Dear West Middle School Parent,
This school year, you will be receiving a monthly letter from the Assistant Principal’s office along with the letter from the Principal’s office and the monthly activity calendar. The goal for my letter is to provide information with regard to student issues and to provide tips and suggestions for helping our students become well rounded students and citizens. I feel that if we work together, we can provide the support necessary to ensure that our students reach their potential and become the amazing young adults that we know they are.
Fall is here and with it brings cooler weather and color changes. Middle school aged children are also changing. They often feel as though they are adults and do not need us. It is still very important that we are very visible in their lives and may even need to snoop a little more to keep them safe and help them through the times they are going through. The following tips will provide suggestions on how to help your child succeed here at West and through their teenage years.
Help your child manage homework time. Encourage them to aim high and always do their best work.
Show interest in their studies by talking with them daily about what they are learning and doing in school (don't take "nothing" for an answer!). If you know your child has a project for science, get involved. The same goes for cheerleading, sports, and music — any extracurricular activities.
Discuss ideas and feelings about school, studies, and activities. Be realistic about what your child can and should be able to do. Encourage them to do THEIR best and be realistic.
With your child, read and review the information that schools and districts provide. Be familiar with the curriculum for each class, code of conduct, student handbook, etc. All these will help you and your child successfully weave your way through the maze called middle school.
Contact teachers periodically. Find out what your child should be learning, how they are progressing, and how you can help. Be a full partner in your child's education.
Be sure that they attend school on a regular basis. Even if your child is absent for illness or another valid reason, they need to keep up with their studies. Call the school if your child will be missing a day, and find out what needs to be done to make up for it.
Encourage them to pursue interests and make friends through extracurricular activities. Busy students often make responsible students. We have clubs such as Walk, Jog, Run Club and Uno Club, as well as after school tutoring with busing here at West.
Know their friends. Who does your child hang out with? Know where your child is and who they are with at all times. Be clear and consistent with discipline.
Make it clear that he/she must follow school rules and policies. Teach them to respect people as well as property. Help them to know right from wrong and what they must do when negative temptations come their way.
Encourage them to get to know their counselor, teacher and/or administrators and to maintain contact throughout their middle-school years. Not only will they be invaluable in supporting their academic path, they can also be a strong advocate and someone for the student to go to when they need help in social situations as well.
Attend parent meetings, open houses, parent education groups, and other activities for parents. It is important for your child to see that you see education as an important means for them to be successful in life.
Volunteer at school. Both your child and the school will benefit from your involvement and help. Schools solicit volunteers to help in a variety of ways: tutoring, assisting in the media center, giving speeches, helping out at activities, chaperoning, etc.
Consistently acknowledge and reward efforts at school. Many parents expect the school to provide the incentives for their child's accomplishments. While we do have a lot of motivational programs, parents need to recognize their child's successes too. When your child works hard, your acknowledgment motivates them to persist.
BIG school news:
Student IDs—Your child will be receiving a West Middle School ID during the month of October. Once they receive their ID, they will be expected to have it on them at all times. If they are in the hallway or a classroom and are asked to produce the ID for identification purposes, they must produce it or they will be disciplined. Students will need their ID for things such as getting a lunch, signing out a library book, participating in open gym during lunch and having passes which will be put on the back of the ID. If a student loses their ID they may purchase one in the Assistant Principal’s office for $5. They may also purchase a lanyard for their ID for $2.00.
Sign-ins—One of the most important traits of successful people in the world is punctuality. This often determines if you will get/keep a job. We also believe this to be very important here at school and we want to teach students good habits. It is also very important that we have students on time for school in order to abide by our truancy laws. Therefore, students that sign-in late to school will now be given a warning for their first sign-in unless they come with a doctor’s note. Every sign-in after that will result in the student receiving a Lunch Detention where the student sits silently in a classroom with a supervising adult while eating their lunch.
Hands-On—There has been a lot of hands-on going on in the school at the start of the year. Students have been playing games where they hit each other for different reasons. This has often caused fights in the school, so we have a hands off policy. Any hands on will result in a suspension.
Drama—Many of the issues we have been seeing in school at the start of the year have involved drama that starts outside of school, usually through social media. Drama that causes a disruption in the school environment will result in a suspension.
Thank you for your time and understanding. Working together with you we can give our kids the best possible education. If you have any questions please feel free to contact my office at any time.
Mr. Corey Doyle West Middle School Assistant Principal