Principal’s Message: Facing the Test

Second semester brings with it a sense of culmination. The focus on academic excellence grows as we move into the testing season for our juniors. The junior cohort will be taking the SAT in March, the ELA Smarter Balance in April, and the Mathematics Smarter Balance in May. We also have the Coquille Skills Day in March, which is a competition for academic excellence among high school students in the Southern Oregon Coast region. In the past two years, we have had great showings in various areas of drama, academic writing, mathematics, art and welding.
 
This year our Knowledge Bowl team takes our striving for academic excellence to another level as they head to Chicago for the National Championship Quiz Bowl tournament. Additionally, I continue to appreciate the teachers' exhibition of their students' work in the Academic Excellence display case in the main foyer. The exemplars of student work demonstrate we are on the right track! Our students are stepping up and meeting our high expectations.
 
On another topic, the feedback I have received on the district-wide Growth Mindset Training last Friday, February 8, has been quite positive. Fostering a growth mindset in ourselves and our students fits in nicely with the desired outcomes for a Bruin Pride/PBIS school. Emphasizing and recognizing our students by using positive language and nurturing a growth mindset (You don't know how to do it--yet) go hand in hand with the academic and social/emotional culture we are fostering at Brookings Harbor High School. I will be following up with our trainer from last Friday to get some materials we can post in our classrooms and hallways that support the growth mindset mission.
 
Finally, I have collected qualitative data from staff regarding our schedule. Overall, the block schedule we have created over the past few years continues to be a positive change. Teachers report that students are thriving with the schedule for many reasons. Teachers noted that students have the time to think critically and in-depth which results in greater learning. The schedule also nurtures the social and emotional needs of our students in that having four classes a day instead of seven helps them focus, leading to less stress. We have a lovely school with lovely students and dedicated professional staff. I can't imagine a better place to spend my days.
 
Thank you again for your commitment to our students and staff.
 
Sincerely,
Principal Lisa Dion
(Feb. 11, 2019)