Welcome back from Thanksgiving Break! As this newsletter will cover both December and January, I should also say that I hope everyone has a relaxing and safe Winter Break as well. This is a very busy time of year, and this year it is especially so as we are gearing up for registration for two full classes of students. Before we get too far into this letter, I want to make sure I thank the SBOs, Cheerleaders, Class Officers, and Ms. Fulton for organizing a great Sprit Week. I’d also like to thank PTSA for being here each day giving out candy during lunch and for organizing a lunchtime yoga session during Spirit Week. With everyone’s combined efforts we had a successful Spirit Week with a lot of student participation. One of the culminating activities of the week was the food drive, and with the support of our great parents, the drive was a success and we were able to donate quite a bit of food to the Granite Education Foundation in conjunction with the Utah Food Bank.
There are a couple of things I would like to address in this letter. First, is that second quarter is historically the quarter where student grades are the lowest. It’s a tough quarter because Thanksgiving and Winter Breaks make the quarter feel disjointed. I encourage everyone to use Parent Portal to check on their student’s grades and to talk to your student about their classes and assessments. December is usually the month where students’ work gets away from them because there are so many distractions both in and out of school due to the holidays. We will do our best to minimize distractions at school, but students need to make sure they maintain their focus on academics and their grades as well. If you or your student has questions about a class, please make sure to ask the teacher sooner rather than later. If you wait until we get back in January, there will be a major time-crunch trying to get things resolved.
Secondly, I’d like to give a brief update on reconfiguration plans. The bulk of what we have been working on thus far deals with getting registration cards ready for January. This entails figuring out what classes we will have for each of the grade levels. While we are very familiar with the class options for 7th and 8th Grades, that is not the case for 6th Grade. We have been taking time to talk to Churchill, Wasatch, and Bonneville to see what classes they are offering their 6th Graders, and we have be talking to our elective departments to see what classes they would like to offer and how the 6th Grade options will fit into the sequence of classes that will be offered to the 7th and 8th Grades. We have taken all this gathered information and are working on a rough draft of the registration card. I am excited by what we are putting together for our incoming 6th Graders, and we plan on visiting the elementary schools in January to talk to the kids about Olympus Jr., registration, and next year.
Along with looking at our classes and planning for our new students, we have also been working with faculty for next year. The district’s Human Resource Department came and met with Olympus Jr.’s faculty about the possibilities for our 9th Grade teachers moving to the high school, and, in a separate meeting, they met with our feeder elementary teachers about possibly moving to our school. Along with this general meeting, I have been to each of the feeder elementary schools and have met with the 6th Grade teachers. I have done classroom observations on a few of them already, and I will visit the rest this month. We are just about into the official window of time established by the district for personnel transfers.
We are doing a lot of planning and getting ready for our big changes for next year; however, I feel that it’s important to let you all know that, for me, and our faculty/staff at Olympus Jr., no year is more important than the one we are in the middle of right now. Just as I encouraged you to help your student keep focus on their schoolwork, we will make sure our focus is on this year and helping our students learn and be successful even as we plan for a big transition in the background. We want to make sure this year is a great year at Olympus Jr. High.
Josh LeRoy, Principal