Hello Bruin Community,
March is always a very busy time on our campus. Seniors are starting to hear back from colleges regarding acceptances. Students are finishing signing up for classes for next year. An array of student activities students bonding together strongly. This is especially true of our upcoming Battle of the Classes (BOTC), and all are welcome to attend this great event on Friday, March 31. There is always an energy at the school that is palpable in March.
I want to share with you information about two large upcoming long-term items. These are our upcoming WASC Self Study and visitation as well as some very good news around computers at SCHS.
WASC – This coming year will provide our school with an opportunity for self-reflection and growth. All high schools, in order to confirm that we are providing a quality education that can reliably get students to a place of college-readiness, are reviewed by an accrediting institution. In California, we are reviewed by a group called the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). This group makes sure our school’s vision, curriculum, instruction, assessment system, and school culture are appropriate and that colleges can accept our diploma and transcripts as proof that our students are as good as we say that they are. What happens is that our school will conduct what is called a Self-Study, analyzing every aspect of the school. We will note where we are strong as well as where we can grow, and we will create/refresh our plan for continued improvement. A team from WASC will then visit the school to confirm that our findings are accurate and that our plan will address any needs we find. SCHS has been visited numerous times in the past. Typically, we have received one of the best outcomes, which is a six-year cycle between Self Studies with a smaller check-in revisit halfway through that cycle.
We have received our official notice that we will have our full WASC visit next year. This means that we are starting in on the Self Study process to prepare for the visit. While this task can seem daunting at times, this also presents a good learning opportunity for reflecting on our progress and guiding our continued improvement efforts. These efforts will involve students, parents, faculty, staff, administration, and our district office, and there will be ample opportunities to share perspectives on how strengths and areas for growth. This is all of our school, and we each will have a role to play in this accreditation process. For most folks, one of the first opportunities will come in the form of a survey we will be putting out to assess various areas. Please know that when you get this survey, it is critical for our on-going improvement that we hear your input.
COMPUTER INVESTMENT – I am happy to share some very good news about student computers. The district has just made a sizable budget commitment over the next few years that will take us far along our path to becoming a 1-to-1 student computer school. For secondary schools like us, there are a number of formats that this could take and the details have not yet been worked out, but all SCHS students will have access to chromebooks in a very, very robust way within the next few years. Fortunately, SCHS has already invested in many devices (we currently have enough for around 20% of our students), and we have built a strong group of teacher leaders who have been early adopters. These teacher-leaders are in a position to help the rest of our teachers learn how out how we can best employ these new tools within our various curricula. The key to success here is not just access to computing devices, but having students regularly use them in appropriate, innovative, and thoughtful ways.
UPCOMING EVENTS – Here are some highlights of upcoming events at SCHS
- Friday, March 24 – Last day of 3rd Quarter
- Friday, March 24 – Staff vs Student Basketball Game
- Friday, March 24 – Sadie Hawkins Dance (on campus) at 8:00pm
- Thursday & Saturday, March 30 & April 1 – Spring Musical: “Grease” at 7:00pm
- Friday, March 31 – Battle of the Classes (BOTC) at 6:00pm
- Tuesday, April 4 – Blood Drive
- Wednesday, April 5 – School Site Council Meeting at 5:00pm
- Thursday, Friday, & Saturday, April 6-8 – Spring Musical: “Grease” at 7:00pm
- Monday-Friday, April 10-14 – Spring Break: No School
- Wednesday, April 19 – PTSA Meeting at 6:00pm
- Thursday, April 20 – Music Boosters Meeting at 7:00pm
- Friday, April 21 – ASB Election (new ASB officers for the 17/18 school year)
- Monday-Thursday, April 24-27 – CAASPP Testing for Juniors (special schedule)
- Friday, 28 – Staff vs Student Flag Football
- Monday-Friday, May 1-12 – AP Testing