Issue #81

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April 17-21


We have a short week, with a teacher PD on Friday 4/21. Students therefore don't come into school this Friday 4/21, and Thursday 4/20 is the last day of classes.

Get ready to celebrate, because May 12th is the Gordon Parks Prom!

Have a great week.

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Evening High School Q4

Evening High School Q4

Attending Evening High School is a great way to accelerate your learning and to earn additional credits ensuring that you will meet your graduation goals and that you will get your credits back on track. Evening High School is a separate program from Gordon Parks day school. If you sign up for Evening High School it is understood that you will need to pass the classes you have in day school and also pass your Evening High School classes. You just need to just see your counselor, Mr. Her or Mr. Kennedy this week to get registered for EHS. Evening High School classes are virtual. Typically there is a google meet you will have to log into. EHS classes begin on May 1st or May 2nd depending on the class you are signed up for. Check your school email for more information and check Schoology for your EHS courses.

Summer School 22-23 School Year

Summer School 2022-23 SY

You need to meet with your counselor in order to sign up for Summer School. If you have not filled out the summer school infomational sheet then see your counselor ASAP. Summer school is the fastest way in SPPS to earn credits. Students who attend both sessions can earn up to 12 credits and get back on track quickly. Summer School will be held at Como Park Senior High during the summer.

Summer Session #1 June 26 - July 20, 8:45 - 2:45, No school July 3rd & July 4th

Summer Session #2 July 24 - Aug 11, 8:45 - 2:45

See you counselor to make certain you are registered for both sessions.


Congratulations to Thee for winning the "SPPS Award" in the Honors Art Exhibition! You can see the winning photos in the 1st floor hallway at GPHS.

Congratulations to Theechoua Xiong, Dejnag Yang and Da'Marj Robinson for being selected for the 2022-2023 SPPS Honors Art Exhibition!


Prom Day is Coming

Gordon Parks Prom is Friday, May 12, 2023. Details to Follow.

STUDENT WRITING SAMPLE from Jamie Tomlin's ELA Class

"FOCUSING ON ME" by Dejnag

Self love has been something I’ve struggled with my whole life. For as long as I can remember, I grew up doing everything I was told. I have gone my whole life putting others first before myself and it was quite unhealthy. When I was younger I was always told to just obey and do what I am told so I wouldn’t get in trouble. I think that’s where my people pleaser mindset started. I always looked out for my friends and family, made sure they were okay and that they weren’t sad. All the while I was depressed and sad. I did anything and everything for everyone. There were multiple nights where I would cry silently to myself and wonder, “why am I not getting better?” or “will I ever be happy?” I was always really sad but always put a smile on my face to hide it. I never wanted to burden anyone with my pain, especially my family. I believed that if my friends and family were happy then I would be happy. But how could I be happy when I didn’t even love myself?

I had so many insecurities, my face, my body, my eyes, hair, hands, everything you could think of. I was insecure about everything. I was so hurt that I convinced myself that I was happy. I had convinced myself that I was okay because I didn’t want to admit that I needed help. I always thought people were crazy for even saying that I should love myself more. It was all very hard to go through and I ended up losing a few friendships I had because of this. It wasn’t until October or November of last year that I really hit rock bottom. My grades were failing, I was skipping classes a bunch, and I just had zero motivation to even get up in the morning. I was so stressed about mostly school because I was missing so many credits and it’s my senior year. My mom always pestered me about it and I know she just wanted the best for me but she blew it out of proportion and it just made me even more stressed. I felt so lost and didn’t know what to do anymore. I felt like a lost cause that just couldn't be helped at all. I was overwhelmed with all the stress and lectures I got about my grades. I broke down so many times during this period of my life and it just was not something that I would want to go back to.

I realized at this point that no one is going to look out for me except myself. I cannot get better unless I do something about it. The first thing I did was make the decision to transfer from Johnson to Gordon Parks. Although it was a tough decision to make, I knew I made the correct choice for myself. It broke my heart, having to leave all my friends and favorite teachers but I knew it was for the best. The next thing I did was end the relationship I was in at the time. I loved this person very much. They were so precious to me and they still are but I knew that I couldn’t give them the love they deserved because I was still struggling to love myself. I didn’t want to put them through that and I didn’t want to hurt them by staying with them any longer. I also decided to take a leave of absence from work for a month and I started focusing on myself more. When I came to Gordon Parks, I was ready to get my credits back and to graduate on time. I wasn’t sure of what to expect but as the days went by, it got much easier and I finally felt at ease. It wasn’t until I actually saw my progress of my credits that I felt weight lifted from my shoulders. I had to take a second to process what I was looking at because I am so close to getting every single credit I need. Hearing that I would be able to graduate on time also just made me so happy. I really cannot believe how far I’ve made it.

This progress of my mental health is so important to me because it just really shows my growth mentally and emotionally. It’s so important to love yourself and it’s definitely okay to look out for yourself first before anyone or anything when you know you need it. I went from being a people pleaser and not helping myself when I needed it to focusing on me and knowing that I can take care of myself too, not just others. I think loving yourself should be a priority over anything you know is just temporary.



In this project we will learn personal finance, consumer math, and Algebra 1.

Credit Area: Algebra 1

Teacher: Anupma Sharma


Music, writing and recording. You've got bars? We've got 5 stars! Work with Terrell X a COMPAS teaching artist.

Credit Areas: English

Teacher: Jamie Hagg


Need a math credit? Earn a credit in Algebra 1, Geometry or Algebra 2.

Credit Areas: Algebra 1, Geometry or Algebra 2

Teachers: Kim Nichols & Brendan Zangs


Help build two solar power suitcases- one for GP and the other for an impoverished area of the world. Additionally, you will learn about renewable energy resources including solar, wind, hydroelectric and biomass and how to help your world become more environmentally friendly!

Credit Areas: All sciences

Teacher: Merridith Joly

Refashion & Redesign

Students will have the opportunities to upcycle, or redesign clothing or small pieces of furniture and household items. We will be discussing the economic and environmental impact of reducing, reusing, recycling and refusing.

Credit Areas: FACS

Teachers: Sharon Stone

Beyond the Bin: What Happens to our Recycling?

Students will learn about the impacts of recycling efforts, participate in the GPHS recycling process, and determine potential next steps at the local and global level.

Credit Areas: Human Geo, Econ or Math

Teachers: Mara Cavanaugh & Tom Koreltz

Utopia/Dystopia: The Search for a Perfect World

In this project we will explore examples of utopian societies and dystopian futures as shared on screen and in writing. Students will learn about government and history while examining the possibilities of life in a perfect world and create their own utopian (or dystopian) civilizations. Credit Areas: U.S. Government, World History

Teacher: Mr. Johnson

Female Phy Ed

For female students with more than 1 Phy Ed credit remaining. Please note, this class is pre-registered.

Credit Areas: P.E.

Teacher: Mike Bednar


Interested in Photography? In this project we'll make photos, study photography, and go on photo field trips. Registration priority is given to students who were part of the Quarter 3 Photography project.

Credit Area: Art or ELA

Teacher: Paul Creager & Jamie Tomlin

Languages of the World

Have you always wanted to learn another language? This is the place. German? Spanish? Japanese? Navajo? Zulu? Swahili? (Plus 20 others.) Learning another language opens your world up to new cultures and experiences. In this project you willn use the Duolingo app to learn a variety of languages or improve on one you may have studied in the past. We will also draw on students in the project who speak another language (Hmong, Spanish, Karen, Oromo, Somali, etc.) to teach us some basic phrases and words from the many languages spoken here at Gordon Parks.

Credit Areas: Human Geography, World History

Teacher: Tom Davies

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Do you need elective credits? Do you have a part-time job?

Did you know you can earn 2 credits per quarter for working after school?

To take advantage of the work experience program, the first step is to check with your counselor to see if you still need electives. If so, he will direct you to Mr. Iwen, the Work Experience Coordinator who can get you set up with the paperwork and information you need for work experience credit.

This is a great way to earn credit for something you might already be doing!

If you are interested in work opportunities or need help searching and applying for jobs talk to Mr. Iwen in room 1109.

Please click the "One IMPORTANT REMINDER: Click the link below to do your annual update of your info for this school year.


I recognize that we are still experiencing challenging times with the pandemic, racism, and economic uncertainty. As we stand together through these times, let us think about the African proverb, It Takes a Village, We are the village. An entire community of people. I can't wait to connect with you and find out what your goals are. As we start the year, please remember that I'm here to support you, you can be successful, and we are having a fantastic year!