Oh, Someday girl I don’t know when
we’re gonna get to that place
Where we really wanna go
and we’ll walk in the sun
But till then tramps like us
baby we were born to run
Bruce Springsteen, Born to Run

 hiatus + update
I had not intended to take so long am hiatus from this blog and the principal updates I email to our families.  In fact, I had not intended an hiatus at all.  Once things slip out of the routine, however, it becomes difficult sometimes to bring them back.

As many of our families – and many of the other readers of this blog – are aware, we tried to do all we could to protect our classrooms as we addressed our resource reductions this year.  One consequence of this was that we reduced our number of assistant principals from three to two.  The administrative demands have not diminished – in fact, they continue to increase.  This has necessitated my taking on many of the duties previously undertaken by the third assistant principal and the remaining two assistant principals taking on increased responsibilities.  As a result, some balls were dropped.  One of these ‘balls’ was this blog and the principal updates.

I am pleased to report that the combination of an increased number of international students and modest program spending over the first five months, we are able to return to three assistant principals – at least temporarily.  Our learning leader of high school success and professional learning, Ms A. Wandler, has stepped into the role of assistant principal for the remainder of this school year.

Our assistant principals work with students according to the first letter of their surname.  Ms H. Mann works with students from A-H, Mr. T. Barile works with students from I-O, and Ms A. Wandler works with students from P-Z.

HWW School Council and Parent and Alumni Association
At the most recent meeting of the HWW Parent and Alumni Association, approval was given for the purchase of a number of items totalling a cost of nearly $65 000.  This level of support from our parents plays an indispensable role in our being able to provide the programming our students need.  Included in these items are:

  • upgraded computer labs both to increase capacity and to replace older devices
  • sets of student laptops to support teacher-initiated projects in science and ESL
  • an open-sided school tent to provide a gathering place for outdoor and inside events
  • a set of team chairs with Warriors logos for our athletics program

transition from Semester I to Semester II
Students and staff at Henry Wise Wood are currently immersed in final assessments and summative reporting to conclude Semester I and class preparation and timetable finalization for Semester II.

This year, CBE high schools have been asked to minimize the loss to instructional time necessitated by final examinations.  While the resulting compressed examination schedule does increase many of the pressures felt by students and teachers at this time of transition from one semester to the next, it strives to provide more time together for students and teachers before final examinations begin.  I welcome your thoughts about this shift at

Semester I
Our full final examination schedule resumes Monday, January 20 and concludes Tuesday, January 28.  During this time, students will follow our final examination schedule.  Students should be at school only to write scheduled examinations or to meet with teachers at pre-arranged times.

Students are asked to be certain that they return their textbooks the day that they write their final examination.  It is very important that we have sufficient opportunity to process the returned books in time for them to be available on the first day of the second semester.

Final report cards will be distributed to students February 7.

Semester II
Adjusted student timetables will be available to students and parents through HomeLogic on Saturday, January 25.  Students can use their usual school username and password to access HomeLogic.  Parents can set-up their own accounts by following the New User? link at HomeLogic.

The first day of second semester classes will be Wednesday, January 29.  A sheet containing a full description of each day’s schedule was distributed to students yesterday: Semester II Start-Up Student Information Sheet.

best of @hwwprincipal
The following represents a small sample of the links tweeted this week on @hwwprincipal. If you are on Twitter, you can follow @hwwprincipal; if you are not, you can see all the tweets at As well, each ‘tweet’ is posted to the HWWPrincipal Facebook page.

Why creative people tend to be eccentric | via @farnamstreet
We say we like creativity, but we really don’t | via @slate
Adam Gopnik: Duke Ellington, the Beatles, and the mystery of modern creativity | via @NewYorker
Take a deep breath and play | via @lostateminor

Flipping Bloom’s Taxonomy | via @PLPNetwork
Standardized Achievement Tests: What Are They Good For? Hint … | via Scientific American @sciam
2013 Big Ideas in Education | via @MindShiftKQED
Learning is natural: the way we learn should be optional

Why schools should be places for second chances | via @SBEducation
Making predictions makes you learn better | via @anniemurphypaul
Bored to death: Look at how many kids tweet about being bored in school | via The New Republic
Content mastery is a means, not a goal | via Dangerously Irrelevant @mcleod
Steve Hargadon: Escaping the Education Matrix | via @MindShiftKQED
Amanda Ripley on PISA Mathematics scores | via @CBCDay6 | An interview from the CBC Radio 1 program  Day 6.

Mathematics and Science
Why is the Solar System Flat?

There’s one key difference between kids who excel at mathematics and those who don’t | via @qz
The “Pursuit of Ignorance” Drives All Science | via @farnamstreet
Celebrating Crystallography – An animated adventure | via The Royal Institute @ri_science

The Sounds of Pi | via @numberphile

Humanities and the Arts
When Art meets Nature | via So Bad So Good @sbadsgood


For Seamus  –>  the life and work of Seamus Heaney | via @nytimes

Unlock Art – Tate Modern guide to modern art | via @Tate
The Real Reason the Humanities Are ‘in Crisis’ | via @TheAtlantic

I can be reached by email at I have Twitter account that I will use to share ideas and information. If you are on Twitter, you can follow @hwwprincipal. If you are not, you can view the posts at

In addition to Twitter, I am now maintaining an HWWPrincipal Facebook page If you are on Facebook and ‘like’ this page, you will receive updates in your News Feed.

Be sure, as well, to keep up to date by checking in regularly to our school webpage and follow our athletics program at @hwwathleticsor We now have a general Twitter account maintained by students at: @hwwstudents or

on the principal’s timetable
Two LP arrivals from Amazon over the Christmas break left me feeling like a 16 year-old again as I opened the cardboard mailing box.  It was just like the arrivals from the Columbia Record Club!

The first, which arrived before Christmas, was Elvis’ Christmas Album – complete with 10-page Elvis photo album.  When I began collecting music, it would have seemed a waste to purchase a Christmas album.

The second, which I am listening to now, was The Allman Brothers Band At Filmore East.  This is one of the best albums from the 70s, recorded months before Duane Allman’s death in a motorcycle accident.  Duane Allman is always found near the top of ‘best guitar player’ lists.  It’s easy to hear why in ‘In Memory of Elizabeth Reed.’

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