FROM THE DESK OF THE HIGH SCHOOL PRINCIPAL
Welcome to the 2017-2018 school year! I am excited to share this year with each of you. It has been a great summer for me full of friends, family and lots and lots of great sunshine. I hope your summer gave your family a chance to enjoy our great area, its weather and one another. This summer I discovered podcasts (I know I’m late to the game), Apple music, grapefruit balsamic vinegar, the fun of international travel with my kids, the joys of homemade chicken wings, the perils of GPS directions through Google maps, and kangaroo claws. I’d love to hear about your adventures so please stop by to catch up.
During this time of year I am always so excited to get back to the work of teaching and learning. One of the most amazing things about education is the excitement, the energy and the enthusiasm we all feel as we begin a new year in which we try to do this work even better than the year before. As I review the work we did last year and analyze student growth data, I am proud of the progress we have made in all areas. I also become energized planning for how to continue to increase student learning. I feel blessed to be a part of the community that I am. A community who supports and challenges our students. A community with high expectations. A community with boundless commitment to OUR kids. A community who knows our students need a well-rounded education to be ready for the world ahead of them. Thank you for all of these commitments from you and more.
This year we are working hard to continue the work we have been doing to prepare our kids for colleges and careers. High expectations for student behavior and academic work are what our students deserve, and we at Waterville will be asking your child to grow personally and academically through rigorous, important, relevant work. Students will be challenged. This can be uncomfortable for students sometimes. I would ask you to support your student, help them learn to personally advocate for themselves, meet these challenges and struggle through adversity. As a parent, I have learned that it is critical that our students learn to face and overcome tough times here, at Waterville, where they will have the support and love of parents, community and staff rather than first face these times as they leave us for college and career. Don’t ever hesitate to contact your child’s teachers, our office staff, counselor, nurse, or myself if you sense your child is needing additional support or is struggling. Also, don’t hesitate to contact our staff when you see these moments of growth and grit developing – we love to hear about the successes. Teaching and learning is HARD work, and we are all in it together.
A critical component to learning is attendance. At Waterville (and across our state) we have noticed an alarming trend of increased school absenteeism. Too many absences allow students to fall behind in reading, writing, math, science and also make your child less likely to graduate high school on time. In fact, learning the value of ‘getting up and showing up’ every day is a lifelong skill which will be critical when students enter college classrooms or the workforce after high school. We understand that your child might sometimes be ill, and we encourage you to keep a sick child home. We also understand that there may be other reasons why your child is missing school, but we encourage you to work with us to have your child at school every day when they are well. Please monitor your child’s attendance carefully, even students with strong grades are NOT achieving their full potential if they are missing more than 7 days per semester. We will be working hard this year to communicate with you about absences, to celebrate strong attendance, and to intervene and work with families to improve absenteeism rates.
My door is always open. Feel free to call me, email or set an appointment to meet. I am honored every day to be a part of the Shocker family and my commitment to our students is unwavering. Thank you for entrusting us with your children and for partnering with us in building great leaders in all areas.
Sincerely - Tabatha Mires