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Detroit Lakes High School Update

Greetings to the Detroit Lakes community from Detroit Lakes High School.

We have had a very busy and successful start to the 2006-2007 school year, and it's only going to get busier and, hopefully, more successful.

Our school enrollment is up, our sports' teams are demonstrating true Laker spirit and pride in each performance, our fall musical is rapidly approaching "crunch time" and our teachers are engaged in efforts to make each student's experience more relevant, rigorous and personal.

Our theme, or mantra, this year is simply, "Making a Difference." This theme will guide our attitudes and decision making on a very regular basis.

As Mr. Martinez, high school assistant principal, stated in an article two weeks ago, we have involved our staff in focus groups "to further personalize our school and reach even more students than we are currently reaching."

These efforts also extend to our parents and our community as a whole. One of our focus groups has as its charge to improve communication not only within our school, but to our parents and community.

Last week, parents and guardians received the first of several mailings from the high school that included a school newsletter, a counseling center newsletter, a student progress report and other information.

These mailings will occur according to a regular schedule including midterm progress reports and end of term grade reports. But please, parents and guardians, don't have this be the only source of communication that you have with the school.

Here are several other ways you can keep closely connected to what is happening in school and with your student:

• Parent-Teacher Conferences: Twice each school year, the district holds parent-teacher conferences -- one in the fall and the other in the spring. Our first conference is scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 16, from 4-8 p.m. and Friday, Nov. 17, from 8 a.m. to noon.

Because P-T Conferences are a very important time for schools, parents and students, we encourage all parents to plan on attending.

As an added incentive to encourage attendance, the high school will be conducting drawings for door prizes for those parents who attend. Possible door prizes include $50 in Chamber Bucks, a free high school yearbook (value of about $50) and others.

• Email: Each teacher and almost every employee in the Detroit Lakes school district has an email address. Do not hesitate to contact the appropriate person when you have a question or concern. All high school teacher email addresses can be found on the staff link of the Detroit Lakes High School web page

• Centerpoint: Our district's student information and management system, Centerpoint, is an online product that allows parents to monitor student performance and attendance as well as communicate with teachers from any computer that has internet capability.

Centerpoint can be accessed from a link found on the district's Web site at Training sessions on the use of Centerpoint will be offered during Parent-Teacher Conferences in November.

• Principal's Update: About every two weeks, I send out a Principal's Update by email to parents and community members who have requested to be a part of my e-mail group.

This update typically contains high school information as well as links that may be important or of interest to parents. To have your name added to my contact list, just send me an e-mail at

• Telephone: Each staff member has a telephone extension at DLHS. You can access a staff member by dialing 847-4491 and entering the appropriate extension or by choosing from an alphabetical listing if the extension is not known. Please keep in mind that teachers will not be interrupted during instructional times, but you can leave a message at their workroom number.

In closing, I want our students, parents and our community to know that we appreciate feedback from our "clients." If you have an idea or suggestion on how we can improve, please contact us.

And please remember, with all that happens in our school, from fine arts to extracurricular activities, you are always welcome at DLHS. Come and experience our Laker pride.