Bulldog Bark

GHMS Moving Forward Together- January Newsletter

From the Desk of Mr. Fording

Hello Middle School Families. I want to take a moment to wish everyone the best in 2022. During the last two years many of us have been faced with additional challenges due to Covid. We are still navigating the pandemic the best we can while keeping our students in school as much as possible. We need to support each other now more than ever so that we can move forward together. I am sharing the following important reminders as we prepare to head back to school:

*Students should arrive to school with a mask. The mask should be covering their nose and mouth. This is proven to be an effective method that helps to reduce the spread.

*If your child is feeling ill, please do not hesitate to keep them home until they feel better. The health of everyone comes first. Please call the attendance office and excuse your child if they are ill.

*Students should dress for the weather. We did not have our typical Cleveland December, but the cold will definitely be visiting us soon and frequently.

*Please have a conversation with your child about making good choices. Physical aggression is never acceptable and will not be tolerated. We have plenty of resources available for students who are having issues.

*We will continue with our Caring School Community. This allows our students the opportunity to grow socially and emotionally, while building positive relationships.

*Please have a conversation with your child about the importance of school and education. It is critical that they hear this from us at school and from you at home as much as possible.

Please do not hesitate to contact the school if you need anything. We want to continue to partner with our families in the education of your children and our students. We share the common goal of wanting to see your children and our students be the best version of themselves, while they continue to grow and become positive, contributing members of our society.

Thank you families in advance for your support in the education of your child, particularly during this difficult time. I want to again wish you health and happiness in 2022. You deserve it!!

From the Office of Teaching and Learning-Striving for Greatness

First and foremost, may the new year bless you with health, wealth, and happiness in 2022. Since this is the time of year to reflect and make meaningful changes, you may want to drop some habits and start new ones. This is also the time to help your child make changes, to form better habits. Below are some effective ways to help your children make a change:

1. Help your child get clear on what they want to change; do not focus on specifics of where or what but tune into the feelings. How would they like to feel, what energizes them, what inspires them?

2. Identify small steps they can take to make that change. If they want better grades, identify what is it they need to do to achieve that, one step at a time.

3. Create Behavior Chains- if you want to build new habits, you'll be more successful if you build them into routines that you already do.

4. Pave the Path for your child. For example, if you want to eat healthier, then you will have to buy the snacks you will need to keep on track. Plan to eliminate any possible excuses.

5. Prepare for setbacks. New habits are hard to stick to and you may have setbacks. When the new habits or behavior has a breakdown, help your child take a look at what happened and talk about what they need to do to get back on track.

Helping your child make changes in their daily life in the new year is a good goal to set. But stay away from big declarative goals and have them make small/sustainable changes.

Happy New Year

Leslie Tranter

Assistant Principal of Teaching and Learning

Important Dates in January

  • January 3 No School, school resumes January 4 for all students
  • January 13 Second quarter ends
  • January 14 No School for students; Professional Day for Teachers
  • January 17 No School; Martin Luther King Day
  • January 25 and 26; ELA and Math MAPPING

From the Athletic Director-Rebecca Shotliff

The first session of winter athletics at the middle school is finishing strong. Both our seventh and eighth-grade boys basketball teams are 10-0. They will have two away games when we come back after the break with playoffs after that. Thank you to the cheerleaders and bucket drummers for performing at our games! Wrestling started off with their first quad meet and earned some nice wins. Girls basketball and step team will begin after break. Step team will have tryouts after school on January 4th. Girls basketball will have tryouts after school on January 5th, 6th, and 7th. Interested athletes should keep an eye out for emails about these events.

From the Guidance Department

The guidance department will be selecting 7th-grade girls and boys to participate in groups focusing on starting the year off on a positive note and providing support for students.

The end of the semester is January 13th, finish the quarter strong when we return from winter break! Students enrolled in semester explorer classes will start new classes on January 18th.

Please contact us with any questions or concerns:

Ms. Manilla

Grade 7: All Teams

Grade 8: All Teams

(216) 475-8105 ext.53007


Ms. Richardson

Grade 6: All Teams

Grade 8: All Teams

(216) 475-8105 ext.53008


Teacher Feature

Each month in our newsletter we will feature two teachers at the GHMS building. This month we will feature Mrs. Kendra McVay and Mr. John Klag.

Mrs. Kendra McVay

Mrs. McVay has been teaching for 16 years, but this is her first year at Garfield Heights Middle School. She is teaching Creative Writing 8 and ELA Workshop grades 6 and 7. She graduated from Mount Vernon Nazarene University, in Mount Vernon, Ohio with a Bachelor in Arts. Her focus was Middle Childhood Education with a concentration on Social Studies and ELA. She also has a Master of Education degree from Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids Michigan.

One of the greatest perks of her job is that each day is a new day. She walks into work knowing that what happened yesterday is in the past, and each day is a chance for a fresh start. She believes that no two days are the same in a middle school.

For fun, she enjoys spending time with her husband and her four sons. They like to go camping around the country and take in all the beauty and explore the many national parks. She also likes to cook, read and watch movies.

Some words of advice she has for her students this year is to focus on your future and make positive decisions that benefit you. Middle school is not too soon to start making a positive path towards success. Once you are an adult, you will thank yourself.

Big picture

Mr. John Klag

Mr. John Klag teaches 7th grade Social Studies at our Middle School. This is his 3rd year in education, In the first two years he was the intervention manager at the High School, so this is his first year teaching. Mr. Klag is also in his third year as the head wrestling coach at the High School. Mr. Klag graduated from Ohio University with a B.S. degree in Integrated Social Studies, 7-12.

What Mr. Klag likes most about his job is the connection he gets to make with his students. Seeing them smile and have fun in a class that is stereotypically considered boring is what brings him joy.

Some things Mr. Klag likes to do for fun are hiking, wrestling, working out, playing with his dogs Louie (border collie) and Oakley (golden retriever).

Some words of advice Mr. Klag has for his students are, don't take yourselves too seriously. Have fun with what you have and try your best to succeed. If you do that good things will come to you.

Big picture