Grace to Fielder Transfer Announcement

Grace to Fielder Transfer Announcement
Posted on 12/16/2020

Dear Parents of Newman Academy at Grace,

Christmas greetings to all of you! We are glad that we are able to bring you good tidings during this Christmas Season. 

Parents ask at the end and the beginning of every academic year if they will be able to transfer their children from the quaint, beautiful over-flow site of our Grace campus to the main, grand Arlington elementary campus at Fielder. For the last four years, we have been able to transfer only a few students as we reached the cap in most grade levels at the Fielder campus (NIAA), but now we have good news for you. We also have some fabulous news regarding the opportunity that Newman has to make its online education program to be top notch like we all desired. 

Background to this news story: Four years ago the Grace campus was birthed out of a need for additional space for students who could not be accommodated at the main Arlington Fielder campus.  The Grace Lutheran Church was very welcoming and gracious to Newman Academy, and eagerly embraced our vision of raising Warriors of Wisdom, Stature, and Favor.  We are forever grateful to them.

Fielder Church has recently informed us that they now have 15 additional classrooms they can release to us for the expansion of the NIAA Elementary campus at Fielder.  As you all know, we are currently doing a combination of online and in - person instruction where in most cases, all teachers are having to provide both modes of instruction which has required them to adjust to a totally new way of teaching.  I know you can relate, as you have also been faced with learning new ways of helping and/or instructing your children at home.  Our teachers are amazing, and they have responded to the call of duty by doing whatever it takes to ensure your children still receive the quality of education that Newman Academy requires.

In addition, COVID-19 has forced a lot of our Grace students to opt for online instruction and even withdraw from school to pursue education in ISDs close by or try home-based learning. But, no worries! We have good tidings for you!

What next? Because of this unprecedented opportunity to gain 15 new classrooms at the Fielder campus (enough space for a small campus!) we will be giving an opportunity to all our Grace in-person instruction students to transfer to Fielder (which is only five minutes away from Grace).  In-person instruction teachers of Grace will move to Fielder as well.  Both Ashley Blakeslee, former administrator of Grace, and Stephanie Robinson, current acting Principal of Grace will serve as co-principals taking care of upper elementary and lower elementary respectively. What a strong team they will make! Grace’s in-person instruction students will start studying at NIAA (Fielder) starting on January 6, 2021! Grace online students will continue to be a part of the Grace campus.

We will utilize the Grace campus for our Grace online students and also as a District online training and instruction center for our District-wide elementary teaching staff under the leadership of Mike Kunkel. He currently serves as our Online Education Coordinator.  This will allow our elementary teachers to focus on in -person or online instruction only.  This plan will greatly benefit our students and teachers, as they will only have to engage in one mode of instruction instead of two.  Thus, a great burden will be lifted off of everyone. Our dream to make our online program an outstanding one will become a reality!

Please be sure you fill out your child’s transfer form that is attached to this letter and submit it by Friday, December 18, 2020, at the Grace campus office. If you are able to, please fill out this form online and submit it in the next few days so our staff can prepare for January 6, 2021, when Grace students start school at NIAA, Fielder.  Please contact your Principal Stephanie Robinson if you have questions or concerns. Soon, both Ms. Blakeslee and Ms. Robinson will hold a zoom meeting with the parents of NIAG (Grace).

We are hoping that this change in campuses will not be stressful or be a hardship for you or your children.  They will still be with their same friends, teachers, and staff that they are used to being with, and it provides for them to be in a beautiful building with access to a full size gym, cafeteria, and many other amenities.

Please be safe and enjoy your holidays! Merry Christmas to all!

Betty Sims
Assistant Superintendent