Thursday, July 23, 2009

South Arbor is NHA 2009 "School of the Year"!

If you received your Final Enrollment Decoration this week, you've learned that South Arbor Charter Academy has been named . . .

* National Heritage Academy's 2009 School of the Year
* 2nd highest performing charter school in Michigan
* 1st among NHA's 57 schools in meeting annual growth target, with 181% typical learning growth
* 3rd among NHA schools in parent satisfaction.

Congratulations, South Arbor Community, on this achievement!

This last bulletpoint is something to consider. If you are unhappy with your child's academic performance or some other aspect of the learning environment, I'd like to encourage you to do a couple of things.

* Get involved. This is one of the distinctive features of charter schools -- they depend on parents (in and out of the classroom) to be an integral part of the community. If you wish your middle-schooler was reading more novels, start a book group. If you think your child isn't being challenged enough, make an appointment with your child's teacher and talk about what you can do to help. Join one of the committees -- Academics, Athletics, Library, or whatever your area of interest -- and come up with a plan. You'll be glad you did!

* Speak up. South Arbor is a great school -- but like any school, problems do arise. I recently became aware of one situation involving a teacher that undoubtly affected "parent satisfaction" in that classroom. The parent who told me about it was outraged -- but couldn't say whether the administration was aware of the problem. I told her to talk to the teacher, and if the situation didn't resolve itself, talk to the administration. They can't be held responsible for what they don't know!

* Be a good example. Consider how your own attitude toward learning in general and South Arbor in particular is rubbing off on your student(s). Do you speak negatively -- either to the child or in the child's hearing -- of staff, faculty, or other members of the South Arbor community? Do you give others the benefit of the doubt, and try to be an encouragement to those who are struggling? Do you take to heart the South Arbor Creed, and reinforce those "global virtues" in your own home? Repeat after me . . .

I am a South Arbor Parent!
I can make a difference by doing my personal best.
I will work hard, and practice good manners.
My heart believes it, my actions will show it!

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