Community Update: September 15, 2019

Sunday, September 16, 2019

Dear Advanced Learning Academy Families,

A few weeks ago, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) announced the 2019 School Accountability ratings. We are pleased to share that ALA earned an overall grade of a  “B” and 4 distinction designations in English Language Arts & Reading, Science, Social Studies, and Post-Secondary Readiness.  Congratulations to our students, teachers, and the ALA community! Students’ 2018-2019 Confidential Student Reports are currently being distributed by teachers to 4th-12th grade students who tested at ALA last year.  If your child was not at ALA last year, scores can be accessed from the Texas Assessment website. Please note that the access code can be obtained by clicking on the “Find My Access Code” link in the middle of the page. The website also includes helpful tools such as “Understanding Your Child’s Score” resource.

As we celebrate our success on the state accountability system, we recognize that ALA intentionally approaches teaching and learning in unique and innovative ways.  Three years after the school opened, I have vivid memories of standing before prospective families at our first information night sharing our vision of teaching and learning. That vision included project-based learning, social-emotional curriculum, student reflection and meta-cognition, student voice and choice, a culture of iteration among many aspirational dreams. We are proud to be a proof point in the world of education that strong performance on high-stakes accountability tests does not have to be at the expense of engaging and meaningful learning.  Rather, our success on traditional measures is because of our unique approaches to teaching and learning. Along with celebrating our “B”, we honor our success at growing students’ social-emotional, collaborative and problem-solving skills, all outgrowths of our approach.

Recently, the SAISD Foundation made surprise visits to ALA at Euclid and Fox Tech to award two Innovation Grants to several ALA teachers to help us further special projects and creative teaching.  Congratulations to Dina Toland and Kristie Gonzales. We celebrate their entrepreneurial spirit and creativity, and we send our thanks to the SAISD Foundation for the wonderful work they do to support our students and schools. 

Looking ahead, we have two upcoming evening events for families. The Euclid campus will host a RULER Family Night: Anchor Tools 101 on Tuesday, September 24th from 4:30pm-6:00pm.  This event is designed for new to ALA families; however, all families are invited to attend in order to learn about RULER, our social-emotional curriculum, and the anchor tools that we use at school. Information will be set up at various stations, allowing families to move through the sessions at different times and paces. Returning families are also welcome to join to receive a refresher on these anchor tools. Families may contact Leah Hoffpauir at lhoffpauir1@saisd.net for more information. Two days later, on Thursday, September 26th, we will host an 11th & 12th Grade Financial Aid Information Night from 6-7pm in the ALA FT cafeteria. Families can expect to learn what your student needs from you in order to fill out their financial aid package for college. 

Thank you to the families that emailed to alert us to the problems with the ALA Community Calendar.  The problems have been addressed and the ALA Community Calendar should once again be visible to all.

The ALA Theatre Dept is asking for help in locating props and costume pieces for their production of Beauty and The Beast, which opens on November 7th.   If you can help with any of these props and costumes, please contact astengel1@saisd.net.  They would like to have all of these items found  before October 20th.  

Finally, Friday, September 20th, is a student holiday for all ALA and SAISD students. ALA has adopted a calendar that varies slightly from the official SAISD instructional calendar. Here is the ALA 2019-2020 Instructional Calendar for your reference. 

Sincerely,

Kathy Bieser

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