Friday, April 10, 2020

Headmaster Letter

From the April 4, 2020 Newsletter


Our medieval history and economics teacher, Mr. Gray, shared a timely quote by G.K. Chesterton with me recently: "An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered; an adventure is an inconvenience rightly considered." We certainly are beginning a new adventure as we pivot to Google Classroom and remote learning for the remainder of the school year. This is a development that does, indeed, bring with it some inconveniences. But as I was telling the good people who joined me for our first Virtual Headmaster Coffee on Friday, this has been a time when our community's generosity and kindness has truly shone through.

Speaking of our first Virtual Headmaster Coffee (click for the slideshow and the recording), perhaps a quick summary might be helpful. Here's a high-level overview of the topics we discussed.

Google Classroom. Rather than sending home PDF packets, we are now using a fully functional remote learning platform. All teachers have classrooms, and all students have logins. We sent emails to all families on Friday with login information. Students will use Google Classroom to receive assignments, communicate with teachers, and turn in their work. We also have a website for anyone with tech questions about accessing this platform:

Tutoring Hours. All faculty will host tutoring hours via ZOOM, a videoconferencing platform. This time will function much like Lyceum. It's optional, but it's also a great opportunity for students and teachers to receive any extra help that they might need. Our teachers have coordinated by grade-level to deconflict their tutoring schedules. That way, students have maximal access. Each teacher's tutoring hours are posted in their Google Classroom.

Returning Week One Packets. We have encouraged teachers to use creative means for confirming that students have completed these. For example, a teacher may create a brief skill check in Google Classroom based upon the information in the packet. Another option is for the student to scan and upload relevant pages from the packet into Google Classroom. The teachers will post their instructions on their Google Classroom. We will not be collecting any paper packets.
State Exams & Accountability. North Phoenix Prep is in a good position here. We've consistently been an "A" school, and we've received "results-based funding" on the basis of our academic results year after year. The State has decided to cancel State Exams this year and to hold all schools harmless. We will be an "A" school next year & continue to receive results-based funding.

Grading. While we are still working out nuts and bolts of what this will look like, our constant refrain is abundant grace and mercy. Some of our students may have difficulty accessing our remote learning platform. Everyone (including the teachers) will be learning how to use it well.

End-of-Year Events. Our priority right now is figuring this out for our Seniors. For example, we are looking to contract with a videographer to create a montage of "Senior Tributes." These would normally be delivered in-person at Senior Dinner, but we think this will still honor our Seniors. We'd also like to host a real graduation at Calvary North, although that may need to be delayed until the Summer. So much is contingent right now that it's difficult to make concrete plans, but we are forging ahead where we can, and we will keep the community updated on our progress.

Refunds. We will have more information out to the community next week, so please hold off on sending requests to our office. Our intrepid team is currently working hard on organizing the return of student materials. But basically, there will be a proportionate refund available for activities that your child could not participate in. There will also be an opportunity for each family to donate their refund to the school.

Summer School. We haven't determined whether we will do this remotely or on campus. If we do it remotely, then we will have summer school for high school credit recovery only. More to come in the next few weeks.

Phew! We covered a lot of ground at our HM Coffee! I hope you'll be able to join us for the next one!

Cheers! And stay safe, Gladiators!

Headmaster Weinhold

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Headmaster Letter

Dear North Phoenix Prep Families,

In light of the recent events surrounding COVID-19, our Great Hearts national, state, and academy leadership teams have been in consistent communication with state and federal authorities. Through the information we have received, we are partnering together to make the wisest decisions possible for the health and well-being of our NPX students and families. We appreciate your communication with us through this challenging time.

You should have in your email inbox a message from Wade Dyke, CEO of Great Hearts America. It states that some of the Great Hearts Academies that are presently on Spring Break (March 9-13) will extend their Spring Break by one week, and that all Great Hearts Academies will plan to resume school on Monday, March 23rd. At this time, no change is planned for North Phoenix Prep’s Spring Break or date of return to classes, which is Monday, March 23rd. That said, as we head into Spring Break, please be attentive to email communications from North Phoenix Prep and from Great Hearts as you enjoy time with your family.

I am grateful to be a part of our outstanding Gladiator community, and I wish you a restful and peaceful Spring Break.

Go Gladiators!

With Devotion,
Headmaster Weinhold
Headmaster Weinhold

Saturday, February 29, 2020

Graduation Speaker

Our graduation speaker this year is Senator Paul Boyer.  Mr. Boyer is in his eighth year at the state legislature, with the last two as a state senator in District 20, which includes much of Glendale and North Phoenix. He just completed his sixth full year of teaching Humane Letters with Great Hearts - three years of 10th-grade Humane Letters, two years of 11th-grade Humane Letters, and one year of 12th-grade Humane Letters. If you ask him which year of Humane Letters is his favorite, he’ll probably respond by saying “that’s like asking, which is better – air, food, or water?”

He has served as the House Education Committee chairman at the state legislature for the last four years and is in his second year as the Vice-Chair of the Senate Education Committee.

He holds a B.A. in English from A.S.U. West and an M.A. in Communication Studies from A.S.U. West. He is currently pursuing an M.A. from the University of Dallas in Humanities with a Classical Studies emphasis, of which he is currently learning Ancient Greek for his Master’s thesis.

He and Beth married five years ago on Pi Day (March 14, 2015). They have a beautiful one-year-old baby boy and a Yorkie Terrier named Mr. Bingley.

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Monday, February 24, 2020

Sign up for a Tour!

Tour North Phoenix Preparatory

School tours are offered to all families with students in grades 7 - 12 who are interested in learning more about North Phoenix Preparatory and the Great Hearts Academies. 
The tour will be led by one of North Phoenix Prep's Administrators and will include information about the classical, liberal arts educational philosophy as well as offering a personal experience of North Phoenix Prep's facilities and culture. 

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Announcing NPX Prom 2020!

North Phoenix Prep Prom 2020
Saturday, April 18th  
94 HUNDRED SHEA | 9375 E Shea Blvd Ste 100 | Scottsdale, AZ 85260
7 PM - 10 PM

North Phoenix Prep 11th & 12th grade students and guests

$35 per ticket until March 31st, $50 until April 16th. No sales after April 16th 
 Guest forms available at the front office. All guests must be paid for and guest forms completed and turned into the front desk by April 15th. NO EXCEPTIONS 

Prom is Saturday, April 18th 2020
*please note that these guidelines apply to NPX students and their guests 

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Friday, December 13, 2019

Teacher Feature: Ms. Bailey

We are proud to announce that Ms. Luz Marizza Bailey is joining our faculty!

Ms. Bailey earned an M.S. in Pure Mathematics and completed four years of Ph.D. work at the University of California, Irvine, in Arithmetic Geometry under the advisement Michael D. Fried. She has been teaching math for twenty-one years, sixteen of which have been at the high school level.  For the last ten years, she has been at BASIS, where she has taught classes ranging from Pre-Algebra to Complex Analysis. During that time, she also co-authored their Algebra 2 book, designed their Post-AP curriculum, mentored incoming math teachers from many schools, co-authored network-wide assessments, and designed and implemented workshops for teachers and students.

Ms. Bailey is the recipient of the Presidential Award for Science and Mathematics Teaching, Raytheon Math Hero Award, and National Board Certification in Adolescence and Young Adulthood, Mathematics.  She will be teaching 10th grade Algebra II/Trigonometry and 12th Grade Calculus II, and she will also serve as our math interventionist.

Here are Ms. Bailey's responses to a few student-generated questions:

Please tell us about yourself.

My passion for teaching can only be contested by my love of math, which is why one can claim that I love math so much, I married it. When you meet my husband, who has a Ph.D. in Arithmetic Geometry under Dr. Fried, you will understand that the statement is true. No, really! During our dates, we left a trail of befuddled waiters because our we graffitied our napkins with math proofs (sometimes, asking for more to finish a proof). At our wedding, the minister of the peace was a mathematician, and during a romantic parable, he surprised us by demonstrating some of the fascinating properties of the Mobius Strip and deftly incorporating them into the parable. Even our honeymoon consisted of reciting advancement to candidacy speeches while hiking.  I view teaching math as an opportunity to share my passion for mathematics and the teaching philosophy at Great Hearts is conducive to revealing the beauty in math, which is why I am so excited to join the Great Hearts community.

When did you decide to become a teacher, and why?

One could make the argument that since my mother was a math teacher, and her mother was also a math teacher, that being a math teacher was in my genes.  Since I fell in love with teaching math when I started tutoring in high school, it may be a valid argument. Nothing makes me happier than seeing a student's face transform from bewildered to enlightened. While in grad school, I was an instructor at the University of California, Irvine, and started teaching high school 16 years ago. Although I fell into the job by accident, I found that teaching high school was more fulfilling and have been hooked ever since.

How do you best connect with students?

I find it challenging to be an effective teacher if I don't know my students. I am interested in learning how my students think and what motivates them so that I can craft my questions, problems, and explanations accordingly. I also have noticed that when I reveal my mistakes and past errors, there is less anxiety in the classroom.

What interests do you have that might support an extracurricular club?

I love math and everything to do with math, so any math club would be amazing! I love playing piano, but I'm not that good at it anymore. I have coded in JavaScript, HTML, Excel, and Latex, so computer clubs would also be fun.

If you could have dinner with anyone from history or literature, who would it be?  Why?

Oh my goodness! This was a difficult question! Do I want to choose a mathematician that can illuminate some mathematical concept like Galois, who died unpublished and ignored at the tragic age of 21. Do I choose a historical figure that could reveal the secret to an ancient mystery? Maybe I could find out how the Incas built Saksaywaman, or Machu Picchu, or how to read a quipu. The child in me wants to talk to Dumbledore, because who wouldn’t want to talk to Dumbledore. But after some thought, I realized that the only person I would want to spend more time with is my grandmother, Luz Antonia Mendizabal. Since Revealing Luz, which celebrated her life and achievements, was published in the Journal of Humanistic Mathematics, she has become a historical figure to more than just the members of my family. My grandmother earned her Ph.D. in mathematics education while working full time and raising 8 children and is one of the most celebrated math educators in Lima, Peru. She is my hero, and the most influential person in my life.

Welcome to North Phoenix Prep, Ms. Bailey!