Behind the Scenes
Considering our current circumstances, I imagine everyone has their hands full. I want to share with you some of the things we are working on that you may be interested in knowing about.
Construction. We are in the final stretch. We have a few items on our punch list that are being identified and corrected, but the original Westheimer campus project is complete. We are awaiting the installation of safety netting around baseball and softball to ensure the adjacent fields can be used without concern for stray balls. This was added when the potential safety issue was identified late in the project and has been added as a separate project. We expect that to be installed right around the start of the baseball/softball seasons. We are working with the Alumni Association, who recently pledged to donate scoreboards, seating and lighting for the athletic fields to allow for extended usage hours after dark. And then the final piece of the project is the construction of a greenhouse for our Horticulture program on campus and a new barn for our Animal Science program at the current barn site. The construction team has started utility and dirt work and are projected to finish this project in the coming months.
With any new facility, we need to name areas of the campus to make it easier to give directions. A Naming Committee was recently established following Board Policy to review some of the proposals made for naming. Those recommendations are being reviewed by HISD administration and will be submitted to the HISD Board of Trustees for approval. We have tried to honor the culture and history of the school community, for example, the naming recommendation for our outdoor patio is Red Table Patio. This area will receive signage that honors the original PTO donation for the tables and the social importance of the area over time. Another example is the naming proposal for our synthetic turf field, to be named Coaches’ Field to honor the important role coaches play in the lives of Lamar students. The Alumni Association will be adding plaques that tell the history of our coaching staff in our various athletic programs. We will invite our Alumni to identify coaches that made an impact on their lives.
There are several areas of the campus that still need proposals for naming. Areas of a school may be named after a person, community, location or function. If you would like to submit a naming recommendation, please forward that to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
for consideration in the next Naming Committee Meeting. I would like to thank our committee members for their time and dedication to this work.
Courses for 2021-2022. We are currently working on making changes to our course offerings, eliminating courses that don’t work for us and adding things that better align with our IB Programmes. We will announce changes to our course offerings before the end of January. Watch the newsletter for more information.
Student Led Conferences. In the coming weeks, you will begin receiving information about Student Led Conferences. This was an addition to our program last year. I received incredible feedback from parents, students, teachers and administrators about how valuable the time was. Students will start the meeting with a reflection and will share pieces of work from their portfolio. This is also the time when Academic Deans can assist students and parents in developing or fine tuning the academic pathway for college or career by developing a course schedule that matches the student’s goals. These are online meetings to ensure the health and safety of all involved. Watch for more information!
Recovering From a Slow Start in the Fall Semester
This year has presented many challenges for students, some of which we anticipated and tried to work around, and others we just couldn’t see coming. It is important that our students know there are still opportunities to correct their missteps from this first semester.
Low grades? A student who fails one semester of a course may be eligible for receiving a passing grade for the year when the two semesters added together equal 139 points. For instance, if a student makes a 60 as the first semester average, then a 79 or better in the second semester will allow us to award credit for both semesters. Students who did not pass the first semester should calculate the grade needed for the second semester and use it to set a goal. Remember, every point counts, so finish this semester strong!
139 total points – 1st semester average = grade needed in 2nd semester
Poor attendance? A student who has missed more than 4 class periods in any course, but less than 11 class periods in that course, may be able to take advantage of our credit appeals process to make up time for the course. If the student has a passing grade, and completes credit appeal, the course credit may be reinstated.
2nd Semester Final Exam Exemptions
We will be offering exemptions for spring semester final exams. We will be offering a short online meeting on Tuesday, January 26th from 1:00-1:30 p.m. to share the guidelines for qualifying for exemptions. A link for the meeting will be available on social media and the Lamar website the day before the meeting.
IB Diploma Candidate Meeting for Seniors
On Wednesday, January 20th, we will host a meeting for seniors to discuss requirements for receiving the IB Diploma. The meeting will take place in Teams from 12:15-12:45. A link will be provided on social media and the Lamar website the day before the meeting. This meeting is designed to answer the most common questions and show students how they are scored to earn the IB Diploma. This meeting was very helpful last year and helped us increase our number of recipients 270%. I am so proud of Class of 2020, but know that this Class of 2021 has the potential to earn even more IB Diplomas and go to college with 24 hours of college credit already in the bank!
We will offer a similar meeting for Juniors in February.