Category Archives: Breaking News

Renaissance Campaign

Known for its long tradition, its one-of-a-kind culture and its distinguished alumni, Staten Island Academy has been a staple in our community for almost a century and a half. When Mr. Albert Cauz became the Head of School seven years ago, he had a new vision for the school, one that was innovative and ingenious. He got to work quickly and assembled a committee who formulated a five-year plan with three crucial objectives. First, a new academic building was to be built to sustain the fast-moving educational climate around us. Next, an increased endowment for financial aid was to be established to make it possible for any qualified student to get equal access to our integrated curriculum. Lastly, adding more specialists to our growing Patrick Academic Resource Center (PARC) rounds out the Renaissance Campaign. These three tenets would emphasize SIA’s “school metric.” Standardized test scores tend to track income and background of the school students are coming from. Mr. Cauz believes the best metric for quality of an independent school is relationships; relationships among students and relationships between students and teachers.

The Renaissance Campaign is literally a “rebirth” of core educational values and skills fine-tuned to modern times. Mr. Cauz wants the campaign to emphasize three different ideals that he believes makes a great student and a successful adult. The first is discrete skills, the ones that aren’t outwardly apparent. He wants critical thinking and intellectual curiosity to become part of the school, for students to grow into natural problem solvers, ready for everything that the world has to throw at them when they graduate from SIA. Next, he wants to emphasize the importance of mastery and show students that grades are not everything and knowledge is key. Lastly, it is important for students to realize that failure is temporary and can be prevented in the future. The central academic building will put emphasis on those three important principles.

One possible conceptual design of the project in the Renaissance Campaign.

Inside the building will be eight new classrooms, one flexible space and several learning hubs. The purpose of the new building is to create comfortable spaces and instill confidence in students to push limits and set high standards. The learning hubs will be in the center of four of the new classrooms and self-directed and will feature writable walls and private study rooms. Mr. Cauz wants to integrate all different curriculums and have resources at arms reach. Besides the new building, there will be a new change to the curriculum. For juniors and seniors, there will be an optional year-long senior signature project which will be similar to a college thesis. This will prepare those who are ready for intensive research and passion-driven projects that they will encounter at the next level of education.

The goal is simple. Strong academics. Strong admissions. Strong financial aid. Mr. Cauz and the Board want to “create an energy where we are going to be considered one of the top independent schools in New York City.” So far, we have reached over 60% of our ten million dollar goal. The intention is to break ground on the project by summer of 2020.

While I won’t be here to experience the place I love flourish and thrive, I know that the Lower and Middle Schoolers are lucky to be in a place that cares about their education, their relationships and their happiness. I can’t wait to watch SIA alumni run the world one day, knowing it all started at the little school up on the hill. Below is one possible conceptual design of the project in the Renaissance Campaign.

Maxine V. ’19

It’s Time to Go

By: Andrew B.

Lately, it seems like no can arrive to class on time. Whether it is new teachers still learning the system, seasoned teachers getting lost in their lesson plans, or students simply socializing in the halls, lateness has gotten worse. I personally have been late to classes, breaks, free periods, and even lunch! When kept past dismissal, it not only affects kids, but the parents who pick them up, bus drivers, coaches running a practice, or the fall drama rehearsals. In almost all of my classes a teacher has, on at least one occasion, questioned the lateness or the whereabouts of a student. The student’s reply is usually the same: “Oh, I was in XYZ class and Mr. or Ms. A kept us late.” Teachers will normally encourage students to speak up if the teacher is keeping students past the dismissal time, but most students are uncomfortable with the notion of informing a teacher infused in their own lesson that class is over.

Although some of the time lateness to a class is due to a teacher being stranded in an ancient civilization, forming a creative story, lost in a song, fighting through an epic historical battle, or in the midst of a science experiment, several occasions occur when it is indeed a student’s fault. Students’ socialization causes lateness majorly during the period after break and the period after lunch. They’re hyped up on sugar, in a club meeting, playing basketball, or simply losing track of time while making memories with friends. I can honestly say that I have arrived to a class late, or with just seconds to spare, due to my own chattiness. It’s easy to lose track of time when talking to a friend, just as easy as it is for a teacher to lose track of time while teaching what they love.

Clocks

Despite lateness due to a teacher’s enthusiasm or a student’s social life, we have a solution to this problem and it goes “BRRRRRRINGGGGGGG!” A bell would not only take the pressure off students reminding a teacher when class is over, but it would also prompt students when they have to put the conversation on hold and pick up their books. It would put an end to students arguing that class ends at 10:25, not 10:30 so they gain an extra five minutes during break, and it would keep the flow of our seven period days running smoothly. Let’s face it no one wants to be late to their AP classes or miss the beginning of a class. No one wants to be reprimanded by a teacher. No one wants to be locked out of Lab B by Mr. Ahern! The schedule has allotted times frames for each class for a reason and a bell would help us stay on that schedule. Although no one wants to hear a bell go off at 8:30 in the morning, it’s worth the endurance if it means never being late to a class again.