2013-2014 NFS Parents
Page updated on August 26, 2013
Welcome to the new school year! Families are just starting school at the MDSD schools this week, and many are still deciding about North Fork.
Our strong programs produce college-ready students who feel competent and confident from their very first days at college. Often, our students are surprised at the amount of preparation they have that is not apparent in their classmates. They are the ones who help other Freshmen with their assignments, by editing and explaining and encouraging. They are also frequently asked to share their first college papers as examples of strong writing.
Students who have completed several years of NFS math classes are also extremely well-prepared for college mathematics. ISAT scores alone of NFS math students have increased 26+ points after only two years of NFS math classes.
Parents, please note that these improvements are NOT because students are already strong in the subjects they take at NFS. Often, students who do the best here are the ones who are weak or average in those classes, and who simply do all the assignments we ask them to do as well as possible EACH day. It is this steady, consistent practice, combined with individual attention and challenge, that produces our outstanding results. We are so proud of the efforts of all NFS students, and welcome every student who wishes to learn how to accomplish challenging work (and who is willing to work hard).
The results are in from our December 1, 2011 on-site accreditation visit, and we received HUGE accolades in every area. I will be posting the visiting team's comments soon, for now, here are links to our survey responses:
2011 NFS Community Survey
2011 NFS Alumni Survey
2011 NFS Parent Survey
2011 NFS Student Survey
Join us on Facebook! We have started discussion boards on topics such as scholarship & tuition ideas, the possibility of a charter school in McCall, homework issues (how do you help your children get everything finished? How are students managing their time?), and other issues of interest. Click on link at left.
We have discovered that many families moving into the area (as well as many who have been here for quite some time) know nothing about the North Fork School. Please help to introduce our programs to new families this summer -- and try to counteract the many myths that circulate about our programs. We welcome visitors to our classes any time -- tell interested parents that they and their children may visit classes this school year to see what we do each day.
Kirsten's essay (linked below) is a thoughtful analysis of the effects of technology on education today -- much of what she says applies to your chilidren, and to our classes. Please take the time to read it, as it will also inform our discussions this month.
News from the world out there: Kirsten Wiking, now at Marlboro College
see Kirsten's essay HERE
During my first semester as a freshman at the University of San Francisco, I was enrolled in an Honors English class reserved for incoming students who had in high school received a "4" or "5" (the highest grades) on their AP English exams. The class focused on exploring ways in which modern technology either has or has not improved how people today learn and gain knowledge.
For our first major assignment, I wrote an essay defending the reading of historical texts. For the class following the turn-in date of this assignment, my professor had run photocopies of my essay for my classmates to read as an example of the kind and quality of writing he was looking for. I received an "A" on the assignment, and very quickly became the go-to editor and proofreader of my peers' papers.
In reading their essays, I often found basic grammar and syntax-related errors, errors that I had learned to avoid because of the intensive editing process emphasized in my NFS classes. I definitely credit my strong writing and academic success in large part to my education at the North Fork School.
News from the world out there: Kathryn Pope in Germany
Gymnasium here is much more serious business than high school in America. The classes remind me more of North Fork than of high school; students are graded fifty percent on participation and fifty percent on monthly essay-exams in all the subjects.
I think that English in the thirteenth grade here is much more advanced than anything at MDHS. We read like, Tenessee Williams and George Orwell and must compare and contrast the texts with respect to the American Dream, things like that.
Anyway, the English teacher loves me, and my telling her that I
went to private school for English validated all of her worst suspicions
about the American public school system. She said something to the effect of, "You are the first exchange student I have ever known in fifty years of teaching who actually KNOWS something. I knew you couldn't have gone to public school. I KNEW it." So funny. She is a very strict little German lady with a very proper British accent.
For those of you who do not know Kathryn or Kirsten, they graduated from MDHS & NFS in June, 2009. Kathryn is spending this year in Germany on a Rotary Exchange before attending college. She spent eight years in NFS programs, beginning with Writing Workshop in 2000 - 2001; Kirsten began one year earlier, with Writing Workshop & 3rd grade French (!) for a record nine total years with us. Their comments are a nice complement/addition to the 2 Million Minutes films we have been showing at the Shore Lodge. We will have another showing soon if you missed the January 5th date... stay tuned!
Also -- below is our response to an article that appeared in The Star News celebrating the AP exam achievements of twelve MDHS students. The specifics of how MDSD schools benefit from the achievements and exam scores of NFS students are important for all of you to know and to share with others in the community. By understanding how our efforts enhance all education in this communtiy, district patrons, teachers, students, and administrators may eventually be more appreciative of the educational alternatives we offer at NFS.
To the Editor:
I would like to applaud all of the MDHS students who earned AP Scholar Awards in recognition of their achievements on the College Board's Advanced Placement Program exams (The Star News, 10/15/09) as well as mention that four of those students were concurrently enrolled in North Fork School AP classes during the 2008-2009 school year.
Forrest Reiling, James Valle, Bailey Hoover, and Kirsten Wiking all were dually-enrolled in North Fork School AP classes in their senior year. Kathryn Pope, a National Merit Scholar Finalist, and Ben Smart, who was awarded National Merit semi-finalist status this September, were also NFS students last year. As all NFS students are dually-enrolled in McCall-Donnelly schools, and as the College Board will not separate a student's scores among more than one school, MDHS reports all high school student scores, including those of NFS students, in its own tally.
All NFS student test scores are included in MDSD totals for AP, SAT, ACT, and ISAT district averages. With the increased achievement attained by North Fork School students, local public schools have higher total average test scores, as well as higher-level academic class participation and college acceptance/graduation rates. Students benefit from their combined attendance at both NFS and MDHS, as teachers at both schools contribute to their more intensive, individualized academic programs.
This unique symbiotic relationship enhances student achievement in all areas - not just in those subjects taken at the NFS. Students learn how to apply themselves, how to study more efficiently, and how to apply the new knowledge they are gaining to all their academic subjects. In addition, parents selectively inject financial contributions into the public system in a way that benefits their own children, as well as benefitting the public schools at large. As the achievements of these AP Scholars reveal, the relationship between MDSD schools and the North Fork School is a contributing asset to the McCall-Donnelly School District.
Marie Furnary, Head of School
The North Fork School
Plan for Evaluating Student Achievement
All of our application forms & links to other sites are still unavailable until I figure out all the new codes. It could take weeks. Or years. So email questions directly to me (link at the bottom of each page works), or call anytime. Thanks.
The North Fork School has been accredited with MERIT since 2003 by the Northwest Association of Accredited Schools. Merit accreditation status indicates that a school significantly exceeds all standards for accreditation of both the State of Idaho and the NAAS.
Go to this link for a copy of the grading requirements for High School classes.
Plan for Evaluating Student AchievementGo to this link for more information on interpreting NFS grades, & on assessing your child's place in a competitive academic world.
Some quick highlights of our 2004 SIP Survey results:
Of the groups who were given forms:
100% (38 of 38 students) completed their surveys (this number included several students who are not in NFS this year, but who participated last year...that all of them returned surveys is significant!)
83% (5 of 6 teachers)
54% (27 of 50 parents)
32% (16 of 50 community members), including public school teachers & administrators, and former parents of NFS students returned surveys.
Groups of survey questions included in all four types of surveys (student, parent, teacher, and community) had the following AVERAGE scores on a FIVE-POINT scale:
Quality of Instructional Program: 4.4
Support for Student Learning: 4.3
School climate/ Environment for Learning: 4.4
Individual survey questions that were similar in all four types of surveys (student, parent, teacher, and community) had the following AVERAGE scores on a FIVE-POINT scale:
1) The educational program offered to students is of high quality: 4.8
2) Students see a relationship between what they are studying and their lives: 4.2
3) The NFS is preparing students to deal with issues and problems they will face in the future: 4.4
4) Teachers hold high expectations for student learning: 4.8
5) The school's facilities are adequate to support the instructional program: 4.1
6) In the NFS, students have access to a variety of resources to help them succeed in their learning, such as technology, media centers, and libraries: 3.7
7) The NFS provides students and teachers with a safe and orderly environment: 4.7
You can send Marie an email by selecting the address at left. Or, click on a name below to send an email message to an individual teacher:Brigid | Janet | Jodie
Parents' Contacts 2011-2012 | The North Fork School Home Page | top of this page
Copyright October 3, 2011 Marie M. Furnary. All rights reserved.