Saturday, August 25, 2018

Curriculum Night is August 30th

North Phoenix Prep will be hosting its annual Curriculum Night on Thursday, August 30th from 6-8 pm.

This special evening is your opportunity to walk through a day in the life of your student and to meet your student’s teachers.  You are encouraged to arrive early in order to pick up your schedule.

Headmaster Letter

Dear North Phoenix Prep Families,

Over the past week, I have engaged in many conversations with our faculty, families, and students about homework.  The time spent on daily assignments also has been, I am quite aware, a perennial topic around your family dinner tables.  Particularly in the high school, daily homework has been a challenge for our students, with the daily target being about three hours.  

Certainly, nobody in our community objects to challenging students with the rich content of a classical education.  That's why our families send their students here, and that's why our teachers want to teach here.  At the same time, we also want our students to wonder, to express their curiosity, and truly to enjoy the pursuit of wisdom and virtue at our Academy.  We want to challenge our students while maintaining their capacity for a challenge.  Furthermore, we want our students to take real delight in their studies. 

At the beginning of the school year, I said that our job is to love the students unconditionally, which means that we will their good in all things.  The decisions that I've made about homework are driven by that principle of willing their good:  
  • Our overall target for high school daily homework will now be 2 hours.  I am defining homework as deliberate practice of/preparation for the day’s lesson, not as studying for tests/essays/projects, which may take additional time.  This means I’m committing to a 1/3 reduction from the old model, in which the target was 3 hours for high school. Or, to put it another way, if high school homework was 30 minutes per class, it’s now 20 minutes per class (with HL thus getting 40 minutes). 
  • All faculty will now use a uniform template for collecting self-reported data from the students about homework times.  This is so that our faculty can consistently track whether they are meeting the target, discover any relevant patterns, and address any inconsistencies that may arise.
Students have differing abilities, and teachers sometimes miss the target on an assignment.  Thus, some students may spend less time than the target, others more.  We're only human, and so I am certain that we will encounter nuances or complexities that we cannot see yet.  Know that I am 100% committed to supporting our whole community in fleshing out further issues, and addressing them so that the new target that I have set becomes the norm far more often than not.  I believe that this will deepen our students' engagement and help them become the best versions of themselves.  

With Devotion,
Headmaster Weinhold

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

GreatHearts North Phoenix Prep Women’s Self Defense

Great Hearts North Phoenix Prep Women’s Self Defense

Women’s Self Defense

A Weekend Enrichment Activity
for the
GreatHearts North Phoenix Prep Community
The program will be conducted by Master Kaneen and a corps of certified instructors at the facilities of 9 Dragons Kung Fu in three, two-hour classes. Sessions will be held on Saturday afternoons in September and October.

GreatHearts North Phoenix Preparatory Academy, in partnership with Master Michael Kaneen and 9 Dragons Kung Fu, is pleased to present a practical course in self-defense for our female students. This course focuses on the key aspects of self-defense for women, including knowledge, instinct, preparation, situational awareness, and specific techniques for repelling a physical attack.

The Second Annual NPX Women’s Self Defense series, and NPX Weekend Enrichment activity, will be held over four weekends in September and October. Beginning September 1, this fun activity is open to all women Prep students (grades 7 to 12) as well as moms and dads and female NPX teachers and staff. Have fun with your friends while learning important skills and techniques from Master Michael Kaneen, leading consultant to businesses and government and member of the US Martial Arts Hall of Fame. Regardless of whether you participated last year, join us for a remarkable event. 

Please consult the documents linked below to register 

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Headmaster Letter

Dear North Phoenix Prep Families,

At our Academy, we do more than simply deliver intellectual content within the confines of the classroom.  Our goal is to shape the souls of young people morally so that they become persons of character.  We do not try to do this in cheesy, programmed ways.  We do not have a character curriculum or a character course at North Phoenix Prep.  Rather, the whole form of our school, which consists of each small interaction among students and between students and faculty, is infused with the principle of love--and love is willing the good of others.  This occurs in the classroom, of course, but also in the hallways, the courtyard, the field of athletic competition, and during special events like last week's Freshman Retreat.

A contemporary author who has really shaped my thinking lately is David Brooks.  His book, The Road to Character, asks what it means to be a person of character.  Brooks explores the answer to that question by sketching the divergent biographies of historical figures such as George Eliot, St. Augustine, Dwight Eisenhower, and Frances Perkins. Taken as a whole, these lives illustrate Brooks’ belief that true character is forged through an interior moral drama that subordinates the self, and that elevates what he calls “eulogy virtues” above the merely utilitarian “resume virtues.” Brooks' book is an important one that inspires his readers to turn away from the toxic culture of narcissism and self-promotion that plagues us in 21st century America.

If you're looking for a good book (or audiobook), then I highly recommend Brooks' thoughtful and convicting volume.

With Devotion,
Headmaster Weinhold