August 30, 2015
Dear NHS Students and Parents,
While I have had many Opening Days in my career as a high school administrator, our first two days of school this year were exemplary. High school students were excited to be back, and our freshman students made the transition with the help of caring faculty and student Link Crew members. While we experienced some technology issues that were out of our control, we worked through these and are looking forward to a productive and positive year with our students.
As I mentioned to students during our opening day assemblies, our goal is to continue to develop and sustain a respectful school environment. I wanted to take a moment to commend our students for their demonstrated maturity, responsibility, and overall behavior. I watched upperclassmen helping freshman meander the building, students moving from place to place in an orderly fashion, and students showing their respect for staff and each other throughout the day. During our assemblies, students in all grade levels were presented with an overview of our school expectations and the focus on attendance. Attendance is going to be critical this year, especially as we adhere to more stringent State of Connecticut guidelines regarding absenteeism and tardiness. As parents, you can help us. Please continue to ensure that your son or daughter arrives on or before 7:15 a.m., which is when the first bell rings. This will ensure that they are able to get to class and in their seats by 7:20 a.m.
Our Open House is scheduled for Thursday, September 17th. However, it is important to know that this is not the only time parents can meet or communicate with teachers. If you cannot make Open House, please feel free to reach out to your son or daughter’s teachers at any time throughout the year. In addition, our school counselors can provide information or help in arranging meetings with teachers, if necessary.
This year, I will continue to host Principal Breakfasts each month. Most of these meetings center on a variety of educational topics and current school issues of interest to the community. Details about these events will be flagged on our school calendar and reminders will be sent inviting parents. Most importantly, our breakfasts are a way to get to know each other over coffee and treats (courtesy of our cafeteria). During the year, other evening events for parents will be scheduled as well as opportunities to talk, listen, and make improvements in the best interest of all high school students.
On another note, we started our year with the news that Newtown High School was ranked in Newsweek among the top 500 schools across the country (#308) and one of only 15 top high schools ranked in the State of Connecticut. These rankings are based on student scores and participation rates on SATs, AP exams, graduation rates, college enrollment percentages, and other related information about our student learners. While we are certainly proud of this, our work must continue to focus on a safe, positive, and rigorous learning environment that motivates students and addresses their individual interests, abilities, and future goals. Your ongoing support as parents is what can take us from very good to OUTSTANDING in the years to come.
I look forward to working with you once again.
Dr. Lorrie Rodrigue