Pacific Northern Academy

Coronavirus Upates & Information

COVID-19 Updates: 

In accordance with COVID-19 Health Mandate 013,  building closure of Pacific Northern Academy is being extended from May 1, 2020 to the end of the 2019-2020 school year. Students will continue to receive instruction through distance learning during this time.

We are still open for business virtually. We are conducting tours, accepting and reviewing applications. Please contact us with any questions you have. We are here to help

 

COMMUNITY UPDATES

LATEST

Update: May 4 - May 8

 

From the Head of School...

Dear Families,

 

When we were forced to switch to distance learning in March, we knew that it would be impossible to reproduce our PNA classroom experience. Therefore, we distilled our instruction to core academics (math and language arts) with a healthy dose of social interaction through community-building activities. As we progressed through the long weeks, teachers realized that students were missing the projects that were so ingrained into every classroom. This realization led us to finish the year across the grades with a project - determined and driven by the student. 

 

As the co-teacher for the past six weeks, you fully understand how dry and unmotivating instruction followed by drill can be. This lack of engagement and long-term retention combined with the unknown challenges of tomorrow’s careers are what motivated PNA to review our instructional delivery system about four years ago. We understood that students needed to learn universal skills such as critical thinking, collaboration, communication, reasoning, and resilience in order to face future challenges. These skills were almost impossible to teach using the traditional educational pedagogy. 

 

Therefore, the PNA staff compared our practices to those of highly successful schools and programs, and determined that the Project-Based Learning* teaching method would allow us to reach our goal of graduating students who not only enjoyed and were engaged in learning yet were prepared for future challenges. We made the switch to PBL.  Then, three years later, we faced the enormous challenge of COVID-19 and distance learning. For a while we did not listen to what our heads and hearts were telling us about effective instruction; we stopped PBL. However, we have wised up and have been reminded that PBL is the best way to engage and instruct our students. 

So thank you, COVID-19. Students - enjoy your projects!

Until next week,

Laurie

Laurie Hoefer

Head of School

*(PBL is a teaching method in which students learn by actively engaging in real-world and personally meaningful projects.)

If you would like to read research on the positive outcomes of PBL please click on this link:

https://www.edutopia.org/pbl-research-learning-outcomes

Student Progress During Distance Learning

Be on the lookout for an email from your child’s teacher that includes a progress report reflection form for both your child AND you. We need your family’s feedback on instructional progress and challenges during the last quarter. These are due back on Friday, May 8th.  

Lower School Specials will Continue!

Even though the classroom schedule has been altered due to project check ins, LS Art, Music and Spanish classes will continue on their regular schedule. 

Virtual Cocktail Party

Thursday May 14, 2020  7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Join us for a fundraiser to support exceptional education in exceptional times. Invite friends near and far because anyone can attend online. Experience human to human socializing, in-home activities, silent auction, and more!

Purchase your Virtual Passport. Click HERE!

Create Academy Update

At this time we are planning for summer camp to go forward; however it will be in a new modified format.

In order to provide a safe and fun experience for campers and staff, significant changes had to take place in order to meet the latest mandates.

  • Camp will now start on JUNE 8th.  We are cancelling the first week of camp, June 1-4.

  • We will be adding an additional week of camp, August 3-7.

  • We are cancelling the specific camp themes for each week and will instead offer weekly day camp activities that are still fun and engaging but not tied to a theme. 

  • The Tech Camp: Minecraft Level Design & Engineering class for Grades 1-5 on June 15-19 will still happen as scheduled.

  • The Tech Camp: Modding in Minecraft Game Design for Grades 5-8 on July 6-10 will be cancelled.

  • Groups will have a maximum of 10 students and two staff assigned specifically to their group who will cover the whole day. 

  • Two Robotics camps will be offered each week, limited to 10 students per group. Please note: We ask that you only sign up for the number of weeks you are currently registered for so that all students will have a chance at attending a robotics camp.

    • LEGO Wedo (younger campers)

    • LEGO Mindstorms EV3 (older campers) 

 

Our new model of camp will involve a variety of all the favorite Create Academy activities each week including, gardening, engineering challenges, art lessons, outdoor ed experiences, games, science experiments and makerspace activities.

 

Registration is temporarily closed. Registration for the new camps will open to the public on Saturday, May 9 at 12:00 am. Campers who are currently registered will receive an email update this week with instructions for priority registration.

 

 

 

Many Thanks To

 

John Hardwick and Ral West

 

As always, our continued success is shared with the people and companies that support us.

SKIVA INVESTMENTS LLC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PREVIOUS

 

PARENTING RESOURCES

Coronavirus Anxiety- Helpful Expert Tips and Resources, Anxiety & Depression Association of America

Help Your Family De-Stress During Coronavirus Uncertainty, Common Sense Media

How to Talk to Kids about Coronavirus, The NY Times

Talking to Children about COVID-19, National Association of School Psychologists

Talking to Kids about the Coronavirus, Child Mind Institute

Helping Children Cope, video from CBC News

 

GOVERNMENT RESOURCES

CDC Updates, Coronavirus (COVID-19)

COVID-19 and Children, from the CDC

Alaska Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS), COVID-19 Homepage

Coronavirus.gov, from the CDC, FEMA, & the White House

 

PROSPECTIVE FAMILIES

When faced with adversity, Alaskans know how to stay calm, formulate a plan and confidently carry on.

 

At Pacific Northern Academy, we make sure that all students understand how to successfully navigate adversity and uncertainty.

 

In light of the current situation, we saw an opportunity and adapted, beginning distance learning on March 18. In doing so, we are making sure to keep our community together, students continue to see their friends in class and have structure and direction to their day and week from their teachers, both classroom and specials. Our students are learning how to be resilient and keep moving towards their goal, all while making sure to have fun. 

 

Distance learning has allowed us to continue to deliver on our commitment to our mission, it has also created a unique project based learning opportunity as well. At no other time have we experienced a global pandemic to this scale. Everyone will remember this for the rest of their lives. 

 

Our small class sizes and standards of our curriculum, have allowed instruction to continue with the highest level of engagement and interest. 

 

We invite you to ask questions and come see for yourself what PNA can offer to you. 

PNA Distance Learning Daily Schedule Examples

Early Kindergarten

Spanish

Distance Learning in Action

Kindergarten

Kindergarten Distance Learning Plan.png

Second Grade

Morning Meeting 

For more information on Pacific Northern Academy or if you have questions about our admissions process:

Email: admissions@pacificnorthern.org or

Visit: https://www.pacificnorthern.org/admissions-1

PARENT TESTIMONIALS

“Smaller class sizes, along with personalized attention from teachers, and a sense of belonging to a community. These are some of the reasons we chose PNA for our daughter, in a decision that feels like a lifetime ago.  How would it be possible for the school to maintain these qualities in this new and difficult world we face?

Three days after Spring Break ended, the PNA staff had distributed fully-charged and working Chromebooks, resumed classes, and we saw their smiling faces on Zoom. We soon discovered that the staff had gathered and implemented their ideas to put this technology and new processes into effect in less than a week.

Daily plans and schedules evolved quickly. There were some growing pains in the first few days, as expected, but with humor and patience the school routine has become orderly and efficient.

Most notably, so far, has been the ability of the PNA teachers and administrative staff to adapt to the on-line platform. They established screen time discipline when it began, and swiftly set guidelines for students’ on-line behavior and decorum. It seems to be working, and the kids are responding well to something that is new to all of us.

Each day, the Homeroom morning meetings offer time for kids to say hello, greetings from teachers and students alike.  Next, a clear plan is explained for the day ahead. This is followed by a math lesson, in which the teacher sets the tone for a morning at home that is specific to school work.

The teachers are very enthusiastic about educating the students at PNA.  Art class is very engaging on-line, and our daughter enjoys getting her art supplies together for a structured art class that applies themes and focus.  She receives feedback and encouragement as she creates, and shares her views and hears those of the other students.  Music class has been very thoughtful, with the lessons carefully considered, and still full of fun and enjoyment.  Spanish class has been filled with give-and-take from the teacher, with responses heard and efforts rewarded.

The Head of School, Laurie Hoefer, along with staff members Peter Kling and Macey Walter, have been very proactive and communicate frequently, keeping parents updated and informed in this ever-changing environment.  We have heard from them in both emails and newsletters, keeping the community unified.

The way that Pacific Northern Academy has handled the challenges of this unprecedented situation is indicative of who they are as a school and a community, as a model of professionalism and love of learning.  As parents of a student who is excelling in her second year at PNA, especially during these precarious times, we are convinced that PNA was the right choice for us.”

PNA has been phenomenal for my daughter. She has been to PNA since third grade and is thriving here.  She was doing ok in public school where she was initially, yet from third grade until now, she has truly blossomed! I have seen her confidence grow, she has regained her intrinsic love for learning and continues to be excited to do projects, get involved in the community and develop new traits and skills. The staff treat all the students with respect and treat them as bright, engaged thinkers and teach to their potential. This is the biggest difference I believe from public school - the teachers and community are full of excitement and are motivated and inspired, and this atmosphere directly impacts the kids.This school promotes development of the whole person- their character (from volunteering and being engaged in the community) to creativity and self expression with their great arts program and high academic achievement- with science, math, writing stories, and four days of Spanish a week. 

The kids also truly get involved with the community and become positive, compassionate members of the whole school. The older kids work with the younger ones and become role models - my sixth grader reads books to the younger kids and they are often interact, which adds to the community/family feel. Another great thing I have seen for the kids is the public speaking, they do frequent presentations and make videos- this was a hard part for my shy daughter yet the school is gentle yet encouraging with this, and although she is still shy she is able to do it well and has made huge progress! I personally didn't do public speaking until graduate school, so its great to see her do this now.

 

Last but not least, the best part of the school is the family. PNA has truly become like family to us, as our biological family lives out of state. This has been the most important part of school as they are helping raise our kids and I can tell you that it has made a world of difference! My daughter and her classmates got through two huge events without any trauma! They made it through the earthquake and now this covid-19 pandemic without too much stress or anxiety. My daughter is up early every day ready and excited for class with this distance learning program and it has really helped this transition. The resilience and support this school environment has given my daughter and I has been life changing. Thank you PNA from the bottom of my heart!

Our family just wanted to send a quick note saying how totally impressed we are with how quickly the educators at PNA were able to mobilize and get a distance learning platform up and running for our children. We are all equally impressed with how Mrs. McCormick and Mrs. Hitchcock have obviously spent much time in developing and self-training to work our little guys through all this the technology. We sincerely appreciate all that PNA and our teachers are doing to get us through this challenging time. You often hear from families when they are expressing a concern so we thought we'd send a note letting you know we "caught someone being good."

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SCHOOL DAY HOURS

 

Monday-Friday 8:30 am to 3:15 pm

Extended Day Program: 7:30 am to 6:00 pm

Front Office 8:00 am to 4:30 pm

Contact information

 

2511 Sentry Drive, Suite 100

Anchorage, Alaska 99507

Tel: (907) 333-1080 Fax: (907) 333-1652

admissions@pacificnorthern.org

Pacific northerN academy is a not-for-profit 501c3 organization
tax id: 92-0145501