Staff Update – Week 1

Hello Team,

Congratulations on a great first week of school.  The was the best start to a school year that I have experienced at Athena.  The kids have been tremendously respectful and energetic.  The staff has been positive and ready to tackle the challenges this year will bring. Although the new schedule has our heads spinning at times, after two days that passed faster than lighting we are starting to get the hang of things.

Quote to Ponder: “High Standards, High Expectations, No Excuses!” These 6 words comprise the slogan for Brockton High School in Brockton Massachusetts.  Brockton was one of the poorest and lowest performing schools in the entire state several years ago. Over the past several years, teachers at Brockton rallied together to redefine and reclaim the culture and expectations for their school.  Although we are no where near the condition that Brockton was in, I have begun to see a similar resolve and dedication among our staff as we tackle the challenges of our community.  More and more I am hearing stories of teachers who are living out the Brockton slogan.  More and more I am blown away by the passion, commitment and dedication our staff shows to our students each and every moment.  As we continue to assume responsibility for ensuring that every student learns at high levels, I am becoming more and more energized and proud to be a part of this team. As you reflect on the Brockton slogan… do you feel it applies to us?
Need to Know:
  • Staff Meeting on Tuesday at 2pm – We will meet in the Cafeteria for a “State of the School” presentation, an update on how we will implement the CCSS building wide as well as reports from several committees. We will begin PLC work the following Tuesday. Click here for the agenda.
  • Collective Commitments – Please remember to implement the 2 commitments we made as a staff through the PBIS and AIT Committees.  First we commit to greeting students in the hall as they enter our classroom each period.  Second we commit to employing three teacher based interventions prior to writing a referral (unless it is an issue of safety). These will be revisited and discussed at our next staff meeting.
  • Advisement – There is no movement times during advisement. If you need a student to work with them, it must be arranged ahead of time with that students advisement teacher, and they must arrive at your class at the beginning of advisement and stay the entire time. AIT will be considering how best to leverage advisement in the coming meetings.
  • Attendance and Tardies – The Attendance Office is in room 155 just like last year.  Any student who is late to school must report to the Attendance Office immediately upon entry to the building. If a student arrives at your classroom without a pass from the Attendance Office, they are tardy to your class and you should follow the Tardy Process we have agreed upon in the past… the first three tardies are teacher consequences.  The 4th tardy is a referral. (Click here to view the Staff Handbook, attendance is addressed on page 7)
  • Fire Drills – Bev sent out the Fire Drill information on Wednesday and will review it at our staff meeting on Tuesday.  Please ensure you are familiar with all the procedures as some details have changed.
  • Fire Inspection – Mel sent a Fire Inspection email a couple days ago.  We will have our inspection later in the month.  Make sure your room is in compliance.
  • Sign the Consent Decree Log – If you haven’t signed the Consent Decree Log make sure you do so in room 243 on Monday.
  • Open House is Wednesday September 18th at 6pm – Please promote this night in your classes, on your websites, blogs and twitter feeds. When you email parents please mention it.  We want to increase our turnout. Also, if you have a club or team that wants to set up a table and fundraise or promote, please let Melanie know.
  • Parking Permits – Make sure you complete the yellow info card in your mailbox and return it to Anna Christopher by the end of the day on Monday.  You will then be issued a parking permit that must be displayed in your car by Friday.  We are using one permit across the entire campus to help security monitor students parking illegally.  If you drive a different car, please report it and the license to Anna.
  • Library Usage – Click here for a refresher post about the library usage.
Nice to Know:
  • Aaron Verosky’s TV Interview – Click here to view a video clip of Aaron being interviewed outside Athena on the first day of school.
  • Athena Improvement Team (AIT) – meets on the first Monday of every month.  The next meeting is on Monday at 2pm.  Click here to view the agenda.
  • Teacher Video – Vocabulary Paint Chips – An interesting vocabulary strategy that can support the academic vocabulary shift in the CCSS.
  • Teacher Video – Multiple Ways to Teach a Text (CCSS Lesson) – Checkout this great video on one teachers implementation of the CCSS.
  • Parent eNews Week 1 – Click here to read my weekly newsletter to parents for this week.
  • Technology Changes – Click this link to view the district technology blog.
Hope you all have a great second week!
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