Tuesday, August 30, 2016

A Welcome to Our Parent and Guardian Community

Welcome to the 2016-2017 school year!

We are excited to meet our 9th graders and all of our students who are new to ABRHS this week, as well as to welcome back our returning students. It has been a busy and productive summer at the high school preparing for the new school year, and we have a few things to share with you.

Wellness and Learning
Our focus at the high school remains the support of health and wellness within a high-achieving academic environment. For the past three years, we have focused our professional learning as a staff on mental health, wellness, and learning in order to better meet the needs of our students and families. Schools all over the country are engaging in similar conversations about how to help our students to feel and be successful in the midst of tremendous pressures while living healthy, balanced lives.

As our superintendent Dr. Glenn Brand shared in his opening letter to parents/guardians, we will continue this work with the support of a PK-12 partnership with Stanford University's Challenge Success organization. We look forward to partnering with you as well as we challenge the increasingly narrow definition of success and create a healthier learning experience for all of our students.

Alongside our partnership with Challenge Success, we are committed to increasing our capacity to strengthen our students' Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) skills at the high school. To learn more about SEL, click here. With the knowledge that social and emotional competencies have a strong relationship with academic outcomes, we are committed to incorporating practices that will strengthen both teaching and learning and ensure equity, access, and agency for all of our students.

In response to our students' spring 2016 Challenge Success survey data, our (annual) senior survey and faculty survey data, midyear week survey, and other feedback we gathered throughout the 2015-2016 school year, our Leadership Team crafted the question that will guide our work this year as a whole school:
How do we support health and well-being within a rich learning environment that provides opportunities for all students to experience success?

Thank you for your continued partnership and support in this work. Dr. Denise Pope, one of the founders of Challenge Success, will be here on the evening of November 8th for a community presentation, and I hope that many of you will consider attending.

Safety and Security
After careful consideration and input from our district and school safety committees and our school resources officers, we will be instituting a locked door policy during our school day. I recognize that this will be a change from our current practice of keeping all of our doors unlocked during the day. However, our goal is to increase the safety and security of our students and staff. 

Beginning October 4th, all exterior doors except the front door will be locked during the school day. Students will have a keypad code linked to their lunch ID for access to the entrances below during the school day.
  • Southwest Stair Tower (outside Room 168W)
  • West Patio Entrance (outside Room 276W)
  • Gazebo Entrance (outside wood shop)
  • Tennis Court Entrance (below room 104E)
  • Flag Pole Entrance (outside room 124E)

We will share this information with our students during Advisory and continue to send reminders to be prepared for the change on October 4th. Again, thank you for your cooperation and support.

Coming soon, you will be able to subscribe to the ABRHS Principal Thoughts blog to receive updates via email when I post new entries. My hope is that you will feel connected to our work at the high school on behalf of our students. They benefit greatly when the parent-guardian community and our schools work in partnership, and I look forward to working with you this year.

Wishing you and your families a happy and successful start to the school year!