School year off to great start

Hello from Fort High!
It has been a busy summer and a great start-up at the school with new staff, a brand new group of Grade 9 students, and loads of enthusiasm from everybody.
Athletic teams and arts productions are in full swing, and many different clubs are operating within the school.
This year has seen some changes in programming, as well as a few other minor tweaks to the way we do business. Probably the single-most significant change is the way we will be offering our “alternative” programming.
As many of you already are aware, the alternative education facility on Walker Avenue closed its doors for the final time this past June. Enrolment and achievement levels had dropped to the point that it no longer was feasible to operate this facility.
However, we recognize that some students find it difficult to spend an entire day in the regular classroom.
To meet the needs of those students, we have created the “Learning Support Centre”—an alternative classroom in Fort High where students can get one-on-one help in a less formal setting as they work on courses they may have had difficulty with or where it is recognized that extra support is needed.
This program has gotten off to a great start and we are very excited about its potential. We will continue to serve our adult learners through a unique partnership with the United Native Friendship Centre, and students over 18 who wish to study full- or part-time, or work on their own, are encouraged to enroll there.
More information can be obtained by contacting the high school.
In addition, we are working towards the expansion of our Advanced Placement program in 2008-09.
Mrs. Bruyere, who was instrumental in getting the AP English program started at Fort High, is offering a pre-AP course to interested Grade 11 students with the idea that this will prepare them for AP English in their Grade 12 year.
Response has been excellent.
We also have eliminated the “Student Handbook,” which had been issued to all Fort High students upon registration and replaced it with an information brochure.
We found that roughly half of these handbooks were ending up in the garbage, so we felt it was not money well-spent.
We have expanded our school website to contain all relevant information, and we would encourage parents to visit the school website and have a look around.
The site address is http://muskie.rrdsb.com
I also would like to remind parents that if you are reading this on Wednesday, Oct. 3, tonight is Parents’ Night and on behalf of our entire teaching staff, I would invite you to visit Fort High and discuss your child’s progress to date.
Students should have brought home progress reports yesterday (Oct. 2) for you to examine. If they did not, feel free to contact the school and we will provide them if you can come in and pick them up.
I also would remind you that we are continuing to recruit members for the FFHS school council. We had our first meeting last week and while the turnout was fair, we certainly would welcome more parents.
The council has asked me to remind parents that this is not a fundraising organization. Its primary purpose is to have input into the operation of the school in an advisory capacity.
It is a great group of people and your participation would be welcomed.
The next school council meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 24 at 6:30 p.m. in the high school library.
As always, if you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact me at the school (274-7747).

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