Heroes of Faith

- Mr. Grant Dailey

Heroes of Faith is a class that happens every Wednesday.  In this class, a rotation of High School and Jr High teachers highlight individuals that lived a remarkable life in service to God and neighbor.  This class is a wonderful opportunity to highlight people that were driven to deny self in response to the life of Jesus Christ.  Each week students are challenged to consider how they can live exemplary lives in imitation of Jesus, allowing the stories of these heroes to inspire them to do great things for God.

Below is a slideshow of some of the heroes covered so far, with a brief excerpt of who they are/were and what they do/did:

Bible History Update

-Mr. Galford Bible History

 

In Jr. High Bible History class we are currently going through the Torah (first 5 books of the Bible), focusing on geography, culture, and key events.  Presently, we are in the book of Leviticus, where God's education system is established as being central in the organization of their society. One of the major emphasis' in this class has been to help them better understand situations in the world today.  This is why we study history.  This is especially true with biblical history.  As we move through the story. students are not only learning how to identify key locations and geographical movements in the narrative, but they are also being introduced to some of the significant cultural tensions that Israel had to face (e. g. what does it mean to be a monotheistic people in a polytheistic world).   Each student is in the process of producing an illustrated timeline of the Old Testament (they've completed Genesis so far).  This project is cumulative and will continue until the end of the semester.

Music and Dance

This week during Songwriting class we did a fun review.  We have been talking about various elements of songwriting.  Thus far we've talked about pattern (chord progressions, and repeated elements), coloring (addition of tonal qualities to give depth), and are now talking about dominance (the hook of the song).  The students broke up into teams and assigned dance moves to the different elements of the song.  The video below shows the boys dancing to a song called "Doubt" by Twenty One Pilots.  The song deals with human weakness and our need of God. The students really enjoyed making this video.  I hope you enjoy it as well.  Click here to see the video.

Hope Through Endurance: Song Communication

Today in Songs Performance class we welcomed songwriter Jeremy Hicks, stage name Thenvoy.  Mr. Hick's testimony is one of endurance and hope.  Early in his adulthood Mr. Hicks was diagnosed with chest cancer.  After his surgery he was told that one of his vocal chords was paralyzed and that he may never be able to sing again.  Through great suffering his voice returned and a character was produced in him that he now cherishes.  His personal story is reflected in his music which touches it's audience in very real and emotional way.  Mr. Hicks had the to opportunity to share his testimony with the students communicating, what the Apostle Paul says in Romans 5:3-4

"We rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope"

This class is not only a time for students to hear stories and learn how to perform, but it's also an opportunity for them to share about their lives and what they are going through. Like any art form, song provides an opportunity for human beings to interact with one another in a personal and spiritual way.  It is a communication tool.  Near the end of class, Students got the opportunity to share the songs of their hearts.  Genesis Garner and Merci Warren performed a sweet song that they wrote together, that communicates God's mercy and love, and how our response to the LORD should be one a gratefulness.  It was a wonderful class, that spurred the students on to good thoughts and actions.

Class Charts Moving to Class Dojo

This blog entry is to inform you on a recent change in one of the platforms we use to track students. 

Previously I updated you on how you can connect to Class Charts.  Starting Monday 9/26, we will no longer be using this service.  Instead, we will move to using Class Dojo.  in the time since we began using Class Charts a few years ago, the service has become less user friendly and more limited in terms of what it offers.  Class Dojo offers everything Class Charts did, as well as some new, slick features.  With it we can:

  1. Use a mobile app on a preferred mobile device for quick reference and instant notifications.
  2. Inform students of their progress directly, as they can also access the app without the limits of allowing Safari in restrictions (i.e., Class Charts).
  3. Message each other (parents and teachers) directly.
  4. Post photos and videos throughout the day to a class "stream," giving each class its own 'Instagram' style platform.

Here's what you need to do to get connected:

  1. Download the "access code" PDF I emailed you.
  2. Navigate to the Class Dojo parent signup form. Enter in all your info.
  3. Download the mobile application for your preferred device and login using the credentials created above.

Feel free to contact me with any questions.  Enjoy this great opportunity to stay informed with what's happening throughout the day at the Academy!

Technology Update

Hey parents, I want to reiterate a communication you should have already received.  Last week, Mr. Nathan Cameron updated the "Academy Tech Blog" with a new entry explaining a change in iMessage use on students' iPads.

Apple updates are always a mixed blessing.  With new features come new problems to address in terms of protecting students.  The new version of iMessage, Apple's stock messaging app, contains searchable images within the app itself.  While this can be fun, it can't be filtered.  The databases it connects to quickly populate inappropriate images with even the most harmless keyword search.  Unfortunately, there isn't a way to lock out this feature.

To remedy this, while providing a good medium for students to communicate with each other, we will use Google Hangouts instead.  Mr. Cameron gives a great step-by-step guide for disabling iMessage and setting up Hangouts.  Note that we have asked YOU to take care of this for your student.  If you have any issues or need help, don't hesitate to contact me.

Thanks for your help in keeping your students safe from negative content while ensuring we can teach them to use technology in the best way possible!

Parent Resources

This blog highlights some great resources for parents to be more involved in their students' education at the Academy.  Our time with students is limited to a set block of time each week, and within that, each course or subject receives a small fraction of that time.  You have the position of being with your student each morning, afternoon, and night, reinforcing and encouraging their development in all arenas.  Without you, we can't do our job to the fullest extent! 

I encourage you to take advantage of these platforms and be invested in your student's education.

 


 

Canvas

Canvas is our module for course management.  Each class your student is enrolled in will have its own module within the Canvas platform.  This is the place where teachers assign homework, give quizzes, grade work, share assignment related announcements and files, and communicate with students regarding course expectations.  

As a parent you have the ability to observe your student in each of their classes. In order to do this, you will need the login credentials for your student (both email AND password).  Once you have that information, follow this step-by-step guide to sign in and begin observing.

Class Charts

Class Charts is a system for monitoring merits and demerits.  Merits are issued throughout the school day by course and lead teachers, affirming positive academic and social behavior.  With younger students in the Academy this system is used to reinforce things like listening and following instructions.  With our Jr. High class, it is a system to encourage and reward standout behavior, whether exerting extra effort to do well in a subject that one routinely struggles with, or by demonstrating commendable character in their interactions with their peers. The incentives are things that would be worth the effort for any student (i.e., homework passes).

To access Class Charts, go to www.classcharts.com, choose 'Login', select parent, and then either login with an existing account or create a new one (refer to the image below). You should already have an email from me with the access code required for your student.   Use that information to open an account and view your student's merits and demerits.  Note that there is also an app available for Android/iPhones and tablets.