Tooele High School

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Principal's Message

                            July 23, 2018


TO:                 ALL Tooele High School Parents and Students, 2018-2019
FROM:           Jeffrey D. Hamm, Principal
                       Tooele High School

 

Dear Parents and Students:

 

Welcome back to Tooele High School for the 2018-2019 school year! It’s hard to believe that another Summer is already winding down!! I am excited, grateful, and humbled for the opportunity to continue serving as your Principal at Tooele High School--great students, terrific staff, and wonderful community--I am so proud to be a part of Buff Nation!!! This is going to be another terrific new year!


The beginning of school brings anticipation and excitement unlike any other time of year; as always, this year includes many changes and great opportunities for ALL of us!! The pressure is always on to accomplish more with less. Our entire staff is excited and looking forward to the opportunity of working with you on behalf of your student(s) in our school and in our community. We have an excellent staff who believes that ALL children can learn, and we are committed to helping each student achieve his/her potential.


We realize that schools were created to serve and to educate students. We intend to maintain high standards of academic excellence and to establish high expectations for student achievement. With these goals in mind, we anticipate a very productive and rewarding school year. Each of our teachers offers unique educational experiences that will help students to learn and to grow, as well as to develop intellectually, socially, physically, and emotionally.


We also recognize that the parent is the primary educator of the child, and we encourage you to participate and get involved in the activities at our school. We believe that “it takes a village to raise a child,” which includes a combination of home, school, and community members working together, resulting in a more effective and positive educational experience for everyone.


The purpose of this letter is to share some information (old and new) with you about our school for the upcoming year, as follows . . ..

1) Comings and Goings: First off, we would like to welcome (back) Mr. Jared Small into a newly-created Assistant Principalship at Tooele High School. Mr. Small worked in the same capacity at THS from 2008-2011, after which he served as the Principal at both Clarke N. Johnsen Jr. High School and Grantsville High School. We feel lucky and blessed to have him back and encourage everyone to welcome him home.


In addition, we welcome two new counselors, and several newly-created/restructured

Teaching positions, as follows . . .
  • Michelle Bolin (Counselor); replaced by Cody Mortenson.
  • Mary Murphy (Counselor); replaced by Shane Humpherys.
  • Newly-created Reading Teacher position filled by Melinda Dow.
  • Newly-created English Teaching position filled by Dana Emery.
  • Newly-created Vo-Ag Teaching position filled by Kassadie Russell.
  • Newly-created Band Teaching position (part-time) filled by Jordan Wright.

. . . and we say goodbye to the Teachers listed below and welcome their replacements:
  • Brannon Harmer (ELA); replaced by Liisa Mecham.
  • Nala Hall/Michelle McInnis (Math); replaced by Jed Thomas.
  • Shannon Proctor (Math); replaced by Michael Rutledge.
  • Frances Potter (Photography); replaced by Tyler Gathro.
  • Jennifer Gygi (Part-Time Health); replaced by Shannon Mower.
  • John Olson (Student Government); replaced by Josie Beer.
  • Annie Walgamott (Swimming); replaced by Matthew Mecham.
  • Allison Evans (Cheerleading); replaced by Jennie Vowles.
  • Kaycee Tomboc (Color Guard); replaced by Alexandria Hickle.
 
We also bid a fond farewell to the Classified Employees listed below from this past year, and welcome their corresponding replacements, as follows:
  • Jim Millward (EdNet Coordinator); replaced by Lynette Nieberger.
  • Sarah Camper (Scholarship Coordinator); replaced by Alisha Dangerfield.
  • Leauna McNicol (AmeriCorps Aide); replaced by Samantha Beaubien.
  • Gabriela Iniguez (Custodian); replaced by Mijkan Burr.
  • Newly-created Full-Time Custodian position filled by Natalie Reimann
Thanks to each of these people for their dedicated service, their commitment to students, and for ALL their positive contributions to Tooele High School.
 
Finally, we still have the following vacancies left to fill . . .
  • Full-Time Permanent Sub.
  • 2 Severe Classroom Paraeducators.
  • 2 Adult Cleaners.
Student Sweeper.
. . . but we expect to be fully staffed by the first day of school. So, if you are interested--or if you know anyone who might be interested--in any of these positions, we encourage you to submit a job application through Tooele County School District’s employment website at tooeleschools.org.
 

2) SAGE Test Scores: We are happy to report some significant improvements in our SAGE testing results. First off, special thanks to ALL our students and parents who “opted in” to take the test this year--we were able to cut our number of opt-out letters by 75%--from >160 last year to <40 this year, so thank you!

Accordingly, Our SAGE scores reflected everyone’s participation and effort. Specifically, we achieved all-time highs in four of the nine areas tested in Tooele High School’s history of SAGE testing, including ELA 9 with an 8% growth in proficiency, Math I with 14% proficiency growth, Math III with 12% growth, and Earth Science growing by 8% as well. And we either broke even or had positive gains in three of the other five areas tested (Math II, Biology, and Physics).

So yeah, overall, great academic gains for Tooele High School this year in terms of growth. We appreciate everyone’s participation and effort in helping us succeed; but we are still far from satisfied. We want to be the BEST, and we want to continue these gains trending upward until we achieve our vision of EVERY student proficient.

3) Campus Improvements: Looking back over just the past three years, we have been able to get a number of projects completed, several of which are still in the works:
PROJECT       COMPLETION
 New Tennis Courts  Done
 New Bell System Done
 Intercom Upgrades     Done
 Document Cameras in Every Classroom  Done
 Wireless Sound Systems in Every Classroom Done
 Projectors in Every Classroom   Done
 Promethean Boards in Every Classroom  Done
 New Sound System on Football Field  Done
 New Sound System in Gym      Done
 New Phone System Done
 Wi-Fi Upgrades        Done
 New Track  Done
 New Restrooms on Football Field      Done
 New Concessions Stand on Football Field   Done
 New Storage Facilities on Football Field     Done
 Safety Fence on Football Field   Done
 Band Lockers Replaced    Done
 New Camera System    Online August 2018
 New Softball Field     Spring 2019
 Baseball Field Renovations and Upgrades Spring 2019
     
Special thanks to our School Board and Tooele County School District Administration for recognizing the need(s) and for helping us get these projects completed in a timely manner. We also wish to give a shout out to our Community Council for ALL their hard work and foresight in approving our 3-year technology plan through the Trust Lands program, and for helping us get caught up into the twenty-first century with document cameras, projectors, Promethean Boards, and wireless sound systems in EVERY classroom.

Finally, we want to thank our TERRIFIC custodial staff and secretaries for their tireless efforts throughout the summer. They have worked diligently every day--cleaning, cutting checks, enrolling new students, fixing, mowing, paying bills, typing, etc.--to ensure that everything school-related is up and running for the beginning of the new school year. Their job(s)--and the corresponding work--never ends, and we appreciate ALL our custodians and secretaries at Tooele High School--they are the BEST!!

4) Online Registration, Registration Dates and Times, and Student-Parent Handbooks: ALL students are required to register online through Tooele County School District’s website, which has been open since May 15 to register for 2018-19. In addition, Tooele High School’s registration dates and times have been established, as follows:
  • Thursday, August 9 from 8:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m. (Returning Students)
  •  Monday, August 13 @ 9:00 a.m. (New Juniors)
  • Monday, August 13 @ 11:00 a.m. (New Sophomores)
  • Monday, August 13 @ 1:00 p.m. (New Freshmen)
  • Thursday August 16 (New Seniors may register by appointment)

Any problems, questions, or concerns with registration? Please contact us at the enclosed (email) address and telephone number(s). Our Student-
Parent Handbooks and Magnets will be passed out during the first week back to school.
 
~Important Dates to Remember~
AUGUST:
Senior Pictures: Tuesday-Wednesday, July 31-August 1
Back-to-School Night: Monday, August 20 (4:00-6:00 p.m.)
Classwork Begins: Tuesday, August 21
School Pictures: Monday-Tuesday, August 27-28
 
SEPTEMBER:
Labor Day: Monday, September 3 (NO SCHOOL)
Parent-Teacher Conference #1: Wednesday, September 12 (4:00-7:00 p.m.)
Makeup Monday #1: Monday, September 17 (3:00-4:00 p.m.)
Community Council: Wednesday, September 19 @ 5:00 p.m. (Library)
Homecoming: Friday, September 21 (vs. Ben Lomond)
Mid-Terms Go Home: Monday, September 24 (via email only)
 
OCTOBER:
Makeup Picture Day: Monday, October 1
TCSD PBIS Forum: Monday, October 8 (NO SCHOOL for Students)
UEA Convention: Thursday-Friday, October 18-19(NO SCHOOL)
Makeup Monday #2: Monday, October 22 (3:00-4:00 p.m.)
1st-Term ENDS: Thursday, October 25 (45 Days)
TCSD Data Day: Friday, October 26 (NO SCHOOL for Students)
2nd-Term BEGINS: Monday, October 30

Just like last year, our Back-to-School Night will be an open-house format where parents can come and meet with their children’s teachers during any time between the hours of 4:00-6:00 p.m. We will have maps available for parents to help find their student’s teachers, and we can print schedules as needed.

5) Secondary Early Out on Wednesday: Just a friendly reminder that the early release day for ALL secondary schools in Tooele County School District is Wednesdays @ 1:30 p.m.

6) Makeup Mondays and P-T Conferences: Just like last year, we will have 8 Makeup Mondays prior to each mid-term and end-of-quarter where Teachers are contracted to stay an additional hour after school--from 3:00-4:00 p.m. to be available for meeting with students and help them get caught up on their missing work and/or late assignments. These Mondays are in addition to our regularly-scheduled 4 Parent-Teacher Conferences at mid-term of each quarter (please see attached schedule).

7) Mid-Terms via Email; Report Cards Mailed Home. Also, just like last year, mid-term grades will only be emailed home--in order to save on postage; but report cards will continue to be mailed home at the end of each quarter through the U.S. Postal Service. This makes registration at the beginning of the year critical, in that we need valid email addresses for parents in order to communicate--not only with our monthly newsletters—but also with the mid-term grades for parents and guardians.
 
8) Citizenship Policy: Just a reminder that Tooele County School District’s Citizenship Policy requires ALL students to make up any U’s on their transcript before being eligible to participate in ANY extracurricular activities, regardless of circumstance. Each “U” requires two hours of makeup time, as outlined in our handbook.

That being said, a word about sportsmanship . . .
Student athletes are students first, and we realize that schools were created to serve and to educate our students. We intend to maintain high standards of academic excellence and to establish high expectations for student achievement. With these goals in mind, we anticipate another very productive and rewarding school year!
Buffalo class and sportsmanship should always shine through--our collective character is always showing. We compete hard--to the best of our abilities--and we play to win fairly, between the lines and according to the rules. We applaud good performances on the other side of the field when they are warranted. Then, at the end of the day, we hold our heads high, and we congratulate our opponents on a game well-played--win or lose.
We have the highest expectations for ALL our student-athletes--both on and off the field--and we would remind them (and all those who support them) that representing Tooele High School in the athletic arena, in the classroom, in the stands, at home, or on the road--is a privilege. We expect to be the BEST--and we hold ALL involved with any extracurricular programs associated with Tooele High School to the highest of standards.

9) Dress Code: Please see  Tooele County School District’s Student Dress Code.
 
10) Reunification Site(s): In the wake of recent school tragedies at other schools across the country, we think it is important to remind parents of where both our Primary and Secondary Reunification Sites are located in the event of an actual emergency:
 Primary Reunification Site(s): Blue Peak High School
(211 South Tooele Blvd., Tooele)
 
Tooele Technical College
(88 South Tooele Blvd., Tooele)
 
 Secondary Reunification Site: Deseret Peak Complex
(2930 Utah 112, Tooele)
 
The Primary Reunification Site(s) would be used if we ever had to evacuate the building but were able to walk to Blue Peak High or Tooele Technical College for accountability purposes, while the Secondary Reunification Site would involve Tooele County School District busing us to Deseret Peak for more serious emergencies. If you have any additional questions or concerns, please contact us at the enclosed email address/telephone number(s).
 
11) Community Council: At this time, we would like to encourage your participation and solicit nominations for Tooele High School’s Community Council. To this end, if you are interested, please peruse the following related information . . .
A Community Council shall be formed at each school to provide a sounding board for the principal to be used in the performance of his/her designated duties and responsibilities. Actions of the school Community Council shall be advisory in nature. Community Councils shall consist of at least seven (7) members, including four (4) parents/guardians, and three (3) employee members (including the principal).
Each school Community Council shall:
  1.  Annually evaluate the school’s assessment results and use the evaluation in developing a School Improvement Plan.\
  2. Develop the School Land Trust Program.
  3. Develop and implement a Professional Development Plan.
  4.  Create subcommittees and/or task forces as needed.
Tooele High School’s Community Council is currently scheduled to meet bimonthly in the Library @ 5:00 p.m. on the second or third Wednesday of every other month, as follows:
                           *Wednesday, September 19, 2018                                    *Wednesday, January 16, 2019
                            *Wednesday, November 14, 2018                                   *Wednesday, March 13, 2019
                            *Wednesday, May 15, 2019

We would like to thank you for your ongoing patience, understanding, and support as we get everything up and running this year and, hopefully, have gotten everyone working together on behalf of ALL our students. Again, we appreciate the opportunity we have to work with you on behalf of your student(s) each and every day. I know that I am thrilled to be at Tooele High School, and I am definitely looking forward to tackling whatever new challenges lie ahead!! Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or concerns; I can be reached at the enclosed (email) address and/or telephone number(s) during school hours at your convenience.

Thank you for your interest in and continued support of Tooele High School--we look forward to working with you!
Sincerely,
Jeffrey D. Hamm, Principal
Tooele High School jhamm@tooeleschools.org
(435) 833-1978