02 Oct October 2, 2016 Newsletter
Dear Venture Prep Community Members,
It was wonderful to see so many of you at our Student Led Conferences this past Wednesday! Our students took great pride in their learning progress as they presented to their families and we loved sharing in that with you all.
As I’m sure you observed at SLCs, the new energy at Venture Prep is palpable. Students are taking more ownership of their learning and the life goals that learning is preparing them for. A key piece that supports this shift is our new grading program. I wanted to take a moment to review these with you so you understand how these shifts support our mission.
Below is the overview of our grading system. As you’ll see, we’ve moved from the 4, 3, 2, 1 system to the letter system. We also enter grades into transcripts every nine weeks (four times a year) instead of every 18 weeks (twice a year). This new system encourages students to do their very best every single day–not just at the end of a grading period.
And while grades are certainly important, we encourage all our students to sign up for the various clubs and organizations that have begun! These include Creative Writing Club, Gay-Straight Alliance, Girls Club, Volleyball Club, and others. By joining these clubs, our students demonstrate to colleges and employers that they are well-rounded. It’s also just a great way to meet other students!
And speaking of clubs, we’ll be starting our new Venture Prep Ambassadors Program this week. Through it, our most dependable and exceptional 11th and 12th graders will act as representatives of Venture Prep at school and recruitment events. Think you have what it takes? Grab an application in the main office.
We hope you all have a wonderful October!
Student Led Conferences!
Students explain to their parents–with the help of their Advisor–what they’re accomplishing in class, how it aligns to their long-term goals, and where they see room for improvement. These presentations required days of preparation, but, in the end, it was well worth the effort! Students take ownership of their learning and parents have a deeper understanding of how they can support their children.
What is personalized learning?
One aspect, shown here by one of our ninth graders, involves students being self-driven for part of the day. For three to four hours a week, she learns the content online (through readings, videos, online games, or presentations), takes notes on it, studies, and then takes an assessment about that content. It sounds simple enough, but most students aren’t asked to do this level of independent learning until they enter college. Here at Venture Prep, we provide a gradual “release,” starting in ninth grade, so students learn how to do this early on so they can take ownership over their learning. It’s awesome to watch!
Mr. Boyd: Teacher AND Photographer!
We’re so fortunate to have such a talented staff! Case in point: Mr. Boyd, our 11th and 12th grade science teacher. When Mr. Boyd isn’t planning and delivering amazing instruction, he’s climbing cliffs, riding his motorcycle, and taking phenomenal photos. Many of Mr. Boyd’s photos grace the hallways of Venture Prep. Just check out this shot here. The father of one of our students stands next to the photo Mr. Boyd took of his son, Golden. It’s just another way we love celebrating our students.