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2017 Principal's Welcome Letter

posted Aug 16, 2017, 12:37 PM by Stacey Rust-Belforti

August 2017

Greetings!

On behalf of The Middle School at Parkside, welcome to what promises to be an exciting and rewarding year.  This year we will focus on three areas leading to making Parkside a school that works to meet the needs of your child and the community..  First, the regular and constant improvement of academic achievement for all students.  Second, climate and culture that will provide a safe and positive learning atmosphere for your child.  To tie it all together we must be a true team for the benefit of all of our students.  This means engaging each and every parent, guardian and family member in the activities not only involving their child but the entire program at Parkside.  

Throughout the year all teachers and staff members will actively teach the curriculum and work to use methods used to provide your child with the best instruction.  Your child will participate in locally derived and designed curriculum targeted at the achievement of significant standards.  Our goal is to use the best practices available in all areas.  To this end two very important subjects have been added (or returned) to the curriculum.  Spanish has been returned to the middle school curriculum.  Parkside will continue to offer Spanish I for possible high school credit at West and will also offer an introductory 7th grade course for some students.  Next year we will expand the introductory process to grade 6.  All 7th graders will now take a Health Course for a semester.  This in combination with our offering of Family and Consumer Science will help students understand and make healthy choices during this very important and impactful time of their personal development. Finally we are expanding our Art offerings to include the possibility of earning high school credit at West.  A group of 8th graders will complete Fundamentals of Art and our new 3D Design course over the course this year for potential high school credit.  We will also maintain the program offering possible high school credit  at West for the successful completion of Algebra I.   Students can now leave middle school with up to three high school credits pre-earned at West High School.  This allows them to really expand their horizons toward  greater achievement or areas of interest.  

In order to be successful a person must have strong abilities in reading and math.  All students can benefit from participation in a reading improvement program. This year Parkside students will use Reading Plus software three times per week to address reading growth needs.  This will not get underway school wide until semester 2.  We are thankful to the United Way, our partner in this effort for providing a software license for each student at Parkside for the next three years.  In addition, The United Way has provided funding for a reading incentive program for students.  

 

Through the continued use of PBIS (Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports), student behavior and academic engagement will be targeted for constant improvement.  We continue to use and develop common protocols and procedures in classrooms to assist students in developing positive habits that support success.  

Parental and family involvement wraps this entire package up and truly creates a team that works together.  None of us can do this alone.  Student success demands a partnership between the Student, Teacher and Staff as well as the Parent/Guardian.  To open this year you will be contacted by phone by one of your child’s teachers to welcome you to the school year and establish communication.  A mandatory parent/guardian meeting will be held three times during the week of September 11th.  It is so important for you to attend one of the meetings.  Each opportunity is held at a different time to allow for variety in parent schedules. (Option 1 - Sept. 12 at 9:00 a.m.;  Option 2 - Sept. 14 at 6:30 p.m.  Option 3 Sept. 16 at 9:00 a.m.)   At this meeting you will learn of the programs and supports available to your child in addition to the program offerings here at Parkside  In the meanwhile you must check your child’s agenda book daily to be in communication with your child and his/her teachers.    

You can check the school website at http://parkside.mansd.org/ for announcements and information.  Fall Athletics are explained on the site. Your child will have access to grade and attendance information through their ASPEN Student Portal.  Working with your child, you can check attendance and progress on a regular basis.  

Your child will be preparing for you to attend our back to school event at the end of September.  A flyer will be sent home with your child and details will be posted on the website.   Each child will bring home a form for you to sign up for a 15 minute appointment during which your child will be going over all of the materials from the beginning of the school year with you.  Your child will receive a grade in each class for preparing for this event.  More detailed information will be sent via flyer and email as the year begins.  

We have a number of new staff here at Parkside for the coming year.  Please look for an email soon introducing them to you.  They will also be available at our Back to School Night Event(s).  

School begins for students on September 5th.   Students may enter the cafeteria beginning at 7:10 a.m. for breakfast.  Students are admitted to the building at 7:30 a.m. from their waiting areas behind the building.   Class begins at 7:35 a.m.  School is dismissed at 2:20 p.m.  On the first day of school students will report to a designated location at 7:30 a.m. to pick up their schedule (6th grade - Gym, 7th Grade - Cafeteria, 8th grade - Library)

This promises to be an academically challenging and rewarding year for your child.  Please do all you can to get involved daily with your child’s progress and stay informed.  Again on behalf of the entire staff at The Middle School at Parkside, I welcome you and your child to a new and exciting school year.  Feel free to contact us if  you have any questions or concerns.    

With Parkside Pride,

Forrest Ransdell

Principal,

Middle School at Parkside

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