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Welcome to the 2015-16 school year!

Welcome to the 2015-16 school year!

Welcome back to our returning students and families. And, to our new students and families, we are delighted to have you join the Arrowhead High School team. I am enthused and proud to serve as the new Superintendent of the Arrowhead Union High School District. If we have not yet met in person, I look forward to doing so soon. I hope you agree when I proclaim it feels wonderful to be a part of the Arrowhead Team!

People are the most influential element in a school’s success. All of the exceptional programs, materials, and facilities will not produce successful students without the ‘right’ people in place. At Arrowhead, we have the right people— every student, parent, and staff member focusing on both academic learning and a supportive, engaging environment , which promotes the success of our students. That is the ‘Arrowhead Experience.’

Interesting facts about the people at Arrowhead (data as of 8/1/15):

Students  (Data continually in flux)

2,236    Total students enrolled
  527     9th graders
  563     10th graders
  544     11th graders
  602     12th graders
1,118     Females   (exactly 50/50%-- What are the odds?!)
1,118     Males
99.94%     Live within the boundaries of the 68 square miles of the Arrowhead District
   .06%     Live in other communities and attend through the Open Enrollment program
        9     The approximate number of identified languages spoken in our families’ homes. (Including Albanian, French, FUF/Pular, German, Latvian, Mandarin Chinese, Russian, Spanish, and Ukrainian)

Staff

  232     Regular/permanent staff members
  165     Full-time (I FTE)
    67     Part-time (less than 1 FTE)
   136    Teachers and administrators
   113     Have earned an advanced degree, beyond a bachelor's degree
    96     Support staff
     29    The numeral we claim to represent our average age, despite being quite inaccurate, I’m sure.

Meaningful, consistent communication is an important process for any effective organization, including schools. With that goal in mind, we plan to offer this Arrowhead Advisor e-newsletter, on a monthly basis during the school year, to all families, staff, and any community members who wish to subscribe.  We hope you enjoy and learn from the Arrowhead Advisor, and we welcome your feedback on this communication tool.

Have a terrific school year,

Laura Myrah

Superintendent

Learning Matters:
Dir. of Learning Highlights Arrowhead Program, Learning Opportunities

The Office of Student and Staff Learning
Sue Casetta, Director of Learning

Hard to believe that the 2015-2016 school year is already here!  I’d like to welcome back our sophomore, junior and senior families, and send a special welcome to our freshmen class who will be the graduating class of 2019!

I am excited to introduce myself as the Director of Learning at Arrowhead High School.  I started teaching at Arrowhead in 1999.  For 15 years I taught in the Social Studies department, most recently serving as the department chair for both Social Studies and English.  I am looking forward to the new opportunities I will have in serving our community of learners in this role.  

I thought I would use this first issue of the Arrowhead Advisor to provide you with some background on the functions and purposes of this office.  The Office of Student and Staff Learning facilitates curriculum, instruction, and assessment in collaboration with department chairs, program leaders and teaching staff. Teaching staff at Arrowhead High School work in teams to enhance and develop innovative learning experiences that engage students in learning.  With students at the focus of all we do,  we work together to develop learning opportunities and programs that prepare students for their futures.  This office also supports professional development of our staff, coordinates the New Teacher Mentor Program, and implements various state programs such as Educator Effectiveness.  

What does this mean to you, the parents and community members who read this section of the newsletter? This section of the newsletter will help families and students understand various program and learning opportunities available to students.  I will update you on important dates and deadlines connected to state testing dates, course selection deadlines, upcoming learning events.   Plus, there are so many examples of AWESOME teaching and learning happening at Arrowhead, I will also try to highlight classroom learning activities that exemplify our academic excellence.  

As we begin the new year, our new freshmen students  are really on my mind.  Starting at AHS means meeting new students, getting to know new teachers, navigating a new building – all of which leads to a lot of nerves!  Don’t worry, this school will feel like home in no time.  Our creative writing students often submit writing to a publication called Teen Ink.  One Teen Ink writer has some advice for our incoming freshmen. I have linked the article here: Enjoy!

10 Tips for incoming Freshman

 

Student Services Matter:
The Arrowhead Way Unifies Arrowhead Students and Staff
Adam Boldt, Director of Student Services

One of the best things about being in education is the excitement of the new school year each Fall. Coupled with the changing leaves, sweater weather, and chili, Wisconsin at this time of year is the place to be, more specifically, Arrowhead is the place to be. Welcome to all those returning and those just starting.

The Arrowhead Way works to foster and maintain a sense of belonging to the Arrowhead community of students, staff and families so our students can achieve social, emotional and academic success through proactive, systemic supports. Below are a handful of items to be aware of as we start the school year.

  • Be Appropriate, Be Respectful, Be Responsible - These are Arrowhead’s expectations for all students. They are broad terms that can apply to most situations through which students and adults can ask “is it appropriate, responsible, and respectful?” A great way to link school to home is to use these terms when praising your child for their behavior or when discussing a troublesome behavior.

  • Theme of the Month - Each month will have a theme around something that is good for all students in their social, emotional, and/or academic success. September’s theme is “Everyday. On Time.” to highlight the importance of attendance and punctuality. Last year during this theme 96% of our students were in class and on-time for the entire day. Students also experienced a 13% reduction in discipline for attendance related issues from the previous year. Let’s work together for even better results this year!

  • Think About Tomorrow Today - We all can get caught up in the day-to-day grind of school, work, and life. It is important that we stop and take time to consider our goals and aspirations. At the beginning of the school year it may be helpful to talk with your child about what they want to do after high school and what they want out of life. These big picture discussions can provide fruitful conversations throughout the year.

Once again, welcome back and let’s enjoy the year of learning together!

Information Technology Matters:
Tech has Changed Communication in Education

Technology of some sort has always been integral to communication. Think about how your communication practices have changed over your lifetime. I can remember making cassette tapes to send to my cousin who lived in Kansas via snail mail. I would run to the mailbox during the next three weeks waiting to receive answers to my questions on her return cassette.

Fast forward to today. I keep in touch with that same cousin (now in New Mexico) through social media and texting, and I don’t think twice about long distance charges when I call her whether it be a cell phone call or FaceTime.

How do those changes in communication translate to education? Our students have many more immediate opportunities to access information and communicate with other students, staff, and experts beyond the classroom. It is an empowering time to be a student and an educator!
Why do you use your laptop?
How will your student use his or her laptop?

Today, our students use their technology to communicate and collaborate. Through online applications such as Google docs and WeVideo, students can collaborate on assignments without having to coordinate their busy schedules or traveling to each others homes after school.

Today, educators are able to post announcements and assignments and provide individual feedback for students to access anywhere and anytime. In turn, students are able to hand in work and ask clarifying questions without time or location limitations.
 Our students today cannot imagine a world where they would have to wait 3 weeks for a personal correspondence. Expectations have changed. Most of them probably have never seen a real cassette tape!

Arrowhead students use technology to communicate and collaborate to support their learning. Our teaching and learning expectations have changed as well. Each month in this "Info Tech Matters" column, I will highlight teachers and students who are integrating technology in their learning. I will also highlight new tech tools and tips and tricks to mastering them.

By embracing technology in education, our Arrowhead students will be prepared, whatever their futures may bring.


Donna Smith is the parent of a University of Oregon junior and an Arrowhead senior. She is the Director of Library Media and Technology at Arrowhead. You can reach her via email at smith@arrowheadschools.org.

 

Principal’s Corner

Welcome to the 2015-16 school year.  I hope you had a great summer and your kids are ready to come back to school. The focus of this part of the newsletter is to celebrate Arrowhead successes. Since this is the first newsletter of the year, I thought it would helpful to share a few suggestions that will enhance your child’s experience this year.

Get Involved:

It is important that students get involved with school through various co-curricular activities Arrowhead offers.  Whether students are interested in drama, music, athletics, science, math, world languages, or something completely different, it is likely Arrowhead offers  an activity that relates to your child’s interests.   There is a myth that says students should focus on academics and not get involved with other school activities. Nothing could be further from the truth. There is significant research that indicates students who are involved in co-curriculars get better grades, are more connected to the school, and fare better in their post high school educational experiences.  I urge you to strongly encourage your children to “Get Involved.”

Complete Homework:

Over the past few years I’ve done a little informal research looking at students’ grades.  The one consistent common thread I have found is students who do their homework and hand it in on time do well in our school.  Nearly 100% of our students who get poor grades (Ds and Fs) have had missing homework assignments negatively impacting their grades.  I strongly suggest one hour of supervised homework per day for students who struggle getting it done on time.  A supervised homework session is one where a parent is watching as their child is doing homework in a common area (kitchen, dining room etc.).  Work done on a computer does not count toward the hour unless the parent can closely monitor the computer usage.  This will put the student in the best possible position to hand in completed work on time and be a more successful academically.

Let Them Fight Their Battles:

Whether it be issues with friends, teachers, coaches, or the school in general, it is important for students to learn to advocate for themselves.  If your child is having an issue that is causing him/her problems, it is appropriate for you to be a sounding board and to provide some suggestions on how they can handle their situation.  However, they need to learn to solve their own problems.  If there is a problem with something at school (e.g. questioning a grade), the student should initially address the teacher to explain their concern with the grade.  If the issue is not resolved at that point, a parent/teacher/student meeting would be appropriate.  If there is still no solution to the problem, then the principal should be involved in the discussion.  In my experience, the vast majority of the problems are resolved at the teacher-student level.  This is a great way to help students learn how to solve problems that will carry into their adult life when you may not be there to help them.

I hope these suggestions will help your child have a great year!

Gregg H. Wieczorek, Arrowhead Principal

 

CALENDAR OF EVENTS

Meet the Teacher Night
North Campus West Gym
Wednesday, September 9
5:30-8:30 p.m.

Homecoming Football Game
Arrowhead vs. Catholic Memorial
Friday, September 25 at 7 p.m.

Homecoming Dance
North Campus Gym & Commons
Saturday, September 26 from 7 p.m – 12 a.m.
This photo, “When You Enter This Classroom” is copyright (c) 2015 Sylvia Duckworth and made available under a Attribution License 2.0.


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