Did you know that taking a test can actually help you learn?
Roddy Roediger, a psychology professor at Washington University in St. Louis who runs the school’s Memory Lab, has spoken about the so-called “testing effect” or “retrieval practice” benefits of those who study for tests. While many people think of the human memory as a box to be packed with information, he said, “What people neglected and didn’t think about was the ‘getting it out’ part. We don’t get information into memory just to have it sit there. We get it in to be able to use it later … And the actual act of retrieving the information over and over, that’s what makes it retrievable when you need it.” (Read more here and here.)
It was my great pleasure to participate in a dedication and ribbon cutting ceremony for our new Rancho Cucamonga Personalized Learning Center. This facility houses our new Discovery Co-LAB-orative Program for grades TK-8 and U-Lab program for high school students. These two programs meet Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and currently serve 75 students. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, the program serves 170 Homeschool students who participate in learning center classes. (For a brief introduction, click here.)
In an effort to keep Springs students and staff safe should an “active shooter” emergency occur, Springs held active shooter/violent intruder drills at its Temecula administrative offices.
Tony Hager, Springs’ Safety & Risk Management Technician, led the training. He said, “It was an amazing event. Our people were happy to receive the information, and to know that they had options should such an event occur.” Mr. Hager and Jeanne Schaffner, Springs’ Safety & Risk Manager, are certified ALICE instructors. ALICE is short for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate. It is not a step-by-step system, but rather an acronym used to learn and remember the options available during a violent situation.
I’m pleased to report that the Summit Springs Educational Foundation welcomed its inaugural Board of Directors at a swearing-in ceremony on November 29, 2016. The new members include: Louis Fetherolf, a retired Chief of Police, Peter Alvino, Interim Assistant Superintendent, Pupil Services for Springs, Amy Podratz, Springs’ Assistant Superintendent Administrative Operations, Kristin Crellin, Vice President of School and Community Relations for Schools First Federal Credit Union, Verta Guynes, a management training executive from the Real Estate industry, Mike Monteleone, retired from his company Monteleone Excavating, Lou Monville with Raincross Corporate Group and Mitch Surowitz, Area Vice President at Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. It was my pleasure to be part of the ceremony.
As Chief Fetherolf, our Board President noted, we were most pleased to have attracted a quality board with diverse backgrounds. Its purpose is to raise funds for scholarships for graduating Springs students and to offer grants to teachers and staff for activities that promote the mission of Springs Charter Schools. Recent Foundation events included its second annual golf tournament in October 2016 and a Springs Crystal Jubilee (15th anniversary) celebration in June 2016. During the Crystal Jubilee celebration, the Foundation awarded its first two scholarships to graduating seniors.
The entire Board will meet twice annually, or electronically as needed. Members are currently brainstorming ideas to raise funds. The Board’s bylaws allowed it to have up to 11 members, so we welcome inquiries from qualified prospective members. Chief Fetherolf, for example, said he was motivated to join the Board because “I’ve always had a heart for children and education, and I’ve personally seen that a good education plays a crucial role in keeping children out of trouble and making positive contributions to society.”
To learn more about the Foundation, call (951) 225-7724 or email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
I hope you had a nice Thanksgiving holiday last week. As you may be aware, Springs has enjoyed remarkable growth in recent years. It’s been our ongoing challenge—and one we love to have!—to provide quality classroom facilities to accommodate our new students. I thought I’d provide you with a quick update on a few of these projects.
We’re building a new campus for our Magnolia Student Center in Riverside. Once complete, the site will have 28 classrooms, four racquetball courts, a pool and a gym. We hope to have the work complete by the end of this school year.
We’re securing permit applications and pursuing bond funding for a new Flabob Airport Preparatory Academy (FAPA) facility in Jurupa Valley/Riverside. Students are currently meeting at a temporary site in a River Springs facility. (As a side note, it was my great pleasure to take part in the filming of a PBS television program on aviation in high schools which featured FAPA. See the article below for details.) And, we recently completed renovations at our iShine Student Center in Temecula. All classrooms are open, and sports and recess facilities complete.
Please note that enrollment continues at these sites and all of our schools throughout the school year. Eighty percent of our new students come via word-of-mouth, so if you’ve had a good experience at Springs, we invite you to share it with family and friends. If a student is struggling in a traditional school, a mid-year switch to a Springs school might be just what’s needed.
I wish you all a Merry Christmas or Happy Hanukkah (or other holiday), and I hope you enjoy the upcoming break.