Wolverine Wire - October 2023
Some thoughts for the starting school year
Notes from the Principal
October has nearly ended as has first quarter. We are so grateful you are sending your children to us every day!
- Juniors and Seniors in Community Projects have been communicating with students from all over the world, including Moldova, Algeria, Taiwan, and Romania. Community Projects has changed its scope a bit this year, and students are engaging in asset mapping their local community, and making connections, comparisons, and contrasts with peers around the world!
- All our AP students have had their first big projects, essays, and tests (or all 3!). Students in our new AP Stats class have engaged in some predictions that involve Taylor Swift popularity, Beyonce lyrics, and Barbie freefalls from the roof of the school!
- Students in Oceanography went to the Friday Harbor Labs where they did active research with the marine biologists there; Career Prep students have been on walking field trips to explore local jobs at the city and the waterworks; students in Yearbook have been in the community soliciting ads for their publication; and eight students took a trip to Skagit Valley College to learn about trades and certification programs.
- Math students at every level have engaged in math talk, in significant review, and in group work, all in service of not only getting the solutions, but also in defining the processes that get them there.
- Our fine arts students have developed their art skills, including students in 3D working to demonstrate their ability to activate space and incorporate texture into their first two clay pieces, and our music students have managed to begin to lean into their instruments in more robust ways, including playing at our home football games in the pep band and participating in a very successful Band Family & Friends fundraiser (thanks, BF&F and Masons!).
Every year we set goals for our school that we use to guide our work with and for your students. For several years now, we have chosen goals based on our Smarter Balanced Assessment (SBA) and Washington Comprehensive Assessment of Science (WCAS), as we want to continue to have a through-line that helps us compare our pre-pandemic achievement with current progress. We are proud to share the 10th-grade students who took the SBAs last year scored higher on the exam than the 10th-grade students in 2022, and that we have surpassed our pre-pandemic scores, as measured in the 18-19 school year!
While the scores are our metrics, our strategies to improve student learning this year are to:
- continue to share our learning goals every day, in every class with students
- help them build awareness around their learning through mid-unit reflections on what they know and are able to do, AND the behaviors that supported them in that process.
We have shifted to an Advisory curriculum that is based in AVID strategies, which help students grow their relational capacity and organizational skills, take focused notes, check their grades routinely and set goals, facilitate collaborative study groups, and monitor their digital footprint. Those lessons come on Wednesdays when we have Advisory, but the impacts are meant to be integrated through all our students' lessons.
*Student SBA and WCAS score reports have been mailed to families, and should arrive by Monday 11/6. Please contact the school if you don't get one and you had a 10th- or 11th-grade student last year.
Our sports teams have wrapped up their regular season and are starting playoffs. Both our boys' soccer and football teams are league champs. Our newly formed XC team has four team members headed to state, and the boys' soccer team is in the state playoffs as well. Can you say repeat!?! Congratulations to all our fall sports teams. Fall Sports Awards are scheduled for Tuesday 12/5 at 7pm. Please join us if you have a fall athlete! Tryouts for Winter Sports start next week on 11/6. You can always find the latest game calendars on our Wolverine website.
As always, please don't hesitate to reach out with questions or concerns.
October Equity Themes and Recognitions
October is Disability Awareness Month, and at school we shared and posted some messages with our students. The messages were meant to dispel some myths about our community members with disabilities and encourage students to help remove barriers people with disabilities encounter every day. Some of our messages included data, some just plain facts. For example, one in five people has a disability (US Census 2000), and most of the time they are invisible. Hidden or invisible disabilities are physical or mental impairments that are not readily apparent to others. Hidden disabilities include disabilities such as learning disabilities, attention deficit disorder, mental illness, brain injuries, epilepsy, diabetes, arthritis, asthma, cancer, and chronic health pain.
We also celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month from mid-September to mid-October. Currently, our Latinx students are assembling a memorial table (ofrenda) and decorating our entryway for Dia de los Muertos. This is a beautiful tradition that honors loved ones who have passed before us. The ofrenda will be on display starting 11/1, and all students and staff are encouraged to bring pictures of their loved ones to share with our community.
FHHS Veterans' Day Observation - 11/8/23 at 8:55 a.m. in the Turnbull Gym
FHHS in the News
STEM Teacher Sam Garson Presents at Conference in Washington, D.C.
In the end of September, Sam Garson was selected to not only attend the annual Society for Science conference in Washington, D.C., but as a presenter. Sam is only the 4th teacher from WA state who has been selected to attend. As a teacher who is leading active research projects (we have a 19-year research program on invasive mussel species here on the island, among others), Sam has been sought out to share with other high-school science teachers the components of our project that could be applicable in other high-school settings. We are so proud of the science education our students receive at FHHS. Thank you, Sam!
Wolverine Recognized as WIAA Athlete of the Week
We are proud to announce that Junior Whiley McCutcheon was recognized in Week 6, on October 20th. This award is designed to honor student-athletes across the state. Whiley's nomination read: "In this past Friday night's 44-6 league victory over La Conner, Friday Harbor junior Whiley McCutcheon threw two touchdowns, ran for a touchdown, returned two punts for touchdowns, and converted a two-point conversion with his legs, accounting for 32 of the Wolverines' 44 points. On defense, McCutcheon had seven tackles, a sack, a forced fumble, and an interception to round out one of the best all-around performances in school history." You can see the Wolverines continue their post-season play on Vets Day Weekend. Game details are TBD, based on bi-district playoffs this coming weekend.
Notes from Tech - ACTION REQUIRED
Students whose families have not completed the technology acceptable use forms in Skyward will have their Chromebooks locked. The Tech Department has started rolling this out this week. The Chromebooks will be unlocked when the families complete the forms. Instructions for completion are below. If using a mobile device, it works best to choose 'access on the web' and not use the app. Please contact us if you have any questions.
1. Go to the Skyward/Family Access website for SJISD:
2. Sign in using your Login ID and Password. If you do not know your Login ID contact the school office. (must be from parent/guardian account; not student account)
3. On the left-hand side choose the 'Student & Family Information' tab.
4. Choose your student (you will need to do this for each student)
5. Forms to digitally sign will be on the right
Quick Links - FHHS Social Media and Support Organizations
Buy yearbooks online at Jostens, and navigate to Friday Harbor HS
Band Friends & Family: contact Greg Schuh firstname.lastname@example.org for info
Please call the attendance office at 360-370-7110 or email FHHSemail@example.com to excuse your student's absence.
Paraeducators, teachers, custodians, bus drivers, lunch servers, office support; we need backup from the community in all areas! Take a look at the district website for more information on becoming a substitute for the San Juan Island School District.