Happy Friday everyone,

I hope you and your families have some fun plans for the long weekend.

I want to thank the IA parents who met with me over this last week for the focus groups. It was enlightening to hear from a parent’s perspective. I was happy to hear that the general consensus is that IA is moving in the right direction, but I was also happy to hear where the pain points are for parents and get some ideas about how we can address those. With that said, getting the information from parents from these meetings is pointless if they aren’t backed up with action. Over the next few weeks the leadership team and I will be meeting to discuss specific and timely action steps to help remedy some of the problems we have heard. We’ll work with the SGC to finalize these and share them with the community.

I’d also like to mention we have another “Value-Added Flexibility” that is open for public comment. This waiver would help us start a Bridge program for incoming 9th graders where they will learn a lot about who we are as IA, build relationships with each other, and get direct instruction around time-management, executive functioning, self-advocacy, and other concrete knowledge that will help new students navigate IA’s unique school environment. The request centers around embedding the Health course that is required for graduation into the bridge program, so that students, who complete the Bridge Program and pass Intro to Healthcare (embedded in GT Block), will receive their health credit. More details can be found in the actual proposal. We encourage you to add your comments for this request if you feel strongly about it either way.  

Finally, I wanted to remind everyone about three upcoming events. I’m happy about two, but I’m not too sure about the last one.

The first is Lillie Pozatek’s community meeting we are hosting next Wednesday, January 18 from 10am to 11:30am. We are fortunate to be able to host her first community meeting, and I would love for IA to join her for this event.

The second is our Summit on Human Trafficking, that will be help next Saturday from 9:00am to noon with invited guest Marty Kemp. Our Interact Club has done great work in this area with the Alpharetta Rotary Club. This topic is never easy to talk about, but it is an important issue that we should all know more about.

The one I’m not so sure about is my commitment to join the Alpharetta Chamber of Commerce, one of our Foundations consistent partners, for the Polar Bear Plunge. The IA Foundation is gaining momentum and is directly supporting our unique programs by providing additional funds for advanced training, equipment, and materials for our students and teachers. As we work hard to ramp up IA’s programming, your support will pay dividends throughout the years. It would mean a lot to me if you could help me meet my fundraising goal of $1000. I have to say, I’m not a huge fan of winter swims, but it’s worth it if it means supporting our students and teachers. As much as I wish they had set this challenge for July 4, I’d like to thank the Chamber for their continued support.

Please make sure your students do something fun and not school-related this weekend!

Scott Kent

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