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Winter can be a challenging time for faculty and students. Energy levels can wane with the shorter days and the cooler weather…well, usually cooler. Teachers are constantly creating new ways of keeping students engaged and learning. Not only do they share ideas with one another; they also work closely with our Coordinator for Educational Innovation, Dan de León.
Dan shares a monthly blog called i3 (innovative, intriguing, and inspiring) with the faculty. He gathers ideas and techniques from other schools around the country, from across the globe -- and from our very own faculty. For instance, a recent issue of i3 examined various innovative ideas that our teachers were implementing into their course curriculum.
The New Faculty Group adds to the mix through their ongoing discussions of innovative approaches to engaging reluctant students in the classroom. Some approaches involve the use of low-tech techniques, such as exit tickets and large-sized whiteboards for student response; they may be highly technical; or they may use no technology at all.
I am delighted to share some of these innovation initiatives with you:
Kelly Bull and Dan de León have been educating their students in the use of Google Docs for both peer review and audio comment editing. Kaizena is a feature that works with Google Docs, allowing the reviewer to highlight parts of the document and leave audio comments and suggestions for editing drafts.
Kelly Bull, who teaches 7th Grade Life Science, has been implementing Google Docs “Suggesting” feature. She has her students write peer edits to improve their writing skills, as she assigns an essay component as part of their research.
Dan de León has his Spanish 3 students authoring books to be published on Shutterfly, and he was able to bring a few of Bambi Otero's Spanish 1A students into this project. The students’ books will be part of a donation to the organization, From Books to Brilliance, a nonprofit group that creates small libraries in impoverished communities in Central America. Dan’s upper level Spanish students have been using social media to study microagressions and their effect on the members of our own community. Students created a hashtag on Twitter to connect with others and a visual gallery in the hallway of the McCall Performing Arts Center.
Waseem Touma offers his Clay and Sculpture students the opportunity to take a randomly assigned electrical appliance (vacuum cleaner, hair dryer, toaster, old stereo, etc.) and take it apart as much as possible. The students then trace out every element, turning the results into their own design, and arranging the pieces into a composition on a board or suspended from the ceiling. Waseem said, “This is one of my favorite projects! This is a great introduction to found object sculpture, as it is very playful, it involves working as a team, and there is no wrong or right. It is just taking something apart, looking with fresh eyes, and turning the pieces into something creative.” He calls this project Deconstruction-Reconstruction.
Stephen Beamish, Mathematics Chair, had fun with Halloween this past fall. He invited a wicked witch (performed by front office pro, Laurie Magee) to propose a Halloween math problem for his students. This problem -- looking for the number of heads, witches’ legs and black cats out flying on Halloween – along with its solution, was later posted on YouTube. Laurie is delighted to perform in any class and be a part of this fun approach to learning. This is a nice detour from issuing morning tardy passes!
Our newest teachers often share ways to help their students review material. Middle School teacher, Tia Mertens, uses a technique she calls Improv Your Review with students in her classes, New Mexico History and the West and World Cultures and Geography. "My teaching strategy is a simple one, but effective for visual and kinesthetic learners. When we, as a class, are reviewing information, such as homework or a chapter section, I have the students improvise whatever we are talking about. I pick one or two volunteers and their job, without any talking, is to act out whatever I say. This helps make learning the information more fun for students and, either by acting out the scenes themselves or watching peers do so, it helps them focus on the important information. It has been helpful for me, especially with the creative group of students I have this year. Every class acts it out differently, which is also nice, so that it is not the same thing for every class. It is almost a 'peer teach' even though it is my voice speaking," said Tia.
Cassandra Osterloh and Allen Arsenault began a new LEGO Robotics activity at Sandia Prep this year. It has been so successful that we have added it to the list of 8th Grade elective classes for next year. The activity began with creating a robot and programming it to accomplish various missions. This FIRST LEGO League (FLL) is geared toward middle school students with an interest in LEGOs, design, robotics, and programming. Cassandra said, “We have had great success in attracting many students who have, in turn, grown in their knowledge and excitement. Although our initial goal was to compete at a local FLL event, we ended up spending our time learning more programming rather than preparing for competition, so we did not compete locally this year. The group of students will be ready to compete next year, hopefully along with others.”
Math teacher Neal Holtschulte is offering another unique opportunity for next year’s seniors. It is a new class. If the first portion of the title, Math Modeling & Data Analysis, does not strike you as exciting, then perhaps the latter portion will: Star Statistics! Neal said, "This course will present statistics and mathematical modeling in the context of a fanciful starship journey. Students will grapple with mathematical challenges involving optimization and probability where there may be no single right answer. Instead, the trade-offs will be debated by the students, who must back up their arguments with rigorous mathematics. The decisions made by the students will affect the starship's food and fuel supplies, as well as the ship's budget as the course proceeds and additional challenges are encountered. Topics will include: budgeting, data representation, probability, hypothesis testing, mathematical modeling, and agent-based modeling." The Starship Sundevil will need a crew of creative mathematicians to guide it. Are you up to the task? Be ready to join this mission that is scheduled to depart in August 2015.
As I have suggested in the past, as you eat dinner as a family, think about asking your kids what types of innovative and intriguing things are happening in their classes. While I often wish I could go back to school and experience education in the manner offered here, I am fortunate to have the opportunity to be part of these exciting times for our students. A Sandia Prep education is a remarkable thing. I hope that your child is inspired each and every day.
Interim Head of School
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As part of our health education program and Sandia Prep’s ongoing commitment to prevention and wellness, David Sherrell from FCD (Freedom from Chemical Dependency) will be presenting to students, faculty, and parents during the week of April 6. FCD is a nonprofit organization that has been providing substance abuse prevention education for schools since 1976.
Mr. Sherrell will present the most up-to-date information available on the physiological and psychological effects of various drugs, and provide a forum for discussing social, cultural, and personal issues that relate to the choices people make. From April 6-9, he will be presenting to our 9th and 10th Grade students during three of their PE classes.
Sandia Prep will host a special evening session for parents, on Wednesday, April 8, from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. in Room #708 in the McCall Performing Arts Center. Mr. Sherrell will present current information on drug use and trends, discuss effective ways to communicate with your child about drugs, and create a forum for parents to share their own questions and concerns. Parents of students in any grade are invited and encouraged to attend.
To r.s.v.p. for the evening parent session, please email Karen Lyall, Coordinator of Health and Wellness, at email@example.com.
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SummerPrep 2015 offers more than 90 academic, arts and sports camps for students entering grades K-12, all led by exceptional teaching staff in a warm, friendly atmosphere.
New camps this year include: Rocketry (grades 6-8); Comparative Anatomy: Get the Inside Scoop on the Animal Kingdom (grades 6-8); Exploring the World of Gods, Myths and Monsters (grades 3-6); Young Actor's Workshop (grades 2-6); and Geometry for Credit (grades 8-11).
Returning favorites include: Weird and Wacky Science; Hogwarts School; Kids Cook; Chemistry; Costume Design; and Come Play and Learn.
Our Musical Theater camps will be Disney’s Peter Pan JR. and Disney’s The Lion King JR. Sandia Prep is the first school in the country to obtain the just-released rights to stage Disney’s The Lion King JR.!
Sports camps for all ages are also featured. Camps for soccer, tennis, basketball, volleyball, softball, kickball, archery, Ultimate Frisbee and yoga are available, along with sports clinics in basketball, soccer, baseball and volleyball.
View the catalog to see all of SummerPrep 2015's offerings for students entering grades K-12.
SummerPrep 2015 takes place June 1 through July 10.
Registration is now underway. Register online, via mail, or in person at Sandia Prep.
Learn more at summerprep.org.
Questions? Contact the SummerPrep office at 505.338.3045 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Sandia Prep’s car raffle continues to run. This year, the School is raffling off a 2014 Silver Ford Mustang V6 Coupe from Rich Ford.
Tickets are $10 each and are available now at www.sandiaprep.org or in the Development Office. A maximum of 8,000 tickets will be sold. Proceeds will benefit the Sandia Prep Annual Fund, which helps to make possible Sandia Prep's many programs, transportation, coaches’ stipends and classroom supplies, to name a few.
The winner will be announced at the Sandia Prep Alumni Picnic and Soccer Games on July 11, 2015.
For more information, contact Julie Cook at email@example.com or call 338-3022.
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Sandia Prep's Mock Trial team competed against 27 other teams to capture sixth place in the New Mexico High School Regional Mock Trial Competition.
Next, the Sandia Prep Mock Trial team heads to State Competition in Albuquerque, which is set for March 20 and 21.
Members of Sandia Prep's Mock Trial team are:
Jawaher "Juju" Assed '15
Brendon Gray '16
Malcolm Keith '17
Keely Lovato '16
Tierney McCue '16
Richie Rattan '16
Paul Rosenberg '17
Eli Stone '17
Juju Assed, Keely Lovato and Brendon Gray all won recognition awards from their opposing teams during the regional competition.
The Gene Franchini Mock Trial competition is a program of the Center for Civic Values. The NM regional competition was held at the Bernalillo Country Metropolitan Courthouse and was cosponsored by the Public Education Department.
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Sandia Prep's Varsity Bowling Team was one of 22 teams competing in the State Tournament -- where the Sundevils took third place. Kudos to Prep's Varsity Bowlers and their coach, Claudio Perez!
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Do you have clothes you don't wear? Shoes you've outgrown? DVDs, CDs and books that are just taking up space?
Your discards are another person's desirables, your trash another's treasure!
In celebration of Earth Day, Sandia Prep's Greendevils will hold the annual Sustainability Swap on Monday, April 20 to raise awareness concerning the sustainable use of resources.
Please put a box or bag aside and begin collecting all your unwanted items to bring to campus next month. Stay tuned; more details will be coming soon.
Do you drive an electric vehicle? If so, we would love for you to come "show and tell" your zero emission car.
Parents: Volunteers are needed to help between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. on Monday, April 20, the day of the Sustainability Swap. If you would like to lend a hand, contact Chuck Buxbaum at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Updates to Sandia Prep's Curriculum for Fall 2015
- Updates include changes in the Digital Media and Communications, English, Math, Performing Arts, and History Departments, and in the 8th Grade Rotation.
- Starting with the Class of 2019, 24 credits will be required to graduate (versus the current 23).
- Requirements will include ½ credit from the Digital Media and Communications Department.
- The curriculum changes follow an intensive, 18-month curriculum review process.
- Next year’s Juniors will take a required year-long Survey in American Literature, where they will explore work from various movements by American authors, including Native American authors, and receive in-depth writing instruction. (This replaces the previous pairing of a fall semester elective with Rhetoric, Composition, and Style in spring.)
- In Mathematics, Advanced Statistics will become a hands-on math modeling course with data analysis. Geometry For Credit will be offered through SummerPrep, making it possible for students then to take Calculus 2 or a statistics class during the school year.
- Bridge to Algebra will be offered through SummerPrep, allowing students to move to a more advanced path in their mathematics studies.
- In Performing Arts, freshmen will be able to enroll in Curtain! The Production Experience.
- Sophomores, juniors and seniors will be able to study Acting Intensive or Foundations of Directing.
- Juniors and Seniors may enroll in Extreme Theater, where they will collaborate to present a full-length student-produced play.
Digital Media and Communications
- Computer Animation and Web Page Design are new Digital Media and Communications electives.
- Mandarin Chinese 3 has been added.
- Psychology has been added as a 12th Grade elective in the History department.
- Beginning in Fall 2015, one year of Upper School P.E. (which will include health) will be required.
- Also beginning in Fall 2015, 8th Grade students may choose from several quarter-long electives, such as Broadway Song and Dance, Printmaking, and Robotics.
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Back by popular demand, Sandia Prep’s summer film course for alumni, current parents, and parents of alumni, offered in conjunction with SummerPrep, is back -- for its fifth consecutive year!
Taught by Sandia Prep’s renowned History teacher and longtime former Assistant Head Ron Briley, the course is inspired by Contemporary American History through Film, the course Ron has taught to captivated Sandia Prep seniors for more than a quarter-century.
Participants will gather on Tuesday evenings in the McCall Family Theater from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. to screen and discuss a film. Don’t worry; in this summer iteration of the class, there will be no essay assignments!
This year’s class will focus on the films of actor/director Paul Newman — which will provide an opportunity to look at several film genres. Among the films to be screened are The Hustler (1961), Hud (1963), Cool Hand Luke (1967), Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969), The Sting (1973), and The Verdict (1982).
To reserve a spot, please contact Ron Briley at email@example.com or 338-3019. Please make checks payable to Sandia Prep School.
Summer Film Course Dates:
Tuesday nights at 6:30 p.m. in Sandia Prep’s McCall Family Theater
June 2 through July 7, 2015
Fee: $20 per participant for the entire 6-week series
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Members of the Middle School arm of Sandia Prep’s Helping Hands service group have been busy!
First, they spent the first two weeks in February weeks selling “candy-grams,” cookies and baked goods during the lunch period to raise money for community service projects. They also took in the admission proceeds from the Middle School Valentine’s Dance. Their efforts were a success: in February alone, they raised more than $1,100 to aid others in need. Together with proceeds from initiatives earlier this school year, the Middle School Helping Hands group now has more than $1,800 total to fund service projects. The proceeds will be used to help local elementary students in need.
On February 18, the Sandia Prep students walked to nearby Mission Avenue Elementary to continue their work with young students there. The SPS students visited Ms. Kerbleski’s first grade class to help with learning activities centered around Presidents Day. All of the collaborative projects — which included building log houses, constructing Lincoln / Washington “transformers,” and creating cherry clusters — included research, reading and fact-finding about our first and sixteenth Presidents.
Since 2010, Sandia Prep’s Middle School student volunteers have been partnering with Ms. Kerbleski’s classes at Mission Avenue Elementary School. Each SPS student serves as a “buddy” for one of the first-graders. Sandia Prep students help the young ones with reading, with projects, and serve as role models for the Mission Avenue students. Math teacher Susi Hochrein is the faculty sponsor for Middle School Helping Hands service group.
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Water polo players Rebekah Larsson ’18 and Catherine Mullins ’20 have been selected to represent the Mountain Zone in Riverside, California March 13–15 for the 2015 Olympic Development Program (ODP) Girls National Championship Tournament. Rebekah is on the 1999-2000 girls team and Cat is on the 2001 & Younger girls team.
Rebekah and Cat will compete as a team during the championship. Each is also competing to be selected for a spot on the National team. Coaches from the National team will be in attendance and will select players to attend the National Training and Selection Camp.
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Sandia Prep science and Outdoor Leadership Program faculty member, Helen Haskell, has been selected to take part in the 2015 EARTH workshop this July in Newport, Oregon. Hosted by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI), the workshop brings together educators and scientists to learn about research that is being conducted and how to incorporate it into the classroom. EARTH uses near-real-time data from ocean observatories to design and test outreach with the Internet as an interface to scientists, teachers, students, and the public.
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In December, the Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña (State Arts Agency of Puerto Rico) honored Sandia Prep’s Band Director, Dr. José Mariano Morales-Matos, for his achievements as a composer, arranger and educator and his contributions to music and the culture in Puerto Rico. The Government of Puerto Rico dedicated the 48th Fiesta de la Música de Puerto Rico to Dr. Morales.
During the ceremony, Morales received a proclamation from the governor of Puerto Rico and was asked to perform some of his music with his Latin jazz group, Pikante.
Morales’ CD, To the Masters/A los maestros, was released in January and is available through Amazon and iTunes.
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Sandia Prep families who buy groceries at Albertsons can help generate corporate contributions to the School's Annual Fund by having their Community Partners Card scanned at check out. A small portion of each transaction will be credited to Sandia Prep and a “rebate” check will be issued quarterly to the school as a result of these grocery store sales.
For more information about Albertson’s Community Partners program visit www.albertsons.com/cp; or to request your own key ring Community Partners Card, please contact Roxanna Caird at firstname.lastname@example.org. (It is also possible to link SPS to your Albertsons Preferred Savings Card.)
Target also has an ongoing corporate giving program. If you have a Target REDcard, you can enroll in Take Charge of Education and designate Sandia Prep as the school to receive contributions. Target gives a small portion of each purchase to the School's Annual Fund.
To register your Target REDcard or for more information about Target’s Take Charge of Education program visit https://www-secure.target.com/redcard/tcoe/school-details?schoolId=10852&enroll=yes;
or contact Roxanna Caird at email@example.com.
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March is here, and I know that in my house we are all looking forward to Spring Break!
Thank you to all the volunteers who helped with the National Honor Society reception on February 5; to the wonderful volunteers who helped put on the Middle School Valentine’s Dance; to the volunteers who continue to welcome prospective families as Admission Hosts; and always, to the volunteers who help with the Faculty and Staff Appreciation Snacks. Our Parents Association is powered by volunteers like you! Many, many thanks.
Wednesday, April 8 marks the date for this year’s Passport to Your Future, an important event for Sandia Prep. Prospective students will visit our wonderful school once more before deciding which school they will attend next year. We always need lots of volunteers for this event, so please consider lending a hand at this very fun event!
The 8th Grade Dinner Dance is set for Friday, April 10. We need parent volunteers to help with set up and clean up. If you would like to help, please contact Kathleen Atkin firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Parents Association (PA) does not meet in March, due to Spring Break. Don't forget Daylight Savings time begins on Sunday, March 8.
Please join us for our next PA meeting on Tuesday, April 28 at 11:30 a.m. in the Heath Board Room (upstairs in the Russell Student Center). Hope to see you there!
I wish all of you a fun and relaxing Spring Break!
SPSPA President 2014-15
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The Sundevil Athletics Organization (SAO) would like to say thank you to all the athletic coaches and team parents at Sandia Prep. Thank you for a wonderful season and for all your hard work. We appreciate your dedication and time!
- Boys Varsity Basketball: Willie Owens & Brian Tregembo, Coaches Team Parent: Kathleen Lucero
- Boys JV Basketball: Joseph Carpenter & Bobak Khodai, Coaches Team Parent: Lisa Mitchell
- Boys C Team Basketball: Cale Glover & Marc Roybal, Coaches Team Parent: Jodi Butler
- Boys 8th Grade Basketball-Red: Jonny Doran, Coach Team Parent: Margie Pintzow
- Boys 8th Grade Basketball-Blue: Pat Kelly, Coach Team Parent: Lezlie Schreiber
- Boys 7th Grade Basketball-Red: Mo Sanchez, Coach Team Parent: Trish Bennett
- Boys 7th Grade Basketball-Blue: Wyatt Thomas, Coach Team Parent: Angela Aragon
- Boys 6th Grade Basketball-Red: Rick Wettin, Coach Team Parent: Lisa and Chuck Shoaff
- Boys 6th Grade Basketball-Blue: Zach Tenorio, Coach Team Parent: Michelle and Doug Clark
- Girls Varsity Basketball: JP Rael & Angel Reyes, Coaches Team Parent: Carolyn James and Sandy Drake-Rubin
- Girls JV Basketball: Jerome Romero, Coach Team Parent: Becky McDemott
- Girls C Team Basketball: Bethany Karnopp, Coach Team Parent: Theo Judith Sanchez
- Girls 8th Grade Basketball: Mo Sanchez, Coach Team Parent: Lynn Jeffries and Nichelle Gilbert
- Girls 7th Grade Basketball-Blue: Tony Esposito & Kaitlyn Glass, Coaches Team Parent: Jody Garcia
- Girls 6th Grade Basketball-Red: Patrick Kelly, Coach Team Parent: Beth McCraw
- G 6th Grade Basketball-Blue: Paul Huitt, Coach Team Parent: Perla Webb
- Swimming / Diving: Jerry Stanton & Elora Stanton, Coaches Team Parent: Kelli McNaughton and Maria Fidalgo
- Dance: Louie Giannini & Courtney Giannini, Coaches Team Parent: Neoma Nevill and Clea Gutterson
- Bowling: Claudio Perez & Liam Arsenault, Coaches Team Parent: Margaret Michael
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The weekly, mouth-watering snacks for our amazing faculty and staff have continued to roll in!
Once each week during the school year a Sandia Prep family provides a snack for our amazing, dedicated faculty and staff.
We send our thanks for delicious February treats delivered to the faculty lounge by: Vicky Rojo, Debbie Van Dyke and Carolyn McKeown!
We still have a few weeks left to fill on the Faculty Snacks Calendar -- in March, April and May -- so sign up soon if you'd like to contribute to thanking our teachers and staff in this way.
It’s easy: Simply go to Mysignup.com/prepteacherappreciation and scroll to the bottom for the sign up calendar.
You may also contact Tina Valentine at 948-0760 or email@example.com.
Thank you for helping us show our appreciation for the dedicated teachers and staff members who care for our kids each day!
Faculty & Staff Appreciation Chair
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The Sundevil Athletics Organization (SAO) is collecting Box Tops for Education; all proceeds benefit Sandia Prep's athletics program.
As parents, you can support us by clipping and collecting the Box Tops from any participating General Mills products. Box Tops may be turned into the Supply Store collection bin.
We invite you to continue -- or start -- clipping and help us support Sandia Prep athletics!
The Sundevil Athletic Organization (SAO)