August 2017

Welcome to the 2017-2018 Year

It is true that the beginning of school is still four weeks away. Hopefully the summer has been one of fun with family and friends. This newsletter is not meant to ruin your summer vacation but as you will see within the content you will realize that the new school year is really just a few days away.
          As with the beginning of any new school year there are often unexpected changes that occur during the summer. With that said, Michael Bradbury, our French and global studies teacher for the past eight years, has accepted a new teaching job in Burlington, Vermont. On behalf of his former students and colleagues, we wish him well in his new position.

         With his departure, we are going in a new direction with the hiring of a new Spanish teacher. Students who signed up for French and/or global studies have been assigned Spanish. Special arrangements will be made for students who wish to complete French 2 for college admission requirements. Please review all the dates and information in this newsletter to prepare for the new school year. The first day of school is August 28.

Registration and Class Schedule

           In order to increase the return of important contact information and payment of school fees, students and their parents or guardians will attend a registration day on Thursday, August 17 from 7:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
           Stop by the school office to update the registration form, parking permission slips, provide insurance info and pay fees for athletics, ASB, meals and anticipated shop fees.
           Once registration forms are completed, students will receive their class schedules and a FREE Panther Pride t-shirt.If students wish to change their schedule, appointments may be made for the week of August 21.

Fall Sports Begin August 14

          To prepare for the fall seasons of cross country, football, cheer and volleyball, students are required to complete all paperwork prior to beginning practice. The school office will be open starting on Monday, August 7, to process paperwork prior to the beginning of practice. Required paperwork includes: Proof of insurance, updated physical and payment of fees. Fee is $75.00. If payment is not complete in full, arrangements are to be made prior to the first contest.

Welcome New Staff Members to the High School

          We welcome three new faculty members to the teaching staff: June Lemke, Alaina Pepin and Karen Nichols. Ms. Lemke is our new counselor and careers coordinator. She joins us after working in Hermiston and Sweet Home.  Ms. Pepin is a recent graduate of the University of Northern Michigan and will be teaching English 1. Mrs. Nichols will be teaching Spanish and yearbook. She previously taught in Bend and Eugene. Stop by and meet our new staff.

Construction Updates

           The tsunami retrofit project continues now in the senior hall classrooms and the new gym. As you drive by the school this month you will notice the exterior trim near the roof being removed to access the gym roof. The walls on the upper level of the gym were removed to create new activity space and a team meeting room. The weight room has been moved to the senior hall. An additional art room will be created for ceramics by splitting the middle computer lab into two rooms. As fall sports season approaches, be aware of special notices for locker room access.

Parent and Community Engagement

          Parents are essential partners in the success of every student. Parents of high school students tend to be less visible as compared to the elementary school as students become more independent, however, this does not minimize the importance of staying informed and involved in school activities. Here are some suggestions: Consider volunteering at the office, library or a sporting event. Apply to be an ASPIRE mentor. Attend the Site Council meetings. Regularly check on Family Link to monitor grades and attendance.

New Spanish Classes

          Many students signed up for French during last spring’s class forecasting. With Mr. Bradbury’s departure, the decision was made to offer Spanish instead. This makes for a transitional year to honor the college admission requirement for two years of the same foreign language. Students who signed up for French I and/or Global Studies are enrolled in Spanish I. 10th and 11th graders who signed up for French 2 have been enrolled in Spanish I with time to complete two years of study. French 2 will be offered this year only via online in the library. See Ms. Lemke if you do not want to take Spanish.

Academic Tutoring on Tuesdays and Wednesdays

          The district was recently awarded a grant to offer additional academic tutoring and homework assistance. Staff will be available in the library from 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. A snack will be provided as well as transportation home by school bus. Students, including athletes on academic probation, will be required to attend the tutoring session prior to going to practice. Parents may also assign their students to attend the after school program. The tutoring will also be available at Riley Creek for K-8 students.

Student-Parent Handbook Available August 17

          The revised Student-Parent Handbook will be available on August 17 during registration. Parents will be provided a copy at that time. There will be a handbook review for students during the first week of school. It is important that everyone is informed of school rules and policies. The handbook will also be available on the school webpage ( New rules and policies this year include back pack restrictions, improved attendance communication and a Positive Panther Pride Program.