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A photograph of Mike Fowler, the school Principal
Mike Fowler, Principal
 
WELCOME TO GRANITE HILLS HIGH SCHOOL!
 
Welcome back to another school year.  I am grateful for the opportunity to return to Granite Hills as your principal. As we begin again, I feel energized and deeply committed to making a positive difference in the lives of our children.
 

We have a long, proud tradition at Granite Hills. We opened our doors in 1960 and have diligently served the community of East County every since. I was recently looking through the school’s very first yearbook. Following is an excerpt from the forward:

 

As the first year of its existence comes to a close, Granite Hills High School has developed and matured from a fledgling eaglet to a bold, upright guardian of the sky… Although challenges still confront us, we will fly to meet these challenges with the ambition and courage characteristic of the guardian of the sky, The Roman Eagle.

Like the Roman Eagle, we shall be respected and admired wherever our outstretched shadow falls.

 ~ Pageant 1961

Students and staff had crew cuts and beehive hairstyles back then. They were also very wise. Just as that first class predicted, Granite Hills has become “respected and admired wherever our outstretched shadow falls”. Over the last 57 years, our school has been regularly acknowledged for academic and extracurricular excellence. Each year, the GHHS administration, faculty, staff, parents, and students strive to ensure our school is recognized not only in East County, but also at the state and national level. We have achieved this again, as evidenced by the accomplishments earned during the 2016-17 school year:

  • US News & World Report evaluated over 22,000 schools in the country and named Granite Hills one of the BEST HIGH SCHOOLS in the United States. Only 27% of schools in the U.S. earned "Best" status.
  • The Washington Post recognized Granite Hills as one of AMERICA"S MOST CHALLENGING HIGH SCHOOLS. Again, 22,000 schools were evaluated and only 12% earned placement on the list.
  • Educational Results Partnership recognized Granite Hills as an honor roll school for our work on closing the achievement gap.
  • Granite Hills athletic teams won six league titles – Football, Girls Tennis, Boys Basketball, Softball, Boys Track, Boys Tennis.
  • Girls Tennis won the CIF Section Championship for the first time in school history.
  • Tennis coach, Patty Tibbits, a fixture at Granite Hills for more than 30 years, was named Female Coach of the year by the San Diego Hall of Champions and the San Diego Union Tribune.
  • The Californian Best of East County Readers poll awarded Granite Hills “Best Prep Sports Program”.
  • The GHHS Choir won Gold for Vocal Ensemble at the 2017 Forum Music Awards.
  • Several cast members from Eagle Theater’s production of Hairspray were recognized by National Youth Arts.
  • Granite Hills students recorded the second highest attendance rate in the Grossmont Union High School District.
  • Every student was issued a Chromebook which unlocked new and exciting learning opportunities for all of us.

We are fortunate to be in a community where education is valued and Granite Hills is supported. I want to personally thank you and remind you that IT’S A GREAT TIME TO BE AN EAGLE.

We have been preparing all summer and are excited to have students back in our classrooms and hallways. The 2017-18 school year will be full of exciting changes. Allow me to preview a few of them.

NEW WEBSITE

Your cries for an improved website have been heard. We recently launched a new website which is sure to be easier to navigate and will provide meaningful, timely information.

PSAT for ALL SOPHOMORES

Our efforts to prepare to students for college and career will take a big step forward this year as every 10th grader will take the PSAT free of charge. The PSAT is a Preliminary SAT. The exam is a great primer for the SAT, but it’s more than just practice. PSAT scores are used to identify National Merit Scholars and award merit scholarships. The exam will be given on October 11th.

SOLAR PARKING COVERS

Almost half of our parking lots have been covered with solar panels. The project is environmentally responsible, it saves our District money and provides shaded parking for many students and staff.

NEW CLASSROOMS

The old guidance and administration buildings are being converted into 12 state of the art classrooms. Students and teachers will move into the new rooms in September.

We will continue the following initiatives in the 2017-18 school year:

FUTURE FORWARD

Every Granite student will be issued a Chromebook this year as part of our Future Forward initiative. These small laptop computers can be used in class, afterschool and at home. The campus wireless network has been extensively upgraded to allow our teachers and students access to a whole world of resources previously inaccessible.  Each student will also be given a Google account with access to an impressive suite of Google tools. This new technology will help us with the “4 Cs” – Creativity, Collaboration, Communication and Critical thinking.

THE CODE

While not exactly new, the Granite Hills Code simply defines our behavior expectations – RESPECT, RESPONSIBILITY, PRIDE. We expect every member of the Granite Hills family to be respectful of others and themselves. We expect everyone to act responsibly at all times and take pride in themselves and in our school. A positive school culture is essential to our school mission.

S.O.A.R. – Students Organized to Achieve Results

SOAR is a new student leadership course that promises to help our entire school. Students were selected for the class based on previous academic and social success as well as the ability to consistently uphold The Code. These students will provide tutoring for their fellow classmates. The extra help will be available in various formats.  Some SOAR students may assist directly in our classrooms. Others may provide tutoring before school, after school and at lunch. Struggling students may be assigned a SOAR mentor to help them get back on track. Additionally, students that fall short of our behavior expectations will work with SOAR students to recognize the importance of good decision making. We understand that “students helping students” is a powerful way to help everyone be successful.

Together, Granite Hills will carry on our tradition of excellence in the 2017-18 school year. The following pages are for your reference. It is my hope to improve our communication, help you plan your year, and continue the positive community relationships we all enjoy for the benefit of our students.  Go Eagles!

 

Mike Fowler

Principal