October 28, 2016

BlueSky Online School Newsletter


Halloween Costume Contest
Oct. 31-Nov. 3

National Novel Writing Month
November 1-30

End of 1st Quarter (Middle School)
Friday, Nov. 4th

Monday, Nov. 7th

Election Day
Tuesday, Nov. 8th

Give to the Max Day
Thursday, Nov. 17th

November 24-25

Board Meeting
November 30th @ 10 am

Principal's Message

The end of first quarter is fast approaching on November 4th for middle school students and many high school students working on flex schedules. Report cards for middle school students will be sent electronically via email by November 10th. High school students, including students on flex schedules, will have their report cards sent out following the end of the semester in January. If you would like to also receive a hard copy of a report card via mail, please complete the Report Card Mailing Request form. By submitting the form, you will receive a report card in the mail after each quarter/semester for the 2016-2017 school year.

Within the past two weeks NWEA MAP results were sent to all parents of students who took the math and reading tests this fall. All 7th through 11th grade students take these tests each fall and spring. The results from these tests provide detailed information to teachers that helps guide instruction and improve student learning. The results also provide you with information on the student's growth and progress. Assessment results are also a primary measure of BlueSky's overall student achievement and are used by our authorizer and the state in determining the effectiveness of our programs. Please watch this brief video for more information regarding the results. If your student is struggling in a particular subject area, please work with their teacher for additional support.

One of our goals this year is to have more field trips and activities for BlueSky students. On October 27th, we had 29 students and parents attend a field trip to the Anoka County Jail and 911 Dispatch Center. Students learned what it takes to have a career in both of these fields and even had a chance to hear 911 calls, listen to the police radio and use the dispatch technologies. We hope to have at least one event like this each month, including regional locations. Be sure to check your messages for information on upcoming events.

We are currently seeking parents, students, and community members to serve on two important committees. First, BlueSky is required to update its Inclusive Educational Program Plan every six years with the input of parents, students and community members that represent the diversity of its student body. The Inclusive Educational Program Plan outlines how the district will implement curriculum and instruction that represents the diversity of the United States, the contributions of men and women, and the contributions to society of persons with disabilities. Second, we are beginning the process of a formal review and adoption of new mathematics curriculum for grades 7-12. Members of either committee will be expected to participate in 3-6 online meetings over the course of the school year. Find more information and apply here. If you have any questions, please contact me at dondich@blueskyschool.org

Did you know that many students and parents hear about BlueSky through word of mouth? If you know someone that is looking for another school setting, please let them know about BlueSky and share your story. We are still accepting enrollments for the 2016-2017 school year.

Thank you for your continued support!

Dan Ondich,
Assistant Director/High School Principal

Parent Connect

With the many activities and things going on in our lives, it is easy to think that multitasking will help us get it done. Students may feel the same when it comes to homework and other social activities. However, there is research to suggest multitasking actually has the opposite effect we would like it to have. Read the article Conquering the Multitasking Brain Drain by Judy Willis, MD. to find out more and ways to help your student discover why multitasking really isn't productive for doing well with school.

BlueSky Stars

The BlueSky advisors have chosen to recognize these students for their hard work and dedication:

"I am nominating Mikinzie Schilling because of her hard work and dedication so far this year. She is doing awesome in her classes and is staying right on pace. She is also a great singer and has even participated in competitions! When asked what she likes best about BlueSky, she said, 'I like that BlueSky is very supportive and encouraging to students.' Mikinzie is a great student and it has been wonderful to work with her there last few years!"

- nominated by Brittney Bailey

"Miyah Johnson is a new student with BlueSky this year. She has jumped right in and is doing a wonderful job overall. Miyah is always very positive and truly goes the extra mile with her school work. If she has a question, she doesn't hesitate to contact her teachers. She is a great student and is doing so well. I am proud of her and her accomplishments this school year!"
-nominated by April Scharnberg

Give to the Max Day

November 17th is GiveMN's seventh annual Give to the Max Day! Your donation would help support BlueSky students by strengthening our student activity fund. Socialization is a big thing that our students miss about a more traditional school setting. We strive to provide multiple opportunities throughout the year for our students to get together - through field trips, service learning projects, social activities, and dances.

Please think about donating to support BlueSky students and promoting to your friends and family. Thank you!

Starting Tuesday, November 1st, you can schedule your donation ahead of Give to the Max Day.

Conference Roundup

Thank you for all that attended our Fall Conferences earlier this month! While most of the attendees lived close to the metro, we want to especially thank the 14 families that traveled 100+ miles to meet with the BlueSky staff!

The Language Arts department kicked off their Free Little Library and sent many families home with books. Students were also able to sign up for activities and provide feedback, attend a CPR training, and win prizes in our drawing.

We look forward to seeing more of you and offering additional activities at Spring Conferences on February 22nd.

National Novel Writing Month

Imagine thousands of people writing their hearts out during the month of November. Let your writing take you to new heights of self satisfaction and glory. Join the NaNoWriMo event!

Directions to participate:
  1. Go to the NaNoWriMo young writers program site
  2. Sign up as a Young Writer
  3. Enter your birthdate and complete the rest of the info (it's safe)
  4. Verify your email and log into NaNoWriMo
  5. On your dashboard, click Join Your Classroom
  6. Enter code = SOBAHNQI (all letters)

That's it! You should now be able to connect with other students in our classroom. Click on Start Your Novel and enter in your information. Set a realistic work count goal of 20,000 - 40,000 words.

You can officially start writing your novel on Tuesday, November 1st. The deadline to meet your word count goal is midnight, November 30th.

Please contact Amee Wittbrodt at awittbrodt@blueskyschool.org if you have any questions.

Halloween Costume Contest

It's time again for the BlueSky Costume Contest! Students and staff can submit pictures of their (school appropriate) costumes to Megan Hollenkamp at mhollenkamp@blueskyschool.org. Pictures will be posted to the BlueSky Facebook page where the winner will be decided by the most likes. Voting will close on the morning of Thursday, November 3. Will reigning champ Suzy Bordeau and her family take the prize in 2016? Check out the competition from last year!

Vote on Tuesday, November 8th

November 8th is almost here! Are you ready to cast your vote? Social Studies teacher Heather Novak held a live session in her American Government class on October 14th to prepare students for election day. The students were surprised to see how many questions will be on their ballots in addition to the presidential race. Mrs. Novak shared the following resources with her students, which you also may find valuable:

Google Calendar

Can't remember when your Group Pace class is meeting for a live session? Want to keep up to date on student activities? Subscribe to the BlueSky calendars! You can find the GP class schedule for middle and high school and a student event calendar on the BlueSky website as well as on the Moodle homepage. In the bottom right corner, click on the "+Google Calendar" button (see pictures below) to add the calendars to your own Google Calendar account. You can unsubscribe from the calendars at any time.

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