January 19, 2016, 8:43am By Amy Bounds, Staff Writer, Times-Call
Five Altona Middle School students recently won best of state and best in the region for middle schoolers for their idea for a writing skills app.
The students — eighth-grader Carolyn Qiu and seventh-graders Rachel Su, Advika Jayanti, Jeffrey Hew and Sterling Gardner — won the awards in the Verizon Innovative App Challenge for their "Diction Defender" app concept. The challenge is open to middle and high school students.
A group of Altona students were recently awarded Best in State and Best in the Region in the Verizon Innovative App Challenge for their app concept, Diction Defender. Diction Defender is an app designed to help students and adults improve their writing skills while having fun in a game environment. This achievement is a direct result of a new emphasis on computer science that was brought into the school this year.
A team of 7th and 8th graders (see below) from Altona Middle School just won $5,000 in the Verizon Innovative App Challenge for creating the best app concept of all middle schools in the state of Colorado!
In November, our teachers were asked to spend time in each other's classrooms to observe and learn. Each teacher observed multiple teachers from like and unlike disciplines. Some of our teachers even chose to go outside of Altona and learn from educators from other schools. Our staff reflected together and had some amazing takeaways from this opportunity.
I've been reading a book by George Couros called "The Innovator's Mindset." It has really helped stimulate and challenge my thinking on how to move forward with shaping a shared vision for Altona. He discusses 8 Characteristics of the Innovator's Mindset. The first characteristic he discusses is empathy. As educators, we strive to provide the best possible learning experience for our students.
St. Vrain Valley District students today are a tech-savvy generation who know their way around apps and mobile devices. But SVVSD educators are ensuring that students have a strong foundation in computer science beyond the touchscreen, covering areas like innovation, problem-solving and critical-thinking skills, and what it means to be a good digital citizen.
Altona will be hosting our annual fall social, themed "Science Fiction Universe," on Friday, November 13th, 2015 from 4-6 pm. Cost for the dance is $5 and 20% of all proceeds will be donated to the Community Food Share. Mark your calendars and we hope to see you there!
We will be holding our annual Open House and Parent Update night on Thursday, November 19th, from 6-7:30pm. This is both an opportunity for parents and students interested in enrolling at Altona to gather information about our school and programs, as well as for our current parents to hear more information about our recent successes, ongoing developments with Altona's instructional programming, and strategies to enhance learning and increase academic achievement.