Bridge Building
Dan Richter, High School and Middle School Instructor
Students in the Engineering class are recovering from the first round of a bridge-building contest. The rules are strict. Only a limited number of spaghetti noodles can be used to make the mainstays and supports. Students bundle 10 strands for the long members and 5 strands for the vertical and horizontal members. The students are recovering from moments of over-confidence regarding their bridges’ maximum weight limit. The kids build the bridges and then place loads to test the limits of their design.
These initial designs were rated at over a 50 lb. limit, but unfortunately, the best design failed at 22 lbs.

Back to the drawing board for round two! 

We’ll keep you informed of the student's progress.
Critical Thinking - Why it Matters More than you Think
Evyn Marsh, High School Math Instructor and Fine Arts Instructor

So, what is critical thinking? It is the process of conceptualizing, applying, or analyzing information to better understand a concept. For example, let’s say you are learning about what a scatter plot is. A surface-level understanding might get you to the conclusion that a scatter plot is just another way to graph data as a bunch of dots. A critical thinker will go beyond what is on the surface, and ask questions like, “why might I use a scatter plot instead of a line graph?”, “What patterns or trends can I see in this data?”, or, “Can I use the correlation found in scatterplots to make further conclusions about the data?”. This kind of thinking leads to making connections between material, making inferences about patterns observed, and even applications to one’s own life.

Why does this kind of thinking matter? Sure it’s nice to be interested in your schoolwork, but beyond that, critical thinking can greatly improve your current and future life. You are always exercising your brain, and the more you flex your brain’s ability to make connections, see patterns, and go beyond the surface level, the easier it will become. Being able to apply new knowledge to your own life can help you feel more in charge of your life and feel more confident in your decisions moving forward. I know from personal experience that the classes and concepts I thought the most critically about are the ones I still remember and use to this day. So if you spot a student diving deeper into their quest for understanding, praise and encourage them with all you got!
Activities Program Update
Kyle Pepper, Educational Recruiter and Enrollment Counselor
Along with Spring skiing and snowboarding, warmer weather often comes upon us swiftly here in the sunny state of Colorado (we get over 300 days of sunshine a year!). On Thursday, March 4th and March 25th, 2021, Accelerated Schools took qualifying students in Middle School and High School on all-day ski trips to Loveland Ski Area, located just 53 miles west of Denver off I-70. These off-campus experiences outside of the classroom are great ways for students to bond with one another and celebrate their academic and behavioral achievements.

While many of our students do enjoy ski trips, qualifying students who choose not to participate in the Ski Program always have the option to join in on our Alternate Activities rather than skiing/snowboarding. Alternate Activities are scheduled every other Thursday on weeks that there is no ski trip planned. On March 11th, Accelerated Schools took a small group of students who qualified but chose not to ski to Moe’s BBQ on South Broadway in Englewood, CO to enjoy an afternoon of bowling and fun!

Unfortunately, with warmer weather approaching, this year’s ski/snowboard season is quickly coming to an end. Accelerated Schools will be going on our final school ski trip of the 2020-21 season on Thursday, April 8th. Loveland Valley (beginner hill) will close for the season on Sunday, April 4th, 2021 and Loveland Basin (intermediate and expert hill) will close Sunday, May 9th, 2021. With May and the Summer months approaching rapidly, don’t forget to get some slushy Spring turns in while you still can!
Today and Tomorrow
Valerie Montaño, Music Instructor

While happily looking forward to the day that I can return to AS to teach music in person, I also think back with a smile at all the successes we have had in virtual music classes so far this year.

While on the Zoom platform, Mae successfully coached us on how to eliminate reverberation, and Eli adjusted the volume each day to a workable level for the class. In order to help deliver instruction, Ms. Evyn and Ms. Jena carried the classroom laptop delivering the lesson from student to student. The breakout room function simply could not compete with their speed as they delivered my familiar face to each student for individual instruction. Virtual students learned how to point their cameras right on their guitars and keyboards, to allow me to watch what they were playing. Also, it was a delight to see what instruments students played in their homes.

When I return to school in person, I will again be struck by how well-endowed our music program is, with our piano keyboards, guitars, soprano recorders, tone bells, metallophone, and a myriad of percussion instruments. At that time we will return to every kind of musical expression and hands-on experience with a sense of renewal. I will also have an even better understanding of each student as a result of the kindness, patience, and cooperation that was displayed during this school year.
Poetry Month
Debby Sharp, Middle Schools Instructor

Roses are red, violets are blue, soon Accelerated middle schoolers will have poems for you. Did you know that April 2021 marks the 25th celebration of poets and poetry? National Poetry Month was started in April 1996 by the American Academy of Poets. Poetry Month was initiated to remind the public that poetry has an important role to play in our culture and that poetry matters. Poetry is such a personal experience but yet can affect everyone who is inspired by it. Each April, the Academy offers activities and resources so that everyone can join online in celebration of poetry. So, during the month of April, your children will be celebrating poetry by learning about the different styles of poetry and the poets who are creators of great poetry. And of course, we will be creating our own great works of poetry.
 
So, be sure to celebrate National Poetry Month with a poem a day!
 
Accelerated Schools' Spring Auction

Accelerated Schools will be holding their Spring Auction online on April 4th through the 10th. This is an important fundraising event for Accelerated because we need to buy a new outdoor stage for graduation! Our goal is to raise $5,000 at this year’s auction, but we cannot do it without your support. 

Items You Don’t Want To Miss
We will have lots of art pieces from various talented artists for sale as well as gift certificates from a number of outstanding businesses all around Denver, including Kokoro, Smiling Moose Deli, Nuggs Ice Cream, Crimson & Gold Tavern, Wish Gifts, Ian’s Pizza, Comedy Works, and Cochino Taco! Not to mention, we have a certificate for two Tier III Theater Tickets from the Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities, entry for four to History Colorado Center, and a Maiz (family) membership to Museo de las Americas. Additionally, we have four novelty wine glasses from Caboodle Gifts, Brainy Baskets from The Nectar Group, a photography session for your pet from Karen Hogland Photography, and a funky Colorado-print tie from the Knotty Tie Co.!

 

March Happenings
For more than 40 years, concerned parents have turned to Accelerated Schools for individualized learning programs helping students overcome challenges, and excel academically. The fact is, a traditional school system is not designed to meet the needs of every child. When a student is not being successful, or is not thriving in a traditional environment, parents must often look elsewhere for a solution. This is were Accelerated Schools comes in.

Accelerated Schools begins by creating a learning program designed specifically for a student. Our work points are toward changing the ratio of failure to success and by cultivating an environment of accountability. Our students are given attainable goals and are rewarded by celebrating their accomplishments. Once a student starts experiencing success, their attitude, motivation and effort improve dramatically. This ends the negative cycle and leads to positive academic progress and positive self-esteem. 
If you have comments and/or suggestions about our newsletter, email Adam Burnett.