Volume 6


Believe it or not, Thursday marks the end of the first quarter. Although students do not have school on Friday, they will undoubtedly have projects, tests, essays, and other assignments to accomplish before week’s end. 

I’d like to take this chance to encourage all adults to remind students to take one task at a time, focus on it, and then move to the next. The Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius captured it well when he wrote a note in his journal to: “Remember--your responsibilities can be broken down into individual parts. Concentrate on those and finish the job well” (Book 6.26).

You can find more pithy observations from Aurelius at good reads.

Digital Citizenship Week:

This week is Digital Citizenship Week. The purpose is to increase awareness of how we are all using phones, computers, tablets, and other media, and what effect they have on our lives and work. While phones can be used as a beneficial resource for education, one of our biggest challenges as educators is maintaining focus in classrooms amidst the temptation of engaging with notifications from social media and other apps. 

I’d like to challenge everyone to monitor their screen time one day this week. To do so on an iPhone, you can do the following: 

  1. Click on Settings
  2. Click on Battery
  3. Scroll Down
  4. Click on “Activity by App”

This will tell you how many minutes each app was actively on the screen being used and how long it has been running in the background on your phone in the last 24 hours. Consider how much time you might spend doing other activities, and see how your screen time and your students’ screen time compares. This might provide a good opportunity to discuss how to best balance our time between media and other important activities.  

A wide array of resources for addressing media use are available through Common Sense Education.

Parent-Teacher Conferences

Parent-Teacher conferences are an ideal time to get a brief update on how your student is doing in each of his or her classes. Each of our teachers will be in the commons and available to talk with parents and students from 11:45-2:30 and 4:00-7:00 pm on next Wednesday, October 23rd. Please plan on an approximately five minute conversation with each teacher so that all parents and students have an opportunity to get an update from each of his or her teachers.

Topics that might be addressed are level of classroom participation, homework completion, attendance, and overall academic performance.  It is ideal to capture areas that need improvement, organize and prioritize them, and then make a plan to address them. 

A good resource for identifying effective study habits is Make It Stick: Six Tips for Students, which is excerpted from the book of the same title: Make It Stick: The Science of Successful Learning

A Sporting Weekend:

South had a successful sporting weekend, with our Tennis Team winning a Co-State Championship tied with West, our Football Team taking an emphatic win over Juneau in the first round of the playoffs, 54-14, and our Volleyball team defeating West three games to one on Friday. Our Gymnastics team competed at Dimond, West visited South to compete in Riflery, and our Swim Team was in the pool at Bartlett over the weekend. 

I would also like to recognize the following coaches who were named Coach of the Year by their peers:

  • Sara Miller - Cross Country
  • Todd Heuston - Flag Football
  • Walter Harmon - Co-Football
  • Dana Curtis - Assistant Football
  • Curtis Nelson   - Tennis

We appreciate all their hard work and dedication to our athletes. We know that when students are involved in an extracurricular activity, they often do better academically and have better attendance rates. That’s all the more likely when they have quality coaches supporting them. 

Have a great week South.