October 2014

October 3rd, 2014
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What awesome times at NCA! We are now in a great educational rhythm as students have established routines and are beginning to actively engage in their Learning Labs.  We have replaced “classrooms” with “Learning Labs” as part of our new S.T.E.A.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) initiative.

This October edition is probably best served by providing important up-coming dates and functions at NCA.

October 9, 2014 – After School Grade Recovery Day #1 (New):

This is part of the new attendance policy that deducts 1/3 of a letter grade for 3 or more unexcused absences; it then goes into effect for each additional unexcused absence. This program allows students to essentially remove their grade reductions due to unexcused absences.  Students will be informed of the process for re-cooping grades with school-wide announcements and will be provided with a written explanation so students can bring this information home.

Set –Aside October 14 for an NCA Extravaganza!

October 14 (Evening), October 15 (Day) 15, 2014 – Parent-Teacher Conferences (New Format):

We will have a different design for parent-teacher conferences this year. We will be setting it up such that parents can see all of their student’s teachers, not just advisors.  Although there has always been this opportunity for parents, we now want to encourage conversations and check-up with all of your student’s teachers.  This is the best way to gain content specific information.  Advisors have some natural limitations as they can only respond to general questions, we want this to become much more specific.  Also, expect your teachers and/or advisor to discuss student learning goals with your student at the conference.  These goals will reference the NWEAs and MCA test scores for your student.

October 14, 2014, Parent Advisory Meeting:

We will have a Parent-Advisory Meeting on the evening of October 14, 2014 beginning at 6:00 PM in Lab # 208. We invite any parents that wish to understand and learn more about the status and vision of NCA programming.  The future is bright!

October 14, 2014, Spaghetti Dinner, Gift Basket Raffle and Silent Auction

Conferences, a Spaghetti Dinner, Gift Basket Raffle, Silent Auction and Parent Meeting are all scheduled for Tuesday, October 14th and we hope that you can partake in them all!  Parents and students will be able to visit with the teachers, and a Spaghetti Dinner and Silent Auction will be held to help defray the costs of the trips to Europe/Thailand.  The basket raffle will fund a project to be determined by the student council. The Parent Meeting will be held at 6p to allow time for parents to enjoy the other activities.  Donations for the baskets and silent auction are welcomed and themed baskets are being put together by the advisories.  Stay tuned for more details!

Lunch Payment Deficits (Negative Balances):

NCA board members and administration will be soon working a policy to address negative lunch account balances. Some preliminary framework may include the following:

  • No negative balances will be accepted or permitted
  • Notices will go out to students and families when 5 days remains in the account. This will occur through email notification
  • Students will be able to pay for daily lunch with cash-in-hand as long as no additional deficit is created. The responsibility is on parents to resolve the deficit.
  • No student will be declined a lunch if they somehow surpass the supervision of the lunch auditor. We will be sensitive.

It is our goal to have this policy in place no later than the beginning of 2nd semester which begins on January 20, 2015, but we have already begun to address the negative balances.

Budget Response Process (BRP):

The school board and administration will be re-visiting the budget to ensure a balanced budget for Fiscal Year 2014-2015. This budget-response process will result in some changes at NCA in terms of personnel, positions and programs.  You can be assured that the finance committee, director of finance, school board and administration will keep the student at the center of any deliberation.  Some changes may already take effect in late October.

Ms. Hendricks J L

Ms. Hendricks is pursuing another professional direction as she will become an adjunct professor at St. Mary’s University. She currently teaches adjunct at Concordia – St. Paul.  Ms. Hendricks has had this ambition for some time as she is nearing the completion of her doctorate degree.  We are certainly sad to see her go, but we are so excited for her.  It’s a great fit.  Stay in touch Ms. Hendricks!

What am I hearing about Brownton?

Yea, we have been checking into some things….including Brownton

In the interest of full-disclosure with everyone involved, we (NCA), believe strongly in the educational foundation that is being created with the current S.T.E.A.M. initiative, however, we need to be strategic about our vision forward. As a result, our strategic planning committee is beginning this work of needs assessment and futuristic planning.  This process requires the committee to explore all ideas that can grow our school stronger.  All I can say is that we are moving in the right direction and the S.T.E.A.M initiative brings focus and specificity to our vision.

Chronology of events thus far:

August, 2014 – Mr. Becker and Mr. Klaphake went to Brownton to simply check out the facility.  We were given keys to walk around and check some things out.

August, 2014 – Mr. Klaphake initiates a meeting with the Mayor and City Council Member to meet with our Strategic Planning Committee to assess interest, brainstorm, and to tour our facility at NCA.

September, 2014 – Brownton Reps begin some preliminary work with constituents to assess interest and feasibility

September, 2014 – Mr. Klaphake invites NCA’s Authorizer for a tour of the Brownton facility to talk feasibility.

October 1, 2014 – the NCA staff tours the facility to generate questions, assess interest and expose our staff to the geographical parameters of our attending students, some of which come from Brownton.

October 6, 2014 – Strategic Planning members will visit the Brownton site and talk further about the communities’ conversation around such a proposition.

Any significant change, such as change of location would take a couple years….. so we are content with our current facility and area until or if change would occur.

Go Spartans !

Mr. Klaphake, Ed.D., Director

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