February and (Well) Beyond

No sooner did we all become accustomed to writing “2020” than we started a variety of endeavors for students at FHS preparing them for the near and somewhat distant future. High school is an on-going balancing act of being present in and appreciative of the moment while also maintaining a dutiful eye to life after high school.

Here are some of the things on our plate (if you’re here for the renovation information, just keep scrolling):

  • Course Requests and Individual Meetings
    • We met with each grade-level class separately in the auditorium last week to review the process for requesting courses for next year.
      • It is important to remember that students are merely making requests at this point and not creating a final schedule. It is from these requests that we’ll begin to construct the master schedule for the building based upon requirements, interests, and needs.
    • Prior to each meeting, the counseling office provided each Schoology class (e.g. Class of 2021) with a series of resources for students and parents to facilitate the request and individual counselor meeting process.
    • Beginning this week and continuing for the next month, Mrs. Jensen and Mrs. Vilushis will meet with every student individually during the school day to discuss next year’s courses in the context of their plans for the future.
      • One of the resources in the Schoology group posting includes the document (My Future – Scheduling Meeting Checksheet) that will guide students’ conversations with their counselors.
  • Career and College Guidance Field Trips
    • Each year, the classes take a day to visit the following local institutions: Penn State Behrend (9th grade), Edinboro University (10th grade), Mercyhurst University (11th grade). The sophomores just visited Edinboro last week.
    • These trips do satisfy an important post-secondary experience as part of PA’s Chapter 339 requirements, but their value does not lie in checking a box, nor are they suggesting that students will attend or plan on attending any of these schools.
    • Instead, they provide important opportunities for students in beginning to understand post-secondary options through exposure to different careers, panel discussions with admissions officers, and hands-on experiences in labs or classrooms at each institution.


The month-long feedback period following January’s mandatory Act 34 Hearing concluded last week, and the school board moved on to the next stages in the PlanCon process at Monday night’s board meeting.

Here are a couple of things to consider as the project continues to move forward:

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  • The new academic wing at FHS does not cost $50 million.
    • The new academic wing costs approximately $17.6 million. The remaining costs include, at this point, renovating the auditorium, cafeteria, gymnasiums, and pool; building a new pod at FES; and new roof project at FMS.
  • Voting on PlanCon Part D and PlanCon Part E means that the board approved the preliminary drawings and cost estimates for the project to be sent to PDE (Pennsylvania Department of Education).
    • The next due date for the board (PlanCon Part F) is May 19.
  • I’ve received a great deal of overwhelmingly positive feedback about the project. That being said, don’t hesitate to share your feedback or questions with me, Dr. Kincade, or school board members.
  • The project is currently scheduled to break ground in September of 2020.


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