We Are Shepherd:  A safe, respectful, and positive community where our high expectations and emphasis on personal growth support all students being successful, lifelong learners.

    We Are Shepherd:  Empowering students to achieve greatness.

    Built Upon:  ResPect - LeadeRship - IntegrIty - KinDness - AchiEvement

    Wednesday, March 17, 2021

    Well, we have made it to mid-March!  With the current pandemic situation, I think that's quite the accomplishment.  I would like to THANK the students, staff, and parents for working with us as we move through the 2020-2021 school year.  It hasn't been easy for anyone, but we will all continue to do the best that we can with the safety and education of the students and the safety of the staff at the forefront of our decisions.

    A couple of items to highlight: ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Student-Led Conferences:  First and foremost, I would like to THANK those individuals that took time out of their schedule to participate in the Spring Student-Led Conferences on February 15th and 16th.  I realize that it is not always easy to find the time for another meeting or event, but it is greatly appreciated by Shepherd High School staff and students.  After conferences, students and parents were asked to complete a brief survey as to what they liked, concerns, would like to see in the future, etc.  Approximately half of the parents responded to the survey.  Thank You for that.  I would like to take advantage of this forum and respond to some general topics that were raised in the responses. 

    Positives gained from the responses:

    1)      Some parents really appreciate the comments from individual teachers.  It kind of goes back to the old-school type of parent-teacher conference. 

    2)      Some parents appreciate being able to do the conference through a digital format.  We have all had to adjust to these changing times.  With few visitors in the buildings this year, we  didn’t have much of a choice.  Speed and ease also played a factor.  Regardless, it was well-received by many. 

    3)      Some parents still like to see work (good, bad or ugly) done by their students.

    4)      And going hand-in-hand with number three, some parents appreciate the accountability that their students need to take when discussing their work.  Again, sometimes the work may not always be the best, but it is still an example of what has been done. 

    5)      Some parents seem to appreciate the friendly, honest interactions between themselves, their students, and the mentor teacher.  Sometimes the honest conversations can be difficult, but if it improves a situation, then it is time well spent. 

    6)      Some parents appreciate being kept up to date on progress toward graduation. 

    Some Not-So Positives gained from the responses:

    1)      Some parents prefer the face-to-face interaction, rather than the digital format; while some would prefer no conferences.  

    2)      Some parents really want to make sure that their students are challenged so that they do not get bored and just run through the motions.

    3)      Some parents would like to speak with each of their student’s teachers.

    4)      Some parents would like to see improvement in MAPS scores this next round.

    5)      Some parents would like to see more student work within the portfolios.

    6)      Having to quarantine at times during the school year has impacted students academically. 

    As you can read, the above statements are generalized so that the main idea is covered.  We have been doing the conferences in the student-led format for a number of years now.  There have always been both positive and not-so positive thoughts about it.  As a parent, I can understand both sides.  Over the years, I have attempted to stay caught up on my children’s grades through Power School.  There are times when I falter and there are times when I am pretty diligent about it.  Life happens for me as it does for you.  I realize that many parents do stay caught up on their child’s grades.  I commend you for that.  Sadly, not all students have parents that are able or capable of doing that.  So, even though it may seem like just ‘one more hoop’ to jump through, I do believe that deep down each student wants that time with their parent to ‘show off’ or explain something.  Maybe that’s just the soft side of me. 

    In regards to next year, who knows what that will look like.  As everyone keeps saying, hopefully we will be back to ‘normal’ (whatever that was before).  I could envision a dual option of either face-to-face or digital.  I could also see areas in which the comments may be improved upon as well.  We are always looking at how to increase MAPS scores and increase the rigor in classes.    

    As we all know, everything can be improved upon.  Student-Led Conferences are no different.  We will continue to monitor, evaluate, and changes areas for the benefit of the students, parents, and staff.  Thank You again for taking the time to participate.


    Graduation is quickly approaching for the Class of 2021.  With that in mind, there are a few particulars that you may want to be aware of, especially as a parent of a senior.  Graduation is set for Sunday, May 16th, 2021 at 11:00 AM in the Shepherd High School Gymnasium.  The graduation committee was given the option to have it outside, but they have decided to have it in the gym so that they can have a slideshow.  The most frequent question regarding graduation is "How many people can each graduate bring to the ceremony if it is in the gym?"  At this point, we are looking at 10 family members per graduate.  We will be able to do this as long as everyone adheres to the safety protocols that Shepherd Public Schools has implemented.  Each family group will need to sit together, social distance, wear masks, and most of all, celebrate the graduates.  Sadly, having this number of family members for the graduates will not allow for extra individuals or friends.  From my perspective, it is more important to get family members into the ceremony, rather than friends or random people.  Each graduate will receive 10 tickets that will need to be presented by the family members upon arrival.  If you have any questions regarding seats, tickets, or anything related to graduation, please do not hesitate to contact me at the high school office.  In speaking of graduation, I would like to congratulate Tobias Ottenbacher, Valedictorian, and Tenley Murdock, Salutatorian for the Class of 2021.  Both students have worked extremely hard over the last four years for this honor.  Great job Tobias and Tenley! 


    Upcoming Items of Interest:

    March 19     Reward Day for those that would have earned the Ski Trip/Alternative Trip

    March 23     ACT for all Juniors

    March 24     Pre-ACT for all Sophomores

    March 26     Cell Phone Assembly

    End of April/Beginning of May     MAPS Assessments for grades 9-11

    May 12        9-12 Awards Assembly

    May 13        Graduation Practice for Seniors

    May 16        Class of 2021 Graduation

    May 19        Last Day of School (Buses will roll at 12:00PM)


    Stay Strong.  Stay Safe.


    K.J. Poepping, Principal