Jon's Weekly Update 9-18-14

posted Sep 22, 2014, 10:47 AM by Cynthia Friedman


Fri., Oct. 3: Vision Screening

Sun., Oct. 5, Time TBA: Ukulele Performance: Cozmic Pizza

Wed., Oct. 8                 Bike & Walk to School Day

Fri., Oct. 10                   NO SCHOOL – Statewide In-Service

Fri., Oct. 10: Cycle 1 of the Academic Calendar Ends

Sat., Oct. 11, 12-6pm: Ridgeline Block Party at Southtowne Shoppes

Sat., Oct.: Time TBA: Ukulele Performance @ Southtowne Shoppes


Dear Middle School Family,


It was great to see so many of you at the class meeting last week.  Thank you for coming, and thank you for signing up to volunteer!  So exciting to have such a solid list of eager participants.


I have a couple of important announcements to share this week, and some information about keeping up with your student's progress and grades.  I will send out a separate e-mail posthaste, with more detailed information about the Middle School coursework and grading policies.  (It was just too much to send out in one e-mail, and I want the subject header to be more easy to find for your future reference.)  Here we go:


Movie Madness Basket for Ridgeline Rising Silent Auction Basket

Our class has chosen a "Movie Madness" theme for the Silent Auction.  The students' idea was that we'd have family friendly DVDs and snacks for movie nights.  Bring in a favorite to share.  Even pre-loved classics (movies, not snacks) are welcome!  Deadline for donations is October 1.  We also need a classroom parent volunteer to put the basket together and make it enticing.  Help!


Womenspace Fundraiser at Cozmic Pizza

The Ridgeline Ukulele Extravaganza has been asked to perform at Cozmic Pizza on October 5 as part of a fundraising concert in support of Womenspace.  I say yes to almost every performance opportunity that arises, but I'm particularly proud that we get to be a part of supporting this important organization.  


That said, we are NOT ready, as a class, to perform a 40 minute set for a real audience.  I've asked some alumni to come back and join a handful of the 8th graders in some extra rehearsals to brush up our chops for the concert.  Don't worry, 7th graders, you'll get your chance!  We've also been asked to participate in the GRRRLZ Rock Festival in November.  More on that later.


Ridgeline Rising Ukulele Performance at Southtowne Shoppes

We've also been asked to perform a set at the Ridgeline Rising event at the Southtowne Shoppes on Saturday, October 11.  We're not ready for that one yet, either, but we're going to go for it, anyway.  I'll still have some alumni come back and play with the 8th graders on a couple of songs, but I'd love for the 7th graders to come out and play 1-3 songs with the group, as well (depending on where we're at).  Times are still being determined.  I'll know more by next week.


Jupiter Grades Login Information

I will send you an e-mail with a direct link to your personal connection to Jupiter Grades.  You should receive it within minutes after you receive this e-mail.  If you don't, please let me know!


Which brings me to the big topic of this week's e-mail: How does this grading thing work?


Cut to the Chase: Is My Student Getting their Work Done?

Here's the scoop, the truth, the reality of the matter: I spend at least 10 hours on the weekend catching up with grades and prepping for the week.  During the school day, Carrie and I are working with students in groups and individually pretty much non-stop. We do our best to keep up with grading during the week as it comes in, but it boils down to this:


Grading for the prior week will be caught up by Saturday.

Planning for the next week will be finished by Sunday.


Log in to Jupiter Grades to see a pretty accurate picture of what your student is up to, but please understand that the grades won't be up to date until Saturday for the previous week.  If you want to support them getting their work in, check in with them on Thursday: Break out their planner and ask them what assignments they have finished.  Help them understand that they need to turn them in to get credit for them.


IMPORTANT: If we have graded any assignment in question, either a grade, or "missing," will appear for the assignment. 


The only instance where the "Due Dates" get confusing is with the math.  We're helping the students to work at a reasonable (for them), productive pace on the math.  If you're concerned about your students progress in math, according to the plan we've laid out, let's talk about it!


If you're ever in doubt about anything, bottom line: call or e-mail me and let's do a face to face and have a conversation.  We're in this together.


Thank you for your support of our Middle School community. 

Jon and Carrie


P.S. Remember to watch for two more e-mails: Jupiter Grades Login, and Ridgeline Middle School Coursework and Grading Policies.


Jon Labrousse
Middle School Teacher