Dear Hayfield Secondary Families:
The excitement of the approaching end to the school year grows with each passing day. By the time you read this letter, we will have concluded most, if not all, of our May testing. Now it’s time to celebrate. Parents of seniors have been mailed a packet of information containing all the important dates and procedures for senior activities. Last night, I attended the Senior Oscar Night and band/orchestra music concerts will complete this week’s evening events. Please review the calendar frequently on our Hayfield website at www.fcps.edu/HayfieldSS .
This year, we have successfully transitioned our entire network of 1,200 computers to the fcps.edu domain, trained our teachers in the most recent child abuse reporting laws and Internet safety protocols, fully instituted the College Board SAT prep software into classroom lessons, initiated the use of Turning Point interactive software in many teacher classrooms, and successfully completed the Advanced Placement (AP) course audit for all of our Advanced Placement teachers. A major initiative for next year will be the implementation of ECart software designed to formatively (periodically) assess learning of SOL standard-based lessons through questions designed by both our teachers and teachers across FCPS.
I recently had an email inquiring about incorporation of character education at Hayfield. For our faculty, character education is an infused concept throughout many courses including Peer Helping, Peer Mediation, Leadership, JROTC and others (these courses are taught in both MS and HS). It is also the force behind Student Responsibilities and Rights meetings administrators have twice a year with students and remains a core theme in our Academic Honor Societies and athletic teams. Ideally, character education should be infused with daily activities and be reflected and modeled in how adults comport themselves with adolescents. For example, we have recently initiated a positive rewards program across the building for on-time behavior in classes.
The FY09 FCPS budget has been on the minds of many, and it has caused some changes in the way FCPS does business. The immediate effects on Hayfield will be slightly larger high school course and middle school elective class sizes; the halting of new course introductions due to the cost of initial textbook purchases; a likely 15 percent reduction in instructional material supplies (we had a 6 percent reduction this year); the slimming down of the high school summer school program and the elimination of the middle school summer school program. The latter was replaced with an invite-only, not open enrollment, intervention program with limited seat availability. There is no middle school summer school in which a student can take a failed course for make-up. Next year’s preparation of the FCPS FY10 budget looks more problematic, so please stay tuned to the main www.fcps.edu website this fall for FY10 budget information.
Once final exams have concluded, much more time will be available for summer reading. Here are five activities parents can employ to encourage teens to read:
A few of our teachers will be retiring this year: Yvonne Centala (HS English), Lynne Dubin (HS English), Patricia McClincey (MS Reading) and Rebecca Wilburn (Drama). Our sunset is their sunrise; best wishes to our retirees.
As we conclude this school year, we wish the best to our graduating seniors and take pride and reassurance in the hope and promise that they hold for our community.
Dr. Bill Oehrlein