Greetings ICEF Innovation Families,
Welcome to the 2020-2021 School Year!
This year is sure to be an exciting one! With the onset of virtual learning we are met with many challenges, but to offset that we have a level of INNOVATION that is surpassed by none. ICEF and ICEF Innovation has prepared its staff to address the academic and social-emotional needs of its students and families. We have planned and prepared over the summer and have developed a dynamic program to engage students and support their learning and growth. Through our virtual learning schedule, students are placed in AM or PM cohorts, where they have the opportunity to receive both synchronous (live instruction with the teacher) and asynchronous (independent) instruction. Through platforms like Zoom and Google Classroom, as well as programs like Lexia, Achieve 3000, IXL, RazKids, and BrainPop, students are met with challenging yet fun learning opportunities daily.
This year, through a grant funded by the Lego Foundation, ICEF Innovation will pilot a program called Embrace the Mind Through Play (ETM-P). A spinoff of ICEF's Embrace the Mind initiative, a Tier 1 mental health program whose mission is to offer education on the science behind mental health, to reduce stigma associated with mental illness, and to equip students, teachers, and families with tools to build mental wellness, ETM-P will expose our students to the benefits of mental health and wellness and build upon their capacity through play. Participating students will engage in two play sessions weekly, with our school counselors, while tackling such topics as anxiety, stress, coping, distraction, and peer interactions. Students will also attend a weekly Yoga session, and learn how to incorporate Mindful Moments in their daily routines. This program will be extended to the full student body, on a smaller scale, with the same focus, later in the school year.
This school year will be challenging. It is a new experience for all of us, in which none of us are experts. It is important that we have a growth mindset throughout the year. Having a growth mindset is "the belief that our most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work—brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment." - Carol Dweck. In other words, you see every opportunity, experience, obstacle, or challenge as one that can be addressed, handled, and conquered with hard work, a positive attitude, and dedication. I challenge you to join the ICEF Innovation staff in having a growth mindset. Together we will accomplish our vision to provide a positive learning environment where scholars have access to a rigorous and innovative academic program that engages all stakeholders.
Last year our motto was Stick Together! Grow Together! We continue to do that as a school community as we enter this new way of learning and doing. I am encouraged by the dedication and commitment I have seen in our staff and families, but especially in our students. Our motto for this school year is ICEF Innovation...Planting Seeds for ALL to Grow! This is our promise to all of you; to ensure that all we do is in the spirit of growth and success for all of our students, families, and staff.
I welcome all of you to reach out to me with your questions and feedback in regards to virtual learning this school year. The Leadership Team and I are here for you. We look forward to supporting you in educating our students and preparing them for success!
Have a great school year!