January 2016 Update

Dear Parents,

I hope you are enjoying a beautiful Sunday afternoon with family and friends. A critical aspect of our school improvement plan is to continue to solicit student feedback from students and parents on a variety of educational topics. Our monthly parent breakfasts have supported our commitment for open dialogue, and our discussions have provided unique opportunities to reflect on issues through multiple perspectives. I thank those parents who continue to offer feedback in the best interest of our students. As we move into Semester II, there are a few important updates I would like to share with you:

Professional Practice

As a result of discussions with parents at monthly breakfasts, the administrative team has and will continue to work with faculty around building consistent professional practices, including communication through Powerschool, homework policies and expectations, as well as grading. These are the areas that we have narrowly defined and are extremely important to us. We will be working on defining these areas and developing system-wide strategies to improve consistency across content areas and grade levels.

Personalized Learning Community (PLC)

After the analysis of data from our students, grades 9-12, we are confident that providing students with personalized learning time (PLC days) is not only beneficial for our students, who are often stressed and overwhelmed with work and extracurricular activities, but allows students to learn how to prioritize their time to accomplish goals. This is a skill they will need as they move on to college and career. Our data showed the following:

91% of respondents like the freedom to choose what they want to accomplish

81% of respondents use PLC for completing homework and assignments

63% of respondents work with friends (social and collaborative assignments)

82% of respondents would like to increase PLC time to once a month

In an unrelated survey, which allowed students to reflect on their success over the first semester, 65% of student-responders highlight PLC days as an important resource in supporting their success during the 1st semester.

SAT

As you know, in March our Juniors will be taking the revised SAT on March 2, 2016, which is now our mandatory State test for all high school students. On that same day, Freshmen will be taking a pre-science CAPT while sophomores will be taking the mandated Science CAPT test. Further information will be sent out soon.

Beauty and the Beast

This year, our high school students will be presenting Beauty and the Beast. Shows will be presented on March 16, 17, 18 & 19 at 7:00 pm and March 19 & 20 at 2:00 pm in the NHS Auditorium. We hope to see you there to celebrate the musical and dramatic talents of our students!

On another note, we continue to be so proud of the achievements of all of our students. From students honored by the Board of Education for their community service work and academic scholarship to the athletic triumphs that make us cheer from the sidelines – Newtown High School is an outstanding place.

Sincerely,

Lorrie Rodrigue

Dr. Lorrie Rodrigue

Principal