Tuesday, 12 July 2011
Greetings Upper School Parents and Students:
Although the start of school is still more than a month away, I want to pass along some reminders in anticipation of a smooth start to the 2011-12 academic year. The campus is active with summer improvements, the start of construction on the greenhouse, and accustomed touch-ups to classrooms and hallways, making ready for a fresh start of school on Tuesday, 23 August.
Your child’s academic schedule is now available via the MyBackpack link found on the main page of the MVS web. Jon Graetz (as scheduler) and I have worked diligently to accommodate as many course requests as possible. Although scheduling conflicts are inevitable, we have done our very best to keep them to a minimum; please e.mail Jon Graetz and me if you have any quick questions regarding your child’s schedule. If, after reviewing the schedule, you would like to propose a change to your course schedule, be assured that we will review all such requests; however, we must also attend to the considerations of the larger schedule, balance of sections, and other “bigger picture” issues. We appreciate your understanding.
MVS continues to work with MBS Direct Booksellers http://bookstore.mbsdirect.net/mvschool.htm as an on-line vendor for textbooks. The MBS site lists the book titles and ISBN numbers for the courses your child is scheduled to take. Please note, you may purchase your books through any vendor (including other on-line vendors, such as Amazon, Borders, perhaps even eBay) so long as the books are the same edition indicated on MBS. Many vendors also sell used copies of books. You are also welcome to contact older students from previous classes to purchase their used books, again, as long as the editions are the same. Textbooks, in some classes, will be available as state aid texts that students will borrow for the year. It is recommended that students not write their names in books until after the school year has begun, incase of late sectioning changes.
Please join me in welcoming Shea Davis to the upper school English department. Ms. Davis recently completed her Masters Degree from The Ohio State University and is excited to be teaching all sections of Freshman English and one section of American Authors, as well as assisting with the cross-country team and Model UN. The four Deans will continue to focus on grade-level programs and initiatives, including increased attention to student support, clubs and activities, and student expectations and conduct. 20-hours of Community Service / Service Learning for each year in high school continues to be the MVS graduation requirement. Please refer to the guidelines, links, and contact information on the Upper School webpage detailing Dayton area service organizations and opportunities. Summer provides an excellent time for students to complete service hours.
This marks the fifth anniversary of our Shared Summer Reading for the upper school community, including all students and teachers, and I suspect a good number of parents. Our shared title this year is Peace, by Richard Bausch. In a growing partnership between MVS and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, Mr. Bausch will visit the upper school to speak with students and visit English classes in mid-September. Stay tuned for additional details.
To lend further relevance to the upper school Advisory Program, the Student Government will play an important role in determining the monthly topics for discussion in our scheduled meetings throughout the year. For continuing students, most of the advisory groupings remain the same, although a handful of faculty members have shifted duties. Recognizing the important connecting threads that our Advisory Program provides in the fabric of the upper school community, I am confident that “continuing members” of advisory groups will make “new additions” feel welcomed, informed, and well supported.
The revised Upper School Handbook & Program of Studies will be available on-line in the “quick links” section of the upper school homepage before the start of school. Students and teachers will discuss pertinent topics during Advisory Group meetings early in the school year. The Parent Notification/Student Permission form, which requires student and parent signatures, will be sent home after we review relevant topics during initial Advisory Group meetings.
With the sudden arrival of sweltering summer weather in Dayton, here is a reminder regarding dress code in the Upper School. As a quick re-cap: ripped clothing is not permitted; shorts and skirts must be longer than the extended fingers of a student’s hands while resting at their sides; and shirts should cover all of student’s shoulders and not be overly revealing. Additionally, sports apparel, particularly “gym-style shorts” and jerseys, is not permitted during the academic day. I appreciate your attention to and assistance with guiding our students to be mindful of appearance, especially in anticipation of warm weather at the start of school in August.
Based upon the fabulous success from last fall, in mid-September, MVS will again host a student delegation from our sister school, The Thomas Jefferson School, in Concepcion, Chile. We are seeking MVS families to serve as hosts for our 8 Chilean visitors, ranging in ages from 14-16, for the two weeks (17-29 September) that they are in the Dayton area. If you were among the MVS families who responded to my initial request back in June, please confirm your interest at this time. If you need additional information, I am happy to discuss any questions that you have. Thank you for your help in supporting this important sister-school relationship, affirming MVS’ commitment to promoting global citizenship.
Team practices for fall high school sports begin the first week of August. Ken Laake (Athletic Director) or the appropriate coach will contact athletes regarding specific practice schedules and related details. Athletic physical cards must be completed and returned to the athletic office before athletes can participate in any pre-season practices.
I am thrilled to welcome 11 students coming new to MVS this year, including 6 new members of our Freshman Class of 2015! For new parents and students, there is an orientation and welcome program on Monday, 22 August, from 8:30-9:30AM in the Truslow Upper School Commons. Details regarding the grade-level specific orientation programs are included in this mailer, each of which occurs on Monday, 22 August.
Tuesday, 23 August is the first day of school! As with the beginning of each year, we need to be patient and agreeable as we all become re-adjusted to the flow of traffic on our busy K-12 campus. We will continue to stagger arrival and dismissal times for the three divisions to reduce potential traffic congestion in the neighborhood. Morning Announcements, which begins promptly at 8:05AM each morning, plays an essential role to the culture of the Upper School. It is vital that your child be on time, so that she or he is fully aware of the various activities and events.
Upper School Parent Information Night (better known as PIN, in MVS lingo) will be held on Wednesday, 14 September, beginning at 7:00PM. After meeting with your child’s Academic Advisor for welcome and important announcements, you will receive a copy of your child’s class schedule, then follow an abridged version of the entire academic day, providing the opportunity to briefly attend each of her or his classes. I will send specific details as US PIN approaches.
Thank you for reading through these details and reminders about the start of the coming academic year. I will continue to post digital versions of all letters and e.mails sent from the upper school on my MVS Blog at: http://wagnersmvsblog.blogspot.com/. I welcome you to subscribe, follow along, and contribute your comments and suggestions. I wish for you and your family an enjoyable and safe continuation of summer. On behalf of all upper school faculty and staff members, we look forward to seeing you soon as we all gear-up to start the 2011-12 academic year.
With sincere regards,
Samuel Wagner, V
Head of Upper School