I cannot wait to get the 2019-2020 school year off to a strong start. The first days of school are always exciting as students and teachers catch-up on all the fun experiences from the summer. These relationships are what make me so proud to be part of our school and to be an Ada Bulldog!
We also have some exciting changes and additions in the upcoming school year. We have replaced our French program with an American Sign Language course sequence. The program has already demonstrated a strong student interest with over 50 students signing up for ASL I. In future years, we will add additional courses all the way up to ASL 4, which we hope to offer as a College Credit Plus Course. This additional course will continue to build on our robust CCP program through which students earned over 500 credits last year.
The high school will also offer a new STEM course in Advanced Robotics. Mr. Hunt built this new course over the summer, which will also serve as an opportunity for our students to compete in local and state Vex Robotics competitions.
We are excited to add four new teachers to our staff this year. Mrs. Garber will teach the aforementioned ASL courses. She brings a wealth of experience to the position including courses taught at the college level and in the deaf community. Mr. Atkinson will be our new Director of Bands. He is also an experienced director who has exciting new ideas to bring to both our middle and high school programs. Ms. Hesse will serve as our new high school math teacher for Algebra II and Trigonometry/Pre-Calculus. Ms. Hesse brings a strong foundation in both courses and passion for curriculum and instruction from her teaching experience at Lima Senior High School.
Mr. Perkins will serve as our new Athletic Director while continuing to teach Statistics as well as coordinating our Success Center. Mr. Perkins has already brought new and exciting ideas to our athletic department with his institution of the Ada Athletic Advisory Council and new sponsorship signage for our local businesses. Finally, Mrs. Alexander will be our new sixth grade English Language Arts teacher. Her prior teaching experience and passionate, positive attitude will be a huge asset for our middle school in 2019-2020 and beyond.
Another important change this year will be in regards to our cell phone policy. Based on multiple sources of information and research, both the middle and high school will be taking steps to help students disconnect and engage in class. Like the elementary, middle school students (grades 6-8) will not be allowed to access their cell phones during the school day. We understand the importance for parents to be able to contact their students regarding their arrival to school and for after school activities. To that end, students may bring their devices and keep them in their lockers during the day. We will also work to educate our middle school students through our advisory program on digital citizenship and safety. At the beginning of the second semester, 8th grade students will have the opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge gained in these areas. If the student passes this assessment, he or she will be able to increase their cell phone privileges to a high school level for the remainder of the eight grade.
For high school, each classroom will have a pocket chart hanging on the wall. Each student will be required to place their cell phone in a pocket at the beginning of the period. Students will retrieve their device before leaving the room. Since we have a chromebook cart in every classroom, this change will remove the constant temptation for students and enable them to focus on academic engagement without impacting appropriate technology integration. I believe all of these additions and changes will help us continue to “aspire to excel in all areas of the school experience.” On behalf of myself and our staff, thank you for your support and the high value you place on the school experience!
Middle and High School Principal
“Aspiring to excel in all areas of the school experience.”