2020 Welcome Letter

  • August 2020 (Ver en Espanol)

    Greetings from Columbia Academy,

    The start of school is coming soon! We will be in Phase Two Hybrid which means students will be starting the year in our new and improved distance learning called Heights from Home. Here is our Ready for CA Checklist to help you make sure your child is all set for the first day of Heights to Home on September 8th. 

    Ready for CA Checklist

    1. Complete these three important forms right away—(see CA Weekly Principal Update emails for quick links to each – if you did not receive the email, please email Sarah Durst at dursts@colheights.k12.mn.us)
    1. Get your child’s class schedule

    Your child’s schedule has been posted to ParentVUE. If you don’t have a ParentVUE account, please contact Sarah Durst at dursts@colheights.k12.mn.us or call 763-528-4701 to create one. Questions or concerns regarding schedules should also be sent to Sarah.

    1. Collect your child’s computer and other school supplies

    You can pick up your child’s computer and a bag with other school supplies on the following dates in the parking lot between Columbia Academy and Valley View. Please stay in your car and wear a mask. Make sure you complete the Technology Agreement today so we can have your child's computer ready for you. The Technology Agreement (see above) must be completed before you can receive your child’s computer.

    • 6th grade: Tuesday, Sept. 1 from 4:00 – 6:00
    • 7th and 8th grade: Wednesday, Sept. 2 from 2:00 – 6:00

    (If these times do not work for you, please contact us. It is important that all students have their computer before the first day of school.)

    1. Attend your child’s online Open House

    In order to be safe, we will have online Open House through your child’s STAR (advisory) teacher on Thursday, Sept. 3 from 5:00 – 6:00. You will receive an invitation from your child’s STAR teacher on the afternoon of August 31 with the ZOOM link to the meeting. This meeting will be a chance for you and your child to hear much more about the upcoming school year including how to bel prepared for the first day of class.                      

    1. Make sure your child begins school on September 8, 2020

    School begins on Tuesday, September 8, 2020, at 8:30 am. Make sure your child is ready to go--attendance matters! The best way for your child to grow this year is to be in class every day on time and ready to learn even if it is at home. Our daily schedule that we will follow for online learning through Heights to Home is below:

     

    GOLD DAY 1

    BLUE DAY 2

    8:30 - 8:50

    STAR (Advisory)

    STAR (Advisory)

    8:50 - 9:00

    Transition

    Transition

    9:00 - 10:00 

     First Period

    First Period

    10:00 - 10:10

    Transition

    Transition

    10:10 - 11:10

    Second Period

    Second Period

    11:10 - 11:55

    Lunch

    Lunch

    11:55 - 1:05

     

    Hylander Time

    (Student support time)

     

    Hylander Time

    (Student support time)

    1:05 - 2:05

    Third Period

    Third Period

    2:05 - 2:15

    Transition

    Transition

    2:15 - 3:15

    Fourth Period

    Fourth Period

    Based on feedback from students, parents, and teachers, adjustments have been made to our normal schedule. We have decreased the length of each of our classes to one hour and increased transition and lunch times to help students maintain focus throughout the day. There is also time in the middle of the school-day for students to get individual help from their teacher. We are calling this Hylander Time. As you can see in the sample schedule above, we will continue to have an every other day schedule in which students complete all of their classes over the space of two days rather than one.

    Students will use ZOOM and Schoology as their two primary online tools for learning in our Phase 2 Hybrid model. We will spend time during the first two weeks of school teaching our students how to get the most out of both. 

    We welcome your thoughts as we work together to support your child. There is much that is new this year and we appreciate your patience as we work to help all students learn while staying safe. Please be in touch!

    All the best,
    Principal Berkas

Columbia Academy Leadership

  • hide Columbia Academy consists of a community of learners where every student knows they belong and each student helps to create a culture of academics. Our school is serious about academics including the arts; we like to say we have our heads in academics and our hearts in the arts! With strong core academics and vibrant performing and visual arts programs, we are part of the Columbia Heights Public Schools mission to provide worlds of opportunity for all students.

    The middle years are an amazing time of development for our children. Adolescent brains grow rapidly just as students are changing quickly in their physical appearance and their sense of independence. We know it is essential that we work to support the whole child in middle school with the many social/emotional, physical, and intellectual changes that occur at this age. We stress three things as we provide this support to all students: First, that every child belongs to our Columbia Academy team; Second, that together we can RISE UP by paying attention to our core values of respect, integrity, strength, excellence, understanding and pride; Third, that our school will be defined as having a strong culture of academics where we believe in ourselves and the power of persistent effort to learn.

    Columbia Academy encourages students to participate in our after school activities including our excellent theater and robotics programs open to all grade levels. Grades 7 and 8 have many athletic activities our students can join throughout the school year. After school academic services are also available for students through Targeted Services. Leadership opportunities are available for all grades in Student Council and for 8th graders through the Where Everyone Belongs (WEB) program that helps welcome new students to our school.

    Columbia Academy has high expectations for academics and behavior because we know our students have the capacity to do great things. We believe in our students and help our students learn to believe in themselves as they develop skills that will prepare them for success in high school, college, and career. We are Columbia Academy and together we RISE UP!