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The last week of January marked one of great celebration at CAS school. Not only were over 150 k-8 student eligible to participate in our annual ice cream social for honor roll and high honor roll, but also National School Choice week facilitated review for reasons CAS is a great school choice.
Additionally, Friday marked our monthly celebration of the Student of the Month — an award given to the student who has exhibited excellent character and academic work (See photo above). Congratulations to all of the students we were able to honor this month! Our students and our great teachers are one of the many reasons why CAS continues to be a great school choice!
January 2015 brought many new learning opportunities to CAS schools. Many classes did special lessons for Martin Luther King Jr. Day and celebrated 100 days of school in unique ways. Students in Cheryl Engol’s third grade class watched a YouTube video called My Friend Martin along with students in Romilly Gardner’s third grade class. Students in Engol’s class then discussed civil rights and also wrote an essay about what they would ask King if he were alive today. Engol’s students will also be reading a story about Ruby Bridges and comparing and contrasting what it was like for King to be fighting for rights versus what it was like for Bridges to be trying to act on those rights.
Students in Gardner’s class listened to King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, colored a picture of King and included a quote from the speech on their picture. Students also talked about general facts about King, such as that there had been a previous assassination attempt on him and that his mother was also murdered. Students will also be talking about Rosa Parks. They will be listening to Outkast’s song “Rosa Parks,” sometimes also known as “Back of the Bus,” and trying to analyze the meaning of the song.
Stacy Bernardo’s first graders colored silhouettes of King and wrote their dreams on pieces of paper. Each dream started with the words “I have a dream” and continued from there. Some dreams were “that no one will be angry,” “there will be no more wars,” “that everyone will smile” and “everyone can change the world.”
Many teachers also scheduled activities around the 100th Day of School. Jarad Young, Dean of Students, had his physical education students celebrate the 100th Day of School by taking a physical education challenge. Students were paired up with a partner and then took turns completing 10 different exercises, 10 times each. Some of the exercises included jumping jacks, hurtles and mountain climbers. Both students were supposed to cheer on their partners.
Students in Sarah Kelley’s Kindergarten class celebrated being 100 days older, brighter, taller, friendlier and smarter by writing a sentence that started “I could eat 100” and then allowed them to fill in the blank. Some students thought they could eat 100 brownies, skittles, bowls of cereal or apples. The students then drew a picture to accompany their sentence.
Students in both Diana Ramirez and Rosie Delgado’s fourth grade classes read a poem about the 100th day, set to the tune of Yankee Doodle. They also wrote a composition about what they would do if they had $100. The students also drew a picture of a $100 bill, substituting a picture of themselves for the picture of Benjamin Franklin. In addition, students calculated how many times different denominations would fit into $100, such as pennies and dollars.
CAS Celebrates Christmas and Winter Holidays with Polar Parties, 4th Grade Play, & Christmas Around the World
The Center for Academic Success celebrated the Christmas season with plenty of fun surrounding the holiday in addition to high-quality learning activities. Students in the k-4 elementary held a Polar Party blowout in which students decorated sugar cookies, played pin the ornament on the tree (similar to pin the tail on the donkey), and molded indoor snowmen from “magic” Arizona snow [see photo left].
Students also raced to eat sugared donuts off a string and worked with art teacher Ms. Marshall to create reindeer clothespin ornaments. At the culmination, students selected three different reindeer snack mixes to take along to view the classic cartoon — The Grinch.
Fourth grade classes also performed a winter musical in which Santa decided that kids no longer found him “hip.” Santa then decides to transform into “The Clause” as he proclaims the entire north pole to change into a 1950’s-style workshop. Dual Santas, Mrs. Clauses, and elves set the fun stage for this drama as Santa learns that children still love their holiday traditions. In addition to memorizing all their lines, fourth graders also sang and danced to classic Christmas carols such as “Jingle Bells,” and “Here Comes Santa Clause” in addition to 1950’s classics like “Blue Suede Shoes” and “Rock Around the Clock.”
Many thanks to both the fourth grade class and Music Teacher Ms. Dokken who made this ambitious musical possible.
CAS also involved family and world-heritage traditions in its holiday celebrations with many classrooms decorating gingerbread houses, researching Christmas around the world, and explaining family food and gift traditions. Classes learned the stories of Father Christmas, Saint Nicolas, and the story of The Magi which have transformed over the years into holiday gift-giving. Although not every CAS family celebrates Christmas, those with differing traditions were able to explain holidays like Winter Solstice, Hanukkah, and Kwanza to their classmates. Several students who do not observe holidays also shared their family traditions and beliefs for this time of year.
Whatever your family traditions, CAS offers you and yours a very Merry Christmas and time of joy this holiday season as we reflect on the year. CAS will observe a half-day with a 12:00 release on Friday, December 19th and will be closed for the holidays for two weeks. Classes will resume on Monday, January 5th, 2015.
The Center for Academic Success held a short flagpole memorial ceremony in honor of the American tragedy of September 11th. Middle and high school students with staff met Dean of Students Jarad Young at the CAS flag pole for a few words on the importance of honoring the fallen and remembering the anniversary each year of the attacks.
Students and staff had a somber raising of the flag to half-mast in silence followed by a salute and pledge. On this day, and all days, CAS is proud to serve our families who work to protect our freedoms in the armed forces and employ so many veterans on our staff. Students will continue to remember the day at CAS with moments of silence and readings about the 9/11 events which took 3,000 American lives 13 years ago.