We have had an amazing start to the school year. The students have done a great job of adapting to the new environment. We hope that we can continue the momentum for the rest of the year from this outstanding start.
This last school year witness Mason City High School re-enforcing what a great secondary program we offer students. The students and staff demonstrated improved discipline, attendance, student achievement, test scores, and graduation rate. As a school, we plan to continue focusing on improvement with an emphasis on each student being appropriately challenged academically to show at least a year’s growth and maintaining our high graduation rate. MCHS is determined to ensure all graduates can effectively communicate in both written and verbal forms, collaborate with others, critically think, and be a self-directed learner. The professional development for staff will be on utilizing data teams to focus on student achievement and learning, aligning assessments to the rigor of the Iowa Core Curriculum and the national Common Core, and on using student data to make instructional decisions (Assessment for Learning).
As we work with students as educators and parents, it is extremely important that we as a community reinforce the notion of high expectations and students challenging him/her academically. This can occur through selection of courses (all general education courses are college-bound) and/or through student tasks. Post-secondary education places a higher amount of emphasis on rigor of classes than necessarily on grades alone. Research also expels a common myth amongst high school students and parents related to when is the best time to have rigor. Many times the thought is to take a heavier load earlier in high school so that the senior year is easier and more enjoyable. Post-secondary research shares that the transition for majority of students is easier the more rigorous of a senior year a student has pertaining to courses. This does not mean for students not to take rigorous course early in high school, but rather continue rigor as they go through high school.
As a community we need to acknowledge students more for the process of learning. Long term learning occurs when a student is stretched mentally/academically just beyond his/her level current understanding of the learning target. When one is stretched it is challenging and not necessarily easy. Thus, we must support students by encouraging students to work beyond comfort zones at times, persevere, and be resilient. Without this stretch actual learning will not occur. Developing the skill as a self-directed learner will pay dividends in the future for our students.
Homecoming week is in full swing with activities this week. The pep assembly begins at 1 P.M. on Friday, September 14. The parade will start in front of the high school, run down Illinois Ave, down State St., and end at Central Park. The Community pep assembly will occur at 2:45 P.M. in Central park. You are invited to this pep gathering. The homecoming dance will be held in the MCHS cafeteria from 8 P.M. – 11:00 P.M. on Saturday, September 15. Students should enter the MCHS main doors. Students must purchase tick for the dance during the week, any non-MCHS student must be signed up as a guest in the office by Thursday at Noon. These guests must be in high school and under the age of twenty. Students are required to show his/her school ID to attend. Since this is a school event, all school rules and expectations will be enforced. All students and guests will be breathalyzed before entering the dance.
Important date reminders:
The end of the first quarter is on November 1, with mid-quarters going out on Friday, October 5 to those students who are failing a class. Parent-Teacher conferences are on October 4 and 8 from 5:00 – 8:00 P.M. This is a great way to show your son/daughter that you support his/her education.
College planning night for juniors and seniors is Wednesday September 19 in the MCHS IC beginning at 6:30 P.M. This is a great time to get in-depth information about planning for college.
Picture retakes will be from 8:00 A.M. – 1:00 P.M. on Friday, September 28.
The FEMA room that will be able to house 1800 people during a crisis or emergency is to be completed by the start of November. The remodeling of the high school academic two-story is in full force.
We look forward to a great school year.
Director of Secondary Programs