There is no doubt that we have a wonderful community of students and families. From being a part of this educational community for over 16 years, I have seen this community respond to major local, state and world events. The response to Hurricane Harvey has been no different. The lone exception may be the amount of families affected directly in this crisis. In my family alone, I have relatives in Katy, Dickinson, Houston, and Bay City.
We would like to mention our student-driven campus response to the needs of others:
We also know that giving directly to certain agencies is also very beneficial for our fellow Texans. Whether it’s money or goods, always donate through a trusted organization, such as the Austin Disaster Relief Network or the American Red Cross. At the national level, many voluntary, faith and community based organizations are active in disasters and are trusted ways to donate to disaster survivors. The Texas Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (Texas VOAD) also has a list of vetted disaster relief organizations accepting donations for Hurricane Harvey survivors. Texas VOAD represents more than three dozen faith-based, community, nonprofit and non-governmental organizations.
We hope everyone has a wonderful weekend. We hope you stay safe whether you are traveling for a trip to help loved ones, or just taking a trip in town.
Take care Chaparrals.
We are off to a fabulous start at Westlake High School for the ’17-’18 school year. While the first day of school can be a little challenging with over 2,600 students arriving, we feel we had a positive day on campus. So, when almost 3,000 students and staff show up on the first day, we decided to have a special experiential learning experience centered on the solar eclipse. Due to strategic planning in the spring, we were able to view the eclipse as a whole learning community. While we were only outside for 15-20 minutes, this experience was shared by students and staff in a unique setting. Our science, social studies and math teachers all took this as an opportunity to have a real world lesson. While students could have chosen to stay inside, we had 99% of our students in the stands-this was a huge indication of a positive campus with a large amount of student interest. This event also allowed us to break up the day and to have a little fun along the way during the first day of class.
As part of our process to focus on all areas of our students’ lives outside of academics, we continued our first week of lessons designed to discuss proper decision making. Yesterday, our science teachers focused on proper decision making and the impact on decisions at this age. Our social studies teachers focused on our student code of conduct and all the policy and legal aspects of decisions that our kids begin to make at this age. Our English teachers focused the Honor Code and the importance of trust and integrity. They also reviewed the Time Management Sheet we began using last year to help students manage their time during these busy high school years. If you want to have a tangible item to discuss with your son or daughter after week one, this may be the item to discuss. As a community, we felt these lessons had a certain amount of relevance and helped to build relationships inside each class, so we will conduct these once every quarter with new topics.
Each class of seniors has their own outlook and personality. Last year, I wrote about a very reflective and reminiscent group who were celebrating “the first of many lasts.” There was the last first day of school, the last first time to go off campus for lunch, the last first pep rally. Our current group of seniors has decided that “good vibes” is the theme for their year. This group appears to be highly optimistic and looking forward to each day - they are mindful and very in tune with the present. Looking forward to an exciting year with these seniors and their leadership!
Steve Ramsey: WHS Principal Blog
Principal's Weekly Reflections