Community Update: Sunday, December 8, 2019

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Dear Advanced Learning Academy Families,

Monday night, our 8th grade Civil Rights field experience to Alabama and Mississippi, that took place the week before Thanksgiving, will be highlighted on News 4 San Antonio during the 6:30pm newscast.  The piece includes student and teacher reflections, and we are proud that our work is being recognized as a model of powerful learning in public education. We will also share the story on ALA’s Facebook page once it is posted online!

After several weeks of preparation, all ALA 6th graders, along with various 4th-11th grade students, will be participating in the first round of Civics Fair presentations on Tuesday, December 10th!  Students have been working in teams to address community problems and create solutions that address those concerns.  In addition to delivering speeches, students will give a digital presentation and answer questions from community judges about their project.  Half of all of the grade level teams will move forward to compete at the San Antonio Civics Fair at UTSA, which will be held the following week. In preparation for Tuesday, an outdoor learning group asked me to share this short questionnairre for family feedback. 

The following afternoon on Wednesday, December 11th, our 4th/5th grade students present their Our Water World Exhibition from 3pm-6pm.  The project highlights student work that explores water conservation and access.  All families are invited to attend! 

On Thursday, December 12th from 5:30-7:00 pm, our school will host our 3rd Annual TamALAda to celebrate the holidays as well as a time for us to come together as a school. The event will include a family-style potluck, tamale making demonstration, mariachi, Euclid Zumba club,  the slam poetry class, and Pre-K performances, along with great food, fun, and community building at ALA. The TamALAda will take place in the amphitheater and in the ALA FT library. We will continue our potluck tradition and invite families to bring tamales or another dish. You can view the event flyer in English and Spanigh here

Families will not want to miss a special 2nd and 3rd grade cookbook pre-sale at the TamALAda!  Our 2nd and 3rd graders have been exploring the driving question: How can we, as junior chefs, create and share a recipe book to support ALA senior students? Students have been reading recipes, cooking, tasting, and writing recipes for their own cookbook.  Students are hoping their cookbooks will not only support seniors in cooking after graduation, but will also help to raise funds for the ALA senior class trip. The cookbooks cost $10 and cash/check will be accepted on Thursday in the library. 

We will also have a come and go workshop at the TamALAda for families to give feedback on our high school program and current ideas to further refine our work.  Over the last few weeks, we have held focus groups and workshops with teachers, students and our advisory board to discuss possible high school focus areas including more purposefully integrating design thinking and global studies into high school student learning experiences.  All families are invited to stop by to learn more and contribute feedback. 

The Scholastic Book Fair will be at both campuses this week Monday through Friday and open during Thursday’s TamALAda.Proceeds go to support library programs and support various projects across campuses. Students will visit the book fair during their classes and can also come with a pass from their teacher. Students and parents can pay with cash, credit or debit cards, or parents can set up an eWallet account. Parents and community supporters can also sign in at the office and shop with or without their children.

We will end the week with 6th-12th grade Saturday School on the 14th. Students are invited to an Academic Saturday School to work with teachers in support of upcoming work deadlines. 

Looking ahead, on December 13th, The CAST Network, in partnership with SA Works, is hosting from 8:45am – 10:00am at CAST Tech High School. At this breakfast businesses and organizations can learn about how to best utilize a high school intern through implementing an internship program.  This flyer has more details about the event. If you are interested in participating, or would like to learn more, please contact Tiffany Jenkins at 

On Thursday evening, December 19th, our theatre classes are hosting their 2nd annual Chili Cook-off Contest with  final semester performances from musical theatre, theatre production classes, the poetry classes, and some of our competing events from the festival.  This event helps to raise money for our UIL and spring productions. Please see the flyer here. If you have any questions please contact one of our theatre teachers:,,, or  

Finally, our 4th/5th service club is asking for donations to give to our aging community members. More details can be found HERE. 


Have a great week!



Kathy Bieser

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