Dear Tremont High School Students and Parents:
We are one week away from the first day of school. Here are some details pertaining to the beginning of the year that you may find helpful.
Freshmen Orientation – We hope that freshmen can join us on Friday, August 18th at 1:00 pm for an orientation meeting designed to help familiarize incoming freshmen with procedures and expectations of Tremont High School. Students are encouraged to attend and parents that are available are welcome as well.
Back to School Night – The high school Back to School Night will be on Thursday August 24th beginning at 6:30 pm with a brief awards ceremony for last year’s honor students. Following that, from 7:00-8:00 pm will be an open house format for all high school parents and students. We encourage you to attend if you wish to visit with teachers in an informal setting. There will be a home volleyball game that night as well so it will be a busy night. Come out to meet the teachers and catch some Turks volleyball while you’re at it.
Upcoming Key Dates:
- Fri. 8/18 Freshmen Orientation 1:00-2:00 pm
- Mon. 8/21 1st Day of Attendance 8:00 am – 2:00 pm (8-period day)
- Tues. 8/22 First A-day; Laptop distribution (need $30 fee)
- Wed. 8/23 First B-day
- Thurs. 8/24 Back to School Night 7:00 pm (soph/junior/senior awards at 6:30 pm)
- Mon-Fri 8/21-8/25 2:00 Dismissal
Some of the information below was shared in June, but is included in this message as a reminder:
1:1 Technology – We will be continuing our 1:1 laptop technology initiative this year. Much of the equipment has been upgraded and district bandwidth is scheduled to be increased to better accommodate the number of devices running on our network. Laptop distribution and collection of the $30 technology fee will occur on Tuesday August 22nd . Students must pay the $30 fee at the time they pick up their laptop.
Solar Eclipse -- Procedures are in place for the viewing of the solar eclipse on August 21st. A separate letter with details is being sent with more information. Students and staff will be provided with specially-designed glasses for safely viewing the eclipse. Members of our teaching staff will also provide a 30-minute educational session about the eclipse on that day and will stress the importance of safe viewing.
Changes for 2017-18 School Year:
There are few big changes for the 2017-18 school year. We are moving our homeroom period from the end of the day to the time right after lunch. It will now be 11:30-12:00 each day and be used primarily as a study hall. We feel it will be a more productive time than previous years. We are planning to move it back to 2:30-3:00 in mid-March to help limit instructional time lost to the large number of early dismissals for spring activities. At that point, seniors will once again be able to leave school at 2:30, but until mid-March, they will be required to stay until 3:00. This, of course, was not a popular bit of news for the seniors-to-be, but we believe it will be a much better use of time and allow for some more teacher collaboration as well.
We also are moving away from traditional final exams. With our increased emphasis on summative assessments already in place, we are going to utilize the last week of class each semester to simply provide one last summative assessment. The nature of this assessment is up to the teacher. It could be one last unit test, a project, a paper, or perhaps a cumulative exam. Because each class is different in nature, this allows some flexibility so that the assessment better fits the course objectives.
One last change for the upcoming school year involves the elimination of quarter grades. We will now grade on a semester-only basis. Previously, grades were based on a formula that calculated each quarter as 45% and the final exam as 10% of the semester grade. We noticed, however, that quarters were often unbalanced in terms of the number of grades issued. Grades will now accumulate over the entire semester. This will give students more opportunities to raise grades throughout the semester since grades won’t “start over” with a new quarter. The mid-point of each semester will be used as a progress checkpoint and parent-teacher conferences will still be held in October as usual.
PowerSchool – We are using a new student management system this year called PowerSchool. Parent access will be available, but the program will not be the same as our previous system, so there may be a learning curve. We will provide more information as it becomes available. Teachers will receive training later this week.
Social Media: Follow Tremont High School on Twitter @TremontHS and Facebook (facebook.com/tremonthighschool). I update these accounts myself and do the best I can with them. One of my goals for the upcoming school year is to increase our social media presence and celebrate our students and staff for all of the great things they do.
We are looking forward to getting the new school year started. Thank you for your continued support and for trusting us with your children on a daily basis.