Grretings to the Community of Tohatchi High School Students.pdf
Greetings to the Community of Tohatchi High School Students, Parents, and all of those concerned with the educational opportunities offered by Tohatchi High School.
The following will be a summary of comments made at Chapter house meetings that I have attended over the last two months. I attend chapter house meetings for the communities that are in the attendance area for Tohatchi High School twice a year. The Tohatchi Chapter house has suggested that we have special meetings at a time convenient for parents for each of the schools that serve that chapter. I am excited about this suggestion and will be working with Mr. Morris and the education committee of the Tohatchi Chapter House to realize this
School performance. Tohatchi High School has shown growth in all subject areas this year. Math was our focus for this year. We put a lot of effort into improving classroom instruction and instructional supplies in the math department. We have an instructional coach who has 25 years as a high school math teacher and almost 10 years as an instructional coach who helps teachers improve their performance. We have grown in Math and English. There is still much work to be done, and there are still critical scores to be released from this years testing, but I am optimistic about the results. This is some data from our last Learning Institute test in March:
Safety. We have a problem with some students using marijuana, sometimes on campus. When discovered all of those students have been given the district mandated suspensions and in a few cases expulsions for multiple uses on campus. What we don’t have a problem with is fighting, there was one student suspended for pushing another student, and that was our only suspension for students being violent physically toward each other this year! Students who are not worried about fights in the hallway focus on academics and not their safety or the safety of their friends- this is a very good thing for the school.
Reading. Accelerated Reader has been a success. We split the lunch into two periods and now student read for thirty minutes a day. The average number of verified words read during this school year per student was more than 244,000 PER STUDENT! The average number of books read by students was 4.2. These are books of their own choosing. We have spent significant money on expanding the number of books in the library. We will continue this program next year with some adaptations so that skipping the reading class is less likely and we will incentivize the reading so students reading many books are rewarded for their efforts. We are looking to partner with the Navajo Nation Library to increase our total number of books through a donation program the Navajo Nation Library coordinates with.
Investment in teachers. This year I spent money on teachers and classrooms. Much in the form of technology. We didn’t have enough TI-84 graphing calculators- they show the slope of a line when an equation is computed, and many other functions, on a small LCD screen. Now we have enough for each student to have one of those calculators in every classroom. This summer our math teachers are each getting 40 hours of direct training in how to use these and a newer model calculators effectively in the classroom. We expect to see some more hands on interaction and visualization of math concepts from this training. Our Science teacher, Ms. Patterson, purchased a new type of projector that turns a whiteboard into a touch screen. I was so impressed with the technology that all math classrooms have them outfitted already and I am looking to get every science, english, and social studies classroom outfitted with this new technology as soon as possible.
Language arts- Ms. Kulish has retired from the school district. We wish her many years of productive and fulfilling retirement. We had one teacher resign this school year leaving a full time substitute to teach our ninth and twelfth grade classes. For the fall we have hired three new teachers for the English Language Arts department- although none of them is new to teaching and collectively they have degrees from James Madison University, Georgetown, and the University of Massachusetts. This is very exciting as I believe we have three new and inspiring teachers for our students.
What does all of this mean. It means the school is pushing forward. I am expecting growth out of the school, I am asking for students and teachers to push what they think is possible and seek to use every minute to advance the learning of students. This upcoming school year will be a challenging time for students as their interaction in the classroom increases, as the expectations for student participation, and growth increases, and we increase school commitment to learning. We will be expecting more from students and I think our students will rise to the challenge and display the characteristics that have always made the graduates of Tohatchi High School special and successful.
Craig R. Robinson- Principal, Tohatchi High School
In going to meetings at all of the Chapter Houses that support Tohatchi High School I have distributed a Principal's Syllabus and I have included data on how the school is doing academically according to my analysis of data from quarterly tests. Many of our parents are unable to get to those meetings at Chapter Houses and I am making the data that I have available in pdf format here.
Please click on the link below to retrieve.