The Bare Necessities

March, 2019

Dear Colleagues,

Spring has sprung! At least in what is on our minds, if not outside. We just successfully completed Student Led Conferences, ensuring that students forecast for classes that are in line with their long term goals. Parents and students were able to discuss their next steps, with the support and help of their counselor. It was a very busy couple of days, but the improved communication and thoughtful class selection will pay dividends as we build an accurate master schedule, and parents and students are on the same page with their next steps.


Leading into conferences, we had a tremendously successful career day! Sometimes when you continue to do the amazing things you do for a long time, you loose sight of the tremendous learning opportunities we put in front of kids each year. The buzz was palpable as students learned about sound effects in movies, medicine, being a small business owner, being an electrician and on and on. Career Day is a remarkable event, that is something extraordinary that AHS does for our students. Thank you for your work to make it possible!


Inspiration is not in short supply at AHS. In the last few months, there have been a few key moments that have helped me remember my why. If you have an interest in thinking about yours, take a minute to watch the Ted Talk later in this edition.


Watching students with special needs and their typically developing peers build friendship, skills, and confidence through the unified sports Basket Ball team has been such a gift. Check out the recent Ashland tidings article about Unified Sports here: http://dailytidings.com/news/top-stories/this-games-for-all


Listening to students talk about amazing career they had not yet considered on career day provided reinforcement. Having individual conversations with every 9th grader who did not pass a class provided insights, reminders, and renewed drive.


The tremendous professionals I have the privileged of working alongside every day fills me with gratitude. Thank you for all you do to fulfill our mission to "Inspire Learning for Life."



In Gratitude,

Erika

News Shorts

March 11th

March 11th will be a day full of learning. From 8:00-11:00 we will clarify our shared mission, vision and values along with some important business items. For those departments who would benefit from a department meeting to finalize Flex plans, or whatever other work the department is working on, there is time from 11:00-12:00.


From 12:30-4:00 we will have two trainings happening. If you attended Cultural Agility 201 in August, you will be diving into Zaretta Hammonds work on Culturally Responsive Teaching in the I.V.C.. Everyone else will participate in Cultural Agility 201 in the Library.

Accreditation

The accreditation team from Advanced Ed will be visiting Ashland High School on April 8th and 9th. Melanie has been working tremendously hard gathering all of the documentation needed to show the team all of the good work you all do every day. While the team is on site, they will visiting classrooms. There is a very good chance they will visit yours, most likely on the 8th or the morning of the 9th. I have included the observation form that they use. Notice it is students focused. If you are needed for a panel, we will be in touch in advance of these days. Please reach out if you have any questions or concerns.

Graduation Changes

In the fall, the ASB student body presidents proposed that we re-think how speakers and performers are selected for graduation. Instead of only allowing valedictorians to speak or perform, instead we are opening it up to all graduates. We will select the speeches and performances that are of the highest quality and reflect the richness of student experiences that make AHS special. We will of course recognize the tremendous accomplishment of our Valedictorians and Salutatorians during the ceremony as well.

Restorative Justice Updates

We had several additional staff members attend the full 4 day restorative justice training last month. We are focusing on holding students fully accountable while keeping them engaged in their education. As educators, we know every behavior is a communication. If you are working with a student, and feel a restorative conference could be of benefit, please reach out to Glenna, Maryetta or Aimee. Perhaps you would like to talk through a chronic absence or tardy issue. Perhaps the student is causing frustration due to consistent disruptions. Perhaps there was a an incident of academic dishonesty. Whatever the issue, if the relationship was damaged and you would like to find a positive way forward a restorative conference can be a huge benefit. If you are working through an issue with your whole class, they are also happy to come guide a classroom circle! Take advantage of this tremendous resource.

What is your why?

I was inspired by this Ted Talk to think about my why to do the rewarding but incredibly challenging work that we do in education. Simply put, my why is to provide the guidance and support to allow students to become the absolute best version of themselves.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IPYeCltXpxw

LUCKY DUCK!!

The lucky duck winner for this Bare Necessities is #5. Come claim your prize in the main office.