News and Announcements

 

 

 

 

 

 

August 7, 2018

 

Dear Parent(s) or Guardian(s):

 

It is with great pleasure that I welcome you to the Camden Big Picture Learning Family; we are proud that your family will be a part of our new school.  As our name suggests, Camden Big Picture Learning Academy is a school that follows the Big Picture Learning design, which means we are guided by specific principles: Relationships, Relevance and Rigor.  The mission of Camden Big Picture Learning Academy is to rigorously challenge the diverse Camden city student population, one student at a time, as they forge relationships with the community and pursue their interests in the real world through internships.  This starts by giving students the opportunity to learn in a place where they are known and where people treat each other with respect.  It continues by designing a personalized learning plan for each student, providing real-world opportunities to connect their interest to their learning, and expecting them to find authentic, meaningful ways to show what they have learned.  It culminates in graduating self-directed thinkers and learners with the skills necessary to succeed in college and beyond. To that end, one of our goals this year is to ensure we are delivering a true Big Picture Learning (www.bigpicturelearning.org) educational experience; meaning most of your child’s academics will be personalized, project-based, connected to their interest, and very rigorous.

 

Another goal is to bolster our academic offerings and ensure that all curriculums we expose students to are rigorous.  Earlier this summer, a team of educators attended a professional development workshop to learn more about Summit Learning, another nationally recognized educational design. We believe that this design will strengthen our ability to offer high-quality project-based learning and individualized mentoring to students.  Beginning the 2018-2019 school year, Camden BPLA will marry Big Picture Learning and Summit Learning and offer students an educational experience unmatched anywhere else in the country.  Just as we have always done, students will continue to learn through projects and have the opportunity to apply what they have learned to the real-world.   Summit will allow us to even more effectively support students in achieving great academic outcomes.

 

We know that no two students are alike, and we will continue to provide individualized support to meet each student’s needs. This will look like Advisors meeting with students regularly to discuss their performance and help them set goals for the future.   Advisors will also get to know their students and advocate for them inside and outside of the classroom.  This approach can be challenging to implement well, but we are excited by the possibilities.

 

 

With your support and dedication, 2018-2019 will be awesome. When you enter the building you will notice a new look, and as you walk the halls the school will feel different.  One of our goals is to ensure that the parents and guardians of students—like the students themselves—feel at home at BPLA. To accomplish that, parent meetings are scheduled monthly, to provide you with information about events and activities. The dates for those meeting will be posted on our school’s website, social media sites, and sent to you via email.  Additionally, there is an expectation that you will spend significant time monitoring your student’s progress and remaining in close contact with your students’ educators.  Camden Big Picture Learning Academy has an open door policy. You don’t need an appointment to visit the school to conduct school business.  We do however ask that you schedule time to meet with administrators and educators – doing so allows us to respect your time and minimize classroom interruptions.

 

Please take time to carefully review the Family Handbook. It thoroughly explains the school’s guidelines and expectations.  You’ll also find e-mail addresses of all of the adults who educate your child. Please send your child to school every day in the approved uniform unless you hear otherwise from school administration, even on Learning Through Interests days.  Also, please insist that your student arrives to school on time.  Students are late at 8:31 am.  Those two issues, along with students exhibiting disrespectful behaviors/ language towards their peers and adults and the inappropriate use of electronic devices can plague a school.  With your support we will make sure these issues do not surface at BPLA because we know you send your child to school to receive a uniquely personalized education in a small, safe, respectful and nurturing environment.  This is only possible if support us and address these important issues with your child. 

 

You are invited to join us on August 23rd for new family orientation at 5:30pm and September 6th at 8:30am for our opening day activities.  During the orientation you will get a deeper understanding of what your child will experience at BPLA, we will discuss how you can best support your child with the new curriculum and you’ll hear how the school operates as we communicate our expectations.   The first day of school is a full day for students and they are required to be in full uniform.  We are honored to know you trust that Camden Big Picture Learning Academy will prepare your child for success in high school, college, and life. We take this responsibility very seriously and I assure you that we will do our best to help your child experience academic, social, and emotional growth.

 

Please contact the Main Office (856-966-5223) with questions regarding anything mentioned in this letter. I sincerely hope you will consider joining us for our opening day activities. It is a great way to connect with the Big Picture Learning Academy community. Hope to see you there!

 

Timothy L. Jenkins

 

Timothy L. Jenkins

 

Principal

Camden BPLA Principal

 

 

News, Notes, and Updates….

 

 

  • Camden BPLA has very high expectations. As parents, you should expect your students to have meaningful and relevant homework each night. Your child will always have something to read or some aspect of a Summit project to complete. In recent years we’ve noticed students falling behind academically because they put forth minimal effort at home. This is where you can have great influence. Each night please set aside time for your child to do their homework. Asking questions like “what part of your project are you working on?” or “Can you show me your year calendar on Summit- I want to see how you’re doing”. Communicate that as a parent you are holding them accountable for learning. 

  • Don’t wait for an educator to contact you.  Build time into your monthly schedule to contact the school for a progress updates.  This is our expectation and we look forward to hearing from you.  All parents are expected to visit the school minimally six times throughout school year (ex. Exhibitions, Back-to-School Night, and report cards)

  • Exhibitions are not optional for students and it is expected that you support your student during each presentation. During exhibitions students are expected to be dressed professionally. Please ensure your child has professional attire no later than October 26, 2018.  The presentations are scheduled for the last two weeks of each marking period. Expect your child’s Advisor to contact you to confirm your attendance. The school can be as accommodating to your schedule as needed, however we do need you to commit to being present.  We need your help for BPLA to realize its potential and become the school your child deserves.   

  • School uniforms are mandated for the first day school and everyday thereafter.  Uniforms can be purchased from Uniform City on Broadway and Pine St. in Camden.  Please make sure your child is dressed in the appropriate school uniform every day.  Uniform for ALL Camden Big Picture Learning Academy students consists of the following: Pants or Skirts (tan or black), Polo-style shirts (red or black).  Students out of uniform will lose school privileges.

  • The 2018-2019 new family orientation is on August 23, 2018 at 5:30 p.m.  During this meeting we will discuss how you can best support your child at BPLA, explain how the school operates, and we share what you can expect from us. We will also discuss parent-specific opportunities at the school like joining the Parent Advisory Council, fundraising, and leading activities.  

  • Please keep your phone number and contact information updated.  Throughout the school year you can expect to have important correspondences like Narratives, newsletters, and flyers sent home via email.  This is a more direct, efficient and effective way to communicate.  This will ensure that very important information comes directly to you. If you do not have internet access or an e-mail account, we can help provide these services for free.

     

     

     

     

    Camden BPLA Supply list for grades 9-12

     

     

    Composition Note books                                                 5

    USB / Flash Drive (2 GB minimum)                               2

    2 in. size Three Ring Binder                                            2

    Dividers                                                                           2 packs               

    Plastics document protectors/ sleeves                             2 packs

    Agenda book (for time management)                             1

    Ink Pens and Pencils w/erasers                                         enough to last school year

    Loose-leaf paper                                                                         enough to last school year

    Highlighters                                                                     2 packs

    Sharpie Markers                                                              1 pack

    Pocket folders                                                                  5

    Trifold Presentation Board                                              1

        

     

     

    *These are all basic school supplies and can be purchased at most retail stores