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10 Activities For High School Students During Summer Break

10 Activities For High School Students
During Summer Break

20 Activities For High School Students During Summer Break MileStone

Are you a high school student or the parent of one and are wondering how high school students should spend their summers? Summer is a great time to relax and recharge, but it’s also an excellent chance for students to get work experience, do an activity they enjoy, and boost their chances of learning a trade or getting into their preferred college.

This article will help identify several summer activities for high school students and how, together, choose the best option.

How to decide which summer activities are best for your teen

Like most families, you may have a lot of options for how you can spend your summer. On the contrary, due to  COVID-19 pandemic, social distancing makes it extremely difficult to pursue many leisure or educational activities.

How can you decide what you should do? Here are some questions to review with your teen to help narrow down what activities are best for them:

  • What do you enjoy doing… the most?
  • How busy do you want to be? 
  • What are you your future long-time and short-time goals?
  • Will you have a method of transportation?
  • How much money is available for the summer activities budget?

 

10 summer activities for high school students

1. Start a new hobby or perfect one you already started. Hobbies include sports, clubs, or other activities that you do either through school, with a local group, or on your own. Some examples include sports teams, clubs, or a hobby you do in your free time, such as painting, working on computers, or creating a small business.

2.  Start a club or join one. This means either establishing your own chapter of an organization that already exists at other high schools, or creating a club that is something completely different from any other club at your high school.

3. Try a local or national summer camps! Summer camps aren’t just for making s’mores and going on nature hikes anymore. More and more summer camps for high school students are being created that have unique focuses such as cultural immersion, performing arts, wilderness skills, and more.

4. Volunteer at a nonprofit or purpose driven organization. There are many places where you can volunteer including schools, animal shelters, retirement homes, museums, and more.

5. Get involved with research. Experience in a lab as a high school student is really impressive to colleges. Cold call professors or ask your parents to talk to anyone they know who is connected with a university to see if you can work in their lab or be a part of a safe experiment. Always speak to your primary doctor before participating in experimental activities. 

6. Check Something Off Your Bucket List. Whether it is training for a 5K, marathon, sky diving, or tackling some books you have always meant to read.  

7.  Become a mentor or tutor to peers or younger students at your school or within your community.

8.  Take an online course. Since we are not able to take classes in person, there are plenty of opportunities to learn online. Many online course databases, such as Lynda.com and Skillshare, offer online subscriptions that allow you to access thousands of courses with video tutorials

9. Get a Side Hustle! Find a side job and earn some cash to put aside for college. Having a job can be an impressive extracurricular activity!

10. Relax. While it is important to be productive and not wasting the summer doesn’t mean you can’t take some time to get relaxation and refreshed and for another school year. . 


Congrats MileStone Academy Grads!

Congrats Grads MileStone 2020


Congrats MileStone 2020 Grads

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    MileStone Academy 2020 Graduation

Our school year ended on June 11th; it was bittersweet because we could not have our Graduation / End of the Year Celebration. Our annual celebration is usually a day we show off all the hard work our staff and students do through the year – artwork, science projects, and student writings.

COVID-19 made it impossible for us to have the big celebration, but we needed to find a way to celebrate this unusual year. We kicked around a few ideas, but we agreed we needed to see our kids, so we decided on a Drive Thru Diploma pickup.

One at a time, our graduates drove through the car drive up lane to the cheers of our staff and Board Members, pomp and circumstance playing, and Ms. Hall announcing their name. The graduates dressed in Caps, Gowns and face masks got out of the car and were presented with their diploma while I cried telling them how proud I am of them. Yes, I hugged them and took pictures standing closer than 6ft, but it was worth the risk to let them know I believe in them and will be here in the future if they need me.

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Our students completed all the state requirements for their diploma but more importantly they leave us understanding how they learn, confident they can succeed and knowing we are here if they need anything, including a hug.

Good Luck to all the 2020 Graduates.

Sincerely,

Carol Seiger-Wolf, Michele Hewitt-Webster and the entire MileStone Academy Staff

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MileStone Academy 2020 Graduation

June is LGBTQ+ Pride Month

Happy Pride Month

Gay pride or LGBT pride is the promotion of the self-affirmation, dignity, equality, and increased visibility of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people as a social group. Pride, as opposed to shame and social stigma, is the predominant outlook that bolsters most LGBT rights movements. Pride has lent its name to LGBT-themed organizations, institutes, foundations, book titles, periodicals, a cable TV station, and the Pride Library.

Ranging from solemn to carnivalesque, pride events are typically held during LGBT Pride Month or some other period that commemorates a turning point in a country’s LGBT history, for example Moscow Pride in May for the anniversary of Russia’s 1993 decriminalization of homosexuality. Some pride events include LGBT pride parades and marches, rallies, commemorations, community days, dance parties, and festivals.

June is LGBTQ+ Pride Month

As of 2017, plans were advancing by the State of New York to host in 2019 the largest international celebration of LGBT pride in history, Stonewall 50 – WorldPride NYC 2019 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. In New York City, the Stonewall 50 – WorldPride NYC 2019 events produced by Heritage of Pride were enhanced through a partnership made with the I LOVE NY program’s LGBT division and included a welcome center during the weeks surrounding the Stonewall 50 – WorldPride NYC 2019 events that were be open to all. Additional commemorative arts, cultural, and educational programming to mark the 50th anniversary of the rebellion at the Stonewall Inn took place throughout the city and the world.

Beyonce Happy Pride Month

Common symbols of pride are the rainbow or pride flag, the lowercase Greek letter lambda (λ), the pink triangle and the black triangle, these latter two reclaimed from use as badges of shame in Nazi concentration camps. 



MileStone Academy’s mission is to educate our students with complex learning challenges that by fostering a nurturing and positive environment that utilizes research-based practices. We empower students to realize their strengths and capabilities, by teaching self-advocacy skills and strategies for overcoming frustrations that will serve them well in their future endeavors. Learn more about our admissions process or schedule a virtual tour

Six Creative Virtual Party Tips!

Virtual Party Tips by MileStone Academy

Are you celebrating a birthday? Graduation? Or just want to hangout with your favorite people? Share laughs and smiles with a virtual party! Check out these six virtual party ideas to help get your party started!

More is merry!

Many video chat services allow dozens of participants, so your whole family, friends, and even colleagues can join in the fun!

Virtual Party Tips During COVID-19 Quarantine

Make it a movie night!

Sync up and watch a movie or television show together, then share your reviews and thoughts afterwards.

Invite guest stars.

Any face time video is better with surprise appearances from kids, pets, or an impromptu lip sync performance. 

Host a game night.

Everyone in the party can play, either virtually or the good old fashioned way with cards and a board game. Don’t forget about charades! You don’t need any supplies to play charades and it is 100% free.

Break out your photo albums.

Go down memory lane with family and friend photos. Millennial love to use cloud and social media to share photos and even videos. Contrarily, their parents most likely have physical photo albums! Dust off your albums to get a good cry, laugh, or both. 

Play dress up.

Everyone loves a good costume party! Dress up in your favorite outfits or costume and have a contest. Winner gets to do the dishes!

Share your ideas.

Do you have a virtual party idea? We would love to you hear from you. Send us an email.

Virtual Party Tips During COVID-19 Quarantine

Latest COVID-19 Resources and Updates

COVID Updates from MileStone Academy

COVID-19 Resources and Updates

As with most people working from home, my day has been consumed by video conferencing. I have learned the intricacies of using Zoom, Google Hangouts and WebEx to conduct business and to stay connected with family and friends. I must admit I really like jumping out of bed, throwing on comfortable clothes, grabbing a cup of coffee and beginning the day without fighting traffic. I do miss seeing and interacting with faculty and students and even miss the occasional eye rolling when I greet our school community each morning.

Latest COVID-19 Updates from MIleStone Academy

We are planning to open in September 2020. To that regard, we have been busy purchasing “safety” materials recommended by the CDC and we have been engaging  stakeholders for their programming recommendations, in the event that we have to adapt out program to meet new realities. We are confident we will manage these issues as we have always done through intensive collaboration and community involvement. I only hope we can continue offering dry specialized  learning experiences such as the one we created to complete this school semester – digital instruction.

Measuring Performance Activity

How do we measure success at MSA? Currently, 90% of our students attend classes on a daily basis and we attribute that accomplishment to the school-based decisions we have made to ensure success for all. Additionally, (after we selected a preferred digital platform), we allotted time and treasure towards training teachers, students and parents about digital learning and the opportunities that exist for individualization and project-based instruction when that dimension is introduced. 

Virtual Learning

Our teachers used their newly developed skills to prepare lessons for the digital platform. We decided as a group to work within a theme and create project-based assignments . Our initial activity involved exploring the City of Philadelphia, with its historical sites, fabulous eating establishments and interesting murals that depict our city’s rich beginnings and current areas of focus. The students “visited” the Reading Terminal to find the best cheese steak in town, marveled at the different types of architecture and created a travel brochure as a culminating activity. 

As they worked through their lessons, our students exuded an excitement and curiosity about their  hometown studies. I know they are looking forward to the time when their virtual tour can become a real life happening.

This is an example of how we instructed our students despite the limitations placed upon us by COVID -19. We built upon their existing skill set to make their time at home educational and life enhancing.

Next Steps

We are currently accepting applications of enrollment for the 2020-2021 school year. You may contact us to receive a copy of our application.

Want to see what a MileStone Academy looks like and how our custom-made education works? Schedule a private tour with our Admission Director. You will be able to look inside classrooms, hear from our students and staff, and feel what MileStone Academy could look like for your child. Click here to get started.

Need to re-enroll? Contact our Admission Director for more information.

Give us a call! We would love to hear from you! Our telephone number is (215) 663-1160. If we are not available when you call, please leave your name, the reason you are calling, and the best time and phone number to return your call. 

We look forward to being with you in September when we are a community once again, ready to use the skills we have already mastered to achieve even more. 

Stay Strong. Stay Safe.

Michele Hewitt-Webster

Executive Director

Enroll MileStone Academy Jenkintown Philadelphia PA

Talking to Teens About COVID-19: A Parent Resource


MileStone Academy High School Jenkintown Philadelphia PA

Coronavirus or COVID-19 pandemic has affected the entire world and the news cycle is nonstop. While we need and want education about safety and resources, it all can be overwhelming to anyone, especially our youth. It is inevitable for teens to talk among their friends and family members on laptops, social media, and mobile devices. Among these conversations, parents can assume their children are misinformed about the infectious disease. Therefore, it is vital that parents talk to their children and answer questions regarding COVID-19.

Admittedly, everyone is still learning about COVID-19, and thus, answers to questions about transmission, detection, and treatment remain amidst. In fact, the unknown, is one of the scariest things about this pandemic. MileStone Academy encourages you to focus what you do know, instead of the unknown, and educate your family and friends.

It is important to remember that children look to adults for guidance on how to react to stressful events.

Acknowledging and teaching loved one’s positive preventive measures, talking with them about their fears, and giving them a sense of control over their risk of infection can help reduce anxiety. This is also a great opportunity for adults to model for children problem-solving, flexibility, and compassion as we all work through adjusting daily schedules, balancing work and other activities, getting creative about how we spend time, processing new information from authorities, and connecting and supporting friends and family members in new ways. Here are eight tips from the National Association of School Psychologists to help you get started:

STAY CALM, LISTEN, AND OFFER REASSURANCE

Be a role model. Children will react to and follow your reactions. They learn from your example.

Be aware of how you talk about COVID-19. Your discussion about COVID-19 can increase or decrease your child’s fear. If true, remind your child that your family is healthy, and you are going to do everything within your power to keep loved ones safe and well. Carefully listen or have them draw or write out their thoughts and feelings and respond with truth and reassurance.

Explain social distancing. Children do not fully understand why parents/guardians aren’t allowing them to be with friends. Tell your child that your family is following the guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which include social distancing. Social distancing means staying away from others until the risk of contracting COVID-19 is under control. Showing older children, the “flatten the curve” charts will help them grasp the significance of social distancing. Explain that while we don’t know how long it will take to “flatten the curve” to reduce the number of those infected, we do know that this is a critical time—we must follow the guidelines of health experts to do our part.

Demonstrate deep breathing. Deep breathing is a valuable tool for calming the nervous system. Do breathing exercises with your children.

Focus on the positive. Celebrate having more time to spend as a family. Make it as fun as possible. Do family projects. Organize belongings, create masterpieces. Sing, laugh, and go outside, if possible, to connect with nature and get needed exercise. Allow older children to connect with their friends virtually.

Establish and maintain a daily routine. Keeping a regular schedule supplies a sense of control, predictability, calm, and well-being. It also helps children and other family members respect others’ need for quiet or uninterrupted time and when they can connect with friends virtually.

Identify projects that might help others. This could include: writing letters to the neighbors or others who might be stuck at home alone or to healthcare workers; sending positive messages over social media; or reading a favorite children’s book on a social media platform for younger children to hear.

Offer lots of love and affection. Sadly, handshakes and hugs need to be limited to immediate family members or friends in living your household, at least for now.  However, you can use technology to stay connected! Email, social media, text messages and good ole’ fashioned phone calls will brighten someone’s day.

MONITOR TELEVISION VIEWING AND SOCIAL MEDIA

Parents/guardians should check television, internet, and social media viewing—both for themselves and their children. Watching continual updates on COVID-19 may increase fear and anxiety. Developmentally inappropriate information, or information designed for adults, can also cause anxiety or confusion, particularly in young children.

Dispel rumors and inaccurate information. Explain to your child that many stories about COVID-19 on the internet may include rumors and inaccurate information. Older children may be accessing a great deal of information online and from friends that holds inaccuracies. Talk to your child about factual disease information.

Supply alternatives. Engage your child in games or other exciting activities instead.

TAKE TIME TO TALK

Let your children’s questions guide you. Answer their questions truthfully, but do not offer unnecessary details or facts. Do not avoid giving them the information that experts indicate as crucial to your children’s well-being. Often, children and youth do not talk about their concerns because they are confused or do not want to worry loved ones. Younger children absorb scary information in waves. They ask questions, listen, play, and then repeat the cycle. Children always feel empowered if they can control aspects of their life. A sense of control reduces fear.

BE HONEST AND ACCURATE

Correct misinformation. Children often imagine situations worse than reality; therefore, offering developmentally proper facts can reduce fears.

Explain simple safety steps. Tell your child this disease spreads between people who are in close contact with one another, when an infected person coughs or sneezes, or when one touches infected objects or surfaces.

Stay up to date on the facts. Click here for more factual information from the Center for Disease Control (CDC).

KEEP EXPLANATIONS AGE-APPROPRIATE

proper reassurances that adults are there to help keep them healthy and to take care of them if they do get sick. Give simple examples of the steps people make every day to stop germs and stay healthy, such as washing hands. Use language such as “adults are working hard to keep you safe.”

Upper elementary and early middle school children. This age group often is more vocal in asking questions about whether they indeed are safe and what will happen if COVID-19 spreads in their area. They may need help separating reality from rumor and fantasy. Discuss the efforts national, state, and community leaders are doing to prevent germs from spreading.

Upper middle and high school students. Issues can be discussed in more depth. Refer them to reliable sources of COVID-19 facts. Be honest, accurate, and factual information about the current status of COVID-19. Engage them in decision-making about family plans, scheduling, and helping with chores at home.

For all children, encourage them to verbalize their thoughts and feelings. Be a good listener!

STAY CONNECTED TO MILESTONE ACADEMY

MileStone has implemented a virtual platform to educate our students. We are now using the internet platforms Google Classroom and Hangouts. These platforms assist us in teaching the children live and assigning tasks for students to complete.

We have begun engaging MileStone students by having them answer a question of the day. In addition, we have decided to base student’s learning on a specific theme that will be the main topic of each class.

Some of the lessons, teachers have developed include places to visit, and famous places to eat just to name a few. To further enhance this topic, videos, virtual tours online, journal assignments along with face to face instruction has assisted in teaching each week’s’ topic.

With this transition to online learning, Milestone Senior student’s have not been forgotten. Individual conferences are being held with each Senior student to continue their learning. They have already been introduced to resume writing and completing job applications. In addition, they are individually working on projects that are to be completed by the end of this school year. The many hours of work that our Seniors and Educators have invested in these Senior students will continue throughout this online learning process.

In the coming weeks, the students and teachers will certainly become more familiar with these teaching platforms. The level of excitement and engagement from the students will continue to grow as we partake in this new online learning endeavor.

As the weeks pass, we will surely update you on the progress our students are making as we and they attempt to bridge the gap between the classroom and their home situation.

Click here for more resources, such as meals, or technology, such as a laptop or tablet.

Contact your child’s teacher at MileStone Academy to learn more about our learning resources, concerns about coping, and keeping up with assignments or activities.

KNOW THE SYMPTOMS OF COVID-19

According to the CDC, symptoms of fever, cough, and/or shortness of breath appear within 14 days after being exposed to the disease.

For some people, the symptoms are like having a cold; for others, they are more severe or even life threatening. 

MODEL BASIC HYGIENE AND HEALTHY LIFESTYLE PRACTICES

Practice daily good hygiene. Encourage your child to practice these simple steps to prevent spreading the virus.

Wash your hands multiple times a day for 20 seconds. Singing “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” or “Happy Birthday” twice is about 20 seconds.

Compliment your children when they use a Kleenex or sneeze or cough into the bend of their elbow. Teach them the importance of throwing away used tissues immediately after sneezing or coughing.

Foster a sense of control. Offering guidance on what your child/children can do to prevent infection offers them a greater sense of control, which reduces anxiety.

Build the immune system. Encourage your child to eat a balanced diet, get enough sleep, and exercise regularly; this will help them develop a robust immune system to fight off illness.

BE AWARE OF YOUR CHILDREN’S MENTAL HEALTH

Most children will manage well with the support of parents and other family members, even if showing signs of anxiety or concerns, such as difficulty sleeping or concentrating. Other children, however, may have risk factors for more intense reactions, including severe anxiety, depression, and suicidal behaviors. Risk factors can include a pre-existing mental health problem, prior traumatic experiences or abuse, family instability, or the loss of a loved one. Parents and caregivers should contact a professional if children show significant changes in behavior or any of the following symptoms for more than 2 weeks.

Preschoolers—thumb sucking, bedwetting, clinging to parents, sleep disturbances, loss of appetite, fear of the dark, regression in behavior, and withdrawal.

Elementary school children—irritability, aggressiveness, clinginess, nightmares, school avoidance, poor concentration, and withdrawal from activities and friends.

Adolescents—sleeping and eating disturbances, agitation, increase in conflicts, physical complaints, delinquent behavior, and poor concentration.

We would love to hear from you! Questions regarding assignments, enrollment, and tech support can be addressed by calling (215) 663-1160 or send us an email.
 
Thank you for your continued support and please, stay safe.

MileStone Academy High School Jenkintown Philadelphia PA

COVID-19 Updates and Resources


MileStone Academy High School Jenkintown Philadelphia PA

MileStone Academy uses this website as the main platform for communicating key updates to our community, parents, partners, staff, and students. If you would like to receive direct notifications, please click here to subscribe to our mailing list.

MileStone Academy is actively following the corona-virus pandemic closely and takes the health and safety of its students, staff, and neighbors seriously. We follow guidance from the CDC (cdc.gov), while recognizing that may be over-ridden or changed by the school district, state, or local authorities.

Keeping our community connected and working as normal as possible is serious right now. With this in mind, we have put together the following frequently asked questions regarding access to healthy meals, teaching and learning, facilities maintenance and other topics. Each answer was provided by the school districts or the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Are healthy meals available for students while schools are closed due to COVID-19?

Yes. The School District of Jenkintown and Philadelphia, several charter schools, and the Housing Authority are coordinating with the local offices of children and families to provide free, nutritious grab-and-go meals for all Philadelphia children and youth at 100+ locations throughout the Greater Philadelphia region. We strongly encourage families to bring a backpack, pushcart, or reusable bag with them to carry the items. Click here to review distribution locations and hours of operation.

Are meals available for people who are not a student?

Yes, call the WhyHunger hotline at 1-800-5HUNGRY or text your ZIP code to 1-800-548-6479 to receive a list of nearby food pantries. You may also visit the Community Resource Connects website to find food and other resources in your area.

Who qualifies for free healthy meals?

Everyone is eligible for free meals and no ID is required.

Does the child have to be physically present at the meal site to receive meals?

No, the children do not have to be present at the meal distribution sites. Family members can pick up enough meals for all children in their household.

How is the food being served with safety in mind?

Each of the grab-and-go sites are staffed by food services employees who are trained in proper hygiene and cleanliness practices. In addition to following the social distancing and hygiene recommendations from health experts including covering your mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing and regular hand washing, they are also required to wear appropriate food service attire including hairnets and gloves. All food serving stations and surfaces are regularly sanitized using a disinfectant solution that is proven effective against coronavirus, and sanitizing wipes and gel is used in all packing and distribution areas.

How can I receive creditable updates from the City of Philadelphia?

For COVID-19 updates from the City, please visit phila.gov/COVID-19 or text 888-777 and enter message “COVIDPHL” to receive regular updates.

How can I donate food or money?

We ask that all food and monetary donations for food be directed to MileStone Academy. Click here to get started.

What can I do if I missed the opportunity to pick up a Chromebook for my K-12 student?

Unfortunately, individual schools are no longer distributing Chromebooks. If you still need one, there are two centers still working during specific days and times:

  1. SDP Administration Building – 440 N. Broad St. Philadelphia, PA 19130
  2. Fitzpatrick Elementary School Annex (behind Fitzpatrick Elementary School) – 4101 Chalfont Rd. Philadelphia, PA 19154

Parents or guardians must bring a form(s) of identification to help us in verifying their student’s identity. High School students should bring their official School District ID badge. More info is HERE.

What are the options for internet access?

In addition to providing Chromebooks, the District continues to work with the City to create a comprehensive list of low-cost Internet options or access to free WiFi mobile hotspots across the City. The list, and more information about getting connected can be found HERE.

For those families who live in areas of the city where Xfinity WiFi is available, Comcast is making Xfinity WiFi free for everyone – including non-Xfinity Internet subscribers. For a map of Xfinity WiFi hotspots, visit www.xfinity.com/wifi.

How will you grade students who do NOT participate in online lessons/work? Do they receive a failing grade?

We want all students to continue to learn and grow while school buildings are closed. It’s important for all students to participate in MileStone Academy’s virtual learning plan, so they can continue to learn and enhance their skills. Regular participation and completion of coursework is required to receive grades and class credit, just as it would be if schools were open. If you are having challenges with having your child’s participation, please contact your child’s guidance counselor or teachers for support. More details will be shared when available.

When will the school year end?

Per the Department of Public Education, there will be no change to the current calendar for the school year. The last day of the 2019-2020 school year is June 12th.

Will students have the option of repeating the grades they are in?

We will handle requests on a case-by-case basis as we have done historically. Our plan is to minimize the need for students to repeat their grade. Our virtual learning plan for May and June is aligned to what would have been covered during the 4th report period. As we plan instruction for the 2020-2021 year, we will also reinforce instructional skills and concepts from the current report period.

How do I talk to my children about COVID-19, especially when they are showing signs of stress?

With so much information being shared about coronavirus, it is easy to feel overwhelmed. These and other resources are available in the Resources section of the School District website at https://www.philasd.org/coronavirus to help you talk to your child about coronavirus and manage any stress you or your loved ones may be feeling.

Thank you for your flexibility and patience as we take time to work things through thoughtfully and with the best interests of all children in mind. This website is updated regularly, so visit often for the latest information or subscribe to our mailing list. Please take care and stay safe!

Conquering COVID-19 with MileStone Academy

MileStone Academy’s Response to COVID-19

During these stressful and unusual times, the teachers and administrators at MSA have faithfully continued to support the students and their parents through an active online Instructional Program.

The prescribed activities, which ultimately address curricular goals, are based upon student interest, computer skill, creativity and entertainment. Each of our teachers has taken responsibility for developing and implementing learning “events” that their students would consider meaningful and a good use of their time and energy. 

Continuing Classroom Activities

MileStone has implemented a virtual platform to educate our students. We are now using the internet platforms Google Classroom and Hangouts. These platforms assist us in teaching the children live and assigning tasks for students to complete.

We have begun engaging MileStone students by having them answer a question of the day. In addition, we have decided to base student’s learning on a specific theme that will be the main topic of each class. This week we have chosen to designate the topic of Travel in Philadelphia for all subjects. Some of the lessons, teachers have developed include places to visit, and famous places to eat just to name a few. To further enhance this topic, videos, virtual tours online, journal assignments along with face to face instruction has assisted in teaching this week’s’ topic.

Class of 2020 Graduation

With this transition to online learning, Senior student’s have not been forgotten. Individual conferences will be held with each Senior student to continue their learning. They have already been introduced to resume writing and completing job applications. In addition, they are individually working on projects that are to be completed by the end of this school year. The many hours of work that our Seniors and Educators have invested in these Senior students will continue throughout this online learning process.

Next Steps

In the coming weeks, the students and teachers will certainly become more familiar with these teaching platforms. The level of excitement and engagement from the students will continue to grow as we partake in this new online learning endeavor.

As the weeks pass, we will surely update you on the progress our students are making as we and they attempt to bridge the gap between the classroom and their home situation.

We would love to hear from you! Questions regarding assignments, enrollment, and tech support can be addressed by calling (215) 663-1160 or send us an email.
 
Thank you for your continued support and please, stay safe.
 

Sincerely,

Carol Wolf
Director of Admissions
MileStone Academy

How to Conquer Cyber Classes

History and Growth of Distance Learning

For some, the thought of taking an online class is scary — regardless of age. It is the newest development in distance education that began in the mid-1990s with the spread of the internet and the World Wide Web. Distance learning began as early as the mid-19th century while developing the United States Postal Service. The notion of reliable, long-distance correspondence led to the growth and operation of what were called commercial ‘correspondence colleges’, where instructional letters would be distributed through the postal service between students and professors.

According to a 2015 report from the International Association for K–12 Online Learning, more than 1.3 million students participate in cyber education courses at the high school level. As of 2013-2014, 29 states have full-time, statewide online schools…with more in progress.

Since the beginning of March 2020, United States traditional brick and mortar schools closed due to the Coronavirus-19 (COVID-19) pandemic – in hopes to decrease the spread of the virus. Over the years, we loved brick and mortar schools because it provides students a traditional community environment with ample social opportunities. Students also get regular face-to-face contact with teachers and school staff, making it easier to get help outside of class. Students also more easily learn about extracurricular sports and academic opportunities attending a physical school. As a result of COVID-19 school closures, educators and students must enter the cyber classroom.

Researchers are still analyzing the effectiveness of cyber classrooms. Therefore, MileStone Academy educators continuously research the innovation, tools, and advantages and disadvantages of cyber classrooms.

Advantages of Cyber Classrooms

Depending on the size of the school and its classroom sizes, virtual education can be very cost effective. It also opens a wide variety of options for the student, teacher and parent. For instance, rather than hiring school-specific teachers, a teacher may supply instruction to students taking the same class in multiple districts. Students also have greater access to advanced placement classes. Additionally, students who struggle in the traditional classroom due to the unavoidable and unpredictable disturbances, usually excel in cyber classrooms. Moreover, of the online high schools require their teachers to be accessible 24 hours a day. This is a advantage facility for the online high school students. They do not have to keep their doubts pending till the end of the week or the month due to lack of the teacher’s availability. With such a robust faculty support, the students get to experience wholesome learning.

Disadvantages of Cyber Classrooms

While there is an abundance of reasons why cyber classrooms are effective, we must discuss the disadvantages in comparison to the traditional classroom. For outgoing students, it is difficult to readjust to the lack of social interaction during our nations quarantine and self-isolation. Also, depending on the school’s budget, the students loose face time with their instructors. On average, teachers at minimum, interact with students through email and/or virtual chat. Even though teachers are supposed to be accessible 24 hours a day, students must patiently wait for an electronic response versus’ raising their hand in the classroom or staying after to ask the teacher for extra help.

Furthermore, cyber student progress and assessment is not as effective as those conducted by a teacher in a classroom setting. A teacher can express multiple assessments such as observational notes, group assessments, individual assessments, portfolios, written work, etc. In cyber school, there is only really one way to assess a student — by the work they submit online. Of course, students still have access to books and notes; however, a complete viewpoint of the student’s overall progress are not very accurate.

Admittedly, trying to do school assignments on the computer, can easily be distracting by countless things such as: house duties, cell phones, online games and media sites and so much more. The traditional school environment lessens the distractions

Staying Focused

How can students stay focused while taking and studying for an online class? Here are six pointers to help students stay engaged in cyber learning:

  • Be positive. Do not be afraid. Schools supply easily accessible student technical help or support for any questions or troubleshooting. Blooming through a change is tough but possible with a cheerful outlook. Positivity about online learning is the best gift you can give yourself. Everything you learn, whether it is your most or least favorite subject, will help you grow as a person.
  • Get organized. A tidy learning space to do schoolwork will put you ahead of the game. Create or rename electronic folders for each class on your computer and in your email program. If your virtual school provides an online planner, use it to schedule your personal appointments and create your “to do” list, with items ranked in order of urgency.
  • Establish a dedicated study area. Do not double your living room, kitchen or dining room table as a classroom. Avoid common household distractions by setting up a quiet workspace. An established work area is a big step in getting and staying focused for an online class.
  • Eliminate distractions. Turn off TVs and radios. Make sure your class work is the only item pulled up on your web browser. That is right, no Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter or YouTube! Just your online class work!
  • Find and use your resources. Of course, students have textbooks, the library, online instructional tools, and trusted websites. But do not forget the many human resources like parents, siblings, neighbors, tutors, teachers, school counselors, and principals are great sources of information. A good rule of thumb is if you have been looking for an answer for more than five minutes, reach out for help!
  • Reward yourself. Rewarding yourself is a MileStone Academy favorite. Cyber classes are a real chore, so break up your study session to avoid burn out. For instance, you might study for 30 minutes, then take a five-minute Twitter break. Or study for an hour and reward yourself with a short walk around your neighborhood or quick phone call to a close friend.

Cyber classes are challenging, which is why it is important students take the necessary measures to ensure you stay disciplined and motivated while taking them. Following the above tips will help students get the most out of their education. Lastly, young students become independent learners and gain valuable time-management skills that will serve them well, in secondary education, and in the workforce!

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COVID-19 Update

MileStone Academy physical location will remain closed for the rest of the school year due to COVID-19. As a result, we have switched to live online one-to-one teaching. We are still enrolling new students for full time, part time, summer, fall, and tutoring. Complete the request information form and we will schedule a virtual introduction to MileStone Academy. Learn more about MileStone’s plan of action and messages about COVID-19. Click Here.

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