Friday Focus

December 11, 2015

A couple of weeks ago, you filled out the mental health survey for the students and we now have the data back. Chelsea Clark came in and shared those results with the SAT and we looked at them from a global standpoint. The areas of concern were not a big surprise, because it is things that all other high schools in the state are dealing with, but it will help focus the Boone County Mental Health Coalition to provide us with help.

Chelsea also left us with data to analyze over specific students with high areas of concern. We are looking through that now, but it would be easier if we could sort the data better. Chelsea is working on a solution for us so we can view it in a spreadsheet format to better sort out what we are looking for. From there, we are looking at forming some small groups of students with similar issues so we can try and address the concerns of the both the building and the individual students. We also received some great news and we will have access to a social worker inside of our building. I don’t know what that will look like yet, but it sounds like we are finally getting some help for some of our most struggling students.

I have heard some good feedback about the retake policy for next year and I have added in a little bit more to cover some stuff I missed. Please take the time to review that shared document before we move for consensus on it. The math team is currently using a lot of the same philosophies from the proposed policy and we are learning a lot from it. They have done a great job of communicating concerns with me and we are working on some tweaks already to make next semester run better for everyone. If you have seen zero or 9th hour recently, don’t get alarmed just yet. Next semester, we will use the 10 school days to retake the test rule to get some of these numbers better under control. Students will always be students and procrastinate until the very last moment. I think some type of form to track their progress from the first day of the semester will make it easier on us and them. All of the hard work and headaches the math team has tackled this year will make it better for everyone next year, because we will know many of the pitfalls and the students will better understand the implications. Remember the whole point of the policy is to make our students more successful and I think it will lower the amount of retakes in the long run, because students will learn to work harder the first time to avoid the extras that come with a mandatory retake.

Finals are upon us and I get a bunch of questions this time of year. I would like to see everyone have some type of assessment to see how the entire semester went. It can be a test, project, or paper for the students to show their growth. A semester “final” is about checking yourself more than checking them. You are asking if you accomplished everything you wanted for your students. Did they retain the knowledge you feel is the most important in your subject? The finals schedule with be:

December 18, 2015 - Even hours

December 21, 2015 - Odd hours

December 22, 2015 - Make-ups