Hello CCS Family!
I sincerely hope you have all been enjoying your summer break. This week all of the Compass Charter Schools (CCS) staff members are participating in our Annual in-person CCS All-Staff Retreat to prepare for the upcoming school year. The back-to-school season is here and I am truly looking forward to what lies ahead for our returning and new scholars. This month, I thought it would be best to share some advice on how to prepare for the new school year. Here are a few ways that scholars and their families can prepare for success:
Prepare Your Learning Area
CCS is an independent study program that allows scholars to learn outside of a traditional classroom. In preparation for the new school year, I recommend that scholars choose a designated learning area and organize their school supplies. While scholars may not necessarily work from their designated learning area each day, it’s serves as a reliable, familiar place to use and complete school work.
To prepare the learning space, I recommend that scholars choose a quiet, clean area with a table or desk to work on. It’s also helpful if the chosen learning area has room for a bookshelf or file cabinet to hold books, notebooks, folders, and other school supplies. Lastly, it can be helpful to hang a bulletin board in the learning space where scholars can display their schedule, completed class projects and other academic achievements.
Create a Schedule
Scholars in an independent study program have the flexibility to create a custom learning schedule. I suggest that scholars and their families work together to create their own schedule before school starts. Creating a learning schedule allows scholars to plan ahead and reserve an ample amount of time for learning and class assignments.
CCS allows scholars to learn at different times of the day and during different days of the week. Is your family taking a vacation during the upcoming school year? Or does your scholar have a busy schedule because of personal commitments? It’s important to answer these questions before the new school year begins. Planning and creating a learning schedule is a great way to help scholars prepare for a successful school year.
Organize Your Materials
Before school begins, it’s important for scholars to organize their learning materials. I believe that organizing school supplies ahead of time can help scholars feel more prepared for the new school year. I encourage all of CCS’ scholars to prepare and organize their folders, notebooks, pens, pencils, and other materials before the first day of school. (I myself am starting a new educational program and have organized my home office space with binders and notebooks for each of my classes, which start next week.) Families in our Options program, or homeschooling, should work with their Education Facilitator to select the right curriculum before the first day of school. Scholars in our Online program should prepare their school laptops and make sure all of the necessary software programs are installed. Scholars and their families should contact the CCS IT Department with any questions regarding their school computers. Organizing and preparing school supplies gives scholars quick and easy access to the materials they need for a seamless transition into the new school year.
Review Your Classes & Curriculum
CCS scholars are encouraged to review their selected classes and curriculum choices for the upcoming school year. Options families have the ability to choose the curriculum that best suits their scholar. I encourage each Options family to review their curriculum choice and ask their Educational Facilitator any questions they may have about curriculum and our approved vendors. And if you have any recommendations on potential vendors that we should research, please do share that with us!
After much preparation, I am truly looking forward to the launch of CCS’ new partnership with StrongMind, a robust online curriculum provider for middle and high school scholars in our Online program. StrongMind will come with a variety of new, wonderful features that will allow scholars and their families to enjoy a smoother learning experience. Later this month, these scholars will learn how to use StrongMind and be able to select their classes for the upcoming school year. We have a number of course introduction videos on our YouTube channel that I encourage you to view. We also have a number of tutorials available on our new Parent Scholar Portal and Learning Management System. We will continue to share more information on our new systems as we get closer to our first day of classes, which are Tuesday, September 5. Be on the lookout for information on our virtual Welcome Back Nights, where we will ensure our scholars are prepared for a successful year!
Overall, there are several ways for scholars and families to prepare for the upcoming school year. The upcoming year will bring many exciting changes that will allow CCS to continue to develop innovative, creative, and self-directed learners. The back-to-school season is a special time and I am truly looking forward to the year that lies ahead! Welcome back!
J.J. Lewis - a blog sharing the journey throughout SDSU's MA.EL. program.