JAMESTOWN HIGH SCHOOL
JHS Summer News
Jamestown High School will begin classes on Thursday, August 23rd. Doors will open at 8:00 a.m. and all students will report to their assigned homerooms at 8:45 a.m. to complete enrollment forms and receive locker assignments. Periods 1-3 classes will meet beginning at 9:30 a.m. for 25-minutes each. Periods 4-8 will meet at the regular times.
We are happy to welcome one new teacher to JHS this fall. Morgan Schwartzenberger will be teaching in our business department, replacing Allison Mack who has transitioned to a counseling position.
Student pictures will be taken on Friday, August 24th. Students will receive order packets in their homerooms on the first day of school for those who wish to purchase. No purchase is necessary but all students need to have a photo taken for their school ID and the yearbook.
Freshmen orientation will be held on Monday, August 20th at 6:00 p.m. in the JHS theater. All members of the Class of 2022 and their parents are encouraged to attend. Those attending will hear from building administrators and counselors about policies, procedures, and opportunities for the school year. Schedule cards will be handed out to those freshmen in attendance. Students and parents will be invited to participate in a meet-the-teacher orientation following the meeting by reporting to each scheduled class for a short briefing from each teacher.
Students who are new to our District and attending JHS for the first time should plan to attend a new student orientation sponsored by the JHS Student Council. The orientation will be held in the JHS commons at 11:30 a.m. on Monday, August 20th. Any questions about the new student orientation may be referred to JHS at 952-4003 or Student Council advisor Ken Gardner at 952-4219.
Schedule cards will be handed out from the information window on Wednesday and Thursday, August 15th and 16th between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. JHS guidance counselors Allison Mack, Julie Skunberg, and Mike Soulis will be on hand during these two days to assist with schedule concerns. Our staff, students, and families understand that a great deal of time and resources are allocated in the registration and scheduling process. We assign teachers based on the courses that students sign up for in the spring. For these reasons, no changes will be allowed unless they are deemed necessary by an administrator. Schedules will be printed with our specific policy regarding schedule changes, and forms to request a schedule change can be turned in prior to school to be reviewed by a team of administrators and counselors. The policy for course enrollment changes is available in the 2018-19 student planner. Also at this time students and parents can take care of paying for bussing, school lunches, and purchase activity tickets. Schedule cards will be available for seniors and sophomores on Wednesday, and juniors and freshmen on Thursday. Textbooks will be issued by classroom teachers.
All students will receive a student planner. Parents are encouraged to review the planner for schedules and school policies. Some updates are highlighted in the JHS Updates in the next section. The planner also contains individual school phone numbers for our staff and other valuable information for students and parents.
Parents are reminded that their student’s grades and attendance information are available online using the PowerSchool software. Please call JHS at 952-4003 after school starts if you need access to your information. Everyone is encouraged to check out the JHS website for additional information and phone numbers.
We hope all is well for our JHS students, staff and families. At JHS we believe we can all get even better, and just as our students are always learning we are also continuously improving. We have an amazing community, families, students, and staff at JHS and it is with great gratitude that we reflect on how we are all growing together, because we can get even better. We have made a few changes for the 2018-19 school year that we will learn and grow from together.
Beginning in 2017-18 we made some small adjustments to our schedule, adding the Wednesday late start to enhance our professional learning and curriculum development process. This has brought a team approach to insuring we have common expectations by course on what all kids should know and be able to do for that course, and how each course builds upon the previous one. This team process, called Professional Learning Communities also helps us define and assess what proficiency is for the standards in a course and what we will accept as evidence of proficiency. As we get better at determining this together the process then helps us come up with strategies to support students who haven’t learned something yet and to offer enrichment or extension for those who already have learned it. We look forward to continuing this process together to benefit our JHS community of learners. As a reminder even though school “starts late” students are welcome to come to school at their usual time where our para professionals are available in the library and commons. While the schedule changes last year provided these opportunities we also wanted to further personalize and engage our students at JHS.
Over the course of spring semester a group of our teachers and administration studied structures that would give our students more flexibility, choice and voice and opportunity to explore their passions or receive help they need. Beginning this fall we will have a flexible period on our Wednesday schedule. This period is 30 minutes in length and takes place between our two lunches. The addition of the flex period gives students opportunities for enrichment, connection to school and also to get what they need if they need additional support.
Our teachers have come up with some creative ideas for the enrichment time for students and I know as the year goes on we will see more ideas develop. Just a few to mention are: Media Literacy, Career Choices (presenters), Sports Officiating Basics, Mindfulness Training, Hippology and Horse Training, Robotics, Buying your first car, Transitioning from High School, Tips for traveling abroad, 5 money mistakes you can’t afford to make in college, #BENCHPRESSNATION, Photography..etc. Each teacher or a pair of teachers will host an enrichment opportunity for students, some being one or two sessions and some lasting longer. These will be content rich opportunities for students, to read, write, speak, listen, discuss and get engaged. We are also looking forward to the flexibility for students to choose to go see a teacher if they need additional support or to make up work due to absences. We have software that helps students select which option they want for the flex period and also helps teachers take attendance. As the year progresses we have the option of using the Wednesday flex period as a twice monthly “open lunch” incentive for seniors who have no time to make up, are passing all their classes, and have no office or community referrals. We know we will learn a lot from the addition of our flex period on Wednesdays and look forward providing these enrichment opportunities for our students. This is also a great time to connect our students with community resources so if you have a business, industry or organization that would like to come present to students feel free to email to set up a session to connect with our students.
After analyzing data last year on student performance we determined we wanted to look at reducing missing, incomplete, and late work school wide. We studied grading practices as a staff, and reviewed research on how much homework is appropriate at each level. Over the course of the spring semester our teacher leadership and administrative team developed a protocol for consistently handling the support, communication and consequences around late, missing, and incomplete assignments. These supports included communication through PowerSchool, email and phone calls from teachers, the use of an “overtime session” where students would attend at the usual time on Wednesday mornings instead of a late start. Finally, in the case of an ongoing incomplete or course failure students will be placed on an Academic Probation list that may mean removal from an elective, addition of a study hall and ineligibility for activities competition. Many of these things were done well in our school but we wanted to ensure consistency in our expectations for our students. We continue to work hard to ensure our assignments are meaningful and align to the standards that will support our students growth. When we looked at our data it was clear that students who complete their work and receive appropriate supports learn and achieve more. We look forward to implementing the new protocol and enhancing our students achievement in the process. The complete protocol is in the 2018-19 student planner and will be presented in the fall class meetings.
Our dedicated school staff continues to do amazing things, adding new courses, programs, increasing technology access, training for everything from emergency preparedness to project based learning. We look forward to the 2018-19 school year, as we strive for toward our mission of “Learning for All”
We are looking forward to another exciting and successful year. Please contact us at any time with ideas and concerns.
Go Blue Jays!!
Adam Gehlhar, Principal