The articulation ensures that with the new Strong Schools, Strong Communities neighborhood schooling plan, you child has a space reserved for them, with busing, at Highland Park Senior High.
As the Articulation TOSA I spend my afternoons at Capitol Hill. I connect with your students in a number of ways, some of which include: lunch, AVID, Global Studies and Foundations. While it is my goal to help prepare the students for the high school transition wherever they end up, it is a team effort that is not possible without support from parents, the community and staff. In AVID I teach the students the skills they will need to succeed in High School and beyond and in Global Studies I am working with the team to ensure challenging assessments that will prepare them for the rigor of accelerated classes in High School while incorporating the gifted practices of the Parallel Curriculum Model.
When I visit classes I answer typical questions about High School in general. We talk about their fears and anxieties in relation to fact v. myth about high school. We also discuss the fun things that high school has to offer such as three or more choices at lunch, the ability to save money by opportunities for college credit, Homecoming, pep fests, and spirit week. I also show the students sample assessments and we discuss techniques they could use in their classes now to help prepare for the higher intensity rigor of accelerated high school classes.
Social activity is crucial in the transition process and being able to form a relationship with the students on a personal level is beneficial to the students understanding that they have 1. Someone they can trust to help them with this transition and balance. 2. Someone they are comfortable with to ask the tough questions, and 3. A direct link to someone who will help them with the registration process.
Later this year we are hoping to build strong connections to ease the transition process by bringing former Capitol Hill students back to teach sample lessons and answer questions in French, Band, and Orchestra.
Should your child choose Highland Park Senior High, they have a familiar advocate on day one. I spend my mornings at Highland Park. While my primary role is to serve the needs of new incoming freshmen, I also serve the needs of upper classmen who have previously been articulated. My office provides a comforting atmosphere for students to get their needs met whether they are in need of a snack, homework help, assistance in who to talk to about changing a class, counseling needs, or simply just an ear to vent their stressors to.
When I first started teaching in St. Paul, I became close with a number of Capitol Hill eighth grade students who are now seniors at Highland Park. It has been a joy to watch them grow and I am very busy in my spare time writing their requested letters of recommendation. As the years progress, this core group of students takes the new Capitol Hill students under their wings making sure they have their grades up, are making friends, joining clubs and providing the student advocacy and mentorship that is unique to Highland.
This year I connect with the seventy-five students who articulated to Highland in a number of ways. I teach two sections of grade 9 AVID. Approximately thirty five former Capitol Hill students were accepted into AVID this year and I connect with each and every one of them for a full class period daily in this way. The AVID classes are also mixed with students who were accepted from other middle schools and together they are learning study skills, character development and self advocacy.
I also connect with the students by one-one conferences, in the hallway, and in lunch. I am a visible presence in the school so that the students know that I am always available to them and whatever they need. In one-one conferences, I go over the students grades with them and we make plans of action together on how to create a better social, emotional and academic balance, stress management techniques, organization skills, self advocacy skills, and I am their point of contact for all questions and concerns regarding navigation of the school and its systems. This support is a vital resource that is unique only to Highland Park Senior High.