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 been preparing all summer and are excited to have students back in our classrooms and hallways. Summer vacation is nice but I miss being surrounded with teenage energy and enthusiasm. I can’t wait to have them back on campus.
There are many exciting changes in store for this year. Allow me to preview a few of them.
The first day of school is Monday, August 15th. This is several weeks earlier than previous years. Although it means a short summer, there are many benefits to the new calendar. By starting early, we will end Semester I BEFORE winter break. Final exams will be over and you and your family will be able to enjoy a real break. Teachers won’t feel the need to assign homework and projects over break as they have done in the past when final exams were in January. The new calendar also provides for additional instructional time before spring testing (CAASPP, AP, IB). We are now more closely aligned to several middle school districts and the community colleges. Finally, we will enjoy a two-week spring break – April 10-21st.
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, after school 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 a impressive suite of Google tools. This new technology will help us with the “4 Cs” – creativity, collaboration, communication and critical thinking. Paperwork will be sent home with your student during the first two weeks. The computers will be distributed through English classes beginning August 29th.
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 2016-17 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!
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