I trust everyone received the message from Sarasota County Schools that there IS school tomorrow as T.S. Erica has degraded and will not greatly impact Sarasota. There is a 90% chance of thunderstorms so I recommend students bring an umbrella or rain gear for changing classes on Monday.
I am very pleased to report that the opening week of school went smoothly. We have a wonderful group of students! Traffic in the pick-up lane has been improving as parents find the best time to arrive. Thank you to everyone for pulling all the way forward so more cars can get off of Fruitville. Please be careful making that turn back onto Tree Road from the pick-up line if you are not pulling all the way to the end. (A BIG thank you to the Scofield family for trimming the limbs on the right side of Tree Road and to the Martinez family for cleaning the area on the left side outside the Reading Garden!)
As you know, the niche our charter school seeks to fill is to provide an opportunity for students to engage in the visual and performing arts. This is a unique opportunity because with a small K-8 school, all students can participate. You may have seen the article in the Sarasota Herald Tribune e-newspaper (SRQDaily) last week by Jim Shirley who is the executive director of the Arts and Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County. He restates what we at SAA have said since we first wrote our charter application, namely that "...Not only do they (the arts) help children develop and use their artistic talents, they also engage all their senses, improve their concentration and memory and inspire creative thinking. Students who participate in arts courses score higher on standardized tests, have greatly reduced dropout rates and achieve higher grade point averages than those who do not have the arts as a part of their curriculum." Several of our teachers are actively involved in the "Any Given Child" initiative which provides training opportunities for teachers so that art is better infused into the general curriculum and provides unique opportunities through EdExplore for field trips and presenters to come to the school. Our teachers will continue to take advantage of these opportunities so that all our students are continuously involved in the arts, both in specific art and music classes and in the general classroom. The science, math, and technology teachers work to meet the needs of students in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) proficiency. All teachers are working to make SAA a successful STEAM (science, technology, engineering, ART, and mathematics) environment. National Arts in Education Week is September 13-19.
This week we start our vocabulary initiative with the "Word of the Week." A committee of teachers met over the summer to devise a plan to increase the vocabulary skills of all K-8 students. Each week there will be a new Latin or Greek "root" that forms a base for vocabulary in each subject area. Ask your student what words they are learning this week. You'll be surprised at how this increases vocabulary and, therefore, reading comprehension!
Please check the calendar for events this week. The SAA Governing Board will meet Thursday morning at 8:00 AM to discuss regular monthly business. The agenda is posted on the SAA website.
Have a great week!
Cecilia R. Blankenship