Bear Blog

The brand new Bear Blog will provide insight, tips, and advice to get you up to speed about a specific topic of interest or a school theme around our campus that moves the needle with our DA family.  We will have various faculty and staff members contributing content on a regular basis. 

Look for social media posts about the Bear Blog to see our next issue.


Bear Blog 2023-2024

  • VIEW HERE: Issue No. 3 - Protecting Yourself from Cyber Scams and Phishing
    We read about it more and more every day: Someone had their personal information hacked by a cyber scam or phishing, resulting in identity theft.  Please review tips on how you can protect yourself from cyber scams and phishing, courtesy of our Director of Information Technology, David Waters:
    Email scams
    Nobody needs you to get them a gift card – ever! In your emails you can look at the sender and often tell if is not coming from who it says it is.  For example mine is David Waters<>  if the email name doesn’t match the senders name or the address contained within < > does not match or the organization named ( is not correct then just delete the message it is a scam attempt. Here are some examples:
    Terri Simmons <>
    Dr. Terry Shrader <>
    Often these types of scam emails will look like they are coming from a leader at your organization.
    If you get an email about a product you ordered that you did not order or a delivery attempt with a document or PDF attached it is most likely a scam or phishing attempt.  If you truly are worried about a false charge pick up the phone and call the vendor you supposedly purchased from.  NEVER open the attached invoice! For that matter, never open an attachment unless you are expecting something from that particular person.  If you get an email with an attachment it is not a bad idea to text or call them to inquire if they actually sent you something.
    What is phishing?
    Phishing is an attempt to steal your money, or your identity, by getting you to reveal personal information -- such as credit card numbers, bank information, or passwords.  Websites are used that look and pretend to be legitimate. Cybercriminals typically pretend to be reputable companies, friends, or acquaintances in a fake message, which contains a link to a phishing website.
    Here is an excerpt from Microsoft Support about how to spot and protect yourself from phishing:

    Learn to spot a phishing message
    Phishing is a popular form of cybercrime because of how effective it is. Cybercriminals have been successful using emails, text messages, and direct messages on social media or in video games, to get people to respond with their personal information. The best defense is awareness and knowing what to look for.
    Here are some ways to recognize a phishing email
    • Urgent call to action or threats - Be suspicious of emails that claim you must click, call, or open an attachment immediately. Often, they'll claim you must act now to claim a reward or avoid a penalty. Creating a false sense of urgency is a common trick of phishing attacks and scams. They do that so that you won't think about it too much or consult with a trusted advisor who may warn you.
    Tip: Whenever you see a message calling for immediate action take a moment, pause, and look carefully at the message. Are you sure it's real? Slow down and be safer.
    • First time or infrequent senders - While it's not unusual to receive an email from someone for the first time, especially if they are outside your organization, this can be a sign of phishing. When you get an email from somebody you don't recognize, or that Outlook identifies as a new sender, take a moment to examine it extra carefully.
    • Spelling and bad grammar - Professional companies and organizations usually have an editorial staff to make sure customers get high-quality, professional content. If an email message has obvious spelling or grammatical errors, it might be a scam. These errors are sometimes the result of awkward translation from a foreign language, and sometimes they're deliberate in an attempt to evade filters that try to block these attacks.
    • Generic greetings - An organization that works with you should know your name and these days it's easy to personalize an email. If the email starts with a generic "Dear sir or madam" that's a warning sign that it might not really be your bank or shopping site.
    • Mismatched email domains - If the email claims to be from a reputable company, like Microsoft or your bank, but the email is being sent from another email domain like, or it's probably a scam. Also be watchful for very subtle misspellings of the legitimate domain name. Like where the second "o" has been replaced by a 0, or, where the "m" has been replaced by an "r" and a "n". These are common tricks of scammers. 
    • Suspicious links or unexpected attachments - If you suspect that an email message is a scam, don't open any links or attachments that you see. Instead, hover your mouse over, but don't click the link to see if the address matches the link that was typed in the message. In the following example, resting the mouse over the link reveals the real web address in the box with the yellow background. Note that the string of numbers looks nothing like the company's web address.
    Fake IP address
    Tip: On Android long-press the link to get a properties page that will reveal the true destination of the link. On iOS do what Apple calls a "Light, long-press".
    Cybercriminals can also tempt you to visit fake websites with other methods, such as text messages or phone calls. Sophisticated cybercriminals set up call centers to automatically dial or text numbers for potential targets. These messages will often include prompts to get you to enter a PIN number or some other type of personal information.

  • VIEW HERE: Issue No. 2 - Middle School Reboot
    Our staff put our heads together last winter and spring to reimagine DA’s Middle School program.  We prayed, researched best practices, considered the space we had to work with, and tried to think outside of the box.  The results have been amazing and were revealed at our Middle School Back to School Bash prior to the opening of school.  Some of the new elements of our program include:
    • Eighth grade moved from the Upper School back to the Middle School hallway, and fifth grade is now located in the elementary section of the school.  Fifth grade may still participate in fifth and sixth grade sports, but their day will run similarly to the other elementary schedules.  Sixth, seventh, and eighth will all run on the same schedule.  This change is developmentally best for our eighth and fifth graders.
    • A bulkhead was built at the point in the hallway where the Middle School area begins.  Large silver lettering was placed at the top which says, “MIDDLE SCHOOL”.  At the same point, new flooring was installed which goes throughout the Middle School hallway.  Students DEFINITELY know they are in a special place just for them.
    • Ottomans and laptop tables were placed strategically down the hallway.  Students can be found using these between classes or when working with a small group during class time.  This furniture has been a huge hit with our kids!
    • Our school guiding verse, Psalm 115:1, is framed and displayed prominently on a wall in the hallway with an upholstered bench beneath it.  This serves as a reminder that we should always give glory to God for all things.  Large pictures of Middle School students participating in STEAM, art, chapel, sports, and a class trip in Washington, D.C. have been placed down the hall.
    • A mid-morning break is now scheduled for sixth, seventh, and eighth graders.  A new “drink fountain” has been placed in the cafeteria and is available only for middle schoolers as a special privilege for them.   No carbonated drinks are available from the fountain.  Sports drinks, water, and other choices are included.
    • A “house” system was created which includes four different groups of intermingled sixth, seventh, and eighth graders.  The names of the houses are based on some of the “fruits of the spirit”, such as the House of Peace, House of Kindness, House of Joy, and House of Faith, and the students in each group were given a bandana in the color that represents their house.  There will be activities for these groups and competitions between them (including pep rallies, door decoration during homecoming, etc.).  The students chosen as house “leaders” will represent their house in decision making roles for events, such as the dance and pep rallies. This will build community among students in the various grade levels.
    • New clubs have been made available for Middle School students and meetings take place during a specially scheduled time. 
    • Advisory will become an important part of the program.  Between the years of struggling with Covid and the emergence of social media, many students today struggle socially and emotionally.  Using Biblical truths, some of the areas of struggle will be addressed through a Christian worldview.
    • Middle school students will be eligible for merits/demerits and will have mid-term and final exams.  All three grade levels will be eligible to attend the middle school spring dance!
    • A big screen television has been placed on a wall in the hallway and announcements for sixth, seventh, and eighth graders will loop throughout the day.
    There is lots of enthusiasm in our Middle School this year!  Every moment of work put into our “Middle School Reboot” has led to great strides in the Davidson Academy program.  God-focused classrooms, STEAM opportunities across the curriculum, and academic excellence are results we are counting on.

  • VIEW HERE: Issue No. 1 - School Safety the DA Way

    Ready or not, the start of school is around the corner!  This is a great time to review some of the things Davidson Academy is doing to ensure the safety of our students and staff.
    Stranger Danger?
    • Not at Davidson Academy!  Exterior doors remain locked every day and guests must be buzzed in by the school receptionist.  Interior classroom doors are closed and locked during instruction.  In addition, each entrance/exit point at the Lower School and the Upper School have been covered with shatterproof film.
    Are you ready for your close-up? 
    • There are 58 surveillance cameras on campus, to include coverage inside our buildings and all parking lots.  These cameras operate 24 hours a day.
    Check-in required! 
    • Once admitted to the building, all visitors must check in with the receptionist and present a photo ID.  The ID goes through a device that runs a background check and (if there is no red flag from the background check) prints a visitor badge which includes the person’s picture and name.
    To Protect and to Serve
    • Our campus is blessed to have two full-time security officers.  This is something we make a priority when planning security and one of the most important features of our security plan.
    Training Alert! 
    • Faculty and staff receive annual safety training, including intruder drills, fire drills, tornado drills, bloodborne pathogens, and more.  Students also participate in intruder, fire and tornado drills.
    Evaluate and Re-evaluate
    • Our staff evaluates school security measures on a regular basis.  We also collaborate with MNPD officials on our safety plans and staff training.  Safety policies and procedures are updated to maintain a positive, protective, and spiritual environment on campus.
    No Failure to Communicate
    • Our staff has a plan in place to inform families as soon as possible of any school closure or crisis situation.  Parents are promptly contacted via text message and email. Also, during inclement weather events, school delays and closures are posted on our Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter pages. In addition, all four major local TV stations are notified with the info. Plus, a website banner notification is posted through our emergency bulletin function on Blackbaud.
    Davidson Academy takes the responsibility of school security seriously.  As everyone heads back to campus to begin a new school year, rest assured our students and staff will be entering a safe environment.
    We are looking forward to a great 2023-24 school year!  Welcome back!