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Each Monday, we will post an introduction to the upcoming week, along with other resources that may be helpful. This weekly announcement will also allow staff and student organizations to provide information to the entire high school community.

26 October - Spirit Week!

posted Oct 25, 2020, 4:25 PM by HSD Principal   [ updated Oct 25, 2020, 4:26 PM ]

Yes, it's Spirit Week in high school. We didn't want distance learning to keep us from celebrating the week, so we figured out a way to do it without being together. Here is the Spirit Week introductory video from ExCo. Dress up, submit your photos to your house classroom each day, and join the fun.

This week, each teacher should be sending out a Student Feedback to Teachers form for each class they teach. Students will be getting multiple forms, but we ask that each one be filled out accurately and with thought. Results from those forms will be used by teachers to better help students and by the school to improve our distance learning program.

Please remember that homeroom attendance is expected; it is a required part of our school program. Teachers should be emailing students who have missed homeroom this year. We will begin to assign demerits for skipping homeroom beginning this week.

Next Monday, 2 November (yes, it will be November already), there will be no school for the All Saints' Day / All Souls' Day weekend. Weekly course plans for high school classes will be posted by 8:00am on Tuesday morning. Take the day and sleep in.

Here's this week's edition of Empty Halls - Don't Give Up.

Have a great week - pull out those uniforms you haven't worn since March for Back to School Day today!

19 October - Start of Second Quarter

posted Oct 18, 2020, 5:11 PM by HSD Principal

Welcome to second quarter! It's crazy to think that between the end of last year and beginning of this year, we have completed half of a school year through distance learning. I've just got a short update as we start this week.

If you are not quite happy with the grades you earned as of the quarter break, don't worry. Quarter grades are not official grades and are not recorded anywhere; they are simply progress grades towards your final semester grades. So you have a whole quarter to improve. Be sure to contact your teachers if you have concerns.

This week, we will do our second material distribution for high school. Only a few classes need to get materials out to students, and teachers will let you know if you need to get something.

Second quarter doesn't usually have much to break it up; it's kind of one long push to get to the semester break. To give everyone a bit of breathing room, there are two long weekends this quarter. We will not have class on Monday, 2 November or on Friday, 27 November. Keep that in mind as you plan ahead and I hope those extra days off are restful and encouraging to you. 

Next week is Spirit Week in high school, so be on the lookout for information from ExCo and your house chairs on how to be involved in that.

As you begin this week, here is your weekly devotion from ExCo.

Have a great start to the quarter. The semester will be over before we know it.

5 October - Last Week of the Quarter

posted Oct 4, 2020, 6:00 PM by HSD Principal

Welcome to the end of the quarter. After this week, you will get a well-deserved break and I hope you find ways to use it well. As you're planning this week, make every effort to get your work turned in on time so that teachers can also begin their breaks on time. 

Side-by-Side, our parent group, is hosting a Community Prayer Time this Tuesday night, 6 October, from 8:00-9:00. We cannot gather, but we can still pray together. They will be sending out the Zoom link the day of the event, so be on the lookout for that and join our scattered community in prayer for our scattered community.

As we are wrapping up first quarter, high school will be holding Parent/Teacher Conferences later this week. Conferences are a time for parents to ask teachers questions specific to their own children's learning and progress in their classes. Like most other things this year, our conferences will be virtual and held over Meet or Zoom. 

Students, you don't need to worry about conferences unless there are specific teachers you would like to encourage your parents to talk to. Parents, here is the sign-up sheet for conferences. Across the bottom are tabs for each high school teacher this semester. Clicking on a teacher's tab will show you when they are available for conferences (all times are Philippine times) along with a link that will be used for those conferences. You may sign up for any available slots. If a teacher's slots are full, feel free to email them with any questions you may have. 

This Friday will be our last House Challenge. Pay attention for emails from your house chairs so you can participate. Points from house challenges will be applied to Spirit Week, which is coming up later this month.

Here are a few things to get you going this morning:
Finish this week well and then take a break. Really, take a break.

28 September - We're Getting There

posted Sep 27, 2020, 4:59 PM by HSD Principal

When we started distance learning in August, October seemed so far away. But we've made it this far and October is here already. I am incredibly thankful for the work you have put into school so far this year. Just get through a couple more weeks and we'll all get a bit of a break.

You should be getting notices each week about the Friday house contests. The first two have passed, but there are two more coming up the next two weeks. Join the contests and earn some points for your house that will be credited towards Spirit Week. Like most other things, Spirit Week will look very different this year, but we are still planning on holding the event. We pushed it back to the the week of 26-30 October so we would have a little bit more time to plan. Stay tuned for more info on that from ExCo.

In case you missed it last week, here is the link to our virtual Org Fair. The meeting links will no longer work, but you can check out the info and videos for the various groups and contact them if you would like more information or if you would like to join them this year.

Next week is the last week of the quarter and we will be holding Parent Teacher Conferences. Those conferences are meant to give parents a chance to check in one-on-one with teachers to make sure students are as successful as possible. Sign ups for those conferences will come out later this week.

We are approaching the end of the quarter, and while quarter grades are not included on official records, it is a good chance to make sure you are keeping up with all your classes to the best of your ability. Be sure to check your grades regularly and contact your teachers if you have any concerns.

Here are a few things to get you going this morning:
Have a great week. Learn something new and interesting. 

21 September - First One from the States

posted Sep 20, 2020, 5:02 PM by HSD Principal

I'm writing this the day after landing in the States. Our trip was smooth and uneventful, although a bit weird since there were so few people traveling. It's going to take a bit of time to get used to working 12 hours ahead of the clock here.

Please remember that your conferences are an important and required part of your course work. You should not be missing conferences for things that can happen at a different time (for example, if you have a test that can be taken any time during the day or need to meet with classmates for a project, you should not miss a conference for those things). Consider your conference time non-negotiable and work around it. If you do need to miss a conference for a test that must be taken during that time, a family event, or another reason, let your teacher know ahead of time and see if you can reschedule. 

ExCo will be hosting an Org Fair this Friday after homeroom - from 9:30-10:00. All the student groups that are operating this year will have virtual "booths" you can visit to talk to members and find out more. If you are looking for a way to get involved and stay connected with your classmates, this may be a good chance to discover how to do that. Be on the lookout for info from them in the next few days. 

In two weeks we will be holding virtual Parent/Teacher Conferences. This will be a chance for parent to connect with teachers for courses they are concerned about. Be thinking ahead and let your parents know if there are specific teachers you would like them to talk to. Parents will be able to sign up for appointments at the end of next week.

Here are a few things to start you off this week:
Find a reason to celebrate this week. It is World Peace Day today, and tomorrow is Hobbit Day!

14 September - See You Later

posted Sep 13, 2020, 9:29 AM by HSD Principal

If you've been watching the Empty Halls videos, you heard that we got an Order to Leave from immigration. We had expected that we could appeal and fight it, but we found out that process would be risky, expensive, and uncertain. So we are abiding by the order and leaving the Philippines - for the time being. I will continue to teach and be principal, just from a 12-hour difference. I talk more about that in this week's Empty Halls. It is not what I was expecting or hoping for, but I trust that God will carry us through it.

Even though we can't meet on campus, ExCo wants to introduce everyone to the clubs and organizations that are a part of our high school. They are arranging an org fair and want to make sure all active clubs and groups are represented. If you are part of a group and plan to be active in some way this year, let your advisor know to sign you up for the org fair. Teachers will be getting information about the event in the next couple of days. 

Here are a few things to start you off this week:

And finally, a message from our chapter of the National Honor Society:

Dear High Schoolers, 

This year, NHS is offering a tutoring service for any student that would like to receive help with their classes from other high school students. If you would like help with math or science classes, you will need to reply to the attached form by Wednesday at 12 PM every week. Tutoring calls for math will take place at 10:30-11:00 AM and 1:00-1:30 PM every Thursday. Tutoring calls for Science will take place at 10:30-11:00 AM and 1:00-1:30 PM every Friday. If you choose to join one of these calls, you will be emailed a zoom link and passcode by your meeting host. If you would like to use our paper editing service, fill out the form according to the instructions. You will be contacted and your paper will be added to a shared drive folder that other NHS members have access to. Your paper will be edited and returned to you once it has been reviewed. NHS members are required to only assist you, not do your work for you. This is not an opportunity to work less but to learn and grow through coaching. You can use this form to request tutoring help. Once you've filled out the form, you will be contacted with further information on when or how your tutoring will take place. If you have any questions regarding tutoring, please email

Kyla Helwig, NHS Secretary

Have a great week.

7 September - Third Time's the Charm

posted Sep 6, 2020, 7:58 AM by HSD Principal

Those first few days of distance learning seemed to take forever. But then it felt like this past week went by in the blink of an eye. I hope you all are finding a good routine that gets you through your weeks without feeling overwhelmed or burnt out. We want to make sure everyone gets through this semester healthy and well.

If you still need to get any materials from school, the high school office is open from 7:30-3:30 Tuesday-Thursday.

We will begin reporting on students who are experiencing trouble keeping up with their academics. Each week, reports will be emailed for students who teachers want to flag. Those reports will include information on how to access detailed information on Sycamore. 

This Friday we will have our first chapel of the year. Our chaplain, Reuben Myles, will be sending out the link, so be on the lookout for that. Even though a streamed chapel is not the same experience as being together in Tipunan, I would encourage you all to participate and to not neglect that part of our high school life.

⚠️Please remember that attendance for class conferences and weekly homerooms is required. Make sure you plan on participating in those things each week. There were a few problems getting some homerooms going last week, but hopefully we can work them all out this week. Last week our homerooms produced some great collaborative artwork.

Here are a few things to start you off this week:
This is mostly for parents, but even though we are just starting this year, our Human Resources office is already working on staffing for next year. Getting the teachers we need is a team effort, and we have put a recruiting program together to help us make new contacts. You can read the details of that program as you consider whether you know someone who would be a good fit to join our team at Faith Academy.

I hope you all have a great week and allow your mind to be made new this year.

31 August - One Week Down

posted Aug 30, 2020, 7:17 AM by HSD Principal

Congratulations! You have made it through our first week of distance learning. There were definitely some snags as we got going, but not too many. And I heard from several families that high school classes went smoothly and expectations were clear. This week will be a more regular week, so hopefully you can begin to get into a routine for distance learning that will work for you this semester.

If you missed picking up materials last Friday, you may get them from the office this week during working hours: 7:30-3:30, Tuesday through Thursday. High school will not be making another delivery for several weeks, so you will not be able to get materials in that way in the near future.

Here are a few resources to start you off this week:
  • Several people told me that this video was helpful, so I'm resharing the screencast on how to get started Using Weekly Learning Plans and managing your classwork. Even if you don't follow my advice, I strongly encourage you to make a plan for how you will complete your coursework each week.
  • In this week's Empty Halls, I talk about the weird start to this school year and how we can respond.
As you work through your distance learning this semester, all the resources we have collected will be available on our Student & Parent Resources page. You can also access it through the menu bar above: Distance Learning > Student & Parent Resources.

⚠️ Take Note This Week:
  • Students should have signed up for conferences for all of their classes last week. Make sure you have those times marked down and plan to attend all your conferences. Attendance is required and your camera should be on. If you ever cannot make your scheduled conference time, let your teacher know ahead of time so you can reschedule and join another group that week.
  • Homerooms will begin meeting this Friday at 9:00am (Philippine time). Homeroom advisors will be in contact with their members by Tuesday, letting you know how they will be meeting. 
And once again, I will make an appeal for you to ask for help as soon as you begin to need it. Please don't wait until a small problem becomes bigger. Our entire high school team is working to help you be successful, so let us know how we can help.

24 August - Welcome to the New School Year!

posted Aug 20, 2020, 5:30 PM by HSD Principal   [ updated Aug 23, 2020, 12:47 AM ]

After an extra long school holiday, we are finally beginning classes again for the new school year. Last April, we didn't think this is were we would be, but we'll adjust and do what we can to help you all be successful during distance learning this semester.

At this point, all students should have a course list of classes they will be taking during distance learning. Those courses will be viewable on your Sycamore account. Since we are not following a school day schedule, periods don't matter. Many students have periods that conflict (having multiple classes scheduled for the same period), but that will not be a problem while distance learning. If for some reason you do not have a course list, please email me at my hsd.principal account right away so we can get you signed up for what you need.

Discretionary course changes will no longer be allowed as of the start of classes. We already lost three weeks of instructional time, and we want you to get started with your classes as quickly as possible. It is still possible to make changes if you realize you are in an inappropriate course, and you will be able to drop a course if you begin to feel overwhelmed with your course load. Again, email me at hsd.principal if you realize there is a problem.

⚠️ If you do not yet have access to your Faith Academy email and Google account as well as your Sycamore account, please contact our IT department immediately. You will not be able to participate in distance learning without that access.

⚠️ Also, please check your course list in Sycamore and make sure you are enrolled in a Google Classroom for each course you are taking. We automatically enrolled most students, but you may have been missed if you changed classes or signed up late. If you are not in a Google Classroom, contact the course teacher for information on joining.

Finally, as you start your distance learning experience, here are a few resources to help you get going:
  • Your email Monday morning will probably be full of notifications from Google Classroom as all your weekly work is released. Take a deep breath; don't get overwhelmed. Here's a screencast on getting started Using Weekly Learning Plans and managing your classwork.
  • Our ExCo officers made a video giving their Advice for Distance Learning.
  • In this week's Empty Halls, I share two lessons about distance learning I learned during fourth quarter last year.
As you work through your distance learning this semester, all the resources we have collected will be available on our Student & Parent Resources page. You can also access it through the menu bar above: Distance Learning > Student & Parent Resources.

Take Note This Week:
  • Students should make sure they sign up for their conference times for all of their classes and put those times on their weekly schedules.
  • If you requested for materials to be delivered to you, those will go out on Thursday, 27 August. Make sure someone is home to receive them. The office will be contacting those families to confirm information.
  • Material pick-up will be on Friday, 28 August. We will send more detailed information about that process in a couple of days.
We are praying for you as you step into this semester. Remember that we are all here to support you and make you successful, so please do not hesitate to ask for help when you need it.

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