The second term is one week old and I am pleased to report that the changeover was exceptionally smooth. Due to the hard work of Ms. McCarthy, who checked and re-checked course needs for each student, and Ms. Lynn, who navigated the intricacies of our new Infinite Campus data system, the vast majority of student schedules were complete and accurate. Several class sizes were reduced due to the addition of new sections, and nearly all students have Fitness and study time on their schedules this term. Thanks to our 8-course block schedule and commitment to balancing academic, wellness, and individual interests, NSH students are able to take these classes in addition to Advisories, Dual Enrollments, Internships, specialized online Michigan Virtual School courses and Independent Study courses. Small school size does not equate to limited options!
Speaking of Advisory, it is time for an update. Semester 1 focused on setting goals, learning about college and career options, reflecting on academic progress, and expressing gratitude to those who help us. For the second semester, we will shift our priority in the months of February and March to preparing for standardized testing. Students in grades 9-11 will be tested April 14-16, which is during the week we return from Spring Break. To serve as a balance for the serious work of test practice, Ms. Lynn has developed hands-on lessons based on the feedback from our students in a recent survey in which a majority of our students expressed the desire to learn about basic life skills. In response, last week they reviewed how to write a formal email and learned how to make a doctor’s appointment. Other topics include how to change the battery in a smoke detector, how to properly address an envelope, how to plunge a toilet, how to change a tire. We may also include sessions on etiquette and doing laundry, two topics that were extremely popular with previous NSH groups. Do the practical interests of our young adults surprise you? Whether or not they do, we know that independence is the primary goal of adolescence. These are signs your student is heading in the right direction!