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Having the ability to post the monthly High School Years newsletters on the school’s website in the ADA format required by federal law is vital to this high school principal’s communication plan.
This subscriber spotlight is based on an interview with Marjorie Triche, Principal at Crete-Monee High School within the Crete-Monee School District 201-U in Crete, Illinois.
Encouraging parent involvement with high school-aged children—considering that family engagement gets harder as kids get older—is of special concern to this high school principal.
Founded in 1836, Crete, Illinois, is one of the oldest villages in the southern suburbs of Chicago, and many of its residents commute the 40 miles into the city daily for their jobs. Crete is along the historic Dixie Highway and has a pedestrian-focused downtown area where popular activities are held throughout the year.
Crete-Monee High School is the only high school in town, and Marjorie Triche is beginning her third year as principal with the 2019–2020 school year. The school of 1,400 students has a diverse population: 67% African American, 26% Caucasian, and 7% Hispanic. Marjorie has subscribed to High School Years as part of her parent involvement efforts for her entire tenure as principal, and she recently renewed the newsletter for the upcoming school year.
“I read the articles in the newsletter and think to myself, ‘Wow, this is pretty cool,’ because it contains things that high school parents should talk through,” said Marjorie. “It covers everything from academics to relationships. I mean, just everything!”
Marjorie is determined to keep her pulse on what is important to the students in her charge and to have a positive impact on their lives, which are both reasons why she subscribes to High School Years.
“Our parents find the newsletter interesting, which is important of course, and they use the articles as conversation starters. Some touchy subjects are dealt with, but it’s packaged in a way that is non-threatening for both the parent and the student,” she said.
Recently there was an article in High School Years about the opioid epidemic among teenagers that Marjorie recalled. She saw the article leading to a discussion between parent and child, which could lead the parent to ask questions such as, “So, are any of your friends using?”
Marjorie has been an educator for more than 22 years. She began her career as a middle school teacher and then moved on to the high school level, teaching U.S. History and Economics. When she went into administration, she started as an Assistant Principal at Crete’s Middle School where she served for eight years, then became Assistant Principal at Crete-Monee High School for a year before her promotion to principal. Her years of experience have shown her that reaching the parents of high schoolers is a bit more challenging than reaching those of younger children.
“Parent involvement in a high school setting is different because you have football and band boosters to bring in the parents, but you don’t have a large overall involvement entity the way you would in elementary school. The parents are drawn in along the lines of the interests of their children. So, volleyball parents are concerned about volleyball, and so on,” observed Marjorie.
High School Years helps Marjorie and her teachers reach this segmented audience. She looks forward to receiving it and her teachers love it as well, so she puts it out for the teachers and staff to read. Every month when the newsletter comes in, Marjorie makes sure her secretary distributes it to the Main Office, the Dean’s Office, and the Counselor’s Office. And she makes sure it is posted to the school’s website and is handed personally to every parent who comes to the school for any reason.
Marjorie said, “Recently I received a call from a public relations person in the school district who told me that I had to take down the PDF of High School Years from our website immediately because it wasn’t ADA compatible. I called RFE and the person provided me with the free ADA version that I immediately substituted on the website because I knew I had to have the newsletter on our site! I didn’t realize it had been available to our school all along.”
The simplicity of the newsletter also appeals to Marjorie—she loves that the newsletter is in black and white, and she also enjoys the original artwork.
“I love that it’s easy to read and has a simple design,” said Marjorie. “You know what, this is the information that helps us to help the parents and the students.”
In a world where Marjorie and her staff are working to reduce the screen time of their students, and helping them navigate through an increasingly complex world, the advantages of providing High School Years speak volumes in contrast. According to the mission statement of Crete-Monee High School, the school strives to educate students to be critical thinkers and active learners. High School Years is happy to be part of the mix that helps make that happen each year for these young adults in Crete, Illinois.
To find out more about Crete-Monee High school, visit https://cmhs.cm201u.org/home
For more information on High School Years, see https://www.rfeonline.com/high-school-years/
We’d love to find out more about what you are doing at your school and how our publications help you fulfill your mission. Contact our Fulfillment Manager Carol Ann Fox to arrange for a time to chat. Email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call her directly at 540-636-4612. She’ll make sure we see you and your school in a future Subscriber Spotlight!
Crete-Monee High School, Crete, IL