Hello MC families,
I’ll start off with a couple of reminders. Tonight at the Middle Campus there will be an information session about the 7th grade Jekyll Island trip at 6:30 pm in the Media Center. There will also be a parent Listening Circle about changes to the PTCA at 6:30 pm in Mr. Dewey’s room. We definitely want to hear your opinions about this so we encourage you to attend. Next Wednesday 10/4 there will be an information session about the 8th grade year-end trip to Savannah at 6:30 pm in the Media Center.
To start the week we had an hour long Morning Meeting on Monday that included a celebration of Hispanic Heritage. Our Heritage Speakers Spanish class opened up the meeting. For those that do not know, the Heritage Speakers Spanish class is a class for students who are fluent, or near fluent, Spanish speakers with familial connections to Latin culture. Instead of these students being in a class learning Spanish from the perspective of a student who is learning the language for the first time, this class allows our Heritage Speakers to dig into Latin heritage and culture in a class that is taught entirely in Spanish. On Monday the members of our Heritage Speakers class led the Brain Smart Start (BSS) to open the meeting. A BSS starts with a Uniting activity to bring everyone together, followed by a Connection Activity (usually some sort of play), then we Disengage Stress (calm our brains through deep breathing or laughter), and we wrap up with a Commitment once our brains are ready to learn and lock in on what we need to do for the day. The Heritage Speakers class led part of the BSS in Spanish including instructing us on the Disengage Stress portion of the BSS (we took 3 deep breaths) and we Connected over trivia about Latin culture. The remainder of the meeting was led by a pair of performers who taught us about various Latin dancing styles, their histories, and their cultural connections. We learned about Salsa, Merengue, Cha Cha, and Cumbia, then after getting some background about each dancing style and some brief instruction we all danced together. Yes, the majority of our middle schoolers were dancing along to music that they were not familiar with – this really happened! It was a great experience, it was a lot of fun, and many of us were sweating by the end of Morning Meeting. It was a fun, educational, and engaging way to learn more about Latin culture.
Fall Student-Led Conferences are coming up the week of October 23rd. This year we are making in-person conferences available to everyone. During these meetings, students will talk to their parents and their Advisor about how their approach to school and their study habits are impacting their performance in class. The preparation for student-led conferences starts with students doing their own reflection about how they are doing with exemplifying the Guiding Principles (Responsibility, Respect, Preparedness, Resolving Conflict, and Celebration) in their various classes. We have a Commitment to the Guiding Principles rubric (link here) that details the ways that exemplifying the Guiding Principles contributes to academic growth. For example, under the Guiding Principle of Responsibility you will see “works diligently during class to complete assigned tasks.” Under Respect you will see “Follows staff directions to keep the classroom environment safe and help students learn.” Under Preparedness you will see “Engages willingly with work that is difficult,” and “Keeps materials and work organized so that it is easy to locate when needed.” All of these behaviors are things that help students learn. We have students reflect on these behaviors, because if they are doing these things they will have success academically at school now and in the future.
Students began this process of reflection during Advisory this week. Next week students will receive feedback from teachers about their Commitment to the Guiding Principles, and students will compare how they think they are doing to what their teachers have said. Advisors will be reaching out to schedule student-led conferences with you starting today so keep an eye on your email.
As always if you have any questions feel free to reach out.