October 2011: Volume 2, Issue 2

Concept Professional Development Days  


South Ohio PD Day- Oct. 21, Columbus, OH


North Ohio PD Day- Nov. 23, Cleveland, OH


Ed. Workshops at www.ber.org



Dayton HS Students Wow Across the Board.

English teacher Allysson Vallieu encouraged students to enter a poetry writing contest.  The results? They won! Students took 1st, 2nd and 3rd places in poetry & 3rd place in the short story division. Check it out here.

Gateway Students in Poetry Contest


Watch these must see videos featuring Gateway students reading poetry with teacher Gwen Savens' commentary.


Poetry Contest 


Poetry Reading 

Spooky Chemistry at HSA Cleveland High School
school pumpkin2

Don't miss the Oozing Pumpkin chemistry experiment.
HSA Cincinnati Awarded NEW Telescope


Mr. Archibald & Ms. Thompson from HSA Cincinnati pose with the school's new telescope. They were awarded the telescope through participation and graduation from the Cincinnati Observatory's Young Galileo program.

Environmental Club: Teamwork and Excellence!

The environmental club at HSA Cincinnati pick up litter and plant foliage to help make their school a more beautiful, welcoming part of the community for students and families to enjoy every day.

environmental club

Mayor of St. Louis Recognizes Gateway Science Academy


Mayor Francis Slay of St. Louis recognized Gateway Science Academy (GSA) for its success in 2011 Missouri Assessment Program as GSA was one of the highest performing charter schools in St. Louis in its first year. Mayor Slay presented an award to the Board President of GSA, Dr. Kemal Akkaya in a reception on October 7, 2011. For more information please visit GSA's web site .


Upcoming Conferences


National Council of Teachers of English Annual Convention - November 17-22, Chicago

Northwest Ohio Center (NWO) Symposium on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Teaching Saturday, November 5, 2011, Toledo, OH

Fall Ohio Music Education Association (OCMEA) Conference

Saturday, November 12, Riffe Center, Columbus, OH

Michigan Association of Public School Academies Annual Conference - November 7-8, Detroit, MI

Leadership Update within Concept Family   


Concept Schools welcomes and congratulations Sherri Ripcho, Instructional Coach of North Concept Schools!   


Upcoming Student Events 


Don't let these fun and challenging opportunities pass you or your students by!


AMC 8 Registration - Tuesday, November 5, 2011


Math Counts Registration Date: December 16, 2011.


AMC 10/12 Registration - December 17, 2011



CONSEF Design Contest Deadline: December 17, 2011


Genius Olympiad Application Deadline: February 1- March 26, 2012


ISWEEP 3E Middle School Registration Due: February 24, 2012


Math League Registration Dates

6-8th Grade January 31, 2012

Algebra Course 1

February 28, 2012


CONSEF Registration Deadline: February 23, 2012 (Event date March 3, 2012) CONSEF on web 


CS Spelling Bee - Friday, February 17, 2012

4-5th Grade February 28, 2012


ISWEEP Application Deadline: March 2, 2012 (Event Date May 2-7, 2012) ISWEEP on web


CS Math Olympics Registration Deadline: March 2, 2012.


CS Writing Contest - 4:00 pm (CST) March 16, 2012


CS Spoken Word - Friday, March 30, 2012


New Group Emails   

A group email list has been established for each content area in each region - North Ohio, South Ohio, and West Concept. These email lists will be used for sharing best practices, asking colleagues questions, and generally keeping our peers updated with our classroom developments.


All teachers should

have received the notification of these lists by now. If not, please notify us.


Academic Web Pages


If you are interested in learning more about Science, Match and English, please check out these links:  

Science  Math  English  


Students Jump Into Reading With F.R.O.G. Program




This year at Horizon Science Academy Springfield, students and teachers join together in making every morning rich in reading.  Starting at the beginning of this academic year, administrators established a daily reading program they are calling F.R.O.G. (Focused Reading Opportunity for Growth).  This program consists of a 20-minute daily block of reading during which all students and teachers engage in reading for pleasure.

   frog reading      reading 2 









Not only do students get the pleasure of starting their mornings off with good books, they also receive incentives for their hard work including frog stickers and plastic frog toys, all fitting with the engaging program theme.  Springfield's hope is that, as research suggests, this regular opportunity for reading will help students build their reading skills and make them lovers of literature.

Captain Energy Powers Through HSA


Captain Energy took time away from saving energy waste around the world to visit Horizon Science Academy Dayton Elementary students on October 6, 2011 to promote energy conservation. His high flying style electrified Kindergarten through 2nd grade students, emphasizing ten basic tips to save energy and money around our homes. Sponsored by the Community Action Partnership Committee of Dayton, Captain Energy, along with his assistants Mr. Watt and Ms. Power, gave out t-shirts and goodie bags to all HSAD students. A big thank you to our newest favorite superhero!

   captain energy        superman

Colorful Message: Reach for Peace


In a recent discussion on social issues, CMSA 7th graders agreed we are in need of more peace. Students came up with messages to promote peace and designed them into construction paper arms to inspire everyone to "Reach for Peace!" Thank you students and Visual Art instructor Masooma Khan for the creative, important message.


Ivy League Mentorship Program


In addition to our college prep curriculum, all 23 schools serving grades 6 through 12 in Concept's network have started the Ivy League Mentorship Program (IMP). Schools first invited potential candidates and their families to the introduction of IMP. The mission of IMP is to empower and enable more students to reach top colleges and universities. Program selection is based upon current grade point average, teachers' recommendations and an exemplary score in MAP (Measurement of Academic Progress) Test by Northwest Education Association.

ivy league


School of Promise 4 Years in a Row! 


Congratulations to HSA Cleveland for being recognized as a School school of promise
of Promise four years in a row based on the most recent state report card.  The Ohio Department of Education hails the school's suc
cesses in closing the mathematics and reading achievement gaps for students who represent a range of socioeconomic and ethnic backgrounds.  


Although more than 40% of Horizon Cleveland High School students come from economically disadvantaged families, they outperform their counterparts in state tests, ACT/SAT, and college acceptance. Thank you for setting a strong example to students, educators, parents and the community and for your dedication. 


FREE Parent Workshops

Most Concept Schools offer free courses or workshops to parents at our schools. What does your school offer parents for "parent development?" If you have not started any free parent workshops, please do so.


Assessment Update: PI Scores Achievement Test in Ohio  

PI scores
The table above shows the Performance Index scores of the 1st Concept Achievement Test in Ohio. These results show the level of our students as of now. We are happy to see that most of our schools have started a little better than last year which shows that we may expect better results this year.
Atlas Update: Qualities of a Model Weekly Plan


  • Unit Calendar - Broken down into weekly units.
  • Standards - Includes Common Core (CCSS) in addition to any necessary state or college readiness standards.
  • Essential Questions - Includes a question for each day or entire week.
  • Content - Includes a short overview of the week. This is a helpful introduction for other teachers.
  • Skills (Objectives) - Includes a small set of skills on which to focus.
  • Lessons - Each day's lesson is explained; instructional strategies are shown.
  • Assessments - Includes types, standards and ideally attachments of the assessment.
  • Unit Reflections - Includes thoughts about what worked and what can be changed next time.

If you feel you still need additional training, please visit your Atlas page and click on "Training Checklist" under "Info".

 Also New in Atlas- Check it Out  

  • Forums- They are easier to access, and categories for all content areas have been added. Be sure to stop by and jump in on the conversations.
  • Academic Vocabulary- This section is to highlight targeted vocabulary for each weekly unit.
parents essay

 Encourage parents to compete in the 1st Annual Writing Contest for Parents! They will choose a prompt and use storytelling skills, personal experience, honesty and creativity to create a compelling essay that celebrates your school.  Don't forget to tell parents and students about the attractive prizes. Entries must be received by 4:00 p.m. (CST) November 1, 2011.


For more information, visit Concept Schools' website here.



 CSSIS keeps improving daily.  Here are some new additions and changes: 

  • Transcript module is now fully functional with addendum, assessment and activity features.
  • K2 report card has a new format which is able to show all quarter grades at once. 
  • All report card pages and progress report pages have been combined under one page with many options to choose from.
  • New student portal will be deployed this week with a new face and features.
  • GPA report now shows the "as of GPA" of the selected students. One may get the GPA report of the selected students as of a selected date.
  • Students are able to see their very current progress report now.
  • School profile page has the school pledge now.
  • Many pages and reports have been reformatted with a better and cleaner interface.
  • Many minor bugs have been fixed and improvements have been made throughout the system.

For any kind of questions, feedback or comments feel free to contact us through the support link in CSSIS.


Books You Don't Want to Miss

 k-12 science book

With 101 easy and inexpensive activities to do on school grounds, Schoolyard Science can help students develop their observation and inquiry skills as well as an appreciation of their outdoor environment. 


Author Michael Horton promises that students who conduct HS science bookthe labs in Take-Home Chemistry as supplements to classroom instruction will enhance higher-level thinking, improve process skills, and raise high-stakes test scores. 


elementary science bookFor the littlest scientists, the whole wide world can be a laboratory for learning. Nurture their natural curiosity with A Head Start on Science, a treasury of 89 hands-on science activities specifically for children ages 3 to 6.







  • Research shows that what matters most is the quality of regular classroom instruction.
  • The more that schools can get students to engage in good academic behaviors, the better their ACT scores and their students' likelihood of succeeding in college.
  • Ultimately, there are no quick fixes to bring about high ACT scores. What matters is the quality of instruction and students' engagement in their classes. Furthermore, the responsibility for developing students' academic skills to do well on the ACT cannot wait until the eleventh grade. A multipoint boost requires change in instructional practice at all school levels.
  • Schools that are able to develop a college-going culture where students see the work they are doing in their classes as preparation for the future show larger improvements in scores on the ACT tests.

Teachers, who need training and/or support, could register one of the College & Career Readiness Workshops online here.