Parents and students of SSHS,
Allow me a moment to correspond with you before school starts and try to make the start of school and the transition to a new campus principal as complete and seamless as possible. My name is Woody Martin. This will be my 31st year in education and I really look forward to serving the community of San Saba. I have been a teacher/coach for 26 prior years. I was a biology teacher and mainly a football coach. I was head coach and Athletic Director for three other 3A or 2A school districts. At this time of my professional life I am embarking on a new assignment as High School principal. Most recently, I have been the Junior High Principal for Tolar ISD for the last two years. Before that, I was the assistant principal for Crossland Ninth Grade Center in Granbury, Texas. I was in Granbury for two years and worked at a campus that had 585 students. Prior to Granbury, I was the Assistant Principal of Howe Middle school. In Howe, I was also the Head Football Coach and Athletic Director for three years.
San Saba ISD has some exciting things planned for the students of SSISD. As you know we will be issuing each high school student a MacBook laptop to enhance the learning experiences at SSHS this year. The entire staff is very excited about this and will work hard to make sure that each student has the best experiences possible. We at SSISD realize that our world is changing at a staggering pace and that most of the changes we are faced with come in the area of technology. We want the students of SSHS to compete for jobs and professions in the future with students from all over Texas, the U.S. and even on a global level. To do this, we must expose them and train them on the latest and greatest technologies that are offered to us. Additionally, please know that there will be a non-refundable, $50.00 usage fee for the MacBook. This can be paid anytime prior to the first day of school. Please give your undivided attention to this matter as we want to send the MacBook home with your child the first day. However, without this fee paid, we cannot.
Let me take just a minute to outline some similarities and changes that the students of SSHS will notice very quickly. Most of the policies of the past are still intact with a few slight exceptions.
A) We will still be allowing the students to possess cell phones during the school day. It will even be permissible for them to use them in the hallways during passing periods. However, the use of any electronic devices without the teachers permission in the classroom during class time will be strictly prohibited. It might be that the teachers will use a website from time to time that will employ the usage of cell phones as a way to ACTIVELY RESPOND to queries of the instructor and this usage of electronic devices will be permitted and encouraged. There will be designated areas in each classroom where the electronic devices will be turned off and stored while not in use.
B) The usage of ipods and any other music devices will not be allowed at anytime. It might be that once a month, as a fund raiser, the usage of ipods will be ok’d for a day by individual instructors.
A) We will allow males or females to wear caps and hats to school, just not in the building. We take the stance that school property and the school day is not defined by time or space. Therefore, we are not averse to hats being worn to school, just not in school. A special note to all students deciding to wear hats and caps, they must be worn with the bill in the front and out of the eyes. We always want to uphold the high standards of our community and to wear a cap or hat in an inappropriate fashion will undermine what our community stands for. Should a student go against this request, the cap or hat will be taken and kept for a month.
B) Female students, take note of the following change in dress code policy regarding tops that are worn. The handbook now states that the neckline for tops worn by female students must be a TEE SHIRT neckline. Now, that does not mean that all we want to see is tee shirts on our young ladies. It does however mean that when you choose to wear a top that has a low neckline, you must wear something with that top that will appropriately cover a low neckline shirt.
C) For male students, please make sure that your hair is in compliance with our school policies. Hair must be shorter than a collar in back, must be shorter than mid ear, and I want to see eyebrows in the front. No facial hair, and sideburns must be shorter than the tip of the earlobe.
I look forward to meeting all of you very soon. I am planning that we will all gather in Armadillo Arena for the first morning of school. At this time we will explain what the rest of the week will hold and how we will cover our use of the laptops. We will also give instructions on how we will cover band and athletics. I will share with you several things about me so that I can begin to build some relationships on the first day.
In the area of relationships, please know that I aim to be at the front door every morning greeting and welcoming all students. Additionally, I will use this time to try to learn all names to the entire student body. This will take some time and patience from all of you. I will get some of them wrong occasionally, yet with your patience and some practice, I will know everyone’s name within the first month of school. I will need for you to speak up and introduce yourself. Please know that when you shake hands with adults that your hand should go web to web with the thumbs. The most traditional type that is most widely accepted is what we want. The "grasp the thumb" kind of handshake will be appropriate for student to student greetings but not when students greet an adult. On the athletic field and in athletic situations, the fist bump is appropriate as well.
Please make every effort to be in dress code on the first day of school. In any game I know, a good, hard, fast, start is essential to real success. Should you be out of code, we will send you home on the first day. To do this would be a travesty, as there will be so much going on with the MacBook training and we need you to be in attendance. You will learn that self-discipline is always better and easier to take, than MARTIN discipline. I can assure you that we will have one or the other and the choice is yours.
We will look forward to seeing you at Armadillo Arena at 7:50 on the 23rd of August.
Have a blessed rest of the summer and get ready for a great year!