I hope your summer is off to a fantastic start! I am excited about the upcoming school year. Page 3

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1 NEWSLETTER June/July 2015 Ms. Traci Hammes, Principal FROM PRINCIPAL HAMMES I hope your summer is off to a fantastic start! I am excited about the upcoming school year. Page 3 We will be having our Orientation for all 7 th grade parents and students (and any new SMS students to the district) on Aug. 5 7pm in the gymnasium. This will be an opportunity for parents to hear about the school s policies and procedures. This is also a good opportunity for students to find their classrooms and locker. The SMS Open House will be on Aug. 17 7pm. This will be a time for parents to meet their child s teacher and see the classrooms. I strongly encourage you to attend. Middle school can be a confusing time for parents as well as for their kids. Your child is becoming more independent yet still needs your support as much as ever. While you may decide to allow your child more autonomy in some areas, be sure to stay actively involved in your child s school. Research shows that children whose parents are engaged in their education are more likely to achieve academic success. On the next page you can find some helpful tips for middle school parents and students as we begin the school year. UPCOMING EVENTS July 30 th : Seaman HS (11:00-7:00) August 5 th : New Student Orientation (7:00) August 13 th : First Day of School August 17 th : First Day of Fall Sports Practice August 17 th : Open House (7:00)

2 2 10 Tips for a Successful Start at SMS 1) Online Registration: The online registration will start on Monday July 6 th. You will receive an from Seaman Technology towards the end of June with your snap-code information. Please remember that if you do your registration online there is no need to attend the on-site registration. We strongly encourage you to complete the registration online. However, if for some reason you are unable to, the SMS on-site registration will be held on Thursday July 30 th at Seaman High School in the main gym from 11am-7pm. 2) Practice: Look at your schedule and find your classrooms. SMS office staff will be on duty starting Tuesday July 28th. Feel free to come in to walk through your class schedule and to practice the lock on your locker. 3) Knowing your plan for before school & after school: School starts at 7:50 am and dismisses at 3:00 pm. Students should not be in the building prior to 7:20 am. Students need to be picked up by 3 pm unless they are staying after school for a school-sponsored event. 4) Lunch: Your 5 th hour teacher will escort your class to the lunchroom. We do not have assigned seating but you only have 25 minutes to eat your lunch. When it s time to return back to class your teacher will pick you up from the cafeteria. 5) Book Bags and Cell Phones: Book bags have to remain in your locker during the school day and cannot be taken from class to class. Cellphones cannot be used during the school day and have to remain in the student s locker. 6) Supply Lists: Supply lists from each team will be posted on the SMS website. 7) Seminar: Seminar time runs from 2:30-3:00 every day. This is a very important and busy time for students. Students will have the opportunity to work on homework, get assistance from teachers, and go to school athletic/activity meetings during this time. 8) PowerSchool: Teachers use PowerSchool to post and maintain grades. Please help us monitor and motivate your student by frequently checking their academic progress. PowerSchool can also be used to contact any of their teachers. 9) Get Involved: At SMS we have numerous athletic and activities available. Please visit the SMS website to learn more about our athletics and activities. 10) RELAX! First day jitters for students (and parents) are 100% normal. Don t be scared to ask questions to any SMS staff member. We are here to help and want each and every student to have a successful school year! 2

3 Teaming at Seaman Middle School 3 Respect Effort - Responsibility What is Academic Teaming? Academic teaming, at its most basic level, is a group on interdisciplinary teachers (Language Arts, Science, Math, Social Studies, Special Education) who share common students in order to combine resources, interests and knowledge to meet the unique needs of students. Why Is Teaming Good for Teachers? Prevents isolation Shares joys and burdens Establishes common goals, expectations and routines Designs a common calendar so all students are more likely not to miss your assignment in lieu of another assignment Why Is Teaming Good for Students? promotes a sense of belonging within a group. enhances motivation and enthusiasm for learning through individual classroom study and team interdisciplinary units. allows teams to establish goals to better meet students' needs. helps teachers monitor attendance and behavior and address individual concerns/issues. teaches students necessary organizational and time management skills. provides common time for group/classroom guidance activities with support staff. How Does Teaming Help Teachers Help Students? helps teachers know their students and their needs better. enables teachers to implement interdisciplinary instruction, student incentive and recognition programs, and field trips. 3

4 4 How Does Teaming Help Teachers Help Students? (cont.) provides meeting time where teachers can: o discuss academic, social and behavioral concerns. o monitor students' progress. o conference with parents. o coordinate homework, tests, quizzes, projects, field trips and interdisciplinary units. o consult with support personnel (counselors, school nurse, school psychologist) regarding individual student concerns/issues. o support each other through shared goals, intellectual stimulation and better communication. o evaluate teaching strategies/techniques through daily collaboration with team members. How Does Teaming Help Parents? allows for more parental involvement. enables parents to communicate and monitor student progress with all core teachers via a common team meeting time. provides timely and consistent information regarding homework, test, quizzes and projects. What are the SMS teams? SMS has three 7 th grade teams (Seadogs, Viperfish, Wobbegongs) and three 8 th grade teams (Barracudas, Piranhas, Stingrays). There are at least five teachers on each team. Each team consists of students. 4

5 5 Highlights of this past year in the area of athletics and activities: Our sports teams performed well most competing for league titles and improved all season but three groups won a league title and they were: 7 th Grade Girls Basketball 8 th Grade Boys Basketball 8 th Grade Scholar Bowl We sent an incredible number of kids to Kansas State History Day after winning regionals. We sent 21 to state at Washburn University and 4 will get to National History Day in Washington D.C. this June. In giving back to the community the STUCO sponsored a school carnival before Thanksgiving raising $4500. Our Power Club held a one day food drive May 1, 2015 and gathered 920 cans for Topeka Rescue Mission. Over 500 students were involved in a club or sport at Seaman Middle School last year and we look forward to another year of involvement Our first day of KSHSAA sports will be August 17, To be involved in any sport, such as Cross Country, Football, Volleyball, Dance, Cheer, or Girls Tennis this fall you will need to have the usual, KSHSAA Pre-participation Physical (dated after May 1, 2015), USD 345 Assumption of Risk Form, and the State mandated Concussion Awareness Form. However, this year we are adding a new element, Random Drug Testing for all KSHSAA athletes. This new policy will be mandatory to all students once they are entered in our KSHSAA clearing house webpage but parents can request their students be tested as well. There is that possibility that we will add your students name to the list of students who could potentially be tested for illegal drugs throughout the school year even though they are not involved in KSHSAA sports. There will be an informational meetings scheduled this summer that will discuss the additional requirement of drug testing at Seaman High School. I will also answer any questions you might have about this process as we see this as an assistance to parents. I personally see this as positive piece for drug prevention in our community because one of the first step after testing positive with this new policy will be counseling for our students. We will still be undergoing some construction in the fall and this will be a challenge for our kids and coaches but in the long run we will have state of the art facilities for our kids. We will have the best facilities of any middle school in our League or Northeast Kansas, just as I feel our programs go beyond what others offer. There will be an information table at enrollment to collect physicals, assumption of risks, and concussion forms and hand out fall sports schedules. We will have plenty to offer this fall beyond the usual sports, we will also have a Stage Band and Jazz Band for kids this fall plus a Fall Drama Production. All of these activities will begin after the kids start school and there will be announcements and meetings about the start dates. I hope you all have a restful summer and we already look forward to the start of next year. 5

6 6 End of the Year Festivities The SMS administration, teachers, and staff want to congratulate and thank all students for an exciting and successful school year. We hope that the 8 th graders who promoted to the high school enjoy their time and continue to find success, and that the 7 th graders will return in the fall ready to lead the school into a great school year. 6

7 June Newsletter 8 TH GRADE PROMOTION SEAMAN MIDDLE SCHOOL 5620 NW Topeka Blvd. Topeka, Ks (785)

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