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Friday Focus, Dec 13
Friday Focus, Dec 13
Phil Bressler
Friday, December 13, 2019

Senior Yearbook Ads

Yearbook senior ads are now on sale! If your senior is graduating this spring, your can purchase a recognition ad, highlighting your student's achievement of graduation. This ad will be printed in the yearbook in full color, and you can include pictures and a message. Order today!

Order forms can be picked up in the office and are due January 15. If you have questions, please contact Abby Riffel or Mr. Vogts (

Parent Survey Reminder

If you've not already done so, I invite you to participate in our Parent Survey. We intend to use your feedback to improve all aspects of our school to better serve our students and families. The survey is currently open through the end of the day on Monday, December 16.

We opened this last week, but some of you tried and reported being unable to take the survey. I believe that issue has been resolved and you should be able to share your input. Thank you in advance for your time and effort with this matter.

Policy Focus: Hunting, School, & Detection Canines

Yesterday, our Canine Detection Agency arrived at SJSHS to conduct a routine sweep. Here's what you need to know about these sweeps: We don't know what day or what time of day they will arrive. Upon arrival, discussion is held to determine which area of the school to randomly search: lockers, locker rooms, parking, etc. Earlier this semester, we chose the lockers in the commons and our locker rooms. Today, we selected the parking areas in front of the high school.

Once we've selected a location for the sweep, the agent and the dog (or dogs) begin to work the area. We do not guide the agent or dog toward any specific area or item. Once the area has been swept, the agent confers with administration with a report of "hits", or places where dogs indicated substances for which they've been trained to find. In our case, the dogs have been trained to find scents in the following four categories:

  1. Illegal/Illicit Drugs
  2. Alcohol
  3. Gunpowder
  4. Prescription Medications

When the dog hits, the school has reasonable suspicion of illegal activity and thus has cause to search the locker, car, or other item/area on which the dog hit. In these situations, students are advised of the situation, the pending search, and are accompanied by an administrator while the search is conducted. Any evidence obtained during the search is then turned over to administration and we determine what, if any, action will be taken. In all cases, we attempt to make contact with parents within 24 hours of the search.

The search yesterday contained multiple hits, all of which were related to gunpowder or residue. In visiting with the students involved, it appears there is a misunderstanding about what can and cannot be in student vehicles when on school grounds or at school events. Students seemed to clearly understand that weapons, namely firearms, are not allowed on the premises. What seems to be misunderstood is the ammunition component. While ammunition is not considered a weapon in and of itself, the presence of ammunition on campus decreases the safety of our students and, as such, should be left at the student's place of residence. As for the presence of gunpowder in vehicles, it can stem from ammunition itself to residue on clothing that was used during hunting and left in the cabin of the vehicle.

We urge parents of students who regularly engage in hunting to have a serious conversation about the securing of firearms, bows, and ammunition at home rather than allowing these items to remain in vehicles that will be driven to, and parked at, school.

If you have any questions about our Canine Detection Service, our policy on searches, or any other questions related to this issue, please contact me or catch me at the events listed below.

Finals Schedule

Final exams are scheduled for next Wednesday and Thursday. Periods 1-4 will take finals on Wednesday, while periods 5-8 will have finals on Thursday. Friday is a half-day to complete the semester, providing students who are absent on Wednesday or Thursday, or who need additional time, the opportunity to complete finals. Students who are done will be provided with a host of activities led by our Student Council. The schedule for Wednesday and Thursday is as follows:

8:00-8:30 - Success
8:35-9:55 - 1st period/5th period

10:00-11:20 - 2nd period/6th period
11:25-12:35 - Lunch/Success
12:40-2:00 - 3rd period/ 7th period
2:05-3:25 - 4th period/ 8th period

Events through December 31


  • HS Basketball at Eagle Classic in Kingman vs. Valley Center (3:00/4:30)


  • HS Basketball at Eagle Classic in Kingman vs. TBA


  • FCA Kick-off, OSAC, 7P


  • Choir Christmas Concert, United Methodist Church, 7P


  • JH Basketball vs. Berean Academy, 4P
  • HS Girls' Basketball @ Cheney, 4:30/6:00/7:30


  • End of Fall Semester, 12:30
  • HS Boys' Basketball vs. Belle Plaine, OSAC, 4:30/6:007:30

Upcoming Events

  • 1/6/2020: Classes Resume
  • 1/15: Learning Communities, School Dismissed at 12:30
  • 1/18: SHS Booster Club Dance, Commons, 8P
  • 1/20: No School, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
  • 5/9: Class of 2020 Commencement Exercises, OSAC, 11A
  • 5/19: Spring Semester Ends, 11:30A