Independence High School is off to a great start this year! We started the 2016-2017 year with an enrollment of 82 students. This is a relatively high number to start the year, as compared to 65 students at the start of last year. We are encouraged by this upswing and take it as a sign that the school could be growing and is certainly providing a unique, quality program to at-risk students. The word is getting out there!
New additions to the Independence team are full time Assistant Principal- Jennifer Myers, Mathew Thomas- World History and Physical Education, and Ross Wold- Government, Economics, and US History. We also received a new special education teacher, Shoshana Henderson who was previously the teacher of Community Day School.
For our first collaboration staff meeting on August 29th, IHS hosted a guest speaker, Paul Osincup with Community Matter to work with staff on continuing our growth in enhancing our overall school climate. We felt with the new staff in place, it is important to still put forth focused work in this area in order to continue the gains we have seen in this area. Paul provided real-time examples of how to deal with student classroom disruptions and how to communicate with students in such a way to successfully de-escalate and redirect problem behaviors. Our mission is to wake up the courage of students and adults to create a school that is safe, welcoming, and totally inclusive.
On August 25, IHS had a record high parent turnout for Back to School Night! Students and their families were excited to come to the school and meet the new staff and re-connect with everyone. Refreshments were served-always a hit!
And finally, in our ongoing efforts to promote positive school climate, IHS has implemented a Perfect Attendance Positive Reward System. This is a special pizza party lunch for students with perfect attendance throughout each month. We held our first one last Friday to honor the 15 students who held perfect attendance in August—they felt honored and excited to be recognized for their investment in their own education. Hopefully other students took note and these lunches get bigger and bigger!