Monday, January 16, 2017

Headmaster Letter

Dear North Phoenix Prep Families,

A thousand thanks for a fantastic first week back!  Our teachers and students were truly joyful as they participated in their projects, and our student-led conferences were a fruitful time of reflection and goal-setting.  Thanks to all the families who have reached out to me with words of gratitude and support.  I am so incredibly proud of our whole community for the positive and joyful way that we've begun 2017!

Student-led conferences are particularly well-suited to a classical liberal arts academy such as ours.  Central to our approach is a way of life modeled by the ancient Greek philosopher Socrates, who famously said that the unexamined life is not worth living.  We teach our students to live Socratically through student-led conferences by encouraging them to examine their past behaviors & habits, to submit those to the standard of Truth, Goodness, and Beauty, and to set goals that bring them closer to those ideals.  In short, we ask them to live the examined life. Engaging in this kind of dialogue is not always easy, but it is incredibly rewarding and worthwhile.

I am so proud to be a Gladiator, and to engage in the life-transforming activity of educating young people together with our faculty.  They, too, deserve our praise for their compassionate, humane approach to our students.  They are truly mentors and coaches to the tender souls in their charge.

With Devotion,
Headmaster Weinhold

P.S. Many of you have already indicated your interest in a discussion of Mindset.  Stay tuned for more information coming soon!

Quarter 3/Semester 2 Clubs

Third Quarter & Second Semester Clubs will start this week! Questions about clubs can be directed to kharris@northphoenixprep.org or the club sponsor.


BEFORE SCHOOL CLUBS Semester 2

Club
Meeting Times
Sponsor(s)
Fee

AFTER SCHOOL CLUBS Semester 2

Club
Meeting times
Sponsor(s)
Fee

LYCEUM CLUBS Semester 2

*all clubs run during Lunch & Lyceum unless otherwise noted

Club
Meeting Times
Sponsor(s) 
Fee
NHS
Monday
Ms. Cole
Chess
M/W 1st Lyceum only
Ms. Singh
Spanish Club
Tuesday
Mrs. Pagnone
Gladiator/Lanistae
Wednesday
Harris/Sheahan
/Olsen
Senate
Wednesday
Harris/Bustos
French Club
Some Wednesdays
Mrs. Durham
Spoken Latin
Thursday
Ms. La Peter
/Mr. Ward
Psychology Club
Thursday
Mr. Olsen
Creative Writing
(TBD)
Mr. Burke

Spring Sports Registration

The 2017 Spring Sports Season for both MS and HS is right around the corner. We will be attempting to form the following teams:
Try-outs
Try-outs are scheduled for the week of Feb. 13 for all teams. All athletes must register at the below given link and turn in all of the proper forms prior to tryouts. More details regarding exact try-out dates and times are to follow.

PracticesPractices for the all teams will begin the week of Feb. 20. Exact practice dates, times, and locations will be given as soon as they are finalized.

Registration
Use the following link to register: Spring Sports Registration
If it does not work, please go to northphoenixprep.org then athletics then click on registration.

It’s important that this registration happen prior to tryouts as it contains documents that need to be signed. If this is not completed before tryouts, unfortunately the athlete will not be able to participate in the try-out.

We are looking forward to having as many students as possible participate. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions and . . .

GO GLADIATORS!!!

High School Preview Night

High School Preview Night for currently enrolled and prospective 8th graders and their families.

Tuesday, January 24, 6:00 – 8:00 pm RSVP HERE

We invite the Class of 2021 to get a vision of their future at North Phoenix Prep from 6:00-8:00 pm on Tuesday, January 24th. We will hear brief presentations regarding academics, arts, athletics, and the college counseling program which make up the NPX high school experience. We will also have a panel of current NPX high school students to address common questions or concerns about high school. This is a great opportunity to meet the high school teachers, older high school students, and the rest of the class of 2021! Set your sights on success with a clear view of the road ahead! We hope to see you there!

High School Preview Day:

Please also note that 8th graders currently enrolled at North Phoenix Prep will participate in a special schedule during the school day on the 24th. This schedule will give them sampling of the high school curriculum and student life.

This event is only open to 8th graders – if you have any questions please contact Ms. Coughlon CCoughlon@northphoenixprep.org (602) 445-2902

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Upcoming Events for the 3rd Quarter

Check NPX Events Calendar for updates & Check the Athletics Calendar for Sporting Events
  • Thu Jan 19 
    • 7:45am – 8:15am - NPX Clothes Closet 
    • 8:15am – 9:15am Headmaster Coffee - Parents of 11th grade students
    • 7:00pm – 8:30pm NPX Financial Aid Workshop - H Building
  • Fri Jan 20 
  • Tue Jan 24 
  • Wed Jan 25 
  • Thu Jan 26
    •  8:15am – 9:15am Headmaster Coffee - Parents of 10th grade students
  • Fri Jan 27
    • 12:15pm – 1:15pm Snack Shop 
  • Mon Jan 30
    • 12:15pm – 1:15pm Snack Shop 
  • Wed Feb 1
    • 8:15am – 9:15am Headmaster Coffee - Parents of  9th grade students
    • 12:15pm – 1:15pm Snack Shop This recurring event is part of a series.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Headmaster Letter

Dear North Phoenix Prep Families,

Welcome back from what I trust was a restful and relaxing holiday!  Vacation is truly important and rewarding, but I am definitely excited to return to my vocation this week!

We will begin the semester with winter conferences, so I first want to say how proud I am of the careful reflection and honest self-evaluation that our students have already done.  I was speaking with one student about the student growth plans and student-led conferences last semester, and she remarked, "I felt like I'd been given a plan for how to succeed, but I also felt like I'd chosen it for myself."  Another student commented, "I was a little nervous at first, and I didn't quite know how to make a growth plan, but now I see that my teachers just want to help me grow, and now I understand how to make better choices."  Our students are truly becoming the captains of their own ships.

By creating the conditions for our students to take ownership of their education, North Phoenix Prep is truly preparing them for a life well-lived.  One educational resource that we have found quite helpful in thinking about this goal is a book called Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck, a Professor of Psychology at Stanford.  I'd like to share a quick preview of that book with you.

Dweck posits that our beliefs about our own intelligence or ability can dramatically affect the reality of our lives.  A person can, on the one hand, hold to a "fixed mindset," which is the belief that our intelligence or abilities cannot really be increased significantly.  You are what you are, and there's no changing that.  On the other hand, there's the "growth mindset," which is the belief that one's intelligence and abilities can increase through the application of effort.  This is the belief that if I work hard at something, I can improve.  The distinction between the two mindsets has applications in all sorts of areas, from education to the workplace to relationships.  One important application for us at NPX is that we seek to praise students for their effort.  That's because a well-intentioned statement like, "You're so smart!" subtly encourages students to play it safe and avoid testing the limits of their abilities.  Instead, we encourage our students by praising their effort with a statement like this: "You should really be proud of how hard you worked on that assignment!"  In so doing, we are gradually seeking to teach our students the value of challenging themselves and of finding joy in mastering difficult things.

I would love to discuss Mindset with a group of interested families, so I am considering an evening event to that end.  If you would like to participate in this book discussion, please reach out to me by email.

With Devotion,
Headmaster Weinhold

Conference & Project Week

This first week back, January 9 – 13 is Project Week for all grades, and Student Led Conferences for grades 7, 10, & 11. This will be a busy and exciting week for all.
  • Conference appointments were emailed in December, if you have questions about the scheduled time please contact Ms. Coughlon ccoughlon@northphoenixprep.org 
  • Students must be in full uniform. 
  • Students may bring a non-perishable, wrapped snack for mid-day break. 
  • On Tuesday, all students will attend an anti-bullying presentation by the Attorney General’s Office. 
  • All students will work on their Student Growth Plans, so please print a copy of their report card for them to bring to school - Report Cards are found on Jupiter, a link to your account was sent by email on Saturday. 
  • Students may also bring the Student Growth Plan they worked on in the first quarter. If they cannot locate this, they can use the blank copy of the SPG
  • Review/print the attached Things to Know About Conference Week for your child’s use. 
During the week of half days starting January 9th, students in all grades will be engaging in hands-on collaborative projects. Students will complete these projects on school premises and during school hours, requiring very little at-home preparation. Please take note of possible supplies they may ask to bring from home. Students will discuss their projects on Monday and determine what supplies they will bring. These should be drawn from anything you have readily at hand, please do not feel compelled to purchase special supplies for the project.

Updated Website

Over the Winter Break, Great Hearts pushed out the update to our new website. We are excited about the new mobile friendly design. Take a look!

If you experience any difficulty locating content or come across a broken link, please email tvandeusen@northphoenixprep.org.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Headmaster Letter

Wow!  What an incredible fine arts night we had last week!  I was so impressed with the art and poetry on display, and our musical performers were truly inspiring.  We even had a ballerina—fantastic!  After the performance, I spoke with several families who, like me, were overwhelmed with gratitude and admiration. 

It’s moments like these that remind us why we’re engaged in the vital work of cultivating the hearts and minds of our students, and that give us the perspective we need to continue it everyday.  That’s why the fine arts are so important—because they breathe aesthetic life into us.  They fill us with yearning for the highest, noblest, and finest things.  How beautiful that our students can give us this tremendous gift!

Fine arts night led me to choose a quotation of the week by Plato for our final week of the first semester: “Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything.”  Nothing could apply more to last week's performances.

Thank you to all of our students for uplifting and invigorating all of us with such an amazing evening.  I am so proud to be a Gladiator, and to have the privilege of enjoying occasions such as these.

With Devotion,
Headmaster Weinhold

P.S. It's so great to see our Juniors wearing their blazers on campus!  Several teachers have already commented that the blazers make them look so much more distinguished.  This is a significant time for our vanguard class! 

Thank You for Supporting the Pocket Change Challenge!

A huge thank you to all of our wonderful students and parents for your generous support. We have raised over $3000 and we were able to sponsor 46 children through the angel tree stockings! Once again thank you for your generosity here are the final results for the pocket change challenge:

High School
3rd place – Mr Gale
2nd Place – Mr Black
1st Place – Mr Beeby

Middle School
These 4 classes raised $1800 – well done Gladiators!
4th place – Mr Bustos
3rd place – Ms Shir
2nd place – Ms Poduska
And for the 2ND year in a row 1st place goes to Mr Fleming!

Congratulations to all and Ms Coughlon will be delivering your cookies this week.

Winter Break

We wish you all  a very happy and restful winter break!  Dec 26, 2016 – Jan 6, 2017

We will see everyone back at school on January 9th. This will be a early release schedule all week. Student led conferences for grades 7, 10 & 11, and project week for all students!

Semester 1 Finals Week!

Reminder Wednesday, Thursday, Friday are early release days 12:30pm
Wednesday Dec 21 - Period 1 & 2
Thursday Dec 22 - Period 3 & 4
Friday Dec 23 - Period 5 & 6

Announcing Project Week in January

We are excited to announce a brand new way to kick off the Second Semester at NPX: OUR FIRST EVER JANUARY PROJECT WEEK! During the week of half days starting January 9th, students in all grades will be engaging in hands-on collaborative projects. Students will complete these projects almost entirely on school premises and during school hours, requiring very little at-home preparation. Teachers may be ask their students to bring a few materials from home, more details to follow.
Read the details we will announce to the students later this week.

Friday, December 16, 2016

A Special Congratulations!

A very special Gladiator congratulations goes out to our own Katie Herrington. Katie has been named to the All Region Honorable Mention Varsity Volleyball team. Way to go Katie and to the entire varsity volleyball team on a great season!!!

Thursday, December 15, 2016

It’s Time To Take The Credit!

That’s right, its Tax Credit time and a successful Tax Credit drive ensures we can continue to provide a full array of extra-curricular opportunities for our students. Our athletics, after-school clubs and field trips are possible because of your Tax Credit contributions. Our goal this year is $80,000 and as of today, we have reached 32% of that goal. Each and every give makes a difference, so please make yours today. Drop off your check in the front office or donate online. Be sure to encourage family and friends to Take The Credit for North Phoenix Prep as well.

As an incentive, we will be giving away a $100 VISA gift card to one lucky winner. Make your tax credit contribution before midnight on Thursday, December 22nd and you will receive one entry into the drawing. When your family and friends contribute by then, you will receive addition entries into the drawing. Our winner will be drawn the morning of Friday, December 23rd and will receive their gift card just in time for last minute shopping.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Headmaster Letter

Dear North Phoenix Prep Families,

What a wonderful season in the life of our school!  This past Thursday evening, we had the pleasure of seeing our Juniors perform Much Ado About Nothing, a Shakespearean comedy.  I was delighted to witness such a first-rate production from our vanguard class.  The students were absolutely outstanding.


I am reminded that during a time when budget cutbacks have led many schools to cancel their fine arts programs, Great Hearts academies continue to provide a rich immersion in art, music, drama, and poetry for all our students.  Through the experience of performing a Shakespearean play, our students glean an appreciation for the subtle nuance and rich history of the English language; they learn a deeper empathy and a more sophisticated emotional landscape, and they acquire the skill of performative presentation.  Our students learn these things because Beauty, as much as Truth and Goodness, is an essential aim of our curriculum. We would no sooner eliminate the fine arts than we would math or science.

I am so proud of our Juniors for the many hours spent in rehearsal to give us such a special evening.   Particular thanks and praise goes to Ms. Harris, our beloved drama teacher, for her outstanding direction of the play.  We have another delightful evening ahead of us this Thursday the 15th when we will hold our Fine Arts Night.  Please be sure to join us; you won't want to miss this truly special occasion.

With Devotion,

Headmaster Weinhold

Tell Your Friends! Open Enrollment Ends Monday 12/12.

Enrollment for new students is now open for the 2017-2018 school year.  Tell your friends the Open Enrollment Period offers new applicants the best opportunity to enroll at a Great Hearts academy. By submitting an application during this period they will be eligible for the Enrollment Lottery which determines the order for this year’s waitlist.

For more information on the Enrollment Period and Enrollment Lottery please visit the Enrollment Timeline.

For frequently asked questions regarding enrollment, click here.

2016 Winter Art Walk and Fine Arts Night

Join us Thursday December 15 for our annual Art Walk and Music Performances. 
Art Walk beings at 5pm, choral and instrumental performances begin at 7pm
This year we will also have a short blazer ceremony for our first Junior class.

Click here to preview some of the masterpieces that will be on display for the Art Walk

Semester 1 Finals Schedule

Early Release 12:30pm
Wednesday Dec 21 - Period 1 & 2
Thursday Dec 22 - Period 3 & 4
Friday Dec 23 - Period 5 & 6

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Report Cards are Coming

Our second quarter/ first semester grade reports will be available on Jupiter by Monday, January 9th. These will include narrative evaluations from each student’s teacher. On the Parent Portal, an option labeled “Report Card” will appear, which you may click to access your student’s grades and narratives.

Conference Week is Coming

North Phoenix Prep holds two weeks of student-parent-teacher conferences per academic year. We will hold conferences for 7th, 10th, and 11th graders during the week of January 9-13. We have already held conferences in October for 6th, 8th, and 9th grade students.

The conference schedule is determined in advance so that our teachers can be available to meet with students and parents. Each family will receive their conference appointment(s) by email.

If you have questions about conferences, please email Assistant Headmaster Coughlon: ccoughlon@northphoenixprep.org

Friday, December 9, 2016

Student-Led Conferences

This year, North Phoenix Prep has joined several other Great Hearts academies in adopting the practice of student-led conferences. Our decision to adopt the student-led conferences model came as a result of careful reflection and deliberation on our leadership team. When we asked ourselves what we really wanted for our students, we saw that having the students lead their own conferences would encourage them to become active, not passive, participants in the process of their own learning. We also saw that by having the students lead their own conferences, we could alleviate the burden on parents to serve as intermediaries between the teacher and the student. Most importantly, we saw an opportunity to reinforce a central message of the education that our students receive here, that our students are the captains of their own ships.

In January, then, we will hold student-parent-teacher conferences to discuss the next steps in our students’ academic growth. In preparation for these conferences, we ask students to develop a Student Growth Plan (SGP). The SGP is a one-page document that captures the themes of the 1st quarter evaluations, puts them into context, and documents the key area the student chooses as an area for growth in the coming year. As an aid to completing their SGP, we also provide an Action Menu with two lists. The first contains 14 Learning Techniques that Research Shows to be Most Effective. The second list is categorized to provide a long list of ideas a student might choose to employ in their SGP. Students will complete this work during school on Monday, January 9th.

After completing the SGP, we ask that students attend their conferences to share and discuss the plan with their teachers and parents. The conference will aim to understand the thinking behind the student’s choice of an area of focus for growth, as well as understand how the student can be supported, and to provide guidance as needed. Some students may choose to modify their plans after the conference consultation.

We have seen the student-led conference paradigm work well during at other Great Hearts academies, where even our youngest students took the process seriously and led very productive conferences. After we first implemented student-led conferences, one of our teachers had the following to say:

“I as well as the rest of the faculty already envy our scholars’ opportunity to experience this curriculum as middle/high school students; now we also envy them the chance to begin a journey of critical self-awareness, shepherded by a cadre of caring adults.”

We received similar feedback from parents and students as well, because we created conditions wherein our students took ownership of their education, with the support, guidance, and mentorship of teachers and parents.

It is our sincerest hope that we will continue to cultivate a joyful, compassionate community of lifelong learners through this process at North Phoenix Prep.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Headmaster Letter

Dear North Phoenix Prep Families,

I am so incredibly proud of the servant-hearted spirit that I am seeing in our students!

One example of this is our Lanistae program, which is a group of high school mentors on our campus. These students work primarily in the service of the middle school Gladiator teams.  They work with the faculty to plan campus events for the middle schoolers, and they also plan community service projects and other community outreach.  I have seen our Lanistae extending themselves significantly during this first semester.  Often this occurs in small ways, such as encouraging a younger student to join in a game during athletic field day, sitting with a lonesome student at lunch, or picking up trash in a hallway when they think nobody's looking.  These seemingly small interactions are the essence of servant leadership, for in such moments our students display their deeply held belief in the inherent dignity of their fellows, and in the intrinsic virtue of promoting and supporting others.

All of this is important because our school culture consists of more than just the aggregate of specific courses like mathematics or literature or science.  The content that we teach is distinct from the form in which we teach it.   Knowledge of specific subjects is important, to be sure, but that is a proximate end.  Our ultimate end is the crafting of rightly ordered hearts and minds.

With Devotion,

Headmaster Weinhold

Murmillones & Sagittarius Community Service

Murmillones and Sagittarius Families team up this winter!

Angel Tree and Adopt-A-Classroom Information
This is the third year that North Phoenix Prep will sponsor a class of students from Palomino Intermediate School in Paradise Valley. The Adopt-A-Classroom and Angel Tree are unique programs that connect greathearted individuals or groups with deserving K-12 school students.

NPX students and families can help in THREE ways:

1. Donate a gift - students and families individually can choose a student "stocking" from our front office, running from 11/28-12/12. Unwrapped gifts are due by Monday, 12/12.

2. Friendly, first period "pocket change" competition. Each 1st period will have a jar to donate any loose change! The 1st period classes (1 middle school, 1 high school) with the most change donated will win a special prize - cookies made AND delivered to the class by our very own Assistant Headmaster, Ms. Coughlon! The pocket change competition will run from 11/28-12/14.

3. Donate classroom supplies needed. The school is in need of: Clorox/disinfectant wipes, tissues, hand sanitizer, and non-perishable food items like granola bars, peanut butter, fruit snacks, and fruit cups.