Thursday, October 20, 2016

Understanding Grades, Progress Reports, and Semester Report Cards at McGivney

As an educator, this past week is one that is full of late nights discussing the positives and sometimes negatives of a child's education.  This week, Parent/Student/Teacher Conference Week, is one educators look forward to.  We like to speak to you regarding your child's progress, we like to point out things that can be improved upon, and most of all we like meeting and getting to know each and every one of you.  There are some things I have discovered this past week about my communication, the communication by the teachers, and the abilities of your children. 

These conferences are set at a progress report time, a time where your child is able to see their halfway progress and then do what is needed in order to achieve the grade they believe they deserve for the work they put in.  We like to provide you information at this point in the grading period so that changes can be made in study habits, assignment completion, and new skills can be learned in order to achieve academically.  These grades are progress report grades.  They are factored into the semester grade, but they are not yet the be all, end all.  If your child is struggling, there is still time to achieve and reach the academic level wanted.  These are grades in progress, they do not go on the transcript, but are factored in to the semester grade in December, there is still time.

As stated in the handbook, this quarter grade is added to the second quarter grade and then the final exam (10%) is factored in to give us the semester grade.  The semester grade is the one that is permanent, it is the one that goes on the transcript, it is the one that determines Grade Point Average.

Hang in there students and parents, this is only the halfway point of the semester.  If you are where you want to be academically, great.  If not, change some habits, ask for help, use some of the suggested study skills, and go in to see your teachers.  This is your academic career, you own it and only you have control over it.  Just know, we are all here to help, you just need to ask.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Helping My Students Help Themselves

There is a culture present at Father McGivney, one I have not seen at previous schools where I worked.  Upon first walking into the building, you can almost sense something is different, and then when you actually meet the students, talk with them, and watch their interactions you can see that the students genuinely care about one another.
For the freshman class and transfer students, there is a time where adjusting to the academic load as well as a new environment becomes overwhelming.  Sometimes it takes a few weeks for those new students to realize this is actually how our student body is, helping, welcoming, and caring.  I have been to other schools where students are ridiculed for their inadequacies which is painful to see, but not here.  
I enjoy coming to work every day and being with the students, I enjoy helping them learn skills to ask teachers for help, to work out conflict, and to find out who they are meant to be in this life.  I want all the students to know that it is not just me who wants to help them succeed, but also the teachers and administration.  I want them to seek out help whether it be for an upcoming test, a paper, or just some advice.  No one wants here wants anyone to fail and that positive environment radiates throughout everything we at Father McGivney do.
This is who we are, We Are Griffins!