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Dear Parents and Staff,
Happy New Year and welcome back! Hopefully, everyone had a restful break and is ready to get started with the new semester. Second semester is somewhat like a new year; it provides the opportunity to renew our commitment to the work that needs to be done to achieve our goals. While there is much to do this semester, it is important to take a look at the first semester and celebrate the accomplishments of our students and staff.
- Named to 4th Annual AP District Honor Roll
- Developed 2014 summer school program for middle school students at-risk of dropping out
- Piloted two elementary math programs
- Developed the 2014-2015 course enrollment guide which includes online Personal Finance, Bio-Medical Sciences, Desktop Publishing, and Advanced Placement Geography
- Changed District policy to include the earning of high school credit for select middle school courses
- Earned Johns Hopkins District Parent Partnership Award
- Held inaugural FHSD Fundraiser Golf Tournament
- Began work to establish an Alumni Association
- Began planning Centennial Celebration for the 2014-15 school year
Finance and Facilities
- Earned the Meritorious Budget Award for eighth consecutive year
- Received unmodified opinion, the highest possible rating, on external audit
- Updated intercom systems district-wide
- Installed access control systems at all elementary and middle schools
- Renovated science labs at Hollenbeck and Barnwell Middle Schools
- Completed significant portion of athletic complex work at Francis Howell High School
- Completed teacher negotiations and 2014-15 staffing process
- Welcomed four new National Board Certified Teachers
- Recognized two Emerson Award winners
- Started work on new teacher evaluation for 2014-15
- Implemented new electronic time card system
- Initiated keyboarding class at third and fourth grade
- Completed final phase of installing SmartBoards in all classrooms
- Updated gifted technology and Board Room audiovisual equipment
- Updated Alternative Learning Center, Francis Howell Union, and Engineering by Design labs
- Updated and redistributed high school business lab computers
- Implemented Elementary Technology Program and 250 ChromeBooks
- Implemented a new technology service request and inventory system
- Increased bandwidth at all high schools and Heritage
In addition to the many first semester celebrations, students and staff demonstrated their talents and generosity in the Francis Howell Community. Numerous students, teachers, and administrators earned awards for their academic and professional achievements, and many of our students and staff generously shared their time and talents to help those who were in need. Contributions to charities, as well as toy, food, and coat drives provided a chance for our students to give back to the community and experience the joy of giving. It is these outstanding efforts by so many that make Francis Howell School District so exceptional.
The transfer issue continues to be a pressing matter for our school district. While we have managed to build systems to support our transfer students and families, we know that approximately 75-80% of the students did not leave the unaccredited districts and their educational futures are unknown. I am spending a great deal of time with various groups of people to advocate for what is best for our school district. Your involvement, by way of making your legislators know of any concerns that you have with regard to the school transfer issue, is highly encouraged.
While we accomplished so much first semester, our work is only half done. We will begin the second semester as we did the first—with enthusiasm, excitement, and hope. Thanks to each of you for all you did first semester to help us achieve so much.
The snow days have been a challenge for all; hopefully, we won’t many more this winter season. Click here to view the snow make-up day calendar.
Best wishes to your family for a healthy and happy 2014.
Dr. Pam Sloan
Superintendent of Schools