Welcome to the Fall Issue of the Mission Achievement Success School newsletter.
MAS students were back to school in person this year, starting on August 2, and despite needing to observe precautions related to Covid, we were glad to have our students back in the classroom.
Prior to the start of the school year, MAS conducted its teacher professional development, starting two weeks before school for 8 hours a day. Not only does the training orient teachers to MAS and focuses on how to help students be successful in the school year, but the training also serves as an opportunity to share school values, goals and help teachers grow professionally. MAS sets high standards for its teachers, staff and students.
What are some of the MAS goals for the 2021/2022 school year?
- 70 percent proficient or higher on all state assessments for reading and math in grades 3 – 8 and science grades 4 and 8.
- 90 percent proficient or higher on Istation reading assessment for grades K -2.
- 95 percent average daily attendance rate for all grade levels.
- 100 percent daily implementation of SEL curriculum.
A Look at the MAS 2021/2022 School Year
- This year MAS has a total of 141 teachers for our students in PreK through grades 12, an increase of students since last school year.
- Our commitment to diversity is exemplified in our teachers and staff. This year, we have 66 teachers from different countries including the Philippines, India, Taiwan, and Thailand. We believe this provides our students a broader perspective about their studies and a greater understanding of their own cultures and relating to other people.
- We continue to offer all support services for students and families. Our students receive three healthy meals a day, socioemotional learning, medical services including dental clinics and immunization clinics, free school uniforms and school supplies, and more.
- We continue to partner with Roadrunner Food Bank to host an on-campus food bank for families once a month.
The Role of Socioemotional Learning in MAS Student SuccessRecent news of student violence in our community is unsettling for all of us as it destroys the lives of young people and their families and makes children feel unsafe in the school environment where they should feel safe. While there are absolutely no guarantees that schools can make to prevent violence, there are a variety of new and different approaches that focus on violence prevention.
The morning at MAS Charter School is punctuated by a fundamental yet different approach to helping children become successful in life. At 8:20 a.m. each day, 12th-grade math teacher James Boshart leads a mindful moment on the school’s intercom system. This time is for classrooms to become silent. Students are then led in deep breathing exercises and are encouraged to envision their intentions for the day. This is repeated at the end of the third period.
The mindful moment exercises are part of a larger approach to socioemotional learning at MAS. According to the Committee for Children, social-emotional learning (SEL) is the process of developing the self-awareness, self-control, and interpersonal skills that are vital for school, work, and life success. People with strong social-emotional skills are better able to cope with everyday challenges and benefit academically, professionally, and socially. From effective problem-solving to self-discipline, from impulse control to emotion management and more, SEL provides a foundation for positive, long-term effects on kids, adults, and communities. Not only do schools and students thrive with an SEL mindset, but workplaces and social benefit as well.
Part of the MAS commitment to socioemotional learning is offering the Choose Love curriculum for all MAS students. Scarlett Lewis founded Choose LoveTM Movement after her son, Jesse, was murdered during the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy in December 2012At six years old, Jesse, alongside 19 of his first-grade classmates and six educators, died. Law enforcement said that Jesse used his final moments to heroically save nine of his friends. (See https://chooselovemovement.org/.)
The program, which has reached more than 2 million children in more than 100 countries, focuses on key socioemotional components such as post-traumatic growth, a growth mindset, self-awareness, self-regulation and mindfulness. The curriculum, which varies for each grade level, helps children to learn basic concepts such as listening for others, taking responsibility for their actions, holding each other accountable, setting goals and showing random acts of kindness. After consistently using this curriculum, educators say they see students getting along better, having a more positive attitude, and having increased academic performance.
A meta-analysis released by Child Development in 2017 found that students from kindergarten to high school significantly benefit from school-based, universal SEL interventions. The study shows that 3.5 years after their last SEL intervention, students fared markedly better academically than their peers in control groups by an average of 13 percentile points, based on eight studies that measured academics. Additionally, researchers saw that conduct problem, emotional distress, and drug use were much lower for students with SEL exposure than those without.
MAS has been using the SEL curriculum since 2013 and is continuously finding ways to improve the use of these important lessons.
MAS Teacher, Staff, and Student Spotlights
We are pleased to kick off our MAS Featured Teacher, Staff, and Students in our quarterly newsletter, featuring just one of the many committed and talented teachers we have at our school. You can follow along in the weeks ahead through our Facebook page or continue to read the full bios below.
Other MAS News
Check out the article at https://www.abqjournal.com/2432700/mas-charter-school-founder-ignites-love-of-learning.html.
Photo credit: Roberto E. Rosales/Journal
MAS Wish List
MAS Charter School occasionally has needs for outside contributions to help us serve our students. We still need resources for new teachers who have moved here from other locations, including international J1 Visa teachers. Some of our teachers are not only new to MAS, but they are also new to our community and country. We have various needs for these teachers including a used vehicle for transportation to and from school, furniture and other household supplies.