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Sneak Peak at Today's Back-to-School Mariner Moment

posted Aug 28, 2014, 3:25 AM by Todd West
Please see the Island Advantages for more back-to-school information!

Ads for back to school sales and cool, crisp evenings are sure signs that summer is coming to a close and another school year is about to get underway.  The first day of classes for 9th grade students will be Tuesday, September 2nd and all students will start on Wednesday, September 3rd.  While many students probably disagree, as an educator I find the first day of school one of the most exciting days of the year, full of possibilities and promise.

I would like to welcome seven staff members on board at the high school.  Carrie Kern will be joining the high school faculty as the special ed resource room teacher, having most recently taught in the Kennebunk school system.  John Lincoln, an actor and theater manager from Rhode Island, will be serving as the Reach Director.  And a familiar face, Emily Wendell, will be the K-12 Library/Media Specialist.  Alexe Clarke, Hannah Willette, and Melissa Moore will be joining the special education staff as educational technicians.  Another familiar face returning to the high school will be Sandra Gross, who will also be an educational technician.  We welcome Alexe, Carrie, Emily, Hannah, John, Melissa, and Sandra to our staff.

At Deer Isle-Stonington High School, our goal is to make sure that each student who enters our school earns a diploma and is prepared for all aspects of adult life- college, work, and citizenship.  We truly want to create a school that works for every student!  As has always been the case, students today need to know the basics- the three R’s, science, history.  Students today also need to know real-world skills that will prepare them for the 21st century, including problem solving, group collaboration, public speaking, and critical thinking skills.

We envision a school where every student has a choice of participating in one of three Pathways by September of 2015.  Pathways will be flexibly designed to allow some students to dig deep in a single Pathway by participating over multiple years while at the same time allowing other students to move between and across Pathways as their needs and interests change.  

In an effort to support our diverse student community, we are in the process of developing thematic pathways in Marine Studies, Arts and Health Care. The Marine Studies Pathway- piloted last year- allows students to learn in the community, on the shore, and on the water, working alongside teachers, fishermen, scientists, and other marine professionals, preparing them for college and marine careers. In the Arts pathway, which is being piloted this year, students will learn in and through the arts, focusing on collaboration, creativity and other 21st century skills which will provide students with the resources to successfully navigate through today’s complicated world. The Health Pathway being piloted next year will focus on the skills and tools that students need to take advantage of opportunities in medical institutions both on and off the island.

The high school continues to use Web 2.0 and social media technologies to provide more communication with parents and community members.  Students, parents, and community members are encouraged to “like” the high school Facebook page in order to get updates on school news and events.  The high school also has a Twitter feed (@DISHighSchool) that can be followed.  Additionally, students, parents, and community members can use the high school homepage (www.dishs.org) as an information hub for the high school by.  The website includes a school calendar (including athletic events), news feed, pictures of students hard at work, and a staff directory, among other things.

If you have any questions about the coming school year, or would like to discuss the challenges and opportunities the high is facing, please feel free to call me at 348-2303, e-mail me at toddwest@dishs.org, or stop by the school.
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