Principal Letter

What did you learn today? What mistake did you make that taught you something? What did you try hard at today? – Carol Dweck

Welcome to the 2016 – 2017 School Year!

The 2016 – 2017 school year begins the 50th year of East High School.  As we think about our transition into the community we are today, we have a great deal to celebrate!   We start by welcoming over 1,900 students to this school year.  This is the largest we have been in over 8 years, and we can safely say we are ready for the incoming students.  The building and grounds are prepared, teachers’ classrooms are ready, and I look forward to the learning and growth for all of us over the course of this year.

We have several goals this year as we work with students and staff.  During the course of last year, we rewrote our mission statement.  Our new mission statement is; “The mission of our East community is to foster the development of our artistic, athletic, and academic selves by establishing a respectful, empathetic environment that values diversity, global citizenship, and civic responsibility.”  This statement was the work of students, staff, and families. It exemplifies the work we do daily.   Our goal this year is to unpack this statement so that all members of our community see themselves, the work they do, and the learning process in which they engage, aligned with those words.

During the start of the school year, we challenged staff to think about, and to be able to answer the following statements and questions as they work with students and each other to understand the “why”. To ask questions of each other with the stem “I wonder”. To offer, with humility, the question, “How can I help?”  These questions were prompted by the graduate speaker at Harvard University this year, whose video you can find on this link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bW0NguMGIbE.

As a staff, we are also taking on a year long study of the book Mindset by Carol Dweck.  The author writes about the mindset of people from the vantage point of either being a fixed mindset or a growth mindset.  As learners, what approach do we make to learn new things?   How do we approach mistakes we make?  How do we handle challenges?  These questions, along with many others, will be part of our monthly discussion and learning, with the goal of having an impact on the work we do with young people. 

I am excited to discover what this school year has in store for us.  I am proud to be part of this thoughtful and committed community.  I am excited about the partnering in which we will engage to best serve the learning needs of your student.  

Go Spartans!