Today is the day I started freaking out about going back to school. This is the letter I sent to my seniors and their parents:
I hope your spring break has been safe and relaxing and that you have been able to enjoy some of the beautiful weather in the area this week. I began preparing for my return to school today, and thought I would send out a brief email updating you on things you should know as we head for the final stretch. Your student has just 19 days of class until the IB exams begin on May 3rd.
Students' final book, Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood, was passed out on the Friday before we left for spring break, and students should have read the first ten chapters of the book by the time we return. It is a quick read and a good book, deliberately put into this slot as the last book we are reading because it's a contemporary science-fiction page turner that I thought would hold students' interest as the weather gets nicer and the end of the school year approaches. I recommend that, if they can, they go ahead and read the whole novel while they have this time off; the quiz over the rest of the novel will be on Monday, April 12th.
Also during this break, students should have logged onto our class wikispaces site (http://XXXXXXXX.wikispaces.com) and posted three discussion comments about the end of East of Eden. We were not able to talk about the end in class, so students should take some time and engage in the discussion there, making sure they check back to see what their classmates said. The direct link to the discussion is here -- http://XXXXXXXXX.wikispaces.com/message/list/East+of+Eden+Discussion -- if you want to see how the discussion is going so far. Several students opted to take their East of Eden quiz after the break to catch up on that reading, so some students will have two quizzes to take on Tuesday when we return.
And lastly, most importantly: congratulations, your student is almost done with their high school career. Please make sure he/she is in class every single day for the 19 days of class that remain. If possible, please do not schedule appointments or conduct trips during this time because the preparation for the final IB exams is crucial - especially in a school year that already saw us miss so much time due to emergency weather. Students will have two formal practice essays to write this month preparing for these tests, plus engaging in numerous timed practices during class. Every single day is critical. I expect every student to pass the IB exams, and all students are capable of getting a score of a 5, 6, or 7 and receive college credits and make opportunities for themselves in the future, whether saving money on tuition or saving time from taking lower-level courses next year. This is the home stretch, and I am excited to work with you and your students in this last push before we're done.
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