Monthly Archives: August 2014

WELCOME BACK – PARENT NEWSLETTER – AUGUST 2014

Southold Junior-Senior High School
Mr. William R. Galati, Principal

Welcome Back to School
Principal Newsletter

August 2014

On behalf of the instructional and non-instructional staff at Southold Junior-Senior High School, welcome back to school! We hope you had time over the summer to have fun, relax, and spend quality time with family and friends.

We expect that the 2014-2015 school year will be an exciting and inspirational year for our students. The first day of school is Wednesday, September 3rd. Once again, student council will coordinate a meet and greet on the front grounds of the high school (weather permitting – if we have inclement weather, we will have refreshments in the main lobby) followed by opening greetings and calling upon students by grade level to enter school through the front doors of the high school to initiate the start of the 2014-2015 school year.

We will be relying more upon the use of technology; most specifically the Parent Portal and Building Webpage, to keep families current with important information regarding programs, procedures, and more. The typical welcome back envelope with important information is now posted online. In addition, as of Friday, August 22nd (after 3:00pm) all student academic schedules will be released and posted for your review through the Parent Portal. You are requested to log-into the Parent Portal frequently leading up to the first day of classes as schedules are live as minor potential shifts in student schedules may occur prior to the onset of the school year. In the event you need log-in information and/or guidance to navigate through the Portal, feel free to contact Mr. Ryan Case, Director of District Educational Technology at rcase@southoldufsd.com.

All secondary teachers will be using the Grade-Book feature in ESchool (Student Management System), which will provide you with real-time information pertaining to your child’s academic achievement in their scheduled classes. More information pertaining to this new initiative will be shared by teachers at Open House. Similar to last year, all interim reports and quarterly grade reports will also be posted on the Parent Portal. In the event you do not have a computer or internet access, feel free to speak directly with your child’s guidance counselor so that a paper copy of all relevant information (Interims and quarterly grade reports) can be provided.

Please have your child bring with them on the first day of classes (September 3rd) their schedule posted on the Parent Portal. All students in their first period class will be provided with a new schedule as potential changes may result in student schedules leading up to the first day of classes. In the event you have questions/concerns pertaining to your child’s academic schedule, please schedule an appointment with your child’s guidance counselor prior to the start of school. Please see the mailed {and posted} welcome back letter which includes days and hours where counselors will be available prior to the onset of school to meet with students and families for any scheduling questions/concerns.

It is expected that all students dress respectfully and appropriately for school on a daily basis. Posted on the building webpage is the district expectation for proper dress attire for all students. In the event, a student is observed by any building stakeholder as to wearing inappropriate attire, the student will be requested to report to the Dean of Students (Mr. Michael Brostowski) office where the student will be requested to contact the home for proper attire to be brought to school. In the event a pattern of inappropriate attire continues, appropriate discipline will be awarded.

Students in 7th grade will have advisory during period 5 on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The advisory initiative has been established to best support students’ academic, social, and emotional needs. Advisory is backed to their 5th period lunch {lunch is first, followed by going to advisory} – (Monday-Wednesday-Friday, students will have recess). Teachers over the summer had the opportunity to reflect, meet, plan, and re-develop meaningful and relevant activities to implement and use during advisory to further support our students during these developmental years of learning.

During the 2014-2015 school year, we intend to continue to provide the instructional staff with on-going and meaningful professional development aligned with a Common Core focus most specifically in literacy, ELA, and mathematics. We will also be partnering with Shoreham Wading River High School to provide secondary mathematics teachers with an opportunity to connect with colleagues in a larger district to strategize, plan, correlate and align lessons with the Common Core focus to best prepare students to meet objectives on the NEW Common Core Regents Examinations in Algebra and Geometry. {All students enrolled in Common Core Geometry will be taking the NEW Common Core Geometry Regents examination on June 2nd}

Our custodial department has been working very hard over the summer polishing the floors, cleaning classrooms, painting, replacing ceiling tiles and more. Upgrades and renovations will continue during the 2014-2015 school year. We welcome Mr. Marcus DaSilva, as our new shared Plant Facilities Administrator with Greenport Schools.

We welcome the following new faculty and staff members to the Junior-Senior High School: Mr. Charles Scheid, Assistant Superintendent of Business; Mrs. Dawn McDonald, Guidance Secretary (Mrs. Simco has replaced Mrs. Wendell (retired) as secretary in the Athletic Office); Ms. Tracey O’Reilly, Interim Social Worker; Mrs. Kathryn Swezey, Interim Social Worker. We wish all new faculty and staff members’ great happiness and success. {In addition, we will also have interim personnel positions for Speech Services and Library Media Specialist for the first semester – TBD}

We have a gifted staff that is student-centered and place the best interest of learning for all students as a pivotal focus to their work. The programs and courses provided to students are rigorous and are designed to challenge students to learn and best prepare them for local/State assessments, Regents examinations, and preparation for college and/or careers. Teachers have established curricula objectives and modalities to best support student learning and promote student achievement to exceed the demands as outlined by the State education department and meet demands of NY State graduation requirements. A vast array of extra-curricular clubs, activities and sports are available for students to extend their learning in a different dimension upon the conclusion of the school day. Please view on the school webpage our course offering catalogues as well as the extra curricula opportunities that are available for our students. We are excited to offer NEW elective based courses – Lights, Camera, Action; Marine Science; and Introduction to Science Research (grade 8).

We will be hosting a 7th grade orientation program for parents (guardians) and students on Tuesday, August 26th at 7pm in the district auditorium. The program is anticipated to take approximately one and one half hours where families will be provided with essential information pertaining to middle level education and additional opportunities to best support their child’s academic, social, and emotional development. Wednesday, August 27th, 9th grade students (students only) are invited to attend a 9th grade orientation program at 11:30am in the district auditorium. Here too, students will be provided with essential information to best support them as they embark on the high school experience leading to graduation.

The School Day:
 Similar to last year, homeroom will be part of 1st period. Students are expected to be in their first period class by 7:50am.
 Students are expected to abide by the rules and regulations as outlined in the building/district’s Code of Conduct and District Dress Code. Parents are encouraged to review contents of the Code of Conduct / District Dress Code with their child to become familiar with both policies. This information can be found on our district webpage.
 Students are expected to dress appropriately for school and to abide by the policy set forth regarding phone and technological devices. Students are expected to take care of district chromebooks and use this tool appropriately to further support their learning.
 Student lockers no longer have locks – students are encouraged to place their own locks on lockers to secure belongings. Furthermore, if locks are placed on lockers, students are expected to provide Mrs. Albertson in the main office with combinations or a spare key.
 We will no longer be supplying students with agenda books. Families are encouraged to purchase for children such books and/or have their child use a technological device to record classroom assignments/assessments.
 Students are encouraged to attend extra help with their teachers on a daily basis. Extra help is offered by all teachers Monday through Friday from 2:30-2:45pm.

Some Additional Information:
 Testing dates for middle school NY State assessments in mathematics, English Language Arts (ELA), and science, for all students in seventh and eighth grade have been determined by the State Education Department and have been posted on the district website so that you can plan accordingly with your family and child.
 Please reference the Middle School Assessment Schedule (for in-class assessments only) posted as an attachment on our webpage so that you and your child can plan accordingly for all in-class assessments in grades 7 and 8.
 Please review the Junior-Senior High School website on a regular basis for new and pertinent building level and department information.
 Open House is scheduled for Thursday, September 4th at 6:45pm. The evening will begin with a review of some highlights followed by a brief presentation by Mr. Brostowski, Dean of Students/Director of Athletics regarding the Dignity Act. Parents/Guardians will then visit their child’s teachers for a general overview of respective courses of study and related expectations.
 On September 13th we will celebrate homecoming. A homecoming dance has been planned for students in grades 9-12 on Friday, September 12th from 7:30pm – 10:30pm in the Junior-Senior High School gym. Secondary Spirit Week will take place during the week of September 15th {NOTE: change in date}. Additional information will be shared regarding homecoming and spirit week upon the return to classes.
 Booster Clubs membership – representatives of PTA, Music Boosters and the Athletic Association will be available at upcoming events – please join and support our Booster Clubs!

On behalf of the instructional and non-instructional staff at Southold Junior –Senior High School we look forward to our collaborative work together to support your child’s academic and social development. I encourage you to make contact with your child’s teachers and guidance counselor on a regular basis to support your child’s Junior-Senior High School experience.

I wish all our students and families a successful 2014-2015 school year!

Yours truly,

William R. Galati
William R. Galati
Principal