Tuesday, September 29, 2009

High School Parent-Teacher Conferences this week

We will hold one night of parent-teacher conferences this Thursday from 4:30 - 8:30 p.m. only at CAM High School. CAM Middle School and the elementary schools will be holding conferences during the last week of October.

It is important to the success of your student that you attend if possible.

High School staff and the leadership team agreed that it would be beneficial to hold conferences soon after mid-term to allow teachers and parents to get together and formulate strategies to help improve their student's performance BEFORE the end of the quarter on October 16.

Please stop in the office to see your student's lunch balance. You have received a copy of the report card so we will not have them in the office. Teachers will have a progress report ready for you in each of your student's classes.

Please keep your conferences to 10-20 minutes and if their is a line behind you, respect that and maybe schedule an individual conference for early the following week if you feel you need more time.

The key is for both to look ahead and see what needs to be done in the future. Too often we focus on what didn't get handed in, why a particular test or project was graded in the fashion it was graded.

I stand firmly behind our staff and their efforts to be FAIR while having high expectations for turning assignments in, being responsible and accountable for their work. I have looked into dozens of situations and all but ONE was an issue of the students trying to manipulate me, the teacher and yes, their parents.

The one case the student was responsible, went to the teacher and together they resolved the problem with the student's grade. In another instance I pulled a group of students in and told them what they needed to do. Defiantly they did not follow one of my instructions and will be disappointed in the grade they earned.

Our entire staff wants your student to succeed and prepares hard. I can say I've worked personally will all of the teachers and especially our first year teachers or teachers in new areas. They have all worked hard to make their classrooms dynamic and engaging and have made significant adjustments.

We hope the new format will yield improved performance in the classroom as we end the quarter.

See you there!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Homecoming wraps up with students dancing

What a great week. Homecoming week 2009 was an undeniable success.

The Dance was well attended and most students danced the full two hours allotted.

A victory in district helped with the mood as well as every player seeing the field that was able against the Hawks. It was a good release before starting preparations for district rival CRB.

A big thanks goes to the student council and sponsor Larry Hunt. They organize the theme, dress-up days, the auction, coronation, bonfire, parade, game presentation of homecoming court and dance. That means a lot of phone calls, time writing coronation script, making sure each class knows what to do and when among many things.

Another big thanks goes the staff for organizing and supervising float building, supervising events and decorating the field, the coronation and the dance. Also for keeping a focus on academics as well as allowing for the students to enjoy the week.

You see, at the beginning of the year there was a wild rumor that the administration had canceled all homecoming festivities. Now two years ago we did make a decision to limit the elementary's involvement to the parade, but we have never talked about eliminating homecoming activities.

What we DID do was reduce the amount of interruptions during the school day during homecoming week. We had all of our float building and decorating during Wednesday, when anyone taking IWCC classes could be free to participate. We did our "anything goes" competitions on Monday night (In the gym because of the rain) instead of during the school day. So in the end, other than Wednesday, we missed no class time (other than reduced day on Friday for the parade).

We have made a few notes for next year, but I would look for homecoming week to have a similar feel.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Mid-term approaching and JMC

The first date in grade analysis for the district is Friday, September 18th when the mid-term of the first quarter for 09-10 hits. Teachers will be balancing units grading and points which are supposed to run up to and on that date. But after the grade cut off, there is grading and entering so grades will be printed on Wednesday, September 23rd and sent out that day or the next morning.

Grades are available to all parents on our JMC online parent access page connected to our website. There are buttons for High School, Middle School and Elementary. You have an username and a password which can be provided to you by request from any of the school offices.

We ask that you focus on grades year round, instead of just at these flash points, because we have seen many students involved in activities find themselves ineligible and parents are frustrated.

Because we have grade checks weekly, teachers are required to update at least once and week and most update more than that, often posting assignments ahead of when their due.