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National Geographic Bee

Bee - 1Bo Barbour, a JA fourth grader, won first place during the school level National Geographic Society Geography Bee on January 8 in the PAC. Regan Felder came in second place, and Ty Usey came in third place. Runners up were Bryan Eubank, Bailey Berry, Reese Anderson, Chase Rush, Joseph Ciaccio, Thomas Antici, and Ethan Hill.

Jackson Academy students have participated in the National Geographic Society Geography Bee since 2005. The bee is designed to encourage the teaching and study of geography. This year, students in fourth through eighth grades participated.

There are three levels of competition: school, state, and national. The JA school level winner takes an online, 70 question multiple-choice test that has to be completed in 60 minutes to quality for the state bee. Our winner must score in the top 100 students in the state to advance to the state bee, which is usually held in April. The state winner moves on to the national competition in May. The national competition is usually televised. Every year since JA began participating in the National Geography Bee, our winner has qualified for and participated in the state bee.

Volleyball Wins Second Straight Championship

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Congratulations to the JV and varsity volleyball teams! JV finished the season 13-3. Varsity finished 35-3 and won the MAIS championship title for the second year. Ranked No. 1 in the state on MS MaxPreps, varsity also won the Gulf Coast Kick-off Classic and the Madison Madness Invitational. Volleyball is coached by Jennifer Bracken, head coach, and Brittany Ammons and Riley Busching, assistant coaches.

ACT Test Scores Trending Up

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From back, left to right, Tyler McClellan, Dalton Gibson, Reid Fracchia, Davis Rippee, Kyle Kantor, Mac Temple, Steven Winford, Parker Kennedy, Nathan Lucas, Nic Beddingfield, Brennan Canton, Ben McDowell, Cory Tirman, Caroline Nall, Hannah McCowan, Amanda Ray, Glennis McWilliams, Annalee Purdie, Rose Maxwell, Madison Carroll, Georgia Gibson, Robyn Hadden, Clarke Wilkirson, Sydney Hays. Not pictured are Rebecca Nosef and Bryn Noble.
ACT scores among Jackson Academy students are showing an upward trend in several categories. The class of 2015 averaged a composite score of 25.3, up from the past two years and above JA’s recent five-year average of 25. The state average is 19 and the national average is 21.

Two particular categories of JA test takers demonstrate notable figures. Students attending JA since Lower School averaged 26.2 this year. Students in advanced curriculum averaged 30 in 2014 and 2015.

Overall, 28 percent of seniors have already scored 29 or above to date, making them eligible for Mississippi’s Eminent Scholars Grant, a $2500 per year grant awarded to in-state residents pursuing their first degree at an approved post-secondary institution in Mississippi. Recipients of the grant also must have maintained a high school cumulative grade point average of 3.50 on a 4.0 scale. Testing dates remain for this ACT testing cycle, so additional Eminent Scholars are expected. Juniors are also scoring 29 and above at a rate similar to the senior class.

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STEM Students Build Amusement Park

Mr. Power’s fourth grade students are building an amazing project in Lower School STEM lab. Mrs. Gnemi’s class made “Powersland” during their Amusement Park Design mission using LEGO and K’NEX products. Each team made a working attraction and either a concession, game, ticket booth, or bathroom. This project encourages creativity, fine motor skill use, and engineering savvy. Other classes will continue work on Powersland and build a carousel, swing ride, double Ferris wheel, drop tower, swinging pirate ship, and launch-style coaster. Amusement Park Design is one of five new rotating fourth grade missions that each class will experience throughout the year. The other four rotations are rocketry, skyscrapers, advanced EV3 robotics and stop-motion animation.

JA Recognized as Apple Distinguished School

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Jackson Academy is pleased to announce that it has been recognized as an Apple Distinguished School for 2015-2017. The Apple Distinguished School mark is reserved for programs that meet criteria for innovation, leadership, and educational excellence, and demonstrate a clear vision of exemplary learning environments.

In 2013, JA joined a small group of schools and colleges worldwide recognized as Apple Distinguished Schools. To be renewed as an Apple Distinguished School, JA submitted an application and extensive documentation.

“An Apple Distinguished School must provide tangible evidence of academic accomplishment and offer an innovative and compelling learning environment that engages students,” said Cliff Kling, JA president. “Teachers have enhanced the teaching and learning occurring inside and outside of the classroom by incorporating innovative use of technology.”

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