8th Grade Update

You can't hide that PANTHER pride!

8th Grade Orientation Information

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8th Grade Teams

The entire 8th grade is divided up between three teams. Each team has an english, science, social studies and math teacher. Classrooms for each team are clustered together to help with transitions in the hallway.
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Exploratory Information

Exploratories will run on an A/B schedule. This means that one day will be labeled an A day and they will have one exploratory. The next day will be a B day and they will have a different exploratory.

Most exploratories are a semester long with Visual Arts, Exploring AgScience and Piano being a single marking period.

**Dance will not be a regular exploratory class to start the year. Students will receive an interest form the first couple weeks of school. This will give us a better idea on which students would like to participate in dance. Those indicating they are interested will attend dance once a week. If we have enough students that want to continue in dance then it will be offered as a regular exploratory class for the second marking period.

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8th Grade Daily Schedule

Students will have all four cores each day. This means that they will attend english, math, social studies and science each day.

Each day will begin with homeroom and an adivsory/community building meeting.

There is plenty of time for transition in between each class. Students are expected to travel directly from one class to the next without detouring to visit other teachers, friends, the office, etc. Students found without a pass in parts of the building that are not assigned to their schedule will be issued consequences.

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Students are expected to have a pass anytime they are in the hallway during class time. Teachers will write the pass in their agenda books or on a paper pass, both seen above.
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Home Access Center

Home Access Center is the best way for parents to stay informed about their student's grades.

8th grade is an important year where responsibilities are increased. Please help us by encouraging your student to monitor their own grades on a regular basis. This will certainly help with the transition to high school.

Need your Home Access Center (HAC) login information?

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As the 8th grade administrator, I will be sending out monthly updates to 8th grade parents.

Your child's team leader will send out weekly updates from the team teachers.

Ms. Baaith, our principal, also sends weekly updates. Please be sure that your email is up to date in the system so that you receive these communications. There is a link on the district website for parents to update their contact information. It can be found in the tab labeled 'Parents and Students."

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Discipline Philosophy

My goal is for students to be in class. My goal is for students to learn from their experiences and mistakes.

When a student makes a choice that requires consequences I believe in a hierarchy of consequences. I think of it as a ladder. For most common and minor offences, I start at the bottom step with the lowest level consequence. If the same behavior continues then I move up the steps of the ladder with each step becoming a more severe consequence.

Physical altercations will automatically result in more severe consequences.

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Where should 8th grade students be in Gunning Bedford?

Students in the 8th grade will enter the building through the auditorium doors (yellow highlighted star.) The yellow highlighted path indicates the route that all 8th grade students are expected to travel upon arrival and dismissal.

The 8th grade teams are also marked on the above map. All four classes for each team are in the same area of the hallway. This ensures that transitions are quick. Students are expected to remain in the area of their team classrooms. For example, students assigned to the A team should not travel up to the C-team classroom area during any transition.

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Chromebooks, Chromebooks, Chromebooks.


*Students must charge their chromebooks each night.

*If a chromebook is not working then the student needs to let their homeroom teacher know so they can input a tech ticket. Students can then receive a loaner chromebook. Loaner chromebooks do not go home.

*We understand that the chromebooks may naturally need repairs over time. However, if a chromebook is intentionally damaged then a parent may receive an invoice.

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I am a former school counselor. While student academics are a top priority I also value student emotional and social growth just as much as their academics.

Last year was our first full year of in person learning since the pandemic began. This proved to be a difficult transition for many. At a time when mental health is of such concern amongst young people, our school community saw cell phones as a significant and negative contributor to student well-being. Constant cell phone and social media use has exposed students to rumor spreading, unrealistic views of other people’s lives, and peer pressure.

Here are some startling statistics related to cell phone and social media use and our adolescent aged students.

  • 11-15 year olds in the United States that spent more than 3 hours a day on social media might be at an increased risk for mental health problems like anxiety and depression.

  • Excessive smartphone use is associated with difficulties in cognitive-emotion regulation, impulsivity, impaired cognitive function, addiction to social networking, shyness and low self-esteem.

  • Time spent with peers has decreased since 2011

  • Time spent alone has drastically increased since 2011

  • Adolescents who spend more time on screen activities are 47% more likely to be unhappy (highest risk is in MS students)

  • Teens who spend 3+ hours on electronic devices are 35% more likely to have at least one suicide risk factor

  • Nonscreen activities (exercise, clubs, sports, music groups, etc.) lower suicide risk factors.

  • Risks increase as screen time increases

  • 66% of cyberbullied teens have at least one suicide risk factor

  • 34% of teens cyberbullied (2016), up 15% since 2007

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As a result, GB and the other two middle schools in the Colonial School District will be a red zone for cell phones. This includes the classrooms, hallways, cafeteria and gymnasium.

We know that middle school students are at an exceptional time in their lives. Charged with challenging physical, hormonal and social challenges. Developmentally, our students are learning how to navigate peer conflicts, problem solving skills all while demanding new found independence. Some students are able to put their cell phones away and not be tempted to take them out. Other students would find this to be a massive challenge. All middle schools in the Colonial School District have adopted the Yondr Pouch system as a tool to support student success with this new expectation. Everyday cell phones are expected to be put away in the yondr pouch.

At the beginning of this school year each student will receive their own pouch that they are responsible for.

More information regarding Yondr will be available closer to the start of the school year.

Student Yondr Procedures and FAQ.


  • When students arrive to school they will place the phone inside of the Yondr pouch & lock it before they enter the building. Cell phones will be out of sight while students are at school & their use restricted while in the building.

“I Need a Loaner Pouch”:

  • Students will inform classroom teacher that they need a loaner pouch. The classroom teacher will notify grade level administrator or the main office.

  • Student will be issued a loaner pouch for the day, and is expected to turn it into the location that distributed the pouch.

  • Students that continue to arrive without their Yondr pouch may have their devices confiscated while at school.

“I Have an Early Dismissal”:

  • Main Office

    • Students will have their pouch unlocked in the main office prior to leaving.

    • The secretary will collect the students pouch if it is a loaner before they leave the building.

  • Nurse

    • Students will have their pouch unlocked in the health office prior to leaving.

    • The nurse will collect the students pouch if it is a loaner before they leave the building. The pouches must be returned to the main office.


  • Students will unlock their Yondr pouch when exiting the building at the designated locations…

    • Car Riders

      • Car rider exit, (Auditorium adjacent) and select staff at car rider exit

    • Bus Riders

      • 6th Grade Entrance/Exit & SSC, 7th Grade Exit/Entrance & MO, 8th Grade Entrance/Exit & Select Staff on Bus Court

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Yondr in Schools - Staff & Students