Letter from Cathey Goodgame – August 28, 2019

Dear ANCS Families and Friends,

We look forward to seeing each of you at Meet the School Family Night on Thursday, September 5 from 6:30 to 8:00 pm. In case you were wondering, this event was developed from parent/guardian and teacher/staff feedback a few years ago. We were already thinking of trying something different than a traditional Curriculum Night and a new structure became especially important when we moved to 8 classes for each student as part of our transition to IB MYP. There was no realistic way to have a meaningful rotation of 8 classes without the event lasting more than 3 hours so we came up with an event that has both a virtual aspect and an in-person one. Here’s what you need to know:

  • The event: All of the Middle Campus staff will be available on the ANCS Backyard, the newly renamed recess field, from 6:30 to 8:00 pm to meet, greet, chat, and get to know you better. We hope you will view the videos mentioned below before coming out to the event. We also ask that we all recognize that this night is not for individual conferences, rather to learn more about your child’s teachers and the other school family members at the Middle Campus. We encourage you to bring your kids, even younger ones, and you may even get the chance to meet some of our families.
  • Teacher videos: By Friday, August 30 we will release videos from each teacher or teaching pair. These videos will include information about the teacher(s), the classroom, and some of the big topics/standards that will be covered in the class this year and we hope it will take you less than 30 minutes to view all 8 of the subject area videos from your child’s teachers. I’ll send information about how to access those as soon as they are all ready to view.
  • FAQ video: When I send you the information about accessing teacher videos, I’ll also include the link to our FAQ covering as many of the common questions we are asked as possible. Many of these expectations will be common across all of the subject areas/grade levels so the teachers won’t include these in their videos.

Does it feel like your child is spending too much time each night doing homework? We hope that is not the case and want your help giving us feedback on this as the year progresses. In general, students in middle school should have a maximum of 60-80 minutes of homework each night. While there may be some outlier days, your child should not consistently be doing hours of homework. If your child is doing hours of homework regularly, here are some guidelines about how to help:

  • Encourage your child to complete homework the day it is assigned. With the A/B schedule this gives students a day between classes to seek help from teachers so they are ready to learn the next class day.
  • Be sure that the time spent on homework at home is quality time. Phones and games should be put away during homework time and homework should be done in a shared family space, like the kitchen table, not tucked away in their bedrooms.
  • If you’re confident the homework time is quality time, ask your child where he/she is struggling and encourage that to be written on the homework paper/document. Blank documents and blanket “I don’t get it” statements don’t help teachers know where students are struggling but an attempt at the work with questions definitely does help.
  • If your child seems to be struggling often in the same subject area, reach out directly to the teacher(s) to try to figure out what’s going on. With shared knowledge of what’s going on in class and what’s going on at home, we can definitely get your child back on track.

Finally, if your child attended ANCS last year, 2018-19, he or she should bring Milestones scores home to you on Thursday. We are asking students to put them directly into their backpacks after Advisory so you may need to ask for the envelope when your child arrives home. If your child does not have scores but took the Milestones at ANCS last year, please contact your child’s advisor(s) to see if perhaps the envelope was left behind.

Wishing you well,

Cathey