Dear PHS Families,
On behalf of the faculty and staff at Potsdam High School, I am very excited to welcome you to the 2018-19 school year! I am looking forward to another wonderful year at PHS where our students are able to explore, develop, and learn in a safe, supportive, and welcoming environment. 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 District Office at 265-2000 (ext. 733) 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. As a district, we are continuing to integrate the Positivity Project (P2) into our 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.
In order to better support our students and families, we have reconfigured the Guidance Department with one dedicated 9th grade counselor and two counselors serving 10th-12th grade students. Ms. Susan Pike will serve as the counselor for all 9th grade students, and Ms. Tisha White will work with 10th-12th grade students whose last name begins with L-Z. In late July, Mrs. Mary Parker, one of our PHS guidance counselors, accepted a position with Canton Central Schools; however, she will still be at PHS until August 28th. I am hopeful that we will have a new counselor in place when students arrive in September, who will work with 10th-12th grade students whose last name begins with A-K. This new configuration will allow counselors to provide more individual attention and assistance with academic counseling, college and career preparation, mental health and crisis counselling, and family supports.
With the start of the school year, PHS will be launching our 1:1 Chromebook Program. All students at Potsdam High School will be issued a Chromebook for educational use at school and at home. The focus of the Potsdam Central School 1:1 Chromebook Program is to prepare students for their future, a world of digital technology and information. 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. Teachers at PHS will vary in their expectations for Chromebook use, but your student should expect to use this tool for instruction, assignments, projects, research, and assessments throughout the day.
At Potsdam Central Schools, we strive to provide innovative, diverse, and personalized learning. With this in mind, Potsdam High School is offering several new electives:
Over the course of the school year, we will continue to review our academic program, survey students and parents regarding needs and interests, and explore ways in which we can provide rigorous and relevant courses in traditional and online formats to prepare our students future challenges.
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!
Mark R. Bennett