Back to School Activity:

Start a Time Capsule

At the middle school level, students go through so many changes that it is often hard to keep track. Before the school year starts, take time with your child to document their journey by creating a time capsule to capture who they are now and compare it to who they are at the end of the year.

How To Do It

Select a container.

Your time capsule container doesn’t have to be fancy, but it should be durable. Consider using a shoebox or something with a lid that will protect its contents when stored. Feel free to let your child get creative and decorate their container.

Decide on a storage spot.

Some people like to bury their time capsules, but that is not a hard and fast rule. Look for a place that is out of the way, so no one is tempted to take a peak. On the other hand, don’t hide so well that you can’t find it at the end of the year.

Help your child pick their items.

Encourage them to select items that represent who they are without telling them specifically what to choose. Some item ideas include:

+ A note with their favorite song title
+ A picture of what they look like now
+ A note to with their goals for the next year
+ A note from you to your child to be read when the capsule is opened
+ A token that is significant to them

Choose an open date.

Select a date at the end of the school year to open the time capsule. If this is your child’s first time attending Summit Academy North Middle School, try to refrain from opening the capsule until they enter high school. Both of you will likely be surprised by the changes that occur over three years.

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Encourage Your Middle Schooler’s Independence

You may have already noticed your middle schooler becoming more independent each day. While it can be tempting to encourage them to let you take over instead, this is the perfect time to allow them to take on more responsibility.

Build Your Trust in Your Child

Kids cannot become independent without the support of their parents. This means that you need to trust them to make small decisions and take small actions independent of you. Of course, you know what responsibilities are suitable for your child. It may be as simple as allowing them to make dinner for the family one night each week. No matter what responsibilities you give them, your follow through and encouragement is important. As they see that you trust them to handle responsibility, they will become more confident in their ability to do things for themselves.

Increase their Responsibility over Time

At the high school level, your child will have many responsibilities added to their plate. Reviewing and increasing their responsibility on a regular basis will prepare them for the increased workload they will have later.  Remember to constantly evaluate how well they handle the responsibilities they take on and make note of areas where they need help. Doing so now can help them improve on necessary life skills like time management and instill the need for organizational skills. If too much responsibility is added to fast, and you notice your child struggling to keep up, alleviate some of their tasks for a period of time. This will help them learn the need for balance and also help them prioritize what they want to spend their time on.

Encouraging your child to be independent is one of the best things you can do to help them prepare for college at a young age.  As a college prep school, the staff at Summit Academy North Middle School takes pride in producing students who embrace their independence and strive to become successful adults.

Together, we can help your child thrive when given responsibility.

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Back to School Wisdom:

Advice from the Admins


A new school year brings new opportunities and challenges along with it. To help our students get the most out of this school year, our dedicated Summit Academy Administrators have put together some back to school pearls of wisdom as a guide for their journey.

What are some ways things new students can do to make themselves at home at Summit Academy?

  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions! Students at Summit Academy Flat Rock are like one giant family. I think you will be surprised at how many people will jump to answer your question or walk you to a classroom or activity.
  • Join a club! Clubs are great ways to get to know kids in other grade levels.
  • Introduce yourself! Reach out a hand and say, “Hi, I’m ______ and I’m new here!” I know it’s hard at first, but after the first time, it’ll get easier!
  • – Sally Racette, Principal at Summit Academy Flat Rock

What should new students look forward to at Summit Academy?

Look forward to a challenging, yet rewarding school year!  Middle school can be hard academically and socially, lean on your family and your teachers to help make this a great year.

  • – Alicia Jenkins, Principal at Summit Academy North Middle School

New students should also look forward to a smaller high school than what they may be used to previously.  We enjoy getting to know our students and we want students to share their interests with us. It builds a strong foundation in the years to come.

  • – Erin Avery, Principal at Summit Academy North High School

I want our new students to look forward to becoming a member of the North Elementary family! They should be ready to learn in exciting and innovative ways while also making great new friends that will last a lifetime.

  • – Mike Bravo, Principal at Summit Academy North Elementary School

How can current students make this year one of their best?

Current students can make this year the best one yet by being present and on time every single day and by showing effort every single day.  There is never an excuse for a “zero” in the grade book, always make the attempt and I guarantee this effort and attitude will pay off!  Also, students should focus on getting involved in one new way this year that differs from how they were involved in the past.

  • – Erin Avery, Principal at Summit Academy North High School

What would you like to say to students entering their senior year of high school?

“The woods are lovely, dark and deep,

But I have promises to keep,

And miles to go before I sleep,

And miles to go before I sleep.”

This is an excerpt from taken from “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” a poem by Robert Frost and I think it sums up the start of the senior year perfectly. While the allure of the senior year can be “lovely”, it is not the time to check out and become lackadaisical.  Seniors must remain engaged to be successful and to enjoy the experience.  They will work hard, but it will be worth it in the end. This is not the end, but rather the beginning of even better things.  Keep reminding yourselves that it is one step in the journey and far from the end of the road!

  • – Erin Avery, Principal at Summit Academy North High School

This may be the most exciting year of school that you will have! Your senior year is a time to set goals for life after high school, to reflect on all of the great times you have had to this point, and to make sure to take time to enjoy the present.

  • – Mike Bravo, Principal at Summit Academy North Elementary School

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Tips for Back to School Shopping

Back to school shopping has become such an integral part of American culture. In fact, many retailers bank on this tradition as a boost in their third quarter sales. As you scramble to get the best deals on school supplies and clothes for your kids, here are a few things to consider to help your money go farther.

  • 1. Stick to the list – Advertisers make it really easy to distract back to school shoppers with deals on items that they may not even need. No matter how tempting that new laptop may seem, if it isn’t something your kids really need, save the money for the things they do.
  • 2. Shop used – Every year we are amazed to see how much our students grow physically over the summer and we can only imagine how hard it is for parents to keep replenishing their children’s closets to accommodate the changes. Resale shops are incredibly popular and easy to find these days. Before shelling out a lot of cash on new pants and shirts at retail prices, even if they are on sale, check out the resale shops near you. This can save you a great deal of money on clothes your child may not be able to wear for long.
  • 3. Shop out of season – Yes, this one applies to clothes, but the same is true of school supplies. Historically, school supplies are much costlier in the month of August and in early September. If you can wait to purchase some supplies until a couple of weeks into the school year, you will likely find better prices.
  • 4. Feel free to stock up on essentials – You can count on the fact that your child will need notebooks, paper, and pencils. These items can always be used and will not go to waste, so if you get a good deal, feel free to splurge. Additionally, these items can also be donated to the school in order to assist those students in need of supplies. The same goes for Kleenex, tissue, and paper towels.
  • 5. Talk to your child – There may be things that help your child study or that they feel they need to help keep their home workspace organized. Of course discretion should be used (a new iPad is not necessarily a need). Still, we encourage parents to help students think about what tools will best help them succeed during the year.

If your family needs assistance acquiring the school supplies on your child’s list, please contact the school. We are always here to help.

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Back to School Tool for Parents:


Whether you have enrolled your child at Summit Academy for the first time, or your child is a returning Dragon, staying on top of their schoolwork is likely your top priority. We make it easy for you to easily follow the academic progress of your kids through the use of PowerSchool.

What is PowerSchool

PowerSchool is an online gradebook where teachers record the grades and progress of each student. As a parent, you are able to review this information throughout the school year and use it to help their child reach their academic goals. The system also gives you the ability to set reminders, receive emails from teachers, and to receive updates at home. PowerSchool can help you make missing assignments a thing of the past for your child by providing you with a backup to their student planner. We encourage you to utilize this information to identify problem areas early on and to reach out to teachers for help where it is needed.

Ultimately, utilizing PowerSchool gives you the power to take a lead role in their child’s education. It encourages an effective parent/teacher team.

Accessing PowerSchool

To access PowerSchool go to You should see the screen below.

If you have already signed up for PowerSchool, simply enter your username and password and click the “Sign In” button in the bottom right corner.

If you have not previously signed up, click on the “Create Account” tab in the upper left corner. You should see this screen:

Then click the “Create Account” button in the bottom right corner. You will now see the screen below.

Once you reach this screen, enter the correct information. You are able to sign up for access to up to 7 students’ records. You will need the Access ID and password for each student. If you do not have this information, please contact us to receive it.

After you have successfully signed in, you will be able to select your preferences and begin monitoring your child’s grades online. As always, please contact a staff member if you have any questions or need help using PowerSchool.

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