Week of July 24, 2023
Week of 7/24/2023
We are thrilled to share that the first two weeks of the school year have been a success. We know it will be a transition as over 700 students (6th, 7th, and 8th) are new to our school this year. That is a celebration!
In this week's edition of the Nighthawk News, there is an extensive amount of information. Please take a few minutes to read it and/or scan for the sections that apply to you and your family. With Track 4 preparing to start their school year as well as many new students/families who have joined us since July 11th, this newsletter contains beginning of the year information as well as current and future information to ensure equitable outcomes for EVERY Nighthawk!
With appreciation for your support and partnership as we continue to #buildournest,
Anne Marie Adkins
Building Classroom Libraries for Sustained Silent Reading
This school year we have implemented SSR (Sustained Silent Reading) to help enhance our school's reading culture. The staff and students read together during Nighthawk time across all grade levels, which promotes the enjoyment and lifelong skill of reading. We could use additional reading materials for the classrooms such as magazines, fiction and nonfiction books at a variety of reading levels, cookbooks, guidebooks, etc.. These donations can be brought to the office marked Attention: Stacee McCarter. Thank you for your support with reading both at home and in school.
Track 4 Preparations for the Beginning of the School Year
On Thursday, July 27th, from 4:30-5:30 PM, all Track 4 students and families will be able to pick up student's schedules and meet with staff to assist you with the first day on Monday, July 31st. Information will be available and tables will be set up for the following:
- Bus transportation information
- Cafeteria accounts, payments, and meal information
- PTA Membership and PTA Information www.nighthawkspta.org
- PowerSchool Access
- Carpool Tags - Can be picked up in the gym during Meet the Teacher
- Medication or Health Plan collaboration with the School Nurse
Students' schedules will be distributed in the gym. Students and families should visit the teachers on their schedules to meet their teachers. Students who are unable to attend the Meet and Greet on Thursday, July 27th will be provided with their schedule upon arrival on the first day of school, Monday, July 31st.
Dear Track 4 Nighthawk Families:
We are excited to welcome to our 2023-2024 students and families at Herbert Akins Rd MS. As we begin our new school year, students' physical, social, and emotional needs as well as growth will be a focus in our school environment. We will align all aspects of our work to our school's vision of The Herbert Akins Rd MS Learning Community will collaborate to facilitate equitable outcomes and growth through social, emotional, and academic opportunities.
Our focus areas this school year as we build community and connections are Restorative Practices, Co-teaching to support Student Achievement, and Positivity Project. Information about each of these can be found by clicking on the linked words. More information will be shared throughout the school year.
Our Administrative/Leadership team this year includes
Rendell Farrar, 8th Grade AP
Kyle Hamstra, 7th Grade AP
Emily Petersohn, 6th Grade AP
Ben Bell, AP Intern
Reggie Rushing, Part-time AP Intern
Thomas Galloway, Instructional Facilitator
Jesse DiMartino, Dean of Culture
Our school website, https://www.wcpss.net/herbertakinsroadms, will be updated often by our team and provide information at your fingertips to ensure a successful partnership to support student growth and achievement. Here are some highlights of what you will find:
Weekly Community Message
Calendars and Schedules
Teacher Websites/Staff Directory
Athletic and Club Information
Our School Counselors
- Katie McGinty, 8th Grade Counselor
- Shaunrick McGee, 7th Grade Counselor
- Nicole Hackett, 6th Grade Counselor
It is important students attend school on their first day to be considered enrolled and in attendance for the 2023-24 school year. If your student is unable to attend the first day of school, please email firstname.lastname@example.org (8th Grade), email@example.com (7th Grade), or firstname.lastname@example.org (6th Grade), our school counselors, as they will be working on attendance during the first couple of weeks.
Important Information to assist in navigating the school year at Herbert Akins Rd MS:
Our instructional school day this year will be from 8:15 AM - 3:00 PM with students able to enter the building at 7:45 AM. Each morning we begin the day with announcements at 8:10 AM; therefore, it is ideal if students are in their classrooms and seated ready to begin the day at that time. Students miss valuable instruction when they come to school late, leave early, or are absent.
Attendance is taken each class period; therefore, attendance is based on number of classes attended/missed.
Students will not be checked out after 2:30 PM on school days as the staff will be preparing for student dismissal. If a student must be checked out of school early, they will need to be checked out prior to 2:30 PM.
WCPSS Transportation information can be found at https://www.wcpss.net/transportation and bus routes for Herbert Akins Rd MS can be found here. Per WCPSS and regardless of personal, social or recreational activities, students may not ride any bus other than that to which he/she has been assigned.
Breakfast and lunch will be available this school year. Breakfast will be $1.75 for paying students and free for those eligible for reduced-price breakfast. Lunch will be $3.50 for paying students and $.40 for those eligible for reduced-price lunch. All families are asked to complete the online application so the school and school system receive the appropriate funding. For all other information regarding school meals, please visit the WCPSS website.
Office staff will be available to assist you with information and procedures regarding student medication. Medication may be given at school only with the proper documentation from the doctor. Parents will need to bring the completed 1702 form and medication prior to the student’s first day of school. Office staff will be available to receive the medication and forms during the Meet and Greet sessions (see above dates).
Review and update your student’s personal data in PowerSchool to ensure your current email, phone numbers, and emergency contacts are updated in the system so you will be able to receive emails, texts, and other important notifications. If changes need to be made, please email the documentation to NCWise435@wcpss.net.
Carpool arrival will not begin until 7:45 AM as students cannot be on campus without adult supervision. Board policy states they can arrive 30 minutes prior to the start of the instructional day which is 7:45 AM at Herbert Akins Rd MS.
Carpool dismissal is available at Herbert Akins Rd MS for middle school students and will begin at our 3:00 PM dismissal time. We have a large volume of carpool students, walkers, and bike riders. The carpool pattern works well when everyone follows the procedures for both the middle school and elementary school. Please drive carefully when approaching the school area and follow the instructions staff provide as they work at their duty locations. We request that all families who plan to use carpool at any point this school year watch this video. Families that have an elementary school student should exit to the left from the parking lot (not turn right) and then enter the elementary school line on Herbert Akins Road. Due to the volume of cars for both schools and having 18 bus routes (with some of those being doublebacks) at the middle school, our hope is that we can have our dismissal completed by 3:30 PM to allow the elementary school the opportunity to begin their safe dismissal processes at 3:45 PM.
Students may walk/bike between school and home if they meet the criteria for a pass. This form will need to be completed in order to receive a walker/biker pass. Students will qualify for a pass if there is a sidewalk the entire route between home and school. Students must leave campus at dismissal to walk home and may not loiter at the end of the school day. Students may not request a walker’s pass to walk to a nearby neighborhood to avoid carpool. This is a potential safety concern.
Click here for a Carpool Number/Walker Pass.
Students will utilize a backpack and/or bag to bring their supplies to school. The Supply List can be found here. Students may also want to bring a water bottle (not squeezable as they result in spills and unsafe conditions) as we have water bottle filling stations throughout the school. Students’ backpacks should not be filled with other items as nothing additional will be needed at school, and it will keep backpacks/bags at a reasonable weight. Lockers will not be used by students unless one is requested by a parent. Requests should be sent to a school counselor (email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com).
The primary school supply for students is their Google Chromebook. These are issued by WCPSS and the expectation is for students to utilize them daily for educational purposes. Students should charge them each night and bring their Chromebook and charger to school each day. “Paper” will be minimally used at Herbert Akins Rd MS.
We understand that a student’s family may have their student keep a personal technology device and/or mobile phone in their backpack for before/after school safety purposes. These are to remain in backpacks unless approved by a teacher to be used for educational purposes. In the WCPSS Student Code of Conduct, personal electronic devices are only to be used for education purposes under the direct and discretion of the teachers/school staff. The school and school system assume no responsibility for personal technology devices brought to school.
We ask that all students and their families review the WCPSS Student Code of Conduct which can be found here.
We hope your student will become involved in the whole middle school experience by trying out for one of the Nighthawk sports’ teams, take part in our fine arts programs, and/or join one of the many clubs sponsored by our staff.
Your partnership is invaluable to us as we utilize our #NighthawkVision to lift up our students in reaching goals and finding success. Together, our entire school community will ensure a successful school year at Herbert Akins Rd MS!
Anne Marie Adkins
Transportation Information - Bus, Walker, Carpool, Bike Rider
2023-2024 Bus Routes can be found here.
If you have not yet requested bus transportation for 2023-2024, please go to the WCPSS website to complete your request. You will have to request transportation even if you had transportation last school year.
To request a walker's pass and/or carpool number click here.
Please watch this carpool video to better understand how carpool will operate at our school. It is imperative that everyone adhere to the structures for safety and to ensure we are completed with carpool and bus arrival/dismissal so the elementary school can begin their procedures.
Information about Carpool/Walkers/Bus Riders can be found in this folder.
Nighthawk Athletic News
During the 2023-2024 school year we are going to start a NightHawk Athletic News Letter to help keep everyone informed of all things Athletics. This will be a great resource for parents and athletes to check for any new information, athletic practice/game schedules, weekly team needs, booster club, ect.
To start many are wondering about our athletic schedule and tryout dates. Here is a link to our 2023-2024 NightHawk Athletic Schedule with tryout dates for each season. This document will be updated if any changes are made to the game schedules.
For tryouts please if you already have a Dragonfly account, log on and verify everything is completed. When Dragonfly rolled over to the 2023-2024 school year a few of the forms expired and needed to be redone. If you have not created an account please be sure to do so as soon as possible. Below is some helpful information regarding the Dragonfly process. If you plan on trying out for any sports or doing any open gyms please do not wait to get your DragonFly completed.
Athletic Paperwork Information
Athletic Physicals can be found here. https://www.wcpss.net/Page/1465
PLEASE USE THE REGISTRATION LINK FOR DRAGONFLY. NO PAPER COPIES WILL BE ACCEPTED. REGISTRATION MUST BE COMPLETED PRIOR TO THE FIRST DAY OF TRYOUTS.
How to use DragonFly instructions CLICK HERE.
Open Gym Schedule
Our coaches will be holding an open gym for any 6th, 7th, 8th grade athletes interested. Athletes must have all the required paperwork uploaded on DragonFly prior to attending any open gyms. All open gyms will be from 3:30-5 PM and will take place inside.
Cheer Open Gym- Tuesday 7/25, 8/1, 8/8, 8/15, 8/29
Football Open Gym- Wednesday 8/23 & 8/30
Volleyball Open Gym- Tuesday 8/22 & 8/29
Soccer Open Gym- Monday 7/24, 8/21 & Wednesday 8/9
Lastly, if you have any questions or need any help please feel free to reach out to my email below.
Herbert Akins Road Middle
919-694-8300 ext. 53051
You can also find a copy of this newsletter linked here.
Positivity Project at Herbert Akins Rd MS - Love of Learning
This week our school community will be focusing on the character strength of Love of Learning. Love of learning means you master new topics on your own or in school.
Those with a love of learning are intrinsically motivated and engaged in a topic regardless of achieving an external standard. They enjoy learning simply for the sake of learning. They don’t need a prize of a high grade as a reward. Their reward is the process of doing the work and improving.
Developing a love of learning is highly beneficial for an individual. It means that they are intrinsically motivated to deepen their existing skills and abilities, or learn something completely new. Since intrinsically motivated action is correlated with positive emotions, those who act on their love of learning may also have enhanced mental and physical health. Additionally, individuals who love learning have the desire and ability to overcome challenges, due to a sense of autonomy and control over their environment.
To practice and encourage the character strength of love of learning with your child, please visit the Positivity Project’s P2 for Families (password: P2), where together you will watch a video, read a quote, and talk about the answers to three questions.
Have a wonderful week!
Track 3 Track Out Day
Track 3 will attend school this day but will then track out and return on Monday, August 21st.
Friday, Jul 28, 2023, 03:00 PM
Fall nominations for AIG are now being accepted. Go to HARMS AIG for more information about the nomination process and the nomination form. The deadline for Track 1 nominations is Monday, August 7th ; Track 2, 3, and 4 - Monday, August 21st. Contact Ms. Hockaday at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need assistance or have any questions.