Rebel Roundup: Updates from the High School
We have had a busy start to the year, and it is hard to believe we are already at the end of the first month of school! With homecoming falling during the second week of school this year, and all the associated activities, time has flown by. We have been working on some big projects throughout the summer that are now coming to fruition this fall. Our 1:1 technology initiative, a long time goal, has finally been realized for our juniors and seniors. Thanks to all of the hard work of our staff in preparing to teach in a 1:1 environment, and in particular Andy Berndt, for getting these computers set and ready to go. This has been a big push because we realize that we need to prepare students for the technological demands of life beyond high school. In addition, technology is a medium through which education happens. It enhances the experiences of our students, building relevance to their lives. Next year we hope to be 1:1 in the entire secondary.
This summer we received an anti-vaping grant from Soter Technologies to purchase vape detectors for our school. With the use of e-cigarettes and vaping on the rise throughout the country and state, school districts are taking measures to keep their students safe. We will be installing vape detectors in bathrooms throughout the high school that will notify staff by text message if someone is vaping. In addition, we will be adding an educational component to our tobacco use violation protocol. If a student is caught using tobacco in any form, including vaping, they will have to complete a lesson on tobacco use prevention while on suspension. Parents should not have to worry about whether or not their child will be exposed to vaping in our school, and we want to keep it that way.
Another way we will be keeping your student safe this year is by implementing parking lot searches with our detection canines. This means that any vehicle parked on school property or school leased property (back lot behind the new gym addition) will be subject to checks by our school detection canine. As is the practice with lockers, if the dog alerts on a vehicle, a search will be conducted. The owner of the vehicle will be called down to go through their vehicle with the dog handler and school administration. If contraband is found, then law enforcement will be contacted. Our dogs are able to indicate the presence of drugs, alcohol, firearms, gun powder, and prescription drugs.
Another grant that has been in the works for MCC high school this year is a Behavioral Health and Wellness Grant. This is a grant in partnership with the state of Minnesota that offers a social emotional learning-based curriculum in order to promote behavioral awareness, social competency, positive mental health and the prevention of substance use and abuse. Implementation of this curriculum would be through our health classes and the grant would cover the cost of teacher training, the curriculum, time and other expenses, as well as technical assistance to support implementation. Schools across the nation are implementing SEL programs in their schools due to the increased need in mental health support and substance use prevention, and this is a great opportunity to integrate some of these concepts into our curriculum.
We are off to a great start this year and consider ourselves privileged to have the opportunity of working with your child. Our teachers are working hard to give all students the best education possible and prepare them for the future. We also recognize that our school is only as strong as the support we receive from our community. It truly takes all of us working together to develop the potential in every student. Thank you for your support.
Jake Scandrett- HS Principal