I need to add an update to this message that was sent out yesterday. My goal is always to be transparent with the community in every way. When I arrived at SHS 7 years ago starting Power Reviews was part of my plan. It took some convincing for our staff to really get on board with the concept, but they get it now and love it. Last year we had over 700 kids attend the reviews and we make sure they are fed and if they can't pay, we take care of them. Our situation this year is unique and has given us a unique challenge. The reviews are a huge undertaking and they require not only the teachers, but the counseling and administrative staff to make it work. Coaches and other personnel have agreed to hold reviews, but if they are absent it causes problems with sessions. There are also football players, Spartanaires, members of the band, trainers. Cheerleaders and other student groups that would be excluded from the process because they are representing the school. I can tell you that I am shocked and amazed that people have emailed me and questioned our commitment to our kids. There is nothing, and I mean nothing more important than our students' academic success. There are very few Andrew Luck's out there, but every one of our students will need to graduate and head out to pursue their dreams - in some form of higher education. Last year I had someone tell me they hoped I got hit by a bus. Now I have people telling me I don't care about our kids getting a good education. Amazing. I never work less than a 70 hour week and I do it joyfully because I love our kids. I neglect my family and my own kids because I am called to do this job. On a final note, I am writing this as I sit in the ER with my critically ill father. Right now I am angry, I am offended and I am feeling that in my 27th year of service in public education my commitment to ALL kids is being questioned. This weekend our community will come together to cheer on our team. I will not be there as I will be taking care of my father. If the team wins we will have to cancel Power Reviews. If the team is not victorious, Power Reviews will be held as scheduled. The irony is that either way, we will be taking care of, and helping our kids.
I hope your Thanksgiving Holiday was wonderful and everyone enjoyed some great family time. Now we begin a three week sprint to winter break. During that time we will complete the third six weeks and have final exams. That means the next three weeks will determine roughly half of each student's grade in each course. Currently, we are also holding End of Course retesting for English 1 writing and reading, English 2 writing and reading, Algebra 1 and Biology. These tests will be administered for students that did not receive a passing score that is required for graduation. Our teachers have done lots to prepare our students to score well this time around and we are confident they will do so.
Power Review sign ups go live today at 3:00pm and they will be open until Thursday at 3:00pm. Students can access the google doc from any smartphone and can simply scan the QR code and it will open automatically for them. The code will also be on the SHS website, just look at the left hand column and click on the December 14 Power Review information. We will also have counselors present at counselors corner during lunches each day to assist students with the sign up process. We will not be collecting any money this week for the reviews, as this week are just focused on the sign up process. Now for a challenge regarding our reviews. Our football team has advanced to the region finals for only the third time in school history. If the team wins on Saturday, they will play the following Saturday at a location to be determined. This will cause Power Reviews to be cancelled due to staff having to fulfill coaching duties, as well as band, cheer, spartanaires, trainers, counselors, principals and other school staff having to work on Saturday. This is not optimal and our students being academically successful is very important to everyone on our campus. Again, we will move forward with sign ups this week and be prepared for the reviews to take place. Not every contingency can be planned for and still be a viable option. We looked at moving the reviews to after school, but there are a myriad of problems with each of the dates as well. I want to stress that with over 600 SHS students in the four grades achieving honor roll status, we value our students' academic success very much. We will keep you informed.
Today at 9:00am the UIL released information to member schools regarding classification levels for high schools in the 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 school years. In my previous message I explained that the UIL was adding a classification this year by changing the way 6 Man was listed. In the new classification 6 man is now classified as 1A. This means that all groups were pushed up one level. The largest classification in Texas is now 6A. Stratford essentially stayed the same and we were put in 5A. The numbers for 5A range from 1,060-2,099. Stratford's enrollment is 2,012. The number for 6A starts at 2,100 and includes all schools with an enrollment above that number. For the SBISD schools, SHS and Spring Woods are 5A and Memorial and Northbrook are 6A. We now wait for the UIL to release the competitive district we will be a part of for the two year time frame. That information will be released in February.
Finally, I want to congratulate three groups for success over the Thanksgiving break. The Spartanaires spent the week in New York City and participated in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. They did a fantastict job and then came home to sleep and catch up on homework. Our region qualifying Orchestra students performed in the Texas Music Educators High School Regional Symphony. Students representing SHS were: Jamie Song, Nasr Sheikh, Wilson Hui, Yuna Kim, Sean Winata, David Mogilevsky, Kevin Han, and Annie Ye. Finally, our football team was victorious versus Georgetown High School. The hard fought battle was decided by a score of 7-3. Now the team plays the team that knocked them out last year - Pearland Dawson. The game will be played Saturday, December 7 at Abshier Stadium in Deer Park at 2:00pm. The level of success that our students consistently achieve is awesome and sets the bar high in academics, athletics and Fine Arts.
As always we are....
Working Towards Our Future,