Our families are strong. They are managing so much, and have now been forced to manage many aspects of their students’ education. At the same time, they are always looking for ways to support other students and families. “What can I do to help?” is easily one of the most frequently asked questions I’ve received from East High families during the past month.     

Our community members and partners never stop thinking about East and what they can do to support our students, including donations of time, resources and services. I have worked in other places and can tell you that this level of connection between school and community is by no means typical.  

Our students will always display the best qualities of our community. They have been hit hard by this, especially our seniors, and are entitled to all kinds of feelings, including anger. They did not deserve to have this happen to their school year, but they are approaching it with grace, flexibility and a commitment to collective problem-solving. It is the resilience of our students, in particular, that reminds me that we will get through this.  

As always, but especially when times are tough, we are lucky to be at East.  

Please take care of yourselves this month and reach out if you need anything.   

Brendan Kearney
Principal
Senior Information
We are working hard to ensure that our Seniors are celebrated in ways that honor our Eastside traditions and all the hard work they have dedicated to their education over the years. As you have heard, MMSD has announced that our high schools will not have in-person graduation ceremonies. High schools will hold a senior sendoff party at some point in the future when it is safe to gather everyone together. East staff are working with a group of seniors who volunteered to collectively plan how to celebrate graduation in a meaningful way, including a virtual graduation ceremony. We are excited to announce that every student will be getting a Class of 2020 yard/window sign and we are committed to ensuring that all Seniors receive a yearbook if they want one. In order to get these items, seniors and their parents should check their email for a survey about their preference for distribution. We are working with Midwest Scholastic in regards to graduation apparel orders and distribution for items like caps and gowns. We know that seniors are also wondering about things like when/how to return chromebooks, how to collect items from their school lockers, how to get their diploma and other paper recognition certificates. We will update you as soon as we get more information.

All updates and Senior information can be found at east.mmsd.org/graduation.
A Message From BSU Seniors
Seniors from the EHS Black Student Union created a video message to encourage everyone to remain committed to their academics during this period of quarantine. "We know how tough it is trying to learn and engage with online school work but when we put our minds to it, there’s nothing we can’t do! And to our fellow seniors, we owe it to ourselves to finish our high school careers strong! We all feel a little unsure of what will happen in the next few months in regards to our graduation but that’s out of our control. However, we do have control over how we respond and handle ourselves during this time of adversity. We’ve overcome so much in the past four years and this will be no different! Let’s keep going strong, stay involved with our online work, communicating with our teachers and classmates and finish our high school careers the right way! Stay home, stay safe and study hard!"
Student Spotlight
Congratulations to four East High School teens, Niko, Nick, Rhys and UJ for placing 3rd in WMSN FOX 47 News, Madison’s MSG 2 Teens Campaign! The safe driving PSA competition is judged by a panel who narrow it down to the top five, then students and the community vote for the winner. April van Buren, East Business and Media teacher said, "I am so proud of this group for using their video editing, producing and acting skills to educate the wider community while also sharing such positive recognition with East. They definitely spent some extra hours in my classroom outside of the regular school day to finish this project by the deadline, and I'm obviously biased, but I do think their video was the best. Nice work, Nick, Niko, UJ & Rhys." Each student who participated was awarded prize money, and the schools received grants in the amount of $1500.
Staff Shout Out
Supporting the well-being and learning of East’s multilingual student population is the number one priority for the Sheltered English Team. May Choua Thao, Catalina Thomsen, Jarje Bah, and Silvia Gomez collaborate to ensure that emerging English Learners are continuing to receive social-emotional, academic, and language support during online learning. By making students and families feel comfortable and safe, they are continuing to cater to students’ needs and build deeper relationships where students can share situations or misperceptions of which staff might not be aware. Individual and small group conferencing (either via Zoom, phone or email) allows for maximum differentiation to meet specific instructional needs for students. To help facilitate communication with our newcomers, Ms. Bah and Ms. Gomez, East’s Mandinka and Spanish Bilingual Resource Specialists, join in on Zoom meetings to ensure that students can access the technology and content in their native language as needed. The tight-knit learning communities developed prior to school closures have been key to maintaining engagement, meeting students’ needs, and advancing their learning and language development through an online environment of care and concern.
Featured Program
In a Personalized Pathway, a student will progress through their core high school content courses, from ninth grade until graduation, in a smaller learning community, allowing them to develop strong, positive relationships with a close-knit group of students and staff who check in regularly and provide support to help students reach their goals. The Health Services Pathway prepares students for postsecondary studies and careers by closely collaborating with community partners in the health science field and advocating for the health and equity of all in the community.

With his father’s guidance, and family’s support, East Junior, Foday Jarra set out on a pathway to explore, analyze and study hot topics in health sciences - a path he has developed a genuine passion for, and a choice he’s glad his father helped him make. He also knew that Personalized Pathways would provide ways to connect with opportunities after high school and prepare him to be successful in any profession. Read More >>>
Post-Secondary Planning
Our vision is that all students will not only graduate, but graduate with the skills and abilities to be successful in college, career and community. It is never too early to start thinking about post-secondary education. There are thousands of options! From technical colleges, to public and private universities, to training programs. Our resources and counselors can assist students in finding the best fit, navigating grants, loans, and scholarships, filling out the FAFSA, and understanding the college application process. Information and resources can be found on MMSD's College Planning website, and our East High School Counselors are happy to help students and families navigate the college planning process.
Teacher Appreciation Week is May 4th-8th - THANK YOU TEACHERS!
During the week of May 4th-8th we honor not only our teachers, who lend their passion and skills to educate our students, but also our entire team of staff at East High School who contribute to our safe, healthy, and welcoming learning environment. It takes a village, and we have the best! #PurgolderPride #ThankATeacher