APS Community Connection

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October 27, 2016

In this issue. . .

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Elkhart Teacher Earns Prestigious Milken Educator Award

ch-elkhart-jennie-schmaltz-71-copyElkhart Elementary School third-grade teacher and teacher partner Jennie Schmaltz recently attended what she thought was going to be an ordinary school assembly, but boy was she wrong! She not only left the assembly with a heart full of gratitude, but with a pocket full of money — $25,000, that is!

The Milken Family Foundation organized the surprise event to honor Schmaltz with the prestigious Milken Educator Award for her compassion, dedication and belief that every child can succeed. The awards, granted to only 35 teachers nationally this year, were revered by Teacher magazine as the "Oscars of Education.” Schmaltz will join a team of more than 2,700 distinguished educators and enjoy powerful professional development opportunities throughout her career.

Schamltz credits her students and colleagues for her success, stating, “You achieve greatness when you surround yourself with greatness.” Milken Family Foundation Chairman and Co-Founder Lowell Milken presented Schmaltz with the check and encouraged her to use it for personal fulfillment as educators live a life of sacrifice.

Aurora Public Schools is extremely proud of Schmaltz’s accomplishments. She epitomizes our APS 2020: Shaping the Future strategic plan core belief that student achievement and growth are driven by highly-effective and respected staff working as a team.

Check out her biography here.

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Arkansas Students Embrace Self-Discovery, Tailor their Plans for the Future

Arkansas Elementary School’s fourth-grade students recently got a glimpse into their futures, sans time machines. Thanks to an online planning tool called Naviance, the students now have an engaging platform that helps align their interests and strengths to their postsecondary and career goals.

The energy and enthusiasm Arkansas students exhibited while familiarizing themselves with the program proves it’s never too early to plan. It is evident that passion for a certain career path can develop at a very young age. In one class, the nine- and ten-year-olds were already browsing University of Denver’s undergraduate degrees.

In Aurora Public Schools’ mission to help every student shape a successful future, our first goal is to ensure every student has a solid plan. By creating personalized plans in Naviance, students are provided equal opportunities to successfully envision, explore and execute their dreams.

APS is excited to introduce Naviance to every fourth- and fifth-grade student during the 2016-17 school year and looks forward to bringing our third-grade students on board the following year.

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Student-Athletes Earn Digital Badges On and Off the Field

digital badge students

Playing sports isn’t always just about showing off one’s physical abilities. Look closely and you will find many examples of athletes using skills such as critical thinking, collaboration and self-direction to succeed. This year, middle and K-8/P-8 school athletic directors and coaches are using the APS Digital Badge Program to recognize these 21st century skills in our student-athletes.

Through Digital Badging, student-athletes now have the opportunity to earn credentials that demonstrate mastery of 21st century skills outside of the classroom.

“The goal here is really to get our kids recognized and seen,” said Brendan Netherton, South Middle School’s athletic director. “We don’t recognize them enough for their accomplishments and how they have improved as leaders, communicators, etc.”

Digital Badging allows staff members to validate student achievement in classrooms, on sports fields and through clubs and activities.

To learn more about Digital Badges, visit badge.aurorak12.org.

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Internship Gives Gateway Senior her ‘Guardian Angel’ Wings

Edith Malbaes NavaGateway High School senior Edith Malbaes Nava wants to spend her life making a positive impact on children. As the eldest sibling who enjoyed caring for her sisters, she realized she is most fulfilled when tending to the young. Thankfully, through the Pickens Technical College Executive Internship Program, Malbaes Nava can explore her passion at Guardian Angel Health Center.

The center is a pediatric office that serves a diverse population of children, including special needs and premature babies. As part of the Guardian Angel family, Malbaes Nava is acquiring important real-world skills, such as how to check in patients, set up charts, schedule appointments and more. Most recently, she has been able to observe nurses in action.

“This is our first time partnering with Aurora Public Schools’ internship program and we are very blessed to have Edith,” said Guardian Angel Office Manager Gail Bleibtrey. “It’s such a wonderful opportunity for students and the community.”

Participation in internships is just one of the credentials outlined in the district’s strategic plan, APS 2020: Shaping the Future. Earning credentials will help students open doors to postsecondary and workforce opportunities.

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APS Community ConnectionAPS Community Connection is produced by the Aurora Public Schools' Communication Department. Content focuses on timely and important information about the school district. Please share this information with your community. For more information please call the APS Communication Department at 303-365-7805.

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