Director Update

March 2017

March 2017

Parents and Families of NCA Students,

Happy Spring New Century Academy families! As we move away from another winter and into a beautiful spring season I hope this letter finds you all well rested and healthy. Students and staff have been working very hard to prepare for our upcoming spring assessments and the end to another successful year at NCA. All of us at New Century Academy thank you for your choice to attend our school and the privilege we have to help your students achieve their goals. It is hard to believe that Graduation is only a few short months away!

Conferences

Conferences for Quarter 3 will occur on Thursday, March 9th from 4:30 pm to 8:30 pm and Friday, March 10th from 7:45 am to 3:45 pm. Teachers are allowed a one hour lunch between 12:00 noon and 1:00 pm and will be unavailable at this time on Friday. Your child’s advisor should be scheduling a conference with you. This may be done through an email, phone call or through your child. Our goal is to have 100% attendance at conferences. Staying connected to your child’s education is critical to their success. Your child’s advisor is the point person and your first contact for conferences. All teachers are available during conferences, however you may have to wait to speak to a specific classroom teacher. For this reason, please check our website and reach out to your child’s classroom teachers if you have questions before or after conferences. Your child’s advisor will work to answer questions you may have.

Parent Portal

Please remember that you can set up access to the parent portal for updates on academic progress. Once set up, you can receive these updates through email, phone or other device. You can also adjust the settings to receive notifications about attendance, grades, missing assignments and other important information. This is a great way to stay connected to your child’s education and can be critical in helping us hold your child accountable.

 Art Exhibit

New Century Academy students have submitted their art work to the Hutchinson Center for the Arts exhibit. The exhibition is open for viewing until March 9th. The Hutchinson Center for the Arts building is located next to the police station and is open Monday through Friday from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm and Saturday from 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm. There will be a reception on March 9th from 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm. Please attend the exhibit and support New Century Academy Art students!

Choir Concert

Tonight, Thursday March 2nd at 6:00 pm the New Century Academy MS and HS Choir groups will be performing songs in our second concert of the year. Everyone is invited. Please show up to support Mr. Sood and his students in their efforts. They have been working very hard.

All School Field Trip

This Friday, March 3rd all of the students and staff will be at the Minnesota Science Museum for a day of learning. This field trip is not optional and will count as our day of school. Any student who chooses to stay home will be considered absent unexcused. All students were given a permission form to bring home for you to sign. Please return this form before Friday if you have not already done so. The cost of the trip is $10.

MCA Testing

March 6th through March 9th the 7th, 8th and 10th grade students will be taking the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment along with all other students in the state. This is an opportunity for our students to show what they can do! We are confident that if the students put the best effort into this test, the results will reflect how awesome we already know they are! Please help improve your child’s chances by getting them plenty of rest and good nutrition. A healthy brain is a successful one. It is very important that your child takes the assessment seriously and performs at the best of their ability. Please have a conversation with your child about their approach to this assessment.

Future MCA tests will occur in Math and Science during the months of April and May.

Spring Break

There will be no school from March 10th through March 17th. Hopefully this will be a time of rest and relaxation for our students and staff.

Eterm

Our third Eterm will occur immediately following Spring Break. This is a great time where we get to know our students outside the typical classroom, learning things that may seem non-traditional but have enormous value in the development of the complete student.

Your child should bring home a packet March 3rd with all the details. Please review this document with your child and help them pick a seminar for both the morning and afternoon sessions. Students also have a chance to sign up for an all-day seminar as well. Your signature is required on the document so that we know that you approve of their choices. Some of the seminars cost money. Please know that we do work with payment plans that work for you.

We will also be offering a Driver’s Education course for the second time this school year. We need a minimum of six students to sign up for this seminar. The cost is broken up into three payments: $50 down at sign-up, $99 by the end of class, and $149 when the behind the wheel portion is completed. This has been a great seminar to offer our families. You get all the course work done in one week.

Family Nights

We had our second Family Night on December 12th at the school. Students, staff and their family members enjoyed an evening of free food and entertainment. Those who attended participated in a free game of bingo with prizes. We are so thankful to all of the businesses in Hutchinson and surrounding communities who helped supply the prizes. Thank you to all that attended.

Our next Family Night is scheduled for April 3rd from 6:00-7:30 pm. The free supper begins at 6:00 pm with activities to follow. Please join us for the festivities!

Annual Meeting

The 2017 Annual Meeting for New Century Academy will be held on Wednesday, April 19th from 6:30 – 7:30 pm at the school. This is an opportunity for us to celebrate our school year and to elect new school board members. Please let the school know if you are interested in a school board position. Everyone is invited to learn about the successes of our students and staff and to see what lies ahead for NCA.

Graduation

Graduation will be held on May 19th at 7:00 pm. The event will take place at the Hutchinson Event Center. A senior student picnic is also scheduled that day at 12:00 noon at Northwoods Park in Hutchinson. If you have questions about cap and gown or anything else related to this event please contact the school office.

Thank you for taking the time to read this message.

 

Jason Becker, Director
New Century Academy

October 2016 Director Update

October 2016 Director Update

Parents and Families of NCA Students,

Welcome back to a beautiful fall and another school year at New Century Academy! I hope this message finds your family in good health. New and exciting things are happening at New Century! We are working hard to help your children become positive leaders and productive citizens. Thank you for your trust in our efforts.

Conferences

Conferences for Quarter 1 will occur on Tuesday, October 18th from 4:30 pm to 8:30 pm and Wednesday, October 19th from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. Teachers are allowed a one hour lunch between 12:00 noon and 1:00 pm and will be unavailable at this time on Wednesday. Your child’s advisor should be scheduling a conference with you. This may be done through an email, phone call or through your child. Our goal is to have 100% attendance at conferences. Staying connected to your child’s education is critical to their success. Your child’s advisor is the point person and your first contact for conferences. All teachers are available during conferences, however you may have to wait to speak to a specific classroom teacher. For this reason, please check our website and reach out to your child’s classroom teachers if you have questions before or after conferences. Your child’s advisor will work to answer questions you may have.

Parent Portal

We will have someone available in the computer lab during conferences to assist you with the Parent Portal access for grades and attendance updates. Once set up, you can receive these updates through email, phone or other device. This is a great way to stay connected to your child’s education.

Choir Concert and Flag Football Game

This Thursday, October 13th the staff will be playing a friendly game of flag football with the students who have been participating in this extracurricular. The game starts at 3:30 pm. Please show up and support your students and staff!

At 6:00 pm the New Century Academy MS and HS Choir groups will be performing three songs in our first concert of the year. Everyone is invited. Please show up to support Mr. Sood and his students in their efforts. They have been working very hard.

NWEA Testing

This Thursday and Friday students at NCA will be taking the NWEA test. This is a computer assessment that allows us to track progress and growth in the areas of math, reading and language usage. This information is used to provide students with supplemental support and targeted services to help them improve their academic skills. Please help improve your child’s chances by getting them plenty of rest and good nutrition. A healthy brain is a successful one. It is very important that your child takes the assessment seriously and performs at the best of their ability. Please have a conversation with your child about their approach to this assessment.

Eterm

At the end of each quarter this school year students will be participating in something that makes New Century unique and a great place to learn. Our Eterms (Exploratory Terms) have become a great part of the education at our school. Students and staff participate in all types of learning opportunities! This is a great time where we get to know our students outside the typical classroom, learning things that may seem non-traditional but have enormous value in the development of the complete student.

Your child should be bringing home a packet this weekend with all the details. Please review this document with your child and help them pick a seminar for both the morning and afternoon sessions. Students also have a chance to sign up for an all-day seminar as well. Your signature is required on the document so that we know that you approve of their choices. Some of the seminars cost money. Please know that we will work with you with payment plans that work for you.

This year we will be offering supplemental reading support to our 7th, 8th and 10th grade students based on both NWEA and MCA standardized assessment scores. Each Eterm, students that are selected will have the choice of either a morning or afternoon seminar designed to help them improve their reading abilities as we lead up to the MCA assessment this Spring. Our goal is to have everyone reading at grade level. Please encourage your children to do their best if they are selected for this seminar.

We will also be offering a Driver’s Education course. We need a minimum of six students to sign up for this seminar. The cost is broken up into three payments: $50 down at sign-up, $99 by the end of class, and $149 when the behind the wheel portion is completed. This has been a great seminar to offer our families. You get all the course work done in one week.

Family Nights

We had our first Family Night on September 26th at the school. Students, staff and their family members enjoyed an evening of free food and entertainment. Those who attended faced off in a friendly game of Family Feud with the winners receiving prizes. We finished the evening with a prize drawing. Thank you to all that attended.

Our next Family Night is scheduled for December 12th from 6:00-7:30 pm. The free supper begins at 6:00 pm with activities to follow. Staff are working hard to receive and gather donations for prize drawings and a bingo competition. Please join us for the festivities!

Thank you for taking the time to read this message. Enjoy the few days we have left of beautiful weather.

Jason Becker, Director
New Century Academy

July 2016 Director Update

July 2016 Director Update

NCA Students and Families,

My hope is that this letter finds you all well rested and in good health. Summer time is a great time to enjoy family, friends and beautiful weather. Please take time to enjoy your family, especially the little ones as they grow up so fast!

We are excited as we look forward to the next school year at New Century Academy! Soon we will all be back in the swing of things. As we anticipate and continue to plan for the next school year there are a few items I would like to bring to your attention. Please read through each topic paragraph and let us know if you have any questions. Our summer office hours are 9 am to 2 pm on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Please stop in if you need anything. You can also reach us by phone at 320-234-3660 and my business email is jason.becker@newcenturyacademy.com.

Registration: Included in this form are registration documents that we need as soon as possible. Please fill out the forms and drop them off at school or mail to the school address. All students will be registered for courses according to their grade level and based on graduation requirement needs. Elective courses will be available for registration at the ice cream social on August 18th starting at 7 pm.

Calendar/Upcoming Events: The school calendar can be found on the school website. Listed below are a few of the upcoming events to pay attention to:

  1. Ice Cream Social on August 18th starting at 7 pm.
  2. First Day of School is August 22nd. School starts at 8:30 am this year.
  3. First 2 hour late start is September 14th. School starts at 10:30 am on late starts.
  4. September 20th is an all school Field Trip to WE Day.
  5. Our first Family Night is September 26th. Free supper starts 6 pm, games and prizes follow until 7:30 pm.

Enrollment: New Century Academy is a tuition free public school of choice. In order to offer our school as a positive choice for families we need students. A couple of years ago our enrollment dropped significantly. Our enrollment last year stabilized around 123 students. Our goal is to be at 150 students. We have plenty of openings in grades 7 through 10. Please encourage anyone you know who might be interested in New Century Academy to stop by for a tour or call with questions. We need students in order to continue to build our programming.

Attendance: As you all know, attendance is a key factor in student success. This is an area that we need your help. The impact that attendance has on student learning as well as the financial stability of the school is something we all need to be concerned about. When a student is not present, it interferes with their ability to absorb all the necessary information and skills. From a financial stand point, the Minnesota Department of Education adjusts our funding based on our daily membership. So, when your child does not attend school it not only hurts them directly but also impacts the other students indirectly. Our goal is to have a 92% attendance rate. Last school year we ended with an 89% rate. I am confident we can improve! Please do everything you can to get your child to school so that we can meet this goal together!

Programs/New Staff: We have been working hard to bring back what makes New Century Academy unique. Project Based Learning is what the school was founded on. We have taken steps to ramp up our project based learning opportunities. Students will be expected to complete projects within their advisory course. Your child’s advisor will lead them through the process, which advances in complexity and rigor at each grade level. We have also added additional E-terms to our scheduling. We have four E-terms this year, one at the end of each quarter. We are excited to add Band and Choir to our programming this year! We are also in the process of attempting to hire either an Agriculture instructor or and Art instructor. These electives will be available for registration on August 18th at the Ice Cream Social. Come and meet the new staff and register for their programs. Our extra-curricular activities will include Flag Football, Student Council, Yearbook, Basketball, and Archery. Our hope is to also conduct the following activities: School Play, Robotics, Knowledge Bowl, Bowling, Mock Trial, Speech, Trap Shooting. If you have any interest in coaching these activities, please contact the school.

School Board: We are looking for an interested parent or community member to fill an open position on the board as soon as possible. The board meets every third Wednesday of each month. Occasionally we hold additional meetings for training purposes. This is a great way to get involved in your child’s education. You can have a direct impact on the school and the children we serve. Please inquire in the school office or email our School Board Chairperson Kathy Prellwitz at Kathy.Prellwitz@ridgewater.edu.

Thank you for the opportunity to share this information with you. Please stay informed by checking your email and the school website. You can also reach us through Facebook. I hope you enjoy the rest of your summer and we look forward to serving you again.

Respectfully,

Jason Becker, Director

April 2016

Parents and Families of NCA students,

Happy Spring! I hope this email finds all of you enjoying the occasional sunshine and warmer weather. As we approach the end of the school year and testing time, it is important to make you aware of several items. First, I would like to take this chance to thank you all for your trust in our school. Each day, you send your children to us trusting that we will work hard to provide them a quality education. We will continue to work to serve you and your family to the best of our abilities. Please read the following updates and contact the school with any questions you may have.

2 Hour Late Start

This Wednesday, April 6th we have a 2 hour late start. Students should report to school no later than 10 am for their first period class. As a staff we have blocked out the morning from 8-10 am for conferences. Please feel free to schedule a conference time with your child’s advisor.

Conferences

We recently completed 3rd Quarter on March 18th. Spring Break immediately followed and we are currently in our second week of 4th Quarter. Conferences have been scheduled, according to the school calendar, for this Tuesday evening, April 5th from 3:30-7:30 pm and this Wednesday, April 6th from 8-10 am and 3-5 pm. Please note that the morning conference time from 8-10 am is a new change. This is an attempt to accommodate any parents who may not be able to attend an evening conference. Please contact your child’s advisor to schedule a conference.

Testing

Staff and students have been working hard to prepare for the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments. Although there are mixed feelings and philosophies on the use of standardized testing to measure student achievement, it is the measurement by which the Minnesota Department of Education evaluates our progress as a school. This is a very important test that we want students to be prepared for and take seriously. There are several ways to look at it. One, student performance on the test is critical to our school’s ability to continue operating as the results are reported to our authorizer. Every charter school in the state has an authorizer who provides direct oversight and who determines whether or not the school is performing at a satisfactory level to continue operating. Two, an underperforming school may reflect poorly and therefore keep families from choosing New Century Academy as an option. Enrollment is the primary driver of funding, therefore we need our enrollment to continue to grow. Third, and I believe the most important reason, is that this is our chance as a school to show our community, neighboring communities, and the state that we can be successful! Those of us who work here and those of you who send your children here know how important our school is and how hard we all work to succeed. This is our time to shine! Please consider the following as we approach the testing season.

  1. Sleep is probably the most important factor in a student’s performance. Please do your best to help your children keep a consistent sleep schedule, especially leading up to testing.
  2. Nutrition is a close second. We will provide snacks and juice for each testing session. However, providing your child with a healthy breakfast the morning of testing is a big help.
  3. Attendance is very important. We are also evaluated on the percentage of students who are present for testing. Please make sure your child is present at school for each testing session.
  4. Lastly, a positive attitude is so critical. Students should take their time on the test. A great strategy is to answer the questions you are confident you know and save the questions you’re unsure of for later. Students will have the ability on the test to go back and complete all questions. We will be reviewing this strategy and many more with the students in days to come.

Please note the following testing dates:

April 13th: 8th grade Science AM/10th grade Science PM

April 14th: 8th grade Science AM/10th grade Science PM

April 19th: 11th and 12th grade ACT @ Ridgewater Building on Michigan/2nd Ave.

April 19th: 7th grade Reading AM/8th grade Reading PM

April 20th: 7th grade Reading AM/8th grade Reading PM

April 21st: 10th grade Reading AM/11th grade Math PM

April 22nd: 10th grade Reading AM/11th grade Math PM

April 26th: 8th grade math AM/7th grade math PM

April 27th: 8th grade math AM/7th grade math PM

 

Thank you for taking the time to read this update and happy Spring!

 

Jason Becker, Director

New Century Academy

December 2015

Happy Holidays to all of our awesome families at New Century Academy!

We are so thankful that we have the opportunity to serve you. This holiday season causes us all to reflect on the past year and the experiences we’ve had together. New Century Academy has experienced a lot of change over its existence since being established in 2002. We have seen five different Directors over that course of time, as well as many different staff. All of these people have contributed something of value to our school and its purpose. I am personally thankful of all the experiences and relationships I have had the privilege to be part of. My hope is that in this next year we can provide stability to our school and continue to provide a meaningful, safe, and unique option for education.

The staff have been working hard to build positive relationships with your children. Our hope is that relationships built on trust and respect will help motivate and inspire our students to value their education. This is very difficult work with many hills and valleys. We work very hard at being patient and understanding during the difficulties and supportive and encouraging during the successes. Many of our students are looking for a fresh start and need to experience education in a different way to be successful. This requires a great amount of support from families. I hope that all of our families understand that we believe in your children and will do whatever we can to help them reach their goals. I wish all of you a happy holidays and a great new year! We have an exciting event coming up, please read below for further details.

Free Family Dinner and Entertainment: This coming Monday December 21st we will be hosting our first ever “Family Night” at New Century Academy. We are very excited for this event! The staff will be working the event and serving our students and their families a FREE spaghetti dinner starting at 5:30 pm. During the supper there will be musical entertainment, a student art and project showcase, as well as a few fun games to play. You can also just socialize and use the hour to get to know other families, staff, and students.

Bingo: Starting at 6:30 pm we will have Turkey Bingo! All students and families are welcome to play along and will have the chance to win one of two turkeys donated by Cub Foods. We will continue the Bingo game for more prizes. Students at NCA have been playing Bingo all week and the winners have been entered into a drawing for prizes. You must be present at the event when your name is drawn to win.

Door Prize Drawing: Immediately following the Bingo games and drawing we will continue giving prizes through a door prize drawing. Every family and family member will have the opportunity, as they enter the building, to put their name in a bucket for door prizes. You must be present at the event when your name is drawn to win.

We have a lot of prizes that have been donated by individuals and local businesses. Please see the website for a complete list, pictures, and recognition of our donors! Thank you to all involved in making these gifts a possibility.

 

Jason Becker

New Century Academy, Director

July 2015

I hope this message finds you and your family in good health and enjoying the beautiful weather we are having so far this summer. I also want to thank you for your support and trust in New Century Academy as a viable option for your child. My commitment to New Century Academy has spanned 13 years and it has afforded me a learned perspective. I have grown as a man, husband, father and educator right along with the school. I am forever in its debt and appreciative of the opportunities I’ve had and will continue to have in the years to come.

This message is an effort to reassure all of you that New Century Academy will continue to conduct public education for students in grades 7-12 for the upcoming school year of 2015-2016. I can also confidently say that we will continue our efforts well into the future.

New Century Academy and its authorizer Novation Education Opportunities are entering the third year of a five year contract. Every charter school in the state of Minnesota must have a contract with an authorizer and the length of that contract can vary. New Century Academy received the longest available contract from its authorizer because of the success we have had as a school. The authorizer is responsible for oversight of the school in all areas including academic and financial. Yes, the authorizer has the power to open or close the doors of our school. However, our authorizer has no intention of closing our doors. NEO did provide some areas of concern for our school board in its annual review and the school board is taking the necessary steps to ensure that we meet these challenges.

From a programmatic standpoint, the leadership and staff of New Century Academy are working hard to create an academic environment that is both welcoming and encouraging to your child. New Century has always been a school that has adapted and changed based on the needs of its students and families. We don’t always get it right, but we continue to work to achieve the right outcomes for the families we serve. I can say with confidence that I will do everything I can to help New Century Academy realize its potential. Those of us committed to New Century believe in its mission and vision and want to work with your family to create something special. My hope is that you will continue to trust New Century Academy as an option for your child’s education.

A Few Highlights from the End of This Year!

Great News – Preliminary MCA math results are in!  We are excited about what appears to be a 22% increase in math proficiency scores from school year 2013-2014.  Congratulations to the 7th/8th and 10th grade students who took this year’s required Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment (MCA) and the math faculty for their constant efforts.

History Day Students advance to the Finals

On March 21st, 4 New Century students competed in the National History Day competition at St. Cloud State University. Freshmen, Summer Nomeland and Sarah Puder, competed in the performance category with a new take on Sacagewea’s role in the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Sophomores, Jaide Ehalt and Alexis Grack, based their performance on the leadership and legacy of Queen Elizabeth II and her sister, the late Princess Margaret. Both groups did exceedingly well and earned a qualifying spot at the state competition which will be held on Saturday May 2nd at the University of Minnesota. This an incredible opportunity for all of these ladies to represent NCA with pride at an elite level.

Seniors Recognized/Accomplishments

Josiah Kaminski and Joshua Draxton were recently acknowledged by KDUZ/KARP for outstanding educational efforts during the school year.

Also, congratulations to Alexus Grack for ZERO days of absence this school year.

If you have any questions or concerns please contact me at your earliest convenience.

Jason Becker, Interim Director New Century Academy

jason.becker@newcenturyacademy.com
320-234-3660 ext. 2045

Summer Office Hours:
Tuesday 9:00 am – 2:00 pm, Wednesday 9:00 am – 2:00 pm, Friday 10 am – 1:00 pm