Concept School Newsletter
The New Year is off to a great start here at TCS. We continue to look for new ways to improve the experience we provide our students. One way we are doing that is by offering new electives for the second semester that begin Wednesday, February 1. Students will be given schedules that include new classes for 7th and 8th periods on the morning of the 1st.
We are piloting a new web-monitoring program, Securly, on a few of our Chromebook devices. I sent you an email concerning earlier in the month. Based on how the pilot works, we may institute it on all student devices.
We held our first safety drill of the year on January 26th. As I mentioned in a previous email. all went well. I regret that the times in which we live requires us to do such drills, but we cannot wish away reality! Please know that the safety of your daughters and sons is a top priority to us at TCS.
Check out the article later in this newsletter about our school implementing some mindfulness training, along with study skills and health topics. I am hopeful that this will be a positive addition to our program and help our students be more focused.
I would like to update/revise our marketing materials and was wondering if any of our parents or friends have graphic design experience and could help me with the layout and design of a new brochure. Please contact me if you are interested in sharing your talents and skills.
Even though it is just January, it is never too early to begin planning for the summer. We would like to offer extra support to our students this summer to help keep their skills sharp. We propose the following:
If The Concept School needs to close due to bad weather, we will send an email via Constant Contact, post a banner on the top of the webpage, and post it on NBC10’s website. Make sure you have shared any email address changes. You can also sign-up to get a text alert from NBC10 when we post a closure.
When students in Ms. Saunders's English classes finished reading Schooled by Gordon Kormon they didn't take a test! Instead students showed their understanding by choosing a project to show their comprehension. Projects included creating a movie poster, building diaromas and blueprints of a setting, illustrated major plot points, wrote letters to the author, created an alternative ending, some even created a "Fakebook" page for characters in the book. Students really showed their creativity side with their projects! The next novel they will be reading for the 3rd Marking Period will be Tangerine by Edward Bloor.
The Studio Arts classes just completed a unit studying the art of Pablo Picasso. After learning about his life and why he was so influential (the father of modern art and co-founder of the Cubist movement with Georges Braque), the students established an appreciation and initial understanding of the complex concept of abstraction in art.
The young artists utilized the “grid method”; learning how to enlarge a piece of art by hand. Each student was responsible for one section of one of Picasso’s greatest works. Working in groups and individually, the students relied on each other to establish correct enlargement, proportion, stylization, color story and technique for their piece of the mural.
Using colored pencil, the 8th period class studied and reproduced Picasso’s “Three Musicians” (x2, see below). The 6th period class studied and painted Picasso’s masterpiece “Guernica”, acrylic (x4). Both murals will be on display in our school shortly.
All of my students will be hard at work in order to complete their National History Day project. Every class day in the month of February will be devoted to reading, researching, annotating, analyzing, writing and creating magnificent historical exhibits and websites. Our National History Day competition at TCS will take place on Friday, March 3rd. Every student will participate and display historical projects that relate to the theme of "Taking a Stand in History". The top three projects will move on to the regional competition at the Chester County Historical Society. All topics have been chosen by the students, and I am excited for them to show off their knowledge!
TCS students will receive training in being mindful, thanks to a partnership with the Chester County Intermediate Unit. Mary Dugan, an occupational therapist with CCIU, is also a certified Mindful School trainer. She will come in on nine Monday mornings, beginning in February, and offer instruction to small groups of students on using these techniques to:
Increase focus and concentration
Increase sense of calm
Decrease stress and anxiety
Improve impulsive control
Develop skillful responses to difficult emotions
Increase empathy and understanding of others
Develop natural conflict resolution skills
The students will be divided into three groups and while one group is working with Ms. Dugan, one group of students will receive information on Study Skills and Habits, and the third group will be covering Health topics. The groups will rotate every 20—25 minutes. If this training has positive benefits to students, it may be offered next year for 18 weeks.
Are you happy with The Concept School and the job we are doing educating your son or daughter? I certainly hope so, and I invite you to go to the website link below and rate TCS based on your experience as a parent. Thank you, in advance, for your positive feedback.
Please continue to clip Box Tops! Thank you to Ms. Spencer for heading up this project! You can find Box Tops on many of the products you will be using for dinners and parties. For a list of participating products, go to BTFE.com. Thanks for your support.
Amazon's Smile.amazon program: This program allows you to shop on Amazon and when you do, a portion of your purchase comes back to The Concept School. All you do is log on to smile.amazon.com and fill in “The Concept School” as your organization of choice. A link to explain this program is attached. https://smile.amazon.com/about