One of the small but always eventful activities I conduct in the morning is a walk of the building. This is a fabulous time to get a true pulse of the building from our students and staff. One of the strengths of this age is their maturation mixed with an innocence that can be refreshing. As I took my walk on Wednesday, I visited and listened to many conversations that will give you a short look into our students. One group of students was discussing and studying for their first chemistry test. The kids were anxious, nervous, while also excited to demonstrate what they had learned so far. Their teachers had done a quality job, and they were prepared. I then walked up to a group of high performing juniors who were in a heated debate-and I mean a spirited discussion. Is chicken really a breakfast food? Are beef tacos a true breakfast item? What has happened to breakfast-the days of cereal and toast? As I was returning to the commons, a student approached me about a new service project for our campus. He wants to honor the work our custodians do by allowing students and or student groups to help our custodians in the café and in their stocking of common areas like our restrooms. Our kids are the best, and they are the reason that our staff shows up every day ready to work with them and for them.
At our New Parent Meeting in August, I had a few parents approach me about when is the best time to talk to their teenagers about school and the beginning of the year. With the upcoming three day weekend, I believe this may be a fine opportunity to sit down and discuss the first two weeks of their year. The extra day of not being in the school routine allows our kids to be more reflective. Your children will also have two weeks of experience to draw from as well. With our annual Back to School Night quickly approaching, this is a nice conversation starter.
Please mark your calendars for Back to School Night on September 12th. While many high schools have an event like this, we are one of very few that allow for an evening of walking each schedule with personal teacher time. I would also proudly proclaim that our attendance by our parents is at the highest levels in the state. This is a night that our staff can feel the importance of education and the value and appreciation you place in their hands daily. We will be sending out detailed information on the 6th.
Our educational technologists wanted to communicate some beginning of the year information:
The new school year of 2016-2017 has commenced with a new crop of devices that offer a marked instructional improvement over our last generation of iPads and include a full keyboard as well as features like side by side and speech to text. To ensure that these devices are used to their fullest capacity to empower and engage students in their curricular content, we felt that it would be beneficial to provide a checklist of tasks that will be helpful to support students as they use these devices educationally throughout the school year:
Check with Your Student Checklist (5 Things). If any of these things are a "no", please visit the WHS Bulb site for step by step directions to support your learner.
iPad Professional Development for Students and Parents: In the next few weeks, we will be offering AIST (Advanced Individual Skill Training) to support seamless functional use of these skills (dates to come). Additionally, an iPad Base Camp will be offered during school for students to support them using their device to its fullest instructional potential. If you are interested in attending or volunteering to help with any of these learning opportunities, please complete the form here.
Have a wonderful and safe Labor Day weekend!
Always a great day to be a Chaparral!
Steve Ramsey: WHS Principal Blog
Principal's Weekly Reflections