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The Urban Academy Times
The Year of Community 
In This Issue
Classroom iPads Make Big Impact at Junior School
Who Am I? Grade 1 Identity Shields
Grade 5 Environmentally Friendly Art
IT Integration at Our Senior Campus
Winter Concert
Gala Ticket Sales OPen!
Bite Size UA

Social Media Social

2015/2016 Issue: 3
January Issue
  

In reflecting on this past year, 2015 saw Urban Academy grow its staff team, welcoming teachers who continue to deepen and expand our professional knowledge. The students, year over year continue to grow and develop from gregarious toddlerhood, to inquisitive children to confident teens and finally young adults passionate about their next steps that will inevitably impact the world. Our parent community has further expanded, growing the dynamic and talented group of volunteers who are our partners in ensuring UA students receive the most complete education possible.

When thinking about the future of our school, 2015 experienced the coming together of the entire community, propelled by the vision of the Board of Directors to expand our facilities. As you all know, we also faced a major roadblock when our plans for expansion were turned down. Other communities may have been defeated but the spirit of Urban Academy prevailed, turning the vision and energy into a new plan that, late in the year, has seen very positive movement forward. Thank you for your continued support for this initiative!

The 'Year of Community' is truly being lived out at Urban Academy, and I'm happy to report that we have reached and surpassed our Annual Appeal goal of $30,000 for this school year. Through your generosity, we have raised $32,131 that will turn into technology, fine arts resources, athletic equipment and academic programs for UA students.

Now in this new year, we are all looking ahead with optimism. I am excited about the ever deepening understanding of who we are as a school and what we offer our students. I am heartened by the expansion of our arts infused initiatives and how our students have been responding to their projects and their studies. You should be commended for their drive, creativity and desire to learn!

2016 is also shaping up to be another pivotal year in Urban Academy's development. Our programs including music, drama, OOSC and clubs will continue to expand to offer students the opportunity to explore new interests. Academically our students continue to show exceptional promise in their response to instruction. Not only are they achieving academic success, but (for the most part) they are also enjoying their studies along the way.

We continue to plan for our future and I am encouraged by the UA community and how passionate the UA parent group is about being a part of this exciting stage of our development. Thank you for your commitment to the school, and I am very much looking forward to all 2016 has to bring with it!

Sincerely, 
 
Mrs. Cheryle Beaumont
Head of School
Classroom iPads Make Big Impact at Junior Campus
Technology is flourishing at Urban Academy! The classroom iPads that were purchased through the funds raised in last year's Annual Appeal are making a big impact on the way our students learn, inquire and complete various activities in class. Some of the main goals for the iPad implementation this year was to use these tools in ways that engage student learning, encourage students to share their knowledge with others and create a platform that makes learning visible. We have been exploring different apps that will help us cultivate interactive and inspiring learning spaces.
 
In Kindergarten, students have been using the iPads as a reading resource. With quick access to Reading A-Z, the students and educators have unlimited books and language ideas at their fingertips.

In Grade 2, students have been using the iPads as research tools. With the kid-friendly search engine, KidRex, the students are beginning to find and discover important information independently.

In Grade 4, students have been using the iPads to collect their own research and synthesizing this information into their own PowerPoint presentations. With the iPads, our materials and lessons are able to go way beyond the classroom walls. These tools are helping us bring learning to life, and providing our teachers with new ways to assess, assign and teach.

Check out some of the innovative apps we will be using in the New Year:

Explain Everything: Who wouldn't find reading with lightsabers enjoyable? Explain Everything is an interactive whiteboard, and gives teachers and students a platform to create, record and review their learning. With fun and easy-to-use features, this app will allow students to make their learning visible.

Socrative: Goodbye pencil and paper quizzes, and hello Socrative! This iPad app allows teachers to make fun and interactive quizzes for students to complete with the iPad.


Book Creator: We are going to inspire future authors with this app! Book Creator allows students to create their own books with a twist. They can record their voices, draw or insert pictures and add some flare to their writing by adding fonts and backgrounds. This will be an amazing app for our upcoming poetry month in January!

Ms. Cochrane
Grade 2 teacher
Who Am I? Grade 1 Identity Shields
Grade 1 students finished out term 1 working on their Identity Unit. The students' focus was on learning about who they are, as well as their own families and traditions for this inquiry unit. Guided by Ms. Herschfield and Mrs. Churton, it was also important that students looked at how they are similar and different in relation to their peers, and to realize that each one of them and their families is unique and special in their own way.

Using a variety of mixed-mediums including clay, magazine collage, drawing and construction paper to create their artwork, each student designed and made their own individual identity shield. Each shield had different sections representing something about the student consisting of each student's likes and hobbies, their families and activities they do with their families. Students were introduced to a variety of different art techniques by focusing a different medium on each section.

All of the students enjoyed learning about themselves and each other through this insightful art project.

Ms. Herschfield
Grade 1 teacher

 
Grade 5 Environmentally Friendly Art

To aid in their study of environmental sustainability, the Grade 5 class explored the ways in which Indigenous Peoples connected with and respected nature. They also examined the many renewable and non-renewable resources that are available to us in British Columbia.

As a culminating project, the students selected and collected an assortment of resources with which they strategically created temporary art in our school environment. This process enabled the students to recognize the beauty and simplicity of nature, similar to a First Nations perspective, while also emulating techniques and environmentally friendly alternatives to art, as inspired by Andy Goldsworthy.

Leading up to the project, the students were exposed to the rich connection between the First Nations and the land through their whole-class read-aloud novel, "The Birchbark House". Additionally, students individually researched different natural resources available to us in British Columbia to discover the many and varied uses of these materials. After analyzing the importance and need for conserving and maintaining these resources, the students worked collaboratively to develop conservation plans which aimed to create a more environmentally sustainable school community.

The students worked diligently and creatively throughout this unit, enabling them to understand ways in which they can help to promote a healthy and sustainable future for our planet.

Ms. Reston
Grade 5 teacher
IT Integration at Our Senior Campus

Students in Grades 7-10 are taking full advantage of Urban Academy's newly purchased Macbook Airs (thanks again to last year's Annual Appeal) in a number of digital activities as part of their Information Technology classes.

All student are developing personalized ePortfolios where they document their individual learning in academics, arts, athletics and other extra-curricular activities using on a customized Wordpress website. Throughout this year and on-going throughout their intermediate and senior years, students will continue to actively demonstrate some of their best work including reflections on their progress.

Successfully and efficiently completing assignments is critical to the success of students managing their learning in a variety of senior school courses. To complete writing tasks in a timely manner, students are honing their typing skills. They are practising using good technique and are making progress that will help them more efficiently use technology.

Digital citizenship is an essential component of information technology education. The grade 7/8 class has been made aware of relevant topics such as use of media in our daily lives, online scams and phishing, and understanding the implications of Copyright versus Creative Commons license for fair use of work.

Most recently, students learned that the well-known song Happy Birthday was considered to be copyright until very recently. Students rewrote and recorded their own version of a birthday song as an alternative using Garage Band, a sound editing program. They recorded and mixed this work with fair use audio tracks and selected a Creative Commons license under which their new work can be protected and shared.

The students are enjoying learning about and using digital media both in IT and in their other courses, and are making great use of their new resources. Ventures in the new year will involve image editing using Photoshop for 7/8's and a creation of a Fur Trader iMovie trailer for 9/10's - stay tuned!

Ms. Herman
Senior teacher
Winter Concert
The 2015 Winter Concert was a truly collaborative initiative between the UA Music and Drama departments as well as classroom teachers. 

Santa's Holiday Ho-Ho-Hoedown took us all on an adventure to save Christmas!  And UA Students didn't disappoint.  From reindeer masquerading as horses, Santa's elves taking a trip to Branson, Missouri, and the big man (Santa) himself as the 'Main Event' - even though there was no 'Real Willie Nelson', Christmas was indeed saved!

For many of our youngest students, this was their first opportunity to showcase their talents on 'the big stage' and they were encouraged by looking out and seeing friendly faces in the audience.  Our older students memorized many many lines, and worked so well together to ensure the play was a hit.

Our Beginner and Advanced Bands were excited about being able to preform, many for the very first time! They show much promise for the future, and we are looking forward to more opportunities to share our musical growth with you!

Thank you for coming to the Winter Concert!

Mrs. Petrovska & Mrs. Brooke
Music teacher & Drama teacher

Gala Ticket Sales Open!
Tickets are now on sale for 'The Black & White Ball', Urban Academy's annual gala, and 15th birthday celebration!  

Event Details:
February 20th 2016, 
6pm-midnight
Aria Banquet Hall
12350 Pattullo Place, Surrey

Get your tickets early online at Munchalunch (scroll to the bottom) or at reception at either campus, as Early Bird pricing ends January 31st!  

Ticket Information:
~ Early Bird $60 (until January 31st)
~ Regular $75
~ VIP Tickets $100/Person*
~ VIP Tables (seats 8, table must be purchased in a single transaction) $750/Table*

*VIP ticket perks include a VIP Champagne Reception, dinner buffet priority, reserved table for dinner with wine and other exclusive perks!

Expect a full dinner buffet, silent and live auctions, dancing, entertainment, cash bar and a magnificent showcase of student art.

We are still seeking donation items for the silent auction.  If you would like to contribute to this year's Gala auction (and we hope you will!) please contact Suzette Willems and we'll arrange for pickup of your item. If you know someone you'd like to ask for a donation, formal Donation letters are available from the Administration office on both campuses. If you frequent certain local businesses on a regular basis, please check with Suzette Willems gala@urbanacademy.ca prior to approaching them just to be sure that they have not already been approached for donations.

With Thanks,
The UA Gala Committee
Event Update
A New Year and a new school term. Look at all the events planned to kick start the new year. Please mark your calendars with these upcoming dates:
  
January 2016
January 4-15: PAX Clothing and bottle drive
Jan 11 - Feb 19: FSA for grades 4 and 7
January 18-22: Personal safety and sexual health education

February 2016 
Feb 4-5: Pro D Day
Feb 8: BC Family Day
Feb 20: Gala
Feb 23: Science Fair (Grades 6-9)
Feb 24: Pink Shirt Day
Feb 29 - Mar 11: PAX Fundraiser
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