During the conversation on Thursday, January 8, it became apparent that people who are either new to the District or are transitioning to a new building find it difficult to feel connected to their new surroundings. To answer these concerns, this sub-committee was formed to identify the unique needs of these groups of people and find ways to welcome and include new families.
This sub-committee needs representation from parents who are relatively new to the District, as well as those who have been in the District for several years. The committee will be chaired by Mary Alice Hennessey, member of the HTSD Board of Directors.
Alumni Data Base
One of the most valuable resources to the District are the alums. The uniqueness of the qualities they have to share with our current students is paralleled by the vast geographical locations of its members. This sub-committee will work to devise a tool for finding our alumni, as well as discerning the gifts they have to share. This committee should be made up of current students, young alumni, teachers and parents and will be chaired by an administrator from the high school.
HTSD Summer Institute
Our teachers and community members have so much to offer our students. Starting in the summer of 2010, we plan to have a 2-week summer experience for our students in grades Kindergarten through 12. Courses offered may vary from two-week internship or shadowing experiences for high school students to middle school robotics courses to elementary language experiences. The options are endless. Chaired by Laurie Heinricher, this committee will begin planning very soon. Committee members should be parents, current students, teachers, and community members who are willing to put on their thinking caps and plan a wonderfully enriching two-week experience for our students.
Career Experience Days
Another way to provide opportunities to our students is to offer two days of "short courses" in the middle school and/or high school. Community members and teachers would create courses that could be repeated several times over the two days. Similar to the current "Lunch and Learns," community members and teachers will work together to create courses for students to be exposed to career-based opportunities. Using a modified schedule, students will be able to register for courses of interest. The co-chairs of this committee are Tom Sullivan, a professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at CMU and Joe Profeta, Director of the Control Systems Group at Aerotech. Members of this committee need to be creative thinkers... as well as parents, teachers and members of the community.
Projects Road Show
In addition to the resources within the community, we think we have untapped resources among the students and teachers in our buildings. This project would require teachers of older students to be willing and be made available to share projects from their high school and middle school classes. We want to identify more of these and help our youngest students gain from the experiences of our more mature students. This committee is chaired by David Kuniak, Middle School Science Department Chair. Members of this committee will need to work to connect teachers to each other and match projects in one grade with curriculum in another.
A core group of people need to continue to think of ways to encourage greater involvement in the school district. This committee will formulate the next Community Connections Event, as well as identify additional ways to link the community to our classroom. This committee is chaired by Laurie Heinricher. Anyone who is interested in encouraging parents and community members to become more involved and to create a database of the knowledge and skills in our community is welcome to join.