State Guidance Arrives

State Guidance Arrives

Today Governor Whitmer announced Executive Order No.2020-35, which provides us with long-awaited guidance about what education in Michigan will look like in the coming months. In this email message, I will summarize the items that are of highest interest to our families. First, however, I would like to share the thesis:

To mitigate the spread of COVID-19, protect the health and safety of this state and its residents, and ensure the ongoing encouragement of education enshrined in this state’s constitution, it is reasonable and necessary to temporarily suspend in-person instruction of K-12 students and provide limited and temporary relief from certain restrictions and requirements so that K-12 education may continue by the best alternative means possible.”

In short, while school buildings will be closed and in-person instruction cannot take place, education will continue in compliance with the Michigan Constitution, which states that “schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged.”

Continuity of Learning and COVID-19 Response Plan

All schools that wish to receive full funding by the State will develop a Continuity of Learning and COVID-19 Response Plan. The template will be made available to schools on April 3 and can be submitted for review (in our case, review will be by our authorizing body Eastern Michigan University) as early as April 8. Once approved, the Plan must begin no later than April 28. Within guidelines, schools are allowed to be very flexible in the way instruction is delivered. For New School High, this will be the same online method our students have been using since March 16. Tomorrow, the teachers and I will begin gathering what we need to submit our plan, which I expect to submit by April 8.

Earning Credit

Decisions regarding the awarding of credit, issuance of grades, and the use of pass/fail designations will be made at the district level by districts with due recognition of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This means that different districts will have different policies regarding the way students earn credit or are graded, just as they have been before the pandemic. It is important to note that the State has no intention of removing local control when it comes to awarding credit or determining grades.

Seniors and Graduation

A district shall implement a process to issue grades to pupils in grade 12, award credits needed for graduation, provide for completion of the Michigan Merit Curriculum, issue diplomas to students in grade 12, and reflect continued learning by pupils in grade 12 pursuant to this order.

The Order lists one or more of the following options:

1. Award credits and grades based on coursework through March 11, 2020. If a student is not passing at this date, the school will provide an opportunity to the extent feasible to demonstrate learning and receive credit.

2. Provide an optional final exam or other culminating activity to test understanding.

3. Implement a process to graduate using a prior learning assessment, portfolio, or resume.

4. Offer an interdisciplinary culminating activity that encompasses essential standards missed by pupils due to the closing of school.

Rest assured, our seniors will not be denied their Graduation. Our beautiful ceremony will take place, even if we do not know the date at this time.

Updates

In the coming days, our staff will be discussing the issues relating to grades and credits for New School High students. These decisions will be made in compliance with the Governor’s order and with the best interests of our students’ learning as the highest priority.  I will share the details as soon as they are available.

The Bottom Line

The most important message for our students and for their families is to continue with their education online. Check email and Google Classroom every day. Reach out to teachers with questions and ideas. Submit your assignments. Keep reading. “Schools closed for the year” does NOT mean learning is cancelled. Instruction has taken a different form, but learning will continue.

If there is anything you or your student needs – information, encouragement, or just a hello – I invite you to reach out to me or to any member of our staff. We are here to help!

-Cynthia

Patience in a Time of Change

Patience in a Time of Change

Since the last edition of the Headlines, there has been increased discussion about how schools provide instruction during the closures. Depending on their capabilities, districts are taking different approaches, which range from requiring students to continue with their daily lessons online, to providing families with general resources offered as optional enrichment activities only. Since New School High has one-to-one technology,

a Google Classroom for every course, the necessary skills for both teachers and students to work online, as well as access to the Internet and the support services all students need to be successful, we have chosen to transition our instruction to an online format. 

Last Friday, the Michigan Department of Education and the Office of the Governor communicated to the public what appeared to be different messages on the topic of how online instruction could be counted. The State Superintendent announced that online learning would not be counted towards required hours of instruction. In her response later that evening, the Governor wrote:

“Earlier today the Michigan Department of Education issued a memo regarding Instructional Time During School Closure. I know it caused a lot of confusion and panic among schools, teachers, students, and families. I wanted to provide some clarification from the perspective of the Governor’s Office.

“The memo does not mean that school work done during the mandatory school closure won’t ‘count’ toward grades, credits, or graduation. Each district should determine what services and supports they are able to provide during this unprecedented crisis. Many are focusing on meeting basic needs and are working around the clock to provide breakfast and lunch for hungry students. Other districts have the ability to provide more learning support as a result of one-to-one technology initiatives. I am in awe of the work that school employees are doing to support their kids and I applaud their efforts.

“As you know, the situation has changed rapidly over the course of the past ten days. We do not know what the future will hold, but we are absolutely committed to ensuring the needs of our students, parents, and families are met as we navigate these uncharted waters. I will be working in the coming days to ensure our seniors graduate and that no child is held back as a result of our ability to provide face-to-face instruction during the COVID-19 school closure.

“To teachers, administrators, and support staff – I thank you for stepping up and helping your students and families.”

We understand that there are many decisions that must be made on the State level in the coming days. I encourage you to let your representatives in the legislature and Governor Whitmer know how you feel about instruction during the school closures and the implications for making up this time. In the meantime, New School High remains committed to providing your children with the education they deserve. We encourage our students to always make the choice to learn, whether it takes place face-to-face at the school building or at home.

-Cynthia

Stay Safe, Keep Learning

Stay Safe, Keep Learning

I hope this finds you and your family well. In these trying times we are all doing our best to process the profound disruptions that have taken place in our lives. Fortunately, one thing that is within our control is our ability to maintain some basic routines. Children in particular are reassured by consistency. Hopefully, your student’s regular attention to the online instruction provided by our teachers will give shape to the days ahead; staying connected to school and friends will keep their spirits up, too.

For NSH students, learning will continue in an online format throughout the school closure. This may cause some confusion for families if siblings, relatives, or neighbors attend other schools that are offering enhanced or supplemental learning options only. Why is there a difference among schools? Before a school district makes online learning a full substitute for instructional delivery, the Michigan Dept. of Education requires them to consider the following questions:

1. Do all students have access to devices and Internet connections at home?

To prepare for possible school closings, we polled our students on these questions. All students reported having access to the Internet. Students in homes without an adequate number of devices were provided a chromebook, charger, and carrying case. Most school districts do not have enough devices to ensure that every student has access and in many places there is not reliable Internet access. While districts can provide individual hot spots to families, this does not help if the student does not have access to a device.

2. Can the school fully support all learners, including those with special needs?

There is no gap in IEP accommodations while the students work at home.  Ms. Janowski is working closely with her students to support them just as she does every day at school. Many schools cannot meet this requirement for online learning due to their size or other situation that is specific to the school.

3. Have educators been trained in how to deliver instruction online?

All NSH teachers are required to have a Google Classroom for each course they teach. Throughout the year they continuously share their expertise with each other and support colleagues to improve their online teaching and learning practice. Not all schools require their teachers to maintain an online component for every class, as we do. Some schools are working to put this into place now, but it will take time before online learning can be fully operational for them.

4. Have students had enough prior exposure to blended or online learning to be successful?

In addition to using Google Classroom in their courses, every NSH student is required to successfully complete the Computers class. One of the state standards addressed in this course requires that every student successfully experience online learning. At NSH, students complete an online program they are interested in meet this standard. Additionally, a number of our students take online courses through Michigan Virtual School. It should be noted that many of our surrounding schools do not require a separate computers course; they opt to include technology skills in other course offerings. It is our belief that unless the state technology standards are explicitly taught in a course specifically dedicated to technology skills, we cannot be assured that every student has the skills they need to be successful in the 21st century.

Because New School High has been able to transition seamlessly from in-person to online teaching and learning, your student can continue with the comprehensive and rigorous education your family expects and deserves. Our teachers have worked hard to ensure that your student will not miss even one day of meaningful instruction. I am proud and grateful to be a part of this exemplary group of professionals.

Online Learning

Through Google Classroom, instruction has continued at NSH without interruption. 

Each day, students should access the assignments and instructional materials that are posted for every class and submit their work. A nature walk assignment in Earth and Space Science and video workouts for PE classes are just two examples of how our teachers are working hard to make sure our students are keeping up. (Check our Facebook page for photos!) A listing of staff emails can be found at the end of this newsletter for those with questions. Ms. Janowski will be in regular contact with her students to provide them with support as needed.

Online learning offers flexibility in terms of when and for how long a student works on an assignment. At the same time, discipline to complete assignments is even more important when the school, teacher, and classmates are “out of sight.” To help students stay on track, we are asking that they record their activities on the tracking sheet that can be found on the Advisory Google Classroom. The code to join this classroom is 3pw3qmx. Students will get an Advisory grade on Tuesday and Thursday for filling it out. Ms. Lynn is available via email for any support students may need on this. 

Office Hours

This week, several families of students who were absent on Friday came by the school to sign out chromebooks, chargers, and cases for use at home. At this time, we believe all NSH students have either school-issued or personal devices as well as Internet services that allow them to connect to their school accounts and Google Classrooms; therefore, beginning Thursday, March 19, office hours will be suspended for the duration of the school closures. Moving forward, please email me if you need assistance with chromebooks, transcripts, work permits, etc.

Prevention Reminder

 The best prevention for viruses, such as influenza, the common cold or COVID-19 is to: 

  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for 20 seconds. If not available, use hand sanitizer.   
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.   
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or upper sleeve when coughing or sneezing.   
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick.   
  • If you are sick, stay home, and avoid contact with others. 

I will continue to provide email updates on school-related topics as they unfold. As always, do not hesitate to contact the office or email with any questions or suggestions you may have. Those with questions about COVID-19 are advised to call the Information Line: 734-287-7870 or go to www.WayneCounty.com or https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html 

-Cynthia

Going Forward

Going Forward

It’s amazing how quickly things can change. Late Thursday evening, Governor Whitmer announced that all Michigan schools would be closed from March 16 through April 6. Just 16 hours later we were saying good-bye to our students for the next 30 days. 

Because we had developed an emergency plan and had been preparing for the possibility of school being closed, Friday was calm and orderly. At Morning Meeting, I shared information about the closing and answered student questions. Throughout the day, the teachers wrapped up instruction in their courses, explained how online learning in each of their classes would be handled, and answered last minute questions about using Google Classroom. Ms. Meakin and Ms. Lynn signed out chromebooks, chargers, and chromebook cases to students who needed them. Several parents stopped by to offer their help or to drop off checks to cover chromebook insurance. It was truly a team effort and I would like to thank each of you for contributing to the smooth closing of school. Special thanks goes out to our students, who demonstrated positive spirits and calm, cooperative attitudes throughout the day.

Moving forward, our goal is to minimize the effects of our students missing four full weeks of their education. Accordingly, our focus will be on online learning for the next three weeks. (The week of spring break will be exempt.) 

The NSH staff believes that remote learning is an excellent strategy to use when in-person instruction is not possible. It is not, however, a replacement for face-to face education and there is no expectation that students will be engaged in learning for the same amount of time they would be if they were in school each day. Your child’s schedule will certainly look very different for the next few weeks. Depending on family circumstances, caring for younger siblings and helping at home may become important priorities. It is our hope, however, that your child’s learning will continue despite the closing of school.

Every student who requested a chromebook to use at home has been provided one. If your student was not in school on Friday and you wish to sign out a chromebook and charger, please email me to arrange pick up at school. Through Google Classroom, students can access instructional materials and assignments and submit work for all their classes. Students with questions should email their teachers, as they will be checking their school accounts daily. (A listing of staff emails can be found at the end of this newsletter.) Ms. Janowski will be in regular contact with her students to provide them with support as needed.

To record their activities, students will find a tracking sheet on the Google Classroom Advisory page on Monday. The code is 3pw3qmx. They will get an Advisory grade on Tuesday and Thursday for filling it out. Ms. Lynn is available via email for any support students may need on this.

Students with Michigan Virtual School courses should continue these as usual; MVS timelines are not affected by school closures. Those who are dual-enrolled or have internships are subject to the closure policies of the universities offering their classes or the workplace to which they are assigned. Please contact your college or workplace for more information.
I will be providing email updates on school-related topics as they unfold. As always, do not hesitate to contact the office or email with any questions or suggestions you may have. Those with questions about COVID-19 are advised to call the Information Line: 734-287-7870 or go to www.WayneCounty.com or https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

Emergency Response Plans

Emergency Response Plans

Surely the most important issue for schools is the COVID-19 emergency. Along with the other school leaders of our state, throughout the day I am receiving updates from the Governor’s Office, the Michigan Department of Education, Wayne RESA, Wayne County Health Department, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and other government agencies that are working together to address the situation. 

EMERGENCY PLAN

In the March 1 Headlines, I stated that our administrative team would be creating and implementing an emergency response plan immediately. While the plan will continue to evolve as events unfold, here is a summary of our activities over the last two weeks:

March 1 – Initial communication informing families via email newsletter Headlines for Parents of the school’s response to current concerns about the COVID-19 virus. Included were recommendations of ways to avoid illness. 

March 2 — Students were instructed on how to prevent illness at Morning Meeting: 

  • Do not come to school with a temperature of 100.4 or higher.
  • Use a tissue to blow your nose, then dispose in a trash receptacle.
  • Sneeze or cough into the crook of your arm, not into open space or into your hands.
  • Wash hands frequently: after using the restroom, before and after eating, touching public surfaces.
  • Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, then rinse and dry thoroughly.
  • Use hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available.
  • Use disinfectant wipes to sanitize computers, tabletops, and furniture regularly. Keep surfaces clear of tissues, napkins, and food.

March 3 – Teachers were informed at the weekly staff meeting about the need for an emergency plan and asked for input.

March 4 – Administration drafted the school emergency plan. 

March 5 — Fact sheets and reminders were posted throughout the school to promote hand washing and use of sanitizer.

March 9 – Emergency plan was presented at the Special Meeting of the Board of Directors for their review and input.

March 10 – Administration met with Risen Christ Lutheran Church leadership to develop a communication plan in the event a case of COVID-19 is confirmed in the church or school communities, or among those who rent the church facility. 

March 11 – Letter drafted to send home with instructions in the event of a school closing.

March 12 – Classroom surfaces were disinfected. School Leader attended an informational meeting at Wayne RESA to have questions answered and provide feedback to the Governor on the needs of our schools. Students were polled on whether they have access to a laptop computer and Internet service at home and teachers confirmed that their Google Classrooms are operational in the event of a school closing. Documents were created for students to track learning and for teachers to track instruction for online learning in the event of school closing.  Families were updated on the emergency plan via Headlines for Parents.

PROCEDURES (Guidance provided by Wayne RESA, March 12)

1. If a person with confirmed COVID-19 virus has been identified as having been in contact with any members of the school community, the Department of Health will contact the school administration. 

2. NSH families will be notified via emailed Headlines for Parents and Remind.          

3. School will be suspended the following day to allow school administration to work with the Department of Health to determine the proper response.

4. NSH families will be notified via emailed Headlines for Parents and Remind of next steps.

5. Google Classroom will be used to continue instruction if/when school is closed. Students will be required to document their activities/time on schoolwork while at home. 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Schools are not in a position to diagnosis illness. Those who are ill are advised to see their doctor. As a courtesy, please do not go to the doctor’s office before calling first. If a test is given and COVID-19 is confirmed, the school will be notified by the health department. In accordance with HIPPA requirements, persons with the illness will not be identified in any way.

Persons returning from international travel are officially screened upon re-entry. The health department will notify the school if disease is confirmed in a traveller.  

In confirmed cases, the health department will follow-up with the school and all those the person has had contact with.

Some local districts have cancelled school for 1-2 days to allow staff to plan for online learning in the event of an extended closure. Since all New School High classes have a Google Classroom and we have one-to-one Chromebook technology for our students, we are already prepared for this possibility. 

NOTE: We are requesting that all our families pay the $25 chromebook insurance fee. We depend on individual insurance to replace missing keys and broken screens on the Chromebook your child uses every day at school. If you have not already sent a check or cash to school, you will be contacted by email with a reminder. Thank you in advance for your support at this time.

Questions? Call the Information Line: 734-287-7870 or go to www.WayneCounty.com. For more information about COVID-19, go to: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

Finally, to help keep hands and surfaces clean, we are asking for donations of tissue, hand sanitizer, and disinfecting wipes if you can locate these products. 

-Cynthia

Precautions

Precautions

This week, the Michigan Department of Education and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services sent a joint memorandum to the directors of public and non-public schools, directors of public libraries, and public health officers to provide updated guidance regarding coronavirus COVID-19. Because the health and well-being of our students is our highest priority, I would like to share portions of the memo with you:

At this time, the health risk to the general public of Michigan from COVID-19 remains low, but schools and public libraries can take commonsense precautions to prevent the spread of infectious diseases. 

Person-to-person spread of COVID-19 appears to spread via respiratory transmission. Symptoms are similar to those of influenza (e.g., fever, cough, and shortness of breath). The current outbreak is occurring during a time of year when respiratory illnesses from influenza and other viruses are highly prevalent. 

Educating students, parents, library patrons, and staff regarding preventative hygiene practices include: 

  • Remain at home if you are sick and avoid close contact with people who are sick. 
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. 
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are unavailable.  
  • Cover cough with a tissue or sleeve. Provide adequate supplies within easy reach, including tissues and no-touch trashcans. 
  • Routinely clean frequently touched surfaces. 
  • Encourage influenza vaccines to help avoid other seasonal respiratory illness. 

For more information about COVID-19, go to the Centers for Disease Control site:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

We ask that your family discuss these practices together; we will be doing the same at school on Monday morning. In addition, NSH staff will act promptly upon the recommendation to create an emergency response plan should any member of the school community be diagnosed with this illness. More information will follow.

Finally, to help keep hands and surfaces clean, we are asking for donations of tissue, hand sanitizer, and disinfecting wipes.  Thank you for your help!

-Cynthia

A New Semester

A New Semester

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!

-Cynthia

Safety

Safety

Our most important priority is the health and safety of our students. Now that the new semester is underway, it’s a good time to review key school safety policies and procedures:

  • Once students arrive at school in the morning, they must remain in the building until dismissal at the end of the day. 
  • All students, staff, and visitors must enter the school only through the main doors that face McClumpha Road. These doors are locked throughout the day except during morning arrival from 7:30-8:30 am and at dismissal from 3:30 – 4:00 pm.
  • After school, students must exit only by the main entrance doors or the rear doors on the north side of the building. 
  • Only New School High staff may open an outside door. Students may not admit anyone, including parents, delivery people, visitors, or other persons who may be familiar.
  • Students must be in their scheduled classroom during class time unless specifically given permission by their teacher to leave. 
  • Students are not allowed in the kitchen, the tech room, staff offices, or the church side of the building without specific permission and supervision.
  • All medications require a signed parent permission form to use. Medications must be kept in the school office with the exception of certain inhalers and epipens.  This includes over-the-counter drugs such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen.
  • In accordance with Michigan law, smoking and vaping are strictly prohibited in the school building, on school property, and in vehicles. Students may not bring related paraphernalia, including lighters and matches, to school. 
  • The NSH Acceptable Use Policy is in place to ensure the safe use of technology at school. Violations may result in the student being prohibited from using school accounts and equipment. 
  • Fire, tornado, and security drills are regularly conducted in accordance with State requirements.  All students and staff are expected to fully cooperate in these important practices.
  • New School High works closely with the Plymouth Township Police Department, which conducts regular walk-throughs at our building. 

To enhance our ability to communicate with our families, we will be implementing a new parent contact system called Remind for brief announcements and reminders. (In the past, we used Class Messenger, which is no longer available.) Signing up is very easy; please see the directions in the Announcements section below. We hope you will join right away so you don’t miss important alerts.

-Cynthia

Reflecting on 2019

Reflecting on 2019

The beginning of a new year is a good time to look back on what we have accomplished together. Here is a brief summary of New School High points of pride since September 2019:

Our School

  • New School High welcomed 26 new students in 2019.
  • The annual financial audit was completed by Croskey-Lanni accounting firm with no findings, and noted continued positive growth of the school’s fund balance.
  • Briana Sprague, the first NSH parent to serve on the Board of Directors, was approved as President for a second year at the Annual Meeting.
  • The Board of Directors expanded from 5 to 7 members. Our new trustees include NSH parent Carolyn King and life-long educator Nic Cooper. 
  • New School High is proud to be authorized by Eastern Michigan University with a new 5-year charter contract.
  • School data resources were dramatically upgraded with the launch of the Infinite Campus student data system
  • Over 40 parents donated their time to support school events, serve as career speakers, and guide our students during after-school co-curricular activities. 
  • Families kept our shelves stocked with their generous donations of copy paper, tissue, hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, and paper towels.
  • Nearly 100% of parents have met with staff throughout the first term; this includes Parent-Student-Teacher conferences in December.
  • Community partners such as Community Financial Credit Union, the Plymouth Community Chamber of Commerce, and our Robotics sponsors (State of Michigan, Ford Motor Company, Tenneco) provide valuable resources for our students. 
  • The first Fall Community Open House was held to help members of the community get to know our school.

Our Staff

  • Dean of Students Tracy Lynn, Math teacher Mia Davila and PE/Health teacher Ashley Raskey joined our staff in September.
  • Teachers and support staff participated in many professional development opportunities on a wide variety of topics: Pupil Accounting, Special Education, Wayne County Secondary Principals Network, Robotics Mentor Conference, ACT College Workshop for Counselors, EMU Leadership Meetings, Wayne County Public School Academy Meetings, scheduling webinar, Wayne County Counselor Network, College Board Implementation webinar, student engagement webinar, Ann Arbor SCORE group, Registered Apprenticeship workshop, and others. Staff also learned more about restorative practice, standardized testing data, trauma-informed schools, classroom management, project-based learning and school safety.
  • To increase awareness of our school in the community, NSH administrators participated in the High School Night at Plymouth Scholars, and met with students at Dearborn Heights Montessori School and Branchline School in Livonia. In addition, NSH Robotics had a display at a recent UM basketball game at Crisler Arena.

Our Students

  • 8 students were enrolled in Advanced Placement courses; 6 others were enrolled in electives that reflected their individual interests through Michigan Virtual School.
  • 2 students participated in internships: Film studies at the University of Michigan Donald Hall Collection film library in Ann Arbor and Early Elementary Education at the Stottlemyer Early Childhood Center in Westland.
  • 3 students were dual enrolled: Washtenaw Community College for automotive, Eastern Michigan University for language studies, College for Creative Studies for art.
  • All students attended presentations by Oakland University, Schoolcraft College, Eastern Michigan University, Specs Howard, Oakland Community College, Walsh College, US Marines, Wayne State University, and Grand Valley State University. 
  • All students attended career presentations on automotive engineering, teaching in higher education, physical therapy, and careers in IT, with more scheduled in 2020.
  • Field trips included data base instruction at the Plymouth Library, a tour of the Plymouth Historical Museum, a presentation about local government at Plymouth City Hall; FIRST Robotics Kick-Off (Robotics team), a visit to the Academy of the Americas and a Mexican neighborhood in Detroit (Spanish).
  • 6 students participated in Shakespeare for Girls, an innovative literature seminar with UM graduate student Lindsay Frischmuth. 
  • Students learned about investing, checking, and auto loans; served as tellers at the monthly New School High branch office of CFCU with associate Kristen LaForest. 
  • NSH students volunteered at the Rotary Spaghetti Dinner, created a display for the Plymouth Community Chamber of Commerce Scarecrows in the Park event, wrapped purchases for holiday shoppers at Barnes and Noble Bookseller, wrote letters to veterans, and donated socks, mitten, and hats for the homeless.

-Cynthia

Warm Wishes

Warm Wishes

Heading into the final week before the holiday break, I would like to take this opportunity to wish all of our New School High families a warm and restful vacation and the happiest of New Years! 

This is also a good time to address some questions that commonly arise towards the end of the term. Our last day of school is Friday, December 20 and it will be a full day of learning. We appreciate your help to ensure your student is present and prepared for a smooth and productive day. 

On Monday, a letter will be sent in the mail to each of our families regarding their child’s academic progress. If a student is in danger of failing any courses as of December 16, the course name(s) will be listed. This is the same information that is available on Infinite Campus. (If you have questions about accessing the Infinite Campus student data system, please contact Ms. Lynn at tlynn@newschoolhigh.org.) 

To improve a grade before the end of the term, students are advised to:

1. Identify and complete missing assignments on Infinite Campus and submit them to the teacher. Some teachers recommend making up the most recent missed assignments first.

2. Look for course content standards on Infinite Campus in which the grade is low and ask the teacher how they can re-demonstrate their proficiency. 

3. Organize and review their class notes and handouts and spend time thoroughly studying the class materials provided on Google Classroom. Email or ask teachers in person to clarify if there are questions. 

4. Use your scheduled independent study time productively to complete or improve school assignments and to review what you have learned.

The letter will also include a listing of courses for semester two. In most cases, the semester one schedule will carry over to semester two. All students will be scheduled for all core classes they need to graduate. Once the master schedule is confirmed, other course conflicts will be resolved based on availability. All students must have a full schedule; plans for Dual Enrollment or an online course must be submitted before December 20.

Finally, I am pleased to let you know that a group of caring students has set up a lighted tree in the school lobby that we are decorating with socks, mittens, and hats. These items will be given to a local charity to help keep those in homeless shelters warm. Please consider sending these items to school before the break to support our students’ efforts. 

-Cynthia