Admin

Principal's Corner

Emily Caster at Graduation

August 8, 2018

 

Greetings Pointer Students and Families,

 

I’m excited to welcome you to the 2018-19 school year; it’s going to be an outstanding year at Sparrows Point High School! Our school community will continue to raise the bar and achieve excellence in academics, athletics and civic engagement. Our goal is to have every student graduate from high school prepared for the demands of postsecondary education, meaningful careers and effective citizenship. We continue to celebrate being named to U.S. News and World Report’s “Best High Schools” list for 2018, as a bronze medal high school and for excellence in magnet programs.

 

This year we are very excited to share that every student will be assigned their own laptop device to use as part of our instructional program. More information will be provided in the coming weeks regarding required documentation, training and distribution of devices.

 

We welcome and encourage active involvement from our parents and families. Please join our PTSA, attend a parent workshop, follow us on Twitter @SparrowsPointHS, access our school website http://sparrowspoinths.bcps.org/, read our quarterly community newsletter, and attend the many activities and athletic events here on campus. New this year, each PTSA meeting will have a designated topic, and the administrative team will share a brief presentation or demonstration on that topic and engage in a discussion with families in attendance. Topics can be found on the PTSA tab of our school website.

 

The first day of school is Tuesday, September 4. Before the first day, please review the following information and procedures to ensure a successful start to the school year:

 

Home Visits: Staff from SPHS will be visiting our rising Grade 9 students in their neighborhoods on Thursday, August 16 and Friday, August 17. Be on the lookout for our Welcome Wagon team as we welcome you to SPHS!

 

Grade 9 Early Entry Day: Thursday, August 30 from 7:45-11:15 am. Welcome Class of 2022! Students will ride their regular bus to and from SPHS and participate in activities to orient them to high school. Lunch will be provided.

 

Sollers Point Technical High School Students: On Tuesday, September 4, all students scheduled to attend Sollers Point Technical High School in the morning should ride the Sollers Point bus. Do not report to Sparrows Point High School. Afternoon Sollers students should report to their regular first period class at Sparrows Point High School and will be transported to Sollers Point at 11:15 a.m. following “A” lunch.

 

Schedule Changes: A student with an error on her/his schedule may come to the School Counseling Office on the following days to request a schedule correction:

August 17 from 8:30-11:00 am and 12:00-1:30 pm

August 20 from 8:30-11:00 am and 12:00-1:30 pm

 

Student Pictures: Pictures of students in Grades 9, 10 and 11 will be taken on September 11 and September 12. All students are expected to have their photo taken for the yearbook and ID cards (no cost). Payment for picture packets is made to Lifetouch at the time the picture is taken. The scheduled makeup day is October 24. Seniors who did not have their photo taken this summer should participate in the final make-up date of October 8 and 9. This will be the last opportunity for Lifetouch to take senior photos on campus.

 

Pointers for Peace: This year we once again are proud to welcome “Pointers for Peace,” our peer mediation program which is a process where participants work together with impartial, trained student mediators to address conflict. Pointers for Peace is a respectful process where students will learn life skills to problem solve, become more confident and engage in direct, meaningful and positive communication with one another.

 

Student Leadership Opportunities: At Sparrows Point High School, we provide many opportunities for students to develop and strengthen their leadership skills, including:

Pointers for Peace Peer Mediator: contact Ms. Blair or Ms. Lord

Raising Pointer Voice and Participation (formerly Principal’s Advisory Council): contact Mrs. Caster

Orientation and Event Leader: contact Mrs. Caster

Student Government Association: contact Ms. Bray and Ms. Masel

Class of 2022: Mrs. Kirkpatrick and Mr. Imirie

Class of 2021: contact Ms. Donahue and Ms. C. Taylor

Class of 2020: contact Mr. Bianco and Mr. Wynne

Class of 2019: contact Ms. Saja and Ms. Whitehead

 

Extra-curricular Activities: There is a club, activity or sport for every student at Sparrows Point High School! We encourage every student to GET INVOLVED and maximize their high school experience. Extra-curricular opportunities include athletics, theatre, book club, honor societies, chess, culinary club, key club, student government, newspaper, yearbook, weight training, ethics, mock trial, FBLA, DECA, vocal and instrumental music, SADD, robotics and many more!

 

BCPS One: BCPS One is an online environment with integrated tools and resources for all BCPS students, staff and parents. It is accessible anytime and from anywhere. Students and parents can create an account and access BCPS One from this link: https://bcpsone.bcps.org/ If you need BCPS One account information, please contact the main office. Once in BCPS One, you will be able to access our new grade reporting and learning management systems, Schoology. New this year, parents may update privacy preferences for their students through the BCPS One Information Tile on the Parent Landing Page. This will be available until September 30, 2018. This form is no longer able to be printed and should be completed electronically.

 

SPHS Student/Parent Guide: This guide provides students and parents with detailed information about a variety of procedures and expectations at SPHS. Copies are available in the main office and on our website.

 

BCPS Behavior Code and Student Handbook: During the first week of school, each student will participate in a presentation about BCPS policy and rule related to student behavior, as well as SPHS specific procedures. http://www.bcps.org/system/handbooks/Student-Handbook.pdf

 

Grading Policy: Please be sure to review the BCPS Grading and Reporting Manual for updates for the 2018-19 school year. School and department specific information is available in the SPHS Student/Parent Guide and in course syllabi provided the first week of school. http://www.bcps.org/academics/grading/Grading-and-Reporting-Procedures.pdf

 

Morning Procedures: Students arriving to the building before 7:30 am are to wait in the main lobby, auditorium lobby, cafeteria lobby or cafeteria. At the 7:30 am bell, students may move around the building and make their way to their first class. Any student not in their classroom by the 7:45 a.m. bell will be directed to the late center to obtain a pass.

 

New Bell Schedule: In alignment with all high schools in BCPS, we will be adding five minutes to our school day. Our new bell schedule is:

First period: 7:45-9:10 am

Second period: 9:15-10:40 am

Homeroom: 10:40-10:45 am

Third period: 10:50 am-12:50 pm (A lunch 10:45-11:15 am, B lunch 11:25-11:55 am)

Fourth Period: 12:55-2:20 pm

 

Student Dress Expectations: The student dress code is intended to outline acceptable standards for student dress during the school day and during other school-sponsored activities in order to preserve a safe and orderly environment that is conducive to learning. (Board of Education Policy and Superintendent’s Rule 5520). Students will wear attire in a manner that supports a healthy and safe learning environment.  Students will not wear attire that is disruptive to the school environment, promotes illegal or harmful activities, or that could endanger the health and safety of the student or other students. Hats and headwear are not permitted at any time during the school day, except as worn for medical reasons or as a legitimate expression of a student’s religious practice and faith as approved by the school principal. Please see the BCPS Student Handbook, page 9, for additional information.

 

Electronic Devices/Cell Phones: In partnership with our PTSA and student leaders, we will be updating our classroom cell phone procedures for the 2018-19 school year. More information will be shared before the start of the school year.

 

Visiting SPHS and School Safety:  All parents and visitors to our school must use the main entrance located by the flagpole and use the door buzzer system. Parents and visitors are required to show proper photo identification and be listed on the current year emergency contact form. School safety continues to be our number one priority at SPHS. We work collaboratively with School Resource Officer Tidd, the BCPS Office of School Safety and the Baltimore County Police, to ensure we maintain a safe and positive school environment. Detailed safety plans are in place and practiced at regular intervals with students and staff throughout the school year. In support of a safe school environment, we ask all members of our school community to practice, “see something, say something,” in regards to any school safety concerns.

 

Home-School Communication: Students and families can expect that email and phone messages will be shared frequently with information about events and updates. Information will also be shared on our school website, Twitter, and at times through traditional mailings. Please be sure you have updated your phone and email addresses in our Student Information System (SIS) so that all communication is received. 

 

If you have any concerns, your first point of contact should be your son or daughter’s school counselor. Our counselors are Mrs. Jubb (A-F), Mr. Barton (G-O) and Mrs. Allshouse (P-Z). Counselors are most easily reached by email, but may also be reached at 443-809-7519. We are excited to welcome Ms. Command, our College and Career Readiness Counselor! Each student also has an assigned administrator. Our administrators are Mr. Hanmer (A-K) and Mrs. Brennan (L-Z).

 

Upcoming Events:

Athletic Parent Night: Tuesday, August 7 at 6:00 pm (gymnasium)

  • Required event for students/parents playing a fall sport

Combined Orientation and Back to School Night: Thursday, September 13 from 5:00-8:00 p.m.

  • 5:00-5:50 p.m.- Orientation for new students, grade 9 students and their parents
  • 6:00-8:00 p.m.- Back to School Night for all students and their parents

 

I am honored to be the principal of Sparrows Point High School and look forward to working with you this year. Let’s make it the best year yet!

 

Sincerely,

 

 

 

Emily J. Caster

Principal