Athena Staff Update – Week 22

The Athena High School Mission: Our graduates will be prepared for success in college and career in the 21st century.  

Collective Commitment Bright Spot: Earlier today, while walking the halls during a passing time I came across Pam Vail, Larry Frisa, Scott Parsons (and several other teachers) absolutely owning their hallway.  Students around them clearly knew they were loved (Someone kept saying “hugs not drugs”) but also that there was not going to be any inappropriate behavior on their watch.  I know many of you are doing the same things.  I celebrate this to indicated that collectively we can own the hallways, just as we own our classrooms.  While it might not seem like a big deal, it makes a profound impact on our culture.

Fighting for What We Value:  Muhammed Ali once said, “The fight is won or lost far away from witnesses – behind lines, in the gym and out on the road, long before I danced under those lights.” It is often right about now, that we as educators face our most challenging time of year.  I am not sure what it is, but student behavior seems to escalate like clockwork every year around now.  At times it can seem like we are engaged in daily fights to preserve the culture and values we have established for our school.  I want to encourage you to continue to be vigilant in our collective commitments. The most consistent group of people in the building will always set the tone and own the halls.  I believe that group can and must be us.  As we continue to ensure that we are all in the halls and demanding appropriate behavior throughout the day we will own the halls.  This is not easy.  But like Muhammad Ali, we will win this fight if we are all willing to put in the unheralded work behind the scenes (and in the halls).

Teacher & Staff Appreciation: We know it has been a long and grueling year.  As an admin team we would like to express appreciation to everyone of our incredible teachers and staff next week in a few small tangible ways.  Thank you for all you do each and every day to make Athena great.

  • Get a Free Massage Next Week – 15 minute massages from Van Zeilen Family Chiropractic will be available on Tuesday from sign up in the main office if you are interested. Click here for details.
  • Hot Breakfast on Friday – A hot breakfast will be cooked up for you next Friday between 6:45 and 8:30 in room 274 by the admin team.

Need to Know:

  • Tuesday is a PLC Day – Plan your first CFA for the third quarter.
  • Action Item: If you do not have a “Behind this Door” college poster, please send me your college so I can make sure we all have them.
  • Pushing Infinite Campus Usage – Please continue to encourage students and parents to use IC.  This is an incredible tool and we need to keep building our culture around the expectation that students and parents are checking it regularly.
  • X: Drive Regulations – Ensure that you are only storing work related documents on the District X: drive.
  • Gap Analysis Due by Tuesday at 3pm – The Triage process for second quarter wrapped up today.  If you have a student that failed your class that is being recommended for Twilight, a Gap Analysis is in your mailbox.  Please complete and return by Tuesday at 3.

Nice to Know:

  • More than Half of Athena is on the Honor Roll – 52% of our students averaged 85% or higher for the second quarter. That accounted for 636 students. The freshman class had the highest results with 60% of students earning this honor.
  • Budget Freeze Coming Soon – All Department money must be spent prior to February 28th.
  • Athena Way Shirt Days – Upcoming days for the mini lesson discussions and shirts are 2/26, 3/19, 4/9, 5/21. Mark your calendars.
  • AP Training at St. John FisherClick here for information on AP training.  Space is limited, so act soon.
  • Video: Integrating 21st Century Skills in to Daily InstructionClick here to view a short 3 minute video to integrate these skills into what you already are doing. Click here to see how these skills are found in the NYSUT Rubric.
  • Video: Winter Pep Rally HighlightsClick here fore a short video of the pep rally.
  • Ideas for Celebrating Student Success – We spend a lot of time focused on students at risk.  We would like to take time to celebrate student success.  If you have ideas for doing so, please share them with any member of the Admin Team, AIT or GTA leadership.  These three teams meet together monthly to work on making Athena better.  We would love your suggestions.

I know this was long… thanks for reading.

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