Thursday, December 12, 2013

Beautiful Music

The WHS Chamber Singers performed for a full house at tonight's Winter Concert, joined by WHS Bands and Orchestras.

Members of the Wrind Enemble waiting back stage...

And don't miss the incomparable Natalie Joly (Class of 2013) at her concert next Thursday evening!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Window Art

WHS Art students filled the streets of downtown Wakefield yesterday to engage in a holiday season window painting effort.  Pictured below are Waverley Stanfield, Marlena Nikosey, Lianna Murphy, & Alex Nason.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

METCO


The Wakefield Public Schools has a relatively small but thriving METCO program.  With the annual state conference for METCO approaching tomorrow, I have been reflecting on the importance of this diversity program to Wakefield Memorial High School, in terms of breathing life into our core values and 21st century social & civic learning expectations. It has been a great benefit to our predominately white student body to know and learn together with students of color, in an environment where students establish lifelong friendships in academic classes and extracurricular activities.  

METCO, the Metropolitan Council for Educational Opportunity, was incorporated in 1966 as a voluntary desegregation program under the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. METCO promotes the integration of suburban schools while affording the opportunity to Boston resident youth a suburban public education. There are more than 30 communities and towns in Massachusetts that participate, with over 3,000 students enrolled in METCO.  Wakefield began participating in the METCO Program in 1969, serving 40 or more Boston resident students annually.  There are currently METCO students at Wakefield Memorial High School,  Galvin Middle School, Greenwood Elementary School, and Dolbeare Elementary School.  Our students are from a variety of racial and ethnic backgrounds (African-American, Latino, Caribbean, and African) representing Boston neighborhoods (South End, Dorchester, Roxbury, Mattapan, South Boston, Hyde Park, and Roslindale).  METCO Director Joel Villegas coordinates the program for the Wakefield Public Schools, acting as a mentor for the students and arranging programs to enhance their academic and social experiences.

We plan to establish a METCO advocacy committee, beginning in January and meeting several times over the course of the school year, with a vision to support:
  • diversity enrichment opportunities and programs
  • family partnerships (Wakefield and Boston)
  • culturally responsive teaching and learning strategies for teachers
  • a sustainable and vibrant program
I invite parents and students to express their interest in serving on this committee by contacting me at kim.smith@wpsk12.org or Joel Villegas at joel.villegas@wpsk12.org.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

A Thanksgiving Tradition

This afternoon I enjoyed a traditional Thanksgiving luncheon with the Rotary Club. Thank you to the Rotary Club for inviting Superintendent Zrike and I to join the WHS Warrior Varsity Football Coach, Mike Boyages, and senior captains Mike Miller, Zach Levine, and Mike Melanson in preparation for the big game on Thursday.  Our captains each gave a short speech, and I was impressed that they each chose to talk about family - family at home as well as the family comprised of their teammates and coaches at school - as the most important part of what Thanksgiving Day means to them.  I look forward to the game every year as it is a special reunion of our larger WHS family, including current and former students, teachers, friends, and families.  It also promises to be a great day of football...Go Warriors!


v
WHS Football Coach Mike Boyages, with senior captains Mike Melanson, Zach Levine, and Mike Miller

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Sad News


The Wakefield school community is heartbroken to hear of the loss of recent WHS graduate Benjamin Mohla.  Ben was a member of the Class of 2010 and was loved by his teachers, classmates, and friends.  Ben’s wonderful sister, Casey, graduated this past spring. 

Ben was an active member of the WHS Band, he was a Diversity Leader, and many may remember his vibrant performance in the 2010 Senior Show.  I presented Ben with the Principal's Spirit Award on Senior Awards Night, in recognition of a student who lit up our school with joy and enthusiasm. We are all proud that Ben was a senior this year at the University of Vermont.

Counseling and support will be available for students, staff, and alumni in our Guidance Department during school hours this week, with extended hours until 4:00 p.m. on Monday and Tuesday.

On behalf of the school community, I extend our deepest sympathy, love, and prayers to the Mohla family.


Friday, November 22, 2013

Spelling Bee

I just left the opening night of Spelling Bee, presented by WHS Theater Arts under the direction of Will Karvouniaris.  The show is an unbelievable, not-to-be-missed event at WHS!  If you don't already have tickets, you really must go...I promise that it will be the highlight of your weekend!  I laughed almost continuously throughout the night, and the only other ongoing emotion was astonishment at the level of talent in our student cast, from 9th and 10th grade up-and-coming stars to the juniors and seniors who we already know to be amazing.

There are two more shows this weekend:  Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and a Sunday matinee at 2:00 p.m., all at The Savings Bank Theater at Wakefield High School.  

All I can say is "wow" to ensemble cast members Carley Buckley, Jared Spies, Julia Blois, Sam Bianchet-David, Adam Tarpey, Emily Sheeran, Emily Cierpial, Matt Stanley, and Liam Dailey.  Wow!

Also, a special thank-you and congratulations to our talented Music Director, Ana Morel.

Don't miss this show!!!

New Parent-Teacher Conference format

Thank you to parents for such a strong showing at our Parent-Teacher Conferences this week...it was wonderful to see and speak to so many of you!  

I would love to hear feedback from parents on this year's conference format:  we held two sessions, Tuesday from 12:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. in teachers' classrooms and Wednesday from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. in the Cafeteria and Library/Media Center.

How does this compare to the full-day open house format of the past two years. or the single evening format that we used prior to that?  Were you able to schedule conferences with ease if you have children at more than one school?

I hope you don't mind sharing your experiences with me so that we can continue to improve on a welcoming and meaningful conference format.

Email your thoughts to:  kim.smith@wpsk12.org

Thank you!



Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Sunset at WHS / Parent-Teacher Conferences

WHS senior Tyler Ledin took this gorgeous photo of WHS on a recent November evening!



We had a successful afternoon of Parent-Teacher conferences today from 12:00 - 3:00 p.m.  If any parents missed an opportunity to meet with a teacher, we have a second session of conferences tomorrow evening from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.  I can't promise this beautiful sunset, but I can promise a warm welcome!

Friday, November 15, 2013

New and Improved

With the support of the Wakefield community, we were able to make some significant improvements to our facility this school year.  In addition to our beautiful new athletic facilities (fields, tennis courts, track, and gymnasium), a good amount of work was completed in the interior of the school as well. You can see what a difference these improvements have made in the photos below, and there is no question that our students benefit from the fresh, clean, comfortable environment.  We still have a long way to go, but this is a great start: 


New lockers in the Math wing

New glass windows (replacing opaque plexiglass)

New water fountains - the students love the water bottle feature!

New flooring in the Social Studies wing

Monday, November 11, 2013

Keys to Success student recognition program


 Keys to Success leaders Elizabeth Glynn & Machenzie Collins
with Mr. Moody and his Sophomore nominee and recipient, Sarah Stumpf
A year ago, seniors Caitlin Collins and Kevin Glynn came to me with an idea:  they wanted to start a recognition program that acknowledged those students who typically "fly under the radar" but "do the right thing every day" - students who put a lot of effort into school work, are kind and generous to others, and consistently live the core values of our school.  Caitlin and Kevin were willing to take on the leadership role in instituting the program, modeling it after one they had read about called "Keys to Success", but with their own twist.  Caitlin and Kevin contacted Wakefield's Chamber of Commerce President Kendall Inglese and established a partnership in which the Chamber would provide gift certificates, donated by local businesses, for the four students nominated each month by their teachers as those who demonstrated those qualities that are ultimately the "keys to success" in school and in life.

Caitlin and Kevin did a tremendous job in building this student-generated/student-led program - with a great deal of help, support, and enthusiasm from Kendall and the Chamber of Commerce - and then to ensure its continuation beyond their graduation, passed along the leadership roles to their younger siblings.  Elizabeth Glynn and Machenzie Collins took over, made some strong improvements to the Keys to Success program, and we're off to a great start for the 2013-14 school year!  Pictured above are Elizabeth and Machenzie, with the October award-winner from the sophomore class, Sarah Stumpf.  Sarah was nominated by her Social Studies teacher, Mr. Moody, who couldn't say enough about Sarah's daily work ethic, positive nature, and kindness toward others.


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Culinary Arts at WHS

Ms. Lacy and students at work
The first thing I did this morning was order lunch at our very own Warrior Cafe, the student-run Culinary Arts program at WHS.  Led by Culinary Arts teacher Ms. Susan Lacy, a talented  group of seniors enrolled in Culinary Arts class prepare menus, cook a wide range of delicious offerings, take orders and serve and/or deliver lunch for faculty and staff each day.  The students are gaining tremendous real-world experience running a fully-functioning restaurant, the Warrior Cafe.  In addition, they cater larger scale events including the Wakefield Education Foundation Celebration of Learning Banquet and the Senior Class Night Cookout. They host formal luncheons - like the Middlesex League Principals and WMHS Alumni Foundation Hall of Fame annual events - and often host receptions for the Superintendent and School Committee throughout the year.  The Culinary Arts program begins with a class for juniors where they learn the prerequisite skills for the senior course.   We are fortunate to have this unique, authentic curriculum at Wakefield High School, as it is not an experience available in many non-vocational high schools.  By the way, today's menu is:  

Soup:  Roasted Winter Vegetable (carrots, butternut squash, sweet potatoes and onions)
Salad:  Mixed greens topped with golden delicious apples, dried cranberries, pomegranate and sunflower seeds, and crumbled blue cheese
Entree:  Turkey & Sweet Potato Shepard's Pie

Friday, November 1, 2013

A Different Kind of Curriculum


On Tuesday, the 24 elected leaders of the WHS Student Council participated in a full-day leadership workshop, held at Hale Reservation in Westwood, MA.  The setting was - as you can see below - entirely outdoors in the woods, where students worked on collaboration, communication, problem-solving, and learned how leadership skills emerge in a variety of ways.  The students faced a number of challenges, including the ladder climb pictured here, during which they learned how necessary it was to support and help one an another if the entire group was to succeed.



At one point, we saw a deer.  It was a peaceful, breathtaking moment for all of us.  

It was different kind of curriculum, a different classroom on this day - one that the student leaders will not soon forget.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Visual Arts "Fright Night" Festival

Congratulations to the Visual Arts Department  for their outstanding work on our annual Fright Night festival last night!  The pumpkin display at the Beebe Library was incredible - I am blown away by the talent of our young artists.  Our Culinary Arts students contributed delicious cookies, cupcakes, caramel apples, and pumpkin whoopie pies. Thank you to teachers Joy Schilling, Meg McKenna, Morgan Sharkey, and Susan Lacy for their hard work with our students.

The Film Festival in the Galvin Auditorium was really something special.  The quality of film production is certainly beyond high school level work - kudos to teachers Jon Berecz and Chris Constantine and all of the students involved.

Beyond that, a few things really struck me about our WHS students.  The auditorium was packed full - largely students and alumni - on a World Series game night and the excitement was palpable.  This is a tribute to the tradition and extended family atmosphere the Visual Arts Department has created over time. The respect students have for each other's work is wonderful - they were so supportive of every student, every film, throughout the night.  It was great to see our faculty starring in a couple of the movies and more were present in the audience.  Our kids absolutely love how invested their teachers are in all of their activities.  And finally, the fire alarm went off in the middle of the movie (caused by a water main break in town) and the 750+ house full of students moved quickly and efficiently out, waited patiently outside in the dark, and then filed back in 10 minutes later to resume the show.  Perfectly behaved.  

Our students' talent, performance, and behavior is such a wonderful tribute to our Visual Art Department, our school, and their families.  Congratulations on a great night!

Monday, October 21, 2013

MICCA Marching Band Festival


Pictured above is the WHS Warrior Marching Band, under the direction of Mr. Tom Bankert, earning a 4-Star rating at the MICCA Festival on Saturday Night as they performed the music of Dave Matthews.  The new field and facilities provided a beautiful setting for our show!  Congratulations to the Wakefield Music Boosters for hosting a first-class event. 

Highlights of the show were amazing solos by drummer Dylan Sellers and gorgeous vocals by Matt Stanley.  Marie Peduto and Vanessa Chin also delivered a dynamic duet on saxophone - their improvisation would make the Dave Matthews Band proud!  Drum Majors Sarah Crump and Adam Tarpey led the band with precision and style.  If you haven't had a chance to see the band, they host a NESBA regional marching band festival this coming Saturday night at Landrigan Field - a great opportunity to support the WHS music program while enjoying a night of true family entertainment!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Virtual High School

We expanded our Program of Studies at WHS by more than 200 courses when we partnered with the Virtual High School Global Consortium in 2009.  VHS provides a wide range of online courses that offer unique enrichment opportunities for students, many of which would not be available in a traditional high school course catalogue. As part of membership in the VHS Collaborative, WHS provides a teacher to teach one VHS course each semester.  The VHS Collaborative includes schools from 30 US states and 34 countries around the world!   As a member of the Collaborative, we can fill 15 student "seats" each semester in VHS courses.  

Here are some of the exciting elective courses our students have participated in the last several years:

Investing in the Stock Market
Philosophy
World Conflict:  A United Nations Introduction
History of Photography
The Human Body
Engineering Principles
Computational Science & Engineering using Java
Journalism in the Digital Age 
20th Century Women Authors 

Along with Advanced Placement courses:

AP Art History 
AP World History
AP European History
AP Psychology 

And World Language offerings:

Mandarin Chinese Language and Culture
German Language and Culture
Portuguese 
AP French Language and Culture


Senila Yasmin working on a VHS course
Sophomore Senila Yasmin is taking a VHS course this year, in addition to a full slate of honors-level courses in school.  She told me that she really enjoys the independence required to be successful this class.  "It's a lot of work", she said, "and definitely a lot of responsibility".  But she is getting a true 21st century learning experience by working on a group project with her classmates - from all around the US - who sign on at all different times of the day and night to complete the work.  Senila's teacher is from Ohio.  Senila believes that this course is great preparation for the level of independence needed for college.


Ms. Beth Hughes teaches a VHS course called "Bad Boys in Literature"
WHS English teacher Ms. Beth Hughes teaches a literature course for the VHS Collaborative.  Ms. Hughes has been a passionate advocate for this educational opportunity at WHS; she often states the imperative of offering this kind of experience to our students if we truly want to be a high-performing 21st century school.  

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Homeroom


Ms. Lopez and Homeroom students
It may not seem like much, but in reality one of the most important elements of our school culture is our 5-minute daily homeroom period.  Students are assigned to the same teacher, in the same classroom, and with the same small cohort of students for all four years of high school - and they begin every school day together as home base.  The concept is to create an informal mentoring program in which all students have an adult in the school, in addition to their guidance counselor, who gets to know the student well and assists them in meeting their academic and personal goals. Homerooms are familiar and consistent, part of the daily routine, a welcoming and safe place, somewhat of an institutionalized "family" to start each day.  

The homeroom teacher is an important member included in their students' support teams, even though they may not have them in an academic class.  Homeroom teachers establish relationships with their students, helping them to navigate day to day issues and learning about their goals, talents, and interests.  It is not unusual for graduating seniors to name their homeroom teacher as a significant person in their high school experience.  

Four times a year, on the day we issue Term Progress Reports (the first of these is this Friday), we hold an extended 20-minute extended homeroom period.  Each term features a mentoring discussion connected to our school's core values and expectations, with themes that include self-advocacy, goal-setting, academic integrity, and responsibility to self and community.  Individual conversations about Term Progress Reports take place between students and their homeroom teachers, with a focus on strategies for improvement.

Pictured above is Ms. Lopez and a few of her homeroom students.  "You're the person they see every day", she said to me this morning.  "You get to know them so well, you know the little things, the funny things.  You can tell in a moment if they are having an off day".  It was nice being there this morning;  I laughed and enjoyed the camaraderie.  I can see why it is such a good place to begin each day.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

WHS Library/Media Center



The Library/Media Center is the hub of learning at WHS.  Our goal is to create a vibrant center of research, discussion, reading, and study for our students.  A school library no longer needs to be a setting of silence; instead it is a respectfully quiet but interactive common area for all kinds of learning activities.  Our new Library/Media Specialist, Ms. Diana Kelly, is bringing innovative ideas to our Library with a fresh view of how to use the space and how to cultivate an environment that is both essential and welcoming.  Our Library/Media Center is a place where technology lives:  along with wireless access, we host more than 30 computer stations, printers, digital recording devices, digital readers, and more.  I took these pictures today so that you can take a peek at the way Ms. Kelly has designed the space for a variety of uses...

Student study/project areas
Multiple areas for research

Full computer lab area 
Group reading and discussion area
Ms. Kelly's Teaching Assistants decorate the space for fall

Friday, September 27, 2013

Homecoming

Today is our official "homecoming" at WHS!  The festivities began right after school with a Homecoming Festival sponsored by our Student Council.  Students enjoyed free pizza, cider, and cookies while listening to music and socializing with friends.  A variety of clubs sponsored outdoor games, raffles, and Warrior Super Fan T-Shirt sales.  It was a great event!  Congratulations and thank you to the Student Council.  Tonight is a the big homecoming football game versus Melrose; we will all be there to cheer on the football team, dance team, cheerleaders and band!

Lots of food!

Having fun with a crazy yard game
Friends
Student Council 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Diversity Leaders in training

Our newly selected "Diversity Leaders" participated in a second full-day workshop with a professional trainer from the Boston Anti-Defamation League's "World of Difference" institute.  WHS Diversity Leader program is one in which juniors and seniors are nominated and selected to become leaders and facilitators of a peer education program in our school.  Their mission is to build a culture of acceptance, a norm where “put-downs” and harassment are unacceptable behaviors within our community.  The student leaders work to dispel stereotypes and call their peers’ attention to discriminatory language and bullying behavior.  This student leadership initiative continues to have a tremendously positive influence on the culture of our school.

This year's new leaders from the junior class, pictured below, are:  Courtney Sullivan, Brian Dickey, Brianna Collard, Joe Hurton, Emily Hammond, Nicole Galli, Tyler Strauss, Daniella Iannuzzi, and Grace Fanikos.  They join the second-year seniors to round out our full complement of Diversity Leaders.




Saturday, September 21, 2013

The Technology Connection

The Technology Integration class is in full swing at Wakefield High School! The students are working hard solving problems, sharing solutions and teaching tips to teachers and students around the building. Room 1230, or "The Technology Connection" as it is now known, is coming together with computer kiosks for one-to-one lessons, a work area for fixing hardware, and even a front desk. The students even have professional lanyards with Technology Connection ID cards to wear when they are on duty and moving about the school assisting faculty.  Mr. Martin and Mr. Gosselin have done an incredible job developing this new and exciting program at WHS.  They are proud of their student IT team and look forward to leading professional development for our teachers in the upcoming months. 



Thursday, September 19, 2013

Aspiring scientists at WHS...

Students in Honors Biology participated in the Amgen-Bruce Wallace biotechnology program.  The program provides high school Biology students with a hands-on opportunity to perform biotechnology techniques currently used in research and industry.  Students in the Honors Biology classes were able to learn about genetics and DNA by performing real-life laboratory techniques, including gel electrophoresis and PCR.  The program also provided students with an introduction to biotechnology career opportunities, connecting students with potential professional paths in the field of science.  Wakefield students Akash Altman, Elizabeth Germino and Sara Custodio with their teacher Ms. Becky Lamarre agreed to have their pictures taken for the newest program training manual.


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

WHS students intern at State House

Five WHS students interned with Representative Paul Brodeur at the State House this summer, including graduates Ryan Janscy, Olivia McCaffrey, and seniors Maggie Scanlon, Maggie Gourville, and Ben Spicer.  The students were first introduced to Representative Brodeur through our Junior Job Shadow day, and that experience led to this extraordinary internship opportunity over the summer.  Rep. Brodeur sent me a note to let me know that these students were "incredible".  I couldn't agree more.

Maggie, Maggie, & Ben:


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

WHS Athletes use new field

The WHS Field Hockey team plays for the first time on our brand new turf field!  The WHS Boys and Girls' Cross Country teams in action on the new Beasley Track as well...

Monday, September 16, 2013

Swiss exchange students arrive at WHS

Today we welcome students and teachers from Basel, Switzerland as part of our Cultural Exchange Program.  Fifteen Swiss students join fifteen WHS students for the next few weeks, living in the host families' homes, participating in school, and traveling to see historical and cultural sites in and around Boston.  Our Cultural Exchange Coordinators, Social Studies teachers Mr. Moody and Ms. Guttadauro, are commended for their extensive work in coordinating this wonderful educational opportunity for our students.  In this photo, Swiss and American students meet to discuss the details of their first day.

School Council

There are many opportunities for parents to become involved at WHS and one of the most impacting ways is to participate in School Council.  The School Council meets one Wednesday per month (usually late afternoon or evening) as an advisory group to the Principal.  The Student Council is comprised of faculty, parent, and student representatives - usually a committee of about 10 - and we look at important school issues together, work on the School Improvement Plan, and take part in the process of building annual budget requests.  

I have openings for 2 - 3 parent representatives as well as 2 - 3 students.  If you have interest in joining the School Council this year, please email me at kim.smith@wpsk12.org.


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

September 11

Today marks the 12th anniversary of the terror attacks of September 11.  It is hard to believe that our students, ages 14 - 18, were very young children at the time of this event and hold scant memories of that day.  We took time during homeroom to reflect on the historical context of 9/11 and its meaning to us today.  I would like to thank the Social Studies department for providing us with a summary of events and a beautiful poem that is cherished by our students, both fitting for the occasion and in keeping with our school's core values.

We began with a moment of silence to remember the victims and heroes of 9/11. Students Gianna Tringale and Matt Hoenig provided the historical setting, information, and acts of bravery that define our memory of that day.  They recounted the story of the courageous men and women of our armed forces who rallied to defend and continue to defend our nation, and how we as Americans emerged from the chaos of that day exhibiting our strength, resilience, hope, and unity as a nation.

Student Carly Buckley concluded the reflection by reading this poem by Cheryl Sawyer, Professor at the University of Houston Clear Lake.  Carley then led the school in a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance.

ONE

As the soot and dirt and ash rained down,
We became one color.
As we carried each other down the stairs of the burning building, 
We became one class.
As we lit candles of waiting and hope,
We became one generation.
As the firefighters and police officers fought their way into the inferno,
We became one gender.
As we fell to our knees in prayer for strength, 
We became one faith.
As we gave our blood in lines a mile long, 
We became one body.
As we mourned together the great loss,
We became one soul.
As we retell with pride of the sacrifice of heroes,
We become one people.

We are
One color
One class
One generation
One gender 
One faith
One language 
One body
One family 
One soul 
One people 

We are The Power of One.
We are United.
We are America.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Student Class Meetings

This morning we held class meetings for the Senior Class of 2014 and the Junior Class of 2015 in our theater.  We bring each class together to set academic goals for the school year, talk about what is new & exciting in our school, and focus on the leadership that they will provide in shaping our school community.  Pictured here are the Senior Class Officers talking with their peers about upcoming fundraising activities and Senior Class events.  Tomorrow we will meet with the Sophomore Class of 2016 and the Freshmen Class of 2017.


Friday, September 6, 2013

Teacher professional development

Friday, September 6 is a teacher professional development day in the Wakefield Public Schools.  WHS teachers will work with Galvin faculty at the high school today with a goal of developing effective and sustainable "Professional Learning Communities" in our schools, a term in education used to describe a school culture in which educators are committed to working collaboratively to ensure a high level of learning and achievement for all students. Professional Learning Communities focus on the study and analysis of student work and test data to respond to student's specific needs and to raise student achievement.  The concept of Professional Learning Communities was developed by educational research/practitioners Richard DuFour, Rebecca DuFour, and Robert Eaker. Professional trainers from DuFour's Solution Tree will join us to lead this work today.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

School supplies

A few parents have called or emailed in the last 24 hours, asking for clarification on what school supplies will be supplied by the high school, and what supplies should be purchased by students.  I hope this helps:

The school provides textbooks, instructional materials, and supplies intended for use and re-use over a period of years. Students are asked to purchase consumable supplies - pencils/pens, notebooks, binders - as long as the request is reasonable. We offer supplies at school for items that are expensive (like calculators, cameras, musical instruments) that students can rent for a minimal fee or borrow for free when there is financial need.  

With the increase we received in our supply budget for 2013-14, the high school purchased technology supplies for the Bring Your Own Device wireless technology pilot program, to ensure that every student in the pilot group is able to participate, even if they are not able to afford a tablet or laptop to bring to school.   Eventually the Bring Your Own Device wireless technology program will expand to the whole school, and we will continue to provide supplies to those with financial need.

Students will not be penalized for not having supplies.  Please just let the teacher know if a student cannot afford materials and we will provide them.

Please don't hesitate to call or email me if you have any questions.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

A successful beginning



The opening of school went smoothly and our students were outstanding:  lots of smiles and enthusiasm all the way around!  Our older students demonstrated leadership and kindness as they helped new students find their way.  I want to thank our Diversity Leaders for creating colorful signs and posting them all around the school, pointing new students (and faculty!) in the right direction to find their classes.  All of our student leaders do such a great job in setting the tone for our school culture as a place that is accepting and safe. In speaking with our freshmen class at their orientation last week, I told them that they will find the culture of our school to be respectful and caring; it certainly felt that way today.  

Welcome back!

WHS students arrive on our first day