Welcome from the Principal
Welcome from the Principal: Chris Bennett (VAMS)
To all our Voyager families:
Thank you for choosing Voyager Academy and welcome to the 2013-14 school year!
At Voyager, we recognize the important role parents/guardians play in supporting student success. Strengthening this partnership is an important goal for 2013-14 school year. Educators and parents have always known that student success depends on communication between home and school that is consistent and informative, and most importantly, is a two way street. Parents have observed their child's development over many years and understand them best. Teachers understand a child's academic level, learning needs, and social skills. Clearly, a combination of both perspectives will maximize a student's overall success at school.
As the faculty works to make Voyager a first rate project based learning school, they are counting on support from home. Project based learning is one of the most effective educational practices, one that many school across the nation have adopted. Projects support common core standards, but go beyond simple mastery of knowledge and skills. Each project begins with a driving question that focuses student research, critical thinking, and creativity. Because projects involve collaboration, use of technology, and a public presentation, they are done 100% at school, often in Core Connections, but also during academic classes. While there is no homework for projects, there is substantial homework in academic subjects in order to give students enough practice to master required curriculum. Parents can help with homework by ensuring that students have a specific time to focus on homework, an appropriate space without distractions, and effective study habits.
Beyond a student's academic development, Voyager actively teaches social skills through its Responsive Classroom program. Students begin the day in a morning meeting. During this time, students may talk about friendship, honesty, citizenship and other affective issues. Often these issues are approached through an activity or game. This year, you will see a newly developed "Counselor's Corner" on the Voyager website. The "Counselor's Corner" will give parents timely information and practical suggestions for supporting students as they progress from 4th to 8th grade.
Parents also play a critical role in creating a safe, positive, and enjoyable school climate. We are delighted when parents help out at lunch time, make school celebrations special, attend project presentations, cheer at athletic events, contribute to a teacher's supply "wish list," and much more. We also hope that a reinvigorated PTA will help Voyager by working with the staff to develop school improvement projects and by taking a leadership role in fund raising.
We begin this year with energy, optimism, and confidence that our strong home/school partnership will enable each student to reach his/her goals.