Dear McCallum Parents,

Today, Aug. 18, was the first day back for our incredible McCallum teachers. It was a bit strange having a back-to-school hoorah over Zoom, but the technology came through for us. We had a successful day of meeting new staff, getting to know each other, and beginning the important work of making online learning awesome!

LEARNING

I want to share with you my thoughts as we embark on this remarkable year. We have made the decision to keep safety as our number one priority. We are also putting all our instructional focus toward creating engaging online experiences for students.

Online learning this fall will look very different from the spring for several reasons:

  1. We are taking the time to do this well rather than being thrust into a very uncertain situation. At the time, we didn’t realize we were in it for the long haul. In the spring, we were working in the realm of crisis education. By contrast, we now have time to get ready. We have learned from our experiences and have grown tremendously.
  2. We didn’t give grades in the spring, but we will this fall. Students have been socialized (for better or worse) to measure their success based on the performance shown on their report card. Of course we would all love for them to be self-motivated and learn for the sake of learning, yet this is not the system they have grown conditioned to. With the addition of grades, I am certain this will feel more important to everyone.
  3. We will follow a traditional, albeit virtual, bell schedule. Attendance will be taken in each class. Students will check in with teachers through synchronous and asynchronous experiences in each class. I am hopeful they will feel a better sense of normalcy and structure than they may have experienced in the spring.

Please see our McCallum Reopening Infographic to help understand the plan.

CONNECTING

We know students will benefit greatly from feeling a sense of connection – to their peers, teachers, and their school. To support this, we have created a new program called MacConnect. MacConnect is a 30-minute period of time in our schedule for students to attend club meetings, practice mindfulness, or get outside for healthy outdoor challenges. We will gather in small groups known as a Round Table once per week. Each teacher will have a group of approximately 20 Round Table students. Round Table is a time for checking in, holding student-led equity circles, and engaging in social-emotional learning (SEL) skills. All students will find an advocate in their Round Table teacher.

TECHNOLOGY

We are using this time to make sure students have what they need to be successful with online learning. There are many needs, and AISD is working hard to ensure students have working Chromebooks and hotspots if needed.

UPCOMING EVENTS FOR STUDENTS AND FAMILIES

  • Wednesday, August 19th at 7:30 p.m. – Student-Led Principal Meet and Greet for Students
  • Friday, August 21st at 10:00 a.m. – Make-Up Freshman Transition Camp for students who were not a part of the one in June
  • Friday, August 21st at 3:00 p.m. – McCallum Community Town Hall
  • Monday, August 24th at 4:00 p.m. – McCallum Community Town Hall
  • Wednesday, August 26th at 5:00 p.m. – Freshman Parent Camp

We will send out reminders and Zoom codes prior to each gathering.

Please know we are here to help.

Thank you,

Nicole Griffith
Interim Principal
McCallum High School