Letter From Principal Ayers

 

Dear Parents, Guardians, and Students:

 

I hope each and every one of you had a chance over the holidays to reconnect with those you love and enjoy the festivities of the holiday season.  2018 is upon us, and it gives us the chance to reflect on our lives, goals and dreams to reestablish pathways to reach them.  My hope for each of you is that you have a prosperous and fruitful 2018.  

 

We are excited to once again connect with our students and families.  We take great pride in providing a top notch public education to each of our students, and look forward to helping each child reach their post secondary goals.  If you have not had a chance to thank your child’s teachers, I would encourage you to do so.  They work hard to ensure that your child is cared for physically, academically, and socially and care a great deal about the relationships that they have with their students.  As always, we are here to serve families;  please connect with us on important issues to your child and family.  

 

At Mead High School, we constantly reflect on the service that we provide.  We have identified a few focal points that I want to share with you; they are outlined below.  Please take a moment to read each topic to familiarize yourself with changes that are occurring, or just remind yourself of important school beliefs/policy.  We are always trying to improve our service to students and families, and believe the following topics are of great importance to making Mead High School an exemplary school.

 

Attendance Initiative:  

As a school district, we believe “attendance is one of the most important factors in determining if a student will do well in school, graduate and be prepared for success in their postsecondary education and career.”  We believe we are preparing students to enter the world, and attendance is also a major factor in hiring/retaining great employees.  

 

Our school goal is to have a 96% attendance rate by the year’s end; we are currently hovering at 93%.  We have also witnessed student tardy’s increasing.  It will take a collective effort to reach our target goal, but we believe we can still achieve it by doing some of the following things beginning in January, 2018.

  • Perfect Attendance Awards.  All students with perfect attendance for each semester, will be awarded with a certificate and surprise.  We will recognize students at the end of each year for perfect attendance with a pin for their outstanding performance.  The only student absence that will NOT count against the attendance rate are those in which students are attending a school sponsored activity.
  • 96% or Above Attendance Drawings.  Every 2 weeks, students in this category will be entered into a drawing for a reward.  Six names will be drawn every 2 weeks.  Students will have multiple opportunities to win.  
  • Most Improved Attendance Awards.  Every 2 weeks, we will be rewarding “most improved attendance” with a surprise.  
  • Advisory Competitions.  At the end of each month, the advisory class with the overall best average attendance rate will be rewarded.
  • New Tardy Policy.  When a student is tardy 3 times in a class, you will receive a phone call notice.  If a student continues to be tardy to the same class, at 6 tardies they will have be required to do a lunch campus beautification project, at 9 tardies they will have 2 lunch beautification sessions, and at 12 tardies in the same class, students will serve a day of office retention.   Beautification sessions will be served on Mondays and Thursdays during the lunch period.

If you would like to help sponsor this initiative, please contact Principal Ayers.  You can contribute monetarily or through a donation of rewards.  We believe it is important to recognize students who are meeting the mark, plus having a little fun at the same time.   We recognize that the most important part of good attendance is not the “fun” reward that we are proposing, but the rewards of consistency, confidence, knowledge, connection to others, and building great work habits.  See you in class every day, on time!

 

Student Talks:

Last semester, teacher groups met during their plan periods twice per month for 45 minutes to build support plans for struggling learners based on academics, attendance, or behavior.  I applaud our teaching staff for giving the time to this intentional planning and important work.  We believe that ALL students can achieve great things, but some need our direct support.  This semester we will continue to meet, but our focus will be on bringing students into the conversation to have them collaborate with staff members to build their individual plans.   This system aligns to our school goal of increasing graduation rates and decreasing dropout rates.

 

State Testing:

First semester of this year, we administered a practice PSAT 10 for 9th and 10th graders, and a practice SAT for our current 11th graders.  We will administer a second practice test on the February late start day to students 9th - 11th grade.

 

SAT has partnered with Khan academy so that students can create an online, individual program that targets gaps that showed up on their practice exam.  Students have gotten their scores back from the practice test in October, and each student was strongly encouraged to set up their online link to Khan academy.  We will be dedicating time in Advisory classes for 9th - 11th graders to work on their individual programs.  Please talk to your child to see if they have access to the Khanacademy online resource.  Because it is online, and individualized, students can work on this site at their own convenience.  Our hope is that students take advantage of this very useful tool.  

 

Testing Schedule for 2018: (please mark these on your calendars)

April 10:  National Test Day for SAT (all 11th graders are required to test)

April 11:  National Test Day for PSAT (all 9th and 10th graders are required to test)

April 17:  CMAS Science Test (all 11th graders are required to test)

April 24:  SAT Makeup date (only makeup day available)

 

We recognized that a student is not defined by their score.  We also recognize that a student’s SAT score is essential for post secondary qualification and application.  We believe that achievement can be quantified more by what a student does every day in their classes, and the courses they take to challenge themselves.   However, doing well on state tests is important to their future prospects, and it defines Mead High School as a school of excellence.  Please help us encourage our kids to invest in themselves by giving their best effort in all that they do.   

 

Registration:

In January, we begin the process of enrolling students in classes for the next school year. Counselors will be meeting with students during this month to prepare them for class registration for the 2018-2019 school year.  We will have two registration nights this year:

  • January 24 @ 6 pm in the Auditorium --- for current 9th - 11th graders
  • February 8 @ 6pm in the Auditorium --- for current 8th graders enrolling at Mead HS in fall, 2018

It is very important that students review the course handbook online to determine what classes they want to enroll in.  Every year, students should look to challenge themselves a bit more.  A student’s senior year should prepare them for the transition to college, trade school, military, or a rigorous job schedule.  We encourage ALL students to take, at a minimum, one AP course in their high school studies.  We also encourage students to try different courses; it will help them determine what their interests (or non-interests) are.  As you begin these discussions, also talk with your child about maintaining balance in their lives.  This is always part of healthy decision making.  Please schedule an appointment with your child’s counselor if you have questions that you would like to discuss.

 

Staying Connected:

There are several important ways to stay connected to what is happening at Mead High School.  

Infinite Campus (IC)

Please check your Infinite Campus accounts regularly for updated school information. If you do not have access to Infinite Campus see Andi Felton, Mead Registrar, to set up an account.  This will allow you to stay on top of your child’s attendance and grades throughout the year, as well as receive updated information from Mead HS.  If you have forgotten your password or your account has been disabled, please contact Mrs. Felton to reset it.

 

Schoology

Schoology is an important resource for parents and students.  As with IC above, see Mrs. Felton for login information or to set up an account.   ALL teachers at Mead High School post their class objective, and homework for the day on Schoology so you can hold your children accountable for doing their assigned work.  If you are unfamiliar with this application, please email or call Principal Ayers to set up an appointment with our technology coach.  He will walk you through the program and show how to use it to access your child’s work.

 

Weekly Newsletter

Each Monday, a weekly newsletter is sent via Mailchimp to each email address that is registered on Infinite Campus.  This is the best way to stay connected to the weekly operations and activities at Mead High School.  It will connect you with our school website on important dates and upcoming events.  

 

Counseling Newsletter

Each month, the counseling department sends out a newsletter via Mailchimp as well.  Please visit the counseling website for senior communications regarding college application/admission/scholarship, Naviance instruction, upcoming counselor initiatives, or to just schedule an appointment to see your child’s counselor.  

 

Student Parking

We know many of our current 10th graders are now acquiring licenses and vehicles.  They will need to purchase a parking pass ($5) to park at Mead High School.  Please have your child visit the front desk to purchase a sticker for their front dash. They must present a valid ID or driving license, and documentation of insurance to purchase a parking pass.  I want to remind parents and students that we have an open campus at lunch for Juniors and Seniors ONLY, with parent permission.  Please make sure that the Parent Permission Form is on file in the front office before you leave campus for lunch. Freshmen and Sophomore students will not be allowed to leave campus for lunch at any time.  

 

Students at Mead HS are requesting that parents pick and drop students off in the drop off lane.  Students are having a tough time getting to class on time or getting out of the parking lot because parents waiting to pick up/drop off students are blocking their parking spots.  Only students who are parking should be entering/exiting the student parking lot.  This helps with congestion and maintains safety in our crowded parking lot.  We appreciate your help in using the correct drop off/pick up lane.

 

Ipad Insurance

If you have not purchased ipad insurance, you have the option of purchasing it for 2nd semester for only $17.50.  We believe it is important for ALL students to be protected, as damages are rather expensive.  This is a very cost effective solution.

To purchase, please follow these simple steps:

 

  1. Fill out the Google Form.

  2. Go to the library during your designated time. You will be expected to pay in full by cash, check or credit card at this time. (January 10, January 11, or January 17)

  3. Remember --- your ipad will be inspected for damages before insurance can be offered to you.  If it is damaged prior to the purchase, you will be required to pay for the damages prior to insurance being activated.

 

Construction Update

It is exciting to see our new wing and the Energy Academy rooms coming into full light.  I was able to take a guided tour during Christmas break, and it looks amazing!  Currently, floors are being finished and painting is being done in the front addition.  In the new North wing, electrical and sheetrocking is taking place.  The walls between the existing structure and the new structure have been joined but there is a sheetrock wall up to protect the work space as they finish construction.  You will see significant progress by Spring Break, and we hope to have the front addition operable at this time.  This summer, they will be deconstructing the existing science classrooms to create more classroom space in the existing wings.  They will also be increasing the patio space in the back of the commons.   We are currently in discussions about furniture, technology, and utilizing space.  

 

Rock-n-Roll Donations

Mead High is starting a new after school club: Rock Band! We are need of your old rock-n-roll gear, specifically a drum set, microphones, mic stands, a PA, and the necessary cables. If your old musical equipment is gathering dust in the basement, please consider donating it to Mead High.

 

IMPORTANT DATES

Late Start Days None in January, Feb. 7, March 7, April 4, May 2     School starts promptly at 9:45 am

January 12 - 15 Four day weekend (NO SCHOOL)

January 24 Registration 6 pm @ MHS Auditorium current 9 - 11th graders

January 27 Winter Dance 8 - 10:30 pm @ MHS

February 1 Winter Band Concert 6:30 pm @ MHS Auditorium w/8th graders

February 8 Registration 6 pm @ MHS Auditorium current 8th graders

February 15 Parent Teacher Conferences 2:30 - 7:30 pm

February 16 - 19 Four day weekend (NO SCHOOL)

February 26 Spring Sports Begin Registration and Payment done before this date!

March 13 Ensembles Concert 6:30 pm @ MHS Auditorium

March 14 Orchestra Concert 6:30 pm @ MHS Auditorium

March 15 College Fair 2:15 - 6:30 pm @ MHS big/small gym

March 20 Choir Concert 6:30 pm @ MHS Auditorium

March 26 - March 30 Spring Break

April 10 SAT State Testing 7:15 - finished all juniors

April 11 PSAT State Testing 7:15 - finished all 9th - 10th graders

April 14 Mead Film Festival 5:30 pm @ MHS Auditorium

April 17, 18 CMAS State Testing 7:15 - finished all juniors

April 19 - 21 Spring Musical 7:00 - 9:30 pm each night @ MHS Auditorium

April 21 9 News Health Fair TBA

April 26 College Night 6:00 - 7:00 pm @ MHS Auditorium for junior parents

April 28 Prom and After Prom

May 7 - 18 AP Testing College Board Testing Schedule

May 9 Choir Concert 6:30 pm @ MHS Auditorium

May 10 Ensemble Concert 6:30 pm @ MHS Auditorium

May 14 Band Concert 6:30 pm @ MHS Auditorium

May 15 Seniors Last Day full day of classes

May 23 Graduation Rehearsal 9:00 - noon @ MHS Auditorium

Senior Barbecue 12:30 - 2:00 pm @ MHS Concession Stand

Senior Night 6:00 - 9:00 pm @ MHS Auditorium

May 22 - 24 Final Exams for all students schedule TBA

May 25 MHS Junior Bootcamp 7:30 - noon for ALL next year’s seniors

May 26 Graduation 11:00am - 1:00pm on the football field (pending no rain)

 

It is our distinct pleasure to serve the Mead community.  We keep an open door policy and would love to hear your ideas about how we might continue to improve our process and systems at Mead HS.   Please plan to attend a few events, schedule parent conferences and state testing on your master schedule, and continue to encourage your child to give their very best every day.   I would love to see Mead be the premier school of the St. Vrain Valley School District.  Together, we can absolutely see this happen.  Best of luck in 2018!

 

Sincerely,

 

Rachael M. Ayers

Principal, Mead High School

720-494-3940

mhs.svvsd.org

ALWAYS A MAVERICK!