Spring is in the air and this is a busy time at West High School. Our standard spring events including Prom, Honors Convocations, National Honor Society induction, Fine Arts Week and Graduation are all in the works. With my retirement nearing, I am trying to drink in every possible opportunity to connect with students. I look forward to seeing many of you around school during these productive last weeks of the 2016-17 school year!
It is has been a great year for our staff as we strive to improve the academic achievement results for each and every Regent. Our focus on Close Reading as a strategy to understand complex text has been used across all disciplines. In addition, all teachers have been incorporating instruction on argument writing throughout the year to better prepare our students for post-secondary success. Finally, our posting of daily learning targets continues to be a work in progress but is showing great potential in assisting students in understanding the goal of the day’s lesson. It also helps them to formulate questions if they are unsure of their mastery. We are also studying and applying language attentive strategies to meet the needs of our English Language Learners. We worked on these important instructional improvement strategies during our March professional Development Day.
During my time as your principal, I have implemented strategies to improve school/home communication and parent engagement in our school events: This Week At West, increased used of phone messaging to remind parents of upcoming events, and use of e-mail and messaging for announcements and events. Teachers are also using more messaging systems to inform parents of classroom activities. Our new Latino Parent Group has met regularly to improve parent-school communication for our ELL students and parents. I am very pleased to inform you that in a couple of weeks our school website will be equipped with Google Translate. If you’re not familiar, Google Translate is a free service that can instantly translate web pages into more than a hundred different languages. The translations are automated, and therefore not exact, so they should be used only as a guide to get a general idea of the content. Our hope is that this tool will give more of our non-English-speaking families access to more of the content on our website.
Happy Spring and Go Regents!
Beth Thompson, Principal