Wow, two weeks down already! We are pretty much settled in….I almost said “for the winter” and then bit my tongue. What in the world? Flashbacks of last year have not cleared my memory banks.
What’s happening? Well, first of all, we’ve been challenged. By whom? By Hibbing High School. The students will find out more about this next week but we REALLY need the help of you parents as well. You’re up for a little friendly competition, aren’t you? Just for the bragging rights? Of course you are. I’ll be sending you an email next week with a code in which we would like you to text once a day. It’s a Don’t Text and Drive campaign and we want to win. (And of course, you don’t text and drive, do you?) We play Hibbing in football the final night of the competition and the winner will be announced. Stay tuned on how you can help. This has no cost to you, no paperwork, and no bake sale for you to do. You can sit in your favorite arm-chair and just text. If only everything in life were that easy.
Next, we have 2 big events for families on October 4th: First, there is a Blue and White Fun Run,Walk, or Crawl for all ages, scheduled for an 8 a.m. registration at Olcott Park. What a beautiful time of the year for this event! Also on the same day, there is another event at the Miners Memorial Building sponsored by Mind Trekkers. You and all of your kids are invited there to see people walk on water, make ice cream in 60 seconds, see robots, see a hovercraft and experience many other science phenomenas. This event is put on by the Michigan Tech University and is an amazing show that travels around the United States. Come and see what that’s all about. All the fun starts at 9 a.m. and goes until 4 p.m. It’s open to the public. It’s free. (And there’s food there!)
Did you know that we are making our building even more secure? We are installing devices that can instantly shut our whole building down, call 911, and make an emergency announcement –all at the press of a button? Research says that the more hurdles you put in front of an intruder, the safer your building will be. We just added one more hurdle. Why am I telling you this? I want people to know that we are well-protected. I want the bad people to go somewhere else. And for sure, I want the bad people to go away mad.
Did you know that we are moving our high school conferences to October 7 and 8? Here’s the reason: We used to do conferences at the end of the quarter. Grades were in. Kids had no chance to “save” their grade or turn it around. By moving the conference dates up, maybe parents will be the motivating factor in helping kids get back on track. Mark your calendars. More info will be sent home to you soon.
Have you wondered why your children don’t answer their phones? I don’t get it either. Did you know there is an app out there to encourage your child to answer your calls or texts on the phone you bought for them, gave them, and continue to pay the bill on? It’s called “Ignore No More.” It’s only on Android phones currently–sorry iPhone users. If your child doesn’t answer your call, it gives the parent the power to shut down the phone except for emergency calls. Tempting, isn’t it? (By the way, it was created by an angry mom. Heaven help us.)
All in all it’s been a great start to the year. Your kids are nice kids. They are respectful. They are kind. They reflect what you have taught them over the years. Keep encouraging them to do the very best they can, every day. We, too, will encourage them to do the best that they can–every day. It’s an honor and a privilege to be the Principal of Virginia High School.
Have a great weekend. Get out and enjoy what’s left of summer……hurry!
Good Afternoon!! How are you? Are you basking in your freedom or has your life just gotten busier due to all the school activities? Wherever you are at, just sit back for a few moments and collect your wits.
For those of you who are new to my weekly article, I use this venue to inform you of things you may not know or of things you may need to know. It’s usually a repeat of what we told your kids but somehow, it never makes it home to you.
First of all, I’d like to encourage all of you who have not turned in your “beginning of school paperwork” to get that turned in as soon as you can. It is important information to us. Thanks for that.
Secondly, Did you know that we publish the daily bulletin on our website? You can find it here: http://www.vmps.org/vhs-
If you are the parent of a PSEO student, checking the daily bulletin is vital to staying informed. We don’t want parents or your PSEO kids to miss any events or deadlines. This daily bulletin is sent to each and every one of your kids as well– so really, they should always be “in the know” as well.
This particular message pertains to 7th grade parents: Many of you are calling the high school office and saying, “Can’t you just give my son/daughter this message?” Well, in all honesty, we can’t. There are 700 students and 3 part-time secretaries. Those kids could possibly be in 7 different places at any given time–not like in elementary school when they are all in one spot. Please, please, please plan ahead for changes in who is picking your kids up or dropping them off. That being said, in a real emergency, we will find your child. Kids can check their phones during their lunch hour time as well–just a thought.
Did you know that picture day is Friday, September 12? Mark that down….
Did you know that if your child is gone from school, you MUST call us? We made it easy. You can call any time you want prior to the next school day—-and leave us a message. Just call 749-5437, EXT 8025. Be sure to leave your child’s name and tell us why they were gone. Simple.
What’s new this year? Well, we have an updated Bullying Law from the state. We are studying it and a presentation will be given to all of our students. We will train all staff from bus drivers to custodians to teachers–virtually anyone who has contact with children. From what I have read, VHS is doing what we are supposed to be doing. Our guarantee to you is that we will address every issue (that we know about) and get back to you in a timely fashion.
Did you know that parents and teachers are the Bosses of the iPads? The students have iPads and they use iPads, but I’m telling you that when they come home and those iPads are in your house, you have the con. You have the power to say, “Put it away.” Or “The iPad will be charging in the kitchen–not your bedroom.” You can say, “No iPad tonight–it’s a family night.” We will have the same type of rules here.
OK….one final thought…..Imagine living in a house with 700 children, 50+ teachers who have to be like their parents, and then imagine them all having to get along every day for 180 days. Do you think it’s even possible? We live in the house I just described to you and believe it or not, we all get along for the most part. We learn to share……we learn to tolerate others……we learn to make the best of situations…..and we learn more than math, English, and science. We learn about life and what it takes to be successful. We learn that none of us are perfect.
Remember that high school is a very small part of your children’s lives. Try to keep it all in perspective–try to always look ahead at the big picture.
Have a great weekend!!
I want to send a “Welcome Back” to you and your kids! I know….it’s shocking that the summer is nearly over. I see those little smiles on your faces when you stop in at school. Sometimes I wonder who’s more excited when school starts! I tease, of course.
I will continue with my “Did You Know?” articles this year because people found them useful. That was my goal so I will do my best to keep you in the loop of school information. “Pick and Choose” what pertains to you.
First of all, I want to invite all of you–Parents and Students–to the OPEN HOUSE, scheduled for Thursday, August 28th. This is new this year. We are opening the doors at 8 and are gently closing them at 3:00. The teachers will be out for lunch from 12:30 to 1:00 in order to allow you to come in on your lunch time. We have 10 new teachers in the high school so please come and meet them, welcome them, and just stop in to say hi. Again, all are welcome.
One thing though…..we are not printing any class schedules for anyone except the 7th graders on the Open House day. Please take a screenshot of your schedule and put it on your phone so you know where to look for your classes. Printed class schedules (for everyone) will be handed out on the first day of school.
Students will be bringing home a fair amount of paperwork for you to fill out. I know….I hear you….but you guys keep moving around and changing your phone numbers. We are gathering information from over 700 families. If possible, please send that back as soon as you can. We enter that information into our system so that we have quick access to your contact information. When we work with kids, we never know when an emergency might arise. Thanks in advance.
Did you know that I had all the classes in place at the end of the school year –with perfectly even class sizes, and now students are making changes? We try to accommodate this but there does come a point where we just can’t overload a teacher. Our main goal is to get the classes a student needs. I also tell parents at this point, that everyone–well, not everyone–but a lot of parents want their kids to have a 7th hour study hall? I can’t do that either for obvious reasons. Trust me, the kids will learn how to work that study hall to their advantage… and I don’t think I have had a student fail due to not having a 7th hour study hall.
Did you know that we have worked out a process in which your students–unless they are new to the district this year–will receive their iPads the first day of school? iPads are key to our students. They are loaded with textbooks, email access, the Schoology system, and much more. The sooner they have those iPads, the sooner they get rolling in class. If you are new to the district, our goal is to get your kids outfitted during the first week of school. It just depends on how many new students we have to set up. Just a heads up on that item.
Did you know that we don’t allow backpacks to be carried from class to class? We don’t have the classroom capacity to hold them. They are tripping hazards in the case of an emergency. Now…..in an effort to get around that policy, we have seen “skinny backpacks”, very large purses (the size you would put on a small pack animal), and “man bags.” We’re on to this, you know. We’re asking you to leave the bags, packs, and oversized purses in your lockers. Please.
Remember the dress code–and that includes no hats. Our students are the most respectful students. We watch as they come in–and as soon as they enter our doors, the young men remove their hats. It is a sign of respect. If we do see students with hats on in our building, it is a signal to us that these students are not our students. We check it out. I want to see who is under that hat so the “no hat” rule will remain. We get many favorable comments on our students about how respectful they are in our school. That is a direct reflection on parents.
Thank you for sending us your best. We will take good care of them and only call you if we need you. Go put your feet up now and have that cup of coffee all by yourself. We’ll take it from here…..
Please click here for the STUDENT/PARENT 2014-15 HANDBOOK
Click here for the REGISTRATION BOOKLET FOR GRADES 9-12. This booklet contains course descriptions as well as information on graduation requirements, concurrent enrollment, and PSEO information:
Click here for the REGISTRATION BOOKLET FOR GRADES 7-8:
Click here for the VIRGINIA PUBLIC SCHOOLS’ STUDENT INTERNET POLICY:
Click here for the STUDENT TECHNOLOGY USE AGREEMENT FORM:
Click here for the 2014-15 ISD 706 iPad POLICY:
There will will be a 7th Grade Orientation on the evening of August 27th, at 6:00 p.m. in Goodman Auditorium. Rules and information will be shared with both students and parents. This presentation will be done by the Dean of Students, Mr. Vukmanich.
There will be an OPEN HOUSE for ALL PARENTS AND STUDENTS on Thursday, August 28th, from 8:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and again from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Please stop in and meet and greet your teachers during those times. There is no set schedule and everyone is free to come and go at their own pace.
As for school supplies, your best plan would be to wait until after the first day of school. If teachers require something specific, students will find out those needs on the first day. Students should have at least one notebook and something to write with for the first day.
Keep in mind that we don’t allow backpacks to be carried from class to class. Backpacks must be stored in lockers during the school day.
If you are a new student to the district, please come in and get registered for classes as soon as possible. The high school office is open from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. every day except Fridays.
The high school office will have the following summer office hours:
JUNE: Open June 2-19 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
JULY: Open July 1, 7, 8, and 15 8:00 a.m. until 12 noon
AUGUST: Open August 4-28 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Mesabi Range College will administer Accuplacer retests beginning now throughout the summer on Tuesdays at 1:00 p.m. on the Eveleth Campus and Wednesdays at 11:00 a.m. on the Virginia campus. If you aren’t sure if you qualify for a retest before July 1, please contact Michelle Maczuga at Mesabi Range College : 218-744-7524.
Did you know that we are missing around 180 library books? I know they are out there under those beds, in the car, or at Grandma’s but could you take a quick look around and get those back to school ASAP? THANKS! (I’m actually glad there are that many books being checked out but as libraries work, we need them back for the next guy.)
Did you know that we are working on an easier way for you to give us “beginning of the school information?” We know those information cards are a pain…but you guys keep moving around and changing your phone numbers which makes it hard to keep track of all of you. You know you moved….but you forget to tell us so we try to remind you at the beginning of each year. What’s new you ask? Well, we are going to print off the info we have and send it home (with your child). If there are changes, then just cross out the old and put the new info in. If there are no changes, then you just simply put “NO CHANGES” –send it back to school and you are done.
Did you know that your email addresses are VERY important to us? We do more communicating with the email than with the US Postal service. Please make sure we have your correct address.
Did you know that the Master Schedule is done? The schedule is done but you can’t view it in the portal yet. Why? Because we can’t have two school years active and open at the same time. We have to close the one we are in and then open the next year when we finalize all reports necessary for 2013-14 school year. That being said, we can print schedules for kids and we will do that and hand them out next week.
Did you know that schedule changes can be made during the first week of June? and then again the 1st of August until school starts? I will have staff here at those times to help with changes that need to be made. If your child needs to change a class, there is a document they must fill out and then they just drop it off. We will make the changes some time after that.
Did you know everyone wants a 7th hour study hall? It’s pretty true. Of course we can’t change all the schedules so kids get a 7th hour study hall. The same goes for PE–we can’t put all the PE classes during 7th hour so please don’t ask for that either. We typically change schedules only for kids who don’t have the classes they signed up for.
Did you know that if kids wear shorts, they should have legs on them? We need to see that they really have shorts on and not wonder. We can do this….we just have a few more days. Don’t let them escape from the house with those tiny little shorts…..OK you get my drift.
And finally….I just attended my youngest daughter’s graduation from nursing school in North Carolina. She is now an RN and I’m very proud. She said something to me that I will never forget…..She said, “Thanks for putting me first, Mom. I know you are very busy at this time of year. It meant a lot to me to have you here.” Parents–Your kids feel the same way about you. Every time you put your kids first….instead of your job or something else that seems more important than it really might be–you send a message. What message did you send them today?
Take care…..remember that Graduation is May 30th at 7:00 p.m. in Goodman Auditorium. I keep it under an hour and I keep it a very distinguished ceremony. It’s traditional in all aspects.
Enjoy the long weekend and remember those people who have served our country. They did it all for you.
It’s May. Breathe…..we’ll all make it.
Did you know that if your child is considering taking a PSEO or a Concurrent Enrollment class (a college credit class taught in the high school by high school teachers), he or she must take the Accuplacer test? PSEO kids should take the test at the college but concurrent kids can take it with us. In fact, we are offering the test May 5, 6, and 7 right here at the high school.
Did you know that there is an Accuplacer study guide with sample questions at http://accuplacer.
Did you know that the 8th and 10 grade students will be taking their Science MCA test during their regular class times on May 13 and 14? Again parents— feed them well, send them to bed early and encourage them to do their best. Our students have consistently done well on this particular test.
Did you know that we have an Engineering Club? It’s an after school club that for the past few years has competed in a Solar Boat Competition held in the Cities. You will not believe your eyes when you see what these kids have done! Take a look at their boats on the student created website for the project:activities.vmps.org/vec/ “Shop Class” is not what it used to be.
Did you know that this club would not be possible without the generous donations from the community, the school, ALI, the volunteer work of Mr. Foster, and many other donations from local businesses? Thank you all…….you are making a difference in kids’ lives.
Did you know that we also have a club at school that targets the prevention of bullying? It’s called the Stand for the Silent Club? They presented to the elementary students today. They are teaching the kids how bullying feels and how to stand up to bullies. This club is also led by a volunteer advisor–Mrs. Bristol. Thank you to her and all the kids.
Tech Tip of the Week: There is an app for your iPhone or iPad called “Magnifying Glass with Light” found in the App store. I have no idea how it magnifies things with your phone but it does. It comes in handy when you need to see that fine print. OH….and it’s FREE.
And finally, I feel we all have much to be thankful for. We have a great school, great teachers, great kids and parents. We are supported by our community. I continue to see good things and to just share a little snapshot of “good” with you——-I was traveling with my husband last Friday night and we stopped at the McDonald’s in Aitkin. I know, it was a really romantic spot…..anyway….we no sooner walked in the door of McDonald’s and I heard, “Mrs. Hakly! Mrs. Hakly!” I found myself at the end of the line of the Virginia Boys Tennis Team…….long story short…..as I was sitting and eating my dollar chicken sandwich, the Manager of McDonald’s came out and spoke with me about “how well behaved our kids were” and “how amazed she was at how well-mannered and tidy our kids were.” I was very proud and I could not stop smiling. I expected nothing less from them. I attribute that behavior to my coaches and to my parents. You all have done a great job. Tell your kids you are proud of them–they did good things. People noticed.
Have a great weekend!
Today’s information is a smattering of announcements and points of interest. I want to remind all of you to check our daily bulletin, found on the high school website, for lots more detail of the highlights found here. http://www.vmps.org/vhs-
Did you know that students who take PSEO classes have some paperwork to fill out? Kids just can’t show up at the college the first day of college classes and go to class. Please make sure this is done before your child leaves school this year. The paperwork requires signatures and our offices close shortly after school is out. Did you know that college classes begin a couple of weeks before the high school year starts?
Did you know we added 2 more semester college English classes for next year? We added College Writing I & College Writing II and if students have the proper GPA and pass the Accuplacer test, they can sign up for these classes. This adds another 8 college credits for students to attain right here in high school.
Did you know that the drug dog visited us and did not find one single thing?
Have you heard about Ask.fm? It’s another website and/or app that allows anyone to post anonymously and when people can do that, they get brave and say things that bully and hurt other people. We are dealing with situations resulting from posts on that site as well as other such sites. My best advice is this: Delete
And speaking of things that hurt people, I want to talk to you about the power of “words.” Words are some of the most powerful weapons in the world. The wounds from words last a lifetime- not 5 minutes like a punch in the arm. Think back……I’m sure you can vividly recall words that were spoken to you in anger or in hatred–words that you have never forgotten. That’s what I’m talking about. Memories of those words have lasted your whole life. Think how powerful those words were. On the flip side, I’m sure you remember the nicest thing a person ever said to you as well. Say something nice to someone–something from the heart–and you too will feel their happiness.
Add to your calendar: Academic and Activity Awards Assembly (say that 3 times real fast!) - May 23rd, in Goodman Auditorium, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. They do it all for you so come and see all of their accomplishments. It’s important to them.
Have a great weekend!!