News from around the Ojai Valley

Nordhoff principal's New Year tips for students and reminder freshmen-new student orientation Thursday, Jan. 16, 6:30 p.m. in Nordhoff cafetorium

Rangers

Many schools start on Monday, Jan. 6, after the winter break.

Nordhoff High School Principal Dave Monson writes a weekly "Principal's Message" and emailed his 18th the day before school resumes with some helpful tips for students starting the new year.
He also provided information that there will be an orientation for future Nordhoff freshmen and new students on Thursday, Jan. 16, in the Nordhoff cafetorium.
"Potential students and their families will learn about our breadth and depth of academic, athletic and artistic programs and whether Nordhoff is the right campus for their high school experience," Mr. Monson wrote. "If you know of families who are undecided or looking for a change, please share this with them."
Below is Mr. Monson's "Principal’s Message" for the new year:
"Happy New Year and welcome back!  We are not only starting a new calendar year but a new decade as well, making it an ideal time to reflect back and look forward.  In doing that, we can reminisce while developing plans for continued improvement into our new year — and beyond.  Setting goals at this time of the year is common and provide a fresh start.  In order to increase your chances of successfully achieving them, create S.M.A.R.T. goals.  
Your goals are S.M.A.R.T if they are:
1. Specific — keep your goal(s) focused and clear. This will help provide direction. Set a goal to improve your math or science grade rather than "do better in school".
2. Measurable — set a number or some type of indicator in order to track your progress. For example, if you want to improve your math or science grade, select a certain percentage or letter grade you want to achieve.
3. Attainable — your goal must challenge you but remain achievable. Unrealistic, difficult goals or goals that are too easy to reach do not benefit you and may set you further back.
4. Relevant — set goals that help you make the most important changes in your life and keep you moving in the right direction to achieve longer-term goals. This will better utilize your time and resources.
5. Time-based — it is far more motivating and powerful to have dates and timelines included in your goal(s). We tend to work harder with deadlines and show more persistence as we near the end.
(***The 3rd and 4th letters A & R (Attainable and Relevant) can also have alternatives like "Agreed-upon" or "Realistic," depending on the nature of the goal.)
Other tips for achieving goals include:
* Action plans and progress markers to cross off as you make progress toward the final outcome; we need to identify the steps necessary to reach our goal, not just the final outcome.
* Writing down goals and action plans, and posting them in a visible spot where you can see them and be reminded every day.  
* Sharing your goals with another person who can help keep you focused and accountable during those times of decreased motivation.
* Understanding that it takes at least three weeks to develop new habits and practices; stick with it and don't expect change overnight.
I hope the new year provides more opportunities and greater success, and I look forward to making more improvements at Nordhoff. We are truly a terrific small school with dedicated staff, ambitious students, and supportive parents and community.
Go Rangers!"