By Suzanne Gorman, Head of Downtown Campus

Kudos to all our fall sports teams on their seasons, and a particularly fantastic October! The volleyball team, in only its second season, was the fourth of six seeds in the 25th District Tournament. The soccer team continued its multi-year streak of finishing in second in the District and advancing to the 7th Region Tournament. And the field hockey team finished its season with a record well above .600 and a strong showing in their Regional Tournament. No rest for the weary, as the winter sports season is underway: basketball practices begin this week and bowling practices began last week, with matches starting this week! 

Speaking of endeavors involving strength and fitness, 11 students and one teacher (Biology teacher and Outdoor Activities Club moderator David Word) headed off on a five-day Outward Bound adventure yesterday. They’ll return to school Wednesday and we look forward to hearing how the experience went for the students.

First quarter grades and comments are posted on the Portal today, so I want to share some information about those. First, they are given to students in Advisee groups before being posted for parents. Philosophically, we believe this is ultimately the students’ education, though parental direction and support is of course vital. Showing the reports to students first (and giving them the opportunity to address any confusion around a grade or comment with teachers) is key in promoting the kind of self-advocacy and responsibility students need in college and beyond. Second, we encourage students and parents to carefully read the comments, because those provide the context for the letter grade. For instance, a given student’s B in a particular class might be the result of incredibly hard work and taking advantage of all possible opportunities, or it might reflect a lack of effort. Letter grades matter, of course, but the narrative comment is evidence of the fuller picture. We have Parent-Teacher Conferences coming up on Thursday, November 1st and Friday, November 2nd; the sign-up sheet for 15-minute slots has been emailed to you and is linked in this newsletter. You are welcome to make appointments with all or just some of your child’s teachers.

Like our Goshen counterparts, yesterday we participated in the Great American Shakeout Earthquake Drill. Students were instructed to “Drop, Cover, and Hold On” and practiced doing that. We conduct fire drills monthly and tornado drills twice per year, as well as talking through response protocol for intruders multiple times each year. Since Louisville is near the New Madrid fault line, we wanted students to be aware of how to protect themselves in case of earthquake, at school or elsewhere!