Weekly Information

  • 19-21 March - End of the quarter
    Our seniors are gone on Senior Trip this week. Pray for their safety and that they will make good use of their time as a class before their final quarter.

    Tuesday after school in the staff lounge we will have a discussion about student device use during school. The discussion is completely optional, so feel free to opt out if you have something else to do. 

    Wednesday during lunch, we'll have our annual high school chili lunch! 

    Before you head off to break, clean your food out of the ref in the staff lounge.

    Also, make sure your grades are up to date this week so parents have a gauge of how their children are doing. If you think it is more appropriate, you can overwrite a student's letter grade with an I (incomplete) in Grade Book > Grade Postings if he or she is missing significant work.

    Our first day back after break, 3 April, we will have a celebration for Tine and Jan's 60th anniversary at Faith. Classes will be shortened so we can finish the school day at 1:00 and have a shindig in the newly-rededicated gym in their honor.

    The first two weeks of quarter 4 will be 4-day weeks. We will run a normal bell schedule those two weeks. The first weekend - 7-9 April - is Family Home Weekend, so don't plan on assigning work over that weekend.

    Beginning 16 April, we will return to double double block weeks. Several of you told me it was difficult to finish weeks without the single blocks on Friday for unit wrap up activities and assessment. So since this is our year of experimenting with schedules, we are going to switch the single block day to Friday. This means that there will be even double blocks on Mondays and students will need to remember that they will start the week with period 2. 

    Thanks for all your work on behalf of students this quarter. I hope your break is restful and you are able to return energized to finish the school year.
    Posted Mar 18, 2018, 4:52 PM by HSD Principal
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Thank You

  • Accreditation Week
    Thank you for being a part of our accreditation process last week - even if you weren't looking forward to it. The team loved being here on campus and seeing what we were doing as a school. 
    Thanks also for being flexible as team members were in and out of your rooms and students were coming and going for team discussions.
    Posted Mar 11, 2018, 4:14 PM by HSD Principal
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Teaching Thoughts

  • Standards-Based Grading in High School
    Matt Townsley writes about moving to Mastery-Minded Grading in Secondary SchoolsTeachers shifted from giving students grades on homework assignments, projects, and class tests to monitoring and posting students’ current level of mastery on course standards. (At the end of each reporting period, these were converted to letter grades.) The school moved to standards-based grading for three reasons:

                • To communicate students’ current level of learning – The best way of explaining this to students and parents was with the analogy of how a band instructor gives feedback to a flute player: “Rhythm could be better, but you’re exceptional at hitting high notes.” Clearly this is a better way to affirm and improve performance than a letter or percentage grade.

                • To eliminate the influence of practice work on students’ final grades – What really matters is mastery at the end of a unit or course, not on the formative assignments, some of which may not have gone that well. An athletic analogy is apt: some of a football team’s scrimmages may have been less than stellar, but it’s game scores that count. Teachers using standards-based grading keep track of homework and other assignments, as well as student absences, but the key feedback for students and parents is final mastery of content and skills.

                • To give students multiple opportunities to demonstrate understanding – Students learn at different rates and find some parts of any curriculum unit more difficult than others. Standards-based grading keeps students’ and parents’ eyes on the ball: mastery of content, which sometimes requires several attempts and some stumbles along the way.

    One of the concerns about standards-based grading in high school is now it will affect university admissions. Here is an article that addresses that issue.

    FYI, Sycamore can be set up to reflects standards-based grading. If you would like to try that out, shoot me an email and we can work through how to set that up.
    Posted Mar 11, 2018, 5:06 PM by HSD Principal
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