Choosing the Right School for You – Ascension Lutheran School is hosting its 4th annual “High School Fair” on Wednesday, November 14, from 7:00-8:00 PM in Founder’s Hall. This is a great opportunity to get information on private, public, and online high schools as you determine which school is the right fit for you! This event is open to our school families, church families, and the community. Come and take advantage of this great opportunity to explore over a dozen high schools in a short time frame!
High Schools in Attendance: Oaks Christian, Louisville, Crespi, Chaminade, Vista Del Real Charter, Century Academy School, Newbury Park High School, Thousand Oaks High School, Westlake High School, Villanova Prep, Grace Brethren, La Reina, Saint Bonaventure High School, Newbury Park Adventist.
At Ascension, we truly believe that middle school should be a time for students to flourish, not to fear. It is our joy to see our students grow into bold, compassionate, and confident leaders through their middle school years. Our comprehensive approach, with a focus on educating the whole student in a caring Christian community, produces graduates who go on to excel in high school and beyond. Highlighted below are 14 ways we help ensure middle school students thrive at Ascension:
- Exceptional teachers who truly know and genuinely care for each student.
- Small class sizes (20 average class size) foster close relationships, lifelong friendships, and facilitate academic excellence.
- Hands-on service learning projects build compassion as students gain an understanding of some of the issues facing our world and how they can be part of the solution.
- Spanish class is incorporated in the schedule for all students. When students graduate from 8th grade they have completed the high school Spanish I curriculum and are prepared to advance to Spanish II if they choose.
- Leadership opportunities abound including athletics, student council, student ambassadors, leading worship, performing arts, and more.
- Music education is offered for all grade levels providing exposure to music history, composers, instruments, vocal performance, and more.
- Athletic teams are offered for grades 5-8 in football, volleyball, basketball, soccer, and co-ed volleyball. Ascension participates in the Tri-Valley Christian Athletic League.
- True electives where students choose from a different slate of courses each trimester.
- Annual Outdoor Education Trips provide students with enriching learning experiences that encourage them to grow personally, academically, and socially. These trips culminate in an 8th-grade class trip to Washington DC.
- Time learning outside! Our Outdoor Classroom and Organic Teaching Garden provide students with learning and growth opportunities beyond the classroom.
- Small peer advisory groups offer an avenue for leadership development, study skills, and deeper friendships to emerge.
- Valuable mentoring experience as our older students are paired with a younger buddy who the older students mentor and lead in a variety of learning activities and get to attend chapel together every week.
- Access to technology including our one to one iPad program, a mobile computer lab, and the Makerspace equips students as 21st-century learners and problem solvers with skills in coding and robotics.
- A strong faith foundation means students leave here grounded in a knowledge of who and whose they are.
Learn more about Ascension’s Middle School Program:
Our wonderful Kindergarten Teacher, Mrs. Payne truly loves the families at Ascension! As a teacher here since 2016, she has been blessed to have wonderful families each year and is looking forward to meeting and connecting with our newest families. She believes that it takes a village to raise a child, and she can’t wait to get our new village connected by sharing updates about the upcoming school year and getting acquainted at the Kindergarten Meet and Greet on August 23! She herself is also a parent of an Ascension student, so she experiences first-hand just how significant that strong community support is in a student’s life!
Learn more about Kindergarten at Ascension.
We often say that a Transitional Kindergarten year is truly a gift you can offer to your child. At Ascension, the appropriate candidate for TK is one who is a bit young to start Kindergarten but is excited and ready to begin exploring kindergarten concepts. On the flip side, if your child is Kindergarten age, but you feel that a 2-year Kindergarten option will give them the opportunity to mature socially, emotionally, and academically to ensure future success in school, then we also encourage you to consider a Transitional Kindergarten year. At Ascension, we require that our TK students turn 5-years-old by the end of December. A unique aspect of our program is that at the end of the TK year students are evaluated for placement in either traditional kindergarten, but in some cases, we may determine that a student has met all the standards academically and socially and should advance to first grade. Essentially, TK gives your child that extra time, assurance, and confidence that increases their readiness for the challenges that await them in subsequent grades.
Children at this age learn largely through play. At Ascension, Transitional Kindergarten students are provided with opportunities both inside and outside to learn math, language, art, and social concepts through play and discovery. We begin with an excellent creative curriculum that introduces the kindergarten standards at an age-appropriate pace while encouraging students to explore their interests and use their unique voice so that we instill a love of learning from a young age. We are in the process of becoming a Nature Explore Certified school and have developed an outdoor classroom space and teaching garden that allows our students to be inspired by nature as they create, learn, and explore the curriculum standards that are introduced.
Yes, our Transitional Kindergarten students enjoy a full school day from 8:30 AM-3: 00 PM. This affords them plenty of time for the introduction of academic lessons as well as play-based exploration, specialty classes, fun activities, and a read and rest time in the afternoon. Especially during the beginning of the school year, we find that students might take a nap during the read and rest time and that is absolutely fine! Built into each day are three opportunities for Outdoor Exploration Time. The majority of core lessons are presented during the morning hours. For TK students we do offer an option to pick-up at 1:00 PM, as we understand that some younger students may prefer a shorter day. We do find, as the year progresses, that most students want to stay the whole day as to not miss out on any of the fun!
Ascension offers Extended Care as a safe, fun, and flexible option for daily before and after school care for your children. The hours are 7-8 AM and 3:15-6:00 PM and the cost is $7 per hour. This service can be used on an as-needed basis. Additionally, the school offers a variety of afterschool enrichment classes that vary by trimester but typically include choir, art, woodshop, sports, and music classes.
At Ascension, we have credentialed teachers overseeing the curriculum and teaching our Transitional Kindergarten Class. The standards are introduced and taught in a way that helps ensure Kindergarten readiness. According to a Study, The Impact of Transitional Kindergarten on California Students, TK gives students an advantage at kindergarten entry on a range of literacy and mathematics skills, including letter and word identification, phonological awareness, expressive vocabulary, problem-solving, and knowledge of mathematical symbols and concepts.
Teachers here have also noted social and emotional benefits to exposing students to the TK-8 campus environment. Students in our program benefit from attending weekly chapel services and establishing a special relationship with a “chapel buddy” a mentor from our 7th-grade class. TK students also participate in specialty classes including music, PE, and garden time. What we see from these interactions and operating within the larger school is a boost in maturity and confidence that dramatically eases the transition to the next grade levels.
We invite you to Schedule a Tour to get to know our TK and Kindergarten program better.
Recently, Ascension Middle School students had the opportunity to stay after school and view an educational documentary called A Plastic Ocean. The film gave a wonderful visual of the impact of the use of plastics on our environment and ultimately upon ourselves. Subsequently, students have been giving more thought to the consequences of our global, disposable lifestyle and how we can each work to change things for the better. Student Council sponsored a $1 dress day where students could wear blue and green clothing to school, instead of uniforms, and choose to donate $1 to Take 3 For the Sea – a group out of Australia who works on removing plastics from the world’s ocean. In Science class, middle school students have continued to examine the consequences of plastic pollution to themselves, their community, and human health. 6th graders were challenged to save plastic water bottles and create something that can be useful. The group of students pictured created a functioning recycle bin out of their water bottles! They have also written essays explaining how the pollution humans create flows to the ocean and impacts life cycles. It is exciting to see our students grow in knowledge and compassion, and then begin to take action, to help address an issue to ensure a better future.
Mrs. Beck, our middle school English teacher, presented “the Power of a Book” at our Made to Thrive Growing Strong through the Tween Years event on February 6, 2018. Her passion for reading comes through as she articulates how a book is a life shared, an attitude changer, and a great teacher. Her joy of reading is contagious!
“I felt well equipped to go to a big public school after going to Ascension. After being at ascension for so long their core values were deeply rooted in me. I went to TOHS being kind to everyone, and that really helped me make friends. I was also really prepared, academically, for the new school. Ascension helped me and prepared me well for the next step of my life.”
-Silje, class of 2017
“Ascension prepared me for high school by not only teaching me important academic lessons but important life lessons as well. While I learned how to properly manage my time and how to study correctly, I also learned how to love people like Jesus did and how to be compassionate to those around me. Without Ascension and their caring teachers (who are like family to me), I would not be the person I am today.”
– Sarah, Class of 2016
“Ascension gave me a sense of family. I grew up with some students since I was in Preschool, and I am still friends with many today. I consider the friends I made at Ascension as Family more than friends. Ascension, while small in size, is big in heart, and I wouldn’t trade those years for anything else.
– Michael, Class of 2015
“Ascension was a great environment to grow up in. I spent 8 years learning, growing, & becoming closer with my classmates and teachers. I think since it was such a safe/trustworthy environment to grow up in the transition to public high school was a bit hard. Once school began, I made plenty of friends using the skills Ascension has taught me. Ascension also taught me tips and tricks to help me get through my classes. I can honestly say that Ascension thoroughly prepared me for high school.”
– Angelina, Class of 2015
Thursday, October 26, 5:30-7:00 PM
Pre-K Students and their Parents are invited to get a glimpse of the wonderful world of kindergarten! Parents will learn from our experienced kindergarten teachers as they share insights on kindergarten readiness, keys for a successful year, and the potential benefits of a transitional kindergarten year. Children are invited next door to explore age-appropriate science centers run by pre-school teachers. It will be a time of discovery and fun! Pizza dinner will be served. There is no charge, but space is limited. Reserve your spot today!
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to attend a small Christian school? Next Tuesday and Wednesday (April 11 and 12) we have a special opportunity for students who are currently grades 3-7 to be an Ascension student for a half or full school day. You can come with a friend or we will pair you with a buddy. Advanced registration required. This is a special opportunity where we are waiving our usual requirement to have your application submitted prior to shadowing. It’s a great opportunity to experience our caring Christian community first hand and determine if it might be a good fit for you!
What skills are important for kindergarten readiness?
Would your child benefit from a transitional kindergarten year?
What are factors you should consider when selecting a kindergarten?
Kindergarten Exploration Night is an excellent opportunity to get answers to these and other questions you might have as you also get a glimpse of the wonderful world of kindergarten!
Thursday, January 19, 2017, 5:30-7:00 PM at Ascension Lutheran School, 1600 E. Hillcrest Drive, Thousand Oaks