August 27th, 2018
Welcome to a New Year - Together We Rise!
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: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1ubM-tVGu7DfPDgzkVjO_iZhbQAyDAHHoevOUnO9LOUc/edit
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 petalumahighschool.org 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.
Back to School Night This Wednesday @ 5:30pm
- 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.
Ms. Vosburg Gets a Rotary Grant for Circle of Friends club!
Students assembling on the quad for our First Day Rally!
Mr. Jackson updates staff on ASB events at our Staff Development training
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:
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
A Note on Cookies Apparel
Dear Parents and Guardians,
One of our goals at Petaluma High School is to create a positive learning environment for all of our students. Our staff works closely with students, parents and community members to foster this goal. We believe it is important to bring awareness to all parents about a specific concern we have involving the Cookies Brand of clothing.
Cookies Clothing was founded by a Bay Area based recording artist, Berner, whose vision is to create a brand of streetwear that represents a blend of fashion, music, marijuana, and urban lifestyle. This company has grown from a street apparel company to now owning several Marijuana dispensaries and a seller of Marijuana related accessories.
Cookies Brand is not the only brand directly connected to the Marijuana culture. As a student who wears a shirt with alcohol or tobacco references would be in violation of our school dress code, we will now be putting an immediate enforcement on all Cookies and other Marijuana apparel.
As stated in our Dress Code Standards:
● Inappropriate words, symbols, or pictures are not permitted on clothing, hats, book bags, binders, or skin. This includes items/words that are obscene, profane, pornographic, disparaging or demeaning to others (i.e. racial, religious, sexist, or ethnic slurs; sexual innuendo) or anything advocating pain, death, violence, suicide or the use of drugs/alcohol. Symbols or words depicting cigarettes, beer, marijuana, etc. are not permitted.
● Students will not be allowed in classes or out on the school grounds if dressed inappropriately. Inappropriately dressed students will be asked to change and may have the clothing confiscated and may receive disciplinary consequences. Final judgment of appropriateness shall be determined by school officials.
The following items are guidelines to consider when choosing clothing for school or school activities:
• Clothing should cover the chest, torso and bottom
• Undergarments should not be visible
• Pants should be worn at the waist, not sagging.
• For reasons of safety, shoes must be worn at all times.
• Sunglasses may not be worn indoors.
• Students may use the hoods of their sweatshirts or jackets ONLY when outdoors AND it is raining, windy, or cold.
• Pajamas are not appropriate attire for school.
Logos for Cookies brand and others can be found in the document below.