PTO Interest Meeting

Hello, Warrior families!  It was great to see so many of you at last night’s Back-to-School event!  I hope that everyone left with a sense of optimism and excitement for what the school year will bring for you and your child.

Parent feedback is a crucial element of the work we do at Western.  It’s important for me to hear from you regularly about what is working well and also about areas we could be focusing on for improvement. With that in mind, I would like to invite anyone who is interested to a conversation on Thursday, September 26 at 6:30 here at WAHS.  Our parent council rep, Amanda Alger, will be here to give a brief recap of the work of Parent Council this year and will seek your input on upcoming parent council topics such as school safety and the school division budget process. I’d like to hear from you about how the year is going.  Also, I’d be very interested in seeing if we have parents who would like to serve in leadership roles on the Western PTO this year. Currently we do not have an executive board for the PTO, and having this support and advisory organization is important.

I promise we’ll keep things informal, and if you’ve got some ideas to share and/or some interest in helping with the PTO, please plan to attend.  I look forward to seeing many of you that evening.

Patrick J. McLaughlin, Ed. D.


Back-to-School Night

Good afternoon, Warrior families!  I trust that your school year has gotten off to a great start–I know that mine has!

I wanted to take a minute and invite each of you to our annual Back-to-School night this Thursday at WAHS.  As you may know, this is an evening when you can come out to the school and live the life of your high school student for a night.  You will go through an abbreviated version of your child’s schedule, have an opportunity to meet each one of his or her teachers, and hear a brief presentation about what their classes will be like this year.  I hope that you leave each class excited about the experiences your kids will have with us.

Traditionally we begin this night with our State of the School address.  I’ve decided to move this address to the end of our evening this year so that we can get you all straight into your kids’ classes.  If you are interested in staying for the address, we will begin in the auditorium shortly after our last class meets for the night.

Back-to-School night begins at 6:30 and our class schedule will be as follows:

  • 1A, 1B, 2A, 2B, 3A, 3B, 4A, 4B, early bird/virtual classes
  • Each class will meet for 6-7 minutes with four minutes to change classes
  • The state of the school address will begin approximately 10 minutes after our 4B class ends.

If you have a student who is participating in the AVID program, there will be a meeting in room B214 from 6:00-6:30, and if you have a student with an IEP, there will be a meeting in room C106 from 6:00-6:30.  Also, Ms. Padron, our gifted resource teacher, will be available for drop in visits throughout the evening outside of her office.

I’m looking forward to seeing all of you on Thursday!

Patrick J. McLaughlin, Ed. D.


Opening Day

Dear Warrior Families,

What a great day we had at Western!  Nearly 1,200 students returned to Western this morning and they clearly were excited to get back to their friends, to connect with staff members from years past and to begin getting to know their new teachers.

I had a ball visiting classrooms to see kids engaged in learning and relationship building right off the bat.  Our new science wing and renovated classrooms were ready to go and were looking beautiful. I hope that all of you get to come by and see them at Back-to-School night in September.  Please talk with your kids about their first day when you see them tonight, I’m sure they will all have something to share that excites them about the coming year.

Also on our first day of school, we encountered a bit more excitement than planned. Our campus received a surprise visit from a mother black bear and two cubs.  They first showed up as school was starting and were spotted a couple of more times throughout the day. Our partners from the Albemarle County Police Department successfully worked to locate and divert the bears from our campus. As a safety measure, students were kept inside the building after each sighting until we received the “all clear” from law enforcement.  We will continue to monitor this and are working with animal control for a long-term solution.

Finally, I’d like to say thank you to all of our staff members for putting in tremendous amounts of work to be ready for our first day.  They are an excellent group of educators.

I’m so happy to have the opportunity to be here.  If there is anything you need, please feel free to reach out to me.  I’m looking forward to another great day tomorrow.

Patrick J. McLaughlin, Ed. D.


Western Albemarle High School