Sunday, May 10, 2009

Back in Business & Ready to Roll!


We have so many things to celebrate, I figured we might might as well make a week of it! I hope
you all love it. We missed National Teacher Week and Day last week with all the EOC testing and meetings, but we are not going to miss it entirely. Jeff, Luke, Z and I are going to help you celebrate you by hosting FOOD all week long! The menu will follow.

ALSO, we missed Secretaries Day the week before -- and you all know we can NOT do without
them! I officially declare WEDNESDAY of this week to be for the secretaries. You should bring them presents or give them hugs or something. They really do make the world turn at Benton. Please celebrate with me.

We have award winners in our midst that we need to celebrate! On WEDNESDAY, we will have
an assembly during 5th hour (unless Z overturns this decision and changes the day). During that assembly, we will honor CHOIR state winners, BAND state winners, INDUSTRIAL TECHNOLOGY state winners, and JROTC will present their special routines (Stackhouse and Rivera, you decide which routine to display). If I've missed any students that should be honored -- email me ASAP and we'll put them on the agenda.

On Friday, we have our Scholarship Assembly to honor our award winning seniors. Please
thank our counselors (particularly Nancy), as they put a TON of work into this! After the assembly, our NHS seniors will be honored with their end-of-year picnic. Be prepared for those seniors to be out of class Friday afternoon.

It's time to share leadership. Starting on Tuesday (after school, the room next to my office), we are going to begin planning the CAMP for next year. This is a MAJOR initiative for Benton for 2009-2010. If you want a voice, leadership experience, or an opportunity to direct how BHS operates next year, you might want to be there.

Climate Control Committee:
With our new technological trend, I see this committee being analogous to upgrading to a digital thermostat. It's time to upgrade how we respond to "hot" items in our building -- from our high failure rate, to classroom discipline, from dropping attendance, to our our ever increasing alternative school referral and drop out rate. This committee provides another opportunity for leadership. If you have an opinion on any of these topics, this committee is for you. We are meeting after school on Thursday (in the office next to mine).

Professional Development in 2009-2010
Your department should be talking about this pretty often by now. Our School Improvement Plan is due by June 1st. Your Department Improvement Plan is due now. Our goals remain the same, but the SIP goal committees have made a few changes in strategies and action steps. I think you'll like them. The goals remain as follows:

1. Close the achievement gap. These really lands on department best practices, changing practice in order to improve our testing data (ie. include ACT in curriculum AND begin to work on improving benchmark scores) and identifying students who are really at risk and doing something REALLY different for them.
2. Improve our graduation rate (we have to keep our kids in school at Benton)
3. Improve our attendance rate
4. Implement a four year technology plan (we are in year two, and as of last week -- we will be able to continue our implementation bringing on all staff with constructivist learning using Web 2.0 tools)

The district is changing the way they do business in the way the offer PD for content areas. Next year, each department will be given time to focus even more on their best practices and will have the funding to do so. There will be additional district department PD times. Look for the dates and times from your coordinators and department chairs.

Power School PD -- Power school is our new student information system that will roll out on June 8th. Principals and secretaries will be trained over the summer, but expect training at the beginning of the year. This web-based system will take a little getting used to, but it will be a great asset to our improvement plan.


May 31, 2009; 7:00 p.m. @ Civic Arena
This year, all three high schools will offer formal ceremonies with staff participation in the processional. It makes for an incredible memory when our students see their teachers at graduation for one last hurrah! I hope you all can carve an hour or so out of your schedule to share this time with the Class of 2009. If you plan to attend, please contact Debby Fry as soon as possible to reserve your gown. We will have a short video and directions for all staff members participating in order to make sure everyone is comfortable with the entrance. I promise, you will not be disappointed if you can celebrate this one last time with your students!

No comments: