We’re slowly settling back in to our usual routine after our week off for Spring Break. So far, it’s been a pretty smooth week at work. I have several projects I’m working on right now. Believe it or not, we’re already actively preparing for next year at All-American High. Pre-registration was completed in March, and we’re now working to determine the number of class sections for each course. We’ll then create the teaching schedules for next year with the input of our department leadership. Once that’s all set, I’ll use the computer to build a master schedule and place students into classes. If all goes well with getting teaching positions approved, we should be finished with the process in June.
I also met today with an outside team that’s part of our school improvement process. We’re beginning a new accreditation cycle, so we’ve been working to determine the goals that the All-American High staff will be focusing on for the next five years. What’s rising to the top is the need to continue to increase enrollment in our most challenging courses, particularly to encourage students who might not automatically enroll in these classes to branch out and reach higher. Our AVID program, which began this year, is already helping us to achieve this goal. It’s so exciting to see students accomplish more than they ever thought they could academically. Another area of focus will be developing a more effective character education program by more fully integrating our character concepts into the curriculum. This is a challenge because we want to avoid teachers feeling that we’re adding on “one more thing” to their already full plates. We also want to be sure that teachers have appropriate training as to how to teach about ethics, morals values, and character. It can be tricky ground to convey these things effectively. Finally, we’ll be working on improving our test scores–something that cannot be ignored in the world of No Child Left Behind. Don’t forget, all students must be proficient in math and English by 2014. We won’t talk about the statistical probability of that. We’ll just keep working hard and teaching our hearts out so that we can keep those scores headed in the right direction.
On the home front, we’re also back into the groove. Swim Chick is working hard preparing for the state Odyssey of the Mind competition. Her team is doing a problem called The Large and Small of It this year. They’ve created a wonderful skit about a royal family experiencing some unexpected money problems–thanks to Swim Chick who plays a princess who has gone a bit over the top with her purchases, which just happen to include a magic Phoenix. I love the creativity that this competition encourages! Gym Girl also is getting ready for more competition. This Saturday is the sectionals meet. She needs to do well there to qualify for the state meet next month. Soccer Boy’s big event this week was a field trip to the air and space museum. He’s been excited about it for weeks and loved it, especially the planetarium.
I’m looking forward to the weekend. It will feel good to have the first week back from break under our belts. It’s a fast run to the end of the school year from here!