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Letter to Parents from High School Principal

8/23/17

Dear Parents,

I hope you have had a pleasurable summer vacation and have had an opportunity to enjoy time with your families. As the summer progresses along, I wanted to send an update and share some new information as we prepare for the upcoming school year.

This summer we have been fortunate to add some great new staff members to our building. We have hired Tracie Perone, Sharon Aniolek and Alexandra Croft to join our Special Education department; Megan Mulkerrin for Art, and lastly James Sommer and Erica Bornhoft for Science. Last year we lost our Assistant Principal due to reductions in budget and have replaced that position with a part-time dean. We are fortunate that we have hired Nicole Martyn for the part-time Dean of Students position.

The 2017-2018 school year will have some new changes for our building. One of the main changes is to our grade reporting system. This past year our School Facilitation Team, comprised of administrators, teachers and parents, came up with a new plan for grade reporting. The plan is to create more opportunities for students and parents to be aware of progress and also a better vehicle for teachers to share information about their classes. This may include what students might be missing, need support in, or to highlight success.

Instead of Progress Reports, each teacher will be utilizing Schoology for an online gradebook. Instead of separate Progress Reports at five-week increments, this year we are going to adopt grade verification dates to increase frequency of feedback for students and families. The Facilitation Team came up the following increments: four, seven and ten-weeks.

This means at roughly four-weeks, grades will be updated in the online gradebook for all classes for verification purposes. This will be done again at seven-weeks, and finally at the end of the marking period at ten-weeks. While these grades in Schoology are not the “official” grade for the marking period, it is a great way to monitor student progress more regularly. The official marking period grades will be reported in eSchool. Each teacher will be required to update grades online on those verification dates. Some may choose to add grades on a more frequent basis, but the minimum will be at those verification dates which we will publish as we get closer to the school year.

Here is a brief description of the two platforms we will use in the 2017-2018 school year.

eSchool - Mailing Report Cards and Progress Reports

eSchool is our official reporting platform for storing grades, attendance, student schedules and transcripts. You have access to eSchool via the parent portal. If you have not done so already, you may sign up for access by going to the district website and clicking the eSD Parent Portal link on the right hand side. You will be able to sign up for online access to your child’s report cards and progress reports. There is also information on how to continue paper mailings if needed.

Schoology - a Learning Management System (LMS)

Schoology is a Learning Management System (LMS) that provides a secure learning network for teachers,
students, parents, and schools. It allows us to connect, share content, access homework, participate in
discussions, receive class information and also comprises the online gradebook we will be
using. Schoology is accessible online and through any mobile device with internet capabilities.
Again, the grades in Schoology should not be considered the official grade for the quarter. The official
grade will be what is posted in eSchool on the report card.

The grades in Schoology represent a snapshot of student performance. There are many factors involved with providing a final grade for a report card that are not captured in a LMS, for example, participation and attendance. If you have questions related to any grade, please contact the teacher for further explanation of their grades and grading philosophy.

Attendance

Attendance is an important part of a student's success in high school. Consistent and punctual attendance
is an issue that we have been working on for a few years now, and will continue to work on in the 2017-
2018 school year. In addition to his Athletic Director duties, John Gallo will be working in the high school
to help improve our performance in this area. Mr. Gallo will be monitoring attendance daily as we look to
institute the following procedures in relation to attendance and tardiness in our building:

Tardy

-Parents will be called each time a student is late or absent from school.

-Students late 3-4 times in a marking period will be assigned a lunch detention on those dates they are late.

-Students who are late 5 times in a marking period will be assigned an after-school detention on that date.

-Students who are late 6 times in a marking period must have a meeting with their, counselor, parent and
administration. At this point students can lose privileges until the meeting is held, or as a consequence of
their attendance, including parking, participation in extracurricular activities, and athletics.

Orientation

Incoming Freshman/New Student Orientation will be held on August 31st at 9:30 a.m. in the auditorium.

At this orientation we will get students their schedules, review basic information about the high school and our
academic procedures as well as have an opportunity to meet their guidance counselor.

We will also have time set aside for students to follow their schedules and get acquainted with the high school campus. This will not be the official time to get Chromebooks, the times for that are already set and on the high school website.

Lastly, all schedules will be posted online in eSchool by Friday, August 25th. Guidance counselors will be
in from August 28th - September 1st for those students with scheduling issues or conflicts.

Enjoy the remainder of your summer. If I can be of any assistance to you or your child(ren), please contact
me at 355-6110, extension 3002.

Sincerely,

Imran Abbasi