PHS Update

August 21st, 2018

What a Great First Week!

The first full week of school looks like it was excellent! Hearing great things from students and parents. Thank you for all the hard work to get your classrooms ready and to fire up that excellent curriculum. There are a lot of specific people to thank but I am going to do that personally rather than leave someone out inadvertently!

Back to School Night this Wednesday. Food truck should be ready to go by 5:30pm. Multi program at 6pm. Staff introductions at 6:10 or so and then release to classrooms. See the schedule in the parent update below. Students will get hard copies Monday morning to bring home.

This week, we have a rally on Friday (Kevin and Andrew will send information).

The K-12 Curriculum/Staff Development meeting will have an all-day meeting on Thursday 8/31, and Shereen and Krista, your K12 reps, would like input from staff that they can bring to the meeting. Here is the agenda. Some items are informational, but others are marked as discussion items:

Discussion Items:

  • Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS)

  • Staff Development Planning for 10/15 PD Day

    • Illuminate Training for Secondary Counselors

Suggestions for the October PD day would be welcomed. Please email Shereen and/or Krista with comments and suggestions.

Enrollment Update: We will have the 10th day of school on Tuesday. Enrollment looks good (total just over 1400 with SDC and concurrent.) We are adding new sections of PE9 and Gov't/Econ. These .2 positions have been flown internally on EdJoin. If you are interested, please apply.

All right, let's go out there and take on the week!

Welcome to a New Year - Together We Rise!

On behalf of all the staff at Petaluma High School, welcome again to the 2018-19 school year. We are now well underway with the first full week behind us. All signs are that we are off to a strong start and we are excited to see the effort being put forth by our students. Our theme this year is an excellent one, developed by our ASB class: Together We Rise. Our hope this year is that we all do just that, rise together as one in our learning, in our friendly interactions, and in our hopes for our collective futures. Petaluma High School is an excellent place to learn and we are thrilled to be learning together..

We began the school year by welcoming our freshman with our Link Crew program. Freshmen tour the campus and get to know each other and some upperclassmen who they are "linked" to for future connection. Then we started with our First Two Days. Among various opening activities, our students read from a commencement address by short story writer and novelist George Saunders. In the address, he describes his seventh grade year. A new girl came to his school and he watched as she was teased and gently made fun of. Though he didn't participate, he remembers forty years later that feeling of not having intervened, something he describes as a "failure of kindness." He goes on to consider acts of kindness and how they make us feel. In the end, he says, go out and conquer the world but on the way, remember to "err in the direction of kindness."

At a time when the world seems more divided then ever, it seems like a worthy goal to encourage simple acts of kindness. We'll be watching this year and hoping that we can model the same. If you're interested in the article, here is the link:

I will be sending out these updates every two weeks and you should expect them in your InBox on Sunday evening/Monday morning. We will also occasionally send phone dialers to remind you of upcoming events (including our Back to School Night this Wednesday, August 29th at 5:30pm. (see Back to School Night article below). I also want to invite you to Coffee with the Principal. Every other Tuesday morning, please join me at Aqus Cafe for a coffee and conversation. Come by and share your thoughts or ask a question you might wonder about. Our first Coffee With the Principal is Tuesday, September 4th at 9AM. Please check and the calendar for future dates.

In this update, check out articles on our new Academic Plus program, as well as sports updates, and other local features including senior Juliana Roper's quest to excite kids about science, and Joe Brown's exploits as part of USA Baseball in Panama....

As I write this on Sunday evening, my family and I have been watching the coverage of Senator John McCain's passing. Regardless of your politics, there is no question in my mind that Senator McCain was a man of honor, someone who simply a politician and more a person who would seek, learn and then act on behalf of the people. He made his life a journey of service. We would all do well to use Senator McCain's life and work as we educate and guide our high schoolers.

Have a great week.

A student ties on a friendship bracelet during our First Two Days.

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Back to School Night This Wednesday @ 5:30pm

Hope to see everyone at out Back to School Night this Wednesday. We will have a food truck ready to go by 5:30pm with various groups in the quad ready to share information about Music Boosters, Athletics, Project Grad, BSA, ASB and many more. At 6PM, we will gather in the Multi for some introductions, some short words of welcome, and performances by Choir and Cheer, all before you head off to meet the teachers and get a handle on your child's schedule. Please see below for the schedule of the night. Each student will be bringing home a hard copy Monday evening. Check that backpack! See you Wednesday evening.
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Academic +

After many, many conversations with staff members, parents, Site Council, and more than 400 students, we decided to shift the schedule slightly this year. For many years, we have fielded concerns about tutorial use and whether students were getting the most out of that time. We identified three main reasons to alter the schedule:

  • Observations that only about 20% of students were using tutorial time effectively.
  • Teachers reported that not completing work was the major reason for poor grades, and
  • The extended period of unstructured time seemed to lead to some negative student behavior and loss of days of instruction due to suspension.

So, our staff observed other schools and what they were doing. We noted that Casa Grande's removal of tutorial had lowered the number of days lost to suspension. We observed some schools in the South Bay who had added general work time with support in the middle of the day. And we read about successes nation wide when students have structured time to get work done during the school day. The implementation of Academic Plus has been generally well received. Students remain in their 2nd or 5th period class and can work on any class work during that time and seek direct help from their 2nd and 5th period teacher. We know that some of our students will notice the loss of freedom they previously experienced at tutorial. But we are also excited to see students focusing during A+ time. We are also working with staff to develop a system where students can move at A+ time to visit other teachers by appointment. We plan to implement this at the end of the first grading period.

PHS Swimmers Battle and Defeat Hurricane Hector!

A couple of weeks ago, before Hurricane Dale made such a splash in the Hawaiian Islands, another hurricane brought rough seas to the island of Maui. A contingent of former and current Petaluma High School swimmers braved the swells, battling jellyfish and the elements. Together, they swam from Lanai to Maui in just under six hours! Way to go, PHS swimmers!

Among those swimming were Owen Neufeld, Hailey Joslin, Carmen Rico, Aurora Beaumond, Sasha Andrews, Abby Kreutz, Matthew Neufeld, and Cooper Woods.

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Ms. Vosburg Gets a Rotary Grant for Circle of Friends club!

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Students assembling on the quad for our First Day Rally!

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Mr. Jackson updates staff on ASB events at our Staff Development training

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Sports Corner

Our Fall season of sport is well underway. Volleyball has opened up with a 1-2 record, notching an excellent come from behind win over the Windsor Jaguars before suffering a tough comeback loss of their own to Cardinal Newman. Coach Hughes is prepping the girls for a challenge against Maria Carrillo in the home gym on Tuesday before completing pre-season play at Montgomery on Thursday. They will open league play next week versus Napa.

The varsity football Trojans are 1-1, handling the Montgomery Vikings last week with a nice defensive effort. Last Saturday, they suffered a setback to the upstart Santa Rosa Panthers who road a strong second half to a 42-26 victory. The Trojans look to regroup when they host Terra Lina this Friday, then prep for an early Homecoming versus El Molino on September 7th.

Girls golf, cross country, and girls tennis are getting ready to start their season contests soon.

Important Upcoming Dates

Don't forget the following dates:

Tuesday, August 28th - PAC @ 3:20 in F6

Wednesday, August 29th - Back to School Night @5:30pm-8pm

Friday, August 31st - Homecoming Rally

Monday, September 3rd - Labor Day (NO SCHOOL)

Tuesday, September 4th - Coffee With the Principal @ Aqus Cafe 9AM

Tues-Fri, September 4th-7th - SPIRIT WEEK

Friday, September 7th - Homecoming Parade and Football Game

Saturday, September 8th - Homecoming Dance

Monday, September 10th - Principals Tour (New Prospective Families)

Wednesday, September 12th - SkillsUSA Fall Leadership Conference

Wednesday, September 12th - PHS FFA Chapter Meeting

Thursday, September 13th - Site Council @3:20 in F6

Thursday, September 13th - ELAC Meeting at 6PM

Friday, September 14th-18th - HOSA Trip to Washington DC

Saturday, September 15th - California Coastal Cleanup Day

Monday, September 17th - PICTURE MAKEUP DAY

Monday, September 17th - PHS Athletic Boosters @ 7PM in the Library

Tuesday, September 18th - Coffee With the Principal @ Aqus Cafe 9-10AM

Thursday, September 20th - END OF FIRST GRADING PERIOD

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