Letter from the Principal

Hello Madison,
 
And just like that, we are approaching the end of the first semester.  Fall activities are in the books and winter activities are in full swing.  It’s the time of year when we start planning for next year – curriculum nights, electives fairs and course advising with school counselors.  Seniors are beginning to make real plans for their lives after high school while the rest of us keep putting our pajamas on inside out in hopes that the pajama ritual will produce a snow day or two.  
 
Before I highlight a few items for your consideration over the coming week, on behalf of our staff, I would like to extend a heartfelt thank you for the support and gifts we received during the fall holidays.  Your kindness and efforts do not go unnoticed and are greatly appreciated.  
 
Now for a few highlights.
 

  • MAD Wings.  All students will be attending a MAD Wings event during Warhawk Time in early February.  At that time, seniors will be given more specific information about participating in the MAD Wings experience in May.  9th to 11th graders will be working on adding artifacts to their portfolios and reflecting on their school year to date.  Click here for more information if you’re unfamiliar with the MAD Wings program.
  • Senior Events and Information:  We will be posting announcements for seniors on our website throughout the coming months.  Please bookmark this page and ensure you check your emails for information regarding All Night Grad Party and other events related to graduation.  
  • Rising 10th, 11th and 12th Graders:  This week we welcomed our rising 9th grade families at our Rising 9th Curriculum Night (presentation slides).  For rising 10th to 12th graders, we will have our curriculum night on January 17th.  For information on the course selection process, please visit our website.
  • Seminar:  Preparing Families for Difficult Conversations about Alcohol & Drugs:  On Wednesday, January 18th, from 6 to 8 in Town Hall, we will be hosting a Madison Pyramid event around the use of drugs and alcohol.  This is an adults only event where you will hear basic info about alcohol,  nicotine, cannabis, and opioids and what you can do as a caregiver.  You will also receive information about community resources.  More information can be found in our This Week at Madison email.
  • Course Marks:  This is a great time to take a few moments to log into ParentVue to check in on your child(ren)’s current progress in their courses.  Remember that quarter marks are snapshots of a student’s current progress toward course mastery.  If you have questions, please take a moment to speak with your child.  If they don’t have the answer, please reach out to your child’s teacher.    
  • Madison Skills-Based Mastery Learning Focus Groups:  Next year, our goal is to have one consistent way to calculate course grades across the school.  We have been on this journey to clarify the grading process since 2016.  As we prepare for this last summer of transition, we will be pulling together student, parent and teacher focus groups in April.  As we prepare community rollout presentations, these groups will provide us critical feedback and guide the development of our future presentations.  More information will be available in March about participating in these focus groups.  In the meantime, if you have questions or concerns about skills-based mastery learning, please feel free to submit your questions here.  

 
Finally, as we celebrated Martin Luther King Jr. this week, I am reminded of one of his quotes:  “If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way.”   I hope that the next few weeks are filled with many small acts of kindness both given and received.  #OneKindActVienna

Regards,
 
Liz Calvert, Principal
James Madison High School
2500 James Madison Drive
Vienna, Virginia  22181
Phone:  703-319-2311
Email:  emcalvert@fcps.edu
Website:  http://www.fcps.edu/MadisonHS/
 
 One School – One Community – One World