From the Desk of Pat Larson -
Welcome to the 2015-16 school year! It is hard to believe it’s time to start school again, where did the summer go? It was probably all that hot summer weather that kept us so busy with summer activities, that caused the days to pass so quickly.
We ended the 2015 Centennial celebration year with a very special graduation. It was the largest graduating class in the history of Foster with 217 students receiving a diploma and 188 choosing to walk in the graduation ceremony. Over 3 million dollars in scholarships was earned by the students in this class and the students in the AVID class earned over a million in scholarships. We had more students earning a bi-literate medal than any other school in the state. The ceremony itself was beautiful, organized and led by Mrs. Chesak, who retired with this graduating class. The ceremony ended with a bang! A purple, white and silver fireworks display signaled the end of the ceremony and the end to a wonderful year with fantastic students. An informal reception was held on the lawn outside the stadium and families celebrated to the music provided by DJ Flow. A new tradition was started with this class. The names of the students graduating were not painted on the backdrop as they had been in the past. Instead the names were printed on large panels and are now hanging in the academic hall at Foster. Thank you to the Class of 2015 for all you contributed to Foster and helping establish a new tradition.
We had a very smooth start to the 15-16 school year with just a few minor problems. Our bell schedule has changed to include three (3) lunches instead of two. All food will now be eaten in the Commons, the Skybridge or outside instead of in the hallways. One of the challenges we faced is the fire door leading into the athletic hallway is broken and is being repaired. Students have had to use the mural hallway to access classes in the activities hall and as usual, the students have stepped up and made the adjustment easily.
The focus on closing the achievement gap paid off with the large graduating class and academic successes. The graduation rate has increased by 13% last year which is exciting for us. Providing support to students and increasing the enrollment in rigorous AP courses has helped close that gap. Our AP Calculus students had the highest number of students achieving a 5 on the test than we have had in a long time. We are so proud of our students and the teachers who teach them.
Our staff spent their first days back analyzing data and developing action steps to continue to improve on the work we have already started. Our Advisory Team is continuing to focus on College and Career Readiness and lessons have been developed for students to create their High School and Beyond Plan. The Successful Student Behavior Team will be a part of the Early Warning Indicator Team focusing on keeping students in school and being academically successful. Academic data was also analyzed and teachers began planning for meeting the needs of their new students in each of their classes.
The cost of educating students and keeping them actively involved in school continues to increase. Every time you shop at Target with your REDcard, Target donates 1% of your purchases to a designated school, which of course would be Foster. This is an easy way to help our students without adding additional financial costs to you. So keep us in mind next time you shop at Target!
We are proud of the work we do and the success of our students. Thank you for sending us your best students! It has been a wonderful start to school and we look forward to the 15-16 year being another great year for students. It’s a Great Day to be a Bulldog!