Learning from the Solar Eclipse
On Monday, August 21st, the moon will pass between the Earth and the sun for the first coast-to-coast total solar eclipse since 1918.
Millions of Americans in 12 states will be able to watch this solar spectacle that will turn day into night for a couple of minutes. The eclipse will begin just before noon on Monday (11:57 am) with the maximum eclipse viewable in southeast Louisiana at about 1:29 pm.
Our teachers and students will make the most of this rare opportunity by using it to enhance and enrich our students' learning. Students will learn about the eclipse, the factors that bring it about and will participate in eclipse related learning activities.
As I reflect on the 2016 – 2017 school year, it is apparent that we embraced the district motto for the year, “PICTURE the POSSIBILITIES,” and realized great successes at Rowley.
Our middle schoolers, when challenged, met the requirements to transition to the next grade by realizing success on the district benchmarks. The majority of our ninth graders met the credit requirements to transition to the tenth grade. A solid percentage of our high schoolers passed the EOCs to meet the state requirements for a high school diploma. 100% of our twelfth graders met the requirements for a high school diploma through instruction, online credit recovery, and online credit attainment; as did a number of eleventh graders who accomplished that goal to become seniors within three years. We pictured the possibilities and it happened.
We received a grant that enabled us to offer after-school tutoring twice a week; provide bus transportation following tutoring; and, to offer additional school-based opportunities for PLC collaboration. We revamped a schedule that had been in place for 10 years which allowed for a common planning period for middle school teachers (thus extending opportunities for team collaboration); an enrichment period for middle schoolers during which we were able to provide art enrichment and life skills education through community partnerships; an extra class period for the implementation of a school-based Social Skills curriculum; and, a different bell schedule for middle school and high school. We also transitioned from a point card system to a daily tracker for each student and increased communication with parents via the Student Success Planner. We enhanced our high school program with the addition of a Jumpstart credentialing class and we also implemented WorkKeys as an added assessment tool to assist our high schoolers with college admissions.
We are very proud of the innovations and additions we brought to fruition during the school year, just as we are proud of our school and district efforts towards receiving accreditation through Advanc Ed. It has been a busy and successful school year at Rowley and, just as we “Pictured the Possibilities” for 2016 – 2017, we are prepared to go “Beyond the Expected” for the 2017 – 2018 school year.
Have a safe and happy summer!
Your partner in education,
C.F. Rowley Alternative School