MCCHS FRIDAY FOCUS
138th EDITION: December 13, 2019
From the Desk of Ms. Debra Novy
As we welcome winter and Christmas break, teachers and students are eagerly preparing for the end of the first semester and semester exams. The newest members of our community, the Freshmen, may be quite nervous…not sure what to expect, but fortunately our Student Mentors met with the Freshmen on Wednesday to give them some tried and true tips on studying, how to monitor their own academic progress, and the importance of self-care during these stressful times! On the other hand, our Seniors are seeing that proverbial “light at the end of the tunnel” as they realize that the end of this semester signals that they are half-way to graduation! Not only that, but for several Seniors, these exams may be some of their last at Marian because many will most likely qualify for Senior Exam Exemptions for the second semester! (you can find and print a copy of the Senior Exam Exemption form below) This is certainly an exciting time!
A couple other reminders about grades. Please make sure that you/your student(s) check the grade portal prior to Tuesday, December 17 at 3:00 pm when the portal will close. This will allow students to have a clear idea of where their grades stand as they go into the exams. We close the portal during exams for teachers to freely enter exam grades and update the final semester grade for the students, and this time also allows for administration to verify the accuracy of the grades. The portal will reopen on Wednesday, January 8 at 8:00 am. Report cards for semester 1 will be mailed that week.
The Christmas season is, by far, my favorite because we are reminded of what is most important in this world…
2 Corinthians 9:15 states it best…
Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!
Finally, I want to say that it has been my privilege to work at Marian, among the many talented and passionate educators and staff members, intelligent and insightful students, and their loving families. I want to personally wish all your families… our entire Marian Family… the most blessed Christmas and a positive, happy, and prosperous New Year.
Senior Semester 2 Exam Exemptions
It is that time of year again... second semester, and the opportunity for seniors to be able to be exempt from taking their finals in May! We want to encourage our seniors to finish their high school career strong, reward students who have been working so hard to be a great student in every aspect, and perhaps even ease a little exam anxiety towards the end of the year. The last few years have been successful so we want to continue this little incentive for our seniors.
Please read through the 2019-20 Senior Exam Exemption form. Seniors will be responsible for printing, completing, and submitting this form for consideration.
Here are the general criteria that we will be able to measure:
SENIOR FINAL EXEMPTION CRITERIA
Senior students must be passing their course BOTH Quarter 3 and Quarter 4 with a minimum 91% (rounded) B+, in order to waive out of that respective final exam.
Senior Students have the option of taking their final exam, if doing so increases the chances of earning a better grade.
Senior students must have accumulated NO MORE THAN three (3) detention hours over the course of the entire 2019-20 school year.
Senior students must have a minimum of 94% attendance rate (no more than 5 excused or unexcused absences) for second semester.
Senior students must have no more than 5 excused or unexcused absences for the class during second semester.
Extended medical situations approved by the administration and/or medical emergencies supported by medical documentation will not count towards the excused absences, tardies, or early dismissals.
Off-site college visits will not count toward the attendance criteria if the visit is pre-approved by administration and is verified upon return with a letter from the college visit
School-sponsored absences, such as spiritual retreats, administrative-approved field trips, and school-sports early releases will not count toward the attendance criteria.
We did have several students appeal exemption decisions last year since they knew a grade was in progress. This worked out very well - and we were able to approve a few more exemptions as a result. Students may appeal if they do not receive preliminary approval for an exemption- or know in advance that a grade needs a second look (for pending grade change.) We review all appeals and watch those grades closely. Appeals were mostly regarding grade-update issues and a few unique attendance situations. Discipline appeals, however, will not be considered. For the sake of clear, advanced communication to students and teachers, the appeal deadlines are firm and all appeal decisions are final.
Reminder: Semester exams begin December 18th. Please be sure your tuition account is at least half paid per the tuition policy below. Thank you.
TUITION PAYMENT POLICY: No student will be allowed to take first semester exams unless his/her tuition is current. Therefore, a minimum of one-half of the family tuition must be paid prior to the first semester exams. No student will be allowed to take second semester exams unless his/her tuition and any other fees are paid in full. In the event a family finds itself in an extraordinary circumstance, a request for an exception to the first semester payment policy can be made to the Superintendent. The written request is to include an explanation of the extraordinary circumstance accompanied by a payment plan. The Superintendent has the authority to make such an exception if it is deemed appropriate and the payment plan is acceptable. A family’s payment history will be examined in making such a decision. There are no exceptions to this policy at the end of the second semester. Once two weeks of a quarter are completed, the full quarter's tuition is required.
Freshmen Placement Test
Attention Future Hurricanes - Class of 2024
If your 8th grade student was unable to attend the placement test on December 7th, we are offering an alternate date - Wednesday, December 18th at 12:00 noon. Please call our Guidance Office at 815-338-4220 x115 to register. Click here for additional information
Access to Grades
Guidance Office Updates
PSAT scores will be viewable for juniors on the College Board website at: studentscores.collegeboard.org starting on Tuesday, December 10. To view their PSAT/NMSQT results online, juniors should either log-in with their username/password if they've ever created a College Board account for any reason in the past, OR first-time users should create an account by clicking "Sign Up" on the login page.
Here's an informative, short video that helps with viewing scores:
Mrs. Hilton will be visiting junior classrooms in early January 2020 to share and explain paper PSAT score reports and to talk to the students about registration for the ACT that will be held at Marian Central in April 2020.
PreACT, PreACT 8/9
Guidance Counselors, Mr. Kruse and Mrs. Hilton, met with all freshmen and sophomores on Wednesday, December 11 to share and explain PreACT & PreACT8/9 score reports. Students were given their paper score reports, their original test booklets, and helpful guides to understand scores that can be found by clicking the following links:
PreACT 8/9 (freshmen):
Parents are encouraged to review the results with their students. The results are useful in identifying academic strengths and weaknesses and should be used to improve skills for the future.
In addition, Mr. Stamatakos was on hand during the freshmen/sophomore meetings to introduce all students to a new system available free of charge to all Marian students to help navigate the career/major search, college selection and college application process. All freshmen and sophomores now have access to SCOIR and have been encouraged to utilize it to explore potential careers and college majors.
HOBY/ILS LEADERSHIP SEMINARS
Finally, Mr. Kruse presented an opportunity for sophomores to apply to attend a weekend-long leadership seminar in the summer of 2020 through Hugh O'Brien Youth (HOBY) Seminars or Illinois Leadership Seminars (ILS). Three sophomores will be chosen from the pool of applicants to attend the seminars free-of-charge. Both offer a great opportunity for students to gain leadership skills and to grow in self-confidence. The application is simple, brief and is due to Guidance no later than Friday, December 20. Applications are available in Guidance or can be printed by clicking this link:
Support Hurricane Baseball
For the first time ever, the Hurricanes baseball team is participating in the Space Coast Spring Training event in Cocoa Beach, Florida during Spring Break. To help offset the cost, the boys are selling fun t-shirts. The t-shirts are available through December 20th, and all proceeds will go directly towards their travel costs. Please help support our Marian Central Baseball Team by purchasing a t-shirt. All order forms should be sent to Tom Kruse at Marian Central. Click here to download and print the order form.
Marian Spiritwear Sale & Ugly Christmas Sweater Day
Everything will be on sale!!
On Target is offering a sale on Marian Central spirit wear with discounts of 15% - 25% off regular prices. All sales are subject to stock on hand. Representatives will be at Marian Central for the boys basketball game on Monday, December 16th vs McHenry; games at 5:30 and 7:00 pm.
Ugly Christmas Sweaters
Join in the fun---wear your Ugly Christmas Sweater to the basketball game on Monday, December 16th. Students can also wear their Ugly Christmas Sweaters to school on Monday, December 16th. Respectable sweaters may be worn with jeans (no rips or tears) or Marian uniform pants.
St. Nicholas Day
A BIG thank you to our Parents Club members who shared candy canes with students during the three lunch periods last Friday, St. Nicholas Day - Lisa Pawlak, Mary Peterson, Heidi Johnson, Lisa Wolf, Lauren Rickgauer (Marian Class of 2018), Lisa Sweeney, Michele Piedmonte - We appreciate you sharing your time!
St. Nicholas Essay Contest
Be Like Nick. The 2nd Annual St. Nicholas Student Essay Contest began last Friday,
December 6th. Two students have a chance to win $50 cash each, by emailing 100 words or less to Mr. Joe Price, Assistant Principal (firstname.lastname@example.org) for the theme, “Be Like Nick”. The deadline for entries is Monday, December 16th at 3pm. Two contest winners will be announced, and each awarded $50 cash on Friday, December 20th. Details are on Marian Central’s social media and on flyers throughout the school. Remember . . . #BeLikeStNick!
Important to Note
Wednesday, December 18th - Exams periods 1 & 2; 10:45 am dismissal
Thursday, December 19th - Exams periods 3,4-6, 7; 12:05 pm dismissal
Friday, December 20th - Exams periods 8 & 9; 10:45 am dismissal
Monday, December 23 through Friday, January 3rd - Christmas break; no classes
Monday, December 23rd through Wednesday, January 1st - office closed
Thursday, January 2nd and Friday, January 3rd - office open 9:00 am - 1:00 pm
Monday, January 6th - Classes Resume