New Parent Bulletin (July 2, 2013)

GCAA issued a new Parent Bulletin on July 2, 2013, printed in its entirety below.  Please take special note of the July 12, 2013 picnic (see the final item below):

Dear GCAA Families,

We are so excited about the coming new school year, with our phenomenal returning staff joined by amazing new hires, our first tenth grade class and our new sixth grade class! We will be at capacity with 550 students. Construction is proceeding on schedule for three new classrooms on our second floor to house the 6th grade, and the theater renovation is on track for us to be in that space by second semester.

GCAA Advisory Committee:

The newly formed Advisory Committee will be meeting again on July 11, 2013 at 4:30 p.m. These meetings are open to the GCAA community and provide time in each meeting for public comments. If you have an issue you believe the Advisory Committee should consider bringing to the larger Confluence Board, please make your voice heard.

Important summer dates:

ALL families, both returning and new, need to stop by GCAA to finalize enrollment information before any student can return to school. Many forms need to be signed, health records need to be reviewed, student schedules handed out, etc. Over a seven-day period, from August 1 through August 9 from 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., GCAA’s office will be open for parents to stop by and complete this paperwork. Please remember to bring proof of residency with you, in the form of a utility bill, etc. All eighth grade students need to have documentation of their TDAP booster shot from their doctor as well. Our first day of school with students is Monday, August 12.

Orientation:

Orientation for NEW students will be on Friday morning, August 9 at 10:00. It will last approximately one hour.

High School updates:

We are offering our first AP (Advanced Placement) class in World History, with several more AP classes the following year when we have an eleventh grade class. We are in the process of vetting appropriate vendors so that we can offer ACT prep during second semester to our tenth grade students. Several High School classes are taught at the advanced level, which means GPAs will be weighted. Some classes have within them an Honors Contract, which also allows students to receive weighted grades.

Big and Little Brothers/Sisters:

With our ever-expanding grade levels, this coming school year we will be matching an outstanding tenth grade GCAA student with each new awesome sixth grade student. Many activities are being planned for the Big and Little Brothers/Sisters throughout the school. Stay tuned for more details about this.

Choosing Electives:

If you are a new Middle School student and have not yet chosen your electives, please download the forms from our website, fill them out and return them to GCAA as soon as possible. We cannot create your schedule without this form. A big blue box containing a link to Course Guides and Registration Worksheets can be found on the front page of the GCAA website, right hand side.”

If you are a new High School student, you, too, can find your forms on the website and we need:

1.Your Pathway choice

2.Your Registration for Core classes form

New Dismissal Procedures:

Because we have a larger student body, we now need to stagger dismissal so that we can safely exit students from the building. Middle school students will have a seven-period day and their last class will be over at 2:35 rather than 3:30. There is no change for High School students. They will continue to have an eight period day and they will be dismissed at 3:30. We will return student pick-up back to GCAA’s site rather than on Powell Hall’s parking lot.

All Middle School parents need to pick up their students at 2:35, or join carpools that can pick up your students, or teach your child how to use public transportation or contract with an after-care organization that will provide transportation from GCAA to the provider?s site. We continue to hear wonderful things from our families about the Youth Learning Center, http://www.ylc-stl.org/

and Girls, Inc., http://www.girlsincstl.org/ We need to clear out Middle School students so we have room for cars to pick up High School students. If you encounter hurdles to this expectation that you cannot overcome, please contact the Middle School Assistant Principal, Ted Frigillana.

Hours the School Will Be Open:

Again, as a result of our growing enrollment, we can no longer provide after school supervision for High School students who cannot be picked up at 3:30. If you are unable to pick up your child at 3:30, you must find alternate means to get them off GCAA’s campus when we close our doors at 4:00, either using public transportation or carpooling.

Our doors will be unlocked in the morning at 7:00 a.m. If your child arrives before that time, they will have to wait outside until the doors are opened at 7:00. At the end of the day, our doors will be locked at 4:00 p.m. Any students not picked up at that time will not be allowed to re-enter the building.

Customizing Your Education: One of the things (among many) that sets GCAA apart from most of our local schools is our attempt to place students in courses that challenge them, no matter the age or grade level of a student. Any new seventh and eighth grade middle school or ninth and tenth grade high school students coming to GCAA need to make an appointment to come in and take a math placement test. If you are unable to do this, we will build your child?s schedule and initially place them in the math class that is typical of that grade until which time we determine, during the school year, that we need to change the placement. New sixth grade students will be given their math placement test during the first few days of school.

Summer Picnic:

So that new families and old families can get to know each other, we will host a summer gathering on July 12 from 5 – 9 p.m., on the Grandel Green. BYOP – Bring your own picnic and join us for fun and games as our community continues to grow!