February 15, 2019
TO: ALL Parents and Students at Tooele High School, 2018-2019
FROM: Jeffrey D. Hamm, Principal, Tooele High School
Dear Parents and Students:
Happy (belated) Valentine’s Day! Attached you will find your child's mid-term grades for third-quarter. Please review these with your student(s)--including accessing the fuller, more detailed report on the SIS (Aspire) grading system--and then contact your child's teachers if you have any additional questions or concerns regarding their grades. We would also ask you to review your student's attendance periodically--and consistently--with them so that there are not any surprises at the end of the quarter (or year) with "U's" and/or any other potential truancy issues.
Yet another busy year is rapidly slipping away!! As our Winter sports programs wind down, we wish to congratulate ALL our athletes, coaches, musicians, and teachers on yet another productive and rewarding season. Best of luck to ALL our students and staff involved with each of our extracurricular programs as they compete in the remainder of their respective post-season competitions and tournaments!! Some additional items of information, as follows .
2019-21 UHSAA (Re-)Alignment(s): Just in case you missed it, Tooele High School won our appeal with the UHSAA to remain in Class 4-A for the next two years (2019-21), meaning that we will compete in the new (old) Region 10 with the following schools for everything except football:
For football only, Mountain View and Park City will drop down from 5-A to compete in Region 10 with us, while Juan Diego will drop down to compete in 3-A.
A Word on the HERD: Tooele High School has had some excellent opportunities this year to host several Region and State competitions, including the Region 10 Drill Team Competition and the 4-A Divisional Wrestling Tournament. In every case, without exception, our fanbase--including our terrific student body and their parents--have been first class and represented our school with great pride. I just wanted to take advantage of this opportunity to not only thank everyone for their support, but to also applaud our school community’s commitment to excellence. We have set the bar HIGH in showing the way and in being the example of how to do things the right way for the right reasons. Our buffalo pride is showing, and I just wanted to let everyone know how grateful I am to be your Principal.
ACT Day. Just a reminder that the Junior class will be taking the ACT on Wednesday, February 20, 2019, as scheduled. Only 11th-Grade students will be on campus that day. But new last year was the State requirement that our remaining students (Grades 9-10-12) will be asked to participate in a College and Career Exploration Day off-campus. In order to receive credit for being at school on that day, they will need to turn in a form--signed by their parents--indicating that they have participated in one of the following suggested activities:
*On-site visit to a college. *Job shadow with a business.
*Work on college application(s). *Work on scholarship application(s).
*Virtual college tour. *Fill out job application(s).
*Career exploration or career interest inventory (Utah Futures).
*Other student college and career exploration activities.
These forms have been distributed to ALL our 9th-, 10th, and 12th-Grade students through their respective English classrooms this past week, and should be returned to their classroom Teacher by no later than next Tuesday, February 19. Completed forms will also be accepted in the front office.
Utah Aspire Plus: As you may or may not know, the state of Utah has contracted with a new standardized testing vendor for our end-of-year state testing, which is supposed to provide a hybrid test consisting of the old SAGE questions in combination with some new pre-ACT prep questions. But the rules have also changed regarding the time limits allotted for testing, as follows:
These non-negotiable time limits obviously pose some serious challenges to our 5’x5’ schedule, especially when you consider that our classes only run for 70:00” each, and the state no longer allows us to pause a student’s test to finish at a later date. There will be more information forthcoming on our plan of attack for how we are going to handle this, but for now just wanted to give everyone a heads up that the new test is unforgiving; that is, once you start the test, you only have the allotted amount of time to finish.
It therefore becomes critical for our Freshmen and Sophomore parents and students to plan around the battery of tests, because if they start and then get pulled out before completing the mandatory 85% minimum, that will count against our school as a zero in our end-of-year accountability report with the state of Utah, regardless of circumstance. That’s why we are asking for everyone’s help this year to get ALL our students tested. The truth is that some of our best and brightest students consciously opted-out of the SAGE testing last year for a lot of different reasons; and while we recognize that everyone has the right to do so, we are hopeful that we can get everyone to the testing table this year. Any support we can get from home will be greatly appreciated.
Stakeholder Satisfaction Survey: Tooele High School and Tooele County School District are committed to improving our services and making school environments the best possible for students, staff, and stakeholders. To this end, we have been surveying parents and students since December to gather meaningful feedback on various aspects of school climate, as well as teacher and administrator performance.
We value our family partnerships and appreciate your willingness to complete this short (2:00-3:00” minute) survey to let us know how we are doing. Your responses will help guide and inform ongoing improvement planning focused on student learning and school effectiveness. Thanks to all those who have taken the survey thus far. If you have not yet had the opportunity to participate, you can still log on to Tooele County School District’s website at:
Once there, a link to the parent survey(s) will appear in the upper right-hand corner. Simply click on the link, and it will walk you through the survey. Hopefully, everyone can help us out. The more feedback we get from parents, the more it can help us serve you--and your student(s)--better.
Award Winners: We recently had several post-season honors bestowed upon our student-athletes, as follows:
Academic All-State for Winter Sports:
Congratulations to Joseph Mecham for being crowned a 4-A State Wrestling Champion in the 113-pound weight class, and kudos also to our Wrestling Team, who was just recognized for having the top gpa among ALL Class 4-A wrestling programs, with a 3.62 average. Way to go buffaloes--we are so PROUD of you!!
In addition to athletics, we also had ten of our Sterling Scholars advance to the Semi-Final Round of State Competition, as follows:
Also, we wish to congratulate and recognize our honorees from Tooele High School for Teacher of the Year and Classified Employee of the Year, as follows:
Graduation Time: For Seniors and their parents, there has been some ongoing confusion about the start time for our graduation ceremonies at the University of Utah this year. The problem was that at the end of last year when we had to schedule it, we had a 10:00 a.m. start time. But later in the Fall after everything had already been published with this time, it got bumped to 11:00 a.m. So, as far as we know right now, we have the first-time slot for Tooele County graduations this year, as follows:
Friday, May 24 @ 11:00 a.m. at the University of Utah’s Huntsman Center
This posed some problems with Josten’s and their graduation announcements, which had already been printed with the incorrect 10:00 a.m. start time by the time they went to press. Their solution to this problem is to provide inserts--free of charge--denoting the correct start time that can be put into each announcement.
Snow Day Makeup: Please note that our designated makeup day for the Snow Day we took on Wednesday, February 6 has been scheduled for Friday, March 15. We know that it will be a WHITE day, and we know that it will be an early release on a Wednesday schedule.
Finally, please reference the attached dates of importance to keep up with what’s going on with upcoming events at our school, as follows . . .
~Dates of Importance: February 2019~
*Looking Ahead to March . . .
As always, we would like to thank you for your ongoing patience, understanding, and support as we have gotten everything up and running this year and, hopefully, 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 students each and every day. 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 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!
Jeffrey D. Hamm, Principal
Tooele High School