Hands on Learning:

Means Constant Learning

An individualized approach to learning is the most important part to our success as a school and the success of our students. At the elementary school level, it’s important that every student be  given the opportunity to discover their own learning style and be exposed to different types of learning formats.

Summit Academy Flat Rock takes our students on different field trip activities to help promote a hands on approach to learning. We find that students come to life when they are able to explore different concepts through project based learning.

This is especially true when students are able to learn about more challenging subjects, like math and science, in a way that allows them to make practical applications..

One thing we like to encourage the parents of our elementary students to remember is that hands on learning is not something that stops at the end of the school day.

Students benefit greatly from planned activities and trips with their families, and many times parents are able to help their children explore concepts in ways we may not be able to in a school setting. Weekend trips to the zoo, or even a fun evening project are all great ways to bring hands on learning into your child’s home life.

Our hope is that you find new and fun ways to help your child take their outside experiences and connect them to things that they are learning at school. Making those connections and discovering the teachable moments within their daily life is what turns a fun day at the museum into an experience your child will never forget.

Stay connected to the Summit Academy blog for ideas and fun ways that you can engage with your child and encourage hands on learning after the school day is done.


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Four Ways to Combat Bullying

There is little doubt as to how much havoc bullying can wreak on the lives of your young ones. Bullies have taken advantage of the new forms of communication and the anonymity of the internet to play pranks, spread fear, and even incite violence. At a time when children are at their most vulnerable, we must work together to keep them safe.

As we work to do our part to keep Summit Academy a bully free zone, we hope that we can count on you to fight bullying at home. Here are 4 ways you can help prevent bullying.

1. Don’t minimize the situation.

It is difficult for kids to speak and write well if they do not read well. Reading gives children exposure to increased vocabulary, ways of conversing, and good storytelling. This allows them to hold intelligent conversations and effectively convey ideas without stumbling over words or struggling to communicate their thoughts properly.

2. Don’t promote revenge.

Unlike the visual entertainment children are flooded with constantly, books force readers to use their imagination and paint pictures with their minds. The journeys kids take through the course of a book allows them to imagine different worlds, visualize characters, and see things in a way they may not have otherwise. Those journeys often plant the seed for children to create stories of their own and even get creative with their goals and dreams.

3. Be aware.

Unless they are exposed to it in their daily life, there are many hobbies and interests kids would not know about if they don’t read about it. Simply walking through a library and seeing an interesting cover or researching a topic may present them with the opportunity to learn something new.

4. Know their online life.

No matter how diverse a school, town, or city may be, reading provides a unique insight into the lives of people from different backgrounds many of us do not readily relate to. When children are able to read about the heartache, struggles, and triumphs of others, it helps them to grow and understand that the way they experience life is only one story of the millions yet to be told.


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Five Goals Middle Schoolers Should Set

Goals are needed to keep students motivated and working toward success. Knowing what goals to set can be a roadblock for many teens, though. Instead of starting from scratch, take a look at our top 5 goals you can help your middle schoolers set this year.

  • 1. Turn in all assignments. 
  • Completing homework and turning it in prepares your child to meet deadlines and completing projects when they reach high school. Set a goal to have all assignments turned in on time this year.
  • 2. Stay on task.  
  • Keeping focus will improve a student’s ability to get good grades, meet their goals, and prioritize their time. You can help your child stay on task by checking in with them each day to see what they need to accomplish and ensuring they stay on track with their tasks.
  • 3. Master time management.
  • Middle school students will be acquiring more responsibilities and activities on their plate than they had in the past.  Successfully mastering time management early in life will set them up for success in their high school years and well beyond.
  • 4. Work on Communication.
  • Effective communication is important in every area of life. Your child will be expected to advocate for themselves and communicate with adults effectively as they go through middle school and enter high school. Set a goal with your child to take some time and discuss their needs, problems, and feelings each day.
  • 5. Keep a schedule.
  • As a parent, you have likely been in charge of keeping everyone in your family on a schedule. Now that your child is in middle school, it is important that they play an active role in keeping their schedule. One way to integrate this goal is to start small by making it their responsibility to wake up on time each morning.

Goal setting does not need to be complicated but it does need to be done. We are looking forward to seeing all of our dragons blaze towards their goals this year.

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Meet Our Staff & Students


Kennedy Bruck

Age: 12

School you attend:

Summit Academy Flat Rock

Favorite subject:

“Math is my favorite subject because I am good at it. It comes natural to me.”

Favorite Teacher:

“My favorite teacher is Ms. Thornton because she helps encourage me to do my best on the clarinet in band class.”

Favorite Book:

“My favorite book is any of the Goosebumps series. I like mysteries.”

Kennedy loves Summit Academy:

“I love Summit because I struggled at my previous school. Summit has helped me to reach my goals in education.”


Megan Pirlot

Age: 11

School you attend:

Summit Academy Flat Rock

Favorite subject:

“My favorite subject is reading because it takes me to a fantasy world.”

Favorite Staff Member:

“My favorite staff member is Mrs. Zimecki because she is always nice and helpful in the office.”

Favorite Book:

“My favorite book is Scary Stories. I enjoy the mysteries.”

Megan loves Summit Academy:

“I love Summit because this school helps me learn in ways that work for me.”


Sara McManaway

Role at Summit Academy North Middle School:

Sara currently works as a MTSS paraprofessional in the 5th grade classroom and has been with Summit Academy for 7 years.

Sara in three words:

Motivated, Calm, Proactive.

Why she loves Summit Academy:

“I enjoy my building positive relationships with my students.”

Most memorable moment at Summit:

“My most memorable moment at Summit was having a past student return to thank me for making an impact in her life.”

Interesting fact about her:

“I like to bake and decorate cakes in my spare time!”

Summit Academy is better because…

“Our positive learning environment helps students to grow and learn at their own pace.”


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