2013-2014 Newsletter from Principal Steven LePage:
Welcome to the Plainville High School website! The Plainville High School Administration, Faculty and Staff are very proud of the educational opportunities available to all students. Plainville High School provides an exceptional learning environment that continues to evolve and improve opportunities for our students. Thanks to the vision of our central office administrative team and the support of our Board of Education, we have entered a new technological era this year. During the first week of school, each student at Plainville High School received a Chromebook laptop computer. These technology tools will be instrumental to learning through improved methods of instruction, assessment, collaboration and communication. The benefits of these devices are too extensive to list in this welcome, but please visit our Chromebook link on this website for more information.
This year marks five years since the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) visited Plainville High School for the decennial accreditation review. As a part of the ongoing improvement process, we started work in August with the entire faculty to review our Core Values, Beliefs, and 21st Century Learning Expectations. Over the next three months, we will refine these foundational values, beliefs and learning expectations as a faculty and as a community. In October, I will be looking for parents and students to join a committee representative of our learning community to continue the work of our talented faculty in refining and finalizing these guiding beliefs and expectations. The goal will be the completion of these central beliefs by November 1st. We are in terrific shape with NEASC, having met all requests and expectations following their last visit. We have in fact gone above and beyond expectations, but will continue to work toward continued improvement each year.
Plainville High School offers outstanding academic programs; including many Advanced Placement (AP) and UConn Early College Credit (ECC) options, rigorous and engaging curriculum, and diverse elective offerings to meet the needs and interests of all students. We are proud of the extensive selection of choices for our students. In addition to comprehensive and well aligned core courses, Plainville High School develops the whole student through integration of our exceptional fine arts, unified arts and world language opportunities. These diverse options are reflective of our school vision to prepare students for a successful and rewarding life in the 21st century global society. With the newly created district vision and strategic goals as our guide, we will continue to focus on students, teaching, and learning in everything we do.
Outside of the classroom, Plainville High School offers an extensive variety of extracurricular and co-curricular opportunities to our students. We believe that involvement in team and group activities is imperative to the complete high school experience, and the development of character, discipline and feelings of belonging. Whether one’s interests are in athletics or getting involved in one of the numerous clubs or student groups, there is something for everyone at PHS. The important thing is to get involved in the school community. Students learn best when they feel connected and cared for; therefore, developing positive relationships is one of our primary goals at PHS. We hope our students and families believe that we are in this together, and when our students succeed, we all succeed.
For most students, graduation may seem like the ultimate goal, and it is indeed an important milestone in each student’s life. A Plainville High School diploma is not easy to acquire and is an accomplishment students should be most proud of, yet given the competitive world in which we live, I challenge students to look beyond graduation day. Our students need to set goals as early as possible in their school career, and then work toward achieving those goals every day. Our NAVIANCE Student Success Planning system will significantly help students to set goals early and remain on a pathway to attain those goals. Our new College and Career Readiness Center will also support the work of our school counselors, teachers and administrators in helping students to make choices aligned with their life goals.
High school graduation has increasingly become a stepping stone, rather than the end of one’s educational journey. The majority of Plainville’s graduates choose to continue their education in a four year college or university, while others choose community college, military service or entry into the world of work. In these difficult economic times, it is important to gain as much leverage through education and training as one can. Education is a key that opens the doors to opportunity.
This year, Plainville High School will continue our work to improve learning outcomes for all of our students. Through careful planning and a focus on student achievement, our school will move forward to meet the challenges set for us by national and state standards. We will continue to do “whatever it takes” to ensure student success. Our latest improvement to student support is our new Success Center, where any student can go during study halls to complete work with the guidance and support of certified teachers and tutors. We hope this new program is well utilized by any student who needs academic support.
Our underlying goal is always to raise student achievement, and more specifically this year, to increase the percentage of students making Gold (All A’s), Silver (All B’s or better) or Bronze (All C’s or better) Honor Roll. We will also continue our focused improvement of student readiness for the skills needed to be successful in college and in life. These skills are measured by various high stakes standardized tests which include: the Connecticut Academic Performance Test-CAPT, Smarter Balanced Assessments related to Common Core State Standards, Scholastic Aptitude Test-SAT, American College Testing-ACT, Perkins Testing, and Advanced Placement Testing-AP. We have shown steady and impressive growth in student achievement over the last several years and have become a leader among schools considered similar to Plainville High School. We are very pleased with our students’ successes, but must continue to improve each year.
Our work with Data Teams will continue to have a powerful impact on student achievement by improving department member communications, ensuring better alignment of focus and pace of instruction from class to class, and increased formative assessment (assessment for the purpose of guiding re-teaching and making clarifications prior to the chapter and unit tests). These teams will also help to ensure equity from classroom to classroom, by working together toward shared goals. We are thankful to the Board of Education for the five early student release days in addition to the bi-monthly after school meetings that will provide valuable opportunities for collaboration and targeted improvement this year.
Plainville High School is an exceptional place to learn and grow, and we will continue to make it even better. We look forward to an exciting year ahead. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (860) 793-3220 with any questions or suggestions for improving Plainville High School.
Principal of Plainville High School
Plainville High School
47 Robert Holcomb Way
Plainville, CT 06062
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