February 1, 2012
Dear Messalonskee High School Community,
This letter marks the start of the second semester of school at MHS. It is important, especially with the onset of the cold snowy season in Maine, to refocus our efforts on the goals we have set for ourselves throughout the year. To this end, I encourage our students to take a look at their progress, to set new goals, and to redouble their efforts to stretch themselves, taking advantage of all that Messalonskee High School has to offer.
As I discussed in the January Newsletter the Messalonskee High School administration and faculty have placed an emphasis on “Voice and Choice” in our classrooms. We have worked to provide students with greater opportunities to give feedback about, and have a say in, their learning. In classes this has been accomplished through classroom surveys, Plus/Delta cards, the use of a Parking Lot board, class discussions, and various anonymous feedback processes for students. Our faculty has worked hard to provide the students with a rigorous curriculum that honors their needs and stretches their learning.
For the coming semester we will begin to incorporate our second goal for the year: making learning goals transparent for our students. Unlike the clear connection between dribbling and breaking the press, or parallel parking and acquiring a driver’s license, learning goals can sometimes be unclear, and the connections between learning activities even more obscure. Recognizing that school can sometimes lack meaning for students, we want to provide them with a clear sense of purpose in their learning: working with the end result in mind, students are made conscious from the outset of the goals of a learning activity, and how individual learning targets collectively progress toward the ultimate outcome. Not only do we believe that students will be more successful in their education as we move to a model of transparency in learning, we believe that students will feel a stronger sense of ownership as they work, and feel a real sense of personal accomplishment when they reach their goals.
In the interest of transparency (and working with the end in mind) you should note that course registration time is again upon us. On the back of this sheet is an outline of the registration process and the steps students will go through to register for classes next semester. If you have questions about this or other course expectations please contact your guidance counselor.
In closing I would like to thank you for being a part of our school. We are tremendously fortunate to live in this great state, with such hard working and dedicated community members who honor and value the importance of education. I encourage you to find ways to become more connected with our school through volunteering, guest lecturing, or sharing in whatever way you can. And we always welcome your suggestions for how we might make MHS an even better place for our children in the future.
(PDF of back page: Course Registration Newsletter)
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