Monday, July 30, 2012

Welcome Back to School

Dear Patrons of the Arkadelphia School District:
It is my privilege to welcome all of you to the 2012-2013 school year.  We have exciting opportunities on the horizon for our students, and we hope you will be an active part of their educational experience this year.  Arkadelphia Public Schools is anticipating the opening of our New Tech Academy at Arkadelphia High School in August.   With the exciting announcement of the Arkansas STEM Works grant initiative, Arkadelphia is poised to be a leader in the most innovative educational program in the country.
We are dedicated at Arkadelphia Public Schools to preparing all of our students for the future.  From our nationally recognized Schools of the 21st Century program to our commitment to the Arkansas Advanced Initiative in Mathematics & Science (AAIMS), our team is continuously raising the bar so that our vision of excellence and quality will be realized.  These collaborative partnerships continue to build a strong school-community and are the cornerstone of our success.
Our team looks forward to another year of exciting learning experiences and academic achievements for our students.  We are also anticipating high-quality extracurricular events as our students exhibit their skills and talents through athletics, the arts and other special activities.  It is our privilege to nurture the “whole child” as we help our young people achieve and succeed.
Please join us as a partner for the upcoming school year as we work to make this year one of our best!  My wish for all of our stakeholders – students, staff, parents and supportive partners is that the upcoming term will be a year of increasing achievement and rewarding involvement in your school and community.
Donnie Whitten, Ed.S.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

AHS New Tech Opens August 20

The Arkadelphia School District is anticipating the August 20, 2012 opening of the New Tech wing at Arkadelphia High School  This summer, the school has undergone renovations that will accommodate the students, teachers and state-of-the-art technology that will make New Tech a reality for our 9th grade class.

During the fall semester of 2011, the Arkadelphia School District participated in several meetings and site visits with New Tech Network based out of Napa, California.  The Governor and his Workforce Development Council announced the Arkansas STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) initiative in August of 2011.  In January of 2012, Arkadelphia was chosen as one of the first school districts in Arkansas to begin this innovative transformation.

The planning process for Arkadelphia Public Schools included board members, administrators, community / business leaders and faculty members from our school district.  District representatives visited Manor New Technology High School near Austin, TX and Cross County High School-New Tech in Cherry Valley, Arkansas as part of the selection process.  APSD also hosted a team of New Tech Network representatives in Arkadelphia to assess the district's readiness as an applicant and leader in this progressive initiative.

9th grade students will be issued a laptop computer and will use special ECHO software to navigate their academic courses.  Student courses will be paired with two instructors (Algebra / Physical Science; Civics / English; and  Engineering / Geometry) and will be presented utilizing the Project-Based Learning approach.

For more information on New Tech Network, please click on the link below to visit the website and/or review our summary from their site below...

New Tech Network is a non-profit organization that helps students gain the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in life, college, and the careers of tomorrow. They work nationwide with schools, districts, and communities to provide services and support that enable schools to fundamentally re-imagine teaching and learning.

Project-based learning is at the heart of its instructional approach. In project-based learning, learning is contextual, creative, and shared. Students collaborate on projects that require critical thinking and communication. By making learning relevant to them in this way, student engagement reaches new levels. This higher level of engagement is associated with better educational outcomes.

The smart use of technology supports its innovative approach to instruction and culture. All classrooms have a one-to-one computing ratio. With access to Web-enabled computers and the latest in collaborative learning technology, every student becomes a self-directed learner who no longer needs to rely primarily on teachers or textbooks for knowledge and direction. New Tech schools use Echo, an online learning management system to create a vibrant network which helps students, teachers, and parents connect to each other, and to student projects across the country.

Finally, each New Tech school maintains a culture that promotes trust, respect, and responsibility. At New Tech schools, students and teachers alike have exceptional ownership of the learning experience and their school environment. Working on projects and in teams, students are accountable to their peers and acquire a level of responsibility similar to what they would experience in a professional work environment.

APSD Open House Schedule - 2012

Arkadelphia Public Schools Open House Schedule - 2012

August 14, 2012

Arkadelphia High School (10th-12th grades) - 6:00 pm

August 16, 2012

Louisa E. Perritt Primary School - 5:00 pm
Central Primary School - 6:00 pm
Peake Elementary School - 7:00 pm
Goza Middle School - 5:00 - 6:30 pm
Arkadelphia High School New Tech (9th grade only) - 6:00 - 7:30 pm