Hello CLA Families,
Happy Spring! And Happy Holiday. Let me begin with a belated thank you for the great turnout and participation in our recent round of student-led conferences to close our 3rd Quarter before entering our well-deserved spring break. For us to have 93% of families make the time to join their child and meet with leadership coach-mentors is a rare threshold to meet at the high school level. Let me give special kudos to our teachers for their willingness to expand and flex their time in “above and beyond” fashion to accommodate our families schedules.
Together, in partnership, reviewing progress in courses, sharing pieces of writing, and thinking forward and planning goals and needs for next year speaks to the culture of quality and care that we all clearly value within our learning community. The results show that this collective commitment has a positive impact on student performance with close to 40% of students earning honors and high honor distinction on their recent report cards, a decrease of 25% of students not meeting expectations one or more of their courses, and a significant drop in disciplinary issues compared to mid-term numbers first semester. One area of significant concern remains in need of attention and shared responsibility and that is attendance and punctuality--we are seeing far too many students arriving to school late on a regular basis, and many absent from school well beyond the allowable days. On many levels, missing all or part of school has an adverse impact. In the spirit of partnership, we ask that families where attendance continues to be a concern the school wishes to work with parent-caregivers and students to proactively resolve the issue. The school plans to begin hosting Saturday Support Days beginning on May 4th through the end of the school year for those needing attendance recovery time, as well as those who need academic assistance. There will likely be a small fee to cover the cost of paying teachers for their services.
We resume classes this TUESDAY, 4/23 (NO SCHOOL ON MONDAY 4/22), and with only seven weeks remaining in our school year CLA will be busy and bustling all the way up until the end of the school year (June 7th is the our last day for students). To start, and in the spirit of building stronger the school-home partnership that we know benefits our children no matter their age, I invite you to please join together this Wednesday (4/24) at 6:30pm for an important Dessert & Discussion evening event--”Surviving the Teen Years”--a focused interactive presentation that addresses issues and concerns related to parenting young adults. Topics will include identifying risky behaviors, responsible social media, as well as supporting healthy dating and relationships, communication strategies, etc. The discussion will be facilitated by Horry County CAST (Community Action for a Safer Tomorrow) and Shoreline Behavioral Health. The following day, the school will host a student-centered version of the presentation and discussion during a special All-School Meeting.
Prior to the Dessert & Discussion event on Wednesday (5:30pm) will be the school’s Title I Annual Meeting and Evaluation that will allow our Title I planning team to share an update on how this year’s funds have been allocated and solicit feedback on the use and impact by our school community, as well as review of our parent involvement policy and right to know procedures. We encourage all to attend, but also ask everyone whether able to be on hand or not for the meeting to please take a few minutes and respond to this Title I feedback survey (link below):
Please be on the lookout for a calendar of student showcase dates--a series of student exhibition events to highlight and celebrate the creative work being pursued in our classrooms (and often outside of class). As you know, we are school that values and emphasizes performance-based project-driven assessments, but as a public school we are still currently required to administer a litany of SC Dept. of Ed. mandated standardized tests, including end-of-course exams connected to Algebra I, Biology I, English I, and U.S. History, all of which will be conducted in late May. We also facilitate and proctor for our 11th graders exams several colleges request as part of their application protocol. Those juniors that did not take the ACT last month and have opted instead to sit for the SAT will do so this Tuesday. A thank you to teachers Nick Smaldone and Adam Townsend for hosting two-days of strategy and prep. sessions for these college exams over our spring break that served to benefit several students.
The end of the year stretch is not only a time for testing and evaluation, but also celebration. This coming Friday, 4/26, will be our spring formal and “Hollywood Night” PROM.Tickets are still on sale (via Ms. Vereen). Following the prom, the school will be hosting an After-Prom Safe Party at the school from midnight to 6:00am--permission slips and payment are required prior to attending. Saturday morning, April 27th will see CLA well-represented at several community events--the Grand Strand Relay for Life, Ground Zero’s Dragon Boat race, and the Socastee Heritage Festival. As a service-minded school, I applaud our students and staff for representing CLA so well. A week later, Friday May 3rd, will be our annual ARCHER DAY, a festive fun school bonding event we will hold at Socastee Recreation Park (details to follow). And closing our the year will be our senior Graduation on Saturday, June 1st, 2:00pm at Seacoast Church in Conway--all are welcome to come pay tribute and honor our graduates.
In closing, as I try to share often--never hesitate to reach out to me directly at any time to discuss concerns or ideas related to your child and/or the school. As a small community school, we are only as strong as the relationships we forge together in honor and support of the young people we share a common commitment. Knowing we are school of choice--your family’s decision to be a part of the CLA community is valued and appreciated. Thank you for your trust and shared belief in the mission and cause of the school.