10/13/2022 Family Letter
Dear JHS 202 Families,
Thank you for your extra efforts and support with our new school year.
Today I am sharing important updates and news taking place here at school. I also thought this would be the perfect opportunity to send out this year's Mission, Vision, Principal Focus, and Instructional Focus. Each statement serves its own specific purpose and emphasizes the purpose of our work together. Our statements were created using a number of different data points and feedback from stakeholders all in an effort to support our students in their educational journey. Please take a look at the statements. Should you have any questions feel free to contact us for clarity.
Mission - The mission of Robert H. Goddard Middle School is to prepare our students for the rigorous demands of the academic and work world, so they reach their potential as self-directed, creative, and socially responsible individuals. We will accomplish this goal by excellence in teaching and utilizing technology while building active partnerships with our parents and community.
Vision - The vision of Robert H. Goddard Middle School is to develop our students into well-rounded, intelligent members of society who aspire to achieve their full potential.
Principal Focus - I will create opportunities for teachers to build capacity around teacher practices by emphasizing a commitment to common planning, professional development, and cycles of observations, all to promote students’ ability to think critically and become global citizens.
Instructional Focus - Students will engage in classroom discussions across all content areas to help build self-confidence and independent thinking, ultimately preparing them for the challenges of high school and beyond.
Below you will find general school information, important dates, and other reminders for families in the early stages of our school year.
Yondr pouches - Our Yondr policy is up and running. Every student is required to secure their phone before entering the building. Cell phones are a major distraction and, in many cases, misused in school communities. We are providing students and families with a “cell phone free zone school” to ensure academics along with social and emotional health are our top priorities. Continue to monitor cell phone use at home. Maintain their passwords, screen names, and full accessibility to all of their apps. Have conversations daily with your children and remind them of the dangers of group chats with unknown numbers. This is an issue we have been dealing with all year.
AM/PM extracurricular activities and sports - We are in the early phases of kicking off all after-school clubs, activities, sports teams, etc. Students will be made aware of all offerings in a variety of ways. Some may be announced during gym periods. Sign-up information will also be shared during homeroom announcements. Some teachers will recruit within their classes, others will post sign-ups outside their doors. This year we may also list after-school clubs on the school’s website so parents can view offerings firsthand.
Homework - Every afternoon or evening students should be reminded to complete their homework. Homework is a crucial part of the reinforcement of information learned during the school day. Most teachers give homework daily. I understand the challenges with time in our lives and know the difficulties with devoting time to homework with your children. However, you should know what is expected from their teachers and have ongoing conversations about their academic progress.
Student’s Progress Reports - Progress reports will be sent in the first week of November. Please have discussions with your child regarding these reports. If you see missing work or lower grades, please reach out to the teachers and set up a conference to discuss a plan. Teachers have embedded time in their week to meet with parents on Thursday mornings. If this time does not work, work with the teacher to find a mutually agreed time.
Safety Drills - Every year schools are required to perform safety drills. Drills are executed to better prepare staff and students in the event of an emergency. We review the expectations for students early in the year and remind everyone of procedures before and after drills. Listening to the directives of adults is key. We ask you to talk to your children at home about taking ALL safety drills seriously.
Monthly Parent Meetings (PTA & other) - Each month our school will host a virtual PTA meeting. To access the virtual meeting, a link will be shared on our school website www.ms202q.org for parents. The agenda for the monthly meeting will include a brief overview of fundraising efforts or other PTA-sponsored events. This also gives me the opportunity to speak directly to you. A representative from our administration team will always be present and allow time for questions. To date, we have facilitated a number of parent information sessions and will continue to do so for the remainder of the year.
GAM (DOE messaging system) - This will be the main method for communicating with parents. Please make sure your email and cell phone numbers are updated in your child's NYSCA profile. At this point, every parent should have the ability to log in and update info. My hope is to use the text messaging feature regularly once more parents' cell phone numbers are in our database.
Election Day – Tuesday, November 8th. No school for students, and this includes no remote learning.
Veterans Day – Friday, November 11th School is closed for staff and students. A national holiday held on the anniversary of the end of World War I (November 11) to honor US veterans and victims of all wars. We thank all of our Veterans for their service to our country.
Turkey Trot Dance - Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday before Thanksgiving break. Each grade will be assigned a day. The dance is scheduled in the afternoon during regular school hours. Students who are not in disciplinary jeopardy, including violation of our Yondr phone policy will be issued a free ticket to the dance.
Thanksgiving Break – Thursday, November 24, and Friday 25th. School closed for staff and students.
I will continue to update families throughout the year. I hope to see you at our monthly meetings.