Middle School News – June 5, 2020

Happy Friday Everyone!

As you might know, Tuesday is game day! Here is the sign up for our last Tuesday game day! 2:00-3:00pm, voluntary for students. 

Integrated Arts (IA) activities. As you may recall, when we started requiring classes and assignments on April 6th, we talked about being told by the State of Massachusetts that students were to work at half measure for remote schooling. So, if students had been actually attending school in the building, most would have completed 88 IA classes/activities. Half of that in this remote work would have been 44 classes/activities. We actually decreased that number to 3 per week for a total of 27 IA activities due by June 5th…today. We have extended the due date to Monday, June 8th and hope that will allow more students to complete and thereby pass for the 4th quarter IAs. Quite a large number of students submitted work but did not share a link for the teachers to share the work. The IA teachers all went back into the IA document to review what was missing and your child should have gotten an email today. The 5 students in each grade with the greatest number of completed/approved IAs as of today, will earn a PRIDE t-shirt care of the PTO. We will let you know if your middle schooler won a t-shirt and how to collect it!

Device and Book Collection: During the following times, computer devices that had been loaned out will be collected back. Additionally, library books, classroom books and textbooks will be collected. A collection station and tables will be set up in the same location you picked up the loaner Chromebook—the Middle School South Gymnasium neat the Central Office. Following the same protocols, we ask that you remain in your car while returning the Chromebook (and charger), while we will update our records that it has been returned. Friday, June 12th, 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.; Monday, June 15th, 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.; Tuesday, June 16th, 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.

Best Buddies: This organization just made it into the middle school and then sadly, like everything else, was cut short by school closure. The student leaders would like to offer the community a chance to contribute to this school based organization by buying a t-shirt: The adult sizes link: https://route2apparel.com/nashobafund/shop/product-detail/22630579; The youth sizes link:https://route2apparel.com/nashobafund/shop/product-detail/22630581

Building an Inclusive Community: In January we asked faculty, students and parents to take a voluntary survey looking at self identity. This was spurred on as an entry point  in response to two things 1. a number of discriminatory student actions that had occurred at the middle school since the start of the school year, and 2. A growing number of students talking about harming themselves because they do not feel that they fit in or that they are seen for who they are. From that point, we have continued the dialogue with community members, parents and faculty about how to make GDRMS more inclusive for all students and adults. In the Fall, faculty members will be reading some books and having discussions about the content and how best to make our school a place where EVERYONE feels included as a part of the community. Here is a list of the first set of books voted on by the faculty from a much larger list. If parents/community members would like to join us in reading and delving into any of these books, please, by all means pick a book! Since we do not know what school will look like in the Fall, we are not sure exactly how these book studies will look either, but if there is a way to join the community and the faculty in a book study so that we work together to build a more inclusive community, let’s find it! This is a short list of books, if you are looking for more, I am happy to share the larger list. 

Blind Spot: The Hidden Biases of Good People  – Amazon

Troublemakers: Lessons in Freedom From Young Children in School Amazon

The Skin I’m In Amazon

Building an Academic Community: The Middle School Teachers Guide to the First Four Weeks of School Year Amazon

Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain Amazon

White Fragility: Why it is so hard for White People to talk about Racism Amazon


PRIDE: Determination: Be ready to learn. Don’t give up. Work hard.

#Master Today

Kathi McCollumn, Principal