Friday, August 29, 2014

Off to a great start!

I had a lot of fun this week and last, and I hope that you and your kids did too. I’m always nervous and usually up all night before the first day of school and this year was no exception. I worry about the master schedule and whether or not everyone will have a class to go to when they arrive, I worry about the school buses and whether or not they will get here on time, I worry about the cafeteria and if all of the supplies that they need have been delivered for breakfast and lunch, this year I added a new worry to my list with laptop computer distribution for our seventh graders. The list could go on and on, but there is one thing I have learned I never need to worry about at Henley, and that is whether or not our teachers will be ready for a great start. Year in and year out, the Henley faculty and staff has shown their absolute dedication to our profession, to making kids feel welcome and to starting the year off strong. As I walked through the halls last week, a common theme I saw throughout the building was that of community building. Our classes were started with teachers and students alike developing the relationships that we know are so crucial to everyone’s success. Kids were getting to know their new classmates and their teachers, they were developing norms for how the class would operate this year, and they were setting the stage for success.

The excitement of the first week of school is infectious. Our kids were ready to be back and you could just sense that they were having a positive experience upon their return. I'm making it a goal this year to keep that level of excitement going not just during the first week or the first month of school, but throughout the entire year. We all want to create an atmosphere within our classrooms that makes kids want to run off of the school bus in the morning because they know they are going to be engaged, challenged and inspired each day by the work you are doing. Let’s get ready to have some fun.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Welcome back, Hornets!

Welcome to the 2014-2015 school year!  I hope that all of you are as excited as me about getting back to school.  While I know that everyone loves their summer break, it just feels natural at this time of year to begin thinking about getting a fresh start to a new school year.

We’ve had a lot going on at Henley since our kids left us last June.  We have had some renovations done to our library that have created a new presentation space and a new open seating area, we have started planning for a second gymnasium to be built with construction scheduled to begin in January, and we have been gearing up for our instructional technology initiative that will provide laptop computers to each of our seventh grade students.

At the end of last year we said goodbye to a number of our staff, and I’m very excited to have several new faces at Henley this year.  Our new staff includes:

·      Mia Fields—PE
·      Matt Hopewell—PE
·      Morgan Ciecierski--PE
·      Ernie Almanza—math teacher and testing coordinator
·      Cherie Thomas—French
·      Juliette Rosenthal—Spanish
·      C’Ta Delaurier—Intervention
·      Danica Alter—Special Education
·      Melanie O’Donnell-Special Education
·      Monique Faruque—Social Studies
·      Adam Kuchta—CTE
·      Sara McLaughlin—Math

This year we will continue our work to develop students abilities in the four C’s of twenty-first century education—communication, collaboration, critical thinking and creativity.  If students can become more proficient at skills such as these, they will be ready for anything that comes their way in the world of academics or the world of work. 

I know that 2014-2015 is going to be another great year for us at Henley Middle School, and I just can’t wait to get things started.  See you soon and Go Hornets!!!