Hello WGHS Families, Many years of research has estimated that after the “summer slide,” the average student loses a little more than one month’s worth of skill or knowledge in math and reading by the time school resumes in the fall. And there has been evidence of further decline after the virtual periods/instructional disruption we have endured. Below are some low-tech options that I will be nagging my children about the coming months:
In making final cuts of my graduation speech, I cut this excerpt from the school year book from 1920: "Another vacation and we are back at school, but not for long. Twice our school work has been interrupted by the influenza epidemic but nevertheless, we study hard and pass our tests. 'A cork cannot be kept under long.'"
There considerable information available to advocate for wellness and the impact physical activity can have on it. Long-term benefits of mitigating lifestyle conditions such as obesity, heart disease and dementia have been well chronicled. I would like to address the more temporal concerns of mental health, cognitive function, and positive impact on learning issues such as ADD. The connection between mind and body is crucial to personal growth and development as consistent exercise can help you be better and allow you to do your best work.
Anthony Kennedy served as an Associate Justice on the U.S. Supreme Court after Reagan nominated him from 1988 until stepping down in 2018. After retiring, he spoke of a “crisis of civility” facing our nation, a lack of devotion to responsibility and rationality. Historically when the nation has been in a real or perceived predicament, education has served to salvage our republic. Part of the effort relates to the developing character in individuals and the collective community we share. However, character cannot be downloaded; it resists swift attainment in spite of the desire by caring adults and schools. Character is "engraved," "deeply etched,” according to Kierkegaard and the product of years of imprinting through experiences, both good and bad.
Above is a piece from last week's AP art display, one of many that students produced that caused me to pause and ask questions of the artist. In this case, she had created a series that marked the progression through a grieving process that concluded with this piece.
With a hint of disbelief, we find ourselves in a rite of spring: a hurried sprint to the finish line for the 2021-2022 school year. It's been a big week as we hosted the Special Olympics with big help from our junior class, SSD staff, and Ms. Spencer with her Best Buddies team. We had multiple adult representatives share their complimentary observations of our students for supporting events and fellow students.
FUTUREPROOF: 9 Rules for Humans in the Age of Automation by Kevin Roose is a book that has a fairly optimistic view of the clash between rising technology and humanity--think "Terminator 2." It offers some pointed suggestions to combat the wave of technology, much of it rooted in skills schools can greatly impact.
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