7th Grade Family Newsletter

The beginning of the 2nd semester edition

Baby Lundgren Has Arrived........It's a GIRL!!!

Amara Lynn Lundgren

Born on December 5

Weighed 8 lb. 15 oz.

21 in. long

Amara means 'grace, mercy, and kindness'.

The family of five are transitioning well and appreciate all of your positive words and prayers.

"Have a Wonderful Christmas and Happy New Year! See you soon!" - Mrs. Lundgren

Important Dates for the month of January

Tuesday, January 7th - first day back for the semester

Monday, January 13th - Parent Support Team Meeting - 5pm-6:30pm

Wednesday, January 15th - Bowling at Little Apple Lanes/Manhattan - 2pm

Thursday, January 16th - 7th Grade Basketball at Emporia - 3:45pm

Monday, January 20th - Martin Luther King Day - NO SCHOOL

Tuesday, January 21st - 7th Grade Basketball at JCMS - 3:30pm

Wednesday, January 22nd - Scholar's Bowl at JCMS - 4pm-6:30pm

Thursday, January 23rd - 7th Grade Basketball at JCMS - 3:30pm

Friday, January 24th - Bowling at Gage Bowling Center at Topeka - 2pm

Tuesday, January 28th - 7th Grade Basketball at Topeka Seaman Middle - 3:30pm

Wednesday, January 29th - Scholar's Bowl at Shawnee Heights - 4pm-6:30pm

Thursday, January 30th - 7th Grade Basketball at Anthony Middle School/Manhattan - 3:30pm

Guest Speaker - Dr. Mardell Maxwell

Dr. Mardell Maxwell, executive director of admissions for the University of Houston, will be speaking to our 7th and 8th grade students on Thursday, January 30th and Friday, January 31st. Dr. Maxwell's message will entail students moving towards their passion and getting ready for whatever they want to do beyond high school. He will talk about goal setting and the importance of planning and forming good habits.

Schedules, schedules, schedules

Our admin, instructional coaches and counselors spent numerous hours combing through reading and math data to ensure students who need extra math and reading help were being served. We also went the other direction to look for growth and some students were removed from extra reading and math courses as their scores indicated they did not additional help. With that said, you may see some changes on your child's schedule for the 2nd semester.

Mr. Frint also did his best to honor elective schedule change requests - if you got your request in before the Thanksgiving deadline it was most likely honored. Those requests that were made after the deadline most likely did not occur. Numbers are very tight for electives which made some of the requests difficult to meet.

There should only be minor changes left to make on the staff work day, Monday, January 6th and all should be made by 2pm that day. All 7th grade schedules will be printed and given to CAT Time teachers to pass out the first day back.

Counseling Corner with Frint

I'm hoping everyone had a relaxing break and is ready to return. Personally I took some time away from the job but did end up taking a class through the American School Counseling Association - I am always trying to learn more. While I did re-charge, I also was reflective on our time together. Did you know that 50% of your 7th grade child's middle school career is over? Yep, we only have 50% of that time left before they are high school students. With that said, my mind has completely changed its approach for the next 18 months. What are we, you and I, doing to get your child ready for high school and beyond? I talk to my friends at the high school, colleges and local community members frequently and always ask, "What can we be doing better to prepare these kids for you?" While the information they share is massive, I will focus on two areas.

1. Meet deadlines. It is amazing how consistent this message was. All three groups mentioned this topic time and time again. One college professor I spoke with said the following, "It amazes me how often I will talk to a student who doesn't realize when I say it's due on this date, I mean it. There is no final notice, or 2nd final notice or 3rd final notice. When it's due, it's due." How often have all missed a deadline and asked for more chances? I know I have done it with my finances on some occasions and there are always penalties. What can you do to help with this?

- Review the weekly teacher newsletter. If teachers are not giving you enough information contact them, an admin or myself so we can make sure you have the most up to date information.

- Sit down with your child once a week and review deadlines for assignments, extracurricular activities and family related matters.

- This next suggestion is difficult but I am going to throw it out there. Do not ask for redos or extensions for your child. If they miss a deadline and/or do not do well on an assignment have a conversation with your child - What did they do wrong? What could they do differently? This is a great chance for a growing opportunity and hopefully they learn their lesson. (If this happens multiple times, consider calling for a meeting with the teachers and having your child present to figure out what is going on. Also, if there a procedure/rule not being followed by a JCMS staff member please notify an admin or myself to get this issue cleared up as mistakes can happen.)

- Use the calendar function on phones or email. Every student in our building has an email account along with a calendar. Set up reminders, deadlines, etc. to help with this.

2. Advocating for themselves. While speaking to a local business owner, the number of young employees they try to hire is in the 50% range but said the turnover was extremely high. "Rather than talking to me about a problem with their work schedule, co-worker issues, etc. They just walk out and quit." Personally, if there is an issue I prefer face to face communication but that just isn't what society is anymore. Encourage your students to ask questions however they are comfortable - in person, via email, social media. Doing the electronic format actually has a built in advantage of leaving a paper trial! One tip, if you encourage your child to do face to face conversations, talk to them about the right time to ask questions. During the middle of class while someone is teaching is never the right time to ask.

The month of January does have some flexibility for me as scheduling is for the most part done, and I currently do not have any plans to be in the classrooms so I am more available if there are questions that you need answer. I do still have weekly meetings so if I'm unavailable please leave a message.

My student goal for the month is to work with AVID on something called "Career Cafes." I would like to get a variety of professionals to come in and talk about their jobs and roles during lunch time - I'm still in the early stages of what this will look like and hopefully by the February newsletter I have more information.

Talk to you all in February.

Michael Frint

7th grade counselor