August 19, 2019, Principal Lorraine Johnson
Counselors' Corner (August)
By Rebecca Hill and Maranda Holmes
The 2019-2020 school year is off to a great start at Madras Middle School. Staff members have been hard at work preparing and planning for the start of school and the arrival of our students. We are looking forward to working together as a team to provide your child the very best educational experience.
Our newsletter is one way we maintain communication between school and home. It contains a variety of academic updates, important dates, and items of interest. You can assess our site and all newsletters on our school's website.
The following are important reminders to help all students start the year strong:
- Let your child know you think school is important. Talk to him/her about what they’re learning.
- Encourage persistence: Children learn persistence when they are successful at a challenging task. Let them know that not everything comes easy. This will help them gain confidence and successfully negotiate difficult situations when they are older.
- Talk to them about their future: School success is one of the keys to a successful future. Talk with them about their dreams/goals and make the connection to how school fits within this vision.
- Encourage your child to get enough sleep to ensure that he/she is able to get up in the morning.
- Leave home with plenty of time to get to school. Students should be in homeroom ready to start their day by 8:15 each morning.
- Try to schedule appointments before or after school hours.
School Rules, Policies, and Expectations
- Familiarize yourself with the school rules, guidelines, and expectations in the CCSS Middle School Handbook.
- Reinforce that school is currently their “job” and just like your job, there are expectations. This will help them prepare for high school and beyond.
- Talk to your kids about the rules at your job. Compare them. For example, what is the dress code at your job? This helps students understand the purpose of school policies.
The counseling office is available to all students and parents. We have numerous resources available. The counselors provide guidance, peer mediation, individual, and group counseling.
Feel free to stop by the counseling office to meet with your child’s counselor if you have an issue or concern. You can also call or email us. Students can sign up to see an administrator or counselor at any time by completing the request form linked on our website.
Karen Pitts, Media Specialist
We have had an exciting two weeks in the Library Media Center at Madras! Every ELA class has had the opportunity to visit the library and check out at least one book. Students can check out two books at a time from Madras and may keep them for two weeks at a time. Students may return or renew books at any time; however, late fines of 10 cents per book, per day are assessed so please encourage your student to return books on time.
All of our ELA classes will have regularly scheduled days and times to bring their classes or send their students to the library as needed. Please ask your student what they are reading, and check out our Library Media Center website at https://madrasreadingeagles.weebly.com/ or you may click on our link from the Madras Middle School website. Also, follow the Library Media Center on Twitter @madrasreadingea and on Instagram @madrasreadingeagles to see what is happening.
We are very excited to begin this school year and to support and encourage reading at Madras! We look forward to a great year with another Battle of the Books competition, monthly Book Club meetings, Library Ambassadors, and two scheduled Scholastic Book Fairs.
READ! READ! READ!
Madras Parent Volunteer Training
- August 19, 8:30 or 3:00
- August 26, 8:30 or 3:00
- September 16, 8:30 or 3:00
- September 30, 8:30 or 3:00
- October 21, 8:30 or 3:00
- November 4 16, 8:30 or 3:00
- December 2, 8:30 or 3:00
- January 13, 8:30 or 3:00
- February 10, 8:30 or 3:00
- March 9, 8:30 or 3:00
- April 13, 8:30 or 3:00
New year, new exciting reading selections! Check out the latest in the Eagles media center!
Science lab fun in all grades! Exploring physical properties, properties of minerals, and density
8th Graders planning out a survival plan for a zombie apocalypse. #GAGeography #SS8G1 #SurvivingGeorgia #TeamONEders
From the United States Army to Stanford University, students set their goals high by researching colleges/military and creating pennants this week in Mrs. Farmer’s class! Excited for another great week ahead!
Lively discussion on how freeing revenge really is and how hard the instinct can be to suppress for some. It’s discourse like this that’s necessary in order to shift the tides toward empathy. #EaglesRISE
Band Instrument Rental Meeting
Eagles Host the Evans Cougars August 22nd in Home Opener
Boys Soccer Conditioning
Email Coach Zach Galatian at email@example.com with questions.
PTO: Join the Team!
Amy Brandon, PTO President
PTSO: Come Join our Team!
Welcome to Madras! The Mission of the Madras PTSO is to enrich the education of students at MMS by sponsoring and organizing fundraising and school events and by fostering relationships among the school, parents and students.
We have many opportunities to volunteer and get involved at Madras. Here are some examples:
Hospitality Committee - Teachers' Luncheons and Special Events
Box Tops/Coke Rewards/Amazon Smile
School Store - helping in the store 8:00-8:30 AM on a rotational basis
Snack n Chat (monthly)
Media Center (1-2 hrs per week)
Battle of the Books
Book Fair - Fall and Spring
Scoliosis Screening - one time event
Lamination/Copies for teachers
Special Event Assistance
This year our major focus is purchasing MimioFrame Touch Boards for the classrooms. We are planning for these to be installed during the first half of the school year!
We hope you will consider joining our team! You can join and pay directly online by clicking the ONLINE MEMBERSHIP (Or you can print the FORM and send it and your donation to your child’s homeroom teacher or to the front office. Checks should be made payable to Madras PTSO.)
At MMS, THE MADRAS FUND replaces fundraising. Please consider donating to the MADRAS FUND. MMS PTSO did not need extra fundraising for the last several years thanks to everyone’s support, but every family is needed to participate for continued success!
Suggested donation is $10 per student. Remember, PTSO is doing this so other major forms of fundraising will not be necessary throughout the school year. These donations can be made along with your membership!
If you have any questions, please contact the PTSO Board at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks in advance for your support!
First Day Informational Packets
Parents received a packet of information on the first day of school. Several forms will need to be returned to your child’s homeroom teacher by Friday, August 9th, including 1-6 below.
Please Return Immediately
- Clinic Card (white)
- Emergency Information Card (green)
- Truancy/Attendance Form
- Media Release Form
- Chromebook AUP (sixth grade only)
- Migrant Form
Return only if Applicable
- Club/Activity Form (ONLY if you do not want your child to participate in a particular club; no need to return otherwise)
- Free/Reduced Lunch Form if needed (Please return any blank, unused forms.)
- Medicine Form (if prescriptions are taken at school)
- Bus Driver Information Form (return to bus driver if applicable)
Do NOT Return (Information Only)
- Principal's Letter (no need to return)
- Additional informational letters (no need to return)
- Allergy Letter (no need to return)
Required Immunizations for ALL 7th Grade Students
The Georgia Department of Human Resources has issued an immunization update regarding Tdap (Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis) and Meningococcal immunizations.
Starting July 1, 2014 all children who were born on or after January 1, 2002 who are entering the seventh grade are required to have a
- Tdap and a Meningococcal immunization
- an updated immunization certificate (Form 3231) reflecting the administration dates of the two additional vaccines.
All rising 7th graders born on or after January 1, 2002, must have ONE of the following:
A current , up-to-date DHR Immunization Form 3231 reflecting the additional one dose of Tdap (Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis) vaccine and one Meningococcal conjugate vaccine have been administered OR
A signed immunization waiver (available at the school for eligible students only) granting an extension of 30 calendar days OR
A notarized affidavit affirming a religious belief conflict.
If you have any questions regarding your student’s immunization status, contact your child’s physician, the local Health Department, or the school nurse (Kate Caswell). We encourage you to attend to this promptly to avoid the “back to school” rush. Your new certificate can be obtained while your child is still in sixth grade and issued to the school.
Car rider drop-off and pick-up will be behind the school where students are picked up from athletic events (at the football field).
Parents should turn onto Frank Cook Road (first left past the school if coming down Edgeworth from highway 29).
Take the first left off Frank Cook from Edgeworth, and pass the bus loading loop and parking lot, continuing straight ahead and staying to the far right where the track loops around at the football field.
Cars will stop at the sidewalk by the football field until students are dismissed.
Once students have been dismissed to the car loading zone, staff will direct traffic (two car lanes) farther down the track which will help expedite the process.
The loop in front of the school will be reserved for students who check-in or check-out during the school day and for visitors’ parking.
- Students are assigned to ride school buses that will pick them up and drop them off in close proximity of their homes.
- Bus transportation is a privilege provided to all students who can cooperate and abide by the rules. Problems on a school bus are a road hazard; reasonable behavior ensures a safe ride. Parents should closely supervise children at bus stops to ensure their safety as they wait and properly board the school bus.
- If a student needs to ride a bus other than the assigned bus, the student must bring a note from the parent/guardian with a telephone number for verification. Once verified, these requests are honored if space allows. Transportation notes will be accepted in the form of a written letter, an e-mail, or by fax.
- Students do not need a transportation note to change from a car rider to a bus rider or vice versa on a given day. Notes are only needed if a students are riding a bus that is not their regular assigned bus (for example, going home with a friend on a different bus).
Arrival and Dismissal
- No student should arrive on campus before 7:30 a.m.
- Students arriving before 8:00 a.m. will report to the gym until they are told to report to homeroom at 8:00 a.m. (At 7:45 students who would like to eat breakfast will report the cafeteria.)
- Students who are not bus riders are encouraged to report to school after 8:00 a.m. and report directly to their homerooms.
- All students should be in homeroom by 8:15.
- Students may not remain at school after scheduled dismissal time unless they have prior approval from a staff member who will supervise them or they are a member of a club, athletic team, etc. sponsored by the school.
- Supervision will only be provided from 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. each day.
- Transportation changes will not be accepted after 3:00 p.m. If no prior written notification is received, your child will follow his/her regular means of transportation. NOTE: Bus drivers may not let a child off the bus at any stop other than his own without written and approved authorization to do so.
- Please do not meet the bus along the route and ask your child to get off. Please meet him/her at home instead.
Car Rider Diagram
Dropping Off Items for Your Child During the School Day
Dropping off Lunches or Medication: If a student forgets a lunch at home, parents may drop it off at the front office, and students will be called to pick up their lunch at the beginning of their scheduled lunch time. If a student needs medication, it can be dropped off at any time for the school nurse.
Dropping off Other Items:
Any other item dropped off for students during the school day may be picked up after school. Instruction will not be interrupted for students to pick up items during class. This includes forgotten homework, Chromebooks, shoes for PE, projects, etc. Students are responsible for bringing needed materials to class daily. If these items are brought to school during the day, we are happy to make an announcement at the end of the day for your child to pick them up in the front office.
Phone Use: Students are permitted to use a phone in the front office during school hours for emergencies or for illness. Calling home for homework, a school project, or to make arrangements to attend an after school event that wasn't previously arranged ties up phone lines and is not permitted. Students may call home if:
- There is a transportation issue,
- Lunch or lunch money is needed,
- Equipment is needed for after school athletics or activity.
- There is a dress code issue.
- The student is sick or needs medication (must call from the clinic under the nurse's supervision).
We appreciate your help in keeping interruptions to a minimum.
School Clinic and Medication
The MMS clinic is open daily from 8:00-3:30. Our school nurse Kate Caswell assists students who become sick or injured while at school and dispenses medications prescribed by physicians. Whenever it is necessary for your child to receive medication at school, the following policy must be followed:
- A school nurse or school designee may administer medication provided all of the requirements are met.
- All medicine shall be in its original LABELED container or prescription bottle.
- Written instructions for prescription medication must be from a doctor or a physician's assistant authorized to prescribe medicine. How to administer, amount to be administered, time to be administered, etc., must be shown.
- A written request by the parent or guardian must be made to the school nurse or school designee to administer any medication. The school nurse or school designee shall keep a written
Monitoring Progress, Grades, Assignments, and Attendance
Students will be assigned a login for Student Portal which will allow them to regularly monitor their grades and assignments. Once logged on the first time, they will be prompted to change their password. Students should keep this in a secure location and should never share the password with others.
Parent Portal provides access for parents to view students' attendance, grades, schedules, lunch balances, and other useful information. It also allows teachers to communicate with parents via the portal. You can enroll HERE, If you have questions about your portal account or are having trouble logging in, please contact Student Information Services by emailing email@example.com.
MyPayment Plus (Meal Accounts)
Parents can use their credit cards and debit cards to pay for lunch charges.
Mealpay Plus is a pre-payment system that allow parents to make deposits into their child's meal accounts via the Web. The payment service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. There is a one-time, free registration for each parent and multiple children at various schools can be accommodated.
Payments may be made by phone or over the Internet, with checking or savings accounts through an e-check, or by using debit or credit cards. (There is a 4.75 percent transaction fee for the service.) Of course, parents may continue to pay for their child's meal directly at school in the lunch line by check or cash.
- Access the system 24/7.
Make payments via credit cards, debit cards, or e-checks.
Receive low balance email reminders.
Pay with check, VISA, or MasterCard.
Receive confirmation of payments via email.
Make split payments for multiple students in one or more district schools.
View or monitor purchases made in the cafeteria.
Use MealpayPlus with confidence. MealpayPlus is PCI and VeriSign certified.
Receive Live Chat or toll-free support from knowledgeable, friendly and courteous staff.
Of course, parents may continue to pay for their child's meal directly at school in the lunch line by check or cash. The cost of breakfast is $1.00 and the cost of lunch is $3.05. Students may charge up to two lunches. Afterwards, they will be served an alternate meal until their balance is paid. Please contact cafeteria manager, Frances Singleton at 770-254-2744 if you have questions.
August is REACH Referral Month (Gifted Program)
The first semester window for Gifted Program (REACH) referrals is August 5 - 19. Paperwork should be requested from and returned to the local school. Please see additional information below and contact Shirley Wold, assistant principal, at 770-254-2744 if you have questions about the process or the program.
Types of Referrals
- Reported Referral: A student may be referred for consideration for gifted education services by teachers, counselors, administrators, parents or guardians, peers, self, and other individuals with knowledge of the student’s abilities.
- Automatic Referral: Students who score at the following specified levels on a norm referenced test, as defined by the GaDOE Resource Manual for gifted Education Services, shall be considered automatically for further assessment to determine eligibility for gifted program services.
Every new Coweta County student receives a Chromebook and charger that will be scanned into our system, and returning students will use the Chromebook they were assigned last year. Our students use their Chromebooks daily, and they they should be taken home and charged every night and brought to school with them each day.
We are excited about this opportunity provided to all of our students, and we encourage parents to regularly review guidelines for protecting their devices with their students. Protective cases are encouraged but not required, but we do encourage all students to have some type of protection as a safeguard. This could include a protective case, a neoprene cover or carrying case. Book bags (unless they have a built-in compartment for a device) are not always the best method to transport a Chromebook. If using a book bag, students should be careful not to sling their bags or stuff a Chromebook between heavier items that could damage it.
Replacement fee for lost or damaged Chromebooks is currently $148.00, and the replacement fee for the charging cord is $15.00.
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