Dear Alta Loma Junior High Families,
Welcome to the 2013-2014 school year! Alta Loma Junior High is a special place with a long tradition of excellence in academics, and for being a favorite among students. This is largely due to an incredibly student-centered, caring staff that makes it a priority to put kids first and connect with them both in and outside of the classroom, and to you, our outstanding parent community. I am honored and privileged to write to you as the principal of Alta Loma Junior High. It is our goal to continue the tradition of excellence that has been the hallmark of Alta Loma Junior High School.
Academically, we are preparing for the upcoming challenges presented by the fast approaching Common Core State Standards (CCSS). California is one of 48 states who have adopted the nationally developed Common Core Standards. The standards will bring significant changes to student and staff expectations in the classroom and through assessment. The goal of the standards is to prepare our students for Career and College Readiness through rigorous expectations that require that students are consistently involved in complex thinking through analysis and problem solving utilizing 21st Century Skills. The CCSS includes literacy standards not just in language arts, but in social studies, science, and technical subjects as well. What does this mean for our students? Students will be expected to comprehend challenging text, draw conclusions regarding what they have read by providing evidence to support their understanding, and then demonstrate their understanding through a written constructed response and/or summary.
The most dramatic change in the CCSS will be in implementing mathematics. The middle and high school programs will consist of an integrated approach at each grade level. The Integrated Math strands include The Number System, Expressions and Equations (Algebra), Functions (Algebra), Geometry, and Statistics and Probability. The standards are rigorous. Through a conceptual approach, students will be challenged to solve real world problems. Once again, the focus in the CCSS is to deepen student knowledge through applied problem solving and mathematical practices. We are working in collaboration with the Chaffey Joint Union High School District to make the transition to the integrated approach beginning in the 2014-2015 school year. In preparation for the CCSS, we will be inserting practices and content into our current program this year.
For more information regarding the Common Core Standards, please visit http://www.corestandards.org or www.cde.ca.gov for state resources. The best idea may be to simply Google Common Core and you will find a plethora of helpful resources. We will be making it our goal to keep you informed of the changes. We will have several resources on campus to help support your students including Learning Upgrade math and language courses on-line at www.learningupgrade.com.
For those of you new to our school, ALJHS is a wonderful community school with an active Parent Teacher Student Association. We encourage you to get involved through the elected positions available on our School Site Council, or through PTSA membership. We know that our partnership with you, the community, is essential in helping our students achieve their potential. We invite you to take a personal interest in your child's studies, homework, and attend activities to stay informed such as Back to School Night on August 13. This is an important opportunity for you to meet your student's teachers, learn their expectations, and be informed of all the ways that you can assist and monitor the progress of your child.
We encourage you to check the website often to access our monthly Pow-Wow Newsletter, the Helping Student's Learn newsletter, Parent Handbook, and Calendar for upcoming events and activities. You'll also want to access individual Teacher Websites for classroom information and to monitor student grades throughout the year. As always, my door is open and I invite you to visit, share your ideas and expertise, or just say hello. Here's to a great year in a great place to be. I look forward to meeting you soon.