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It’s almost Spring!  I can feel it!  I’m writing this newsletter by a sunny window on Sunday afternoon. It’s so nice to see the coldness of Winter fade away.  Spring is the season of change.

We have some changes happening here at school too.  As many of you know, our Administrative Assistant (secretary), Peggy Bawden, is leaving after 21 years at Hayden Peak. She is leaving to become the administrative assistant (secretary) at the new elementary school.  It’s been hard for all of us to watch her go.  Mrs. Bawden has managed the emotional climate at Hayden Peak with fun holiday and monthly traditions for teachers, academic and attendance recognitions for students, kept staff in the know about meetings and trainings, and supplied substitute teachers in classes when teachers have to be out.  She has made sure the budgets are operational, as well as supporting virtually everything else that goes on in our campus.  A whole generation of students have been the recipients of her love and caring.   We know the new school will have a better start and wonderful first years because Mrs. Bawden will be there, but we will miss her deeply.

Taking Mrs. Bawden’s place is one of our own, which we are excited about.  Jeniffer Murphy has been running our student computer lab and recently was promoted to the digital learning coach in our school.  She will now be the administrative assistant (secretary) at Hayden Peak.  She knows all our students and all our traditions.  She brings her own deep skill set and support of students and teachers.  I asked Mrs. Murphy to tell us a few things about herself.  This is what she told me: “After many years working for large corporations like Microsoft and United Airlines, I followed my kids to school.  I have spent the last 15 years working in the schools using my skills in technology supporting administrators, teachers, and students.  I started at Hayden Peak five years ago after moving to Utah for my husband's job.  I have worked in the classrooms with the Meet the Masters program, the computer lab, and recently as a digital learning coach. In my free time I enjoy reading, quilting, crafting and spending time with my family. I am so excited to continue to work with our staff, students, and families in my new role in the office.  Hayden Peak is a great place to be and I look forward to this new adventure!”  We also are looking forward to having Mrs. Murphy in the front office.

Instructional methods change too, and our teachers are deeply immersed in some new programs offered by Jordan District.  As research into best practice becomes more evidence-based and scientific, our district adopts programs with significant results.  Our younger grades have begun using a program that enhances the understanding of phonemic awareness (the ability to distinguish speech sounds that will later be represented by combinations of letters).  Teachers and reading assistants received training on this program in the Fall.  Now, teachers in the upper grades are receiving training on a phonics program that helps students decode multi-syllabic words.  We have a district assigned literacy coach in our building as well as a teacher on special assignment as an instructional coach, and our teachers are continuously improving their skills.  We are excited to be part of a school where all of us are lifelong learners.

As always, let us know when you see ways we can improve our work with your children.  We are excited to see them grow, as we welcome another year of Spring.  Happy Sunshine!

Jennifer Fisher, Principal

Cathryn Ford, Assistant Principal

Click to print a copy of Principal's Newsletter March 2020

This is a reminder that all decisions regarding a late start or closure for Jordan School District Schools will be made by 5:30 a.m.

Please know that parents may decide to keep children home due to adverse weather conditions. Schools understand and respect this decision and will work with families.

Full Emergency Communications & Snow Closure Guidelines can be found at jordandistrict.org/resources/emergency.

 

If February is a month to focus on love and caring, Hayden Peak is right in step.  This month we are implementing a new strategy for wellness, a “check in—check out” plan for students who might welcome another caring adult to show concern for their well-being.  Managed by our school psychologist, Mr. Stewart, this plan simply allows for students to stop in and say hi to someone in the building at the beginning and end of the day.  There is not a specific agenda that is either social or academic, but students might choose to show a piece of schoolwork they are particularly proud of, or simply have a short conversation, knowing that lots of people care every day that they are in school.  If you feel your child would benefit from this intervention, please call the school and let us know.

Our school currently has a “chronic absenteeism” rate of 37%.  That number includes all students who missed 10 or more days of school last year.  Of course, some absences are enriching; when you take a family vacation and experience new things, vocabulary and context are improved and students learn in ways beyond what school can provide.  Additionally, some illnesses take a few days for recovery, and we don’t want students who feel awful (or are contagious) in the classroom.  However, we do know that students learn best when their attendance is consistent, and we do all in our power to make their time here at Hayden Peak worthwhile.  It helps when you call the school to excuse an illness and make prior arrangements with teachers if you are taking your child out for a planned vacation.  Also, if your child is reluctant to come to school, let us know and we will work to support a reward system that can add some motivation to the already great things happening in class.

As we get to know your children better through this school year, we are keenly aware at how important it is to focus on our students one by one.  We look at lots of data—academic and behavior, growth and proficiency—with lots of acronyms.  We review IEPs and 504s and score PSFs and ORFs.  But it’s the conversations with individual kids that warm our hearts and keep us coming to work each day.  Knowing their struggles and seeing their resiliency is the light and joy of our jobs.  Stay connected with your child’s teachers and us, so we can continue to support each student’s needs, whatever they may be.  Have a terrific month of February!

Jennifer Fisher                                                          Cathryn Ford

Principal                                                                     Assistant Principal


Click on the link below to view/print a PDF copy of this newsletter.

February Principal Newsletter