Welcome to October! After the excitement of the new school year and the festivities of Homecoming during September, October is a month that we really shift our focus to our school. The theme for the month is EMPATHY. During this month, we focus on considering the lives of others, and considering how we can respond to the situation of others, to be an asset to others. Through advisory, we focus on events and initiatives like Bullying Awareness, Red Ribbon Week, and Relay for Life, in addition to many other philanthropic events sponsored by our many clubs and activities. October is a great month to remind us that the most important action we can take on behalf of others is to understand and appreciate.
We look forward to seeing you in October as we host two parent events. On October 9, we host our fall Parent-Teacher Conferences. This event allows 10-minute appointments to meet with teachers regarding student academic and other successes. At Andrew, we do request parents to schedule appointments online or by calling to schedule appointments. Spots are limited, so please try to schedule your appointments when the window opens on October 2. Also, in case you cannot schedule an appointment, please contact the teacher via email to either set aside time to discuss over the phone or via email. Face to face is ideal, but do not feel like you cannot reach out if appointment times are not available.
In addition, in October, we begin to engage our incoming Class of 2023 parents! Earlier in the month, we travel to Grissom, Prairie View and Central Middle Schools to review the important steps in becoming 8th grade parents. On October 29, we host our 8th Grade Open House. This event will look very different from previous years with a focus on marketing all that makes Andrew special, while also promoting the parent and student role in making decisions that are based on concepts like passion, challenge, and beginning to narrow future interests and goals.
Finally, we are finalizing our school improvement targets for the 2018-19 school year. After almost four months of careful review and engagement of our leadership team, as well as school improvement committees, with our most important stakeholders - students, parents, and staff - we have developed a renewed focus. Through this process, we have revised our school vision / mission, developed a five point strategic framework, and selected three areas of needed school improvement. This process, personally, has been both energizing and focused.
This year, our vision statement was created: Inspire curiosity, build compassion, and develop the future. This vision is supported by our mission to Maximize academic, emotional, and social growth through a conscious shift towards student empowerment. In order to accomplish the vision and mission, we will continue to focus on five foundations of our school: 1) Academic Success, 2) Building Connectedness & Character, 3) School & Campus Safety, 4) College & Career Readiness, and 5) Student Choice. These foundations reflect the ongoing work of our staff, administration, student leadership and parent support organizations.
In addition, three school improvement goals have emerged. These goals are specific areas we wish to improve as identified by staff, students, and parents. These target areas are:
All students should be academically successful as judged through their ability to enroll in academic level, core classes and maintain a C average or higher. Data shows that students who graduate on time with a 2.5 or higher GPA have the greatest success in college and career. We strive for students to be enrolled in honors classes wherever possible for their academic growth. We also strive for students in academic levels to show proficiency through semester grades of C or higher, with no failing grades. This is a lofty goal, but the essence of what we do as a school.
Reduce the number of minor referrals (nuisance referrals) for all students. One measurement of one’s character is through connections to societal (or school) rules and self-regulation. Nearly two-thirds of our students, annually, do not receive a referral and those that do tend to violate minor rules. However, these rules also tend to have the most impact on academic success. Tardies, period truancies, cell phone violations, and failure to follow instructions are examples. We desire to improve our character programs and other processes by reducing these infractions.
Focus on the SAT, the primary exam for our students to enroll in higher education. Specifically, to statistically improve the scores for our most at-risk students - specifically students in low income households, as well as students with an IEP. This will be delivered through a comprehensive plan for whole-school test preparation while also a focus on targeted populations.
As always, it is an honor and a privilege to serve the Andrew community. If you have any questions or suggestions, please let me know at email@example.com.