyndon Johnson. President Ronald Reagan expanded the celebration to 30 days beginning on September 15th and ending on October 15th. September 15th was chosen as the start date because it is the anniversary of the independence of Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. As the month continues more countries celebrate their independence: Mexico and Chile September 16, and September 18.
Concept Schools College Counselors are excited to serve students in helping them get into college for a new school year.
2012-13 was a huge success with over a 90% college acceptance rate and $18,000,000 merit-based scholarships.
Concept Schools College Counseling System provides a unique approach on college counseling. Individual tracking system prepares each student for college with strong support and guidance.
Four year college plan for each Concept student draws a clear pathway and motivates students to believe college is not only a dream.
Here are the highlights of our success-guarantied 4-year college plan: College Writing and Path Course; One on one Meetings (Application, FAFSA, Final Decision); ACT Preparation and registration (3 practice tests); 8 Applications; 15 College Trips; 25 College Representatives; 10 Scholarship Applications; FAFSA Completion Days; Parent Nights; Internships and Volunteer Work; College Awareness Meetings, and College Fairs.
SPECIALIZED SERVICES ARE OFF TO A PHENOMENAL START
Four newly opened schools; talented, new staff; a new Director of Specialized Services; new understandings via professional development and team-building throughout 6 states in our Midwest regions; and positive communications for developing ourselves with newly formed partnerships.
Concept Schools Specialized Services staff continues to be data driven, child centered and compliance oriented. We share the commonality of being dedicated public servants for our unique stakeholders throughout diverse communities within the Concept Schools network. We do this through positive communication and effective case management. One of our charter's motto is, "Asking is better than guessing." We communicate effectively with one another, with liaisons throughout our regions, working together to solve problems, answer questions and demonstrate best practices for students who have wide ranges of abilities that require support in their learning environments.
THE IMPORTANCE OF MATHEMATICS COMPETITIONS...
In 2012-13, about 120 students from 13 different Concept middle schools participated in
competition, 600 students from 16 Concept elementary and middle schools participated in the
competition, 75 students from 7 middle and high schools participated in the
American Mathematics Competition (AMC)
and about 2700 students from 26 Concept member schools participated in
including Concept schools' Math Olympics 400 students who qualified for the paper based test in Chicago on April 20, 2013
We appreciate all our math teachers for challenging our students with these prestigious math competitions. Again this year, we hope to see all math teachers help increase their school presence at the various math competitions. We believe the key to success is to be certain our students are aware of all the activities that we offer.
Foreign language learners of different levels are taking the pre-diagnostic tests during the 3rd and 4th weeks of September. The students will take the same tests once again as a post-diagnostic test during the 2nd and 3rd week of May, 2014. This will show us how much they have improved from the beginning of the year to the end of the year.
ANNUAL CONCEPT SCIENCE & ENGINEERING FAIR
It is with great excitement that we announce the 11th Annual Concept Science & Engineering Fair (CONSEF). Last year more than 500 students from 45 different schools participated and we expect even more this year.
fair will be
held on Saturday,
March 22, 2014
Several Options for students are:
CS STEM EXPO: Encourages students
to apply knowledge and understanding of science, technology, engineering and math to conduct in-depth, "real-world" investigations.