Sunday, October 3, 2010

Turning over a new leaf...

Homecoming 2010 has come and gone and was, by all accounts, extremely successful.  OHS students enjoyed dressing like cavemen, rennaisance lords and ladies, robots, and more.  Our cheerleaders and student council carried out a very entertaining pep rally complete with a whip cream pie fight and Mr. Paulsen in a dress (don't ask).  The evening featured the crowning of our 2010 Homecoming King and Queen - Mr. Kelly Kaufman and Miss Jenna Tschetter.  Congratulations to Kelly, Jenna, and all of our spectacular court.  The football game was a hard fought contest and although the final outcome was not in our favor, we had a lot to cheer about as our boys showed a lot of heart and made us all proud.  The dance was well attended and a lot of fun was had by all. 

Now we turn the page and refocus on the mission of our school - academic success for all and the mission of creating productive citizens in a changing world.  Academically speaking we are just past the midway point of first quarter - or approximately 1/8 of the way through the school year.  Midterm grades were recently sent out which is our first official measuring stick of progress for students.  The staff members of OHS are committed to success for all and, like many schools, we have a system of interventions to assist those students who are struggling to realize that success.  One of those interventions is called Academic Tutoring. 

Academic tutoring is a program aimed at freshman and sophomore students.  Many studies show a direct correlation between success during the transition years into high school, and other variables like graduation and post-secondary success.  We work for the success of all students, but we focus especially intently on the 9th and 10th grade years.  Research and past history show that if students are given extra support in these years, it helps them develop the habits and traits necessary for future success.  If you would like to read some of the research that supports this position you can find a great article here:

If you have a son or daughter in 9th or 10th grade who received a D or F grade on their first midterm you should have received a letter about Academic Tutoring.  Here is a brief explanation of the program:

Academic tutoring is a program for 9th and 10th grade students who are struggling academically as evidenced by grade reports.  Any student who received a D or F midterm report will be enrolled in the program.  Academic Tutoring takes place from 3:15-4:00pm Monday through Thursday afternoons.  Students who are in a school activity and therefore are expected at practice during this time may report for Academic Tutoring before school Monday-Thursday at 7:30am.  Academic Tutoring is NOT designed as a punishment.  It is an organized program focused on giving students time to work on the subjects in which they are struggling at a time when teachers are available for help.  Many of the students work under the supervision and with the assistance of Mrs. Derner, although often times they will have the opportunity to work directly with the teachers in whose classes they are struggling. 

Every two weeks we re-check grades.  Any student who is passing all courses with a grade of C or better at grade-check time may choose not to continue attending tutoring.  Any student who is still at a D or F level at grade check will continue in tutoring until they are passing all classes with a C or better at a subsequent grade check. 

Again, I want to stress that although many students are not crazy about being placed into Academic Tutoring, it is NOT designed as a punishment.  It is a structured time and way to give additional support to students with a demonstrated need for that support.  It is NOT a form of detention.  The focus of the program is to provide assistance and academic support. 

If you have a son/daughter who is being placed in Academic Tutoring, I encourage you to have a discussion with them.  Share with them your concern for their success.  Find ways to help and support them at home.  Encourage them to see this intervention for what it is - an intervention designed to support their success. 

If you have any questions about the Academic Tutoring program, please contact me at your convenience. 

Make the week great!

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