Thursday, August 19, 2010

Welcome Letter! :)

August 17, 2010
Dear Parents and Students!

Welcome to Righetti High School!! I am very excited about a new year and I hope you are too. I’d like to start out the year by introducing myself. My name is Geri Coats. This will be my 6th year at RHS, and I plan to be here for a long time still :) I have also taught at SMHS briefly, waited tables at a local restaurant, and cooked at a local casino. I went to Allan Hancock College, UCSB, and Chapman University. I am part of the community and love it here!

This will be my first year teaching English 1A/B. I am full of anticipation and energy for new material, new students, and I will be trying some new things in this class. The first thing you will notice is that I am not sending home copies of the syllabus. The syllabus, and many other items will be available online only, unless you request to receive items on paper. My reasoning behind this is primarily to save paper for both budget and environmental reasons, but also because our students will eventually be sent out into a technologically savvy world where they will be expected to not only function but thrive. My class website will be a resource for students and to parents. On it you will find information relating to the current unit, homework, a class calendar, a link to the class blog, a link to the wiki being developed for students to collaborate with other 9th graders in different parts of the country, and much more. Students will have the opportunity in this class to reduce their paper as well, students will be able to submit work online without ever printing it out, they will create presentations to share online, they will be able to post on a blog, they will be able to discuss their homework with students at other schools in other places, and who knows what other opportunities may arise.

I also understand that while the world is becoming very tech savvy, these things are not possible in every home for a variety of reasons, but that should not be a limitation to students learning how to use technology in an appropriate responsible way. The internet based options for assignments will be given opportunity in the school computer lab, and they will often be a choice students can make off a menu of ways to complete an assignment. If you have any questions about this, please do not hesitate to contact me.

The curriculum for this year should be very fun and challenging both to the students and myself. We will be reading short stories, To Kill a Mockingbird, Romeo and Juliet, The Odyssey, poetry and more! Students will do research on possible career paths, as well as on their reading material. Hopefully they will gain a broader view of the world and see how they fit into it :)

My last point for this letter is to be very clear that I feel education is a team sport, and that we are on the same team! Often by the time a student reaches high school communication between school and home is limited to beginning of the year information packets, a report card, and maybe a call if the student is in trouble; and students suffer because of this phenomenon. I use the class website as a source for information, if you ever have a question or a concern please contact me. I am much better at responding to emails because I can give a detailed response to your concerns in a convenient manner, but you may also call, or even schedule a meeting through the guidance technician. If there is a problem, I would like to solve it early, and quickly in a manner that works for the whole team: student, family, class, teacher, and school.

Thank you!

Geri Coats
Righetti High School
805 937 2051 ext. 2312

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