3/29/20: Letter to Parents from Mark Griffon

WebmasterHigh School News

Letter from
FHS Principal Mark Griffon



“Dear Mustang Families,
School is not closed; the buildings are closed.  If you listen, you can hear the hum of hard working parents, students, teachers, administrators, and support staff preparing to save the day in ways and means never before seen. (Paraphrased from Peyton Anderson).

Congratulations!! You made it through another week of distance learning! As we prepare to head into this next week of distance learning, I want to say thank you for all you are doing at home to support your children. We know it is not easy learning new platforms and taking on this new role for your child, while maintaining your homes, families, and jobs of your own. We also want to say thank you for supporting our teachers as they jump into distance learning for the first time while also managing their homes and supporting their own children with their learning. We continue to miss seeing all our students as face-to-face instruction is interrupted.

For the weeks of March 30th through April 10th, our teachers will continue loading weekly lessons and activities for the courses they teach to their Canvas pages by 9 am on Monday mornings.  The posted scheduled “student connection” times will also continue to be an opportunity for students to have immediate connection/response from their teacher. I encourage your student to take advantage of these times for instructional needs.

This week, teachers will continue to provide opportunities for student submission of work and assign a range of 1-2 grades per week. Grades will be recorded in Skyward. For this time period, all grades will be equally weighted, regardless of the type of activity in the Daily Work category. As grades are taken, understand no zeroes will be posted, and incompletes will be used as we work through online instruction.

We have asked our teachers to buy into a “Culture Of Sensitivity.” We all understand that this model of learning is new for our staff and students. We want our teachers to be sensitive in the area of grading; we want the focus to be on content and not the grade. We have asked our teachers to assign and collect grades as this will let us know those students that are not engaged. The other area that is a key focus for our teachers is the amount of work assigned. We have asked our teachers to start small in the amount of work assigned in the early stages of our online process. As we move forward, we will be able to make a gradual increase in rigor. We understand that if we are sensitive in these two areas, this will make a huge difference for our students.

If you have any questions about the lessons or activities found in Canvas, please reach out to your child’s teachers through email. Outside of the connections times, which are communicated in teacher’s Monday Canvas postings, please allow teachers 24 hours to respond to your email or inquiry.  Thank you for your understanding with this, as our teachers are working to support their families throughout this time as well. Starting this week, don’t forget to check out the FHS counselors’ Social-Emotional Learning Canvas page!  They will post weekly discussion board topics and wellness challenges, along with resources that you and your family may find helpful during this time.  You can also continue to email your counselor anytime for questions and needs that arise.  They are still here to help you!   
We sincerely thank you for your partnership, grace, and patience throughout this time.  As Mr. Roher reinforced in his video last week, use the Canvas Monday morning postings and make learning schedules that work for your family.”

Mark Griffon – FHS class of 78!
Principal, Friendswood High School