Neal Math & Science Academy Prepares for Earth Day Celebration
Saturday, April 22nd from 1:30-3:30pm
Neal Math & Science Academy Greenhouse
NMSA students warm the lives of over a hundred people!
Sixth grade students in Ms. Xavier’s and Ms. Welner’s EPIC (Extended, Personal, Instructional and Communal) work class, made over 160 scarves to donate to PADS of Lake County. The students took the “communal” work portion of EPIC to a new level this holiday season as they took on a project to warm the lives of other people.
Ms. Xavier and Ms. Welner, NMSA 6th grade Science teachers, helped organize the students’ idea into reality. They worked together with the students and made a connection with PADS of Lake County through the assistance of Ms. Westerberg and Ms. Jones, Long-Term Subs with NMSA and PADS volunteers, to donate the scarves.
Thank you NMSA students for making a difference in our community!
Mitsuwa Japanese Marketplace
On Saturday November 19th, 35 students, eight teachers, and three teacher family members, took a field trip to Mitsuwa Japanese Marketplace for lunch and shopping. The students and teachers were excited to spend time with each other outside of school while experiencing authentic Japanese cuisine and literature. The students favorite shop was Kinokuniya bookstore, where many shopped the manga for the newest editions of pokemon, naruto and others. Pusheen & Hello Kitty items were also very popular. Some students purchased special tools for drawing manga and anime style art. All students (and staff) were excited about the interesting school supplies like multi-color-pens, animal-shaped erasers, sketchbooks, and cute pencils.
Students also enjoyed learning to use (or teaching their peers to use) chopsticks while eating ramen noodle dishes, tempura meat and vegetables, and sushi. Tropical Flavor Boba tea was the big hit of the day, as were the fun-shaped pastries and green-tea ice cream.
A group of seventh grade students were excited to purchase Pocky biscuit sticks in the grocery store. Ms. Robinson was thrilled about the fancy Oreo cookies she found and the turtle-shaped pastries she purchased for her children.
Our students and staff had a wonder-full afternoon immersed in Japanese culture and cuisine. Mitsuwa Japanese Marketplace is a destination many students said they would love to visit again!
Thankfulness and Collaboration at NMSA
On Tuesday, November 29, close to 150 guests gathered for the Third Annual Thanks4Giving Dinner! This fun and informative event was hosted by the Neal Math & Science Academy PTO and supported by North Chicago Community Partners and volunteers from Southwire. The evening’s festivities began with a presentation by Principal Campos about student assessment data and the need for increased collaboration between parents and teachers in order to support academic achievement. Following the presentation, families shared a pot luck dinner which featured an overabundance of tasty desserts, thanks to the seventh grade families. Thank you to everyone who contributed food or funds for the dinner and to Ms. Lopez and Ms. Porcayo for planning and executing such a lovely evening for NMSA families and teachers!
Fall Wellness Fair
On Thursday, November 17 North Chicago Community Partners (NCCP) hosted its annual Fall Wellness Fair at North Chicago Community High School (NCCHS), open to families from both the NCCHS and Neal Math and Science Academy Communities. This year’s theme: Feeding the Mind and Body! The event came together through a collaboration between AbbVie, NCCP, Northern Illinois Food Bank, community partners and volunteers and each school community. In total, over 252 guests came out to enjoy the event and engage in fun-filled health and wellness activities, interact with and learn from community based health and wellness-related partners and shop the plentifully stocked grocery store for free.
Throughout the evening, attendees also had the opportunity to acquire fun facts about the body and mind; learn how to properly wash their hands, and brush and floss their teeth and engage in a 30-second physical activity family challenge with Navy sailors. Partners that guests had the opportunity to visit include, College of Lake County, North Chicago Community High School Health Care Career Pathways, North Chicago Fire Department, Lake County Health Department and Mano a Mano. At the end of the event, one lucky raffle winner left with a $25 Visa Gift Card.
We’re Having a Garden Party – Lettuce Turnip the Beet!
We are growing so much in our Greenhouse and garden! We’ve had so much fun caring for and nurturing our little seedlings. Watching them grow from seeds to plants was an amazing experience!
NMSA – Working on becoming an Earth Flag school!
Throughout the 2016 school year NMSA students have collected the school’s paper, metal, plastic, and cardboard to be taken to be recycled. Student efforts have led to an average of 150 pounds of garbage kept out of the landfill every week. Partnering with SWALCO, NMSA is working on becoming an Earth Flag school dedicated to practicing responsible environmental behaviors. A handful of students took initiative and got the program running. Alex Arteaga, DeAndre Anderson, Alannie Bolorin, Jakaria Coston, Sonia Dubose, Carlos Gomez, Linda Pitts, and Iyunniey Reed found resources, developed a plan to collect the school’s recyclable materials, made presentations to different classes, and currently run the program.
When asked about the experience Carlos said, “Even though at times it was difficult to empty out the recycling boxes because of testing and other things we still managed to fit some time to help with emptying out the boxes. Recycling is very adequate and fun overall. Many people helped with this program and you make new friends within the grade levels as well.” According to Steven Uribe “I like the program because I get to help out and it helps us recycle things so we can reuse them. The main thing I liked was getting to recycle and meeting new kids from different grade levels and helping other teachers from 6th and 7th grade.”
There is more spirit and love here than I have seen at any other school…
As I was graduating college, I was told that I would be lucky to find a full-time teaching position because of the sheer volume of new teachers entering the field. That memory hung over my head day in and day out as I was filling out applications. It was a hard time for me. I had several interviews, but no school district seemed to want a fresh out of college 23 year old without a year of teaching under their belt. It didn’t make sense to me that I was expected to be as qualified as a teacher who already had 1-2 years of experience. How was I supposed to grow as an educator when all I was able to do was move from classroom to classroom substituting? I was starting to lose hope. Summer was coming to a close and I was already looking online for non-teaching jobs that I could apply for with my degree.
Two weeks before the end of summer, a friend put in contact with Maddie Tebon. She was kind enough to suggest me to the interview staff, and to this day I am very grateful for that. From the minute I walked in for my interview, I could tell this school had a genuine staff. I was confident, and walked away telling myself that I knocked that interview out of the park. I received a call the next day with the job offer.
It is now the 4th quarter of the school year, and even now it is hard for me to put into words how much I love this school, the staff, and the students. There is more spirit and love here than I have seen at any other school. It almost feels unreal, but that’s what the idea of family is all about. If I’m having a rough day, there is always a friend to talk to and pull me back in the game. If I’m having an awesome day, there is always a place to share those successes. I can’t imagine being anywhere else. I don’t want to be. This family is too precious and I thank each and every staff member for being what makes this environment so great.