Blog

School is Virtual in 2020: How can parents and teachers engage students with technology?
Chris Lazartic

As technology continues to develop at a rapid pace, educators also continue to leverage it as a way to engage their students. There is no doubt that technology is both essential to preparing students for the future and a fun way to hook learners of any age. That being said, it is important to use technology in the appropriate ways to facilitate appropriate development and understanding. Below are some tips and examples to consider when engaging your students with technology.

We Can Prepare Even in Times of Uncertainty: Social-Emotional Support, Academic Strategies, and Confronting Racial Injustice
  • Child Development
  • The Aspen Difference
Jessie Skipwith

As we ready ourselves for a new school year, one certainty is that there are many questions on the horizon for all of us. There are many ways we can prepare for a new, exciting, and adventurous school year. We can choose our attitude, and intentionally frame our perspective, as we encounter all that life throws our way.  Although the 2020-2021 school year will be unlike any before, we can choose positivity and optimism, we can choose persistence, and we can choose gratitude. 

Supporting Your Students in Coming Back to School
  • The Aspen Difference
Aspen Academy Contributors

This year is shaping up to be unlike any other. Seemingly every conversation is filled with wonderings about what school will be like. So, we asked some of our faculty members: “What can parents can do to support students coming back in the coming school year?” Here’s some of their advice!

Transforming Education: Future Holders Launches Nationally
  • Child Development
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Financial Literacy
  • The Aspen Difference
Katie Becker

We hope that your receipt of the back to school plan brought you some comfort and clarity for what school will look like this fall. Your student is our priority. We remain steadfast in our commitment to the health and safety of all of our community members, while also ensuring that phenomenal programming continues each day. 

On a separate note (as many of you already know), our Aspen Youth Leadership Institute (AYLI) and Aspen Entrepreneurial Institute (AEI) curricula have been rebranded, expanded and moved online! We are thrilled to be launching Future Holders nationally. This is one more way that we will expand the reach of our Aspen Academy vision, continuing to be a national leader in innovative and transformative education. 

Music Meets Technology in the Classroom: Using GarageBand
  • Academics
Chris Holtzem

At Aspen Academy, 5th-8th grade students have the opportunity to show their musical creativity using a tool called GarageBand, which incorporates technology and music. These students have varying degrees of musical backgrounds, and I like to provide opportunities both to use the provided and pre-recorded loops and sound effects, as well as the recording of their own.

Focus For The Summer: Recentering, Learning & Listening
  • Child Development
  • Health and Wellness
Jessie Skipwith

At the time of this writing there are undoubtedly a whirlwind of emotions and thoughts surrounding the current state of affairs of our world today.  We are seeing now, more than ever, the importance of caring for the emotional health and wellness of our young people who are likely experiencing feelings of uncertainty and frustration, fear and anxiety, pain and grief. Our communities are learning, processing and growing forward with a deeply-seated sense of hope for all members of our family. Read on for more...

be kind.
Kristina Scala

The recent events in our community and across our nation fill me with sadness, anger, frustration, and sorrow. These repeated acts of violence and prejudice, rooted in racism, are unconscionable.

In difficult moments like these, I come back to our values: Be Kind. Do Good. Work Hard. Make the World Better.

Aspen Academy Update from Head of School
  • Academics
Kristina Scala

We are all so grateful for your partnership and resolve as we’ve ventured into this unique COVID-19 journey. Your trust, support, and confidence in Aspen Academy to be discerning, prepared, and to always have the health, wellness, and progress of our students at the forefront of our minds as well as hearts.  We recognize the personal, familial, and economic challenges that many are feeling and experiencing. Our community has come together with a level of determination and positive pragmatism that has simply been outstanding individually and as a collective

Building resilience in times of crisis: How do you want to remember this moment?
  • Child Development
  • Entrepreneurship
Kristina Scala

Certainly, none of us could have ever imagined what life would be like during a global pandemic that has resulted in states of emergency at the national, state and local levels. As business leaders and as humans, many of us are struggling with uncertainty and balancing working from home while also attempting to help our children with their own home learning.

Mental Health Month: Helpful Reminders & Resources
  • Health and Wellness
Jessie Skipwith

May is Mental Health Month and, each year during this time, I get really excited by the variety of new ideas, research and information that is shared across the mental health community. This year, in particular, we are all being given ample opportunity to self-assess our resilience, self-care, grit, and yes - even our limits. 

 
Found Object Art -- From Ordinary to Extraordinary
  • Academics
Octavia Betz

Our art students continue learning and expressing their artistry while at home in new and exciting ways. The students went on a live scavenger hunt around their houses to find things the could arrange as practice. Once we were done experimenting, students created two different compositions that incorporated color theory and some form of symmetry.

Make the World Better: A Community Comes Together Through Service Learning
  • Gratitude
  • The Aspen Difference
Jennifer Gravlee

In February, walking through the halls of Aspen Academy, you would have seen giant cardboard boxes decorated outside classrooms, overflowing with items identified for our annual community service project. This year’s partner, Packs of Hope, provides backpacks filled with essential clothing items to children and youth who are transitioning into out-of-home or foster care. The organization serves 8 counties in 10 locations, delivering more than 300 packs a month to children ages newborn to 18 years-old.

Tips for Keeping Students Focused While Learning At Home
  • Health and Wellness
Jessie Skipwith

As we move into our sixth week of virtual learning with Aspen Academy students, one theme has been shared by numerous parents: How do I keep my student focused and engaged during online learning? The tips below are the top recommendations based on my over 20 years as an educator, administrator and counselor, supporting student success for students with various needs and they remain true for learning in classrooms, as well as learning at home.

Celebrating Challenge, Community and Compassion
  • Child Development
Jessie Skipwith

Every week I have the wonderful opportunity of working with my Impact class in our new Zoom platform. Impact is our Middle School class that guides students through a process of self-discovery, healthy risk-taking and learning to embrace an openness to growth in all areas of their lives.  Three days a week I come together with a wonderful group of students who share their challenges, their at-home learning experiences, and so many of the critically thought out, creative solutions that they are coming up with to overcome many of these new obstacles.