Welcome back to everyone.
We are excited to welcome students, staff and families back for the year. I would like to take the time to roll out a few things that are going on this year. We will also be taking time to unpack these things with students during our first few days of school.
Four key initiatives this year
Every day, students will have 40 minutes to meet with teachers, counselors, clubs, mentors and each other. This time is a way for students to get academic support and take ownership of how they spend some of their time during the day. We are excited to roll out this new schedule this year! Flex block will give us time to connect, get caught up on work, have fun and learn more about each other.
We are piloting the use of restorative practices and circles this year. Many staff members and students have been trained to facilitate restorative conversations in a “Circle” framework. The circle is a practice rooted in indigenous traditions that helps communities practice democracy, respect, empathy and listening. We are excited to use the circle framework in the classroom, in flex time and when/if conflicts in our community arise.
Core Values and Common Words
As a staff, we have been working on explicitly teaching and modeling a set of core values and learning experiences schoolwide. Please check out these words here. Our shared commitment to using these words and reinforcing them in our daily actions is a framework by which we are teaching healthy habits, positive interactions and general wellness.
Clear Expectations and Feedback
Part of living together as a community is have a clear sense of what to expect from one another. This year, MVRHS is working on gaining coherence school-wide on a few key expectations around student attendance and make –up work, cell phone usage and healthy choices. We are also working on providing students and parents with updated grades in portal at least every two weeks.
MVRHS will be piloting these new protocols this year and will add these items to the handbook once we gather feedback in October. Please note the following:
- Students who miss class (for a school absence, early dismissal, or an otherwise excused reason) have until Friday of the following week to make up major assignments. For small assignments/homework, please refer to the teacher’s policy. This allows students to utilize the following week’s flex block to make up work.
- Students who are dismissed early (for sports, etc) are expected to turn in work that is due on that day before they leave. They can submit to the teacher/department office or drop the work in a box in the front office.
- If a student is in school, but skips/cuts a class, they will not be able to make up the work they miss. Attendance is important!
- As always, students should ask for a pass before leaving a classroom or office during instructional time.
- Teachers will be sending progress reports, with updated grades, to the portal every two weeks. Teachers may opt to keep their grade averages “live” in the portal for easy viewing. Please encourage your child to use this information! Ask teachers how they plan to share grades/feedback with you and your child during Back to School Night on September 19.
- This year, Learning Centers will be held in the cafeteria (with a few exceptions to accommodate lunch). From the cafe, students may get a pass to the library, writing center, math lab or other space. While in the cafeteria, students will be allowed to use their phones for academic purposes. Beyond the cafe, however, we ask that students continue to keep their phones/earbuds away and out of use during all instructional times. This includes the library and hallways.
We have some new staff members. Please acquaint yourself with the new names and positions.
The School Committee has adopted a new policy for substance use. It is available here. Please also review the procedures and protocols that MVRHS uses in order to comply with the school committee policies.
Elliott Bennett will be sending out state regulations around absence from school.
If you have questions, please refer to our FAQ. This will help you figure out who to contact depending on what help you need.
We have some exciting events coming up soon. Please keep these dates in mind:
- September 14-15: Picture Days
- September 19: Back to School Night
- September 20, 21: Activities Fair during Flex block
- September 22: Fall Pep Rally
- September 23: Homecoming Dance at the high school
- October 6: No school for students, staff PD
- October 12-18: Parent Teacher Conferences