A Look At An Athletic Academy

Updated July 20, 2017 |
A Look At An Athletic Academy
 
Editor's note: I recently asked Bobby Bossman, Director of SPIRE Academy, to explain and outline the kind of athletic programs and training which the Institute offers. It is one of dozens of athletic institutes around the country which give young women and men the chance to see whether they have the right stuff to take it a step further. ~Rob
 
1. How does a specialty institute such as Spire Institute handle the balance of academics and athletic training?
 
By having flexibility with each student's time and the ability to create custom daily schedules, our staff can plan the most appropriate training day unique to each student-athlete.  Some athletes may require more or less time in academic training based on progress.  We have the ability to accommodate accordingly by infusing more academic time when needed and allowing those who are ahead academically extra periods of athletic training.  This is versus the traditional high school setting that blocks students into a 7:30am-3:30pm structured school day before athletic activities even begin.  
 
SPIRE also has the ability to condense the academic portion of the day by removing some filler blocks such as study halls and P.E. classes to allow athletes opportunities to train in the mornings as well when their bodies are physically the freshest.
 
How do you advise your young athletes regarding their academics?
 
All of our student-athletes are advised to complete all require core courses as per the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).  NCAA schools require college-bound student-athlete to build a foundation of high school
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Updated July 11, 2017 |
IT Infrastructure For The Small School
Suggestions for the small school's IT infrastructure and services.

Disclaimer: I am writing this article about IT infrastructure with small private schools in mind. I am basing my suggestions on my more than thirty years working as an IT professional in private schools and selling technology equipment and services to them. It is my hope that these talking points will save you some money and give you and your staff some peace of mind so that you can focus on the important job you have, namely, teaching your students. ~Rob Kennedy, MCT, CSE

Most medium to large-sized schools will have professional IT staff on their payroll. But, while small schools need professional IT advice just as much, if not more, than the larger schools do, finding the money to pay for the needed expertise is always a major challenge in a small school. Here then are some practical, low-cost solutions to keep your important data secure.

1. Put all your applications and data in the cloud.

This is probably the least expensive way for a small school to deal with securing your important data. For purposes of this essay, I define important data as the confidential personal and academic information which your families and students have entrusted to you. Important data also includes the school's financials and business correspondence.

Ten or fifteen years ago you would have been told that you have to have a server and a complicated network infrastructure to keep everything secure. Nowadays you can keep everything secure in the cloud. Yes, literally there is an app for that.

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Updated July 10, 2017 |
Choosing Schools: Reach, Match and Safe Schools
Always answer this question honestly: what is the school looking for? Is my child a match for their requirements? This article shows you how to get that important match right.

As you begin thinking about private schools, you will add schools from various sources to your initial list of potential schools. That’s fine. Accept all suggestions and advice in the early stages of your search for the right school or schools. Friends will suggest schools which their children attend. Family will mention schools that your uncle or aunt attended. And so on. Finally, you will explore on your own. Private School Review is a great place to start because the site is devoted to private K-12 schools. The following screenshot gives you an idea of number of schools within a fifty mile radius of East Longmeadow, Massachusetts. (I selected that area because I am familiar with it as I have family there. Also itt is not a major urban area.)

Private schools within 50 miles of zip code 01028

After exploring schools and including all the other suggestions you will receive, you will most likely end up with a list of 5-10 schools. Now, this is where the private school search process becomes tricky. Why is that? Simply because you have to whittle that long list of potential schools down to a more manageable list of 2-3 schools.  Selecting a school is not like buying a watch on Amazon. It’s a lot like buying a house. And just as with buying a house, you have to really like the

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Updated June 07, 2017 |
Private School Job Searching 101
Here is a guide for teachers and administrators seeking employment in private schools. Think of it as a roadmap for the job search process.

Here is a guide for teachers and administrators seeking employment in private schools. Think of it as a roadmap for the job search process. I wrote this for teachers, as well as admissions and business office professionals and those seeking positions as dean of students and head of school. I have drawn most of the advice from my own experience in the field. Some of it is plain, old-fashioned common sense.  I have also included some tips and strategies for dealing with today's job markets. You will find plenty of practical advice about applying, networking, using job boards and much more.  I know that your goal is to get that all important first interview. So, with that in mind, let's get started.

Apply correctly.

You must follow each individual school's specific application instructions to the letter.  If you don't follow their instructions, the staff member charged with screening applications will probably not file your application in the "To Be Interviewed" folder.  Your application will end up in a folder with all the other applications which don't appear to meet their requirements at first glance.  Back in the days before email and Monster.com, I had to open the mail from teachers looking for employment with the Anglican Education Association in The Bahamas. I could tell at a glance whether we would interview the applicant. Cover letters hand-written on a page torn from an exercise book never made the cut.

This video offers tips for completing emplyment applications.

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Updated May 25, 2017 |
Admissions Matters: The Essay
The admissions essay is an important part of your child's admissions profile. Noodle Pros essay expert Kate Fisher offers some valuable tips about writing the admissions essay.

Editor's Note: I am most grateful to Kate Fisher, who is an expert in admissions essays with Noodle Pros, for explaining how to handle the inevitable essay portion of your child's private school admissions application. ~Rob

If your child is applying to a private middle school or high school, he or she will likely have to write an admissions essay. It is important to remember that this is not a college admissions essay, which means that the standards used to assess your child’s writing ability are lower. However, this also means that it’s much easier for admissions officers to quickly identify essays that a parent, teacher, or tutor has had too heavy a hand in. 

It is extremely difficult to disguise adult involvement in an essay that is supposed to be written by a child applying to middle school or high school. You may feel uncomfortable allowing your child to submit his or her essay without reading it over. If you choose to help him or her by proofreading or editing it, remember to make sure the language, syntax, and sentence structure remain age-appropriate. No private school admissions officer expects a rising sixth grader to write as well as an award-winning novelist, let alone a college-educated adult.

The best way to ensure the success of your child’s admissions essay is to show how to choose the right essay. Most private schools ask applicants to choose one prompt from a list of several. Helping your child brainstorm which topic to write about

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