North Hagerstown High School

August 17, 2007

1200 Pennsylvania Ave.

Principal: Valerie Novak

Phone: 301-766-8238

Fax: 301-733-3158

Web site:

Start time: 8:45 a.m.

Dismissal: 3:30 p.m.

Grades: 9-12

Date of construction: 1956

Age of building: 51 years


Latest renovation: 1992

Size of building: 168,750 square feet

State-rated capacity: 1,336

Projected 2007-08 enrollment: 1,306

From the principal

Q. What are your goals for the school year?

A. North Hagerstown High School staff is working closely with various consultants to implement the Smaller Learning Community initiatives along with a comprehensive advisement program. Our goals for the year include increasing rigor within the classroom for the purpose of enhancing student success, adding higher-order thinking and problem solving, building student-staff relationships and increasing scores in high school assessments, advanced placement tests and International Baccalaureate assessments. Department leaders and student achievement specialists will continue to work closely with teachers and students to increase classroom rigor. Coordinators will work to develop smaller learning community initiatives.

Q. What will help ensure a successful school year?

A. Students experience academic success when they feel connected to the school and when they build a relationship with a caring adult. With this in mind, North High is planning a very extensive grade 9 transition and orientation. Entering ninth-grade students will be invited to North High on Aug. 21, before the first day of school. Freshman will be engaged in various activities to build relationships. Additionally, they will have a chance to experience lunch and visit each of their classes. This elaborate transition is called "Link Crew" and is supported by upper-class mentors. Those mentors will work with their mentees throughout the school year. "Link Crew" offers activities and support that is part of the schoolwide Advisement Program. All North High students will be assigned an Advisement teacher who will work with them throughout the high school experience. Groups of less that 15 students will meet twice each week. Advisement topics include time management, sportsmanship, testing strategies, study skills, goal setting, conflict management, manners/etiquette, tolerance and various school-related topics.

Q. Can students and staff expect any changes this school year?

A. There will be many, many changes this year. All ninth-grade students will be assigned a "house." Within the "house," ninth-grade students will work with three English and two social studies teachers. A ninth-grade student's teacher assignment might change during the semester based on skill development. The Advisement Program as described above will enhance the North High educational program for all students.

North High will continue to build and develop the International Baccalaureate Programme.

Q. What message would you like to send as the school year begins?

A. The smaller leaning community and advisement programs will assist in developing positive relationships. We encourage parent feedback on the impact this has on students.

Since "Back to School Night" does little to help parents get to know teachers, we are revamping back-to-school night. Instead of an early back-to- school night, we are not holding back to school night until November and doing it through advisement groups with a student-led conferencing theme.

Staff is very excited about the new initiatives for the 2007-08 school year. We are anxious to see our students and get started.

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