Principal's Corner

 

Over the next few weeks, I will feature questions and trends that emerged from the School Culture and Practices survey in my newsletters. This week, I highlight one question that came from several responses to the “School communicates well with me” prompt. What is the best way to get up-to-date information about my child’s progress? This is an important topic as we near the end of the first semester. Teachers provide information to parents and students on PlusPortals and through regular feedback on assignments and assessments. When these sources of information lead to new questions or perhaps more context is needed, the best way to get answers is to contact the teacher. Email usually is best. 

Also, check out the new link to the  WUHSMS proficiency based learning frequently asked questions document.  As two survey respondents put it, “(with regards to communication) We can always use more than less information” and “Communication always has room for improvement.”

Best regards,

Mr. Smail

 

All School News and Events

 

  • December 19, WUHSMS Choral Concert YOH Auditorium, 7:00 pm
     
    December 23-January 2, Holiday Recess: School Closed
     
    January 3 will be an eight-block day (Monday schedule)
     
    January 16-19 Mid-term exams, link to exam schedule

 

 

Studio Art II - Human Condition Project - Mr. duPont

The Human Condition is fundamental to all of us as human beings, though we may not always be aware of its presence or fully understand its meaning. Recently Studio II students undertook a project where they explored different aspects of the Human Condition by transforming a photograph into a charcoal drawing. As they engaged with the medium they also began to understand how to convey meaning through their work. A written Artist Statement accompanies each drawing explaining the artist’s interpretation of the Human Condition and what the viewer can get out of the image. Click on the image to view the entire gallery.

 

Students Talk About Proficiency-based Learning

As we near the end of the third checkpoint, we decided to ask some students what they think of learning under this new proficiency system. We value their insight into how this system is working for them and are gratified to hear that they appreciate the opportunity to practice skills and receive feedback several times before the summative assessments. We will use their comments about the timing of summative assessments to evaluate other options for the future. Check out what the students have to say:

 

Additional context and definitions for terms used in the video

Tenth grade students are in their second year of proficiency-based learning and have been joined by 9th graders this year. Under this system, students work on skills for Anchor Standards (such as Reading, Writing, Language, Speaking/Listening for English class) completing practice work called formative assessments and receiving feedback on how to improve prior to completing the larger summative assessments.

The assessments are scored as follows:

1= beginning work on the standard

2= approaching the standard

3= proficient on the standard

4= distinguished on the standard

Students are given checklists and rubrics on assignments that tell them what needs to be demonstrated to reach these levels and only the summative scores are placed on report cards. A teacher will use summative Anchor Standard scores, along with their professional judgment about student achievement and growth over time, to determine the end of year assessment.

 

 

WUHSMS Outing Club Makes their Debut
Friday November 17 the Outing Club made their debut outing to Camel's Hump. It was a very successful first trip and we hope to be able to go on more adventures in the future. Through trips like this, we achieve the goals set forth in our mission statement that reads: The goal of this club is for students to participate in challenging, interactive outdoor activities, that are affordable and fun; which develop community learning opportunities, environmental awareness, and physical health.
 
Click here to Relive the trip