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20120420FridayReflectionEnglish

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					Yesterday after school was our monthly PLC Leaders Meeting. We covered a great deal of
territory. There was some good discussion on where we are headed, and we made some
important decisions. I was impressed with the focus and energy of our teachers and our parent
representative.

So here is a summary of what we have established so far:

Vision: Creating a community of Active Larkin Learners
Mission: Developing involved citizens, critical thinkers, effective communicators who are
prepared for the future
Values:
    Provide multiple opportunities to improve learning
    Pursue strategies which develop active learners
    Collaborate in teams to foster growth and development
    Hold all stakeholders accountable for learning

Mission Targets:
    Involved Citizen - 1) We will track the involvement in extra-curricular and leadership
participation because we expect everyone to be involved in something 2) Service learning will be
embedded in health, US History and Civics; These teachers will meet to develop, coordinate and
structure this expectation (The suggestion was to make service learning a grade equivalent to a
test or a project)

     Prepared for the future - 1) Students will develop a four year plan that will be tracked by
guidance 2) Seniors will be expected to complete a college app/scholarship app/job app (there
still needs to be further discussion on how this is assigned and monitored)

    Critical Thinker and Effective Communicator - There were some good suggestions. However,
there needs to be more discussion on how to develop, coordinate and structure the
implementation and monitoring of such activity(s). Among the ideas floating out there are
structured conversations, senior interviews to share learning and future plans, and some type of
concrete assessment/project to demonstrate critical thinking. There is definitely more work
around these, but we think we are on to something!

Possible addition to the values: There is another value that is being proposed and there needs to
be more discussion and tweaking of the wording, but it goes something like the following:

   Target skills represented in the Adaptation Rigor/Relevance Quadrant (Quadrant D)

In addition to the academic work, there were many extra-curricular events occurring. One of the
biggest is our Spring Musical. I have seen bits and pieces of it during the matinees, but I am
looking forward to seeing the whole thing Saturday evening. The students have worked hard on
this and I am sure they would appreciate your attendance. There is a show tonight at 7:00 and
tomorrow at 7:00 as well.

Tuesday night, I watched our boys volleyball team beat St. Charles in two straight games.
Obviously is great to see our students win, and especially against a conference team, but there
were other aspects of the game which struck me as well. The players are not the most visible
students in our school, but their effort and teamwork spoke loudly. They have obviously put in a
great deal of time to become better, and they have learned well from Coach Graak. The game
had some tense moments, and our players responded with pose and intensity. It was great to
see.

Yesterday, a girl came to my office. I often speak about college and the idea that a four year
college might possibly be just as inexpensive for some of our students than ECC. I know that
many students don't believe me, so much so that sometimes I doubt myself. However, a girl
brought me her financial package from a respectable four year college. The cost of the college is
$38,000 a year. However, the piece of paper I saw detailed a complicated list of scholarships and
grants which added up to $36,000. That means that this student can attend this school for
$2,000 a year. Amazing! I know it doesn't happen for everyone, but the point is that it is very
possible. Some of our most economically challenged students stand the highest potential for
receiving such opportunities. However, they must engage and prepare. This girl did, and it paid
off.

I believe our vision, mission and values correctly target the work that it will require to create this
kind of opportunity for an increasing number of students. It isn't easy work, but how important it
is. Incredibly, this girl was still apprehensive about attending college. It represents the unknown
and it is intimidating for someone with no schema for going to college. I asked her how she
would react if someone told her she just won the lotto and would receive $144,000. She said she
would be jumping up and down. I told her that basically that is what just happened to her with
this financial package. In fact, by going to college, she will earn potentially a million dollars more
than she would have without a college degree. It isn't about the money, but what a different
course her life will take as a result of this opportunity.

Recently, I also visited with a student who graduated two years ago. She is finishing her degree
at ECC and hopes to attend NIU. I know she wanted to attend a four year school, but didn’t for
whatever reason. I think finances were a factor. However, it was great to hear that she was still
pursuing her dream of becoming a psychologist. For her, the route is taking a more indirect
course, but she is still focused on her goal.

There is not a one plan fits all for our students. Each must find their way, but planning and hard
work are critical. We have counselors, teachers and administrators who are able to help. I would
encourage your student to find an adult with whom to connect. While we have some great
stories about students who are achieving their dreams, none of it happened by accident.

Have a great weekend.

Respectfully,

Dr. Jon Tuin
Larkin High School Principal

http://schools.u-46.org/index.pl?id=117104

Larkin Alumni

Graduates of Larkin, we hope you are having a productive and prosperous life. Use the
information on this site to promote your activities and celebrate the experience you had as a
Larkin Royal. By demonstrating your success and pride, the current students will know that
greatness is achieved by Royals. Examine the links to the left and discover old friends, renew
school spirit and enjoy the fellowship of a Royal community.


Friday, April 20th
Fay’s BBQ – 4:30-7:00 pm – Drive Thru
4:30 pm Girls Varsity Softball vs. Streamwood @ Larkin
7:00 pm – My Son Pinocchio: Geppetto’s Musical Tale

Saturday, April 21st
7:00 am – MS Math Contest @ Larkin
11:00 am – Girls Varsity Soccer vs. Rockford Guilford @
                     Memorial Field
7:00 pm – My Son Pinocchio: Geppetto’s Musical Tale
Monday, April 23
8:00 am Senior Boat Trip
World Summit Field Trip – 10:15 am -6:15 pm
6:30 pm – Europe Trip Mtg – Commons
5:30 pm – Boys (V) Volleyball vs. Leyden @ Larkin

Tuesday, April 24
Seniors - No School
Juniors PSAE Testing
World Summit Field Trip – 7:20 am -1:30 pm
4:30 pm – Boys (V) Baseball vs. Geneva @ Larkin
4:30 pm – Boys (V) Track (Larkin Invite) @ Larkin
6:00 pm – Girls (V) Soccer vs. Batavia @ Memorial Field

Wed April 25
7:00 am – Student Government MTG
Seniors – No School
Juniors PSAE Testing
World Summit Field Trip – 10:10 am – 4:15 pm
4:00 pm – VPAA Welcome – Auditorium
4:30 pm – Girls (V) Softball vs. Elgin @ Larkin

Thursday, April 26
CTE Awards Assembly

Friday, April 27
7:00 pm Mr. LHS – Auditorium

				
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