HS Principal's Message
12/3/2011by Paul Mackaill
High School Principal
Seasons' Greetings Parents,
Let me begin by wishing you and your families splendid winter vacations, whether traveling or staying in the Netherlands! Your sons and daughters work hard as ASH students and deserve time to rest, relax, and enjoy families and friends. The semester examinations will be behind them so most of our High School students will have the luxury of having no homework over the vacation. Those involved in the AP/IB program (plus Honors courses) will probably need to dust off those books over the vacation, but do ensure that they have a well-deserved break as well!
Semester examinations will begin on Tuesday 13 December with Blocks A and B, Wednesday Blocks C and D, Thursday Blocks E and F and will end with Blocks G and H on Friday 16 December. Students need only attend school over the four days of examinations when they have an examination. If they need to stay in school before, between or beyond their two-hour examinations, quiet rooms have been designated for them to study as well as having the library and cafeteria available. The first examination each day will be between 8.45-10.45am, the second examination between 11.45-1.45pm.
To help our students prepare for these important assessments we will have 4 review days beginning on Wednesday 7 December and ending on Monday 12 December. During the review days no new material will be taught and no graded assessments will be given. Also, no homework is given during the review days and no extra credit is given or collected during these 4 days.
The teacher will lead the class in the review of previously taught material. This may involve the re-teaching of difficult concepts/skills, Q&A, small group work, students working through revision packages, individual or groups of students receiving focused help from the teacher, reviewing past examination papers, etc. Having a portion of a review class designated as 'individual preparation' may be appropriate at times. Students have been reminded that early preparation for these important examinations should take place and the 4 days reviewing in class should only be a small portion of their preparation.
Last year we agreed on a change for those students in AP/IB II classes. It was decided that teachers of these classes would be given the discretion to reduce the 4 days of review to 2, if so desired, given the quantity of material needing to be taught.
Congratulations to everyone: students, teachers, support staff, coaches and parents for a very busy recent weekend of ASH co-curricular activities that saw both the High School musical, Pump Boys and Dinettes, and the annual basketball Holiday Tournament take place. Student talent was wonderfully showcased and we were all very proud of our students’ achievements! We all recognize that the final product occurs only after many, many hours of dedicated rehearsals and practices. Well done to everyone!
Our ASH network continues to be updated. While we have witnessed some progress, there is still sufficient instability for us to remain cautious about introducing the 1:1 laptop program for our 11th and 12th graders. We shall review the position again after the winter vacation. On another tech. topic, Ms. Behrsing has already sent out a note to all 9th and 10th grade students about the Winter break. Students are allowed to keep their laptops over the vacation. If you do not wish your son/daughter to have the laptop over the break then the student should pass their machine into our IT Support Team’s office. These machines will have a maintenance check and have any software updates that are needed. If you wish for your son/daughter to keep their machine with them over the break they need to arrange a time ahead of the break for our IT technicians to service them. Ms. Behrsing has informed them of how this can be done.
The High School community of students, teachers and staff would like to thank the High School parents for the wonderful Thanksgiving Lunch that was served to everyone. The lines and lines of salivating diners bore witness to this fine tradition and the delicious food that was 'home cooked' for everybody.