Lions Roar

2-1-2019

Message from Dr. Wagner

Hello St. Helens High School community! I am glad to be back from maternity leave and want to express my gratitude for your patience and support. I am truly honored to be leading a school that is committed, caring, and gracious. I am proud to be a member (and resident) of this community. The last few weeks have certainly been challenging for a myriad of reasons. It's times like these that we must lean on each other for support and work collaboratively for the good of our children. We have some exciting opportunities to make lasting positive change and I hope you will join us in our endeavors.


Regarding the incident that took place at the girls basketball game on January 15, this is the letter that was sent to families on January 25:


Dear St. Helens High School community,

St. Helens High School is saddened and embarrassed by the events experienced by the Parkrose Women’s Basketball Team when visiting our school earlier this month. Any behavior that creates a hostile or threatening environment is not condoned by our school and we sincerely apologize for the resulting impact of any and all hateful words or actions that were communicated.

Immediately following the incident, St. Helens High School and Parkrose High School launched a joint investigation to identify and hold accountable those who engaged in this unacceptable behavior. We are working collaboratively to improve the climate at future school exchanges.

We have already begun planning an opportunity for the two teams to come together to discuss their experiences. This restorative practice will allow our students to share how these events impacted them and to move forward with understanding and respect for one another. In addition, we have increased supervision and school resource officer presence at future athletic events.

As principal, it is my responsibility to ensure that all members of the school community demonstrate positive relationships and cultural competence. I am deeply committed to fostering a safe, positive, and inclusive culture at St. Helens High School. To help achieve this goal, we plan to develop a student-led equity task force to engage our students as equity and inclusivity leaders. We will be holding listening sessions for our St. Helens students to share experiences and ideas to improve our school climate with our administration. We have also discussed bringing together our athletic team captains throughout the NWOC League to identify norms, provide cultural competence training, and support our students in promoting positive sportsmanship and camaraderie.

We recognize the importance of developing an equity lens and using culturally-relevant teaching to engage all students and promote prosocial behavior. The formation of a staff equity and inclusivity team is a priority to ensure that our staff is receiving the professional development and training necessary to be effective and empowered anti-racist and inclusive educators.

Acting with integrity is a core value of our school. Integrity is defined as the quality of having strong moral principles while acting honorably and ethically. It is doing what it right and just. When we see racism, harassment, or bullying, we must interrupt this despicable behavior and respond swiftly and appropriately.

Integrity is also the state of being whole and undivided. This unity is essential to the functioning of our school community. The St. Helens High School collective vision statement clearly identifies that all are treated with respect and dignity in a non-threatening environment. As a community, we must diligently work towards this vision, together, by doing what is right. It is only through active collaboration, respectful discourse, and mindful listening that we can achieve this vision. Our students deserve nothing less.

STUDENTS: Join our student listening session on diversity and equity issues on Thursday, 2-7

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Semester 2 begins Monday

Students should check their Semester 2 schedules on StudentVUE to check for accuracy. If any student has a hole in their schedule or is placed in the wrong class, please come to the counseling center during that class period so we can assist you. Printed schedules will be made available upon request.
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Got Snow?

There is snow in the forecast for next week. Our superintendent assures us that he will try to make the call for a delayed opening or snow day the evening before or early that morning. There may not be anyone in the office to take your call, so please check the local TV stations or emails from Dr. Wagner for updated information.