Back to School!
I hope everyone had a great summer! Welcome back to another great year in the middle school!
Some things that will remain the same from last year include the 7th and 8th grade homeroom period following lunch. Their homeroom teacher will help monitor grades and missing work, build a community of learners and be that go-to person that kids can turn to for resources. Homeroom time will be used as a study hall, a meeting time, and where our anti-bullying curriculum will be implemented. To help with personal time management, school-to-home communication, and assignments, all 5-8 students will be receiving a planner again this year.
I’m very excited about the implementation of touchscreen Chromebooks in the middle school. The iPad model we were using could no longer have its operating system updated, so after several months of looking at various iPad and Chromebook models, the middle school teachers decided that touchscreen Chromebooks would meet our needs the best. The Chromebooks have attached keyboards which will make typing papers, working with presentations, and doing research much easier for our students, while the touchscreen keeps some of the navigation and photo/video taking methods our students learned while using the iPad. While our 7th and 8th graders will still have the option of taking their Chromebook home, 5th and 6th graders will only have access during school hours and under teacher supervision.
I invite you to our open house on August 31st from 4:00-5:30 pm. Come in, find your locker, run through your schedule, meet your teachers, and get excited for another school year of learning and friends. In addition to your schedules, we will have Chromebook forms at the open house in the middle school office. Only after all forms are completed and signed by a parent or guardian and the student, and an insurance option is declared and/or paid for, will students be able to receive their Chromebooks and chargers. Parents have the option to provide proof of insurance through their own insurance company--just bring in the declaration page that shows the Chromebook is covered by your policy. We will distribute Chromebooks to 7th and 8th graders the first week of school during homeroom.
We have a few new teachers and staff to introduce to the middle school. We are excited to welcome Chelsey Pederson and Virginia DeLisi as our new middle school special education teachers. Ashley Bachmann is our new math teacher, replacing Mr. Honga who retired last spring. Nora Heilman and Kelsey Brakke will be working with Mrs. Miska as speech language pathologists through our Freshwater Education District Cooperative. In other changes, Mrs. Nemeth is teaching 5th grade this year instead of 6th grade.
The flow of information is critical during the middle years. I encourage all our 5-8 families to participate in our Skyward Family Access. Please contact the office for your username and password if have not already done so in the past years. You can check grades, attendance, update contact information, and so much more. You can also use your Family Access portal to create notifications that will automatically email your student’s missing assignments, grades, and progress reports to you. We also have a new middle school handbook posted to the website and printed in the planner that covers the policies and procedures for grades 5-8. Tammy and I also would like to remind parents and guardians to let the office know by 1:00 pm of any changes to after school transportation plans. We know that sometimes there will be emergencies, but it makes everyone more secure knowing where your son or daughter will be heading if we have enough time to communicate those changes to teachers and your student. Thank you for helping us keep your student and their teacher in the loop!
Research shows that students who participate in school activities do better in school and develop leadership and teamwork skills that will help them throughout life. I encourage your student to take advantage of the opportunities available to them at Menahga. Our 5-8th graders can take advantage of a variety of co-curricular activities including music, arts, and athletics. Targeted Services will also be available for students in grades 5-8 as well.
The 2017-2018 school year is going to be full of growth and change for your middle schooler. If you have any questions or concerns regarding your student, please do not hesitate to contact us. You may call the school at 564-4141 or email us. Staff contact information is included in the handbooks and on the school website. Don’t forget to “like” us on Facebook! I’m looking forward to another great year in the Middle!