April 27, 2009

April 27, 2009


Dear LoMA Family,


We’re a week into the homestretch – the last eight weeks of the term with barely a day off that ends with Regents Week. Students who succeed now will then get the summer vacation; those who don’t do what they have to will spend the summer with Trece, me and the summer school staff. Just like in the homestretch of a race, this is the time to give it your all. Here is how you do that:


  • The fourth marking period ends this Friday. If you are not certain that you are earning high grades, you need to see your teachers today and tomorrow to see if you owe any work you can still make up. There may be a chance for you to make up homework, rewrite essays or complete extra projects.
  • If you have been working on a contract to reverse past failing grades, you may need to check in with your teachers to ensure that you are following the terms of the contract and thus can avoid summer school.
  • Tutoring becomes more important this time of year as Regents and mock Regents Exams approach. These comprehensive tests require intensive review and mastery of numerous topics. LoMA’s teachers are eager to help, but you have to make the effort.
  • Tutoring can also help you earn your required extracurricular credits. Ten hours of an extracurricular activity, like tutoring, yoga or chess club, earn you a EC credit and you need four EC credits a year in order to graduate. If your report card does not reflect these credits, then you are falling behind.
  • When you get your new report card next week, set specific goals for each class and with your advisor and develop a plan of how to hit these targets. In setting these goals remember the numbers 83 and 90. You are much more likely to achieve your goals if you are clear about what they are and how to get there.
  • Too many people are failing physical education due to being unprepared. Gym is a required class and failing it will result in four days a week of summer school.


For those students who do not meet their goals, I have some bad news about summer school. Due to ongoing construction this summer (refurbished student bathrooms!), we will be kicked out of Seward again this year. With the budget cuts, we will be forced into Norman Thomas High School on Park Ave. and 33rd. Norman Thomas is a scanning school, which means that we have to follow our host school’s schedule. Classes will run for an hour and a half four days a week and lateness will not be allowed. In fact, doors will only be open for the first ten minutes of each summer school period and students who are eleven minutes late will be locked out and marked absent for the day. We will also have to start earlier than usual – 8:25. I’m worried that this will result in excessive failures, and failing summer school automatically leads to being left back and repeating an entire year, even courses a student passed. I do not want this for this to happen to anyone, which is why these last eight weeks are so important. It is not too late now, but soon it will be. What are you going to do about it?

Work Hard,



John Wenk