Thursday, February 22, 2018

Congratulations and Good Luck

In swimming and diving only the top 24 individuals for each event qualify for the state championships which are being held this weekend. Haley Banner is one of those individuals. Congratulations on making it to States and Good Luck this weekend! 

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Academic Assistants

Perhaps I am the only one counting down, but in case you are wondering we have just 11 more school days left in the quarter.  This is critical for those of you who need to be eligible for sports in the spring quarter.  If you are not where you'd like to be, please make sure that you are working with your teachers in any of the subjects you are struggling with and also remember to take advantage of the opportunity to work with the Academic Assistant's in the Teaching & Learning Center!  

WKHS is incredibly fortunate to have the support of four outstanding academic assistants.  If you have never been into the Teaching and Learning Center for help, it is time to make a visit.  Ms. Elliott is the English academic assistant, Mrs. Lee focuses on Science, Mr. Wood takes care of Social Studies and Mr. Freisner works with Math.  The Teaching and Learning Center is housed in Room 209.  Students can drop by before school, during lunch, prep or options to get extra help on assignments or for assistance in studying for upcoming tests.  

This room provides a more structured environment so you can be certain that you will be able to find a quiet place to study and get your work done.  When you walk into the Teaching and Learning Center you can sit at any of the tables in the room if you want to work independently, but if you need help in a particular subject you can also just go and sit at the table with the academic assistant responsible for that subject area.  

And, as if this wasn't enough, the academic assistant's are also outstanding resources for helping students to get organized, to stay on top of assignments and to assist you in making plans for completing projects in a timely manner.  They are an unbelievable asset to the students at WKHS and you are missing out if you are not taking advantage of their free help!  I consistently see the significant difference in grades for those students who are working with teachers and academic assistants to get caught up vs those who try to manage it on their own.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

What grade do you deserve?

How are you doing in your classes?  Are you getting the grades you think you deserve?  Pause for a second and really think about that... when you think about your grades, are they in alignment with what you believe you have earned?

This tends to be a hard question for many students.  Some of you will reflect on that question and say, "No!" And quickly cite examples like the tests are too hard, the teacher demands too much homework be completed, or I work hard and do everything I am asked and it still doesn't result in a good grade. 

Other students will reflect on this question and say, "Yes!"  Their answers may include statements such as I work hard and it pays off or I learn what I need to pull off the grades I am earning. 

And probably the majority of students would answer, "I don't know."  Perhaps you know that you are not fully applying yourself to your school work every day so maybe you could do better if you tried harder, but you feel like you are doing "good enough" and are struggling to decide if putting forth the additional work would result in a marked improvement or not.  Interestingly, I would actually say that my guess is these students who don't know if their grades are what they deserve or not are in the best position to try to make a change.

If you automatically take the victim role line of thinking that it is too hard or believe you are not good enough then you're already in a position where you likely believe that nothing you do can make it better.  (For the record, I do not believe this is true... ever!)  For those of you who are thinking that you're getting the grades you earn then part of me says "Great!  Keep after it" and part of me says I hope you are not just settling for "good enough."  But the rest of you - it's time to try some new things.  Rather than just going through the motions and hoping for the best, you can take control and own your own learning!  Push yourself to understand the material being covered in class.  Try to consider how the concepts being taught apply to the rest of your world.  Use your experiences of studying, time management and work completion as practice for your futures because in college and some day, when you are "old" and working in your selected careers, you will always still be learning new concepts, trying new things, juggling commitments and responsibilities and you have to be able to take responsibility to put forth your best effort.

So, I'd like to clarify, it is a lot less important to me what the exact letter grade you earn ends up being.  What is important to me is that you are giving your best effort and that you are learning and growing!  When you are trying your best and seeking help when you need it then I will always be happy because you don't have to be THE best as long as you are doing YOUR best!

Monday, February 19, 2018

ACT for Juniors

All students in the Class of 2019 (juniors) will be taking the ACT free of charge during the school day on Tuesday, February 27th.  Because of the extended amount of time required for students to successfully complete the ACT, the rest of the students will be on a late-start bell schedule for the day with classes beginning at 12:20pm. (I will give you the complete bell schedule next week...)

During school tomorrow, all juniors will be meeting in the auditorium during 3rd period to complete your pre-ACT registration paperwork.  One of the most important questions that you will be asked to submit while completing your forms is to indicate where you would like to have your scores sent.  All students are able to select 4 colleges where you can send your scores to free of charge.  Since this is a national college admissions test your scores can be used for admission at colleges and I strongly encourage you to take advantage of sending these free scores.

One hint - for those of you who are are planning on participating in College Credit Plus next year (if you haven't already been taking classes with that same college this year) then I would strongly suggest that you send your scores to your intended CC+ schools (CSCC, COTC or whichever campus you were planning to go to such as OSU).

Please spend a few minutes tonight thinking about where you'd like your scores sent so that you are prepared tomorrow.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Columbus State Community College

Are you planning on attending Columbus State Community College next year after you graduate? This is a great option for a lot of students because it allows students to transition from the high school to college expectations in typically smaller classes and for a fraction of the cost. Students attending CSCC have much later deadlines for admission and so it can be easy to procrastinate on completing the application. It is an easy, online application and will not take you long to complete it so I would like to encourage you to apply sometime in this coming week.  Hop online and give the application a try and then if you have any questions, stop by to see me and I will help answer them for you.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

College Visits

Are you excited about the fact that we have a long weekend coming up?  For many students this is the perfect opportunity to make a college visit.  Many colleges will host special visit days on Monday because they know that high school students are off and so they often plan days that will allow students to learn more about the different programs and opportunities that are available on campus.  Perhaps you are trying to decide what colleges you might want to apply to in the future and this can allow you to get started.  Or, for seniors, making additional visits can help you when trying to decide which of the many schools you applied to will be your future home.  I hope you will try to take advantage of the long weekend and make a college visit.

Don't forget, students should be the ones contacting the college to set up the college visit.  Also, if you are going to make a visit on a college campus, please make sure to take a picture somewhere on campus for me! For the record, the picture can be anywhere on campus, but I would like you in the picture!  So, pick out a pretty place on campus, find a cool sign announcing the college's name, or snap a picture in front of the building that houses your major where you anticipate spending most of your time in the future.

If you have no idea what colleges you might be interested in for the future, you can still make use of the long weekend to start exploring colleges.  You can, of course, begin your search online and try to find colleges that fit your interests, but more often than not, students tell me that they don't even know what they want in a college.  If that is you, then perhaps starting your college search by exploring some nearby campuses would be a valuable use of your time.  As you walk around the campus, people watch and listen to the presentations by the college admissions representatives you will begin to see various aspects of college life.  From these impressions you will be able to start forming an impression of what you like and what you don't like.  These views will be extremely valuable to you as you start narrowing your college search.

No matter how you spend your long weekend, I hope you enjoy the extra day off!  And again, if you are visiting a college, please be sure to bring back a picture!

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day! When I was growing up my mom always had this tradition of giving us a small heart shaped box filled with m&m's. It would be sitting at "our spot" at the kitchen table on Valentine's Day morning. That heart-shaped box of m&m's is what I associate with valentine's day. It is a small tradition, but it means so much. I hope that you have traditions in your family whether related to valentine's day or some other day that remind you of the love that is shared between you. 

Valentine's Day is often a holiday that is dominated by commercials encouraging people to buy special cards, jewelry, flowers or candy, but really those items are not what love is all about.  Love is about caring for the people in your life and putting their needs above your own.  Love is also about respecting one another!  February is Teen Dating Violence awareness month.  I hope that you all know and realize that you deserve to be in healthy and respectful relationships.  It is important to speak up and set healthy boundaries in your relationships and to seek help if that is not happening in your life or the lives of those you care about.  Want to learn more about teen dating violence?  Check out this website - - they have tons of great resources and information.

I hope you have a wonderful Valentine's day and that you will be reminded by your family members and friends that you are important and that you matter so that today your heart is filled with love and joy!