Westfield High School is destined for amazing things in 2018-19. I am so fortunate to lead a school with teachers who are passionate and committed to helping our students learn and grow. I am also fortunate to have such focused, responsible and gifted students, supported by parents who see the value in a quality education. This is clearly a winning combination that allows us to follow the path of excellence. Excellence is not the result of a good intention or a clever slogan. It is not a vague value that is easily achieved. It comes from a strong, urgent desire to improve how we do things when we see something we can do better. We are working hard to ensure that Westfield High School will be recognized as a top-performing school in academics, athletics, and student activities. It has been said that: “Tentative efforts lead to tentative outcomes. Therefore give yourself fully to your endeavors. The trials you encounter will introduce you to your strengths. Remain steadfast...and one day you will build something worthy of your potential.” As we strive for excellence, we will not be tentative.
As we evaluate and celebrate our past success, we also know that we can be even better this year. We are working hard to ensure that our students are prepared for the day after graduation. My staff and I have been discussing the importance of career and college readiness. We believe that proficiency in an identified set of skills- literacy, analytical reasoning, communication, and problem-solving to name a few- are necessary for ALL students to be prepared for the day AFTER graduation. We are striving for ALL students to be CAREER ready. Students need to understand the reason why they are attending college is to continue their preparation for a career. All educational roads- at WHS and at the post-secondary level- lead to a career. Westfield High School will be purposeful in developing comprehensive strategies that bridge the gap between education and career/workforce preparation. This shift in how we view preparation will be yet another layer in ensuring our students have every advantage necessary for their success that day AFTER graduation.
Westfield High School is a great place to be. I believe that strong community-school relationships are essential to high academic, extra-curricular and athletic achievement. Find any successful school and you will also find parents and community members that are involved and supportive of the school. This community recognizes the value of educational, athletic and extracurricular activities. Therefore, Westfield High School expects our students to excel both inside and outside the classroom. I hope you are proud of our students as they reflect these expectations through their character, courage, and commitment. Your support is greatly appreciated and remember - IT’S GREAT TO BE A SHAMROCK!
Career Course Updates
Wellness Leaf Updates – The Wellness Part of the WHS Life Ready Shamrock
by Jake Gilbert, Dean of Wellness
In order to ensure that our students are ready for the day after graduation and beyond, we are developing and teaching student skills in three major areas: Academic, Career, and Wellness. Westfield has long been outstanding at developing an academic skill set within our students that prepares them for their future. Recently we have expanded our career pathways, dual credit opportunities, and available internships. Our current focus is to improve the physical and mental wellness of each student now and for their future.
Research shows that the more connected a student is, the less likely they are to experience risky behaviors such as drugs, alcohol, dropping out, teen pregnancy, etc. Our goal is to develop a web of support thick enough to set our students up for success and to prevent them from slipping through the cracks. We will connect all students to their passions and purpose in life, teaching them to separate their identity from their performance. We will connect students to caring adults, extra-curriculars, and community involvement. Lastly, all students will be connected to other students, peer mentors, clubs, and activities. As we connect, we will also grow our students in SEL (Social Emotional Learning) based principles rooted in Self-Awareness, Self-Management, and Relationship Skills. These principles will help students overcome stress, anxiety, depression, and fear of failure while living out their purpose now and in the future.
One important avenue of connection implemented this year is our Freshmen Mentoring Program. You can read more about that here.