We just completed Week 5, and we have accomplished so much! It was really nice seeing so many families at Back to School Night last week. We hope you enjoyed our presentations and facilities. The following day, students focused on health and wellness with activities from BRITE and Health Corp, local community organizations.
In Academic Enrichment 2, we have been establishing habits for a successful school year. We practice planning ahead and tracking our progress as follows:
All teachers at OMCHS try to post a Weekly Agenda by Monday morning. In Academic Enrichment we require that students check those agendas on Monday and create a plan for the week. Their plans outline what they will work on each day to have all of their assignments completed on time. We also require that students check their high school and/or college grades each week, then write a reflection about their progress: Are they on track to meet their goals? Do they need to make any adjustments to their work habits?
Sample Student Plans for Week 4
In AVID 9 and 11, we have been setting up additional practices for college readiness and success – focused note taking, organization, and collaborative group tutorials. We have also been practicing critical reading and writing. In AVID 9, we have analyzed poems around the theme of “The Legacy of Names,” as mentor texts for writing poems about our own experiences with our names. In AVID 11, we have been mapping out our lives and writing our life stories. These stories will be used to write college and scholarship essays throughout the year. We consider themes in our lives and lessons we have learned along the way.
Collaborative Group Tutorials
In all classes, we learn about opportunities for students to gain real-world experience, test their interest in different activities and careers, and build their resumes. For example, four students met me at the Oxnard College Swap Meet in August, where we were trained and worked at a Legal Assistance Booth alongside local attorneys. We informed shoppers about the free services offered at the booth and helped them with their legal issues. Two of our students spent a few hours helping a couple complete their citizenship paperwork. That couple walked away with an envelope to put in the mail to take their next step toward citizenship! We helped people register to vote, get answers to their DACA, green card, and citizenship questions, and more. If you know anyone who can use these types of assistance, it is offered on the last Sunday of every month from 9 am-3 pm. The booth is located near the bookstore.
Working at the OC Swap Meet Legal Assistance Booth in August
We also practice mindfulness and mindset activities in all classes to help us focus whenever and wherever we are. Sometimes that involves meditation, a focus on our breath or a sound, a stretch break, a body scan, a discussion…whatever seems appropriate at the moment.
Finally, I am the advisor for three of our clubs:
GSA meets alternate Fridays at lunch in my room. All allies and members of the LGBTQIA+ community are welcome for an affirming and supportive space. We have already had a guest speaker, a young adult who recently earned his Marriage and Family Therapy license. We have written a letter to the school district to advocate for inclusive policies and practices, and some students have participated in local Pride events.
I also support the Griffin Guild with Ms. Rodriguez-Servin. The Griffin Guild motto is, “Our mascot may be a myth, but our news isn’t.” We meet on Mondays and Wednesdays in my room. Members produce videos about school and community news, as well as organize voter registration efforts. Did you know that students can pre-register to vote starting at age 16? That allows them to vote as soon as they turn 18. Several students have been trained by The Civic Center on how to educate and register future voters. Griffin Guild will have booths set up in the quad at the end of September for national and state High School Voter Education and Registration Weeks.
LatinXvision is working with Dr. Ramon Flores from the Naval Base Ventura County to bring STEM activities to OMCHS. Our leadership team will be meeting with him next week to start putting together a plan. We are shooting for after school on Fridays, once a month, and will keep you posted as our plan is confirmed.