Good afternoon! Our students in math are exploring functions and applying multiple strategies to apply and solve the new concepts. Major assignment due dates will be rapidly approaching and I'm asking for your support with encouraging students to maintain focus as we move toward the end of the semester! Check your email for specific due dates for the gallery walk, portfolio, and final exam.
As we approach the halfway point for the 4th quarter, please encourage your child to closely look at Infinite Campus for missing assignments. With all of the testing, snow days and other days out of school the grades have been left blank when missing or incomplete. At the end of this week those blanks will become "Missing" and will reflect in the overall progress grade.
Thanks for all you do on the home side! I am available Monday, Thursday, and Friday mornings for extra help as well as most Tuesday mornings.
It is my pleasure to announce that 59 of our students qualified to be formally invited to join the founding group of Renaissance Secondary School's National Honor Society (NHS) chapter. These students received letters inviting them to apply on Tuesday, February 19th.
A list of invitees was posted in the window of the door to the main office of the school. Students must apply if they wish to become induction candidates. Applications receive bonus points if received by March 1st and are due by March 8th at the latest.
Application Form Teacher
Membership in NHS is one of the highest honors that can be awarded to a high school student. The society works hard to bring the accomplishments of outstanding students to the attention of parents, teachers, peers, and the community and to inspire students to do amazing things. Chapters across the country strive to give meaning to the Society's goals of scholarship, leadership, service, and character. These ideals are the basis for a well-balanced life full of accomplishments and inspiration. They are also in line with RSS's own Habits of Crew expectations. As such, NHS students in our community are supposed to be paragons of our Crew!
There are many benefits of being part of the organization. For example, NHS members earn especial distinction during college application processes and have access to special scholarships. In return, NHS members give back. They are expected to follow the ideals of the organization and engage in service projects, tutoring, volunteering, and leadership opportunities in our community.
For more information on NHS visit these links:
How NHS can benefit schools
NHS Membership Infographic
NHS National Constitution
RSS NHS ByLaws
Congratulations to all invited students!
If you are a student that was not invited this year, there is always next year. Work hard to meet qualification criteria.
Mr. Jefferson Lima
Educator of the Future
President's day celebrates the accomplishments of past leaders. It is a day that reminds us to reflect on the good and bad our actions can make, especially when we are in positions of great responsibility. It is also a day that reminds me to make good and informed voting decisions because the people we put in power can have a powerful effect in our lives (pun intended).
But while not everyone is remembered by history, we all make an impact in ways we do not even realize. Small actions can have big repercussions.
You definitely matter a lot for the history of our own lives. Our lives are our responsibility. But as part a crew, a community, a society, we also have social responsibilities. We affect, in many ways, the lives of those that connect with us.
So in this day to remember executive power, use yours to decide to make better decisions.
In light of that, I want to share with you, in this day, a reflection on something I believe to be the most powerful way to transcend the self, improve your life, and that of others.
It is something integral to my life as a teacher, because I consider this career a work of passion and prosocial behavior.
Please take some time to listen to this short podcast audio on the power of Generosity!
Mr. Jefferson Lima
Educator of the Future
We are 6 weeks into the quarter. Wow. How quickly has our journey passed.
It is that time. All teachers will be working this week on sending out special notifications to parents and students.
We are eagerly hoping you will look at them as opportunities to start conversations that will help you head in the right direction and make valuable progress in these last 4 weeks of the quarter.
Time flies. So take immediate steps. Here are some ideas of things you can do to make sure you do well in these last 4 weeks. Most of these apply to all classes (whether or not you are a Lima student, take a look at them!)
Note: I strongly recommend that you keep a planner to keep track of your to-do list and deadlines! Here is a homework calendar you could use or a quarter planner! Here are some hints on how to use a daily planner / to do list to keep track of your work and deadlines
Mr. Jefferson Lima
Educator of the Future
For even more information see Mr Lima's Progress Report Info message and Important Announcements
As we are now mid-quarter and approaching critical final project deadlines, please keep an eye on the detailed pages in Infinite Campus to track progress. If a student misses class, you can provide support by encouraging the student to come to study before school (Every morning at 0800 except for Wednesdays). I am also available most lunches and during X-Blocks with teacher approval. With advance notice I can stay after school as well.
Dates to keep in mind as we move toward the spring break and the end of the quarter:
Section 1 (Math 1: Monday and Wednesday mornings): 2/27 Project, 3/8 Final Exam and Portfolio
Section 2 (Math 2/3: Tuesdays and Thursdays): 3/1 Project, 3/12 Final Exam and Portfolio
Section 3 (Math 2/3: Tuesdays and Thursdays): 3/1 Project, 3/12 Final Exam and Portfolio
Section 4 (Math 1: Tuesday and Thursday afternoons): 2/28 Project, 3/8 Final Exam and Portfolio
Students continue to explore models of math in the real world. Math 1 students are working to answer the question, "How can we measure very big things?" as they learn and apply rules of similarity and proportion while practicing the algebra skills from last quarter. Math 2/3 students are growing toward modeling systems of linear inequalities that are personally relevant. Our community member and small business owner, Steve Evans, spoke with students about maximizing profits and how to be successful. Thank you, Steve! We will be creating posters to share with our 7th grade students who are exploring linear relationships.
As we approach mid-quarter, please keep an eye on the detailed pages in Infinite Campus to track progress. If a student misses class, you can provide support by encouraging the student to come to study before school or after school. I am also available most lunches and during X-Blocks with teacher approval.
Dates to keep in mind as we move toward the winter break and the end of the semester:
We are excited to get the HS kids out on another adventure - an international trip. Students will have the option to travel to Costa Rica as part of the 3rd Quarter expedition, Fish Stories, March 4-11, 2019 (an optional extension of learning; not required for expedition participants). If you are interested in this opportunity, please attend the family meeting on October 25th from 6-7pm in the RSS Commons.
For more information, follow the link:
Students should be coming home, in the next few weeks, talking about Habits of Crew (HOC=character traits: integrity, empathy, stewardship, perseverance, service and responsibility). Character traits are not often looked at in relationship to a student's performance in school. Frankly, it's a crucial consideration when you are growing young humans into adults. As educators we earn the privilege to come along side young adults in the classroom, and we also get to become more wholly human in their presence. Being an educator is something that is earned over time, in partnership with your student.
We do our very best and so do they. That is the expectation. Some days things work out. Others, not so much. This is the story of humanity. That being said, the story of a HS is a bit awkward and dysfunctional. We don't like to talk about our own humanity, much, because it is often painful. It is filled with joy, laughter, compassion, frustration and a lot of weight. There are over 150 human beings in the HS space, and we balance our function and dysfunction together. Learning happens in relationship with others.
As an English teacher, I am fortunate to be the keeper of stories. And, honestly, that's why I've chosen this vocation. Students gift me with their voice and perspective so I may have a greater understanding of humans in general. I am a life long learner and I want them to embrace that philosophy. Not only can we grow as learners, but we can grow as humans in our community.
I've learned, writers do their best writing/ communicating when they're not afraid to be human in front of the people who read their stories. That is why I'm choosing to write these thoughts from my heart and not simply giving you the gist of HOC. I am being as vulnerable with my writing as I hope students will be. There is an enormous amount of empathy required in a writing community.
In one of my Stand Alone classes, last week, we explored the inquiry process. We asked each other what we needed to learn. I believe our takeaway was this: ALL VOICES ARE WELCOME IN OUR CLASSROOM. On good days and bad days. What we have to say matters. And it starts when we've created a safe environment where students are welcome to tell their stories. They tell stories to become more fully human and to have a greater understanding of the humanity around them. I wish this for our families, as well. I wish for you the courage and empathy it takes to be a human at RSS and the perseverance to learn and practice the Habits of Crew in our community.
RSS Compassion Project:
A small group of high school students have taken on a big project. Thomas Feeney, long time Renaissance community member and dedicated RSS supporting/substitute teacher was recently diagnosed with AML Leukemia. Students in our Compassion Project class have been researching what this diagnoses means and ways in which we can impact Thomas's world in a positive way. Yesterday, community member Rita Klement came into share her personal story with cancer. The discussion was very candid and impactful. This will help us, help Thomas...as the first step towards designing anything successfully is looking at the problem through a lens of empathy. Look for more information (coming soon) about our drive to support Thomas and his family in his recovery.
Student Written/Directed One-Acts:
Students had the opportunity to have a fantastically informative discussion with published author (and RSS parent) Jana Zinser. Zinser was able to paint a picture (for our class) of an author's process and gave us insider tips about marketing/preparing those works for real world scenarios (like publishing houses and Hollywood executives). The discussion allowed students to reflect on character and plot development, alongwith the pitfalls common among new and developed writers. The discussion even prompted students who were unsure of writing a one act to try it out! I'm excited to see the impact of Zinser's expertise in our finished products. You may see some of them on the RSS stage this December!
BOOKS WE'RE READING
Mindset by Carol Dweck
Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell
Students and staff will create content in this space, as necessary, to further communicate about the goings on in the high school.