Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Beginning of year updates from L&N

As of the end of the day tomorrow, Thursday, all L&N students should have an active email account and iPad to access it.  You’ll spend some time reviewing the Student Handbook in one of your classes, but I wanted to send a few pointed reminders and updates for this new school year.

1.  Schedules:  We were granted ability to hire a couple new teachers.  Schedules are being moved to allow class sizes to get smaller.  All class changes made now are instigated by either counselors or administrators.  Students may no longer request changes out of classes.  By Tuesday (day after Labor Day) all schedules should be settled and everyone in the classes you’ll stay in until the end of the year.

2.  iPads and Belongings:  We are very lucky to have a school with relatively low incidences of theft – but they do happen.  Keep aware of the location of your stuff.  Don’t leave your iPad laying around at school – and definitely not away from school!  While at school still stay aware of where your backpack/purse/wallet/phone, etc. is.  We’ve already had reports of some unsavory behavior that has resulted in some money and iPods being taken from students when they were not looking.  Keep your eyes open, report suspicious activity.  We will prosecute to the extent we are able.  Theft and other illegal activities will not be tolerated!

3.  Awareness:  we’ve had increased reports of students being approached in the public parking lots.  The lack of parking space on campus is something we cannot control.  It was a known limitation when we opened the school.  You have other ways to get to school than to drive yourself – there are school buses running all over the city, we will provide you with a KAT pass to ride the public buses if you ask for one, you may be dropped off, or you may drive and park where available.  Parking on campus is not a right – it is not guaranteed to anyone.  Even larger schools cannot park all student drivers.  It is also a condition in many higher education institutions.  Regardless of how you get here, remain vigilant as you walk around campus, to your cars, or in our vicinity.  Report suspicious people to any adult on campus.  We have requested a stronger police and security presence.  They are there and some are in unmarked cars and plainclothes.  Just be good urban citizens and always be aware of your surroundings including people near you.

4.  Responsibility:  this goes along with all of our STEM Habits.  As you grow and develop here you will earn more freedoms.  However, abuse of opportunities will result in you losing those freedoms and could cost your classmates theirs.  We get to do lots of things others don’t.  But we have to be able to trust you.  Be thankful for what you’ve earned.  Do what you’re supposed to do and be where you’re supposed to be and you’ll keep earning opportunities for freedom.  Abuse them and they will go away. 
Special note to seniors (and juniors looking at internships):  The ability to leave is not a right.  If you’re grades are not above 2.5 GPA, or you’re not on track to graduate on time, you will not be allowed to leave for SOSE or internships.  Your first responsibility is graduation – everything else is icing.  If you’re found to have a pattern of checking out (even legally, with a note from parents) at certain times over and over (like lunch time), we will start with a conversation with your parent where we will require more than a note from them for you to leave.  NO ONE is allowed to check out for lunch and come back for class.  It is statements like this that go around the community and will get the ability to leave for SOSE and STEM 4 taken away.  Do not abuse this privilege – it can be lost!

5.  Lastly – communicate:  Share your Active Directory credentials (username and password) with your parents so they can log in until parent-specific credentials are made available.  Email your teachers with questions, but give them time to respond.  Reach out for help when you don’t understand.  Use email and Genius Hour time to get help!

There are some great opportunities coming up with the Congressional Medal of Honor Convention that will be held at the Holiday Inn and the Veterans’ Day Parade.  Please help us have the power to ask for freedoms for you to enjoy and participate because we can trust you to do what you should. 

Becky Ashe
Founding Principal, L&N STEM Academy
STEM Coordinator Knox County Schools
Ph 865.329.8440  F 865.329.8457

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