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Navigator News: 4/15/19

posted Mon, Apr 15, 2019


Venture Spotlight!

The Renewable Energy venture is a middle-school-only class focused on learning how energy is transformed and how renewables can be used to make useful inventions. We received a sponsorship from Platte River Power Authority to enter the Jr. Solar Sprint, and Compass fielded 6 teams in the regional competition on Saturday, April 13!

Teams competed at Walt Clark Middle School in two categories: Solar Car and Battery Car. This was a rich engineering activity involving balancing weight and sturdiness, speed and power—and lots of teamwork.To honor Compass’ participation in the activity, PRPA awarded us a $1000 grant for our STEM programs. Thanks to parent volunteers Josh Lillard, Liz Ross, Darrick Hueber, Joel Lurkins, and Chad Pallansch for helping us out with car building!

After the Jr. Solar Sprint, the Renewable Energy venture will turn our focus toward understanding energy in general and inventing household electronics that use renewables. We plan to visit the CSU Powerhouse and the Rawhide Energy Station to learn about power generation, and we will define, design, and create solar lamps that can be donated to the FoCo Cafe. We plan to run a food and clothing drive so we can drop off a generous donation in addition to the lamps! Look for this information to be coming home later in the quarter.


Inaugural 360 Team Meetings

The purpose of our 360 Team meetings with our high school cohort on April 9 was to help the students learn how to reflect on their growth and education. In particular, students followed a “Guide to Thrive” that helped them focus their reflections on their progress in the Compass Competencies and in subject specific content. We asked students to prepare their digital portfolios to present evidence of their learning to family and two staff members. This was a powerful opportunity to celebrate successes, to set goals for the summer and next semester, and to determine areas of needed growth with the help of supportive and invested adults.

For staff, parents, and students alike, this student-led conferencing was a profoundly moving experience. Staff got to know our students on a deeper level and we learned more about what is really working for kids at Compass. Parents got to see their child’s work and development in a new light. At the end of the day, through email exchanges, and the next morning at our weekly meeting the staff shared humbling, touching, beautiful stories of what we had heard and learned through the reflections of our students. Universally, our students love Compass. They feel heard, valued, and empowered at our school. They have learned that they love subjects they didn’t think they loved (poetry, for example), they have been able to explore passions and find creative outlets for those passions, and they have felt the joy and challenge of being part of something new and bigger than themselves.

There is so much to say about it all, but Bonnie summarized an important takeaway in her email to the staff that evening: it’s not only the students who are happy and thriving at Compass! She wrote:

Today in my meetings, every parent was thankful their child was at our school and they said so loud and clear! Every. Single. One. And I met with a pretty wide range of different students—meaning, there is something special and needed for each of them here. Even with our sometimes on-the-fly-changes and unanswered big questions, the parents know that what their kiddos are learning is meaningful and that their experiences at Compass are contributing positively to their child’s development. I heard, “I am so happy she is here” and, “She has found the right fit for her, it’s where she belongs.”  As a parent, these are the goals I have always wanted the school system to provide my child.

Incoming and Prospective Family Night

Please join us on Thursday, April 18th, 6:30-8pm, for an evening jam-packed with information geared towards the parents/guardians of incoming 2019-2020 Compass students! Students are always welcome, but please note that we will not be offering a separate “break out session” for students during this particular meeting.

Although the evening’s program will be designed to address information that is particularly pertinent to the transition of recently admitted and currently registered 2019-2020 incoming Compass students, we certainly welcome prospective and waitlisted families to join is as well!

Whether you are already fully registered to begin school August, OR, you are on the waitlist and want to learn about some of the finer points of the Compass school culture directly from the staff and some of our current students, OR, if you are just curious as to what all the hub-bub is about:), please come join us!

Last Family Game Night of the Year

If you missed it last time, here’s your next chance to join the Compass students and families for our second and final Compass Family Game Night of the year! We will be shaking the house on Tuesday, April 23 from 6:30-8:30pm. There will be games for age groups from young to adult so bring your whole family (and your own favorites) to participate. Not competitive? No worries—we will have games that are team-based and collaborative where working together is the key to success.Snacks will be provided, along with door prizes and a grand prize drawing as well. We will need plenty of participants but also some tablemasters/moderators who can get players up to speed on a new game they may not have tried before.Please sign-up to bring snacks or to volunteer.Will you be new to Compass next year? Please come and join us and let’s get acquainted!

T-Shirt and Hoodie Sale

Get your hoodies and tees while they last! We are trying to move this apparel to make room for new Compass logo gear. Need help with sizing? See all available sizes below. Hoodies are $18 and Tees are $16. Click here to reserve your size and then pick and pay (cash or check) at the school office.