Dear PHS Families,
On behalf of the faculty and staff at Potsdam High School, I am very excited to welcome you to the 2017-18 school year. As the new principal, I am looking forward to a productive partnership with you to provide our children with a safe, supportive, and welcoming environment in which they can explore, develop, and learn. At Potsdam Central, we recognize that student success requires support from both home and school. We know a strong partnership with you will make a great difference in your child’s education. As partners, we share the responsibility for our children’s success and want you to know that we will do our very best to carry out our responsibilities.
Teacher-Parent communication and collaboration have a powerful impact on student success; it is vital that we work together to ensure our children are prepared to meet the demands of an ever-changing world. If you have any questions, concerns, or suggestions, I encourage you to call, email, or stop in for a visit—parent-teacher conferences can always be arranged to discuss how we can work together to help your child be successful. You can also monitor your child’s attendance, discipline, missing assignments, and grades through the SchoolTool Parent Portal which can be accessed from the Potsdam Central website (www.potsdam.k12.ny.us). If you haven’t registered to use the Parent Portal, please call the Guidance Office at 265-2000 (ext. 803) to sign up. We will also keep you informed through our website, weekly email updates, monthly newsletters, and Facebook page.
With the upcoming school year, Potsdam High School will continue to address the social, emotional, developmental, and academic needs of our students and families in varied ways. We will focus on the fair and consistent implementation of the revised Code of Conduct, based on clear school-wide expectations. Along with the elementary and middle school, we will introduce the Positivity Project (P2) to the Potsdam school community. The Positivity Project focuses on helping students (and adults) identify their own individual character strengths. P2 stresses the importance of building positive relationships while identifying and appreciating the strengths in others. We invite you to join us for a P2 Parent Night on September 26th to learn more about the program and to find out how to become involved.
In order to better support our students and families, we will have three full-time counselors serving at PHS. Ms. Tisha White will be joining the high school after serving as the guidance counselor at A. A. Kingston Middle School for the past three years. This additional staffing will allow for more individual attention and assistance with academic counseling, college and career preparation, mental health and crisis counselling, and family supports.
We are also continuing our transition to a rich and relevant 1:1 computer environment. At the start of the school year, 300 Chromebooks will be available for student use; by the start of the spring semester, it is anticipated that we will have a device for every student. Teachers will continue to integrate technology into the classroom to enhance instruction, engage students, and provide new and varied learning opportunities. At Potsdam, we believe technology is an essential tool students will use as they learn, practice, and apply the skills necessary to be engaged and enlightened global citizens.
With the start of the school year, Potsdam High School will also have new educators joining its outstanding faculty. We are very pleased to welcome Mary Harper (Math), Lisa Bradley (Health), and Margaret James (Special Education) to Potsdam Central Schools. Mrs. Laura DiMatteo will also be transferring from A. A. Kingston Middle School to lead our vocal music program.
High school students experience an incredible amount of growth and have many opportunities for great accomplishments and success throughout their years at PHS. We are proud to be part of your child’s educational journey and look forward to collaborating and providing the best possible educational program for our children. I hope you enjoy the remaining days of summer!