Principal of Mason Academy
Degrees and Certifications:
Mr. Philip Van Hooks
September 3, 2019
This is the year that we shall see our hard work at transformation come to fruition!!!!! It is an honor and privilege to return to Stevens T. Mason Academy as your principal for the 2019-2020 School Year (SY20). Over the course of the last two years, we have undertaken a heavy lift. Bringing on additional staff, aligning our mission and vision to that of the District. Transforming our culture to reflect the highest aspirations we have for all our children; setting expectations for behavior, grading and attendance that will drive culture, climate and academic achievement for years to come. None of this could have been accomplished without the support of the parents, the hard work of the teachers and the presence and persistence of our students. But we still have a long way to go.
The 2019-2020 school year marks the initiation of the 3rd Grade Reading Law. In October 2016, The Michigan Legislature passed a critical law that will have tremendous implications on current first grade students. Beginning with the 2019-2020 school year third graders could be retained if they demonstrate reading proficiency levels that are more than one year behind. The law requires that districts and schools assess the reading skills of all K-3 students at least three times per year in order to identify struggling students. Students who are experiencing deficiencies will be required to have an individualized reading improvement plan that should be created in partnership with the principal, teacher and the parents of the child. This plan would include steps for early interventions provided by the child's teacher, school, and literacy team. Parents will be provided a "read at home” plan that would extend learning at home in an effort to strengthen the students reading skills.
The bar has been set! It is critical that we diligently, collectively and collaboratively work to improve the core academic skills of all our students. I am sure we have the team on hand at Mason Academy to nurture the spirit of collaboration between home and school that we all know is necessary to raise student achievement. We will have our first School Advisory Council Meeting September 3, 2019 at 5:30pm to discuss a variety of topics that will help drive the direction of Stevens T. Mason Academy for the entire school year. I hope you can come back by the building tonight to take part in our leadership meeting. Your participation in our leadership team means you’ll be a driving force for positive transformation at Mason Academy because you’ll know the true story, and you’ll be able to spread the word about the great things happening on Outer Drive & Fenelon!
Principal Van Hooks