Friday, October 7, 2016

News and Notes: 3.5

Special Edition - Homecoming 2016!
Hall marches by the band, dress up days, pep assemblies, float building...oh, and we still have school. This is Homecoming week!

I like seeing the participation in all the events associated with this week. Especially rewarding is seeing the participation rates and school spirit build in the kids. Even our Early Childhood Center and Elementary staff and students get into it. It is especially cool to see freshmen getting involved. Their class sponsor, Ms. Betz, instills the traditions of WLHS into the whole week. I was in a class full of freshmen when some Spirit Week participation results were read over the PA. The freshmen, the Class of 2020, were winning! And, they were proud. They started to cheer, and their teacher did her best to change the focus back to academics...though her big smile gave her real feelings away. Their excitement was contagious, and she had caught it.

Of course, if your sons and/or daughters are in high school, you probably experienced float building stories. Special thanks to the Tetreau, Stefanovski, Leach and Tanner families for giving up their garages for a week while our students plugged away at the floats, which will be displayed proudly during the parade today and tonight at the game. Our Homecoming Dance is open to all WLHS students on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. Please promote the importance of getting involved with all school has to offer, but also promote safety and good decision making.

This is a really exciting week. Take some to time to see the efforts our students and staff put into your community. The WLHS Equestrian Team, District and Regional Champions, compete for a state title this week in Midland. Volleyball and Cross Country are building their hopes for post-season competition with good senior leadership. They compete on Thursday and Saturday, respectively. Our football team hosts Madison on Friday night at 7 p.m.

The fact that we were voted as “Leo’s Coney Island High School Game of the Week” will make this week that much more exciting. Brad Galli from 7 Action News will be broadcasting live from the game along with Joey Radio from Channel 955. We look forward to having students, staff, community members and alumni come out to help spotlight why it continues to be a great day to be a Trojan.

College Month: Saddle Up for College
At WLPS we are dedicated to creating a college-going culture. We define college as credentials beyond a high school diploma. Last year I highlighted our PAC’s (Post-Secondary Advisory Council) efforts and wanted to again speak to it as there are some new and exciting things happening. The biggest is now that the FAFSA can be filled out starting on October 1 rather than January 1, October has been declared College Month. Throughout the month, our seniors will be focused on completing three tasks, all before October 31.

1) Complete the FAFSA
We assist them in achieving this goal by providing Open Lab time every Friday this month from 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m. in B201. In addition, we are hosting a FAFSA filing night for seniors and their parents titled Round Up Some Do-Si-Dough for College next Wednesday evening. See details on the event HERE.

2) Complete at least one College Application
Seniors can complete this task during the Open Lab times as well. In addition, this month is littered with colleges visiting WLHS; some are even waiving the application fee. And, if that isn't enough, seniors can visit three college campuses throughout the month. They'll be heading to Western Michigan University and Kalamazoo College on October 12 and to Central Michigan University on October 24.

3) Complete a Scholarship Application
Again, this can easily be completed during the Open Labs. Additionally, college representatives and other community members specializing in scholarships and essays will be on hand to provide feedback and help. We have all the bases covered.

To add to the fun, every Monday this month is Mascot Mondays, where students and staff can sport college gear. Every Wednesday is Western/Wisdom Wednesday, where we all channel our inner John Wayne with our wardrobe and staff shares college-related wisdom with their students.

As students complete each task for the month, they receive accessories for their own “College Corral,” as pictured below. And, when students get accepted to colleges, the respective mascots will be "corralled". Additionally, students will earn raffle tickets for completing each of their tasks, and they'll be entered in a weekly raffle for fun college-related prizes.

For students who complete ALL THREE tasks by October 31, there is a rather exciting western-themed celebration in store for them. I’ve heard rumblings of a mechanical bull coming to these parts, so I assure seniors they will not want to miss out.

Our Elementary is even joining in on College Month, participating in Mascot Mondays and teachers displaying their degrees in their classroom. We hope to increase the involvement even more for next year’s College Month to strengthen our college-going culture, K-12.

We look forward to having a College Corral filled with filed FAFSA’s, completed applications, and students on the path to successful post-secondary plans. I commend our Counseling Department and PAC for all their efforts and energy to make this campaign a success.

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