As we think of our students graduating, there is a wide mixture of emotions. Happiness, sadness, exhilaration, hesitation, denial, optimism, pessimism, fear, and gratitude can all be a part of the process. Visiting with parents over the last few weeks after many events such as Senior Awards Night, Spring Revue, state golf tournament, and a band concert, led to some interesting reflection on the feelings of our parents as all our students go through transitions and major changes as they mature. As I dropped my youngest daughter off at Cedar Creek this morning, a thought entered my mind: we have all done this before……
The feelings we experience during transitions we have experienced before as parents:
The first real bite of food
the first steps of our babies
the first tooth and loss of a tooth
the first swim without arms underneath our kids
the first bike ride
the first words
the first time with a babysitter
the first drop off at kindergarten
the first recital
the first game
the first day of middle school
the first sleepover
the first middle school dance
the first loss of a loved one or pet
the first day of high school
the first drive behind the wheel…….
During these events, we had to allow our kids to do something on their own. We had to allow them to step up to experience a new thing while we could only observe and watch. The kids, not us, stepped up to the edge and took on a new challenge or life event. No matter the age of your student, these changes bring up the same emotions. The main word I would use to describe my interactions lately has been assurance. Please rest assured that your children are ready for the next step - and so are you. You’ve done this before.
Gary Allan is one of my favorite song writers and musicians. I occasionally have control of my music in my truck with my girls. And if I do, I attempt to share some of my tunes with them. A song that resonates with all of us is called Every Storm. Here is a line or two that always gets the Ramseys fired up:
"Every storm runs, runs out of rain
Just like every dark night turns into day
Every heartache will fade away
Just like every storm runs, runs out of rain
So hold your head up and tell yourself that there's something more
And walk out that door
Go find a new rose, don't be afraid of the thorns
'Cause we all have thorns
Just put your feet up to the edge, put your face in the wind
And when you fall back down, keep on rememberin'…….."
The girls love this visual of walking out to the edge and allowing yourself the freedom of the wind as you may experience a new event (obviously that’s my paraphrasing of our conversations when they jam to this line). Rest assured, you and your child have been to the edge before as a family!
We hope everyone has a fantastic last weekend of the 17-18 school year. When we return, we have a normal class day on Monday and then on to Final Exams. Take care.
All schools have a certain flow. It is called a flow for it can change sometimes rather slowly or very rapidly. And you never know when the flow will change. As we entered this first week of testing, there was a certain level of anxiety and uncertainty as we headed to this new three week time period. During the past week, we completed STAAR tests in Algebra One, Biology, and Unites States History while also taking fifteen Advanced Placement subject tests. We continued to hold classes and all activities for our students not affected by these tests. As the week progressed, one could sense a new feeling on campus. The week began with dread, and now we were thriving as we headed towards the weekend. The hallways became full of positive noise. We all walked a little faster with a more confidence. The amount of smiles and laughing increased. Conversations began to center on prom, the upcoming summer and vacations, college, graduation festivities, and the conclusion of another year at WHS - for both students and staff. This includes the feeling that this time in their life is coming to an end for all of our freshmen through seniors. Even so, they want to enjoy these last few weeks with their classmates before the summer or graduation.
Folks are tired, but this has been a week of renewed youthful exuberance. I do not think we saw this week making this turn, but it has been delightful. A small group of us were discussing this shift between classes today. One in the group brought up the first time they attempted yoga in relationship to this week. The fear and uneasiness of taking the yoga class was replaced with a feeling of peace and excitement for finding a new technique for well-being.
Each year brings new challenges and/or opportunities as a campus. The calendar has presented a unique setting for the next few weeks as we conclude the spring semester. As we have mentioned over the last few months, we will have a busy three weeks of testing due to the testing dates assigned by the state of Texas for STAAR and Advanced Placement by the College Board. In a span of two weeks, we will give over 5,500 combined STAAR and AP tests before we begin Final Exams during our last week of school. While not all students will be taking tests these days, we did want to give you the testing schedule so that you may be aware.
May 7th STAAR Algebra One
AP Morning-Chemistry and Spanish Literature (Level 5)
May 8th STAAR Algebra One Make-up
AP-Morning-Seminar and Spanish Language (Level 4)
AP Afternoon-Art History and Physics 1
May 9th STAAR US History
AP-Morning-English Literature (12th)
AP Afternoon-Physics 2
May 10th STAAR Biology
AP Morning-US Government
AP Afternoon-Chinese and Environmental Science
May 11th STAAR Make-ups
AP Morning-German and US History
AP Afternoon-Computer Science Principles
May 14th AP Morning-Biology and Music Theory
AP Afternoon Physics C
May 15th AP Morning-Calculus AB and Calculus BC
AP Afternoon-French and Computer Science
May 16th AP Morning-English Language (11th)
May 17th AP Morning-World History
May 18th AP Morning Human Geography and Microeconomics
AP Afternoon European History and Latin
We will have a quiet/dead week beginning on May 16th as we prepare for Final Exams. Students will be receiving an email about Final Exam Exemptions next week.
Our junior and seniors will also have the opportunity to attend Prom on May 19th. Our Prom theme this year is the ‘80s. It might be interesting and entertaining to break out some of your sweet Prom photos from the ‘80s. It’s always a nice way for our kids to be reminded that we were once their age and were experiencing some of the very same activities as they are but in a very different time period.
We hope you have a good weekend. The next three weeks are going to feel different since we'll be without a week between AP testing and finals, but we hope to have a smooth finish during the next 15 days.
Steve Ramsey: WHS Principal Blog
Principal's Weekly Reflections