We give thanks this month for our scholars, our families, our teachers, and our friends. IDEA plays a unique and important role in our community, and we are grateful to have recently received the Bold Performance award from Empower K12. Understanding that our scholars mean more than just test scores, the Bold Performance award recognizes schools that are helping scholars succeed despite the odds.
We are able to do this because of our strong focus on critical priorities--making sure scholars are in school, ready to learn in rigorous classes, receiving intensive support if they need it, and preparing for successful futures. Because of this emphasis on the basics, we are seeing great results.
- Our schoolwide attendance is significantly higher than last year, with more than 90% of scholars in their seats every day. Our scholars are motivated by fresh, hot donuts! (Priority #1: Students are at school.)
- We’ve wrapped up the first quarter and are looking forward to our quarter one awards ceremony on November 20 to recognize scholars’ dedication and hard work. In addition to regular classwork, our scholars are engaging in enriching field trips to learn about tree planting, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, DC history, and more. (Priority #2: Students are focused on their work and Priority #3: The work is aligned to strong curriculum.)
- Our Peer Group Connection program that matches trained scholar leaders with freshmen to provide emotional and academic support is thriving. Peer leaders are serving as role models and ninth graders have trusted peers to turn to for help. Next month we will invite parents of ninth graders to learn more about the PGC program.
- We held our first Career Expo of the school year, where 24 local professionals including attorneys, electricians, and musicians, shared their experiences and advice with our scholars. (Priority #5: Career programming is in place and coherent.)
- We’ve taken seniors on several exciting college trips this school year and we love seeing their enthusiasm when they’re meeting college students, touring campuses, and discovering possibilities for after graduation. Next semester we will expand our college trips to include 9th-, 10th-, and 11th-graders to help all of our scholars understand the importance of getting good grades in high school so they have more options later on in life. (Priority #5: Career programming is in place and coherent.)
In other college news, we congratulate our many seniors who have already received acceptance letters from colleges and universities, including Trinity Washington University, Fayetteville State University, the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, and Lafayette College.
Congratulations are also in order for Andrea Ulmer and Blessen Denney, who were selected for the DC all-star volleyball team, which played at Trinity Washington University on November 8.
In other celebrations, our scholars and staff enjoyed Spirit Week last week, dressing in outrageous outfits and IDEA swag to demonstrate our Timberwolf pride. We ended the week with our Homecoming dance where scholars performed and danced.
Please mark your calendars with these important upcoming events:
- Saturday, November 16 | 8:30am-noon | Saturday School
- Saturday, November 23 | 8:30am-noon | Saturday School
- Tuesday, November 26 | Harvest Dinner at IDEA
- Wednesday, November 27-Friday, November 29 | Thanksgiving Break
- Monday, December 16 | MySchool DC Lottery opens--fill out your application online and make IDEA your #1 choice!
A special invitation to our families--let us know what matters to you in your child’s education. Please take our brief parent survey at https://forms.gle/mwGXXSTQGCAGCHtW9 to share your feedback. We take your opinions seriously.
As always, my door is always open if you have questions or concerns.