Normally I would communicate with families once or twice during the summer, but this year you will be hearing from me a bit more in these vacation months. I want to be sure you are informed and able to be prepared for what is ahead as much as possible. The following is based on the guidelines issued last week be the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) I apologize in advance for the length!
**Please especially note the dress protocol change listed below for fall.
Before we jump into the changes I would like to be sure you know how to access the report cards that were published last week.
To see your student's report card, please follow these steps:
1. Log onto your family Gradelink account. If you need your log-in info, please contact me by replying to this email or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2. Click on the "Grades" tab on the left side of the screen.
3. At the top of the page, you will see a PDF icon that says "download report card".
4. If you have multiple students, at the top center of your screen, you will see "Now viewing.." that will indicate which of your student's grade page you are on. If you click on it, the drop down gives options for your other students.
The BIG question: What does the fall look like?
FAQs: Here are some questions people are asking me more frequently the last few days. It may be helpful for you to know the answers for yourself, but also to be able to let others in our community know who may be considering ICA. Please note these are my current answers, but subject to change if the guidelines are modified throughout the summer.
Are you enrolling for next year?
Yes, we do have availability in some classes. Kindergarten, 1st and 2nd grade all have waiting lists and our 3/4 split class has two spots left. If we build a significant waiting list, we have the ability to divide the 3rd/4th class. Our class sizes are limited more than usual because of the six foot desk spacing required by the state guidelines. Our preschool and preK classes also have available spots.
If you are a family who has not yet completed enrollment for the fall, it may be good to move on that sooner than later if you plan to attend as our class sizes are limited more than usual because of the new guidelines.
Will you be meeting in person in the fall?
We are planning to have all students back in person five days a week next year. We are working on plans to use the space creatively in our facility to comply with the six feet distancing guidelines issued by the state last week. By doing this, we should be able to have all students on campus at the same time.
Will your students be required to wear masks?
The guidelines say yes at this time. I think OSPI is already receiving significant pressure to revise the masking guideline, so it may change. If it is not revised, however, we will comply with it as there are significant liabilities that come with not following the guidelines. I believe we would encourage shields rather than masks, though.
What you can do if you disagree: The Washington Federation of Independent Schools (WFIS) is the agency that represents private schools to OSPI (Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction). I attended a virtual meeting sponsored by WFIS Friday where they encouraged feedback from schools and parents in regard to the new guidelines. Here is an excerpt from an update they sent out Friday afternoon:
"If you, your teachers or your parents have concerns or comments, please share them with WFIS. We will collect feedback and use it to influence the guidelines and requirements. Send parents this address for comments: wfis.org/contact/ "
Would you go back to on-line learning if the governor closes schools?
If the governor closes in-person schools at some point, we would move to our distance learning format. I feel that we had an effective distance learning program this spring (we made the transition with just three days of training/preparation), which we are working throughout the summer to further improve in case we are required to return to it for a time. Three of our staff will be attending, each at a different grade level, a virtual multi-class training in July hosted by Baylor University called Virtual Learning Academy for Classroom Redesign . They will share what they learn across our staff to help improve our distance learning model.
Other changes we are anticipating:
I guess those are the big changes I can think of that will effect you and your students directly. As you can see, the details are not all worked out yet, but we have met as a staff earlier this month and worked through and brainstormed some of these possibilities. We will be meeting again in early August for further discussion and training in the new processes.
I'll try to keep you updated as we move through the summer. Thank you for walking through these changes with us. I am glad for ideas you may have as we move forward!
As of this week, I think I have contacted most of you now about whether or not you plan to have your student(s) attend ICA in the fall, and I very much appreciate your responses. With those I have heard back from so far, we are up to about 90 students at least tentatively planning to partner with ICA!
Even as many of you are saying you are planning to return in the fall, I know the big question for for you and for us is: "What will school look like in the fall?" It is a question that is taking up many of my thoughts.
While it is quite impossible to say with any certainty, it may be helpful for you to know at least the possibilities and planning process in which we are engaged. The most likely scenarios seem to be:
1. Back to Class: We get back to school with several new protocols for social distancing resulting in smaller classes and some different practices built into our school day.
2. Hybrid model: A rolling high and low of cases throughout the winter would cause schools to move between distance and in-person learning.
3. 100% distance learning: I do hear some people hinting at schools being entirely distance learning in the fall in our state, but it does not seem very helpful to students in general or practical for working parents in the long term. My hope is this will not be the case.
Distance Learning re-make: With two of the three scenarios involving distance learning, the staff and I will be completely evaluating our current program and dropping things that have not worked well, keeping what has worked and adding elements that would provide a higher quality learning opportunity for students. One of the primary goals of this re-design is less over-all screen time and reserving the limited screen time to provide high quality teacher/student/class interactions. We are happy to receive thoughts you might have as we take on this challenge as soon as classes dismiss in early June.
End of Year:
Last day of Classes: The last day students will receive assignments is next Friday, May 29th.
Report cards will be published in Gradelink by June 8th.
The Great Exchange Days: Monday and Tuesday, June 1st and 2nd parents are invited to stop by the school to pick up any personal items left at the school including desk/cubby/locker contents, emergency supplies, lost and found items and yearbooks. Also, please plan to drop off any school textbooks or devices that belong to ICA.
In order to maintain the social distancing guidelines, we will separate this event into two days:
Monday, June 1: Families with last name A-L
Tuesday, June 2: Families with the last name M-Z
Where: Please enter through the doors by the main office desk and leave the building through the courtyard doors. We will plan to stage all of the belongings for each family in the entry and downstairs hallway.
Time: You may come any time between 9:00 am and 3:30 pm.
Memorial Day: Next Monday, 5.25.20, is Memorial Day and students will not have any assigned homework that day.
Latin feature: I am happy today to highlight the artwork of another Latin student! Sixth grade ICA student, Codie Nysether, has submitted the following original drawing for a Latin assignment:
Here is the translation:
"Candidus is preparing dinner. Candidus is cooking fish and beans and eggs. Candidus dropps the eggs. The eggs are broken."
Great job, Codie!
One of the "Character Call-Outs" we often rehearse at ICA when we meet at our Monday or Friday gatherings or sometimes in chapel or even while transitioning from recess to the classroom is the word diligence. A teacher might call out "Diligence!" and the students respond, "Working hard all the way to the end!"
While there are other possible definitions for diligence, I feel like this one contains a concept that, if learned and rooted into their character, will help students through a variety of challenges throughout their lives. It would seem our collective current reality provides a fitting occasion to practice this particular character trait in the next few weeks. We have now fully passed the honeymoon stage of distance learning, and have realized that than the energy we all get from meeting together in person is somewhat lost when we are all working at home. It's just not the same, and we may just like it to be done for now. True for you?
BUT...if we just throw in the towel and give up now, I think we lose a great opportunity to teach this idea of diligence, which is closely related to words like tenacity, perseverance, steadfastness, internal fortitude, determination, grit . Al of which we would like our students to develop for life? True? How do we teach that? By standing with and behind them acting as coach and cheerleader, but most importantly by being an example of the characteristics we would like them to embody. You can do it! Below are a few stories of diligence and perseverance that may inspire or at least encourage both them and you in these last weeks of school:
Here is a fun little poem found in McGuffey's Reader:
The fisher who draws in his net too soon,
Won't have any fish to sell;
The child who shuts up his book too soon,
Won't learn their lessons well.
If you would have your learning stay,
Be patient - don't learn too fast;
The man who travels a mile each day,
May get round the world at last.
Here are a few links to some more inspiring stories and poems that you might want to read together:
The Crow and the Pitcher
The Little Hero of Holland
You Mustn't Quit - a poem
Carry On! - an inspiring poem that would be more appropriate for 5th grade and up
Bruce and the Spider - a story in poem of how a spider inspired Robert I, King of Scotland when he was feeling defeated
Just a thought for the day!
The Great Exchange Days: Monday June 1 and 2, we will set aside to have families come and pick up any items belonging to their children that are still at the school. This will include the emergency food we usually send back home on the last day of school and yearbooks for those who ordered them. In order to maintain the social distancing guidelines a much as possible, we'll split the alphabet into two days. You are welcome to come to the school anytime between 9:00 am and 3:30 pm.
Monday, June 1: Families with last names beginning A-L
Tuesday, June 2: Families with last names beginning M-Z
Re-enrollment Survey: Thank you for those who have completed the survey. If you haven't yet, please do at your earliest convenience. It's really just one question and does not constitute a commitment to a certain action, but does give us some ability to plan in a direction.
Friday fun for Zoom: Favorite T-Shirt Day!
Latin Student Highlight:
Here is an "above and beyond" piece of artwork turned in recently by an ICA 8th grade Latin student. Students were asked by Mrs. Bartel to illustrate and describe briefly a scene from their story. Here is the student's description and art:
All Aristo the Pater (father) of the family wants is peace and quiet so that he can write a Greek tragedy, but his family does not cooperate.
"O miserable me," says Aristo.
"I love that sound," says Galatea his wife.
Galatea always invites her friends to their house. Galatea's friends are pipe players and cithara players. Aristo always has to flee his wife's friends.
I'll add the guide to this post. Many of you have gotten onto the classrooms today. Nicely done!
Quest for this week: Memorize 2 Timothy 1:7 "For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, and love and self discipline."
It was sure good to have students back in the classroom today! Unfortunately, it seems we will need to move to on-line learning beginning Monday. Many schools in the surrounding area, including South Whidbey School District have already closed or announced closure in the next few days, and it seems prudent to follow suit.
Some of you may be wondering why we would need to make this move. While authorities tell us children who contract the virus are likely to have mild symptoms, by continuing to meet together, we may be helping the virus to spread in our community from household to household, many of which include people in the high-risk categories because of age or medical condition.
We have been thankful that we had time this week to prepare. We are working on a parent guide for how our process will work for each class. Please do continue to have patience as we work out the glitches that will surely come. Again, I do have several tablets available for checkout for any homes that don’t have technology they will need to participate in distance learning.
If you would like to send your student tomorrow (3rd-10th) with the device they will be using for on-line school, we will do our best to set them up in Google Classrooms while they are here, making the transition possibly easier for all.
More to come tomorrow!
I just received a call from the Island County Department of Health. They informed me that the test was, indeed, viable and they have already tested and it was NEGATIVE! Isn't that the happiest news you've had this week!? I don't know how they expedited the testing, but I'll take the result!
I have checked with staff and school is ON at ICA tomorrow! If your student has any symptoms, please keep them home, but otherwise, we are good to go with whomever can be here.
I hope to see you tomorrow!
Patience is a virtue we are developing this week! The short story is that the earliest we can come back to school is Monday. Here is the explanation as related to me by Keith Higman, the Director of Island County Public Health:
There was a major change in the way samples were being processed that took place the same day our student was tested for COVID-19. Because of this change, the sample was sent to the wrong lab, only arriving at the correct lab today.
Because of the time the sample took to get to the correct lab, the concern now is that the sample is not viable and the student may need to be re-tested. The good news is that the test can now be processed quickly. The bad news is that, because we want to be sure we are operating with an abundance of caution, and protecting not only our students, but also the broader community, the earliest we will be able to be back in school is Monday.
What is next: Our staff have been planning for the possibility of distance learning the last two days. We are close to getting up and running on platforms, and feel we could be ready by Monday. The next three days your student's classroom teacher will email them with assignments for the day (like they did today) with further instructions as to how to "turn in" assignments. They also have each student's books in their home room on their desks ready to be picked up. Secondary students will have to get them from their lockers. If someone from your family can stop by the school (it has been completely sanitized) at your convenience, the school will be open I'll be here 9:00-3:30.
I've just received word that there is now a confirmed case of COVID-19 in Island County. Please realize this is not the student from ICA. Our student's sample has not been tested yet.
I'll be in touch with more information tomorrow. Thank you for those who have responded to our Home Technology Survey. We are committed to both your student's safety and to seeing that the learning process continues.
While this isn't ideal, I'm so glad that God gives the grace we need in the moments we need it. Thank you for your patience with this highly unusual situation. I'm sure it is causing varying amounts of difficulty for you.
We have not received results of the student tested for COVID-19 from the health department yet. They did call to tell us that we won't hear the results until tomorrow at the earliest. The same reasons for cancelling school today apply for one more day, so we will cancel classes, but with one difference:
Homework for tomorrow: We made quite a lot of headway today as a staff on ways we can transfer our school model to the home environment. Tomorrow, please watch your email for communication from your student's homerooom teacher for Grades K-6, and each subject teacher for Grades 7-10. They will give assignments for the day. Some will be experimenting with uploading assignments through our Gradelink system. It may come in the form of a PDF attached to an assignment. Others will simply give instructions in the email. Students are welcome to email teachers will questions that may come up.
Teachers will once again meet at ICA to continue to orient ourselves to the possibility of on-line education. It's a good thing we love learning!
If for some reason we needed to continue long-distance for a longer term, there are other platforms we are currently training on., but since everyone has a Gradelink account, that is where we will begin. If you don't know your log-in credentials, please email the school office (email@example.com) and they will send that information to you. While you are on Gradelink, you can also sign your child up for next school year!
In the meantime, every student above the 2nd grade will be able to continue working on their art fair projects at home. This extra time is a great opportunity to work on creating their boards and presentations!
I'm guessing you've heard this advice a few times, but just in case you haven't, it is worth repeating:
Three things on this fine February day:
Hearing and Vision screening: Thank you to our school nurse, Christi Wenzek, who arranged for and helped conduct vision and hearing screening for our students today in grades kindergarten and up. Yearly vision and hearing tests help to identify potential problems in either of those categories before they begin to affect a student's learning. If there were any concerns about your student's hearing or vision, Christi will send you a letter in the coming weeks. I appreciate Christi's diligence and skill in serving as our school nurse for several years now.
Inter-school Spelling Bee tomorrow:
We have five star spellers who will be leaving at 8:00 am on the dot tomorrow to compete in the ACCS Inter-school Spelling Bee in Woodinville along with students from several other area classical schools.
Here are the students we are cheering on who will be representing ICA:
Choir starts tomorrow:
With over 20 students who have shown interest, our ICA after-school choir will have it's inaugural rehearsal tomorrow. Please meet in the lunchroom at 2:15. Parents, please pick up your singers at 3:30 sharp!
Congratulations to Spelling Bee class winners (see below) who will be participating in this Thursday's ICA Championship Bee at 1:10 in the gym! Parents are welcome.
Choral Opportunity: ICA is planning to partner with local voice and piano teacher Jana Szabo Malecki to offer an after-school vocal ensemble/choir here at the ICA campus. So far we have twelve students/ from families who have shown an interest, so we're planing the launch!
Words cannot quite describe how inspiring and just plain enjoyable it is to learn to sing in harmony. It is truly my joy to be able to offer your students the opportunity to experience the hard work and the transporting delight of learning to sing in parts and making music with a group. I already have several performance opportunities in mind!
Here are the details:
When: Wednesdays at 2:15 - 3:30 beginning February 26th
Where: Room 101 (lunchroom)
Music: Music will be in keeping with our classical school tradition with a few out-of-the-box pieces here and there.
Cost: $75 per student total between now and the end of the year (15 classes leaving out Spring Break week). If your student has a sport or something else that would take them out for an extended period between now and June, we can adjust the fee accordingly. If the cost is a determining factor, please let me know and we can provide assistance! I would like all of the students who would like to participate to have the opportunity.
If you would like your student to be a part of the choir, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Everyone is invited (even grandparents and friends) to attend this evening's Electives Week Showcase presented along with our Second Quarter Awards presentations. 6 pm in the gym - dress protocol required for K-12 students.
Some of the week's creations will be on display around the room. After a lovely dinner together featuring pulled pork, coleslaw, baked beans and a tasty pear crisp for dessert all by Chef Lauri and crew, we will show you photos and video footage of last week's classes.
Below you will find helpful information and reminders for this week.
Hope to see you tonight!
This week's buzz is all about next week's elective classes! There is no form-return rate at anytime throughout the year that matches the blazing speed with which Elective's Week class choice forms make it home and back! Wow! Mrs. Ohme's pile was already tall by 9:00 am this morning! She tallied up class choices today and will have schedules out by Friday!
We could still use a boost in the following areas:
Anticipation is building all around for this inspiring event. Tuesday, February 4th at 6:00 pm, in conjunction with our quarterly awards dinner, we will also present a showcase of projects created and skills developed during Electives Week, so parents will also have an opportunity to share the joy! You can also follow the week's events in photos if you are a part of our ICA Facebook group! (Search Island Christian Academy group and send a request to join.)
The Christmas tree is out the door (well, mine isn't quite yet) and the Christmas goodies have all disappeared (well maybe a box of chocolates hanging around). January has arrived and now it's time for....snow?! Well, maybe! The forecast does seem pretty insistent on several flakes for next week. In light of this information, let me brief you on where you can find information on school closures. If you have students who also attend the public school, usually you can rely on our closures mirroring theirs; however, there have been occasions (like the power outage last month) where we are closed and they are not. Here are the ways we let people know about school-day changes:
1. Robo-call: If there is a school change for the day of, I try to get this call out by, but not before 6:00 am.
2. Facebook group page for Island Christian Academy
3. ICA webpage at islandchristianacademy.com - should be on the front page
4. ICA phone message.
You might want to dig out those sleds and gloves and we'll see if the predictions are accurate!
Bonus FYI (for reading to the end :-) Did you know our protocol dress days (including which group has chapel day protocol) are all posted to our on-line school calendar? You can find it on Gradelink or by visiting our website under the For Parents tab.
It's possible your students have come homing humming or maybe even all-out belting some Christmas carols as ICA is full swing into the Christmas season! We are looking forward to sharing the joy with you and whomever you would like to bring along to our presentation of a Classic Christmas December 17th at 7:00 pm. It's just two weeks away, so put out your invites to grandpa's, grandma's and friends. It is a beautiful and heartwarming evening!
Following the holidays, our next big event coming the end of January is Electives Week. If you are new to ICA, see below for a full explanation of this instructive and entertaining week of learning. I am beginning the search for parents and/or friends of ICA who have a skill they may like to share with students. It can be art-, science, history-, sports-related, or possibly just information that would interest students. Please let me know if you have ideas! We are looking for 20+ classes to offer once again this year.
What a fantastic evening Saturday night here at ICA's 27th annual auction! Thank you so much for everyone who donated, who volunteered and worked the event, who attended and spent money. It takes so many people to put on an event like this: parents, staff, students (junior high and high school students especially put in quite a lot of work), volunteers even from outside of our own organization! I still don't have solid numbers, but preliminary numbers are encouraging!
Our First Quarter Awards Lunch will start at noon today beginning with kindergarten and 1st grade performances. Parents are welcome to attend and lunch is provided for all at no cost! After lunch we will give out academic and house awards with a goal of finishing up by 1:00, so come and join us on your lunch break if you can!
Parent Teacher conferences begin this Friday. We encourage and expect all parents to sign up for an opportunity to touch base with your student;s teacher(s) and set the foundation for a great relationship all year long. Friday, November 22, Monday, November 25, Tuesday, November 26 each day have 30 minute slots available beginning at 1:00 pm with the last available slot at 4:30. Thank you for coming in regardless of whether or not your student is doing well.
Thank you so much for the teamwork on our up-coming auction. Some fantastic items and experiences are rolling in this week in plenty of time for Friday's deadline. First things first, though: we will need more people than are currently on our list to actually make this auction a reality! Here are some jobs and time slots which we desperately need to fill.
Friday: clear coat some ornaments from a class project
Anytime: several office-type projects
food prep (have:1 - need: 2-3 more)
Thursday 12:30-3:30 or later if you can
food prep (have: one - need: 2 more)
silent auction set up (tablecloths on tables...- have:1, need:2 more)
Kitchen Crew (anytime throughout the day - currently have 1)
Silent auction set up - put out items and bidder cards, displays etc...
12:30-3:30 or later if you can (have:3, need: 6 more)
3:30-9:00 or 10:00 (or anytime in between) have:1 - need:3 more)
Live auction set-up (anytime during the day - creating displays for live auction items - currently have 0)
Decor 12:00 - 3:30 Junior High and High school helping with this, but could use one more adult
Silent auction workers 4:00-9 pm Currently have four, would like 10
Kitchen Crew 3:00-9:00 pm - currently have 0
Dish Washers 5:00-9:00 pm - have:1, need:1 more
As you can see, we need YOU! Call the office to sign up to help fill the gaps.
Tickets: Please turn in your ticket stubs with names so we can have a packet ready for your special guest!
Extra procurement forms: If you have forms you won't be using, please send them back to the school office as we are currently out.
Here are some of this week's featured items going up for auction on the 16th:
If food is your love (isn't that all of us?), we home something for you...
Together we can make this 27th annual auction one of the best and most profitable in ICA history!
As usual there are many desirable auction items rolling in that will be up for bid in just two short weeks (plus a few days)! I've given you a sneak peak on a few items at the end of the email.
Student feature: In a first-of-its-kind story, Ryelan Q., one of our 8th grade students, decided to take on auction procuring himself. He has visited several local businesses on his own, and has procured $780 in donated goods and services! As far as he could remember, no one turned him down (though some have yet to donate). Way to go, Ryelan!
Some dates to remember:
November 8th - last day to turn in procurement forms
$100 off December tuition to the family with the highest procurement value.
November 13th - last day to receive auction items (forms need to be turned in by the 8th)
Any items received after this date will be sold in a separate venue.
November 14th-15th - afternoon set up days
November 16th - auction 5 pm
We still need help in silent auction and other areas, so please call or stop by the office to sign up for an auction job. This is an all-hands-on-deck event that helps keep our tuition accessible for families on South and Central Whidbey.
Featured auction items:
Grip Rite Air Compressor: 1 gallon oil-free, 1 HP, Max PSI 135
Cabin stay in Leavenworth
Club seats to the Mariners
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Subject: Message Tuesday
Every now and then I like to throw out something with a bit of a philosophical bent pertaining to why we do what we do at Island Christian Academy. One of the classical school publications I read regularly forwarded the text of a speech made by the U.S. Attorney General, William P. Barr to the Law School and the de Nicola Center for Ethics and Culture at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, IN (Friday, October 11, 2019). His ideas are not new, but are articulated so very well in regard to the role of religion, or morality, and it's role in free government.
In fact, I find his thoughts so ideologically compelling, that I would like to share them with you as the parent of a student in a religious school like Island Christian Academy. Hopefully they will be as helpful to you as they have been to me. Below is a short, but applicable excerpt from his longer address which can be accessed here.
"How does religion promote the moral discipline and virtue needed to support free government?
First, it gives us the right rules to live by. The Founding generation were Christians. They believed that the Judeo-Christian moral system corresponds to the true nature of man. Those moral precepts start with the two great commandments – to Love God with your whole heart, soul, and mind; and to Love Thy Neighbor as Thyself.
But they also include the guidance of natural law – a real, transcendent moral order which flows from God’s eternal law – the divine wisdom by which the whole of creation is ordered. The eternal law is impressed upon, and reflected in, all created things.
From the nature of things we can, through reason, experience, discern standards of right and wrong that exist independent of human will.
Modern secularists dismiss this idea of morality as other-worldly superstition imposed by a kill-joy clergy. In fact, Judeo-Christian moral standards are the ultimate utilitarian rules for human conduct.
They reflect the rules that are best for man, not in the by and by, but in the here and now. They are like God’s instruction manual for the best running of man and human society.
By the same token, violations of these moral laws have bad, real-world consequences for man and society. We may not pay the price immediately, but over time the harm is real.
Religion helps promote moral discipline within society. Because man is fallen, we don’t automatically conform ourselves to moral rules even when we know they are good for us.
But religion helps teach, train, and habituate people to want what is good (emphasis mine - that is what we hope to do at ICA). It does not do this primarily by formal laws – that is, through coercion. It does this through moral education and by informing society’s informal rules – its customs and traditions which reflect the wisdom and experience of the ages.
In other words, religion helps frame moral culture within society that instills and reinforces moral discipline."
I hope you have time to listen to or read the whole speech. Let me know what you think!
Dress Protocol: Thursday this week is our first dress protocol day of the school year. Below is a quick checklist to be sure your student is ready! From here on out, we will be wearing uniforms for days when your child's grade has chapel as well as the regular dress protocol days. Grandparents Day is the first of that variety.
Grandparents Day: We are looking forward to hosting many grandparents and special friends at ICA next Tuesday from 10 am to 12:30 pm. The students will have opportunity to show their visitor around to different stations within the school and have their picture taken at our GP Day photo booth. Starting around 11:00 am, each class Preschool through 6th grade will present a short program of things they have been learning in class followed by sharing a delicious meal together. Students are welcome to bring a lunch if they prefer, but we will have a free hot lunch for all grandparents and students.
I wish I could also extend the invitation to all parents, but we wouldn't be able to fit everyone in the building. If you child doesn't have a grandparent or special friend available, parents are very welcome to come in their place.
Grandparents Day Menu:
Zuppa Toscana - Italian sausage, potatoes, kale,
onions, bacon in a light cream sauce with chicken
Chicken Chili - roast chicken breasts, orca beans,
onions, diced tomatoes, corn, cilantro and mild
green chilies in chicken stock
Dessert - Hot Fudge Sundae Poke Cake
gluten/nut/dairy free options available
Next Friday, October 11th, is an in-service training day for our staff. What you may not know yet is that on that day ICA is hosting the Regional Training Day for the Association of Classical Christian Schools of which we are a member.
We will be hosting 130-150 staff from nine schools around western Washington. The topic of the day is beauty in the classical, Christian school with guest speaker Dr. Steve Turley, internationally known author of over 20 books including Beauty Matters: Creating a High Aesthetic in School Culture. There will also be one session with choices of workshops to attend taught by staff from our regional area. Lunch will be provided by Chef Laurie Davis of ICA hot lunch fame.
I believe the topics will be of interest not only to our staff, but also to many of you. If you are available and would like to attend, we would be glad to have you join us as it is an opportunity that may not come around again for awhile. The cost is just $25 per person for the day. If you would like to participate, please contact Mrs. Ohme at the school office.
Auction packets: If you missed the auction meeting last week, please be sure to stop by and pick up your packet at Mrs. Ohme's desk (unless, of course, you chose to opt out). We already have some wonderful procurements coming in (the Jenn Farm in Coupeville donated a stay for the first time ever! Thank them if you happen to know them!).
Thank you for doing this as early as possible! Last year parents did a fantastic job of helping us not have a log-jam of items to enter the last week.
Who will YOU invite? Mrs. Ohme has more tickets or can sell you a complete table at a per ticket discount. Think of someone who would be inspired by the mission of ICA and might be willing to give to see it accomplished.
See You at the Pole! - Tomorrow morning (Wednesday) 8:45-9:00 am our secondary students will be participating in a national event called "See You at the Pole". Thousands of junior high and high school students across the country will be meeting at their school's flag pole before school to pray for their friends who don't know Jesus yet, for their schools and for our nation. Beginning at 8:45 our secondary students will be doing the same on the basketball court with Mrs. Miller. We are so thankful that we have the freedom in our country to meet and pray publicly. What a blessing! Parents are welcome to join us.
As parents I know you probably think regularly about the safety of your students. Since they spend so many of their waking hours at school, school safety is important to you as it is to me and the staff here at ICA. Most of the safety precautions we take here you would probably never know about, so I thought it would be good to let you know some of the things we have done to help make ICA a secure space.
Although we hear quite a lot about school shootings, it seems, If you look at the numbers, it's extremely unlikely that a student would be involved in this type of event. Though I don't necessarily agree with all the conclusions they come to, the Washington post published an article a year or so ago that might may allay some fears if numbers speak to you. Often our emotions don't really care about the statistics, so at least let me tell you some of the safety practices we now have in place at ICA.
Best of all, we pray for safety regularly as a staff, as I'm sure many of you do. We do everything we reasonably can to be safe, and then trust that God will help us in any circumstances that may arise, and we refuse to live in fear.
We hope to see you this evening for Back to School Night. This is an opportunity to learn about the expectation and classroom practices that will help your child succeed at ICA this year. Each teacher will conduct their presentation at 6:30 and again at 7:15. This is an informational meeting. If you would like to talk with the teacher specifically about your student, they would be glad to set up a meeting time at a later date. Students do not attend this event.
We hope to see you this evening for Back to School Night. This is an opportunity to learn about the expectation and classroom practices that will help your child succeed at ICA this year. Each teacher will conduct their presentation at 6:30 and again at 7:15. This is an informational meeting. If you would like to talk with the teacher specifically about your student, they would be glad to set up a meeting time at a later date. Students do not attend this event.
It would be helpful to the staff if everyone could read over the ICA dress code below if you haven't recently. (taken from the family handbook page 10 and 11.) Although we don't require daily uniforms, we do believe students' dress influences their mindset for learning. Please help be sure your students are ready to learn every day!
Dress and Appearance
The expectation for student's dress at ICA is "clean, neat, and modest".
For girls that means tank tops, spaghetti strap shirts or dresses, and off-the-shoulder tops are not appropriate. Shirts should cover both the stomach and adequately cover the chest and shoulders. Skirts should be of a modest length that is within a few inches of the knee.
For boys that means no tank tops, and pants and shorts must fit well enough to cover undergarments.
For our Preschool students, please have them dress in comfortable clothing that fits properly. Two complete changes of clothing, including socks, are to be kept at the school. Any borrowed clothing must be laundered and returned to school. Coats, hats, gloves, and warm clothing are to be worn during the cooler months. We do go outside to play even if it is cold.
Body piercing (other than ears) and tattoos are discouraged.
Teachers and Administration will have the final discretion on a student's attire. If a student wears something the staff deems inappropriate, a teacher or administrator may discretely make them aware of the inappropriateness of their attire. If the student continues to wear the clothing on another day, after being asked not to, parents will be called to bring appropriate clothing.
The simultaneous emotions of anticipation and anxiety seem to work their way into the first day of school. Some lean more one way than the other, but hopefully all will find joy in their day before they get home. Even I get a few butterflies on the first day of school!
Thank you to Matt and Barb and their SWAG crew who whipped us up such a wonderful breakfast burrito bar this morning. It was a great way to kick off day one with community prayer and scrumptious food!
Staff are what make ICA a wonderful place to grow and learn. I would like tell you right from the start how thankful I am for each one who will be here this year investing their time and energy into the students. Most are returning, but here are a few new additions:
Lynn Miller: PE for elementary and secondary as well as various support staff roles
Shannon Dixon: 2nd grade teacher
Goldie Christensen: Not new to ICA, but in an expanded role this year as support staff
Emily Heggenes: Emily has been an ICA parent for several years, but has come on staff this year as the PreK teacher.
Mrs. Wilmoth will be breathing some new life into our house program as well as coaching the house leaders as she did last year.
Mrs. McGill will be also introducing some new inspiration for Readers of the Round Table. (If you weren't here this morning for breakfast, ask your student about meeting the Queen.)
We also have 12-15 new families whom I hope returning families will be able to connect with and make them feel a welcome part of our ICA community.
We are starting the year with 120 students and 74 families - a record attendance year for ICA!
One change I would like to communicate early on involves dress protocol days. We will be adding chapel days to our dress protocol list beginning October 10th with a practice protocol day for everyone. The reasoning is that dress protocol affects student performance and behavior, in addition, wearing them more often gives us more practice doing it well so that when we do have a day we want to look sharp (like Grandparents Day and other regular dress protocol days), we have worn them enough to present ourselves well. (There are lots of other reasons for uniforms, which I can talk with you about if you would like.)
On chapel days only students may wear black athletic shoes (some have white bands around the bottom - which is fine). Black or Navy dress shoes are required for dress protocol days.
Glad your family is a part of ICA this year!
Lots of important announcements below.
Kindergarten Graduation tonight at 6:30 pm!
Packets on the way - watch the backpack: Tomorrow (kindergarten today) students will be bringing home a packet to look for! It includes a letter from next year's teacher and any enrollment papers that might still be missing. We're hoping to wrap all those up by Friday, so take a peek right away!
Summer Reading Incentive: Reading is the foundation for learning here at ICA, and books can be great pals over the summer! Teachers for next year have also included recommendations for summer reading in the packets mentioned above. Students completing the teacher's requirement will receive a $5 Sprinklz coupon in September!
Is your child's closet seeming empty? It's all here at school! I think we have enough lost and found to have our own ICA garage sale (maybe a little hyperbole). It will all head to Good Cheer next week, so please stop by the tables the next couple of days and see if any of it looks familiar. Just too bad the Gore Tex jacket isn't my size!
Reminder of the new tuition payment schedule: You will receive your first invoice for tuition this year in July payable August 1st. That way next year you won't need to make a June payment! What a deal! Thanks for making this helpful change with us.
Just about to call it a year! Hope you can join us Thursday as we take a look back over all we have had the privilege to experience here at ICA with our year-end slide show! Thursday starting at 11:00 am with High School graduation and quarterly awards!
Today I want to highlight a couple of last-week-of-school events, so you can put it on your calendar if you would like to attend any of them:
June 10th-12th Pastor Matt and some of the secondary staff are hosting a end-of-year field trip to the Tri-Cities area. They will be touring a wind power plant near the Columbia River Gorge on the way as well as examining the Hanford nuclear site along with several other fun events along the way.
June 11th: Kindergarten Graduation 6:30 pm
June 13th (last day):
9:00 am PreK moving on up program. We'll have an official red carpet "walk-across" to Mrs. Phillip's kindergarten class followed by a brief program in the foyer for parents.
10:30 6th grade walk across through the secondary "tunnel" of classmates to be welcomed to the secondary school.
11:00 High School graduation. The student body will all join together as we celebrate with four ICA graduates this year.
11:30(ish) We don't have it down to the minute, but as soon as graduation is complete, we'll move right in to our 4th quarter awards along with a show of appreciation for this year's staff and volunteers. Topping it off will be the year-end slide show and a reception in the gym to wish the graduates well!
12:30 the school year is conquered! Students whose parents are in attendance are welcome to leave as soon as the slide show is over.
Pretty soon I'll start talking to you about standardized testing and year-end events, but today I'm hoping you have just five minutes to read this article by one of my heroes of parenting, James Dobson. In the article he answers the question, "What is the most common error made by parents in the disciplining of their children?" Great question and brilliant answer that I believe will be worth your effort. I hope you take time to read it!
Just in case you haven't heard the news, this week is the week we set aside to show our appreciation to our teachers and support staff. Although we try to develop a culture of thankfulness all throughout the year, this week we give focused attention to being grateful for the self-less dedication they give to their work here at ICA.
The house leaders on the Student Council have joined with the PICA parents to do a little something for the staff every day this week, but it you would like to give your child the experience of showing his or her gratitude personally, we have compiled a list of each staff person's favorite drink, plant, meal, treat and color. If you would like that list for your specific target, you are welcome to respond to this email or ask Angela at the front desk, and we will be glad to accommodate!
All school photo this Thursday: The other big deal this week is that we are taking the annual all-school photo which will grace the front of the yearbook as well as my office wall as the reminder to posterity of the 2018-19 school year at Island Christian Academy. Please remind your student to wear their house colors Thursday!
Hope to see you at noon today for our 3rd Quarter Awards luncheon!
Nine students who will be representing our school at the Interschool Speech meet tomorrow in Bothel will be presenting today right at noon.
During lunch, which will be served about 12:20, we will role slides from the Spring Break Italy trip taken by several of our staff and students. Following that, we'll present our quarterly awards.
Just in case you can't make it, I've attached a list of this quarter's academic and house awards. (spoiler alert - don't look if you plan to be here!)
Today is the last day of third quarter, and report cards will soon be headed your way. We encourage all parents to call soon to reserve a time for parent teacher conferences (April 25-26) so you can learn how best to help your student finish the year strong.
Spring Cleaning Day: This Saturday, April 13 from 9-1 pm we will be having a school-wide clean up day. This is a great time to "clean up" any volunteer hours you may have left for this school year. Lunch is provided, so please call or email the school office to let us know how many are coming with you. Hours can be earned for any family member who attends and helps out! Any volunteer hours not completed will be billed in May.
3rd Quarter Awards lunch: Next Tuesday, April 16th, parents are invited to come for lunch (12:00 noon) and join us for our 3rd quarter awards assembly. The band/ensemble will be performing, and we will hear recitations from some of the winners of this Thursday's speech meet.
Lunch menu: Oven roasted lemon chicken - chicken breast marinated in lemon juice, garlic and Greek seasoning
Spinach and feta cheese souffle
Chopped salad - lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, olives with choice of dressing
Dessert - strawberry trifle -
Today is the last day of third quarter, and report cards will soon be headed your way. We encourage all parents to call soon to reserve a time for parent teacher conferences so you can learn how best to help your student finish the year strong.
Spring Cleaning Day: This Saturday, April 13 from 9-1 pm we will be having a school-wide clean up day. This is a great time to "clean up" any volunteer hours you may have left for this school year. Lunch is provided, so please call or email the school office to let us know how many are coming with you. Hours can be earned for any family member who attends and helps out! Any volunteer hours not completed will be billed in May.
3rd Quarter Awards lunch: Next Tuesday, April 16th, parents are invited to come and eat lunch (12:00 noon) and join us for our 3rd quarter awards assembly. The band/ensemble will be performing, and we will hear recitations from some of the winners of this Thursday's speech meet.
Thank you so much for those who have taken the time to re-enroll for next year. It it truly helpful in at least getting a feel for how to plan for staffing needs next school year, which will be here before we know it!
I am thrilled to announce our very own ICA student
was awarded 8th place at the Regional Scripps Spelling Bee!
This year for last week's History Fair our students went above and beyond expectations! It was fun to listen to many of them express passion about the person they studied. The chance to perform brought out some latent acting talent that can now be nurtured. The feeling of working hard and completing a difficult but worthy task is a joyful gift many students will carry forward with them.
In each age group, the following received the highest points for their combined score in presentation, costume/backdrop/props, knowledge of subject, and research paper.
first - Lindi Moore as Nelly Bly
second - Amelia Rockholz as Albert Einstein
third - Daniel Hardesty as Nicola Tesla
first - Sean Carr as Laura Ingalls Wilder
second - Serenity Hardesty as Irena Sendler
tied for third place
third - Amelie Tyler as Marie Antoinette
third - Promise Rose Juengel as Catherine the Great
first - Marisa Ackerman as William Shakespeare
second - Maya Hughes as Harriet Tubman
third - Keyara Beck as Clara Barton
first - Shannon Justus as Jane Austen
second - Alicia Ackerman as Odette Sansum
third - Grace Delaney as Queen Victoria
People's Choice award: Grace Delaney for her role as Queen Victoria
Wow! Your students have outdone themselves with this year's presentations. We look forward to having friends and family here on campus this evening from 7-8 pm to hear and see the ICA Wax Museum 2019. This is a different fair from either art or science fair and as such requires a little different protocol for this evening.
1. When you enter the building, please join us in creating the atmosphere of a museum. As the speeches are the main way you will be able to experience the historic figures, please talk only in hushed voices in order to give the students the best opportunity to display their speeches for the listeners. Shhhh....
2. Every age level has memorized a speech or facts (1st and 2nd grade) about the people they are portraying. As a courtesy, please listen to their entire speech and then if you choose you may ask them questions. Students will answer you while remaining "in character". After answering your questions they will launch into their speech again.
Here are some things that would be helpful to remember:
1. Although all judging rubrics are basically the same, the students have been judged within their age group only and have developed their projects according to the criteria given by their classroom teacher according to their grade level expectations.
2. Students are judged equally in these four categories:
25% props and costume appropriate to the time period of their historic figure
25% presentation meaning the way they represent the historic figure in their speech and physical gestures
25% knowledge of the person based on their interaction with the judges
25% research paper as graded by the classroom teacher
3. Each student has spent time and effort digging deeply into a topic of their choice. Many of them have discovered the joy of learning for the sake of learning. One life lesson that we all need to learn, and that we are giving opportunity to learn at an early age here at ICA is that comparison with others has the potential to steal away your joy. As you speak with your students about their experience today, it may be helpful to lead their thoughts in this direction: Have joy in what you have learned, share it with others, and find joy in what they have learned. A healthy mindset looks at other people and says, "Wow! That gives me an idea for the next time I do a project."
Each of our students has developed skills in some areas and not in others. Help them to see where their skills are developing and where they are already strong and can capitalize even more.
I know you'll be delighted with the evening! Hope to see you soon and remember....shhhhh Brenda
Thankfully the snow and sickness seem to be waning and I am expecting the fresh smell of sunshine to be in the air from here on out! History Fair is all the talk this week. Many projects are due before the end of this week so students have plenty of time to practice their presentations over the weekend. You are invited to come and see the characters and observe some of the presentations next Tuesday evening from 7:00-8:00 pm.
Having conducted such an in-depth study of a person in history, I believe your student will carry the memory throughout their lives. When our son, Caleb was in 7th grade, he studied the hobo culture for history fair here at ICA, and learned to play his new, never-used guitar and played and sang (albeit reluctantly) an old hobo song as a part of the performance . Of course he had his tin can out on display along with his hobo soup, and several people dropped money in on their way by to encourage the act. Now at age 21 he regularly leads singing for various gatherings of people with his guitar, and I tease him that he was a professional from his very first gig. You never know the impact a history fair project may have on your child's future!
National History Day is an annual national competition where students all over the United States do exactly what our students are doing next Tuesday. To get a bit more vision for the end product we are hoping for, you can watch the National History Day junior performance first place here.
Thanks for those who have already signed on to Gradelink to re-enroll for next year! I'm hoping everyone who is planning to re-enroll we be able to do so by the end of the week.
Every now and then I come across something in current kid's culture that is worth passing on. Maybe you've heard of the Momo Challenge, which has been reported as a possible threat to students who play on-line games, including games for young children. It was talked about quite a lot last summer, but seems to have resurfaced in the last couple of weeks. Attached is an informational sheet that helps understand what to watch for to help your children avoid the threat.
Whether or not the Momo Challenge is real or simply perpetuated by social media, parents do play a big role in protecting their children from very real threats in cyberspace. I encourage you to take advantage of parental controls on devices and monitor computer use, even keeping computers in common areas of your home. May you have discernment and wisdom as you go about the challenging job of raising kids in a world of technological potholes!
Here is another interesting article on one of those many potholes.
Just one week to re-enrollment! I'll send out an email toward the end of the week with more information regarding the coming school year. I may sound like a broken record, but it really does help with planning for next year if you are able to let us know if your family plans to be back in the fall. Thanks!
Favor to ask: I promise this isn't a homework assignment, but it may feel like it. It's different than homework because it's optional! I am currently teaching a junior high Bible class, which is one of my favorite classes of all time to teach. Students at this stage are processing some pretty deep things about life, our culture and faith, and they have lots of questions - which I love helping them find answers for.
Because I know everyone one of them will be making a decision in the next few years as to whether or not they will choose to pursue a relationship with Jesus, I thought it might help them in their processing to hear from some of you as to how faith has been a part of your life. If you are a person who has chosen to follow Jesus, would you mind taking a minute to write out answers to a few questions? Alternatively, if it is easier, you might send me a brief video.
Here are the two questions: Why did you decide to become a Christ-follower? What do you think is different in your life because of that decision?
1 Peter 3:15 says "Always be ready to give an answer to anyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have." I'm asking I think this could make a difference for our students!
Thanks in advance for considering the offer!
As we say goodbye to the last lingering piles of snow, we also hopefully welcome a nice calm routine for awhile! In case you are wondering, we will not tag on days in June to make up for the snow days. We have extra hours built in to our schedule, so we we are still above the state required minimum for private schools. So go ahead and plan your school's-out get away! The last day of school is still planned for June 13th barring any unforeseen events.
Walking through the hallways, it's easy to find a smiling face this week. Every class is participating in new and unusual learning opportunities. Some are learning how to cook eggs, candy, or bread. Others are making music in choir, ukulele, guitar, recorder or chapel band. The artists are experimenting with rock painting, collages, Electric signs, up-cycled boxes or Chinese calligraphy. To get bodies in motion, we have volleyball, rock climbing, zumba, Taekwondo and yoga. The historians get to follow the steps of the Oregon trail, learn mountain man skills or how to be a knight. Then there are classes for paper weaving, kite-making, sewing, and bullet journaling... Literally something for everyone. It is an exhilarating week for the students, although somewhat exhausting for the staff.
We are so grateful for everyone who has volunteered their time and resources to make this week happen. All are invited to the Electives Week Showcase and 2nd quarter awards meal next Tuesday evening at 6 pm. Chicken Caesar salad is on the menu. We hope you can join us for this joyous event!
The School Championship Spelling Bee (grades 2-8) took place today. Even greater than the benefit of studying and learning new words for these students is the opportunity events like the spelling bee provide to practice focusing under a bit of pressure. It's a skill that is useful to all of us at some point in life, and this seems to be a low-stakes chance to build that muscle. Congratulations to our top spellers for today and for every student who took the time to put a bit of extra effort into spelling this month!
3rd place: Charlotte Dunn
2nd place: Max Ohme
1st place: Bailey Wenzek
Bailey will represent our school at the Regional Scripps Spelling Bee March 23rd. Go Bailey!
In Class Spelling Bee results: Today grades 2-8 all participated in their in-class spelling bee. Congratulations to these top spellers from each class:
1st: Luke LaChausse
2nd: Henry Ohme
3rd: Ben Lindenstein
1st: Bailey Wenzek
2nd: Elizabeth Chambers
3rd: Bjorn Juengel
1st: Eli Vanhouten
2nd: Tyson Prendergast
3rd: Ellyse Hudec
1st: Lydia Justus
2nd: Sean Carr
3rd: Jacob Hughes
1st: Lindi Moore
2nd: Charlotte Dunn
3rd: Ian Leon
1st: Max Ohme
2nd: Owen Bartel
3rd: Amadeus Tskinovsky
1st: Brian Heggenes
2nd: Emmy Carlson
3rd: Ethan Chambers
The top two spellers from each grade will advance to the School Championship Bee, which is next Tuesday, January 22nd at 2:00 pm in the gym, and to the Inter-School Bee which will be at Cornerstone Academy in Monroe on February 28th. Next Tuesday, the 22nd is a dress protocol day for all students. Sorry for not communicating that clearly for this week – our mistake.
Quest Club: The Parents of ICA students (PICA) group will be helping me present an event this quarter that is sure to bring joy to the students who have worked toward it. Quest club will be January 24th at 2 pm in the lunchroom.
In order to be invited to this event, students must have successfully completed three of the four quests for this quarter
1. Listening Quest
2. Gifts for Jesus Quest (5 out of the 10 mini-quests)
3. Jumping Jack Challenge
4. Puzzle Challenge
I have attached the last two quests in case you would like to help your student complete them this next week. All quests must be turned in by 3:30 pm January 23rd.
Electives Week: Today is “preview day” when our students in grades three and up get to choose four choices out of 30 classes offered this year! Students will bring home a form this evening for your approval as some of the classes have fees associated. There is also a place on the form to sign up for hot lunches if you would like. Hot lunch will be served every day during Electives Week. Please return the form by Thursday. Students will participate in these classes January 29th-February 1.
It seems many students, parents and teachers are glad to be back into the routine again after a nice break for the holidays. January presents a few events to take note of:
1. January 23rd and 30th are both Wednesdays that are full days instead of 2:00 release. Buses will run at 3:30.
2. Spelling Bee - The format is a bit different for spelling bee this year. There is more information just below from the coordinator, Mrs. Ronna Bartel.
3. Electives Week - coming up January 29th-February 1st. We have some new class offerings as well as some returning favorites. If you have a skill or hobby you would like to share with our students, please contact the school office. Preview day is next Tuesday when students will have opportunity to choose which four of the 20+ classes in which they would like to participate. They will bring the forms home Tuesday night for parent approval. For a more detailed explanation of Electives Week, click here.
Spelling Bee report from Mrs. Ronna Bartel
You are invited to your child's Classroom Spelling Bee next Tuesday, the 15th. The times are as follows: 2nd grade - 9:30; 3rd/4th grade - 10:30; 5th grade - 12:45; 6th grade - 11:15; 7th grade 10:00; 8th grade 10:30. The top two spellers from Grades 2-8 will advance to the All School Bee which is on January 22nd at 2:00 pm in the gym, and to the Inter-School Bee which will be off-Island on February 28th. In addition, the top ICA speller will compete at the Regional Bee in March. Please continue to have your spellers study their grade level list, and all the words from Grades 1-8 if they hope to compete well at the All School Bee. If you are needing another copy of the lists, please contact Mrs. Bartel.
Tonight is the annual Classic Christmas Pageant! Although we do the same basic program from year to year, I am always freshly inspired to see talent and personality emerge in new ways. I think you will be delighted by the evening, hopefully have your heart warmed, and be immersed in the purpose and significance of Christmas.
Here are the details:
6:30 student arrival for most classes (if your student's teacher indicated a different time, go with that)
6:30 PICA cider and sweets in the gym for adults (students should go straight to their classroom).
6:55 band prelude
Formal dresses/dress pants and tie
OR dress protocol
Individual students may have additional needs that depend on their costume.
Program recording: Someone will be recording the program for our public Facebook page using FB live. We will also record the performance from a higher vantage point and offer it on DVD after the break. Hopefully this will allow you and everyone around you enjoy the program more, and grandparents who aren't able to be here may have a chance to view it.
Hope to see you all this evening!
The big news is the Christmas pageant for which we are rehearsing several days this week. Today we bring out the bells! Ever now and then I'll hear a student in the restroom or going down the hall humming or singing part of the Hallelujah Chorus. What a great time of the year! Next Tuesday at 7 pm, we will be meeting in the gym to celebrate the birth of the Christ child. Each teacher will let you know the proper arrival time for your student (most should plan to arrive around 6:30). This year PICA (Parents of ICA students) will be hosting a time to chat with cider and goodies at 6:30!
The next big event of the new year, second only to the school Spelling Bee (January 22nd), is Electives Week (Jan 29 - Feb 1), The purpose of Electives Week is to present our students with opportunities and experiences they may not get in the regular classroom setting. Our hope is that some may show an affinity or aptitude toward one or more of the skills or ideas presented and be inspired to learn more independently. I am currently seeking parents and community members who have a skill or particular knowledge in a hands-on subject area which they might be able to pass on to the next generation. I've attached the information for prospective presenters. Please feel free to pass the information on to someone who may fit the bill. Please send any ideas my way!
Every now and then you may hear something from your student(s) about houses, quests, or quest club. I thought it might be helpful to use this forum to paint a picture of the idea behind and this year’s iteration of the ICA house system. House operations tend to be part of the background of what we do at ICA, but I don’t want it to be vague, so read on if your interest is piqued.
The philosophy behind houses:
Houses are intended to encourage virtue and life skills that are important, but challenging to acquire in the average student’s day to day life as they are not always modeled in the broader culture. At ICA we feel like who you are is just as important as what you know, and this is one way we can support families in the effort to nurture the character qualities and skills needed for life.
It is not a teacher directed program, but is entirely left up to the initiative of the student and/or parents (especially at a younger age). Houses meet together a few times a year for games or to interact as a house and encourage one another to support the team.
Each quarter all students are invited (but not required) to join in four different quests. A new quest is presented every two weeks in chapels and/or at our Monday morning and Friday afternoon all-school gatherings. Each quarter a challenge is presented that emphasizes development in the social, physical, spiritual and mental realms. Each challenge is assigned a point value, and each quarter a 5 point “boost” is given to one of the four quests for each house. So, for instance, this quarter the first quest is a social quest worth up to 100 points with a yellow house boost. Every student can earn up to 100 points, but the yellow house members who choose to do this quest get five extra points. Every house has a boost every quarter.
Other ways to earn house points:
Academics: each quarter students earn house points by their placement on honor roll with varying points for the levels reached.
Extra-curricular activities: Students can earn house points by submitting a form to a coach or instructor at an after-school activity they participate in. The instructor/coach answers a few brief character questions, and students receive awards when it is turned in to the office. (50 points)
Above and Beyond: Some teachers assign extra activities that go beyond the normal requirements of an assignment, giving students an incentive to excel if they choose.
Chapel Awards: Each time we have chapel, the elementary teachers pass out awards to students whom they have noticed exhibiting desirable character qualities. We try to be sure every student is noticed throughout the year. This helps other students understand desirable qualities for an ICA student, hopefully encouraging them to emulate that behavior. Each chapel award earns 10 house points.
Friday house colors: Students who wear a shirt that represents the color of their house earns 10 house points. It doesn’t have to be an official house shirt, just the house color.
House awards: Points add up for the individual, and cumulatively for his or her house. Two individual house awards are given quarterly. The first is the “Head of House” award given to the student in that house earning the most individual points. The “Go-Give” award is given to a student from any house who exhibits the virtue attached to a specific house. These are usually selected by staff, but occasionally given by an entire house to someone outside their house.
Readers of the Round Table: The last two years the Readers of the Round Table was a very visible piece of our house points system. This year it is more in the background, but still a valid way to earn credit. We have a list of classic books organized by reading level we think all students should read during their school career. In order to encourage students to engage with these books, we have offered house points for reading them. We haven’t featured this program with the students yet this school year, but it is available for those who would like to participate.
Quest Club: This year, as further incentive to participate in houses, we initiated the Quest Club. This is a quarterly “club” attended by every student who successfully completes at least three of the four quarterly quests during that quarter.
The first quarter club was attended by about 15 students during the last hour of the last day of the first quarter. At the club we presented a couple of different scenarios students may face from time to time. As a group we talked through and practiced the protocol related to those events. One was receiving and opening gifts. The principle was that gifts are not about things but about relationships. The saying we learned was “people are more important than things”. Each student was able to practice by opening a gift they may or may not like, and then found something to say that would be appropriate even if it wasn’t a gift they really would use (which some weren’t). It was a fun way to reinforce manners that are already being taught at home.
House of Distinction: Each year the house that collects the most points receives the title of “House of Distinction” for the following year. As a reward, they participate in their own house field trip in early June.
That was long! I want you to have the knowledge and terminology to help your student fully benefit from the house system if you choose to do so.
Thanks for sticking with me!
This is the last time I'll mention auction for a few months. Since last week was a bit premature to give numbers, I thought you all might like o know it looks like our total for this year's auction even with expenses accounted for has now surpassed $64,000. I had to double check the report before typing that just to convince myself I had it right. All I can say is, "wow", and "God is faithful!" Thank you for taking part in that miracle.
I'll attach the list below of items that are available for bidding until the end of this week. We added a few new items this week. If you would like to place a bid, please send it to email@example.com. We'll let you know if you are in the running. You can also check to see if you've been outbid!
As of tomorrow, we have completed 25% of our school days for this year! End of first quarter. Next Tuesday we invite parents who are able to join us at 12:00 pm for hot lunch and quarterly awards celebration.
Parent/Teacher conferences: Teachers and staff now have a feel for the individual students in their classrooms, and would like to sit down and chat with you about ways we can work together to see your student get the greatest possible benefit from their time at ICA this year. Please call the office to schedule your conference. We would like to connect with at least one parent for every student. (The preschool conferences are optional.) The days set aside for conferences are next Friday, the 16th, Monday and Tuesday, the 19th and 20th from 1:00-4:30. Thank you for making this a priority.
Auction volunteers requested: As we come into the final stretch toward this year's auction, there are a number of jobs that, when divided among many, will be light work. Many of these can be completed at home. All count toward your volunteer hours for the school year. Please email or call Angela if you would like to claim one!
Projects you could do at home or school:
Buy It Now display certificates (Publisher knowledge helpful)
Paint small table and chairs in preparation for a class project
Create displays for experiences being auctioned.
Cut out gift tags and attach to student projects
Tie ribbon on student ornaments
Create Reserved Table signs
Projects you could stop by and complete at school (at your convenience):
Laminate bidder number cards
Next week either Thursday or Friday we will need a few people who are comfortable on ladders to help put up some stage decorations. Please email or call Mrs. Chittim if you think you could help.
Thank you for bringing in your items and ticket stubs this week. If you have not yet accomplished this, please do so ASAP.
A few more item sneak peeks:
Deako Smart Lighting Starter Kit: Kit includes 5 smart switches, 1 Deako connect (Bluetooth to wifi Bridge). Uses voice controlled integration with Amazon Alexa and Google Home. App control with Keoko app for android or IOS. Control any switch from anywhere in your home with the Bluetooth mesh network. Retails for $399.99
Two Day Fishing Trip on the North Olympic Peninsula. Your choice of Coho/Chinook salmon or wild steelhead (catch and release). Stop by the reception area for more details.
Lots, lots more!
Auction is creeping up on us ever so stealthily, and anticipation is beginning to build! Working together we’ll get the job done! (Name that tune.)
Financial award: In case you didn’t know yet, Ben Criswell and Eagle Construction have agreed to pay $250 toward tuition for the family with the highest procurement total! We will name the winner November 13th in Message Tuesday.
November 5th (This coming Monday): : Please have all procurement forms, items, and ticket stubs submitted to the office. Exception: If the items are unusually large, they could be delivered the week of auction.
November 5th Last day to be included in the catalog or live auction. We put all the donors’ names in the catalog, so if your form isn’t submitted, your donor will be left out.
November 14th: Last day to be included in the auction. Any submissions after this date will welcomed, but sold in another venue.
Have you found your place to serve? There are several areas still in need of help:
Kitchen crew needs helpers in the days leading up to and day of auction. Email me (Brenda) for times.
Clean up crew is still a bit anemic.
Ironing seems to be a fading art form, but I am willing to train you! This is the only job that can be done anytime YOU want to do it! We have a room dedicated to the ironing party.
Item preview: Sometimes it helps to know some of the larger items that will be sold in advance so you could possibly be better prepared to bid.
One of those items this year that has come in recently is a DeWalt double bevel sliding compound miter saw valued at $700. You can see it in the copy room behind the reception area if you would like to take a peek. Please thank our amazing neighbors at Sebo’s for their generous donation!
Mariner’s “view level” tickets (4) to a home game!
Thanks for any part you have in making this a fantastic event that makes the mission of ICA possible!
We are in a season of the year that it seems all Christian families navigate a bit differently, specifically regarding how they celebrate, or don’t celebrate Halloween. Opinions and practices vary widely among the families in our school. Overall our desire is to create an environment where we honor the true, good and beautiful, which also guides how we cross the sometimes-murky waters of Halloween season.
As an organization, we try to place emphasis on celebrating the harvest season, as American Christians have done for many generations. The key hymn we are singing this month is Great is Thy Faithfulness, which reminds of God’s unchanging nature and the way He provides for us in every season. We also have a candy-raiser to support the Harvest Carnival put on each year by Island Church, where many of our students participate in the celebration in a God-honoring way. This Friday the Parents of ICA organization is also sponsoring a Pumpkin Carving/decorating party as a way to connect families of ICA students.
Some of the younger classes also celebrate the harvest by having class parties. In the coming week. Some classes will encourage students to dress up for the party (not the whole school day as it can be quite a distraction) in friendly costumes. We ask students to not come dressed in anything that would represent the dark or scary, but take the opportunity to display the true, good and beautiful in creative ways.
On another note, I recently ran across a short video by one of my favorite authors on raising children, Dr. James Dobson called Kids Watching Violence. It’s less than two minutes, but serves as a great reminder to guard the hearts of our children.
Thanks for taking the time to read today! See below for announcements.
Your students had an opportunity to shine today at Grandparents Day, and they did so with confidence and sparkle. As always, the grandparents and special friends seemed to delight in the day as the students proudly showed them around the school and then presented an inspiring program. Thank you for helping prepare the students for today, and for allowing us to share with you in their training! Here are just a few snapshots from the day:
House report: House Auxilium is currently leading the way for the year!
I would like to announce that the following students were elected by their houses last week as student leaders for this year:
Virtus/House of Strength (purple): Henry Ohme & Duncan Permenter
Auxilium/House of Help (red): Elizabeth Chambers & Zetta Prendergast
Adoratium/House of Encouragement (yellow): Danika Hudec & Shannon Justus
Gratius/House of Friendship (blue): Alysha Ackerman & Sierra Wilmoth
We are thankful for each one of our students who boldly put their ideas forward and gave speeches in their house meetings. We have many students with emerging leadership qualities in our secondary classes, and are very thankful for each one's willingness to serve. Mrs. Wilmoth will be meeting with the group twice a month this year developing their skills, learning to work collaboratively and provide some added interest for all students throughout the school year.
We are looking forward to the well-loved event Grandparent's Day next Tuesday at 10:00 am. Any friend of the student is welcome to come share the day if a grandparent is not available. We even have a few grandparents who would be glad to be adopted for the day if they are needed!
See below for upcoming events and details.
Reminder: This Friday there is no school for students, but as a staff we will be traveling to Providence Classical Christian School in Bothell for a regional training event for classical school staff. We'll learn from sessions with titles like Understanding and Communicating with Millennial Parents (I plan to glean some helpful information here), Cultivating a Love of Learning (my personal favorite), Growth and Grit: Developing a Proper Mindset in Our Classrooms in in our Students (If you've ever read Carol Dweck's book called Mindset, this is the classroom application of that insightful teaching). We'll also have opportunity to share lunch with our counterparts in other classical schools. While we are being students, hopefully you will be able to enjoy some extra time with yours this Friday.
See below for some important details about the coming week!
Thank you to those who made it to the auction kick-off meeting last Tuesday. Hopefully you were encouraged and inspired to go procuring! I was inspired, myself, and sent out two procurement requests the next day. You may stop reading now if you would like!
If you were unable to attend (whether or not you feel like an auction veteran), and have not opted out of auction participation, please read on as it will make our auction season much smoother for both you and the auction staff. If you read to the end, there is a reward! (No skipping ahead! )
Please pick up your auction packet in the reception area of the school. If you have not picked it up by the end of September, we will assume you would rather opt out. Anyone is welcome to this option. Just let us know and we’ll bill you an extra $1000 per family of tuition over the next 9 months.
If you have chosen to participate in auction, here are three parts to your family's auction participation:
You are required to procure items and/or services with a minimum value of $800. The amount you do not procure will be added to your tuition bill following auction.
The BOOK rules:
1. You may sign up for businesses from whom you would like to request a donation in the book in the school reception area. It is very important that you NOT procure from a business you did not sign up for. ALWAYS check the book before asking.
2. You have 2 weeks to visit a business to ask for a procurement. Please stop by the reception desk or call or email Angela to put a yes or no in the book. That way we know that business has been covered and no one else may talk to them. If you have not requested a donation after two weeks, someone else may visit that business.
There are a few more thoughts on procurements below.
Your packet contains four tickets that are your responsibility to sell. You are welcome to purchase them yourself and bring a few friends or sell them to people who would be amenable to our cause. Please strategically invite people you know would help us in our fundraising effort. You can always get more tickets from the office if needed. Some families opt to purchase a reserved table for $200 (see procurement form), and invite six extra friends! (This represents a $10/ticket savings).
Please turn in the ticket stubs with names as soon as possible.
Work the auction week or day
Auction is an event that requires “all hands on deck”. Please sign up at the reception area for an auction or pre-auction job! We need people in a variety of jobs before, during and after auction. It’s a great way to meet other ICA parents!
The reward: Eagle Building will pay $250 toward tuition for the family with the highest procurement total! You can do it!
Thank you so much for joining in to raise money to keep tuition affordable for families on South Whidbey!
Week one accomplished! It seems everyone is settling in to the new school environment, and I believe we are poised for another delightful year of exploring God’s world together as a school community.
This evening you have opportunity to hear the teachers’ heart for their students this year. We have been blessed with a stellar staff who are both competent and caring. Thank you for entrusting us with your child(ren) this year.
The schedule for tonight:
6:30-7:00. Classroom presentation
7:00-7:30. Q&A with teachers and/or check out the displays In the gym. There is even opportunity to win a prize or two!
7:30-8:00 classroom presentation
Both classroom presentations are the same. They are repeated for families who may have more than one student in the school.
If you are missing any enrollment paperwork, please bring that along with you tonight.
See the flyer below for several additional announcements.
I hope to see you this evening!
Just one more week to go!
Please be on the look-out for a packet we will be sending home this week for containing some helpful items important items pertaining to next year.
Below are a couple of newly scheduled upcoming events to which you are invited!
Parent Organization interest meeting: Tuesday, June 12 at 8:45 am - 3:30 Cost: $150
ICA mom, Jenna Criswell, has agreed to help form an all-new parent organization. The purpose and goals of this group will be somewhat different from our PTO of the past. Jenna and I are looking forward to meeting with any parents who are interested in joining a team to build community among ICA families next year. Please join us for coffee next Tuesday in the lunchroom!
Summer Camp! July 11-15 8:30-
Mrs. Phillips, our kindergarten teacher, will be hosting a week of Summer Camp in July for students going into grades 1-3! The Hawaiian Hullabaloo will include activities, books, picnics, even a trip to Double Bluff.
Yearbooks, Outdoor Movies, Graduations, Summer Camps, end of year field trips...sounds to me like summer is on the way! Check out all the details in the informational bulletin below.
Hot off the press: Summer Camp with Mrs. Phillips July 9-13 - More info to come!
Two things I would like to bring your way today.
1. Preschool Enrollment - need your help! We are working to fill up our three year old class for next school year. This year was very successful, and we would like to continue the program into next year. We have scheduled an open house for that class June 5th, so would like your help spreading the word. If you refer someone and they sign up for school this fall, you earn $100 off your September tuition!
2. End of year schedule: The last few weeks of school seem to approach light speed, so I would like to just give you an overview of the year-end events, some of which you are invited to attend:
June 4th: House of Distinction field trip. Parents of house members are welcome to join us for this fun day at the Family Fun Center in Edmonds. I'll not yet divulge the winning house since we haven't announced the winning house to the students yet,
June 5th: Preschool (3s) Open House 10:00 - 11:00 am. Please reserve a spot in advance.
June 6th: half day with buses
June 11-13: JH/HS Year-End Field Trip to Portland led my Mrs. Wilmoth and Mrs. Bartel. Some of the places they will visit include the Museum of Flight in Seattle, Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, Powell Books, and even a submarine tour!
June 12th: Kindergarten Graduation 6:30 pm
June 13th: Field Day Elementary students will enjoy competing in group games including kickball against the staff! Please send an outside sack lunch this day.
June 14th Last Day of School regular start time. Parents are welcome to join us for graduation, band presentation and Fourth Quarter Awards at 10:00 AM in the gym. Student may be released to go home with parents immediately following.
Whew! One more slam-bang finish!
**Check out our ICA Group page on Facebook for lots of class field trip pictures!
Thank you for showing your appreciation to the teachers and staff at ICA last week! We have an outstanding team, and you did a wonderful job making them feel loved and appreciated!
The next two weeks (May 21nd - June 1) we will be conducting standardized testing. Each grade level (2nd - 10th) takes computerized tests for two school days during that two -week period.
Below is a list of days each grade will be testing:
Grade 2: Monday, May 21 and one test the 23rd
Grades 3-4: Tuesday and Wednesday, May 22-23
Grades 5-6: Thursday and Friday, May 24-25
Grades 7-8: Tuesday and Wednesday, May 29-30
Grades 9-10: Thursday and Friday, May 31 and June 1
Students may express some anxiety about these tests at home, so I would like to give you some thoughts to share with your students in regard to the tests that may help them feel more at ease:
1. They aren't part of the grades that go on your report card. These tests are to show us what you have learned and how much your academic skills have improved between last year and this year.
While it is important for students to give their very best effort, we want them to be able to relax in the understanding that we are trying to get a clear picture of how well we are helping them learn. Our goal is to strike the balance between being overly concerned about their performance on one hand and clicking bubbles at random (which some have been known to do) on the other.2. There may be some questions to which you do not know the answer. If after reading the question two or three times you still don't know the correct answer, make the most logical guess with what you do know.
3. Bring plenty of water and a book to read silently when you are done with your test.
4. Bring non-sugary snacks, a water bottle and a healthy lumch as we will have 30 minute breaks between all tests and you will want to feed your brain with both food and oxygen (by exercising).
5. Please, please, please be sure to get adequate sleep during your testing days as it will give you the best chance of showing what you have learned over the last year.
Thank you for helping provide optimal conditions for your student to do well on their assessments!
Several years ago I read a book called Emotional Intelligence by Dr. Travis Bradberry. The author makes the claim that emotional intelligence (EQ) is often more of an indicator of success in business and relationships that a person's IQ. He defines emotional intelligence this way:"Emotional intelligence is that 'something' in each of us that is a bit intangible; it affects how we manage behavior, navigate social complexities, and make personal decisions that achieve positive results.
In a recent article also written by this author, he states, "Children learn emotional intelligence from their parents, plain and simple. As your children watch you every day, they absorb your behavior like a sponge."
At ICA we understand well that how a student learns to interact with other students on the playground is just as important as how they perform on the math test in the classroom. This is one of the reasons I fondly refer to the recess monitors as the "character class" teachers. The skills students learn in the lunchroom and the playground will serve them well throughout their lives if the right lesson is learned. I'm grateful for student monitoring staff who understand these concepts and can help students navigate l their own emotions as well as those of others and respond in a way that is beneficial for all involved.
Mr. Bradberry has written an excellent short article specifically directed to parents and caregivers entitled, "Eight Powerful Ways to Mold Children into Leaders" I hope you'll have a chance to read it in the next week or so as it will give you some potent thoughts on how to help your children develop their own EQ.
It seems like I'm always telling you about the next big event at ICA, and today is no exception. Next week is National Teacher Appreciation Week! We'll be doing some favors for our well-deserving staff throughout the week, but wanted to just bring it to your attention in case you would like to join this week of encouragement for the staff and teachers of ICA.
Today is the last day of third quarter and we begin our final segment of the school year tomorrow!
Twice a year we give parents opportunity to conference with their student’s teacher. That second opportunity is next week Thursday and Friday. In one of our assembly sayings the leader says “Finish” and the student responds “strong”! This parent teacher conference is all about helping your student finish the year out strong. Please call the office before the end of this week to schedule your appointment.
Next Tuesday is our third quarter awards luncheon. The band under the direction of Mr. Barker will be performing! Parents are invited to join us for the meal and presentations. Sweet-and Sour Chicken Bowl with brown rice, Asian Cole Slaw, and Pineapple Sunshine Cake. (Rice Crispy Treats for Gluten Free people) is on the menu.
Planning for next school year: The last two years we have followed the public school’s calendar in regard to half days. This served families whose children ride the public school bus, but it also served our purposes of having time for teachers to prepare progress and report cards, complete teacher training and conduct staff meetings.
The school district has made a change in their calendar for next year to early release every Wednesday, but not until 2:00 pm. This provides the same amount of time for our purposes, it is just 1.5 hours every Wednesday instead of three hours every other Wednesday.
If we were to follow the public school calendar for early release days every Wednesday at 2:00 pm, I am curious to know how this change would affect your family. The alternative would likely be to maintain our schedule of half days with 12:30 release and students would not be able to use the public school bus transportation those days.
If you would like to have input on the decision, I would be glad to hear from you this week.
Easter Celebration: I hope you will be celebrating the Resurrection this Sunday! As Christians we believe it is the most important event in human history. If you don't have a home church, South Whidbey Assembly would like to invite you to share the joy of Easter here at the school campus Sunday morning either 8;30 or 10:30.
Enjoy Good Friday and Spring Break, Friday, March 30 - April 8th.
Thank you to Lydia Justus who participated the Scripps Regional Spelling Bee this past Saturday! She made it through round three and represented ICA well!
Thank you to those who attended the Spring Clean up and Fix-It Day here at ICA on Saturday! Several parents and students showed up to help complete (along with the church attenders) over 120 combined hours of work on the campus!
Congratulations are in order for Science Fair winners! While each student worked hard to present a well-researched science project, the judges narrowed it down to the following medalists:
3rd Jacob Hughes: Fuzzy Drinks =Fuzzy Teeth
2nd Sean Carr: Dog Nose Prints
1st Daniel Hardesty: Robot Wars
3rd Jadyne Streitler: Horse Habits
2nd maya Hughes: Equine Beats
1st. Serenity Hardesty: Crystals
1st. Jolie Bartel: Natural vs Store bought Shampoo
2 nd. Grace Delaney: Fun with Flubber
3rd. Alysha Ackerman: Does Music Affect Concentration?
All is accomplished and students are breathing easier! Come on out tonight at 7:00 pm to peruse the rows of science projects, each carefully researched and presented by an ICA student. In addition to the individual projects, there are some intriguing group projects from the preschool, kindergarten and 1st/2nd grade classes.
Thank you to our list of stellar judges who had the difficult task of choosing the top three projects in each class.
1. Nathan Chambers
2. Christi Wenzek
3. Kelsey Chambers
1. Sarah Chappelle
2. Troy Mattson
3. Bill Criswell
1. Del Hardesty
2. Lisa Butters
3. Christi Dunn
Reminder: Tomorrow is an early release day at 12:30.
Island Christian ACademy
Decidedly Academic - Distinctively Christian.
A few of our wax museum participants
Electives week with Detective Farr from Island County
Service Project, Langley
High School students visit the capital building in Olympia
Spelling bee winners
Sno-Isle Skill Center graduate and ICA senior
Secondary Leadership Retreat
Community service project at the Island County Fairgrounds
Northwest Institute of the Literary Arts winners