All students will achieve their maximum potential by becoming responsible, productive citizens and life-long learners.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Clint Page's Top 10 Skills for High-School Students

Here is a semi-complete explanation of Clint Page's Top 10 Skills for High-School Students.  It has been shortened for the purpose of this blog.  The list may be found in its entirety as an interactive site at: http://school.familyeducation.com/skill-builder/college-prep/37653.html

Whether you're a freshman or a senior, developing the following 10 skills will help you achieve success in school, in your chosen career, and in life.


·         There are just 24 hours in each day.
·         High-school students average 35 hours per week of class time.
·         Get your "free" time under control.
·         Use a daily planner.
·         Get the maximum out of each day.


·         Always be prepared for class, and attend classes regularly. No cutting!
·         Complete assignments thoroughly and in a timely manner.
·         Review your notes daily rather than cram for tests the night before.
·         Set aside quiet time each day for study — even if you don't have homework or a test the next day!


It's important to set goals, as long as they're attainable. Setting goals that are unreasonably high is a set-up — you'll be doomed to frustration and disappointment.


·         Listen to your teacher and stay focused.
·         If you don't understand something, ask questions! 


·         You can't write down everything.
·         Write down the important material
·         Go back over your notes
·         Check with the teacher for help on improving your note-taking.
·         Note-taking should be in a form that's most helpful to you. 


Teachers assign homework for a reason. While it may seem like "busywork" at times, it definitely has a purpose. Put your homework to good use. Remember, you'll only get out of it what you put into it!


·         Go over your notes each day while the lecture is still fresh in your mind.
·         Compare your notes with a classmate's notes.
·         Review to reinforce your learning and build towards your ultimate goal: MASTERY of the subject or skill.


·         Keep all your study materials (calculator, planner, books, notebooks, laptop, etc.) in one convenient location.


You need to be motivated to learn and work hard, whether or not you like a specific subject or teacher. Self-motivation can be extremely important when you aren't particularly excited about a class. If you must, view it as an obstacle you must overcome. Then, set your mind to it and do it — no excuses. Success is up to you!


You've started the course, now you need to complete it. Do the best — and get the most out of it — that you can! Your commitment will pay off in the end.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Homework is Key in Many Classes

I wanted to take this time to highlight another way to help your students be successful at Seekonk High School rather than remind you about dress code or attendance.  One of the recurring themes in each class was the importance of homework completion.  As important were the repeated statements concerning its lack of completion.  Please take the time to peruse these two resources concerning this very important topic.

The first may be found at: http://kidshealth.org/parent/positive/learning/homework.html.  It gives 10 important tips for helping assure your students complete their homework.  More importantly it highlights concepts such as knowing your teachers expectations, making a plan, helping them organize themselves to minimize distractions, motivating and monitoring, and ensuring that students do their own work so that they may learn from their mistakes.

The second source concerning the topic of homework may be found at:  http://www.wvup.edu/academics/tips_on_homework.htm.  This site gives much more detailed information under the following categories: concentration, the home stretch, getting motivated, how to make the most of your study time, proofreading, tutoring, using the internet for help, and citing web sites.

Hopefully these two resources help you help your students to either continue doing well or increase their rate of success.  We have wonderful teachers here at Seekonk High School that are more than willing to help, but ultimately, the student must put in the effort.  Sometimes a new perspective or fresh ideas help rekindle that fire!

Finally, the school year is continuing to go well.  Thank you for your help with this.  Remember that I have an open door.  Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions, suggestions or concerns.

New Policies for the New School Year

Welcome to a new school year!  I look forward to having a safe, productive and successful 2012-2013.  I would like take this opportunity to address a few major changes made to existing policies last year in an effort to keep everyone “on the same page”.

Attendance Policy
Students are not allowed to miss more than six (6) classes for a semester course and twelve (12) for a yearlong course.  This is less than was allowed last year.  Please be sure that your students only miss school when they have acceptable documentation.  Students who exceed the allotted numbers risk losing credit.

Late to School Policy
While this policy remained the same concerning students being disqualified from all extra-curricular activities after being late to school nine (9) times, it is important to note that some of the consequences have changed as well the time school starts.  First, students will receive a Saturday detention upon reaching their fifth (5th) tardy.  Second, first period now starts at 7:25.  That means students must be to school by 7:20 to allow enough time to be in class.

Academic Integrity Policy
Seekonk High School’s new Academic Integrity Policy encompasses the old cheating and plagiarism policies.  It is designed to both educate students and assign consequences when necessary.  Due to its comprehensive nature I encourage you to read it in the Student Handbook (p. 22).

Cell Phones
Please note that students will be allowed to use their cellphones in the cafeteria this year.  It is still forbidden to use them in the hallways and classrooms.  Understand that if students are caught with their cellphone, the phone will be confiscated and students must either serve a detention or have a parent pick it up to have it returned.

Dress Code
Please help us promote responsible and respectable behavior by making sure students are dressed appropriately for school each day.  This will help them focus on their academics and ultimately, be more successful.  Students who do not follow the guidelines set forth in the Student Handbook (p. 26) will be asked to change.  Subsequent offenses will require the parent to either bring in a change of clothes or take the student home.

Finally, I look forward to having an excellent year and am excited to start!  I am sure we can guarantee student success through open, honest communication.  While I believe that students should be given more freedom to be themselves, I also believe that it comes with increased personal responsibility.  I ask for your assistance in both providing it and holding them accountable for it.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Man in the Arena

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
                                                                                                        --Theodore Roosevelt

How fitting this quote appears to be from every level of education.  As an administrator I continue to strive for action, improvement, and a better overall school environment.  I ask teachers to continue to excel at what they do everyday.  Most importantly we all ask students to make an attempt at new knowledge, experiences, and becoming a better version of themselves.  To accomplish this, we must always remember to enter "the arena" we call school with a clear goal, strong character, and unwillingness to quit in the face of defeat.  While we can not all be guaranteed victory at every attempt, we can grow stronger with every experience.  I never want to be one of those individuals Roosevelt refers to as, "cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."