Principal Notes

September 1 - 5, 2014

gpalmer@falmouthschools.org 781-7429


Welcome Back!


Schedule for the Week:

Mon Sept 1 Labor Day - No School

Tues Sept 2 Freshman Orientation/Pictures

Wed Sept 3 DAY C/pictures

Thur Sept 4 DAY D

Fri Sept 5 DAY E


Dear Parents and Guardians,


I wanted to take a minute to welcome you to the 2014-2015 school year. While we've made few changes in policies or procedures from last spring, every new school year feels somewhat different; we lose a group of seniors and bring in the new freshmen; faculty retire and new people are hired. In this way a high school remains a dynamic organization that can never be fixed in time.


I mentioned in my spring note last year that we had some goals for the 2014-2015 school year which included continuing to improve our student support network here at FHS. In recent years we've added Wednesday andFriday morning open study time (AFT) where all students and teachers are available to one another, guided study halls for students who need organizational support, and maintained our tutoring center and lab time for freshmen students who need help in particular courses.


This year we'’ve extended AFT study support time during the mornings of our early release days beginning in January (there is an early release day in October that will, as in the past, be a regular, shortened class schedule for students). We will be developing extended support time under the theory that it will be a better use of time to have extended support time in lieu of shortened classes. This will also be an opportunity for juniors to work on their job shadows, seniors to engage in work on their Discovery activities for graduation, and other work to be done for which there is little time in the normal schedule.


We will also still be using a bring your own device (BYOD, in the literature) program for laptops. Students can bring their own machines and use our open network, or a netbook can be leased from the school for $50 for the year, or a family can have the fee waived if need be. We do ask that students bring a device every day.


The trends for FHS are very positive. Our most recent Maine Integrated Youth Health Survey had all our student trends moving toward healthy, prosocial behavior with less unhealthy risk taking, harassment/bullying, or other negative statistics. At the same time we were named the best public high school in Maine last year.  http://www.wmtw.com/news/maines-best-high-schools-of-2014/25597612#!bMh4mG


As we work out the details on how to maintain and build on our current success while fulfilling the requirements of a new graduation law (LD 1422), we'll be communicating with parents and students throughout the next several years. We're lucky to have such a strong, positive school and community as we embark on this effort.


This is, of course, all about our students and the families that support them. This year we've added over thirty new students (from all over the country and world) who are transferring to Falmouth High School. That number represents record high influx of new members of the school's community. We're happy to welcome all our new students and look forward to having them be part of FHS. Every healthy organization depends on fresh ideas and new faces as an important part of its culture and identity.


Thank you for your ongoing support and welcome to school year 2014-2015.


Sincerely,


Gregg Palmer, Principal



Informational Items:


SENIOR PARENTS


College Application Workshops

During the weeks of Sept. 8 and Sept. 15, all seniors will take part in a College Application Workshop in their English class.  All seniors must have their laptop computers, as they will work on line during this session.  Please remind your students to bring their laptop to school!

Senior Parent Night: On Course For College: Mon., Sept 22

Parents who are new to the college planning process and/or who did not attend the spring Junior Parent Night may want to attend our Senior Parent Night: On Course For College, on Monday evening, September 22nd from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. in the FHS music room.  This highly informal session will address senior parents’ questions and concerns about all aspects of the college search process, with an emphasis upon Q&A.

College Fair at USM: Sun., Sept. 28

The University of Southern Maine hosts the annual NEACAC College Fair on Sunday, September 29th, 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. on the Gorham campus of the University of Southern Maine.  Students should bring a supply of peel-and-stick labels with their name, mailing address and email address; the time they save completing college inquiry cards can be used to visit with more college representatives and to ask more questions.  A complete list of schools that will be in attendance is available at www.neacac.org.

Financial Aid Night: Mon., Nov. 3

Parents who have concerns about financing their students’ college education may want to attend our Financial Aid Night on Monday, November 3rd, from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. in the FHS music room.


Martin’s Point Bridge Bash on Sunday, September 14, 1-4 pm: Celebrate the new multi-use path on the Martin’s Point Bridge/Rte. 1 between Falmouth and Portland. Music, Food Trucks, see Real Bridge-Building Equipment close up, Antique Cars, Funky Bikes, free Bike Decorating for Kids, Face Painting and Glitter Tattoos, Book Sale, Exhibits and more. Everyone welcome, all events are free except for food vendors. See Martin’s Point Bridge Bash on Facebook for more info.

 

SPEECH AND DEBATE INFORMATIONAL MEETING--WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 10, 7 P.M.  FHS MUSIC ROOM:  Students and parents--please come learn about the four time State Championship Debate Team.  Hear from our coaches, current team members, and other parents about this exciting program.  Speech and debate experience is not required, and students can join the team even if they have other activity or sports commitments throughout the year.   Debate and Speech are user friendly!

 

 

 

 






Falmouth voted Top City to Live and Learn by Forbes Magazine and Great Schools in 2011!