Director’s Sunday Evening Update

10/23/17

Sunday Night Update 102217

Mark your calendar: Parent-Teacher Conferences are scheduled Thursday, November 2nd from 4 -7 p.m. and Tuesday, November 7th from 9:00am-12:00noon.  Dr. Lowerre will be sending our families a notice next week with links to Signup Genius for conference registration.  Please look for his message the week of October 23rd. 

The attached PSA was developed by Chesterfield County and is designed to raise awareness on preventing suicide in youth.  It provides a very powerful message from a parent who suffered the loss of his child to suicide.  The last section of the video provides the phone number of  Chesterfield Crisis along with a national hotline number that provides support.  We are providing a listing of the other Mental Health Agencies that serve the Maggie Walker community.  Please call Mrs. Ebeling, our school psychologist, at 354-6800, x 3260 with any questions regarding this information.

Link to PSA – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gO4zyLGvFnA

Congratulations to the Student Council Association and their successful efforts raising monies for hurricane relief.  During Spirit Week, the SCA conducted a coin drive among our students who generously contributed over $1,600.00. Our student’s generous financial support will provide people in crisis with relief today.

Lisa Ebeling, MLWGS School Psychologist, and Julia Cox from the VCU Anxiety Clinic are pairing together to run a small group on dealing with stress.  Students will be given the opportunity to learn and practice stress management techniques.  They will be also be able to learn new ways to approach and solve problems.  The group will run for a minimum of six weeks and could be offered for up to ten weeks depending on interest. If you like to have your child participate, please call Lisa Ebeling at 354-6800, x 3260 or email her at lebeling@gsgis.k12.va.us with this information.  Once we have determined interest and identified participants, we will determine the best time and place to meet.

Not long ago I was walking in the hallway and reminded a student that the quarter was ending soon and to make sure he had his academic affairs in order.  His response was “I’ll try.”  It reminded me of a quote from one of my favorite characters, Yoda from Star Wars, who reminds us to “Do or do not… there is no try.”  Sometimes, we just need to do something, not just try to do something. 

 

10/15/17

The School Advisory Committee is considering a recommendation for a two week early start calendar in academic year 2018-2019.  Possible advantages of this would include: midterm exams before winter break, ending summer assignments & early AP days, alignment with sports schedules, and two extra weeks of instruction prior to AP exams.  The SAC subcommittee working on this is currently preparing a standard start draft as well.  Once both drafts are prepared, there will be a public comment period and a town hall meeting in Dec/Jan.  

As guided by our school technology plan, Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School conducts regular surveys to determine the most appropriate technology to support active student-centered classrooms, professional development, and course offerings.  To that end, this survey is designed to seek valuable input from all stakeholders: students, faculty, staff, and parents on the current state of instructional technology at Maggie Walker.  This survey will close on Oct. 22, 2017.

We thank you in advance for your input on this brief survey.

https://goo.gl/forms/hLHOV1lcFKsaZ6v43

National Honor Society will be holding its Induction on Monday at 5:15pm in the Auditorium.

The PTSA will hold a Financial Aid Workshop with MW Counseling, Tuesday at 8:00am in Room 153.  Please contact school counseling for more details.

The MLWGS Regional School Board will be meeting on Thursday at 9:00am in Room 153.

Every day at Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School I am so inspired by our students.  Our students work so hard in the classroom, yet find time to come out and support their classmates at athletic and cultural events. Our school is indeed a very special place. So tonight, I will sign off with a challenge for us to keep up this momentum with a quote from Mahatma Gandhi: “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”

Have a great evening and as always, GO Dragons!

 

10/08/17

If you are parking off-campus, please be mindful of “No Parking” signs, especially those that pertain to street cleaning.  We have had reports of cars being towed at the owner’s expense because they were parked on a day where the street sweepers were rolling through.

The Student Council Association will host a small ‘class’ competition next week, including dress up days. Students will only be counted in this competition if they are both dressed up AND adhering to the dress code.

Here are the themes:

Monday: PJ Day
Tuesday: Team Day (sports or ANY team jersey or uniform)
Wednesday: Green Machine Day (or green, white, and yellow)
Thursday: International Day (colors or traditional cultural clothing, including the USA)
Friday: Class Colors Day: Seniors wear black/blue, Juniors wear red, Sophomores wear white, and Freshmen wear orange.

Results at Field Day on Friday.

MLWGS will be holding its annual Homecoming Dance on Saturday October 14th from 7:L30 to 10:30 in the commons.  Please clink on the following link for more information including how to purchase tickets:  http://mlwgs.com/homecoming-dance-october-14/

This month’s Transcribe-a-thon will take place in the MW Library on Wednesday, Oct. 11th from 3:30 to 5pm and during lunch the next day. If you’d like to participate and don’t have a Transcribe account yet, see Ms. DeGroat ahead of time.

PSAT Day is Wednesday October 11th.

All 9th, 10th and 11th graders will take the PSAT in the morning while 12th graders will be participating in college and transition-related activities in the auditorium.

The PSAT is a great practice opportunity for the SAT.  For 11th graders, the PSAT results are used for qualification purposes for National Merit Scholarship Programs. 

The counseling department distributed PSAT Student Guides to all test-takers during lunch time assemblies during the week of Monday September 25th.   The guides contain information about the tests as well as a full-length practice test.  Students are encouraged to take the practice test before testing day.  More information about the PSAT can be found at www.collegeboard.org/psat.

Students are reminded to bring #2 pencils and calculators for testing.  The College Board does not allow makeup testing for the PSATs so it is important that students arrive at school on time. 

Score reports will be available online in mid-December and paper copies will be available and distributed in January during lunch-time grade-level assemblies.  Juniors will be encouraged to register for an SAT or ACT date in the Spring by visiting the testing agency websites.   Sophomores and Juniors in AP classes will be reminded to register for SAT Subject tests as appropriate.

In life, we all face challenges and sometime we feel overwhelmed by all that goes on around us. Working through these challenges and not running from them makes us wiser and stronger.  Tonight’s quote comes from Elisabeth Kubler-Ross.  She notes “The most beautiful people I’ve known are those who have known trials, have known struggles, have known loss, and have found their way out of the depths.”  Work through those struggles and trials and be strong.  It is the way of the Dragon!

 

 

10/01/17

Please drop off students in the student parking lot from 8:15-8:45am.  Drop offs in the bus loop during this time create dangerous situations and interfere with bus operations.

Free and reduced lunch applications are available in the cafeteria and in office 100.  To qualify, families must provide evidence of an active SNAP, TANF, or foster case.  

The 21st annual MLWGS Fall Festival will be held on October 6 from 4-8:00 p.m! This year we are excited to have 56 clubs and organizations participating, with 26 serving food and refreshments. The festival has more games and activities planned than in recent years, including a Dunk Tank and Human Bouncy Balls! 

The Festival is open to all current students, their families, younger siblings, former students and families, neighborhood residents, and friends of the school! There is no admittance charged for the festival and all the entertainment, provided by our very talented students is free! The first group will take the stage at 3:50 pm. and the last group at 7:45, with a total of 20 groups and individuals scheduled to entertain! Tickets are sold to purchase all items for sale by the booths. Please remember that booths can only accept tickets and if you did not pre-order tickets, you must use CASH to purchase tickets the day of the festival. Parking will be available at the James River Bus Depot on the corner of Leigh and Allen Street. Please do not park on the grass! 

1st marking period interim grades will be posted online on Friday October 6th at about 2:00 pm.  Remember that interim grades are a snapshot of where a student is at the halfway point of the marking period.  

PSAT Day is Wednesday October 11th.

All 9th, 10th and 11th graders will take the PSAT in the morning while 12th graders will be participating in college and transition-related activities in the auditorium.

The PSAT is a great practice opportunity for the SAT.  For 11th graders, the PSAT results are used for qualification purposes for National Merit Scholarship Programs. 

The counseling department distributed PSAT Student Guides to all test-takers during lunch time assemblies during the week of Monday September 25th.   The guides contain information about the tests as well as a full-length practice test.  Students are encouraged to take the practice test before testing day.  More information about the PSAT can be found at www.collegeboard.org/psat.

Students are reminded to bring #2 pencils and calculators for testing.  The College Board does not allow makeup testing for the PSATs so it is important that students arrive at school on time. 

Score reports will be available online in mid-December and paper copies will be available and distributed in January during lunch-time grade-level assemblies.  Juniors will be encouraged to register for an SAT or ACT date in the Spring by visiting the testing agency websites.   Sophomores and Juniors in AP classes will be reminded to register for SAT Subject tests as appropriate.

The Maggie L. Walker Health & Physical Education and Counseling Departments in conjunction with our student-led Mental Health and Disabilities Awareness club will hold a Mental Health Awareness Assembly on Friday, October 6th for all FRESHMEN.  The assembly will feature a speaker from Minding Your Mind, a national prevention-based program that educates teens by initiating conversations regarding mental health.   Speakers are young adults who have struggled with mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety, and give educational talks to reduce the stigma of seeking help. The school held assemblies for all grade levels last year with speakers from Minding Your Mind and we are fortunate to have this opportunity once again at MLW for our 9th graders.  This program is being supported by the locally based Cameron K. Gallagher Foundation, which works with area public and private high schools to implement “Minding Your Mind”.   If you have any questions or concerns about your child attending the assembly, please contact Karl Zweerink (Counseling Department, ext. 3210).  This activity was planned as part of MLW’s strategic initiative to “develop a systematic approach to support social, emotional, physical, intellectual, and mental health needs of our gifted students.”

This is early information, but some may want these dates as they plan next summer’s vacations:

Online Summer Economics

Course Dates: June 18th – July 5th with test dates of June 27th and July 4th . Test are taken online and presence at school is not required. EXAM DATE is July 5th which is the one mandatory required date students must be present at school to take the course over the summer.

Online Summer Personal Finance

Course Dates: July 23rd – Aug 9th with test dates of Aug 1st  and Aug 8th . Test are taken online and presence at school is not required. EXAM DATE is Aug 9th  which is the one mandatory required date students must be present at school to take the course over the summer.

Registration for the summer courses will be during the course registration in February 2018.

VOLUNTEER FOR MAGGIE L. WALKER GOVERNOR’S SCHOOL GLOBAL SPEAKER’S BUREAU

Can you give an hour to speak to a language, global studies, science, or government class about your experiences? In that short time, you can make a world of difference.

We are assembling a database of parents and community presenters who are willing to share their expertise in:
Language fluency and colloquial conversation,
Living and working in a foreign country,
Traveling abroad for business or recreation,
Working collaboratively on business or social projects across the globe,
Conducting international business in person or via communications technology.

If you, your business, or a friend can help broaden our students’ horizons, please provide contact information and availability at the link below and you may soon become a global resource.

http://mlwgs.com/support/

You can keep up with all of the Dragon Events by going to http://mlwgs.com/calendar/  which has pretty much everything that is taking place in the Dragon Nation. You can also follow the school on Twitter and receive current updates and information at @DirectorMLWGS. 

October is my favorite month, so let me sign off tonight with some words from Henry Ward Beecher: “October is nature’s funeral month.  Nature glories in death more than in life.  The month of departure is more beautiful than the month of coming – October than May.  Every green thing loves to die in bright colors.”  Now don’t be depressed by this, it will all come back in the spring!  Have a great evening and GO DRAGONS!!

 

9/24/17

In order to better manage our parking lot, we are issuing guest pass hang tags to visitors.  We are sorry for any inconvenience but it will better ensure that only permitted faculty, students, and guests are utilizing our lot.

College visits begin this week.  Be sure to check with School Counseling to know which school will be on campus this week. 

Our Golf team will be competing in the Regional Tournament on Monday and Tuesday.  Good luck Dragons!

Don’t forget, Fall Festival is coming up on Friday October 6th.  This is a fantastic Maggie Walker tradition and we hope to see you here!!

You can keep up with all of the Dragon Events by going to www.colonialdistrictva.org .  Just click on Maggie Walker High School and it will take you to our school calendar which has all of the events that are taking place in the Dragon Nation. You can also follow the school on Twitter and receive current updates and information at @DirectorMLWGS. 

Let me sign off tonight with some words from President Abraham Lincoln.  Mr. Lincoln says “Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.”  Have a great evening and GO DRAGONS!