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10/21/16 Principal's Weekly Communication

posted Oct 21, 2016, 6:51 AM by Stacey Rust-Belforti

Dear Parents, Guardians and Members of the Parkside Community,

We hope you and your family are well.  We are quickly approaching the end of the first quarter.  It is so hard to believe the year is going this fast.  There are a number of activities coming up as we reach the end of the quarter.  Some of our children are also facing significant challenges that are directly affecting their success.  

Halloween Dance

As noted in an earlier email, the first dance of the year is Friday, October 28th.  The dance is Halloween themed and costumes are encouraged both at school that day and for the dance.  Simple guidelines regarding costumes must be followed.  1. Dress must remain school appropriate in that proper body coverage is maintained and costumes should not promote alcohol, drug use or gang affiliation (per the dress code.)  2. Face paint and makeup is allowed but masks may NOT be worn.  The dance will run from 2:30 p.m. until 4:30 p.m.  Please make arrangements to have your child walk home or be picked up at 4:30 p.m.

Firefighter’s Challenge

The Firefighter’s Challenge will be Tuesday morning, October 25th.   This is an 8th grade activity students have signed up for.  It is our first year participating in this event.  We are undertaking the physical challenges and will build greater school wide involvement in the years to come.  7th Graders will be present to view the activity as well as the 8th graders.  

End of Quarter Coming!

At the end of each quarter Math and English Language Arts courses feature an end of quarter assessment/performance task.  These assessments are designed to help us all understand the level of success and learning achieved by students in their study during the quarter.  They also allow us to identify areas where additional instruction may be needed.  The assessment window opens on Monday.  Each teacher will determine when during the window the assessment will be given.  Please encourage your child to do their very best as these assessments are also a significant measurement of a student’s success.  

First Quarter ends on November 9th.  Report cards will be issued November 16th.  Please look for your child to bring the report card home.  A parent/guardian signature will be required.  Remember that quarter grades become part of a student’s transcript.


If your child is not attaining the level of success you believe he/she is capable of there can be many factors but several are under your direct control.  School attendance is a key factor.  It is perhaps the strongest indicator of potential academic success.  If your child is missing school not only are they missing the learning for the day but face having to catch up and challenges understanding the work when they return if an earlier activity is needed for success.  Please understand we take attendance very seriously and must take action to work with you to ensure student attendance.  In accordance with district policy, we have established several interventions and practices to assist with addressing attendance concerns.  Guidance works with students and parents to assist early in the process.  When the number of unexcused absences has reached 5, an initial truancy letter is sent to parents requiring a meeting and the development of an attendance plan.  If the pattern continues we will refer students to the Truancy Officer for intervention.  Finally, there are situations where we must refer attendance issues to outside organizations such as the Office of Youth Services or the Department of Children, Youth and Families (DCYF).  Please ensure your child is in school.  Please also ensure you send a note with your child if they are absent so we can correctly categorize the reason for the absence.  

Promoting Parkside

As noted there are always a number of great things happening.  I was honored to be asked to participate in a local radio show to highlight some of the good things here.  Here is a link to the podcast.


Have a great week.

Forrest Ransdell
Middle School at Parkside