Fall Update from Denise Colpitts
I hope this finds you well and recovering from any storm damage that may have affected you and your family. Please let us know if your child is impacted, so we can offer support.
Next week winds up our first mid-semester report period – hard to believe we are one-quarter through the school year. As such, the Middle School Leadership Team felt it a good opportunity to share some updates.
- We began our year with a series of advisory rotations in each grade to help set a foundation of solid skills on which students could build. These ranged from reading and study skills strategies, to digital citizenship and Chromebook use, to a deep dive into our Handbook,to aspects of service learning, to other topics depending on the grade.
- Tutorials are fully underway. Students can visit tutorial on Monday, Thursday, and Friday from 1:10 to 1:40 p.m. Tutorials on Wednesday span the whole of our Community Time from 12:50 to 1:40 p.m., which allows extended time to complete work from absences and assures students have ample time during the week to seek support. On Tuesdays, all grades engage in advisory activities from 12:50 to 1:40 p.m.; thus, the extended time on Wednesday.
- Service Learning has taken on a new structure this year! Sixth and seventh grade students chose a service in which they are interested from about fifteen opportunities and work together once a month. Eighth grade continues to align service with its capstone project, Ravens in Action, in which students research an area of interest and participate in service connected to that topic.
- Communication from each grade will come once a month from 6th grade Team Leader, Teresa Taylor; 7th Grade Dean, Greg Anysz; and 8th Grade Dean, Sarah Baker. Please look for these updates, which will take you to our blog. As well, the Weekly Email sent from the Communications Office is the best source of current happenings.
- Students engage in leadership in many ways in Middle School, both positional and non. Positional leadership opportunities include the following:
- Student Leadership Council (Responsible for activities related to both internal and external community, such as facilitating Community Time meetings, spirit activities, Food Drives, collections, etc.)
- Honor Council (Responsible for educating and encouraging a community of honor in Middle School)
- Ravens Ambassadors (Responsible for activities that build community, recognize birthday and achievements, assist with community conversations, etc.)
- Clubs and activities in which students may exercise leadership include the following:
- Battle of the Books
- Boys/Girls Activity Group
- Jr. Thespians
- Ravens Dialogue (drop-in roundtable discussions focused on topics related to civics and identity)
- Service Learning
- Electives which are competition-based: Model UN, Science Olympiad, and First Lego League
- Election Education: Our role in fostering an educated and engaged student population is important to us, particularly in regards to our national election. Please read this letter from Associate Head, Chris Cox, which explains how we are addressing civil discourse and exploration of issues in classes and beyond.
- Diversity & Inclusion: Middle School is engaging in D & I efforts from many different angles, all aligned with our Lead From Here Framework.
Thus far, we have shared cultural holidays, participated in the Triangle Diversity Alliance conference, and our MS D & I team has met several times. We are launching an opportunity for interested students to engage in conversations on identity, hosted by Lorelei Lindow and Sameera Anwar; and the focus of our Mix-it-Up lunch on Tuesday, 10/25, is “Taking down the Wall of Intolerance.”
We are seeking people to speak to our students (small or large groups) and/or provide experiential activities to engage them in aspects of cultural awareness. Please let us know if you are interested in working with us in this way. More to come on this important topic!
- Middle School Calendar of Events.2016.17 Parent Copy: Sorry this was not shared sooner; we have had quite a few changes due to the myriad of events on campus. Please know this is a dynamic calendar; thus it will be updated as needed, so check every now and then!