August 17, 2021
Hello Barnstable High School Community,
I am so very excited to be joining the BHS community as the High School Principal and look forward to connecting with you as I seek to learn more about the BHS community and how we can work together to continue moving forward.
I was fortunate to spend several days before the end of the 20-21 school year doing pre-entry transition days. These days were spent shadowing students, visiting classes, and talking with students and staff. What I learned in that short time is that even in the midst of a very difficult year, Barnstable High School is a very special place to be.
One of the main things I have been working on since I began on July 1, along with the opening of school, is a formal entry plan that will help me hit the ground by listening to and learning from all of you.
The following are my entry plan goals:
- Develop a deeper understanding of the high school’s strengths, challenges, and opportunities through different stakeholders' perspectives.
- Build trust, connection, and confidence through a process of active listening, openness to feedback, honest and respectful communication.
- Learn about the stated and unstated core values, norms, expectations, and goals of the high school community.
- Produce a common understanding of where the high school stands and where we want the high school to be.
- Collaboratively develop a school improvement/strategic action plan that focuses on innovation and new thinking that emerges from the entry plan results.
I will work on these goals through 3 phases:
- Listening and Learning, through a series of staff and student individual and group interviews, classroom visits, surveys and family and community interviews, and drop-in sessions.
- Making Sense of it All, working with others to analyze and interpret the data and bringing the patterns and themes that emerge to the BHS stakeholders to discuss. I believe this will give us a common understanding of where BHS stands and where we want BHS to be.
- Deciding Where We Want to Go, using this information along with other data to create the school improvement plan in the spring to identify next steps and what we want our goals to be moving forward to be.
I am looking forward to getting to know all of you, but in this initial learning and listening period, I know it is not possible to connect with everyone. I hope students, faculty, and parents will sign up for group sessions. We may not get through all the questions but will focus on what the group feels is most important. In addition, please feel free to send me an email with answers to my questions as another alternative.
Phase 1 - Initial Listening and Learning
Phase 2 - Making Sense of it All
Phase 3 - Deciding Where We Want to Go
Documents for Review
In addition to the interviews, I will review a variety of resources starting with the following documents. Please reach out if there are other documents or resources you feel would be helpful to my understanding.
BPS School Committee Policies
BHS Student Handbook
BHS Staff Handbook
BHS Program of Studies
BHS past SIP’s
BHS Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and Aspen Data
BTA Work-place satisfaction surveys for BHS
BHS Student Council spring survey
Keep/Stop/Start/Celebrate student and staff survey
There may be different follow-up questions that are unique to each interview session:
- Tell me your story/Tell me about yourself and your connection to Barnstable High School. (for individual interviews)
- What is your learning experience at BHS? (for students) OR
- What is your students’ learning experience at BHS? (for parent/caregiver) OR
- How would characterize the teaching and learning philosophy at BHS? (for faculty and staff) OR
- What is your experience with BHS students? (for community members)
- Based on the initiative on diversity equity and inclusion, how do you feel the high school has progressed since starting this work and what do you think we need to push forward to be an anti-racist institution?
- What is the most important issue facing the high school today?
- What kind of leadership are you looking for from me?
- What do you feel we need to do to support our students socially/emotionally?
- To support our faculty and staff socially/emotionally?