My 10th Grade Personal Project: By Vidhya Thiyagarajan

vidhya2The Personal Project, a requirement for Year 5 students (10th grade) in the MYP (Middle Years Program), is a project where students can basically focus on any topic they are interested in, as long as they complete the cycle of Investigate, Plan, Take Action and Reflect on their chosen topic.

I have been playing flute for six years. Over the years, I have developed a deep passion and respect for flute and music itself. Involved in many ensembles and taking advantage of every opportunity to perform, fed my curiosity of wanting to learn more about music. I wanted to further my knowledge by expanding my realm of music from playing to composing. So, for my Personal Project, I decided to focus on music, specifically composing music for the flute and teaching my piece to kids. I created timelines and lists to ensure that my project would be successful and completed on time. After, I had researched “Music Theory” and used my previous knowledge to create a two-part flute piece: Nature’s Chorus. Before I began teaching, I collaborated with the Jr. and Sr. High School Band teacher: Ms. Riccio, the 4-6 Band teacher: Ms. Ewaniuk and my private flute teacher to get their advice on what I could do to improve my song.

After both myself and my three teachers evaluated the song and I made the necessary changes, I started vidhya (6)teaching it to Ms. Ewaniuk’s four flute players. I was so excited to teach and watch my piece come to life. The four flutists: Alexis, Grace, Joelle and Sofia exhibited enthusiasm and dedication in learning the song in every lesson. Each lesson consisted of new techniques in playing the flute learned and improvement in the song. They were so fun to work with and I am really glad I had the opportunity to to work with four talented musicians and offer them some advice on being a musician! After we had worked on the song for about four weeks, it was time for our first concert!

On April 8th, the 4-6 Jaguar band and choir had a concert at the Sands Casino. Along with their performances, my flute quartet performed Nature’s Chorus. I was so ecstatic and proud of how far they had come since their first time playing my piece and was so happy that they had fun while practicing and playing it! We have another performance on May 10th, along with the 4-6 Band and Choir, and I cannot wait to hear their performance! I am so thankful to have had this experience because it provided me with exposure and perspective on music and teaching that I could not have gotten anywhere else! I also want to thank all of my teachers that supported me throughout this entire project and LVA for giving me this opportunity!

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.

The Great Kindness Challenge 2017

As actor Morgan Freeman once said, “How do we change the world? One random act of kindness at a time.”    During the week of February 21st-24th, the LVA Aevidum team and the Elementary School 4-6 students and staff, participated in the Great Kindness Challenge.  

gkc4What is Aevidum you ask?  Aevidum translates to “I’ve Got Your Back”.  The high school team is available to listen, comfort, advise, and acknowledge each student knowing that this is a judgment-free zone.  This means that you will not be alone because you have a support system. Thank you to our High School Aevidum team for partnering on this awesome event.

The Great Kindness Challenge is a powerful event that actively engages students, teachers and families in helping to create a school culture of unity, respect, and acceptance. Check out some of the amazing things going on…….

The students in grade 4-6 were all given a copy of 50 suggested acts of kindness they cgkcthermometerould demonstrate to others throughout the week.  For those students that completed at least 25 acts of kindness from the list, a certificate of recognition was awarded. Check out our Kindness Thermometer!  

A kindness station was set up and students wrote special messages to their peers, thank you notes to the person of their choice, and decorated posters to hang throughout the gkc3school.

Each student will be given a link to write a time someone has shown kindness to them and all links will be attached together to make a schoolwide chain of kindness.  We will end the week gkc2with our grade level monthly assemblies to celebrate our accomplishments throughout February.

 

Mrs. Shea Ace

Community Relations Coordinator

Lehigh Valley Academy

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

 

Welcome to the new LVA Blog!

Hello LVA Community!

We are so excited to launch the official blog of Lehigh Valley Academy Regionmauseral Charter School (LVA). We are looking forward to being able to share information about our school, the International Baccalaureate Programme, hot topics in the field of education and charter schools.

Please subscribe and join us on this journey. Each week you will be hearing from our teachers, administrators, students and alumni as they explore a variety of different topics.

Lehigh Valley Academy Regional Charter School is a K-12 public charter school that opened its doors in 2002. In the last 15 years, LVA has accomplished a lot! Lehigh Valley Academy is the only school in the area to have been authorized as an International Baccalaureate (IB) World School to offer the Primary Years Programme (PYP), the Middle Years Programme (MYP) and the Diploma Programme (DP).

LVA is also accredited by the Middle States Association (MSA), was named the Number 1 Top Workplace in the Lehigh Valley by the Morning Call in 2014, and has been ranked as one of the top high schools and one of the top charter schools in Pennsylvania by US News and World Reports for the last five years.

These accomplishments would not have been possible without the hard work of all of our stakeholders. I am thrilled that this blog will give them a platform to share their thoughts and amazing ideas with you.

Happy reading,

Susan Mauser

Chief Executive Officer Lehigh Valley Academy RCS