Greetings USD #444 Patrons,
The beginning of the school year is right around the corner, and it is hard to believe that summer is almost over. Excitement is building as we approach a new school year as I serve my second year as the building principal at Little River Junior Senior High School. I hope you are as excited as I am to begin the year in a positive manner, and I am delighted to share many "GOOD THINGS" that are happening around our campus.
The Little River Junior Senior High Staff collaborated many hours to propose some changes to enhance the rigor, increase student performance, and give our staff and students the tools for maintaining a high sense of responsibility not only in school, but throughout the partnerships we strive to build within the Little River Community. In this upcoming school year, you will notice many improvements and "GOOD THINGS."
We are proud to share that we have added another career pathway for students to explore as they begin thinking about their post-secondary options. The "Human Services Pathway" at Little River Junior Senior High School will complement our existing "Industrial Arts" and "Business" pathways. This will add an opportunity for students to consider working in public service.
Our Broadcast Journalism class will now meet on-campus for the safety of our students in addition to adding more time for in-class projects. A new classroom has been upgraded and ready for use to house this on-campus class. A green screen technology has been added to this classroom, and these technologies will be available for teachers to utilize for class projects.
Jazz Band has been added to our repertoire of Band/Choir selections. Students with an interest in pursuing band as a fine art option will be able to diversify their talents with music. In addition to Jazz Band, students will be allowed to have one-on-one band lessons.
Our special education department has relocated within the building to include all special service professionals within one area of the building. Collaboration and dialogue to serve students' individualized needs will be more efficient with the locations of services for planning purposes and serving students individually or in small settings.
Saturday School will now be an option for students at Little River Junior Senior High School. The purpose of Saturday School is to offer credit recovery opportunities for students not on track to graduate, offer time for homework for those students in danger of failing classes which may increase our eligibility, and will be utilized as an alternative to in-school or out-of-school suspensions. This will increase the amount of time students are involved in active instruction during regular class time.
Ninth grade students will now be required to perform at least ten hours of community service as a requirement for graduation. Classes to follow will inherit this new board of education adopted requirement. It is a win-win for our community and to teach our students how they can "give back."
We have added technology aides for students who apply and interview as candidates for the program. We are currently searching for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math) opportunities to enhance elective choice and provide other post-secondary avenues to explore as potential career choices.
Our gym has undergone many changes for improvement in the past year. Thank you to our community foundation for assisting with lighting in our parking lot, and with a brand new sound system in the gym. I believe we have finally figured out how to use this in the most efficient manner. We have also replace lighting in the gym, and the floor has just been refinished.
Our coaches have been working long hours this summer by participating in conditioning. We have great plans for our fall sports that are right around the corner! Many teachers have been spending time setting up classrooms, attending professional development, assisting online learners in summer school, and recharging for the 2016-2017 school year.
We have welcomed a new superintendent into USD #444. Many of you may have had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Brent Garrison, and if not, you will soon. He is active within our community already.
Let us also thank our summer staff and custodial workers who have worked around the clock this past summer to upgrade facilities. You will indeed notice many facility improvements as you pass by, or as you walk through our school.
A job that often goes unnoticed is the secretarial work that has been ongoing and never stops. We have the best secretarial staff as well, and they keep our school running in "tip-top" shape.
A very special thank you goes out to the Board of Education who spend countless hours supporting our students and schools with their volunteer time. Without their support, these "GOOD THINGS" would not be happening.
Thank you for sharing your students with us. We are most certainly blessed with the best patrons a school district could ask for, the best students, the best staff, and wonderful opportunities!!!
It is indeed a great day to be "Loyal and True!" Little River Junior Senior High School, where we get better every day. It is a great day to be a Little River Redskin!!!!
Best wishes for a wonderful school year! Stop in anytime if you'd like to visit. I have an open door policy.
Ms. Audrey A. Johnson, Principal
Little River Junior Senior High School