September 4, 2018

Greetings Inspire Families and Community:

Welcome to our new communication tool, Aeries Communications. This is our first time using the new platform, so please bear with us as we learn to use this new system. You will be receiving a message later this week asking if you’d like to opt in or out for text messages. In the event of an emergency however, all modes of communication will be activated.

Let’s start with a couple of important dates!!!

Back to School Night is Thursday, September 13, 6:00-9:00 pm.

As in past years we will gather at the Chico High Field House next to the cafeteria just east of the big gym and to the south of the quad.  We will start right on time with introductory remarks, and then we need to make sure we get all you parents/guardians to your first period class on time! 

Your students will write their class schedules in advisory but make sure you either get the schedule or that you have access to your Parent Portal so you know which classes to visit!

Inspire’s Production of Romeo and Juliet Opens Thursday, September 27, 7 pm at the Blue Room.

There will be five performances in this intimate 100-seat venue.  Get your tickets early (Click here for tickets) !!!   Students have been working hard, and Director Erin Horst is excited about their preparation and interpretation of this timeless story.   

The cast and crew are still in need of a couple costuming items, please see the attachment below for specifics. If you have an item you are willing to loan, please contact the Assistant Stage Manager, her phone number is on the attached document.

Announcement of Leadership Change

I am retiring this December.  I have waited to make the official announcement until leadership is in place, and it is now. 

Dan La Bar has accepted the position of Principal/Superintendent and will assume that position upon my retirement.  Dan has been with Inspire as the Associate Principal since 2011/2012.  He cares deeply about young people, knows the school intimately, and under his leadership, Inspire will flourish now and continue to evolve as a creative and innovative place of learning for young people. 

In the last several weeks, Inspire put out the call for candidates for the Associate Principal position.  We had some concern about mid-year timing, but much to our delight, we had several strong candidates apply for the position.  After two rounds of interviews, we are pleased to announce that Ken Hardy will be joining us when we return for the spring semester. 

Ken comes to us after having taught at Gridley High School for 18 years.  Ken has served on several teams for the Western Association of Schools and Colleges to help determine a high school’s qualification to prepare their students for college.  He has been a long time mentor to new and student teachers, he served as the president of the Gridley Teachers Association and as chair of the English Department for many years.  He loves the performing arts and more importantly, he is committed to young people and their success.

Inspire is on solid ground.  More than that, Inspire brings and has brought innovation to the educational environment, and our remarkable staff (both teachers and office) will continue to provide a supportive, caring place for students to learn and realize their full potential  

I will miss this wonderful school.  In December, I will have arrived to the wonderful age of Medicare.  I am blessed to have both my mom and dad still on this unbelievable planet, and I want to spend more time with them.  My wife, Julie, retired this year too, and we’re looking to have new adventures! 

Thanks to all of you for helping to make this a special community, one that truly understands the value and delight of our young people.  Knowing them the way we do gives us all blessings each day and hope for a bright future.

Partner with Us to Support Your Students!  Let’s Work Together for a Strong Start and Successful Year.

Many of you will remember the intervention program we call SIP and PIP.  This hear we have implemented a program of support called MTSS (Multi-tiered Systems of Support).  We are already seeing the benefits of this program as it enhances communication between teachers, office staff, counselors and administration and allows us to more quickly and effectively identify students needing help.

Having said that, there is no greater partner that parents. We moving into our third full week.  Progress reports will be out after the 6th week.  If you haven’t already, now is the time to do the following:

  1. Check Schoology for information about your student’s assignments.
  2. Check Aeries for updates on grades and missing assignments.
  3. If you have questions about a particular class, email the teacher.This is the most effective communication.Should you not hear back in a timely manner, let the office know and we can investigate if there is a technological glitch.
  4. Your communication with teachers, office staff, counselors and administration closes the loop and make all the difference.

Becky Brown reports on the Council for Student Wellness and Safety

Inspire seniors Kandolisa Mwesiga-Hoil and Olivia Clarke celebrated their seating as representatives on the Council on Student Wellness and Safety at a community event hosted by the North Valley Community Foundation. Students from Chico High, Pleasant Valley, and Fairview will participate on the council with the following goals:

  • All students feel safe and secure at school
  • All students are aware of and have access to effective support systems
  • All students feel heard and represented by their administration and district officials
  • All students feel respected by peers, faculty, and staff
  • All security measures respect the rights of students

Kandolisa and Olivia shared the goals of the council with an audience of parents, teachers, administrators, and community members, expressing their hope for increased awareness and collaboration between adults and young people within our community toward safer, more respectful, engaged culture on campuses. 

This is an ongoing story, and as these talented students develop and implement their ideas, we will be updating you.

Ms. Olson reports that Innovative Design Emerges in Biotechnical Engineering Design Challenge

In Biotechnical Engineering, students completed a design challenge. They were asked to design, build, and test a reinvention or innovation of a material that is typically discarded at the end of its use  ( a.k.a. garbage).   Here are a few of their inventions/ innovations:

  1. A slingshot that allows you to grab the ball without having to touch dog slobber. 
  2. A  “stuff” collector that you put in between your seats in the car.  If you drop something, it will catch it. You can then pull on the handle and retrieve your lost items.
  3. An insulated bottle made completely from garbage that keeps your drink cold twice as long. 

Ms. Reynolds Math C Implements “Weeks of Inspirational Math

In our Math C class, Mr. Carlson and I are starting school with a series of lessons called "Weeks of Inspirational Math." The lessons are a free resource that we encourage families to check out on Professor Jo Boaler's website Jo Boaler is a professor of Mathematics Education at Stanford University and has worked closely with Carol Dweck, author of Mindset, in the area of Mathematical Mindset and how to educate math students in the brain research done in recent years related to learning and learning math. Students in Math C are learning about their brains and what is happening when they make mistakes (brain growth), believe in themselves (brain growth), and use visuals and other tools to work on mathematics, among other things. If you have a student in Math C, ask them about the wonderful, and cheesy, videos they are watching about Brain Science and Learning along with the activities they are completing. 

For further investigation, go to this link:

Conceptual Design for a Future School Facility Completed

I am excited to announce that we have finished work with HGA Architecture, an innovative group that has provided us with the conceptual design that matches the culture and character of Inspire.  The design embodies community and relationship, creativity, and imagination and innovation.  It celebrates the Arts and Sciences, the value they bring to our lives every day and the endless possibilities that live at the intersection of the Arts and Sciences. 

As you may be aware, CUSD has, in their master plan, provided 5-7 acres at the Canyon View site for building a new facility.   The design is based on that footprint and is the first step in preparation for a capital campaign.  If any of you have ideas or suggestions for how to move forward with this effort, we are all ears!   We hope to develop promotional materials in the next several months and begin the journey of building support and raising funds for a new school.  These old portable buildings do have a shelf life!

Ms. Travers World History Classes Thank Mountain Sports for Origami Cranes

Special gratitude to Chico's Mountain Sports, downtown, for donating their window supply of hundreds of Japanese origami cranes to Debbie Travers' World History classroom.  We love what they symbolize and hope our students appreciate their beauty.

News from Counseling

  • Ms. Teeter and Mr. Hopkins have begun meeting with all seniors. The purpose of the meetings are to make sure the seniors are on track to graduate and to talk about their plans for next year.
  • After they have met with the seniors they will move on to the freshman. These meetings will be to get the students off on the right foot and answer any question

Very positive start to the 2018/2019 school year.  Thanks for sharing your wonderful young people with us.

Eric Nilsson and Jana Gosselin 

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