September 10, 2020

Hello all!  

We are slowly settling into a virtual routine. The kinks of Schoology and technology are getting worked out and teachers as well as students are moving into meaningful coursework.  If you are continuing to experience difficulties, please do not hesitate to reach out.  Teachers are often the best place to start for clarification.  However, the quick guide for additional assistance can be found HERE.

Wednesday Clarifications

Please keep in mind that Wednesdays are asynchronous learning days.  Students should be engaged in activities such as working on assignments, working in groups, scheduling 1:1 sessions with teachers.  Please keep in mind that the Wednesday office hours are for students to meet with their teachers.  If parents would like to schedule a conference, please reach out to the teacher directly.  

Reminder!  Attendance in advisory is expected! Not attending advisory on Wednesdays will result in an unexcused absence (unless documentation is provided).

Quick Link to Attendance GuidelinesGuidelines/expectations for attendance will be in place for virtual, hybrid, and face-to-face environments.  All attendance correspondence, including excuses should be directed to attendance@psaschool.org.

PSA Science Fair

Despite our current learning environment, we are excited to begin making plans for the PSA Science Fair.  Any student looking for more information or that wants to participate in this year’s science fair, please complete the form at this link.

CyberDefense

Hello and welcome students and families of PSA. We would like to introduce to you an excellent opportunity for students to learn and develop key skills in an constantly growing field through the PSA Cyber Security Club. The PSA Cyber Security club is a club of individuals that enjoy or want to get into technology and computers that compete in various competitions such as CyberPatriot and The Palmetto Cyber Defense Competition. We teach skills that will help the students take advantage of computers for the rest of their life.

Our biggest competition is CyberPatriot. CyberPatriot is the Air Force Association’s National Youth Cyber Education Program, created to motivate students toward careers in cybersecurity and other science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines. The program features the National Youth Cyber Defense Competition for high school and middle school students,

The national youth cyber defense competition is an online, tournament-structured event in which teams of 2-6 students are scored on how well they identify and secure known vulnerabilities on a virtual network. Through a partnership with Cisco, they are also tested on a networking curriculum and are required to build secure, virtual networks. Students compete in three divisions: 

  • Open Division: Open to all high schools, scouting units, boys and girls clubs, home school programs, and other approved youth organizations
  • Middle School Division:Open to teams of middle school students
  • All Service High School Division: JROTC programs / Civil Air Patrol / Naval Sea Cadet Corps 

After a series of online qualification rounds, the top teams advance to the National Finals Competition, an in-person event held in Baltimore, Md., each spring. Winners are awarded scholarships. When internships arise, a notification is sent out by email to all competitors and coaches notifying them of the opportunity. Not only is the competition fun and exciting, it also creates a career path for today’s students, fostering continued education from middle school through college and into the beginning of their careers.   

This year the competition and training will be conducted completely online.  

Our parent/student interest meeting will be held on ZOOM Tuesday 9/15/202 at 6:00PM. (if the link in ZOOM fails copy and paste this into your browser https://zoom.us/j/91906053350?pwd=N3FuZVI1N1lPWWo4cm54Z1JOR1ppZz09 )

Practice will be held on Wednesday afternoons from 4:00PM until 5:00PM. Our first practice will be on 9/23/2020

The competition schedule is as follows:

Practice Round 10/27/2020 from 10AM till 2PM

Round 1            11/15/2020 from 10AM till 4PM

Round 2            12/13/2020 from 10AM till 4PM

Round 3             1/23/2021 from 10AM till 4PM

Anyone from 6th to 12th grade may register by going to and completing this google form: (click here).  

Questions?  Be sure to reach out to cyberdefense@psaschool.org.

Reminder! PCA News! 

Please consider joining our Parent Community Association. The PCA is a volunteer organization that strives to “fill the gaps” in emerging needs the faculty and administration has throughout the year. The PCA has already funded several back to school funding requests from our teachers, such as bluetooth headsets for remote teaching, a Microbits set to aid in teaching Python, gift cards for staff trivia night prizes, welcome gift bags for the new 6th graders – and that’s just a few of our recently funded projects! The PCA also organizes teacher appreciation events throughout the year and provides scholarships for several class and LEAP day activities. Any PSA faculty member is eligible to request funding for their classes, clubs or activities! Basic membership is $20 per family, but you can select any level of membership that you like! Sign up online at https://form.jotform.com/80445108629155  

Athletics News

The Athletic Department is looking for students, grades 10-12, who are interested in becoming part of our Sports Information Team (SIT).  If you would like to earn volunteer hours while supporting your peers in athletics, this is for you! Contact Athletic Director for more information: shelley.gordon@psaschool.org.

Middle School News 

Specific updates for middle school will be found here for future correspondence.  

High School News

Attention Juniors and Seniors! 

The South Carolina Honors College at UofSC invites students to enter the South Carolina High School Writing Contest for cash prizes and a publishing opportunity. The deadline for the contest is September 25, which is just around the corner! 

PARTICIPANTS: The contest is open to South Carolina high school juniors and seniors in public, private and home schools.

TOPIC: The topic is “How should we improve the state of South Carolina?” We welcome submissions in all creative genres, including fiction, drama and poetry. We also welcome straightforward essays and other kinds of writings such as diary entries and letters. Submissions must be within 750 words.

HOW IT WORKS: After a student submits their work, up to 20 finalists will be chosen. Those finalists will have their work reviewed by the 2020 writing contest judge, Jonathan Haupt. Jonathan serves as the executive director of the Pat Conroy Literary Center and is the former director of the University of South Carolina Press.

DEADLINE: Students must be residents of South Carolina. The deadline is September 25, 2020.

AWARDS: Cash prizes of $1,000, $500 and $250 will be awarded to the first, second and third place winners. Winning and finalist entries will be showcased on the South Carolina Honors College website.

Visit schonors.com/SCHSwritingcontest for more information. For questions, contact Aïda Rogers at aidar@mailbox.sc.edu.

 

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