Acceleration East High School
Community Brief
Monday, August 19, 2019
Week 1 is done and, I'm thrilled to report that this is the best first week we've had since I've been at Acceleration East on several fronts.  
First, our student compliance and staff enforcement of the OCPS Cell Phone Policy has been nothing short of outstanding. We will have highs and lows as we continue to change the culture regarding cell phones over the next few weeks and months. But, this is what we have seen initially - students are more engaged in class than they ever have; parents have reported that student screen time on their phones is now in the minutes, not hours; and it has been the greatest joy watching students have real conversations at lunch with each other. Students have shared that they are happy they don't have the pressure of checking their phones, worrying about what they are missing, posting things on social media. They have also been complimentary of how engaging their teachers have been this first week, which is a testament to the preparation and talent of our teachers.

For many, this has been a tough adjustment. And this includes me. I, too, have made the sacrifice of keeping my cell phone tucked away.  I leave my phone out of site on class changes and lunch so not to show the students that what I expect from them is nothing short of what I would expect from myself.

I'm in it with them. It's been hard for all of us. This is what happens when you are breaking through. But I'm a more productive person and I know they are more productive students.

See you Monday for another fresh start! Because at AEHS, it's always Day One. 
With Phoenix Pride,
Mr. Doug Loftus
2019-2020 Calendar
Dates to Watch For:

* Aug. 20: SAC Meeting, 6:00 PM (School Advisory Council, all school community members welcome)
* Aug. 23: Last day for students to request a schedule change
* Sept. 2: Labor Day (No school)
* Sept. 16: 1st Progress Reports
* Sept. 17: Start of After-School Tutoring from 2:30-4:00 pm

Off to a FAST Start!
Snapshots of "rigor in the classroom" during Week #1 of 2019-2020 . . .
Mathematics with Mr. DeMarco
Mr. Demarco is pictured on Tuesday guiding the students in the creation of their own "quiz" at the start of the year. He is standing next to his classroom whiteboard where algebra-based questions were presented such as those dealing with fractions and variables, linear algebra principles, and word problems.

While perhaps difficult to see here, the board to the right of Mr. DeMarco has written in large letters . . . "Welcome to Your Favorite Class!"

World History with Mr. Roberts
To get his World History class off on the right foot, Mr. Roberts' students began by locating continents and specific countries using a map or a globe.

Art with Mrs. Ker
Mrs. Ker's students got underway this week with their first art project. As a point of creative inspiration, on the whiteboard of the top picture below Mrs. Ker had written - "SAME Instructions, DIFFERENT Perspectives."

Biology with Mrs. Singh
Biology students were introduced to the scientific method during Week #1. Mrs. Singh's class conducted a lab which entailed observing a cube and making inferences.

Reading with Mrs. Williams
Mrs. Williams' students spent some time this past week laying out their personal planners. These notebooks are broken down by week day with different key topics/themes. For example, Wednesday may be about Speaking & Listening vs. Friday when the students are engaged in Creative Writing.

Dress Code
For Boys:
* Black or Khaki pants -- no holes or tears
* Shirts are allowed to be out
* Belts are optional -- no saggy pants
* No drawstring pants
* Closed toed shoes  

For Girls:
* Black or khaki pants - no holes or tears
* Leggings are not allowed
* No drawstring pants
* Capris are allowed - no higher than mid-calf
* Closed toed shoes

For Both Boys & Girls:

* School ID must be worn on a lanyard around the neck AT ALL TIMES
* ID must be visible AT ALL TIMES

Coats, Jackets & Sweaters:
* All non-AEHS outerwear must be removed upon entering the school building
* Only AEHS sweatshirts are allowed in the school building
* AEHS uniform shirts must be worn underneath
* AEHS hoodies (from previous school years) may be worn, but the hood must stay off your head

* Bandanas of any color are not allowed

*** PASS (Level 2 Referral) will be used for students who are out of dress code multiple times.
The Larger Picture for 2019-2020
Acceleration East's Vision for Students
This is the vision of our school. We start with the "why" then the "how" and finally gravitate to the "what." We believe we change students' lives for the better based on the success of this education model.
Campus Safety
Meet our School Resource Officer, Sgt. David Rinehart!
Sgt. Rinehart has been with the OCPS Police Department for two and a half years. However, prior to that he was with the Kissimmee Police Department for 28 years. He looks forward to providing safety and security for all students and staff at AEHS. Sgt. Rinehart likes  to listen to audio books and is always researching topics regarding leadership. For 15 of his 28 years of service at the Kissimmee Police Department, Sgt. Rinehart was an SRO at a middle school in Kissimmee. He finished his career as a Sergeant over the major crimes division in Kissimmee.   
Sgt. Rinehart with senior Charleny Caceres

Taking the Pulse of the Campus during Week #1 . . .

Above and just below: students during class change on Thursday. A walk along our hallways provides both information and inspiration!


Inspirational reminders posted on the main hallway bulletin board as classes resumed this week

Reminders about upcoming Florida Standards Assessment retakes for English Language Arts

Class of 2020
Senior t-shirts for this year's graduating class . . .

We Love Our Bus Drivers!

Our bus drivers are often the very first person from the school district that our students see in the morning and then the very last person they see in the evening before arriving at home. They can have a big impact on the quality of a student's day.

Our school buses also provide benefits to the entire community - not just to those who ride. For example, students are about 70 times more likely to arrive at school safely if they take the school bus instead of traveling by car. With teen drivers crashing at higher rates than adults, the school bus provides a much safer alternative. Its passengers can socialize, text and simply be children without the deadly risks involved with distracted or inexperienced driving - risks that affect everyone on the road.
Vital Signs

Monday's Motivational Moment!

The Domino Effect states that when you make a change to one behavior it will activate a chain reaction and cause a shift in related behaviors as well. For example, say a student starts to make their bed in the morning before leaving for school. A few days later with some appreciation of their more tidy bedroom, they may very well pick up a sock off the floor or hang up some clothes. Seeing more organization in their own personal space, they may very well start to make sure their bookbag is squared away the night before school and that their laptop device is fully charged with its power cord zipped up inside the bookbag. What happens is one key act, here bed-making, sets off a chain of positive actions down the line.

Why does this work? For one reason many habits and routines in our daily lives are related. Secondly, is that if people commit to a goal or idea, even in a very small way, they are more likely to honor that commitment because they now see that goal or idea as being aligned with their self-image and confidence.

The keys to success? Start with the thing you are most motivated to do. Begin with a small behavior and do it consistently. This will not only feel satisfying, but will also open your eyes to the type of person you can become. It does not matter which domino falls first, as long as one falls. And then keep it up ... repetition builds commitment. But most importantly, start small and keep up your momentum. The process works ... one domino will automatically knock down the next. This can apply to study habits, making quality time for friends or family, and even athletics. Give it a try!

Florida flag

Doug Loftus, Principal
Acceleration East High School
Sunday, August 18, 2019
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