The Knightly News
Kingsman Academy Community Newsletter
In this Issue
• A Chat on Virtual Learning
• Alumni Spotlight: Delonta Johnson
•Thoughts on the new Kingsman Model
• 60 Seconds With: Ms. Aguzie!
• Meet a Board Member!
• Engagement Counts!
Do you Follow Kingsman?
A Chat with Kingsman Students on Virtual Learning
How's it going, Kingsman Knights?
How has Kinsgman supported you during Virtual Learning?
"Keeping great communication with one another."
What do you miss most about learning in the classroom?
"The supportive environment around and within the class and teacher."
Sadiq Johnson, R.I.S.E.
What keeps you happiest or makes you feel special during the pandemic?
“The thing that keeps me happiest during this pandemic is my family.”
Zihonna Barrow, 8th grade
Future Business Leaders of America
What advice do you have for new Kingsman Students experiencing Kingsman through Virtual Learning?
“ What I can say for new students for Kingsman is that they should always try their best when they don't get it or understand.”
What do you like most about
"What I like most about Virtual Learning is that everything is on the computer."
Takerria Young, 12th grade Odyssey
A few words to current students from
2020 Kingsman Academy Alumni, Delonta Johnson
"My name is Delonta Johnson. I graduated from Kingsman Academy in 2020. After watching Last Chance U on Netflix, my dream was to play football for ICC. I am currently attending Independence Community College located in Kansas. I am pursuing a degree in Culinary Arts while playing football. I was pretty excited about making the football team. Honestly, without the help of the staff at KIngsman Academy, I am not sure where I would be at this moment in my life. I am forever grateful to the staff that worked with me to ensure that not only that I graduated, but also to ensure that my fellow classmates graduated as well. If I could give any advice to the scholars that are currently attending KIngsman it would be to stay in school, strive for educational excellence by getting the best grades possible, and be a leader in everything you do. Math and gym were my favorite subjects so I have to give a special shout-out to Ms. Bolden and Mr. Brown. Getting out of high school was challenging, so please do your best to keep your grades up so that you can get into a good college/university.
Once a KNIGHT, always a KNIGHT ⚔️,
From a New Perspective:
Ms. Hotaki's perspective of the school model as MTSS/EBP Coordinator
Ms. Hotaki is the MTSS Coordinator at Kingsman Academy. She is responsible for tiering the students and making sure that they get the support that they need. Her previous position included the MTSS framework but was more behavior focused. She now uses that experience to help succeed in her current role but is able to help students in a manner more inclusive of her skills. She was excited to report that over 40 students have gone through the Service Delivery Team and were able to get more needed support. Her and her team have been able to provide these students with personalized learning plans for students, to address engagement behavior health and wellness.
There are many differences between the Kingsman Academy school model and other school models. These differences are something that Ms. Hotaki is most proud of, especially the professional learning community. “We have an authentic professional learning community.” Ms. Hotaki said. While many other schools use professional learning meetings to discuss things like day-to-day operations or school events; Kingsman Academy uses the professional learning community to foster conversations and collaborations that are focused around supporting the students. This authentic collaboration is what truly makes the Kingsman School Model special.
The SDT, Service Delivery Team, is another benefit to the school model program that Ms. Hotaki couldn’t resist highlighting. The Service Delivery Team is able to look at more than just student data. They are able to see and understand the context behind the data and are able to support students in the best way possible. The communication within the SDT is a great benefit to the students because it allows those who provide different services to foster and effective conversation to better prioritize the student, support them, and put the proper interventions in place. “It’s fruitful. It’s comprehensive” Ms. Hotaki says.
Conversely, Ms. Hotaki does anticipate that there will be challenges. One of the biggest challenges that the SDT will have to overcome to successfully implement the changes of the school model will be overcoming the learning curve that comes with a new system. The members of the SDT will have to be open to changing their thinking to be able to successfully understand the data, effective collaboration techniques and the support systems that it takes for students to progress. She believes that once people are able to see the impacts and effects the new model has on the students that people will be quicker and more open to change their frame of thinking. As this is her first year in this role, and Kingsman’s first year adapting the Service Delivery Team, Ms. Hotaki is looking forward to the collaboration amongst the team. She believes that effective collaboration will have a greater impact on the students and we will see faster results. Something she says will be “more productive and beneficial to the students”.
60 Seconds On Virtual Learning with: Ms. Aguzie!
Knightly News: Any advice for students and family members on virtual learning?
Aguzie: "For family: make sure to reread assignments and instructions to help students to gain a better understanding. Make clear expectations. For students: ASK QUESTIONS, ASK QUESTIONS, ASK QUESTIONS."
KN: General comments on virtual learning?
A: "Virtual learning is amazing because you really get to lead students to
empowerment and control over their learning. You provide the resources, teach them the ways to navigate the resource and allow them to succeed."
KN: Best day of virtual learning so far?
A: "Every day is an amazing day in my class."
Ms. Aguzie is a Middle School STEM teacher and has been teaching atKingsman Academy for almost 3 years.
Meet a Board Member!
Dr. Taharee Jackson
Dr. Taharee Jackson is a board member at Kingsman Academy and,
like many others, was attracted to Kingsman because of our former
Executive Director and co-founder, Shannon Hodge. She was
introduced to the unique way that Kingsman helps students and
was sold by our student model and the population that we serve.
But she says the main reason that she decided to join the board at
Kingsman is because “this work is SQUARELY WITHIN THE
PURVIEW of racial equity, social justice, and the equitable
education for students of color I have been pursuing for years.”
As a student, Dr. Jackson loved English class. However, she recalls
being motivated by one teacher in specific, her 8th grade algebra
teacher. As one of the only female students in the class, Dr.
Jackson stood out to her teacher. She was the “co-teacher”.
He told her to apply to Harvard and inspired her to
become what she is today. An incredibly successful professor
who carries a degree from Harvard as well as a PhD, and, now,
a Board Member at Kingsman Academy. Additionally, Dr. Jackson
volunteers with the American Red Cross, USO Warrior and Family
Center, and with the National Military Medical Center in honor
of her late father. It was his background that inspired her own personal philosophies and way of life.
Dr. Jackson says her father was someone who was just like the students at Kingsman. Her father had limited educational opportunities and became a military veteran which led to him to strongly crave peace throughout his life. Everything that he taught her and her siblings revolved around peace. These teachings are what inspired her to “pursue educational, racial, and social peace with everything in me because that is what we ALL deserve. Especially the students at Kingsman!” She says.
As a board member at Kingsman Academy, Dr. Jackson hopes to use her experience and expertise to serve our students in more ways. She wants to shape the way our community interacts with our students as they become assets, make decisions and ultimately make change. She wants her time on the board to help faculty and staff cultivate their skills to become “critically conscious, culturally sustaining, caring educators”.
Dr. Jackson has a lot of advice to give to our students. Notably, “I would encourage them to find a mentor, friends, and colleagues who are where they want to be. To carefully curate their social circles so no one douces water on their "pie in the sky" aspirations. We are landing spacecraft on meteors now. And we have plans to "colonize" Mars. If we can continue to dream big dreams as a nation and as a planet, they they have EVERY RIGHT to dream big dreams and pursue them with reckless abandon and the right supporters at their side!”
Introducing Engagement Scores!
Kingsman Academy and SEAtS are changing
Typical schools measure student success by attendance. However, Kingsman Academy is not a typical school and does not cater to typical students. Kingsman's unique learning environment will soon be adapting SEAtS. SEAtS is a program that measures student engagement instead of attendance. Kingsman student success stems from so much more than attendance and SEAtS gives students the opportunity to show that and as it aligns with our new charter goals. When students log into our systems (like YouEarnedIT, Empower Learning, and Achieve, for example), it will contribute to a student’s engagement score and replace the attendance metric.
Kingsman Academy is one of the first schools to utilize this software in this way as it is traditionally available at European Universities as a student tracking and early alert system. However, Kingsman is importing data and pooling it into SEAtS to create a student engagement score. With that, some challenges are foreseen. Any new system will have implementation issues, of course, but Kingsman plans to grow this software into more than just an Engagement Score. Eventually, it will be an intervention tool and help our Behavior Interventionists and Service Delivery Team identify ways to help and support students even further.
“We’re going to keep building on it. This is just the start. It’s only going to grow overtime!” says Emily Olive Hernandez, Data and Compliance Manager.
Kingsman Academy will be rolling out SEAtS soon!
The official COVID-19 response from Kingsman
When we closed our school building in March in response to the COVID-19 global health emergency, our first concern was, and continues to be, the health of our students, their families, and our staff. We acted quickly to ensure our students would be able to participate in meaningful distance learning which included:
Lending a Chromebook computer to every student who lacked a home computer and ongoing technical support
Providing internet hotspots to each family, so students who do not have internet in their homes are able to connect through the cellular network.
Sending every student home with a backpack full of school supplies and hygiene items
Providing every family with a week’s worth of groceries and a box of food every week
In August, Kingsman Academy announced the 2020-21 school year would begin virtually, to ensure the continued safety of our students, staff and families. All students again are receiving a new backpack full of school supplies, hygiene items, and COVID-19 PPE. All newly enrolled students have also been lent a Chromebook and hotspot.
Starting in September, Kingsman Academy began offering staff free access to Forward, a preventative health care membership service. We also launched our weekly ‘Wellness Day’ in September, which provides an opportunity for staff, students and families to come to our campus, in compliance with social distance guidance, to receive necessary non-academic services. Such services include
Health checks and COVID-19 testing from a registered nurse
Outdoor workout activities
Freshly grilled, individually wrapped meals
Pick-up of five breakfasts and lunches
One-on-one meetings with school clinician/counselors
Technical assistance with any school-lent devices
Kingsman Academy has participated in school leader calls with the Deputy Mayor of Education’s office, the Department of Health and the DC PCSB. While Kingsman is still operating virtually, we are working on ensuring our reopening plan considers the needs of our entire community and aligns with health guidelines.
More exciting things to announce from Kingsman Academy
Kingsman Academy began the ST Hodge Fellowship in November, 2020. This fellowship was created in honor of our Co-Founder and former Executive Director, Shannon Hodge. Applicants for this fellowship were Undergraduate Students, Graduate Students and Recent College Graduates. Kingsman Academy will be announcing our new fellows soon!
Kingsman is excited to announce that in October 2020 our competency-based learning charter amendment and new school goals were approved by the DC Public Charter School Board.
Key Dates & Information
Advocacy and Engagement Day was November 3.
Kingsman Academy engaged in personal and civic
responsibilities needed to create lasting, systemic change.
Back to School Night is November 17.
Thanksgiving Break is November 23 - November 27.
The last day of Trimester 1 is December 3.
Kingsman Academy will be participating in Virtual EdFest is December 12!
Kingsman will be closed for Winter Break from December 21, 2020 - January 1, 2021.
Wellness Day is every Thursday Afternoon! Students can enjoy food, take home Breakfast & Lunchboxes, get tested for COVID-19, get tech support and more! Stay up to date on everything Wellness Day has to offer on our Instagram, Facebook and Twitter Pages!
We are accepting donations of food and clothing, especially coats, for families within our school community. Please contact Ms. Foster to donate or to collaborate with Kingsman Academy on a food or clothing drive: firstname.lastname@example.org. If you need food or clothing for your family, please contact Mr. Kemp: email@example.com.
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