Principal’s RAMpage v4.7 “BE PRESENT”

Sep 5, 2023

Hello everybody!  
I am continuing this week to dig deep into the three components of our social norms.  
This week, I want to focus on what it means to BE PRESENT and why this is so important for our students.
I’ll start with a little “confession”.  I still, after so many years, get a little (or a lot) emotional every time I am gifted with the opportunity to witness your teens in their daily lives.  And they absolutely shine when they are present in what they do – their music, their dance, their promposal, their heartache, their sense of adventure, their humor, their love for each other and their adults.  Their frustration, their wins, their losses.  It is all just amazing!  And, as a staff, we want to create space for them to be present – emotionally and physically – in their own engagement on campus so ALL students can learn at high levels.  Here are some things to keep in mind…and a new policy for our DHS community.

Being Present Helps Kids Learn
Our staff started the last two years with this quote by Brene Brown:
We are ethically called to make our schools and classrooms places where all students can walk in and, for that day or hour, take off the crushing weight of their armor, hang it on a rack, and open their heart to truly being seen.”
This is why we are committed to greeting students in class, sharing common opening activities, insisting on engagement through rigorous Writing, Inquiry, Collaboration, Organization, Reading.  We are getting better and better at helping our students be present in their number one priority at school – learning at high levels.  
We expect ALL students to follow the new cell phone/earbud policy.  We provide supplies so ALL students can learn.  We expect ALL students to engage fully.  
You can help us do this by supporting our school policies and expectations, asking questions when you need support, and helping reinforce the idea that every student learning is the school’s primary purpose.  

Student Academic Support

  • The best resource for academic support is your student’s teacher!  Reach out to your student’s teacher directly!  Teacher emails are available on the Dixon High Website
  • If your students need additional support or a safe, friendly place to do their homework, please encourage them to visit our Learning Center in the DHS Library.  We have the nicest staff and will soon have paid tutors.  The Learning Center is open every day from 7:30-8:30 in the morning and 2:00-4:00 after school (1:00-3:00 on Wednesdays).
  • If you aren’t sure how to help your student or think they may need more extensive intervention, contact your assistant principal.

Student Social and Emotional Support
This is what being present is all about. The world of teens is REALLY complicated and they may need help being present in whatever they are doing (school, family, friends, activities, etc). 
Here are some of the things we do:

  • We greet our students at the door.  This allows us to “check in” and build relationships.
  • As an AVID School-wide school we engage students in rigorous learning which helps students maintain a positive, focused purpose.
  • We have a huge team of awesome adults who ALWAYS put students first.
  • Through PBIS, we have common expectations for behavioral support.
  • We support student activities.
  • We build and value relationships with students and model respectful adult relationships.
  • We have a visible admin team and three AMAZING campus supervisors.
  • Our mission and social contract support student mental health.
  • We have a team of counselors and mental health clinicians, as well as county support.

You can help by reaching out if your student is struggling with something at home that might interfere with their ability to be present at school.  Your student’s Assistant Principal is a good place to start with this.
You can also help your student keep school where it needs to be so they can be present at home as well as school.  

  • Instead of “helping them with homework,” check their binder and planner and help them realize that their whole school day doesn’t need to “go home” with them.  Many students get easily overwhelmed with managing their workload.  Help them make a list of what really needs to be done, where they can get support, and use the monthly calendar in their planner to schedule jobs, activities, and schoolwork.  Most of the time, they have less work to do than they think…they just need help planning.
  • Make sure they sleep and eat right and exercise and talk with you about things other than school.
  • Give us a call if you want to talk.  Our staff has collectively more than 945 years of education experience (yes, we added it up) and we have “seen” it all (or mostly all).  We are happy to help you help  your student!

Your kids are amazing!  Thank you for working with us.  
2023-2024 Attendance Calendar
2023-2024 Student and Parent Handbook
2023-2024 Manuel Para Estudiantes y Padres
2023-2024 DHS Bell Schedule
2023-24 Final Board Approved Calendar.pdf
2023-2024 DHS Campus Map 

Questions or concerns:
Please do not hesitate to reach out to me directly if you have any questions or concerns. I proudly serve this community and can be reached by email or phone any time.

Stephanie Marquez
Proud Principal of Dixon High School
(707) 693-6330 ext.7113