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:

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.

Drama Performance Thurs Dec 8th

Don't miss North Phoenix Prep's first high school drama performance! Join us Thursday Dec 8 at 7pm for Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing. $5 prepay/student with ID/senior citizen, $10 at the door.
For more information, please contact Ms. Harris

What's going on in Mr. Black's Art Class! 

We are wrapping up the semester in art and preparing for our Art Walk on December 15th.

The 11th grade students have been researching Impressionist art and are copying those master's works.

The 8th graders just finished a unit on cubism and painted their own cubist self-portraits.  Now they are completing an art history research project that includes writing a paper on an artist, presenting that artist to their class, and making a painting based off of that artist's work.

7th graders have also been very busy creating their own illuminated manuscripts with calligraphy and illustrations.

Click here to preview some of the masterpieces that will be on display for the December 15th Art Walk