Jon's Weekly Update 9-16-16

posted Sep 16, 2016, 10:08 AM by Cynthia Friedman

IMPORTANT DATES:

Wed., Sept. 21                              School Pictures
Fri., Sept. 23                                Vision Screening
Tues, Sept. 273:15-4:00:            First TRUE Rehearsal
Thurs, Sept. 293:15-4:00:         TRUE Rehearsal
Thurs, Sept. 296-7pm:              Middle School Meeting (Starts in your student's 1st Period Classroom)
Tues, Oct. 43:15-4:00:                TRUE Rehearsal
Thurs, Oct. 63:15-4:00:             TRUE Rehearsal
Sat, Oct. 81-2pm                       TRUE Performance, Spencer Creek Grange
Fri., Nov. 11 ALL DAY               TRUE Performance, Oregon School Board Association Conference, Portland
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Dear Middle School Family,

I am your student's teacher for Communications and Humanities this year.  My goals, for all of us, are to become more careful listeners and more articulate speakers, more effective writers and more critical readers.  Fundamentally.  I also want to help the students learn to leverage the power of these skills to make the world a better place through art and expression, through the study of other cultures and systems of civilization.

We all have a lot to learn.  We never stop learning to communicate more effectively.  We never stop learning how to be better humans.

The work load has been light this week.  The classwork has been very managed and interactive.  It will continue to be pretty structured for the next few weeks, as we help the students understand how to complete their regular assignments successfully.

 In addition to studying Math and Science with Carrie, your student has PE and Study Hall twice a week, as well as two Electives.  It's a full schedule, for sure.  We're all still getting used to the new transitions and program structure, but all in all, the days are flowing pretty smoothly.

Jupiter Ed and Work Management and Grading
We use the online Student Information System, Jupiter Ed, to manage the students' assignments and grades.  I sent a paper home this week with login instructions.  I'll also be sending you a separate e-mail with a quick link to log you into the system.  Please update your phone number in the system when you first log in.  

In Jupiter Ed, you'll be able to see all of your students assignments for their academic classes.  You'll also be able to monitor their progress.  We make every effort to keep up with our grading.  Most of the time, we should have the grading for the week caught up by the end of the weekend.  If there is a grade or 'missing' for the assignment, we're caught up!  If there's no grade, we haven't completed the grading yet.

This year for Humanities and Communications, your student has a three ring binder with a divider for each subject, where they turn in their assignments.  There is also a planner page at the front of the binder to help them keep track of due dates, and make plans to get their work done.  These binders live at school, but they can come home to help students complete their school work, if they fall behind.

I won't be assigning any home-specific homework.  In other words, the only "Homework" your student will have is work they didn't complete in class.

TRUE, The Ridgeline Ukulele Extravaganza
Ukulele has become an elective in our new program format.  If your student wants to participate in TRUE, they are required to take Ukulele as an elective all three terms.  I've separated the 7th graders and 8th graders for the first term, so the 8th graders can continue to prepare for the performances we have in October and November (that the 7th graders simply won't be ready for.)  I also want to be able to work more directly with the 7th graders to help them get the basics down, so they're ready to join the group for performances after Winter Break.

After School Rehearsals for 8th Graders start on Tuesday, September 27, and are every Tuesday and Thursday from 3:15-4pm.  I'm still finalizing our performance schedule for November, and it's going to be packed.  We need to get ready.  

The 7th Graders who would like to participate in the performance group will be invited to join the after school rehearsals on November 29, once we've cleared the calendar of Fall performances.  I'm going to ask the 8th graders joining TRUE for the first time this year to wait until November 29 to join the after school rehearsals, as well.

I will send home an information packet with ukulele students next week.  Cost for the 8th graders is going to be $250 for the school year.  (Roughly 100 hours of after school rehearsals and performance opportunities.)  Cost for the 7th Graders (and late-start 8th graders) will be $190 (due to the shorter season).  Scholarships for reduced tuition will be available.

That's it for this week.  Please don't hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.  The sooner the better!

Best,
Jon and Maizzy
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