HAPPY NEW YEAR!
It is hard to believe we are beginning not only a new year, but a new decade! Looking at the opportunities that exist in this decade, I feel grateful to be a part of a community that focuses on supporting others and challenging ourselves to become the best version of who we know we can be.
We see these efforts come to fruition within the Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) created in August. Members in each PLC continue their research and collaborative work as they seek ways to address the issues that impact students and their sense of belonging.
Teachers in the ASA Readiness PLC continue to work in their collaborative teams consisting of arts and academic teachers across grade levels to target issues that impact a student’s preparedness for the ASA environment. Topics range in scope from study skills training to healthy mindsets to optimal external conditions. After finishing the research, teachers will share their findings and resources with their colleagues who can then utilize the tools and strategies to benefit the active participation and engagement of all students in our educational program.
The Equity and Inclusivity PLC remains committed to ensuring ASA values the voices and experiences of all students. Durin
g their May 2019 meeting, this group shared their goal of hosting a TedX event at ASA sometime in the near future. I am thrilled to announce ASA has been approved to host an official TedX event: TedxYouth@ASA. Held at Changing Hands on April 21st from 5pm-7pm, the audience will hear 9 student speakers give Ted talks on a variety of topics ranging from Indigenous Identity to Social Anxiety to Meditation. Tickets will be sold through the online Eventbrite system to this event. Stay tuned for more details as attendance is limited to 100 people per the Tedx event rules.
Our Whole Human PLC is gearing up for February which is National Eating Disorder Awareness Month. To support families and students, Doorways will have a representative on campus for a parent presentation on Wednesday, January 22 at 5:30pm. Additionally, Jessica Wooley, Executive Assistant to Leah Fregulia and ASA Class of 2013, is leading ASA’s first ever Body Project. As described on the website, this group-based body acceptance workshop (two 60 minute sessions occurring one week apart) seeks to support females in their rejection of societal norms of ideal bodies and acceptance of their own bodies with the goal of improving body image and overall health. There will be a sign-up for this project shared with high school females in the upcoming weeks.
Transcending all PLCs is the desire to meet students’ needs and create a sense of belonging for all. To further support students, ASA has hired Amy Smith as a Student Support Intern. This position comes out of the real need for students to have an adult on campus who can support them with their adolescent struggles and help them navigate peer interactions in healthy and productive ways. A recent graduate from GCU in psychology and a strong advocate for teens, we know Ms. Smith will develop trusting relationships with students as she becomes acquainted with our students and faculty. We are so excited to welcome Amy Smith to our community on January 21st.