April is a month all about writing, specifically about writing poetry.  Our students seem to better at this than we are, perhaps because of their affinity with music.  We hope you will take the time to provide some prompts and engage with your students in the writing process.  Here is a poem written by Director, Andy Flaherty, that he modeled for students while reading The Rig Veda with world literature students.

(1) Writing Competition

As you know we purposely chose to engage students in poetry writing this year and designed lesson plans linked to the study of the song “Glory” from the film Selma in collaboration with Black History Month.  This year’s competition, Pen A Poem for Justice, had fewer entries (209) than in previous years, however, the work is excellent, and there is so much evidence of teachers and students writing.  The power of engaging, meaningful conversations about equality, justice, and liberty is abundant.  Thank you. 

Throughout the month we will feature excerpts on the Concept English twitter account.  We will publish the winning entries on the webpage by the end of the month and announce the winners.

(2) April is Poetry Month

There are so many wonderful resources for National Poetry Month.  Connect poems to your existing unit thematically, or in terms of a specific skill.  Poetry is a great way to reinvigorate your classrooms after the challenging weeks of state testing.  Here are a few websites to get you started.





This year’s poster is designed by students.  To order posters for your room, click on the link below and fill out the form.


(3) Concept English Curriculum Team

Each Spring, we review our curriculum and make necessary updates.  Last year our team came together and added model lessons and approaches to the units that newer teachers might find helpful. 

We have sent out requests to two teachers per grade level, 6-12, who we thought would want to review our curriculum and resources to make adaptations for 2019/2020.  So far, the following teachers have said yes:


Kristina Koswenda, 6th grade from HSA McKinley Park

Reanna Lazlo, 7th grade from HSA Lorain

Mackenzie Blanton, 12th grade, HSA Cleveland High School

Shelby Newton, 10th grade, HSA Toledo

Joseph Schmith, 10th grade, HSA McKinley Park


If you are interested in being part of our team, please reach out to aflaherty@conceptschools.org by April 13th.