LVA Community Spotlight: Meghan Coble, LVA fifth grader

Meghan Coble, a Fifth grade student at Lehigh Valley Academy is among eight national winners in the “Lighting for Pupils” essay contest created by the lighting company, Acuity Brands.  As a result, Meghan’s classroom will receive a free installation of tunable white lighting from Acuity Brands. Tunable White lighting allows a teacher to adjust, or “tune,” the color of the light – warmer or cooler- to be just right for the classroom activity. Research shows it helps improve student mood, behavior & focus.  135 students from Meghan Cobleacross the country submitted essays focused on “What Light Means to Me,” and why it should be in their classrooms.  Meghan’s essay was one of  8 winners selected.

What light Means to Me

What light means to me is to come out of the darkness.I got my inspiration from a book called “City of Ember” because they are coming out of the darkness. So coming out of the darkness is is like stepping into happiness and it is a wonderful feeling and you are making this your moment and stepping out of your shadow you might have been hiding in for so long.

You should make your life bright.Even if it is a gloomy day and it is raining or cloudy you can make it a good day and make it bright by your mood, your personality, and the way you act towards people.

In “City of Ember” they come out of the darkness that they have been trapped in for so long.The main characters Doon and Lina find their way out of Ember and lead the Emberites into a place called Sparks.Sparks is a nice place for them because they did not know what light was and now they are in a light filled world.

When you step out of your shadow you are going out of your comfort zone and taking a risk into the light filled world.You should look around and see the light around you and be glad you have light and not let the littlest things take the light out of your world.

In conclusion, What light means to me is to step out of the darkness and go into the light filled world.This will make you feel great and wonderful inside and even if the sun doesn’t shine on you make it shine on your wonderful self.So remember light is every where and that is what light means to me coming out of darkness.

By, Meghan Coble

Acuity Brands Blog

 

 

A Day in the Life of Lehigh Valley Academy Kindergarten

img_6178Lehigh Valley Academy Regional Charter School (LVA) has provided full day Kindergarten since the school opened in 2002.  We are the only school in the area to practice looping, which means students will have the same teacher for both Kindergarten / First Grade and Second/Third Grades.  This creates a sense of comfort and community within the classroom and allows for more continuity between grades.

We offer a before and after care program (ESP – Extended School Program) which is available for all K-6 students.  This enables parents and caregivers to drop off children as early as 6:45 am so that they are able to head to work.  During this time, the staff will provide homework help and supervise students during activity and play time.

In order to ensure a smooth start to the school year for our Kindergarten students, LVA provides a number of opportunities for the student and family to become familiar with the classroom and our Kindergarten program.  Prior to the start of the year, everyone is invited to our K-6 Open House.  This is followed by Kindergarten Orientation, where families learn more details about the Kindergarten Program and the students practice bus etiquette by riding the bus.

Each classroom has  interactive white boards, infusing technology into their lives every day.  Most of our Kindergarten teachers start their day with a short academic activity to wake up their students’ minds before circle time.  During circle time, students join their teachers in the common play space to review the goals for the day and some basics such as the date and days of the week, weather, the letter of the day or any other special things students need to know.

A bulk of the morning is spent on Language Arts – for Kindergarten students this means phonics, basic comprehension skills, and handwriting.  One of the most exciting things about LVA is that students begin their study of Mandarin Chinese at this age.  Every other day, students will work with their Mandarin Chinese teacher and receive introductory lessons to the language.  LVA also has three reading specialists who visit the classrooms throughout the day to help students where needed.  By the end of Kindergarten,  the goal is for all LVA students to know how to read!

recessLVA operates on a six-day rotation with one specialist class each day.  Kindergarten students will have art, drama, music, library science once in the six days, and PE twice. After specials, all Kindergarten classes head to the cafeteria so students can socialize with one another during lunch time.   Post lunch is every Kindergarten student’s favorite part of the day – recess!  An active body is just as important as an active mind.  From our large playground to inside spaces, LVA teachers make sure students have plenty of time to “shake their sillies out” during the day!

Kindergarten teachers utilize center time throughout the day, where students are placed in small groups for more individualized instruction.  As an IB World School, even our youngest students are introduced to the idea of inquiry-based learning.  Six units of inquiry are taught during the course of the year, encouraging students to learn about themselves and the world around them.  These units are based on the Pennsylvania State Standards in the areas of Social Studies and Science.  For math, students spend their days learning about number sense.  When necessary, students receive extra help from three building level math specialists.  The Primary Years Programme (PYP) guides all students in K-6 at LVA, and fully adheres to the PA Core Standards set by PDE.  PYP students are encouraged to ask questions, develop a lifelong love of learning and become global citizens of the world.

Kindergarten students wind down their day with some much needed quiet time to rest and reflect before packing up.  Bus dismissal flows smoothly and students who are a part of the ESP after school program can stay until parents are able to pick them up, as late as 6 pm.

During the school year, parents can stay connected to the classroom and ensure their child’s success through weekly newsletters, volunteering to help with classroom activities, attending Parent/Student/Teacher Conferences or chaperoning one of the field trips.

Kindergarten is a fun and exciting time for many families – we are so excited that you opted to take this journey with LVA!  For more information about Kindergarten admissions, please contact the LVA Admissions office at 610-866-9660 extension 4100 or admissions@lvacademy.org.

Get Your Super Powers ready……for PSSA’s!


Our Elementary School’s 4-6 building has a ton of exciting things ins.chimicscomic (1).jpg the works in preparation for the annual PSSAs!  We are enthusiastic about our students being in the right mindset to show how knowledgeable they are and to communicate all that they have been learning this year. We are committed to showing the state that we can “be more awesome” every single year!

Our superpowers are all of the fantastic test-taking strategies that we have been incorporating into our everyday learning experiences.  Throughout our entire school day, our students are analyzing, examining, evaluating, and connecting, all while being IB thinkers and inquirers! Our students have become experts at making annotations, analyzing questions before attempting to answer them (underlining, highlighting, and circling, oh my!) and being confident enough to be risk-takers when we encounter new and challenging circumstances.

Another new superpower our 4-6 students have learned is how to take a moment and be reflective on mindfulness and how to use breathing strategies to keep us calm all day long!  A special shoutout to Mrs. Schaefer, an amazing parent volunteer who has coached our students to become masters of mindfulness.

Our enthusiastic teachers and specialists have been busy getting creative with our annual PSSA kick-off video, which will be shared with students during our 4-6 assemblies.  Similar to previous years, the goal is to help our students feel confident as test-takers and be even more ready to show what they know.  We want to demonstrate just how proud we are of all the commitment we have seen this year and that we are confident that they are ready to take on the challenge!s-chimicsdolls

We would like to invite our parents to get involved in a variety of ways too!  During our Spring Open House on March 30th, parents are invited to communicate words of encouragement and inspiration to our students through letter-writing.  Mrs. Fischer will also be hosting a PAC meeting to help our parents become more knowledgeable about the PSSAs.  Please participate on Thursday, March 9th at 8:30AM.  Your support helps our students be their absolute best and show that LVA can “be more awesome” than ever before!

Ms. Steph Chimics
ES 4-6 Reading Specialist