West Parent’s Newsletter
July/August 2018 Edition
Principal’s Message- Trish Kaechele
West’s Mission Statement: The West School Community will enhance student achievement while maintaining high expectations for all.
August 3, 2018
Dear Parents/Guardians and 6th, 7th and 8th grade Students:
First, I would like to welcome our incoming 6th graders. I know it will be a transition for your child, but know that they will be well taken care of and enjoy their educational experiences here at West. Our first group of 6th graders truly enjoyed their experience here and so did their parents. Everyone was very happy about the transition to Junior High.
I’d also like to welcome all of you to the beginning of another exciting school year! A host of new opportunities and challenges await you as you begin this school year. As you read the items below; please mark your calendar for the specific dates where we need parents to attend. The information to follow should answer all of your “First Day of School” questions. If not, we have 6th grade student orientation sessions before school begins to address those areas. Any NEW 7th or 8th grade students are also welcome.
6TH GRADE ORIENTATION
Welcome to West! Our 6th grade orientations will take place on Tuesday, August 28, 2018. When you arrive at West, your son/daughter will receive a copy of his/her schedule and locker number. Then, after a brief informational meeting, you will tour the school and locate your classrooms and try out your locker. Because of the enormous turn-out we have each year, we would like you to attend alphabetically by your last name. Please be prompt so we can start on time and please attend during your time slot as it may be crowded. Our counselors are Mrs. Moitozo and Mrs. Chaparian. Mrs. Chaparian is in charge of all students whose last names begin with A-J. Mrs. Moitozo is in charge of students whose names begin with K-Z.
Students must be accompanied by a parent or adult.
Last Name: A- J 12:30 – 1:30 Mrs. Chaparian
K- Z 1:30 – 2:30 Mrs. Moitozo
Please enter through the cafeteria doors only. After you pick up your son/daughter’s schedule and enter the cafeteria for a brief meeting with Mr. Doyle (Asst. Principal), your counselor and myself, Ms. Kaechele-(Principal), you will leave the cafeteria on a self-guided tour. This will be a great opportunity for your son/daughter to make the transition to junior high school much easier. Please plan on joining us for this exciting experience as your child enters junior high. Please exit the school through the counseling doors when you are finished with your tour.
OPEN HOUSE- As we have not had the traditional Open House the last couple years, we are inviting all parents of incoming 6th graders or any new students to attend the first half-day of school with your child. This will be Tuesday, September 4. You will come in the cafeteria doors with your child and experience the first day with them in each class. You will get an overview of each class and how your child goes about their day. This is not however, parent/teacher conferences so you will move along with your child. No time to meet and talk.
SEMESTERS- We, like the high school, are going back to semesters. There are two semesters each school year which means; two progress reports, two final exams, two report cards and two parent/teacher conference dates. Please follow the calendars provided for dates and make sure you know when to expect your reports to come home. You can also check it on Parent Connect.
CREDITS- Students will be required to pass all of their core classes or they will have to take PLATO credit recovery courses for any core and possible elective classes they may fail. If they have to have this Credit Recovery class, they will be pulled from their elective classes. PLATO is a computer program that teaches them the objectives of the class they failed. They will be quizzed and tested on this program until they pass. It will be a full Semester class. Again, they will be pulled from electives so they need to pass their classes to avoid this.
PSP- Parent/School Partnership
Hey Parents!! Here’s your chance to get involved!! Ten years ago West initiated a parent/school group that met on a regular basis to plan, organize, and assist in making West a better school. Our parents were wonderful!! They helped on numerous projects last year and we hope to see more involvement this year. If you are interested in joining early and want to get involved, call the school at 313.295.5783 and ask for information. We can certainly use your help!! OUR FIRST MEETING WILL BE THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 20 AT 9:30 AM. Other meetings will be announced by the West Website and our monthly parent letter.
* - All parents that volunteer for field trips or other school activities must fill out a background check form, available in the main office. They must be filled out every year.
WHY WEST IS THE BEST!
Our school has been identified as “Reward school”.
West Middle School has been named a Michigan Reward School. This is a great achievement, and the faculty and staff at West Middle School are to be commended for their hard work.
Reward Schools are those that did not receive a red overall scorecard status and have achieved one or more of the following distinctions:
1) top 5% of schools on the Overall School Rankings
2) top 5% of schools making the greatest gains in achievement (improvement metric) or
3) "Beating the Odds" by outperforming the school's predicted ranking and/or similar schools.
Since students were tested in the spring this year, we will not have any testing information till the fall but West is continuing with our five-year School Improvement Plan with the identified goals and strategies to achieve those goals and maintain our accreditation. We have also added a technology goal:
All Students at Robert J. West School will improve in Total ELA Proficiency (reading and writing).
All Students at Robert J. West School will improve in Math Proficiency.
All Students at Robert J. West School will improve in Science Proficiency.
All Students at Robert J. West School will have training and experience in using computer technology.
West offers many opportunities for academic, athletic, social, club, or music enrichment through our many student course and enrichment activities. West continues to move forward as a research driven school for the teaching/learning profession.
FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL- ½ DAY- SCHOOL BEGINS AT 8:05
All students will report to West Middle School for a half day of classes on Tuesday, September 4, 2018. Whether you are a walker, car rider, or a bus rider; you must enter school through the cafeteria doors located across from Kinyon. Cafeteria doors will open at 7:15 am. Students must report directly to the cafeteria for breakfast or to sit and socialize. No students are allowed to loiter outside of school!! Starting at 7:35 students may go to the gym to play basketball for .50 cents. The money is used for the up-keep and wear-and-tear to the gym, basketballs and equipment.
TRANSPORTATION- The Bus Schedule is enclosed. For the first few days, you should be at your bus stop approximately 45 minutes before school begins. Remember your bus number as you will be riding the same bus number home unless otherwise notified. Walkers and car riders should arrive by 7:50. Again, all students enter West at the cafeteria doors.
BREAKFAST AND LUNCHES
It will be necessary to bring a sack lunch or come prepared to purchase sandwiches, juice, milk, etc. for the first day of school. A complete lunch is available for $3.25; a complete breakfast is $1.50. Breakfast, lunch, and milk (35 cents) prices have gone up $.25 this year. If you qualify for a reduced breakfast and lunch, the cost is $.30 for breakfast and $.40 for lunch. If you qualify for a free/reduced lunch you must memorize your student number. Your student number will be on your schedule.
FOCUS CLASS WILL BE THE FIRST CLASS YOU GO TO ON THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL. STUDENTS WILL LEARN WHERE THEIR FOCUS CLASS IS AT ORIENTATION OR THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL.
Focus class is scheduled at the beginning of each school day. Once again, as part of our goals for NCA (AdvancEd), we are requiring each student to bring something to read EVERY DAY! Our reading scores from our State Testing indicate it has been a very successful program. West students will be silently reading for 15-20 minutes each day in Focus and then hear announcements. The reading material must be appropriate for school reading. We will confiscate any material that is profane, vulgar, or in any manner inappropriate for school. Focus class is graded as a Pass/Fail class.
FORMS and Where/When to turn them in
All forms are to be turned in to the FOCUS teacher first thing in the morning. You will need to turn in the following forms: (1.) One completed emergency cards, (2.) free and reduced lunch application (whether you think you qualify or not, it can help West get more money) (3.) Parent/Student Signature Form (4). Taylor School District Parent Compact and (5) E-mail information. Please sign all sections of these forms.
Eighth (8th) grade only: if you do not want your son/daughter to participate in the Human Sexuality Program, please sign and return the form to the address on the bottom of the form.
Your child’s schedule of classes and lockers will be given to them in their Focus period on the first day of school. Any locker issues need to be directed to the Assistant Principal’s office. Lockers will not be shared and students should not give out their combination even to friends. Loaned books do not get returned and your child is responsible for the cost of all missing books.
Textbooks will be issued to you by your subject teacher. Books should be treated with respect throughout the year as damage to a book incurs a fine respective to the damage. Lost books will be assessed the cost of the book. Some textbooks are as expensive as $60.00 or more. It is the student’s personal and individual responsibility to see that these materials are properly cared for and returned in good condition. STUDENTS AND PARENTS ARE FINANCIALLY RESPONSIBLE FOR REPAIR TO DAMAGED BOOKS AS WELL AS FULL REPLACEMENT COSTS FOR LOST BOOKS. Students will not be allowed to attend any field trips or extracurricular activities if they owe fines.
IMPORTANT SCHOOL PHONE NUMBERS
Enclosed you will find important information you need for what is required by you and your student and all the numbers you need to call West Middle School. For all school issues, please call the main number, 313-295-5783, and pick the appropriate option to transfer your call.
Students must maintain a 2.0 grade point average in order to play sports. In addition, students must “pay to play”. Each middle school sport is $90.00 which is the same as last year. West Middle School sports offered are: Boys: football, basketball, intermural sports, swimming and track. Girls: basketball, volleyball, swimming, track and cheerleading. YES, WEST HAS FOOTBALL FOR THE FIRST TIME IN DECADES. TRYOUTS BEGIN BEFORE SCHOOL STARTS.
VOLLEYBALL TRY-OUTS --CHEERLEADING TRY-OUTS- Will start as soon as school begins. Students should listen for announcements. Sign-up sheets will be in the main office.
STUDENT IDENTIFICATION CARDS
Students will be issued their I.D. cards shortly after Picture Day which is scheduled for Wednesday, October 3, 2018. Student I.D.’s will be required this year for several situations. Lunch and access to the gym during lunch will require a student I.D. Library usage also requires your student I.D. DO NOT LOSE YOUR STUDENT ID!! REPLACEMENTS CAN BE PURCHASED FOR $5.00. New programs we implement may also require a student ID and bus privileges.
BAND OR CHORUS- If your child is in Band or Chorus next year: when you go shopping for “back to school” clothes, be sure to purchase a pair of plain black “School uniform pants”, plain black shoes and black socks.
TECHNOLOGY FOR SENDING MESSAGES HOME!
West will be using a communication service that allows our school to send information to your home by phone or email. We will also be using a program called REMIND this year. Please sign up for this service. The paperwork is enclosed in this mailing. This will be used to inform you of specific reminders or messages such as Conferences, Testing Dates, Report cards issued, etc. It is imperative that you give us your correct phone number on the emergency card. We strongly encourage you to give us your email address and sign up for REMIND so we can email these messages as well!
West parents will continue to have ‘Parent Connect’ as another method to ‘see’ their son/daughter’s grades, assignments and possibly more. It is a ‘real time’ progress report that you access through your home computer with your password from Student Services. If you don’t already have one, call Student Services at 313-295-5742.
The District Code of Conduct is very specific about what is acceptable to wear to school and what is not. All schools, including West, also have a more specific dress code that extends upon the District Code. In this mailing, the student planner and what is told to them by the teachers and principals, you will find West’s dress code. This is to inform you that there will be strong disciplinary actions for wearing inappropriate clothing and being disrespectful to staff when informed of the inappropriate clothing. These disciplinary actions could be multiple day suspensions from school.
We will continue to have tutoring after school on Tuesdays and Thursdays. If your child needs help or needs to catch up, they should be staying after school. Also, if they need Credit Recovery because they failed any courses, it is REQUIRED that they stay after school in Credit Recovery (if offered) to make up that course. Transportation is provided.
For information on activities and programs at West, please go to www.taylorschools.net/west for our professionally managed website.
We hope this letter finds each of you enjoying the summer vacation and anticipating a productive and exciting school year at West.
Patricia J Kaechele