Wellesley High School Principal Jamie Chisum posted his annual end-of-summer letter on the school website. As usual, it was part sigh about how fast it all went, part getting down to business. The best part of the letter was the peek about what a high school principal does on his summer vacation. Turns out they’re just like us. They road trip with family. They explore new places. They tackle their book pile. Something I never knew about the fearless WHS leader: he has an association with a certain questionable East Coast baseball team. Compelling reading, indeed.
As for the down-to-business part, Chisum tackled the school’s evolving May assessments/experiences processes (formally known as “final exams”). Chisum notes, “The Administrative team is working on altering the end of the year to reflect themes that came up in the staff and then the student surveys. We will be working with the faculty in August so we have a completed draft. We will hopefully be letting students know the school wide plan early this fall.”
During the assessments of the assessments, faculty emphasized that going forward students and staff should know as early as possible what to expect to avoid the confusing directions that sometimes came up last year. They noted that May was challenging last year because departments gave exams and then did final experiences. In addition, what works for one discipline doesn’t necessarily work for them all.
Students were not left out of the the process, and 747 out of about 1100 students total (seniors were not included) completed the survey. One of the questions asked if they preferred assessments from last May or the previous year. In English, Math, Social Studies, and Science they responded overwhelmingly (the highest was a 5 to 1 margin, the lowest was 2 to 1) in favor of May 2018’s new format.
In addition, Chisum said Wellesley High School is going through its 10-year accreditation visit in April 2019. The New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) report on the high school will be a public document and is expected to be available a month or so after the NEASC’s visit.
What time do the WHS kids show up on August 29?
For all the important timing info about the first day of school, check out the letter below from the Challenge Success Team.
To: Wellesley High School Families Re: 2018-2019 School Opening Hello and welcome back to school. We hope everyone has had a wonderful and rejuvenating summer. This letter contains important information about the opening of the school year – please read it in full.
The first day of school is Wednesday, August 29th and for the first time 9th graders and transfer students will arrive earlier than the rest of the student-body for an orientation tailored to their back-to-school needs. Students are required to arrive at school at the following times on the 29th. Students will receive a schedule for the full day upon arrival.
● 9th graders and transfer students: 7:30 am arrival (breakfast provided; lunch available for purchase) Buses begin pick up at 6:40 a.m.
● 10th-12th graders: 11:20 am arrival to Advisory classrooms (10th-12th graders should eat lunch before coming to school) Buses begin pick up at 10:30 a.m.
In addition to 9th grade orientation, the first three days of school have been designed to provide students and teachers more time and flexibility to get to know one another within their class communities. All classes will meet for one 20 minute session and one 60 minute session during the first week. Advisories throughout the week will be extended to allow for administrative back-to-school logistics and community-building time. Students will also receive a schedule for the first three days upon arrival.
These changes to the opening of school are founded in the Wellesley High School Challenge Success Program’s commitment to supporting the development of meaningful relationships between and among students and staff. The new opening schedule also allows time for the introduction of the Challenge Success theme of achieving balance in the areas of sleep, technology, and workload.
We are excited to meet our new students and reconnect with our returning students.