Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Open House Presentation Post

For those of you who missed Open House on Monday night, 9-14-2015, I decided that I could alter my presentation into a blog post so everyone could access the information. The presentation was a tour of the Junior High website so there are many different hyperlinks throughout the post. Please feel free to click on them to see the wonderful information shared on the website.

Welcome to tonight's junior high school open house. We have had a great start to the school year and I thank you all for the opportunity to educate your child. We have an excellent junior high school here and I am thrilled to welcome you here to the junior high family tonight.

We are going to do things a little bit differently tonight. We are going to do a "tour" of the junior high through the junior high school website.

We are going to start on the district website www.ewgrsd.org - that stands for EWG regional school district.

There is a lot of great information on both the district and school websites and I encourage you to look around on them when you have a chance. I will walk you through many of the highlights now.

I would encourage you to bookmark sites you find particularly helpful.

There are many great links from this homepage including links for the school calendar, sports forms and policies, all school committee meeting minutes and policies, the district strategic plan as well as the superintendent's blog.

You may have noticed an increase in blog writing and social networking by EWG administration this year. It is part of our strategic plan and part of our attempt at increasing communication throughout the district. I myself have also started a blog this year which we will visit later.

If you move your cursor over the top tab and highlight Schools, you will we a drop down of all of the schools in the district. From here we are going to choose Junior High to get to the next stop in our tour tonight.

This is the main place for information about the junior high school.

You can see here in the middle that we have been recognized as a NELMS (New England league of middle schools) spotlight school. We have been a spotlight school since 2006.

You can also find a link to a video highlighting the junior high as well as a video I shared with the school committee about the junior high school last year.

On the far right hand side you will find our daily announcement posted here. The announcements are also emailed home daily. If you do not get them and would like them, be sure to contact Mrs. Hawley. This is a great place for parents and students to check if they need more information on a variety of topics.

Underneath that is our junior high school calendar. This shows upcoming events. Including tonight's open house, our back to school dance this Friday, September 18, the upcoming Washington DC trip, as well as junior high picture day on October 2.

At the bottom of the page here is the 2015-16 school calendar, the lifetouch picture order form, and the insurance information that is required for all sports and available to all students at the school. The documents listed here change often depending on what is going on in the school, so be sure to check back often.

On the left hand side starting at the bottom there is a link back to the district page as well as some teacher resources. Many of which require logon.

Next is information about the different junior high sports.

Going up the page on the left there is summer reading information, which some of you will need again for next summer.

And a staff directory page which lists all of the staff, their email addresses and their roles at the school.

In addition to the teachers, we have several support staff I would like to highlight. Each year the support staff introduce themselves to the students in 7th grade health classes. So all 8th graders should know them from last year and 7th graders are meeting them through their health classes now.

Alan Ezovski is our school social worker and Liz Lurgio is our school psychologist. Dawn Seitz is our school nurse. Catherine Murray is our school guidance counselor, and Kathy Sirr our school Speech Language Pathologist, they are the key support staff at the junior high.

If you have any non-academic concerns for your child, Ms. Murray is a great place to start as she communicates with all of our support staff and academic teams and myself on a regular basis. She can also help direct you to whatever services and supports you might need.

Ms. Murray is also involved in our partnership with parents program which is the next tab. She is also the advisor for the Junior High Talk Show. As you click on the link and scroll down you will see videos from past years that the students have put together. New videos will be added as students create them this year.

Next tab up is a parent FAQ. This was created with input from our school improvement team last year to help address some of the questions that parents might have about the junior high.

It explains briefly teaming and looping and has more information about academics including contacting teachers and setting up meetings. It explains our schedule, blocking, the intervention period, the advisory program as well as what specials students take in 7th and 8th grade.

Extra curricular opportunities highlight the different sports and clubs that are available for students. Also mentioning that we run late buses Monday's and Wednesday's at 2:45 PM starting October 1.

The technology practices page talks about the Aspen parent portal. This is a vital communication tool between the school and home. If you have not used aspen before, it is a great resource for parent communication and a way to stay informed about your child's grades. There are a few general videos about Aspen, including a general overview, how to check grades and subscribing to email notifications.

Next you will find the direct link to my blog. I send out an email update through Aspen when I post a new blog message, but it can also be accessed directly from the junior high site.

My blog generally consists of more detailed information about the happenings at the school and I am hoping to spotlight activities students are doing in the classroom. I would like to include pictures of students on my weekly blog. If you don't want you child's picture included in blog posts, please email me directly so I will know which students I should not post pictures of.

The next tab shows the monthly Lunch menus.
And then there is a link to our Jr. High stem park site. We are currently in the process of creating an outdoor science park in the back of the school.

The I-ready link is one that we will be working on with students in school.

The important documents link is just what you would expect, a place to find important documents for the junior high. Including the 1:1 agreement form, BCI forms for parents who want to chaperone dances or field trips, medical and school lunch forms, as well as the student handbook which contains up to date information including policies about attendance, cellphone usage, discipline, dress code, and other academic policies.

There is a link to the health office page including guidelines about when to keep your child home as well as contact information for the nurse.

Next is the family resources page. This website was created by the support staff here and throughout the district. This website is a wealth of information. There are a lot of great resources here on topics including healthy relationships, self esteem, bullying, digital citizenship and many more.

The discover DC trip is also linked here. All forms and information about the trip as well as fundraising and contact information, is included here.

For those of you interested in obtaining additional insurance for your child's iPad there is a link to the apple insurance. We have applecare on all of the iPads at the junior high which covers most incidental damage and covered all of the damage we had to devices last year, but you are welcome to get additional insurance if you would like.

Back to the top of the page, you will find links to the team pages as well as special subjects teacher pages. These pages have a great deal of information for students and their parents. Some of the information that is shared includes: homework, notes, project information, contact information for teachers, grading rubrics and more. Each teacher's website is individual and has different information on it.

In addition to the specialists websites we also have information about band and chorus. There is also a link to the library homepage. There are a lot of great resources that students can access from the library page. Bevin Winner, our school librarian will also be running an after school activity called "Maker space". There are flyers about the maker space here that you should pick up on your way out.

Thank you for reading about our open house.