Saturday, January 20, 2018

University Professor Visits NPX

Joseph Clair




On this Friday, North Phoenix Prep will host Dr. Joseph Clair, who is visiting our campus to learn more about our classical liberal arts curriculum, as well as the Socratic teaching techniques that our faculty use to provide a truly transformative education for our students.  
Dr. Clair serves as director of the William Penn Honors Program and as an assistant professor of religious studies. Before joining the George Fox faculty in 2013, he earned his PhD in the religion, ethics and politics program at Princeton University while also working as an assistant in instruction. His efforts were rewarded with a Department of Religion Teaching Award (2011-12) and a Graduate Prize Fellowship from Princeton’s Center for Human Values (2012-13).

Prior to Princeton, Clair earned an MPhil at the University of Cambridge as a Gates Cambridge Scholar. He also holds master’s degrees from Fordham and Duke University as well as a bachelor’s degree from Wheaton College. His research and teaching interests include Christian thought and ethics and the role of religion in public life. He is the author of Discerning the Good in the Letters and Sermons of Augustine (Oxford UP, 2016) and Reading Augustine: On Education, Salvation, Happiness, and the Gift of Reading (Bloomsbury, 2018).

Headmaster Letter

Dear North Phoenix Prep Families,

The semester is in full swing as we returned to regular classes this week.  I had the pleasure of joining the Juniors as they began studying Plato's Republic, a highly treasured text in our curriculum.  As I observed their conversation, I was impressed with just how thoughtful and intellectually curious these students are, and I was reminded of the intentional way that our Humane Letters curriculum matches the intellectual development of adolescents.

The sequence of our readings in Humane Letters is not precisely chronological.  Instead, we begin with what is closest to our young scholars, so we teach them the literature and history of America.  In this first Humane Letters course, our students gain proficiency in basic seminar habits such as speaking to their classmates rather than the teacher, or noticing the difference between a textually-based comment and one based on mere personal opinion.  These habits of mind continue to develop in the 10th grade Humane Letters course, which expands the students' horizons through a study of Modern European history and literature.  In their study of history, students learn to see the American Revolution in light of the French, thus making their understanding of both more rich and complex.  They also encounter many of the underlying philosophical ideas that influenced the American Founders through the writings of John Locke.  Their studies are, at this point, still fundamentally based in the concrete, not abstract ideas.  They tend to employ large concepts like freedom or goodness naively and without real reflection.  Literary characters, not concepts, are the appropriate focus for Sophomores and Freshmen.

But the works that our students encounter in their Junior and Senior years raise them to new heights and delve them more deeply into the world of ideas.  Particularly in their study of Plato and Aristotle, our scholars begin to consider the ideas themselves, for Plato's Socrates vigorously investigates the underlying definitions of justice and the good life.  By the time they are Juniors, our students are well-prepared, better than many university students, to engage with a challenging and incredibly rewarding book like the Republic.  It warms my heart to witness our Juniors reading and discussing this great book!

In the coming week, I am excited to host Dr. Joseph Clair from George Fox University, who is visiting our campus to learn more about the great conversations that we are having at North Phoenix Prep!

With Devotion,
Headmaster Weinhold

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

An Evening in the Alps - High School Dance on 2/2!


NPX Senate Proudly Presents

An Evening in the Alps High School Dance

When: Friday, February 2 from 7:30-10pm 
Where: Archway MPR
Attire: Casual, cold-weather clothing 
Think boots, jeans, sweaters, scarves, gloves, ski goggles, beanies! 
See more attire guidelines at the bottom. 
Cost: $20 prepay/$25 at the door 
Activities: DJ, photographer, s'mores, fondue, and hot cocoa! 
Other: High school students may bring pre-approved guests! Please pick up a guest form from Ms. Harris. Guest forms are due Wednesday, January 31st by 3:30pm. 


Attire Guidelines: Students are encouraged to wear: jeans, pants (no leggings or shorts allowed) boots, sweaters, t-shirts (no sleeveless or spaghetti straps allowed), scarves, beanies, mittens, gloves, ski goggles, etc. Dresses and skirts must be the same length as the uniform. 

ALL shoes must be closed-toe. No heels may be over 2 inches. All students must keep shoes on for the entirety of the dance. 
All clothing must be free of logos. 

Please email or see Ms. Harris if you have any questions. 

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Teen Dance at the Elks Lodge on 1/20

Elks Lodge Teen Dance! 

Date: January 20
Time: 6-10 pm
Theme: Hawaiian
Activities: DJ, games, photo booth, door prizes and yummy food/drinks.
Where: Elks Lodge #335 located at 14424 N. 32nd Street, Phoenix 85032
Who: Teens ages 13-18

Monday, January 15, 2018

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 2018!

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 liberal arts dialogue is not always easy, but it is incredibly rewarding and worthwhile.

In fact, a recent conversation with Hillsdale graduate, Dr. Ben Rogers, reveals that the liberal arts prepares you for a career in medicine.

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


Friday, January 12, 2018

NPX Gladiator Sweatshirts are here!

Dear Parents, 

If your student ordered an NPX sweatshirt, they will be available for pick up on Tuesday, January 16 during Lunch and Recreation.

Please remind your student to come pick theirs up in front of the administration building during Lunch and Rec. 

Thank you for your patience! Go Gladiators! 




Friday, January 5, 2018

Headmaster Letter

Dear North Phoenix Prep Families,

Welcome back from what I hope was a restful and relaxing winter break.  I am once again very excited to continue the practice of student-led conferences when we return.  

Our decision to adopt the student-led conferences model last year 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 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 their narrative 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.  Please access these files using the links above, and have your student complete these documents at home. 

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 in the past, and even our youngest students took the process seriously and led very productive conferences.  We also received very positive feedback from parents and students 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 the hearts and minds of our students through this process at North Phoenix Prep this year. 

With Devotion,

Headmaster Weinhold

Monday, December 18, 2017

Headmaster Letter

Dear North Phoenix Prep Families,

Thanks to our amazing students, faculty, and families for an incredible fine arts night last week!  I was so impressed with the art and poetry on display, and our musical performers were truly inspiring.  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 every day.  That’s why the fine arts are so important—because they breathe aesthetic life into us.  They fill us with a yearning for the highest, noblest, and finest things.  How beautiful that our students can give us this tremendous gift!

It's equally inspiring to see our Juniors looking sharp in their blazers on campus!  The newly-pinned Seniors look outstanding as well.  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.

As we close out the semester and celebrate with friends & family, I wish each of you a restful and relaxing holiday.  May we return truly refreshed in January.

With Devotion,
Headmaster Weinhold

Monday, December 11, 2017

Headmaster Letter

Dear North Phoenix Prep Families,

What a wonderful season in the life of our school!  Just recently, we had the pleasure of seeing our Juniors and Seniors perform scenes from Shakespeare.  I was delighted to witness such an outstanding display of thespianism from our upperclassmen.  The performance was absolutely fantastic!

I am reminded that during a time when budget cutbacks have led many schools to cancel their fine arts programs, our Academy continues 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.

We have another delightful evening ahead of us this Thursday the 14th 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

Friday, December 8, 2017

12th Grade Pinning Ceremony

Dear 12th Grade Parents, 


The Senior Pinning Ceremony is this Thursday, December 14 at 7pm at Calvary North (directly across 32nd Street from NPX).  Please see the below information and let Ms. Harris know if you have any questions at kharris@northphoenixprep.org.

Thursday, December 14 - all students participating in the pinning ceremony must be in the main sanctuary at Calvary North by 6:30pm in their blazers, oxfords, ties, and uniform bottoms. The Winter Concert will begin with the Senior Pinning Ceremony followed by the Junior Blazer Ceremony. Students participating in the ceremony may leave after if they choose. 

Thank you very much and we look forward to this important ceremony!

Kara Harris

Director of Student Life  

11th Grade Blazer Ceremony Information

Dear 11th Grade Parents, 

The 11th Grade Blazer Ceremony is this Thursday, December 14 at 7pm at Calvary North (directly across 32nd Street from NPX).  Please see the below information and let Ms. Harris know if you have any questions at kharris@northphoenixprep.org.

Monday, December 11 - all blazers are due to room 515 before 1st period. All blazers need to have the student name pinned on it and be on a hanger. There will be hanging racks in the room for them to hang the blazers. Blazers will remain on campus until the blazer ceremony on December 14. 

Thursday, December 14 - all students participating in the blazer ceremony must be in the main sanctuary at Calvary North by 6:30pm in uniform bottoms (no shorts), white Oxford and NPX tie. The Winter Concert will begin with the Senior Pinning Ceremony followed by the Junior Blazer Ceremony. Students participating in the ceremony may leave after if they choose.

Thank you very much and we look forward to this important ceremony!

Kara Harris
Director of Student Life  

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Winter Concert Reminders for Music Students

The Fine Arts Night (FAN) concert for ALL students taking music in the fall semester is Thursday, December 14th. The concert begins at 7pm, and all students taking music need to arrive in concert attire by 6pm. The entire community is invited to attend!  

The concert performance will be the culmination of weeks of preparation for the 7th and 8th grade recorder ensembles, as well as the 9th and 10th grade choir. This is a mandatory performance for all fall semester Music students, and will count as 10% of their semester grade. If they do not attend this concert, they will receive a ZERO. 

WHEN: Thursday, December 14. 2017. Students need to be checked in to their assigned location (TBD) at 6:00pm.

WHERE: Calvary Chapel North Phoenix, 14201 N 32nd St, Phoenix, AZ 85032. 

IMPORTANT DETAILS: Students must arrive promptly by 6:00 p.m. for a warm-up and dress rehearsal for the concert. We ask that no parents enter the sanctuary until 6:45pm. While you wait, please check out the art show in the MPR featuring the beautiful works from our students! 

CONCERT ATTIRE: All students must be dressed in Concert Dress attire as stated on page 53 of the NPX Family Handbook when they arrive. Boys must be in long sleeve, white, collared dress shirts, with black slacks, black socks, and black shoes. Girls must wear black and/or white, (separates are fine), shoulders must be covered, and black dress shoes (open-toed shoes and reasonable heels are permitted). 

Please contact your child's music teacher for any questions: Ms. Kara Harris, kharris@northphoenixprep.org; Mr. Gil Donatelli, gdonatelli@northphoenixprep.org, Mr. Ryan Fleming, rfleming@northphoenixprep.org