Middle School News – September 12, 2019

Good Afternoon! Hope to see all of the parents/guardians tonight at Open House!

You may have heard of the Big Book Pages for Peace Project, well the original students would be 24 years old this year! And, the book has come back home to Groton! Celebrate the International Day of Peace and Peacemaker Betsy Sawyer’s legacy on Saturday, September 21, 2019 at the opening of the Groton exhibit of Big Book: Pages for Peace, the largest book in the world dedicated to the topic of peace. The new home for this incredible 12 by 20 foot book is at the Prescott Community Center in downtown Groton. The Pages for Peace Foundation invites the public to drop by and visit the exhibit between the Open House hours of 11 AM to 3 PM. Admission is free and all are welcome. Big Book Pages for Peace Summary  Peace Club Sign up ; Peace Club Meeting Dates

Students in Grades 5 and 6 will attend a presentation by Massachusetts Partnership for Youth on September 23rd or 24th on Navigating the Cyber World. Here are some parent/teacher resources: Teens and SmartphonesSafety in the CyberWorldResources

To further enhance our mental health education, on 9/23 and 9/24 we are bringing in Young Adult Speakers from a nonprofit called Minding Your Mind for the 7th and 8th grade students. During this educational presentation, students will hear from a young adult who has experienced a mental health challenge, developed healthy coping skills, and shares a message of hope that support is available. This evidence-based program is aimed at ending the stigma around mental health challenges and conditions while encouraging students to seek help for themselves or a friend as early as possible. Our Adjustment Counselors will continue to be available to any student seeking support before, during, and after this presentation.  Parents will be invited to an evening presentation on October 7th at 6:30 pm, more information to follow.

September 27th will be our first half day of the year. Dismissal will begin at 11:30. Teachers will be working on personalized professional development all afternoon.

PTO News: Less than two weeks left to get your GD Middle School Spirit Wear! Visit https://tinyurl.com/gdrms-spirit — where you can find t-shirts and sweatshirts starting at $12! (Store closes on 9/22) Also, don’t forget to donate to our “One-and-Done” Fundraiser through three easy ways: Check (payable to GDRMS), Paypal (https://paypal.me.gdrmspto), or Venmo (GDRMSPTO). And finally, if you’re interested in joining a PTO meeting, please email gdrmspto17@gmail.com and we will let you know our meeting times!

Finally, a word about attendance: There is no substitute for being in school each day, all day! The interactions with information, peers and faculty are integral to learning in a school environment. Last year, our attendance rate greatly improved from the previous year – thank you to parents and students for the clear effort to limit or eliminate unexcused absences! While we do believe students that are ill should stay home, we ask for every effort to get students to school on time. We will re-institute our tardiness response practice this year in an effort to hold students more accountable for getting up and ready in the morning! This excerpt is from our Student Handbook: A student arriving to school after 8:08 AM is considered tardy and must report to the main office for a tardy pass.  STUDENTS WILL NOT BE ADMITTED TO CLASSES WITHOUT A TARDY PASS AFTER 8:08 AM.  Upon the fifth (5th) unexcused tardy in any given quarter, the student will receive a 45-minute office detention.  Upon the 10th unexcused tardy in any given quarter, a parent/student conference will be set up with the administration to discuss alternative action.  The administration has the right to make a judgment regarding the legitimacy of the lateness.  The following are considered excused tardies: 1. Inclement weather winter mornings (icy, snowy), 2. Documented Illness, 3. Family Emergency, 4. Death in the family, 5. Medical, dental, court or legal appointments (documentation required), 5. Religious observances

PRIDE – Integrity: Demonstrate honesty. Being able to own your choices. To do the right thing when no one is looking.

Enjoy your evening! Kathi McCollumn, Principal