Solon High School

Monthly Update-November 2021

A focus on learning

Good Morning High School Families,

As second quarter gets under way it will be important to continue to find ways to support your son or daughter day in and day out. I know we all put a priority on this as parents, but I want you to know that we put just as much effort into this as educators. One of the ways (probably the most impactful) we do this is by functioning as a professional learning community, or PLC as it is commonly referred to.

A Professional Learning Community “represents an ongoing process in which educators work collaboratively in recurring cycles of collective inquiry and action research to achieve better results for the students they serve” (DuFour, DuFour, Eaker, and Many, 2010). In other words, a PLC is an ongoing and continuous team effort relentlessly focused on student achievement. The following questions drive the work that gets done:

1. What is it we want our students to learn?

2. How will we know if each student has learned it?

3. How will we respond when some students do not learn it?

4. How can we extend and enrich the learning for students who have demonstrated proficiency?

One of the ways we do this is with the time provided on Thursday afternoons. We use those two hours each week to create the best possible outcomes for our students. A PLC does not just happen on Thursday, however.

A PLC is NOT -

  • yet another program in addition to the other things already going on in schools.

  • like a book club that meets every Thursday and only happens on Thursday.

  • just another meeting.

  • a top down driven initiative.


  • a collaborative team effort to ensure that all students learn at high levels.

  • a collective effort by all educators to work interdependently to help all students achieve.

  • a results oriented team effort that is evidence based and centered on student learning.

  • an ongoing assessment of all educational programs and their impact on student achievement.

We also have what are called CLT's or Collaborative Learning Teams. For the most part these are made up of content specific teachers who utilize the time each week to address their goals and support students. Each CLT in our building identifies one of the building goals and uses the SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely) goal format to develop a plan for their team that directly correlates with one of those goals each week. Below are a few quotes from current teachers regarding the impact this work has had on them as practitioners, and more importantly the impact it has had on students.

“Our time together means that I know exactly what was covered in classes before the students come into my advanced classes. It means that I can see and share assessments and grade them with colleagues so that I am not the only set of eyes on an evaluation of student work. For students this means that practices from class to class are shared. We make materials together, we share expertise, we support each other and ask important questions. This collaboration is exactly what makes Solon great. "

"Our CLT looks at our data and collaborate on how to improve our instruction to better support students."

"Our social studies team has been focusing on ways to implement the skill of argumentation into our lessons. The goal is to develop student's ability to analyze overarching questions, establish a claim, research evidence, and organize written and verbal responses in support of their position. The time has been invaluable as we attempt to pilot this initiative."

Rarely do we include information like this in the monthly update, but it is important for all of us to fully understand how much time and effort goes into building collective teacher efficacy in the most purposeful way possible. We have a great group of educators at Solon High School that want what is best for each and every student that walks our halls. Enjoy November, and remember to get out and vote tomorrow!


Dates to ADD to your calendar

We all know how calendars can get filled, so please add the following dates to your calendar if you have not yet. These are all in the month of November.

Early Outs: 4th, 11th, 18th and 23rd

Election Day: 2nd

Musical: 6th and 7th

Veteran's Day: 11th (we will run our normal Thursday schedule with the assembly starting at 8:10)

NO School: 24th, 25th and 26th

2021/2022 Yearbook

Please help us create the best yearbook possible! Any of you can upload photos at any time all year long. Right now we are specifically looking for Cross Country, Volleyball, Football, Cheer, Homecoming, Marching Band and Fall Musical candids.

Here is the 21-22 Yearbook link:

You all are welcome to start uploading pictures into your book at any time. We encourage adding a tag to the photo uploads before uploading, so that pictures get categorized correctly in your yearbook. (Examples: Musical, 2nd block Algebra, lunch outside)

Check out this cool video! Former Solon student Austin Schwake shares his story....

All Star Junior Austin Schwake

Just in Case we need the 2 hour delay schedule :)

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STATE CHAMPS!! Our boys team got 5th as a team, and our girls won it all!!

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From the Counseling Office

Mike Thompson, Solon HS Counselor

Kathleen McKean, College and Career Transition Coordinator


Student Stress/Anxiety and Learning

When students experience either stressful situations or anxiety, their thoughts become muddled. They might be less clear in their thinking. My primary role is to assist students with their social/emotional development. And within that role, my number one job is to listen and help students manage stressful and anxious situations (i.e. see things more clearly). Parents, if you sense your student is a bit more stressed, I want you to know that I can help. You can reach me either by phone (624-3401 ext. 1117) or email (


Students can now register for spring semester college courses @ Kirkwood CC.

  • You can now view and request Kirkwood Alternative Concurrent Enrollment classes for the Spring Semester. Please click Kirkwood Community College

for a step by step guide to walk you through the process. In Dual Enroll, select 2022SP - Alternative Credit in the drop down menu to view the correct semester.

  • Please complete your request in the Dual Enroll system by NOVEMBER 5th for priority registration! You can still submit requests after this day but please have requests in by November 30th to still have a chance of getting in the class you would like.

  • After your request is complete there is a process at Kirkwood that happens before you are actually registered. You will be notified when your registration is complete and you are officially in the class.

  • If you have questions you can send me an email or schedule an appointment.

  • Hailey Hebl from the Kirkwood Regional Center will be here with me on November 2nd from 8:30-12:00, so if you are able to meet at that time we will get extra support!

Students can now register for spring semester college courses @ The University of Iowa. For more information about the process of taking a course at UI please refer to this link. The University of Iowa


  • Scholarship Information

Any scholarship information that comes to the Counseling Office is made available on the Scholarship Page of the Solon HC Counseling Website. Scroll to the 2021 - 2022 Comprehensive Scholarship List. There you will find links to view scholarship information with deadlines in the designated month


FAFSA opened on October 1, 2021. If you are nervous about completing the FAFSA or have specific questions I highly encourage you to contact our Iowa College Access Network (ICAN) Representative, Lupe Hernandez. She has an office at the Kirkwood Regional Center in Coralville. ICAN can provide assistance with the FAFSA this fall. Appointments are free and their schedule fills up fast. To schedule a one-on-one appointment with ICAN visit For reference, here is Lupe's contact info:

  • FAFSA Assistance: Step-by-Step FAFSA Events

A Step-by-Step FAFSA Event is a virtual walk through of the FAFSA form in which participants join a Zoom call and file the FAFSA while being led through the form by an ICAN professional. Additional FAFSA helpers will be available through the chat feature or breakout rooms to answer questions and provide assistance. To participate simply register below.


Winter/Spring 2022 Internship Opportunities

Solon High School seniors and juniors ... check out this opportunity!!! You have an opportunity to complete a 60 hour work-site internship either during quarter 3 (Winter) or quarter 4 (Spring). And you will earn three elective credits for your experience! The internship is a planned and supervised career experience. Seniors,

Through this experience, “Interns learn new skills, apply classroom knowledge in a real-world setting, develop employability behaviors that better prepare them for the workplace, and gain insight that will help them make more informed career choices.” (TWLC)

What types of internships are offered? Good question! Explore internship opportunities here.

Students receive three (3) elective credits for successfully completing an internship.

The portal is open! Applications are due – Friday, November 5, 2021 @ 3:00 p.m.


University of Iowa 1st Generation Event:

University of Iowa First Generation Achieves

What Does "First-Generation" Mean at The University of Iowa?

At the University of Iowa, first-generation students are those students who do not have a parent(s) or guardian(s) who completed a four-year degree. Compared to their continuing generation peers, first-generation students may face a unique set of challenges in their college transition and completion efforts, and often benefit from additional support of faculty and staff who are dedicated to their success. In addition, first-generation students share many common personal assets that also contribute to their success. The University of Iowa aims to celebrate these assets and help students learn to utilize them in order to reach their full potential and realize their academic goals.

College Representative to Solon HS: Use this link (SHS Post-Secondary Visit Schedule) to see the most up-to-date listing of college representatives visiting Solon HS.

Kirkwood Official Visit Days: Not sure what you want to do after high school? Join us for a Kirkwood campus visit to see if community college is a good fit for you! We will be providing transportation to anyone who would like to go to the Kirkwood visit days on the following dates. To sign up, please stop by Kathleen’s office by November 5th.

  • November 12: 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.


Mr. Thompson is continuing to update his website. You can access the High School Website here.

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Fall Musical

Solon Community Families, it is time for another musical!

Solon Drama’s Sister Act the Musical!

November 6th @ 2:00pm and 7:00pm


November 7th @ 2:00pm, 2021

We are presenting Sister Act the Musical this weekend, and are super excited to share it with the community! This Fall has been so fast, that it is time to purchase tickets! All tickets will be purchased online, otherwise, if still available, can be bought in person at the door, on show day! Tickets prices are as follows: $7, $9, $12, & $15, depending on where you are seated!


Tickets can be found at

-Click on the show you are wanting to attend.

-Choose your preferred seats.

-Pay online and email your tickets to yourself!

Show times are:

Saturday November 6th @ 2:00pm

Saturday November 6th @ 7:00pm

Sunday November 7th @ 2:00pm

Please direct any specific questions to the director, Sami McAtee



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Activities Schedules

For all things activity related, please use this link to find schedules, locations, dates and times. Any questions can be directed to Casey Hack, district Activities Director.