BRANCHING OUT FOR MARCH 2018

March 1, 2018

Dear Students, Parents, and Friends of Theodore Roosevelt High School,

Throughout the country and in our building, students have been discussing and/or taking part in walkouts as demonstrations of peaceful protest for school violence.  No matter your opinion of student walkouts, we can probably all agree there have been far too many violent incidents in schools.  During the school day, if any Roosevelt students want to peacefully protest violence, we hope to guide them in creating an educational structure for doing so in order to maintain a safe environment for all students.

We are aware of two walkouts that have been initiated by outside organizations.  The first one, promoted by Women’s March organizers, is on March 14th from 10:00 to 10:17 to honor the 17 people killed in the February 14th shooting.  The other is on April 20th, in memory of the Columbine shootings.  Several students have already approached me about their potential participation in a local walkout, although they did not specify a date.  The immediate steps that we are taking includes an Open Forum meeting with our students, which was held on Wednesday, February 28th.  We will continue working with student leaders to identify the purpose and talking points of their walkout.  Having as much information as possible will enable us to provide appropriate supervision for the safety and security for students, a location for the walkout, and potential follow-up actionable steps for actual change.

We are very proud of our second and, hopefully, annual National Black History Month Living History Museum. This year it was coordinated by Government teachers, Ms. Nikki Marchmon-Boykin and Mrs. Ann Puhalla, and our Project Unity Coordinator, Ms. Tiarra Habeeb.  Over 28 students and 10 staff members participated in this meaningful event.

Recently we have heard from local universities that not having weighted grades will have a negative impact on some of our students who are hoping to receive extra financial support.  Because of this information, we will weight our Advanced Placement, College Credit Plus Courses, and Career and Technical Education courses with a Career-Technical Assurance Guides (CTAGS) or Bilateral Articulation Agreements will be on a 5 point scale.  It will start immediately for all of our students.  Transcripts will reflect those changes.  By the end of the year, we will review other courses that will be weighted on a 4.5 scale.  For example, we will look at the depth and rigor for all of our advanced courses. The plan is to weight these courses for the fall of 2018.  We appreciate all of the information we received from parents over the past few years on this topic.

Topics concerning the professional development on early-release Wednesdays for the month of February included a student stressor survey that 870 of our students completed.  Students responded that current causes of stress in their lives included:  grades, excessive homework, time management, procrastination and lack of sleep.  We will be looking at these stressors in greater detail with the help of Kent State University Counselor Education Professors, Dr. Jenny Cureton and Dr. Janice A. Byrd. On March 14th, our staff will welcome Dr. Neil Gupta, Director of Secondary Education at Worthington City Schools, to discuss Leading Through Design Thinking Principles for Success.  During the early-release time, the school has been open for students so they may catch up on homework, participate in tutoring, work on projects, and make up tests.

Listed below are forthcoming events for the month of March:

            March 6:         All-City Band Extravaganza

            March 7:         Kent Schools Choral Festival

            March 16:       End of the third grading period

            March 17:       Kent Area Chamber of Commerce and TRHS                                                      DECA Community Expo.

            March 21:      Registration deadline for Advanced Placement                                                 Exams

            March 23:      Report cards distributed

            March 26:      First day of Spring Break

Thank you for your continued support and dedication.

Respectfully,

Dennis Love