Here is the postcard that was sent to all of our church members inviting them to attend an information for a potential middle school. Our church was established in 1996 in Lake Ozark, MO. It was a growing community, and another local church called a missionary-at-large to open a second LCMS church in the area. To meet the needs of the community, a preschool was opened in 2003. Later, it was expanded to a kindergarten in 2012. We have added a grade or more per year depending on the families that came to us. Last year, our current students were fourth graders, and their families are beginning to think about middle school options. A decision was made to research the feasibility of a middle school. A team visited an established school and a school of about 30 years to gather ideas. Then, a survey was sent home to parents to gather data on the support of a middle school. While parents cited sports, music, and clubs as possibilities, the three main reasons included a Christian school, quality academics, and location. After additional letters and support from staff, the school board recommended their plan to the church council. Church council sent it to the voters for approval this Sunday. We are a great place for homeschooling families and students who struggled in the public school to thrive and grow in faith.
This fall, our parent organization changed their fall fundraiser from scarecrow sales to mums. The event was a huge success, but it was also a great opportunity for our newly-formed upper elementary students to serve their school. My students spent their religion time unloading several trailers of mums and sorting them by color on the front lawn. At a profit of $5.50 for a $10 plant, we made over $2,000 from pre-orders. We bought another 50 or so plants for people that picked up a few more after loving the product. The final few were sold at our church rummage sale. Our parent organization does fabulous work and is a key component to the success of this school.
With the addition of our upper elementary, the students are old enough to learn about and participate in student government. Student council is one of several activities we have added, including intramural sports, STEAM, and a Bible scrap booking club. The kindergarten through third grade can run as representatives. There will be a boy and a girl from each class. The fourth through sixth graders can run as officers. The officer candidates learn to create quality campaign posters, write a speech, and present it after chapel. All of the students will learn about the voting process prior to the upcoming presidential election. The student council will serve our community and build fellowship within the school. This new opportunity is great way to help students feel connected to their school!
I am only at number four, and I am realizing how fabulous this week has been. In the midst of lesson plans, instructing, assessing, recess duty, and the daily routine, I love that Five for Friday gives me the opportunity to remember the joys of the week. This picture is probably my favorite! On Fridays, my students participate in a simple Makerspace activity to learn about the design process. To be honest, it needs some guidance. They love the science experiments and creations, but the reflection process and usefulness needs some development. Last week, I used some of my prep time to choose my own Makerspace project. When I came across a Lego coding idea, I knew this was a great opportunity to learn about Code.org. After introducing it this week, my students were hooked! You know that quiet buzz of learning that occurs when you nail the lesson? Every student is engaged and they are quietly comparing notes before going back to the activity. Perfection! They learned about functions, algorithmic problem solving, abstraction, variables, binary code, and digital citizenship. My techie heart was loving all of the 21st Century skills!