Principal’s Newsletter: January 6 – 12, 2019

Jamestown High School - From the Principals Desk

WEEK OF JANUARY 6 – 12, 2019

A Message from the Principal

Welcome to another week!

The first semester is quickly coming to a close. The Standards of Learning (SOL) testing window will begin this week. The testing will change the routine of JHS a bit, but our testing schedule seeks to minimize disruptions to our school day. However, the testing window can be a stressful time for our students. We review the topics to help students prepare, but confronting such a large amount of information can make some students apprehensive. I have some information about test preparation later in the newsletter this week. However, I want to write about a different type of preparation.

Before I became a school administrator, I was an English teacher and track and field/cross country coach. I had the opportunity to coach some great student-athletes during my coaching tenure. I taught many different tactics to prepare young people to compete at a high level. One of the most important aspects of competition is being mindful. Planning is an important part of being prepared and future success, but that does not mean that you ignore your current setting. I taught my runners to evaluate each situation, then use a plan to navigate it. The key was to make sure my runners felt empowered and confident in THEMSELVES to make decisions in any meet situation.

That confidence came from times of quiet: no headphones, no conversations, no social media just time to think  and focus on one particular thing. We knew that we could only deal with one situation at a time. When we resolve the first situation, we would meet the next one with the knowledge we learned from the previous situation and confidence from an earlier win: one thing at a time.

Being mindful means quieting your surroundings and focusing on the task in front of you. Taking an SOL test is not the same as running a mile. However, focusing on one question at time, having confidence, and evaluating each moment are actions that bring success in any setting.

Let’s go to work,

H.E. Townsend, IV

Interim Principal

Counseling Corner

Balfour provides WJCC with cap and gown and ring sales for our students. A Balfour representative will present information to seniors and juniors on January 9th in the auditorium.

The senior assembly will start at 9:30 am to provide our students with information regarding caps, gowns, announcement, and accessories for graduation.

The junior assembly will follow the senior assembly with class ring information.

For juniors and seniors who have morning classes off-campus, the Balfour representative will leave information and catalogs in the main and counseling offices.

WJCC Honors Program Information

Freshmen, sophomores, and juniors are eligible to apply for admission to the WJCC Honors Program, a rigorous course of independent and extended study that includes an individual academic project, extensive foreign language study, Advanced Placement coursework, and community service.

Jamestown’s number of Honors graduates has been increasing every year, and the class of 2019 is slated to have our largest group ever!  It is too late for additional seniors to pursue Honors, but juniors in the class of 2020 have one more chance to apply.

Interested students are advised to visit WJCC’s Honors webpage

https://wjccschools.org/departments/curriculum-instruction/curriculum/honors-program/ ), to peruse the school’s list of Honors FAQs:

https://wjccschools.org/jhs/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2014/03/High-School-Honors-Program-FAQs-1.pdf ),

and to watch Mr. Lampert’s informational video about Honors on Jamestown’s gifted and talented webpage:

https://wjccschools.org/jhs/counseling/gifted-education/ ).

Having started with these three sources, students should talk to Mr. Lampert himself before applying.

The next deadline to apply to the WJCC Honors Program (and the last chance for junior applicants) is February 12.

Testing Tips

Taken from: https://www.albert.io/blog/7-tips-to-exam-test-prep-the-morning-of-a-test/

Just as an athlete has to prepare properly for an important game or race, it’s up to you as a student to prepare yourself adequately for the morning of a test. It’s important that you are in a healthy and ready body and state of mind so that you can do your absolute best on the test, seeing as retakes are generally not an option or they cost a not-so-small amount of money. So to avoid that, here are 7 exam test prep tips for prepping the morning of an exam:

1. Prepare Things the Night Before

Preparing certain things the night before an exam can help distress and slow down your morning to allow yourself to wake up and get ready with ease and peace of mind. Things to prepare the night before should be, first and foremost, your materials. Sharpen your 4-6 wooden #2 pencils and have them ready to go with your calculator and spare batteries. That way you know that you have them, you know where they are, and you know that they’re ready. Also allow yourself to get enough sleep, which is probably more than you usually get. Keep in mind that if you’re generally running late in the morning, set your alarm(s) for a few minutes earlier to allow yourself that extra buffer of time so that you’re not feeling rushed. Go to bed full and hydrated.

2. Wake Up Your Mind and Body

It’s very important that in the morning you’re focusing on waking up both your mind and body so that you’re wholeheartedly ready to take on a long test. A great way to do this is to put on music while you’re in the shower and getting ready. If you have a playlist of your favorite songs, chances are the music will get your body energized and you’ll either sing along with the songs in your head or out loud, which is allowing your brain to start processing information and warming it up to start remembering information.

3. Wear Appropriate Attire

When getting dressed, think of the testing room and environment over the weather. Even if it’s 90 degrees outside, think of what the test environment will be like. Chances are, it’ll be air-conditioned and you’ll be sitting there for hours so make sure you dress prepared to stay at a comfortable temperature. If you still choose to wear warm weather clothing, be sure to bring a sweater or light jacket in case the room is chilly. The same goes for the opposite; if the weather is cold outside, make sure to layer your clothing so that you can remove layers during the test if you begin to feel hot. Keeping your body comfortable helps to minimize distractions and external effects on your abilities while taking the test.

[bctt tweet=”Keeping your body comfortable helps minimize distractions and effects on your abilities while taking the test.”]

4. Eat a Smart Breakfast

Even if you’re not a breakfast person, eating breakfast is essential before a long test. After all, this isn’t just another day at school. Your breakfast should include necessary vitamins as well as keep you energized and full. While cereal can be a great source of calcium and fiber (depending on what cereal you eat), you probably won’t be kept full for very long. Bagels are a great way to keep yourself full, and spreading peanut butter on them instead of butter or cream cheese makes them a lighter choice with more energizing nutrients. Pairing that with a Greek yogurt and/or a glass of chocolate milk ensures that you’re getting a well-rounded breakfast that will keep you fuller longer. Hunger is just another distraction that you don’t need. Work on avoiding foods with high sodium and fat contents because those can make you get that “fat and sleepy” feeling. In addition, you want to avoid these foods along with greasy and sugary foods in order to help prevent any stomach upsets. It’s the same concept as an athlete eating safe foods before an event; you want your body to be in its best state.

5. Warm Up Your Brain

While you’re eating breakfast and getting ready during the morning, try to read something small and short. An article or part of a book is a good choice. This gets your brain in the mood of reading and processing information that it gained visually. Reading lightly before an exam is the same effect as stretching before working out. You’re about to exercise your brain so it needs to be warmed up to perform its best as well. Do not read material related to the test. For example, don’t go over math concepts and theories before the Math II SAT subject test. You want your mind to be ready but you don’t want to psych yourself out before the test. Cramming – both the night before and the morning of – can have damaging effects on the information that you already store.

6. Bring Effective “Snacks”

Whether it be the ACTSAT, or an AP test, you’ll have breaks in which you’re allowed to eat a snack and get a drink of water. Take advantage of these opportunities, as they are ways to refresh your body and mind and give them a “second wind” so to speak. Bring a water bottle that you can refill because staying hydrated is the first step in keeping your body happy and healthy. For snacks, bring things such as apples, oranges, grapes and granola bars so that you can eat them quickly and they give you immediate energy. In addition to snacks, bring mints and gum. You can eat these during the testing periods and they both help to keep you awake, alert, and focused because your body is physically performing an action rather than simply sitting there reading. The gum and mints should be peppermint and/or spearmint flavored in order to be most effective.

7. Allow Ample Time to Arrive

Nothing is more stressful to the proctor, the other testers, and yourself than arriving late. Allow time for traffic and unexpected delays so that you can arrive at the testing location with time to spare. This allows you to get comfortable with your surroundings and calm down before you embark on the exam. You also don’t want to end up wasting your money by being late and not being able to take the exam at all.

Tests are taken seriously and they should be treated rightly so. Prepare yourself properly for these important mornings so that you don’t fall short of your full capability. Following the above steps can help you achieve a more successful morning and test – and if nothing else – give you the confidence you need to excel on the exam.

Testing Calendar

Our students will take the Standards of Learning (SOL) tests the first full week of school January 9th. We have attached a PDF document with test dates and times. If you have questions, please contact your student’s teachers.

With new Federal mandates with regard to limiting the number of testing, some students may not need to take an SOL test for a particular class. For the most part, all students will take the SOL test associated with their class. However, students in Chemistry and VA & US History may be affected more because they passed earlier SOL tests in the science or social studies categories earlier in their high school career. Teachers and counselors will communicate with these students concerning taking SOL tests and graduation requirements.

If you have any questions, you can contact our counseling department.

JANUARY SOL CALENDAR: January Non-Writing SOL Calendar 2018

FINAL EXAMS

All students are expected to sit for a final exam for their semester classes. Additionally, if the student is in a year-long class, they will need to take a mid-term exam during the exam period. Exam exemptions are for the following:

  1. Senior exam exemptions
  2. Passing an SOL test or alternative assessment

For a more detailed explanation, follow this link: https://wjccschools.org/jhs/students/guide-to-handbook/exam-exemptions/

Graduation Speaker Information

Seniors, you are almost half-way through you senior year! Graduation is right around the corner. In the next two to three weeks we will have a meeting with our Balfour representative to order caps, gowns, and other graduation materials.

We still have a semester to complete before graduation, but it is not too early to think about graduation speakers. The honor of addressing your class, community members, and politician is a serious one. You will be one of the final voices your class hears before it leaves Williamsburg to other endeavors. If you are interested in participating in the graduation speaker process, speak with Mr. Lampert.

The process will include an application, an interview with a panel of teachers, administration, and student leaders. We will post the application documents to the school’s website. However, if you want to be considered, you will want to speak with Mr. Lampert to walk you through the process.

Be prepared to see more information with the beginning of the new semester.

Sadie Hawkins Dance

Jamestown High School will host a Sadie Hawkins Dance on February 9th from 8:00 am until 11:00 pm in the cafeteria. Students will need to purchase their tickets in advance during their lunches the week of the dance.

Stay Connected!

PTSA Notes

Next PTSA meeting is on January 8th at 5:30 pm in the JHS Media Center.

Please follow the link for the PTSA Newsletter: jhs newsletter 112018 RSVD PTSA

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