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Director's Blog

February 17, 2016
by: Ted Hamm

Charter Contract Renewal Update

Dear Parents, Students, Staff, and Friends:

Much has occurred since I last posted to the blog, and I would like to provide an update on what has occurred. First of all, many have asked when and where next meeting is. The Board of Education will review the contracts and likely take action on the contracts Tuesday, February 23rd at 6:00 pm. The meeting will take place in North High School’s Commons.

I know not everyone is familiar with the events that have brought us to this meeting, so I want to use this as an opportunity to bring people up to date. On Tuesday, February 9th, the charter school contracts that govern IDEAS Academy, The Mosaic School, and The Elementary School for the Arts and Academics (ESAA) were up for renewal in front of the Board of Education (for more on the contract renewal process and the contract, check out my previous blog). After reviewing the documents and asking some questions, the board decided to table the motion to approve the contracts until February 23rd. The board then directed the administration to come back with new documents better detailing the attainment of the contracted goals.

In the last week, I have met with a number of parents and students to discuss their questions. On Friday, I invited all of our parents to a coffee at Paradigm to discuss any questions they might have had about the February 9th board meeting. We had about 20 parents attend. Many parents expressed their frustration with how our schools were characterized at the meeting and wondered how they might express their frustration. Additionally, I have been asked to clarify, via blog, the information the board has requested. As I have reflected on the conversations last week, I am preparing a few blogs leading up to the February 23rd Board Meeting that will address our contract goals, our approach to math education, our accomplishments, and where we are going as a set of schools. It is my hope that this will help you put a complete picture together of our schools ahead of the board meeting.

As we move ahead, I want to make sure that everyone understands this is not a “save our school” campaign. I am confident that our contract will be renewed. We, like any organization, have strengths and areas we need to address. We use a continual improvement process to address these concerns. In upcoming blogs, I will share my reflections on what our strengths and our identified areas for growth and improvement.

I appreciate the comments, questions, and support from all of you over the past week. Please continue to contact me with those comments and questions.

Sincerely,

Ted 


February 6, 2016
by: Ted Hamm

Charter Contract Renewal

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Dear Parents, Students, Staff, and Friends,

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January 31, 2016
by: Ted Hamm

Charter Contract Renewal

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Dear Families and Supporters,

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January 3, 2016
by: Ted Hamm

Raising Funds for our Students

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Creating opportunities for our students that enrich the school day and expand learning beyond a traditional model has always been core to our schools. We believe that in order to create high quality learning for our students we need to get them outside of the traditional classroom, bring professionals into the classroom, and provide opportunities for students beyond our own schools. To help us accomplish this, we have created the Étude Sessions as a way to raise funds for our school while enriching our own community by bringing high quality music to our community. This week is will be a big week for the Étude Sessions and our ability to fund these opportunities for our students.

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December 14, 2015
by: Ted Hamm

Simply, Thank You

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Dear Families, Students, Staff, Supporters, and Friends

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November 29, 2015
by: Ted Hamm

Presentations of Learning: Thoughts as a Parent and Advisor

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Dear Families,

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November 25, 2015
by: Ted Hamm

Have A Playful Thanksgiving!

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As we head into Thanksgiving weekend, I want to wish everyone a playful Thanksgiving and encourage everyone to take time for a little free play. Free play is cited has helping build resilient children in a recent article titled, "How Free Play Can Define Kids’ Success". The article points out that creative play can help our kids develop resiliency by developing:

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September 1, 2015
by: Ted Hamm

First Day Reflections

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If you set up the right conditions in a school amazing things can happen. Today was one of those days at Mosaic. This year, we opened the school year with mini projects. The remarkable thing I observed today was our students’ ability to provide insightful observations, work collaboratively, and present their ideas in front of others. If today was any indication of the year we will have, it will be a great year for learning using the creative process.

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August 30, 2015
by: Ted Hamm

Creating Space and Time to Establish a School Culture

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The first week of school is an opportunity to convey our beliefs and expectations not only through our words, but by what we do. Since the inception of the Étude High School, we have put a great deal of time and thought into how we start the school year - involving students in the processes of creating our school culture and engaging in the intellectual work we expect of them. It is through these actions that we initiate a strong school culture and an in depth intellectual culture.

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August 1, 2015

Welcome Back Night

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Summer learning looks different for all of us, and as part of The Étude Group schools it is exciting to see how each experience of observing, playing, wondering, creating, and exploring that happens in the summer will enrich learning this school year. We hope to start sharing these stories and reconnecting at our "Welcome Back Night."

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