Weekly Information

  • 21-25 May - The Last Week of Classes!
    This is it. We are down to one week of classes, meaning you will see each class four more times before the year ends. Make sure you can get all the needed things done before time runs out.

    On Tuesday for ASERT, most of you will be on panels for the seniors' Transitions presentations. Some of you will be meeting with other department teachers to talk about students transitioning between grades. Either way, you will get emails with instructions.

    We've had our year of schedule experimenting, and now it's time to settle on the plan for next year. Answer a few questions to help make that happen.

    Look over the final exam schedule and let me know Monday if you see any problems or conflicts. I was almost able to get all the exams on two days with Tuesday off for everyone, but it didn't quite work due to a few student conflicts (maybe next year). We will post the schedule for students on Tuesday. Whatever your end-of-semester plans are, confirm them for your students this week so they know what to expect.

    I've started the end-of-year review meetings, and it looks like I'll be able to meet with at least all the majority time high school staff. If you have not completed your goals sheet yet, you can use the link Mars sent on the event invite, or you can click the Professional Dev't link above and your goals folder should be in the right sidebar.

    ExCo's end of the year party is Friday. They are still looking for some chaperone helpers. If you've got the time, sign up to help the kids make their final party great.

    As you think about sliding into summer, make sure you plan ahead to get yourself checked out - especially if you are leaving shortly after classes end. Here's a link to the end of year info again.

    I hope it's a good week for you and you feel satisfied with your year.
    Posted May 20, 2018, 3:24 AM by HSD Principal
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Thank You

  • External Exams
    As we head into IGCSE and AP exams, let's give a big thanks to Linda and Joyce for all their work in organizing the exams and working out the details of schedules, rooms, proctors, and requirements.
    Posted May 5, 2018, 12:44 AM by HSD Principal
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Teaching Thoughts

  • Eliminating Anxiety - and Fostering Something Better
    Gina Picha wants to help teachers recognize and alleviate math anxiety. Anxiety, she says, can manifest to look like misbehaving, off-task behavior, or avoidance of work. Here are the signs she says to look for:
    • lack of response: freezing when a math problem is encountered
    • tears or anger: more so in younger grades, but look for overly emotional responses
    • negative self-talk: you've heard them (you may have said them!) - "I'm bad at math." "I'll never be able to do this."
    • low achievement: anxiety can keep students from performing, resulting in poor grades, reinforcing their already-held beliefs about math
    So, what can you do to help alleviate math anxiety in your class? Picha's suggestions:
    • Provide students with the time to understand why. Math can be seen "as a series of nonsensical steps," and it takes being intentional to help students understand why they are doing what they do.
    • Use healthy and accurate messages. Talk through the "I can't learn math" myth and provide examples of how people use math outside the classroom. And, as we talked about in fostering grit, reinforce proper methods, strategies, and persistence instead of just right answers.
    • Allow think time when asking questions. Try to avoid asking questions that put students on the spot.
    • Use mixed-ability groupings. The tendency can be to put low-performing students together so they can be given additional instruction. But that can reinforce the idea that they are "slow" and mean the instruction they get is expecting less of them.
    We always want Faith promote a positive learning environment. Tom Hierck and Kent Peterson cite research that says people are most likely to flourish in a culture if people experience at least three positive emotions for every negative one. They sough out to discover what behaviors would most encourage such an environment. Their Positive School Culture Inventory (PSCI) identified 19 student and staff behaviors "that are most likely to contribute to a positive school culture." 
    • .Showing pride in school
    • .Collaboration
    • .Kindness
    • .Taking pride in one’s work
    • Leadership
    • .Helping others
    • .Using time wisely
    • .Being prepared
    • .Love of learning
    • .Making good choices
    • .Active listening
    • .Cooperation
    • Using appropriate communication 
    • .Caring 
    • Self-reliance
    • .Perseverance/resilience
    • .Making an insightful comment
    • .Organization
    • Going above and beyond
    Notice their findings connects those behaviors not only with students, but also with staff. Never underestimate the part you play in creating our school culture!
    Posted May 20, 2018, 12:21 AM by HSD Principal
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