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Bruin Country Community Updates

Hello Bruin Community,


We have several big events coming up in March, including our Battle of the Classes, a RealYou presentation, and feedback on our search for a new superintendent, but first I want to share with you an important change with the upcoming SAT exam.


SAT - CHANGE OF DATE TO MARCH 27:

We had been planning to host the SAT exam for all of our juniors this week, but a shipping error on the part of CollegeBoard has caused us to need to change that testing date until Wednesday, March 27.  The CollegeBoard (which is the company that produces the SAT test) sent us the wrong version of the test and couldn’t send us the corrected version in time. Fortunately, our vice principal team recognized the issue quickly and CollegeBoard does have an approved alternate date.   As such, all of our juniors will be taking the test 23 days from now instead of 2 days from now. The test is still free for all juniors. All juniors will have information about where to go for their test personalized within their schoolloop portal. The majority of test takers will take the test in the main gym, with a smaller portion testing in designated classrooms.  Juniors will need to arrive before 7:30 am, and bussing will be provided. The testing will not affect the bell schedule, and freshmen, sophomores, and seniors are expected to go to class like normal.


REALYOU PRESENTATIONS:

Mindful of the societal threats and challenges our students encounter, Santa Clara Unified School District has asked Anea Bogue, M.A. to present her sexual misconduct prevention program call "RealYou" to our students, their families, and staff. She will explore how students can establish boundaries and communicate expectations in an evolving culture of consent.  Ms. Bogue will be giving this presentation to SCHS students on March 13 and 14, with Wilcox students receiving the same presentation the following week. We are also hosting a version of the presentation for parents on Tuesday, March 19, at 7:00 pm in the SCHS Theater. Please join us at the family night so you have the same information your children are receiving and continue these important conversations at home.  A flyer for the parent event is attached below.


BATTLE OF THE CLASSES:

One of the highlights of the year in terms of student activities is coming up soon.  Our annual Battle of the Classes (BOTC) is Friday, March 22, starting at 6:00 pm. This extremely fun and spirited event is held in our gym, and many parents attend (but be prepared for it to be loud).  We look forward to seeing you there.


FEEDBACK ON SUPERINTENDENT SEARCH:

Our district is asking for all stakeholders, including students, parents, staff, and community members, to help provide feedback about what we should look for in our next Superintendent.  If you are able, please fill out our online survey, which is available and and call also be found on the District’s website until March 7, 2019.

Survey in English

Encuesta en Español

Khảo sát trực tuyến


Sincerely,

Gregory Shelby

Principal, SCHS

Posted 3/4/19
Attachments:

Hello Bruin Community,


Here at SCHS as well as in our district, we have been striving to find ways to help students succeed by taking an academically appropriate, healthy, and balanced set of classes.  We value students pushing themselves to achieve academically, but we also know that students are happier and healthier when they take a class load that is appropriate for them.  As we head into the season where students sign up for classes, we want to remind students and families that there is no single path for students to take.  Instead, each student, guided by their family and their counselor, should strive to challenge themselves academically (especially in their areas of strength), push themselves to the level that is right for them, and explore their academic interests.  For many this will mean taking one or more AP or Honors level class, but it will likely also mean balancing these harder classes with an elective that looks particularly intriguing or enjoyable


To help students approach their choice of courses with this more balanced approach, we have been looking at a handful of ways in which we can improve our practices here at school.  We want our practices to promote the approach suggested above, and we are ready to make our first step towards that with the following change.


Beginning with the class of 2020, Santa Clara High School and Wilcox High School will no longer include individual class ranking or 10-12 class ranking on school transcripts. A committee of counselors, administrators, parents and students convened to review our current practices around student ranking. These changes were recommended in order to align ourselves more closely with other local school districts as well as college admissions practices. Student wellness and a healthy academic/life balance are at the core of this decision.


Some FAQ's about this change:

  • How do students feel about this?

    • In addition to the students that served on the committee with counselors, administrators, and parents, both Wilcox and Santa Clara High each surveyed more than two hundred students.  A strong majority of students at both schools favored removing the ranking system.

  • What can I do if my GPA is low?

    • Speak with a counselor as soon as you can.  The answer will vary with each student, and counselors have multiple options to help guide students.

  • Will this change current seniors’ transcripts (the class of 2019)?

    • No, it will not.

  • What does this have to do with student health and wellness?

    • Student health and wellness is a core value in SCUSD. In listening to students, school staff have found that many students put an unhealthy amount of pressure on themselves in two primary ways: 1) to bump their GPA by taking classes that are not the right fit for them; 2) by placing students in extreme competition with peers.  We want students to challenge themselves appropriately, push themselves to the level that is right for them, and explore their academic interests. A push to focus primarily on GPA often gets in the way of these goals.

  • How will this affect my college eligibility?


    • ​​It will not. After consulting a variety of colleges and universities, including UC/CSU and private schools, it was found that what colleges really want is a grade distribution chart for the high school, and that chart will be placed on our school profile.  From this chart, college admissions officers can determine how your GPA compares with students at your school. This is in line with the majority of our neighboring districts.

I encourage students to have thoughtful, open discussions with their families and counselors about what classes to take next year.  Challenge yourself, but do it in the way that is right for you.  


Sincerely,

Gregory Shelby

Principal, SCHS

Posted 2/6/19

Hello Bruin Community,


Our second semester is off to a smooth start.  We hope that your time over the holidays with family was enjoyable and restful, and we are now back in the swing of things here at school.  I want to thank all those parents who actively work with us, partnering in the education of your kids.  We work best for our students when we work together.


Freshman Parent Night

Tomorrow (January 16) is our Freshman Parent Night, and this event is in the SCHS theater starting at 7:00 pm.  We definitely encourage all parents of freshmen to come hear from the counselors about what their students have coming up in terms of signing up for classes for next year, four-year planning, important tests, and various other topics that will help parents to guide their students.


AP Parent Night

If parents and students are considering taking an AP class next year, we invite you to come to our AP Parent Night on Wednesday, January 23, starting at 7:00 pm in the SCHS Theater.  Taking AP classes is one of the best ways to prepare for college, but only if students take the appropriate courses and the appropriate amount of courses for them.  Each student has different interests, strengths, and academic readiness.  Hearing from our AP teachers and counseling team at the AP Parent Night can help students and parents make better decisions about which courses and how many courses to take.


AP Exam Sign-ups

We have both digitized the process and moved up the timeline for signing up for AP exams.  If your student is currently taking an AP course, we strongly encourage your student to take the AP exam.  Sign-ups are only accessible our homepage.  At the bottom of the homepage in the "Spotlight" section, students can register for the exam(s) they need.  Remember that if you are registered in an AP course at this school, the district will pay for that exam.  The registration system, which is called Total Registration, will be available from January 18 through February 1.


Teen Read Week

This week is Teen Read Week at SCHS, and we take pride in how many students check out books during this week after hearing book-talks from teachers, parents, peers, and others.  Reading for pleasure is one of the best ways to enhance a student's educational experience.  Parents, I encourage you to ask your student about the book-talks they have heard or will hear during this Teen Read Week.  Personally, I read and recommend "The Perfect Candidate" by Peter Stone, which is about a boy from California that takes an internship in Washington, D.C. shortly after high school graduation and becomes enmeshed in a political scandal.  It's suspenseful, fast-paced, and a lot of fun to read.


Upcoming Events

  • Wednesday, January 16 - PTSA Meeting in the conference room at 6:00 pm
  • Wednesday, January 16 - Freshman Parent Night in the Theater at 7:00 pm
  • Wednesday, January 16 - Athletic Boosters Meeting in the conference room at 7:00 pm
  • Monday, January 21 - Martin Luther King Day: No School
  • Wednesday, January 23 - AP Parent Night in the Theater at 7:00 pm
  • Tuesday, January 29 - Blood Drive in the small gym
  • Wednesday, January 30 - English Learner Advisory Council (ELAC) Meeting in 
  • Week of February 4-8 - ELPAC Testing for students in EL program, affected students will be notified by mail
  • Wednesday, February 6 - School Site Council Meeting in the conference room at 5:00 pm
  • Wednesday, February 6 - Semester Awards Night in the main gym at 7:00 pm
  • Wednesday, February 13 - PTSA Meeting in the conference room at 6:00 pm
  • Wednesday, February 13 - Athletic Boosters Meeting in the conference room at 7:00 pm
  • Week of February 18-22 - February Break: No School

On the Horizon

  • Wednesday, March 6 - SAT Exam (free for all juniors, details to come in a later email)
  • Week of April 8-12 - Diversity Week
  • Week of April 15-19 - April Break: No School
  • Week of April 22-26 - CAASPP/CAST testing, will have an altered schedule all week
  • Weeks of May 6-17 - AP Testing

Sincerely,

Gregory Shelby

Principal, SCHS

Posted 1/15/19