Dear Parents,

Someone once said of the time spent in middle school that it is unique because a student enters as a child and leaves as an adult. Our sixth graders are at the beginning of this journey, and they have enjoyed a positive start as middle-school students. New opportunities for them include more independence and new tools like the recently issued Chromebooks which they are embracing responsibly.

Our sixth grade focus is leading self.  Many of activities and daily conversations center around being self-aware. We are building upon the lower school’s focus on the character tree with its concrete foundation of courage as we discuss the kind of courage one must have to be his/her best self.  Recognizing the ownership we have in our decisions is key to a life lived with intention, and having an early start toward this goal is a precious opportunity.

Part of leading self involves responsibility and accountability.  To foster and support these traits, we are encouraging the use of the assignment notebook, the 6th grader’s “best friend.”  Your child’s teachers will be initialing each daily assignment in this notebook through September to assist with planning at home. We are also reminding students about the “hard start” which begins each day at 8:00 am.  Being on time with with materials in hand for class gives a student the mindset of “readiness” for a day well-spent in new topics with his/her class community.

Helpful advice for you…. well, expect that your middle schooler may be a bit unpredictable during this journey!  As teachers, we know the ebb and flow of developing minds and personalities.  Overall, regarding your child’s academic progress, his/her advisor is the “go to” person who advocates for and assists your child with communication to other teachers. In addition, all of your child’s teachers are happy to answer questions, give feedback, and assist in many ways.  The dean, Scott Ringenbach, is another excellent resource regarding student life.  All of us are here because we are deeply gratified as teachers and leaders.  

Please know that your young ones have enjoyed a smooth start to the year.  They are learning their schedules, asking for assistance when needed, and smiling often.  As we progress this next month, we will cover the handbook and address topics like the dress code.  In an effort to provide a time for students to become accustomed to a new space with new expectations, we are gradually introducing the rules to students.

Lastly, establishing a routine or homework practice is key to student success.  Our team of teachers suggests a regular practice for leaving school, arriving at home, and coming back to school which includes using tools like the assignment notebook, a regular homework schedule, a routine spot to do homework, and a place to charge and leave the Chromebook to avoid leaving it at home.  Sixth grade is often the year where students begin positive habits for ongoing academic and personal success.  

Thank you for sharing your children with us.  We appreciate your trust and your support.  We look forward to meeting you on Parent Night on September 13.

Teresa Taylor, 6th Grade Team Leader

Scott Ringenbach, 6th Grade Dean

From our Grade Level Representatives:

The GoPlaySave fundraiser runs from August 31 to September 19. NEW THIS YEAR! Lower and Middle School students who sell at least three books can participate in the first-ever GoPlaySave DRESS DOWN DAY on September 28!

Faculty/Staff Appreciation Lunch: October 4
Calling all cooks!  Our first Faculty/Staff Appreciation Luncheon is approaching –  October 4.  The theme is “Kick-off the School Year – Come tailgate with us!”  Please take this opportunity to show our faculty and staff how much we appreciate them! Please sign up to cook.

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