Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Time to get started & CC+

Today we had a great day welcoming the freshmen students to Kilbourne.  I was so impressed with the Link Leaders who made the day fun, meaningful and welcoming to the 9th graders.  Thank you Link Leaders for your service and commitment.  I was proud of how you demonstrated your leadership and set the standards for what can be expected at the high school.  I have to admit that if I could have students wear name tags every day, my life would be much easier! :-)

As we return to school tomorrow, I wanted to remind those of you who are taking College Credit Plus (CC+) classes through Columbus State (this includes English, Psychology and Mythology) that while your classes are listed on your WKHS schedule, they don't actually start until August 28th.  English meets on Mondays and Wednesdays.  Psychology meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  Mythology is completely online.  So, for those classes you have another week and a half until they start.  In the meantime, please be certain that you have completed the required CSCC online orientation and accessed blackboard.  (CSCC has sent you emails about these requirements and we have also posted it on the WKHS Counselor website.)

The CC+ classes through COTC  (which include math classes and Intro to Business) all begin tomorrow like regular classes as they are taught by your WKHS teachers.

I'm looking forward to seeing you all in the morning.  Sleep well!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

School night (for Freshmen)

It's a school night... for the freshmen!  I am so excited to get the 2017-18 school year underway.  I look forward to seeing each of you, hearing about your summers, and finding out what is new and exciting in your lives.  Tomorrow though, the whole day is for and about the freshmen who make up the Class of 2021.

Yes, that means that the majority of sophomores, juniors and seniors have one more day of summer vacation.  The exception to that is those of you who will be attending the Delaware Area Career Center - your classes start at DACC tomorrow.  There will also be a lot of upperclassmen at WKHS tomorrow to help lead the freshmen day and they have been working hard to prepare to make sure it will be a great day.  I know that I am looking forward to having the chance to meet all of the freshmen during the day.

I think what I like best about the start of a new year is that it is like an unopened present - full of excitement, hope, and possibility.  You get to make this year whatever you want it to be and I hope that it will be your best year yet.  Get a good night's sleep because 7:45am will feel really early!

Monday, August 14, 2017

New Faces at WKHS

When we start school on Wednesday there will be lots of new staff members for you to meet and get to know.  Perhaps you have already seen the different names on your schedule and wondered who all of the new staff members are that make up the Kilbourne staff.  We are lucky to have a wonderful group of new staff coming to work with you.  They are passionate about making a positive difference in your life and I am confident you will enjoy having them as teachers.

You may have heard the news at the end of the school year that Ms. Adrean got hired to be the Chief Academic Officer for the district so she will no longer be Principal at WKHS.  Mr. Thomas has taken over as the new principal and is looking forward to getting to know you.

One of our Deans, Mr. Anderson left to be an administrator in Hilliard, but we are lucky enough that Mrs. Lippert will join Mr. Souder as the new dean.  Mrs. Lippert has been a consistent member of the Worthington Kilbourne HS community since her days as a student, teacher and intervention specialist.  She is excited to work with all of you in her new role.

We have several new staff members in the special education department including Mr. Goff, Ms. Linn, Ms. Somerville, Mr. Fibelkorn, Mr. Johnson, and Ms. Mess.

As you know, we had several teachers retire from the math department.  Mr. IsenhourMr. Boso and Mrs. Minor will all teach Math at WKHS this year.  (Some of you may remember Mrs. Minor as she returns to WKHS from TWHS.)

Mrs. Goodwin used to be at WKHS but then spent a few years at TWHS has rejoined the Kilbourne staff as the IB Coordinator and an English teacher. 

Ms. Lee is the new science academic assistant and Mr. Wood will be the new Social Studies academic assistant.  But don't worry, Ms. Elliott and Mr. Freisner will still be in the Teaching and Learning Center along with the new faces.

Mrs. Dominach has changed roles.  She will no longer be in the drop in lab - she is now a secretary in the Counseling Center so you will still be able to see her often.

Mr. Dickson is the new education assistant working in the Drop In Lab.

Please be sure to welcome all of the new staff members to Worthington Kilbourne High School!

Sunday, August 13, 2017

College Rankings

There are a lot of different resources available for students to get a better idea about different colleges and how life might be on campus. Nothing can replace your impression of the campus and how you can (or cannot) imagine fitting in at a particular school, but there other tools such as school websites, visits with admissions representatives, and books or other resources all have information that can help round out your view of a school. 

Many people put a great deal of stock into college rankings and each year Princeton Review releases a book which features summaries of different schools and lists "Top 20's" for 62 different categories. There is some very interesting information that you can find by reading these lists. For example, if you love sports then it should be a big warning to you if you find that your top choice of college is on the "Nobody plays intramural sports" list.  And maybe you'd be happy to find that your choice of college has made the "Happiest students" list.  

I do want to caution you - do not read too much into just this resource - use it as one source. For example, when you read things like top party schools (OU is not on the list for the 2nd year in a row after being on it for multiple years including topping the list back in 2011) you will find that some students might be responding in a way that they want people to perceive a school and also it is important to keep this in perspective because students can find and make college into whatever experience they want. Obviously since they are highlighting 382 colleges all schools are not included - it is about 13% of the colleges in the US. Enjoy checking out the 62 lists to see where your colleges of choice fall on the various lists.

This article points out the importance of using caution when considering these lists.  The problem with ranking colleges like mine.

In case you don't want to check on the various lists to read all top 20 schools for each list, here are a few summaries that articles have done which might interest you.

From the Princeton Review Press Release:

Other Princeton Review ranking list categories and #1 colleges on them in the new lists and book include:
  • "Most Accessible Professors"— Colby College (ME)
  • "Best College Dorms"— Scripps College (CA)
  • "Best Campus Food" — University of Massachusetts Amherst
  • "Best Health Services" — University of Wisconsin—Madison
  • "Most Beautiful Campus"— University of San Diego (CA)
  • "Best Athletic Facilities — Auburn University (AL)
  • "Happiest Students" — Vanderbilt University (TN)
  • "Most Politically Active Students" — Columbia University (NY)
  • "LGBTQ-Friendly" — Bryn Mawr College (PA)
  • "Party Schools" —Tulane University (LA)
  • Stone-Cold Sober Schools" — Brigham Young University (UT)
  • "Students Pack the Stadiums" — Syracuse University (NY)
  • "College City Gets High Marks" — Tulane University (LA)
  • "Their Students Love These Colleges" — Virginia Tech

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Senior College Information Night

Seniors, have you started to work on your college applications?  I suppose that you aren't "officially" seniors until Thursday, but the reality is now is the time for you to start the process of college applications.  On Thursday, I was so happy to be able to spend some time with some of my seniors who elected to come in and discuss brainstorming effective college essays.  I cannot wait to see what unique topics they come up with to showcase their incredible individuality.  I also want seniors and senior parents to plan ahead for one for one of the most important senior nights.

The Senior Student and Parent College Information Night will be held on Tuesday, August 29th, at 7:00pm at WKHS. This is one of the most important meetings for senior students and parents to attend because there are so many college related questions that we will be able to answer.

We will be reviewing the college application process, the procedures for submitting your items to WKHS and to the colleges, and other information you need to know for college. I really hope you will make every effort to attend… and yes, this is for you and your parents because this is YOUR life, so you need to be there as you are the one responsible for completing all of the work to get accepted into college. It is beneficial for your parents to also attend because they will be a very valuable in helping you through this process. And, trust me, your parents will appreciate having an overview of how this entire process will play out so bring them along with you so that they can get the information all at once with you. 

I know that it is not always possible for every student and family to attend, but I hope you will make every effort to try to attend. Remember, I have about 90 seniors, so it becomes very challenging to try to repeat the same basic information and make sure everyone understands unless we all start with the same foundation of information. This evening will answer a lot of your basic questions and then we’ll figure out the rest together as the year continues. I’m looking forward to talking college with you on August 29th!

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Office Workers

It is funny when people look at their schedules, what one person sees as a negative aspect, another views as a positive.  Over the last two days I heard that often.  Some students are thrilled to have academic prep 1st period and others prefer it later in the day.  Lunch early or late was another hotly debated topic among a group of students.  As people were discussing different aspects of their schedule, the idea of how the students were going to effectively use their "off" periods was emphasized by many parents.

Several times I found myself mentioning a volunteer opportunity that students can take advantage of during the school day within the comfortable walls of WKHS.  We have office workers volunteer their time to help out in the counseling/ administrative offices. Our office workers each year have been amazing!  They helped run passes, update the bulletin board, put together packets or whatever else was needed.  Some days were busier than others and so there were days when they didn't have to do much of anything to help us other than be available.  We do have an application process to be selected as an office worker, but if you are interested, we'd love to have you!  And selfishly, I'd love to have more of "my" students helping as office workers because it is a nice treat to see you each day.  Students with a period of academic prep or options in their schedule would be eligible to apply.  (You would no longer have prep or options if you chose to work in the office.)  You will accumulate community service hours as an office worker.  Applications are available in the front of the counseling center.  No more than 2 students will be selected for each period of the day.  Please apply as soon as we start back to school if you are interested so that we don't miss out on the opportunity to have you involved!

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Prepare for Success

It was so nice to be able to meet some of the freshmen students and parents today as well as to have a few minutes to reconnect with some of my seniors!  I have missed all of you and it made my day to see you.  I'm looking forward to another great day with sophomores and juniors tomorrow.

Over the next week as you wind down your summer and focus on your summer assignments, I'd also like to ask you to try to spend some time considering how you can put yourself in the best position possible to successful in the new school year.

The first step is to set your goals for the year.  What are you hoping to accomplish?  What do you need to do to reach these goals?  It is often easier to dream big and, quite honestly, most of you could achieve any goal that you set your mind to, but it will take dedication and commitment.

Many of you are also out searching for new school supplies.  As you buy your folders, binders, and notebooks I encourage you to think about what organization system tends to work best for you.  Are you a "stuffer" who just stuffs papers into whatever happens to be available?  If so, folders are probably best for you.  If you are the type of person who wants to be able to combine notes from class with notes that you take from the book, you might gravitate toward a binder with loose-leaf paper rather than a spiral notebook. Whatever system you select, make sure it is one that will work for you.

Preparing for success is probably most closely connected to having an organization system for tracking your assignments.  Perhaps you bought a planner at schedule pick up day today (or will tomorrow).  Maybe you are going to use an app on your phone (there are lots of options of useful apps out there.)  Or it is possible that you do something else creative such as using a dry erase marker on your binder each day.  It doesn't matter to me what type of an organization system you have selected, but it is essential that you pick something and commit yourself to using it!

This will be a great year!  I hope you are looking forward to getting started (even though it means that summer is over) and if you need help with setting reasonable goals or with organization, please don't hesitate to stop in and see me.