The Knightly News
Kingsman Academy Community Newsletter
September - October, 2019
In this issue
Giving Students Choices
Independent Learning Time improves time management and decision making
Many Kingsman Academy students will have a big decision to make this year: what to do during their Independent Learning Time. Independent Learning Time, or ILT for short, is a new program we will implement this school year where students will have one hour each day to decide what and how they learn. Each student will work with an academic coach who will help them make good decisions about whether they want to spend their ILT doing credit recovery, working on a hands-on activity, or doing a special project out in the community, for example.
“Because the students make their own decisions, they benefit more from the content and build up executive functioning skills,” said Jake Fishbein, Senior Director of Teaching and Learning at Kingsman Academy. The ILT program started last year following best practices compiled by Marzano Research, a key learning partner to Kingsman Academy.
“We saw higher engagement because students were making their own choices,” said Mr. Fishbein. “Students who finished their work would build models or review local restaurants. One of the most successful projects was comic book writing. It’s exciting to see students get so interested in journaling, thinking about narrative, and building their writing skills because they are working on something that is 100% theirs.”
Research shows that along with traditional academic skills like reading and math, students need to develop time management skills and the ability to make good choices in order to be successful in school and in life. Independent Learning Time will give students a chance to practice these skills with a teacher-coach to help them plan their time and stay productive. Mr. Fishbein continued, “While some students’ work might be more directly tied to grade level skills, as they progress, the projects will become broader and more long-term. ILT will give students choice, gives students voice, and allows them to be leaders of their own learning at school.”
Hands-on Summer Learning
Project-based program has students excited to come to school in July
Our Extended School Year summer program has taken on the hands-on, real-world approach that is the hallmark of education at Kingsman Academy. The theme this summer was Force & Motion, and students completed projects that included building catapults, inclined planes, and pulleys. Every Wednesday, students went on learning expeditions to reinforce and extend their learning, traveling to fun physics spots like Bad Axe Throwing and Fun Land of Fredericksburg. “All lessons were project-based and incorporated subject matter from science, math, and English,” said Ayo Abraham, an Extended School Year teacher. “The hands-on program really sparked curiosity in our students.”
The Extended School Year program, also known as ESY, showcases three pillars of learning at Kingsman Academy: hands-on, personalized, and competency-based education. The success of the approach this summer was evident in student engagement and attendance. Attendance rates were high, and more than half of the students had perfect or near-perfect attendance for the four-week session. “ESY is an enrichment and engagement program,” said ESY teacher Christine Haley. “It is meant to service the individual learning goals of each student.”
When asked what made the summer program so successful this year, Ms. Abraham said, “Collaboration among the staff. We all worked together to lead the program, planned everything together, and got the resources we needed to make a great experience for the students. The students were able to confidently speak about their projects at the celebration of learning and answer questions about the content. That’s how you know they truly mastered the material, and it was exciting to see.”
Get To Know Ms. Frazier!
New Managing Director of KAPCS
Kingsman Academy has a new leadership role, and a new leader, this school year: Managing Director Tracee Frazier. The managing director ensures that Kingman Academy is a positive and safe environment for students, teachers, staff, and families. Some of her many responsibilities include organizing and leading staff and fostering communication and teamwork with families. A big part of Ms. Frazier’s work involves building school culture. She has regular huddles with the staff and led a rights of passage ceremony for students during back to school night. Her school culture work centers on the Five Promises of Kingsman Academy: Civility, Integrity, Contribution, Fortitude, and Empathy. Ms. Frazier explained, “When we hold everyone accountable and celebrate our success, we build a strong sense of Kingsman Academy pride."
Ms. Frazier is ready for this challenge. She worked as a principal in D.C. Public Schools and as a mentor and coach for principals in D.C., Baltimore, and a variety of schools across the country. “Using my prior leadership experience as a principal and principal supervisor is important, but I also reach back to my experience as a middle school teacher and high school teacher,” said Ms. Frazier. “It’s all about meeting students where they are. Having that understanding of the needs of adolescents is critical to supporting their growth. I’ve spent most of my career in Washington, D.C., so I know the particular needs of students in the District and the importance of a whole-child approach. Of course, being a mother of 3 teens and 1 pre-teen keeps me humble and helps me to grow in this area daily!”
Ms. Frazier may be a new staff member, but she has worked with Kingsman Academy as a leadership coach since before the school opened in 2015. She helped develop the school’s management practices and how we serve students with disabilities. Ms. Frazier said, “I’ve seen where Kingsman Academy started and what it has become, and I wouldn’t want to be part of any other team. I am proud to be part of the impact Kingsman Academy has and will continue to have in this city.”
from Executive Director Shannon Hodge
Welcome to the 2019-2020 school year! We’re so excited to be starting Kingsman Academy’s fifth year of educating amazing students and supporting them in collaboration with their families. This year, we will continue being creative as we meet students’ academic, personal, and social needs and interests. We will work hard to reinforce our Five Promises: Civility, Contribution, Empathy, Fortitude, and Integrity in everything we do.
We took huge steps forward in our progress this summer. We introduced Tracee Frazier as Managing Director. Ms. Frazier has supported our work for years from behind the scenes. We’re glad she accepted our offer to officially join the team because she understands the tremendous potential and promise in our school and students and has the skills to help us reach our goals. We also took a huge step forward by increasing the support services we offer to students and families through new community partnerships and an expanded Kingsman Kloset. You will also see more evidence of our commitment to project-based learning with new programs, curricula, and equipment.
I would love to get your feedback on how you think things are going at Kingsman Academy and your suggestions for how they can be better. Please call me at (202) 544-1410 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to share your thoughts.
Kingsman Academy staff enjoying their summer break
Ms. Sayeh traveled to Jamaica.
Ms. Brown took part in professional development at the Wall of Wind facility at Florida International University.
Ms. Ngole worked out near the St. Lawrence River during a trip to Montreal and Toronto.
Student and Family Resources
Student Support Services
Kingsman Academy provides many supports to students and families outside of the classroom. Could you or your family benefit from any of these?
Individual and family counseling
Food, clothing, and personal care items
Teen pregnancy counseling
Job training and apprenticeships
SAT and ACT vouchers
Mentoring and coaching for college students
To learn more or to request support for a Kingsman Academy student or family member, please contact Katrina Foster, Director of Integrated Comprehensive Services, at (202) 547-1028 ext. 331 or email@example.com. You can also request support by clicking here.
We are happy to announce the expansion of our Kingsman Kloset initiative. The Kingsman Kloset is a food pantry and clothing bank at the school where students and family members can get clothing, food, and personal care items for free. We have clothing from baby clothes through adults sizes and personal care items such as deodorant, toothpaste, and menstrual products. We also stock a variety of non-perishable food items such as cereal, shelf-stable milk (including almond and soy milk), peanut butter, jelly, crackers, rice, beans, fruit cups, and granola bars. We can also make custom plans for families with particular food needs or special challenges.
To receive supplies from the Kingsman Kloset, please contact Terry Kemp, Student Support Social Worker, at (202) 547-1028 ext. 334 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
To donate items or partner with Kingsman Academy on a food or clothing drive, please contact Katrina Foster, Director of Integrated Comprehensive Services, at (202) 547-1028 ext. 331 or email@example.com.
Kingsman Academy in the News
Our Executive Director, Shannon Hodge, is featured in this Chalkbeat article, discussing the challenges of enrolling new students mid-year and how Kingsman Academy is leading the way in this effort.
Key Dates & Information
Middle School and High School flag football have started their seasons. Check kingsmanacademy.org for upcoming games. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to join a sports team. We will offer boys and girls basketball, dance & cheer, indoor and outdoor track and field, and baseball this year.
October 3 from 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM is the monthly Board of Trustees meeting. All meetings, including phone meetings, are open to the public, although the Board may enter into Executive Session to discuss confidential or sensitive matters. Please visit our website calendar page for more information on this and future Board meetings.
Back to School Night was on September 18. If you missed it, email email@example.com, and we will connect you with your child’s program director to receive all the info.
Now enrolling! Kingsman Academy is enrolling new students for the current school year. If you need a fresh start, complete our Application Interest Form and someone from the enrollment team will contact you with next steps.
Returning and newly-admitted students must submit all enrollment documentation. Enrollment team members are available to help. Click here for more details.
Did you know Kingsman Academy has its own bus and van service to bring students to and from school? Click here for more details.
Learn more on the school website, new in 2019!
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