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Upper Update

Upper Update

Updated: August 16, 2019

Principal Matters

Welcome to the 2019-20 school year!  I am truly excited to begin this new school year.  Though this is my 28th year as an educator, that feeling of “butterflies” in the stomach is still present as the new year begins.  No doubt that I am a bit like some of our students feeling that mixture of emotions ranging from excitement to nervousness to eagerness to take on new challenges.

In the Upper School this year, we will be talking a lot about our school theme of being “All In.”  Over the summer, Assistant Principal Ronda Zents and I met with the student leaders and the faculty sponsors of our Student Government Association to decide on a strategy for focusing on that theme throughout the school year.  At our opening of school assembly on Friday, we challenged students to think about what it looks like to be “All In” for our Woodward community.  At that assembly, Upper School administrators and SGA leaders encouraged students to rally around the notions of community, character, and service.  Throughout the year, our grade levels will compete against each other in areas such as attendance at athletic events and performing arts concerts, productions and recitals.  The competition will also extend to participation levels in service learning projects as well as character competitions of being spotted by faculty in displaying uncommon acts of character.  Our goal is to create the community and culture to which we aspire. 

I share these insights because in the Upper School we believe that we work best when we as a faculty partner with you as parents.  Our hope is that our emphasis on the virtues of community, character, and service at school will be reinforced by breakfast or dinner family conversations about these virtues at home.  In the spirit of being “All In”, I am truly grateful for the phenomenal opportunity to partner with our Upper School families towards the goal of helping our students reach their fullest potential.

Wishing you the best school year yet,

Dr. Jonathan Merrill
Upper School Principal

Upper School Parents Day

You are invited to attend Upper School Parents Day on Sunday, August 25.  Parents will begin the day at 2:00 in their student's Advisory Group classroom.  The classroom location was emailed out this week, and we will send a reminder right before Parents Day.  We look forward to seeing our Upper School parents!

Taggart's Drivers Ed Class

Taggart's will offer Drivers Ed classes on campus during this school year. Please see this letter for complete information.

Student Uniforms

This school year students will have some new choices: 

  • dri-fit shirts for all;
  • down vests and down jackets for all;
  • new skorts and a new pant style for girls. 

All ninth-grade girls are required to wear one of the new skort options and/or either of the two pants options. Students in grades 10-12 will have a one-year grace period to purchase a new skort or either of the two pant options. Students whose former skort style is too short or in poor condition will be required to purchase one of the new skorts. Please refer to the Current Families section of the website for a complete list of Upper School Uniform Requirements.

Student Day Planner

Parents may purchase a student day planner for their Upper School student in the Campus Store or download a copy here.

Counselor's Corner

Welcome back to our students and families from the US Counselors! We know the summer flew by fast and now it's time to change our mindset back to being in school mode. Our students have been busy coming by to change schedules, discuss classes, decompress about the start of school, and generally just say hello or tell us about their summer. It's been good seeing them and hearing the excitement from the Class of 2019!

As we get back into the role of student, parents can help in a few ways. Here are three suggestions:

1. Set a routine – Try to think ahead as much as possible and write any pertinent daily information in the student's planner/agenda. They are for purchase in the Campus Store and list which classes meet which days. It is VERY important for each student to have one (or a similar method) to know what is going on, be prepared, and start out the year with a good time management routine.

2. Reassure ninth grade students – a new campus can be overwhelming at first for ninth grade students. Discuss lunch, lockers, classroom routes, when to ask questions, and just generally reassure them that adjustment takes a few weeks. If there seems to still be some adjustment issues by the time the first progress reports come out, then talk it through with your child's school counselor. 

3. Encourage – help your child by encouraging them to join clubs or sports teams to meet others with similar interests. These things help them socially fit in at the school. There will be a clubs/organizations fair at lunch on August 21, 22, and 23. Talk with your teen about choosing at least one thing to join if they have not brought it up by then.

We look forward to a fun, successful year and see you all at Parent's Day on August 25!

Dr. Hendrix - Class of 2020 counselor
Ms. Dedeaux - Class of 2021 counselor
Mrs. Lawson - Class of 2022 counselor 

Ms. Shelor - Class of 2023 counselor

Check Out the Parent Community Website!

Have you had a chance to connect with other Upper School parents? While we had a fantastic first semester, the school year is half over and there are still many exciting upcoming activities that will offer you a chance to meet other parents, connect with faculty and support our students. Whether you’re looking to volunteer or wondering when the next Parent Community event is, you can now find it all on the Parent Community website. Please be sure to check it regularly for upcoming opportunities to contribute or volunteer. You also can follow us on Facebook @WAParentCommunity. 

Security Reminder

Parents, please sign in at your child's school each time you visit and clearly display your visitor badge while you are on campus. Thank you.



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