The Merrill Minute

Oct. 6, 2018

Merrill Fall Conferences

Greetings, Merrill Families,

We would like to invite you to the Merrill Fall Conferences on Thursday, October 18th and Monday, October 22nd from 4:00-7:15. I remember when my own children transitioned from elementary school to Merrill Middle School and I went from having 1-2 teachers to visit to having 8 teachers to visit! Having been in the shoes of a Merrill parent, conferences can be a huge time commitment. In order to get the most out of conferences and still balance your time with the other obligations that you have, we encourage you to visit with your student and decide which teachers are a MUST see.

If you don’t make it around to all of the teachers that you want to see, we are putting a few alternative communication options in place.

1. We will have “mailboxes” stationed throughout the gym and cafeteria for you to fill out a slip of paper that indicates that you would like a teacher to contact you.

2. On our website, there is an e-mail link to all of the teachers in the building. Just click “Contact”, then “Teachers” to send the teacher an e-mail that indicates you would like to visit with him or her.

3. Reach out to us via phone at (515) 242-8448 at any time.

Additionally, on Tuesday, October 16th we are partnering with the PTA to host “Get to Know Merrill”. This will be the first of four Merrill Matters evenings where we will bring the school and community together to support our students. During “Get to Know Merrill” we’ll give a general overview of life at Merrill and host a question and answer forum.

While conferences are scheduled for two evenings in October, we want to partner with families at ALL times throughout the year to be sure that we are working together to meet the needs of our students. Please don’t ever hesitate to reach out, and we promise to do the same.

We look forward to seeing you in just a few weeks!

Thank you,

Dr. Heather Farris

Merrill Vice Principal

Fall Parent Family Survey Results

Thank you for taking time out of your day to respond to the Merrill Fall Parent and Family Survey. Your feedback helps us better serve you and your family. Below are the reoccurring themes that we noticed in the data.

Going Well

  • Social Aspect of Middle School (Friends, Clubs and Activities, Positive Attitude about School, Independence, and Student Voice)
  • Helpful People (Teachers, Admin., Office Staff, Custodians, Cafeteria Staff)
  • Positive Classroom Experiences
  • Communication (Website, Orientation in Spring and Summer, Back to School Night, Newsletter)

Needs Attention

  • Disruptions in Classroom
  • Rigor and Challenging Course Work
  • Communication about Units of Inquiry and Timelines for Projects
  • Information about after school clubs (Click here to see a calendar of school events.)

We will continue to work on the above categories and we welcome your feedback and ideas at all times. If you haven't had a chance to complete the survey and would like to provide input, please click here or just give me a call. My contact information is below. I enjoyed visiting with many of you this past week. Thank you!


(515) 242-8448


PTA T-Shirt Drive:

To help all students and staff feel a sense of pride and belonging to the Merrill Community, the PTA is providing a free Merrill t-shirt for every student and staff member. Students chose the design early in the fall. To view a photo of the t-shirt or to donate, see the attached donation form at the bottom of the newsletter. Thank you, PTA!

Daily Student Announcements:

We now post our daily announcements on the website. To access the daily announcements just go to the Merrill website, click the "Student" tab, and then click "Announcements" or you may click this link here.

PE Dress Code:

Have questions about the "why" behind moving away from the PE dress code? Click here.

School Pictures:

Student pictures arrived and were distributed to students on Friday, September 28th. Retakes will be Friday, October 12th. If you are still wishing to order photos, there are order forms in the main office or you can go to and use the order code: 30008PB. If you ordered pictures and are not satisfied, please return the pictures on retake day. Cheese!


October 12: School Picture Retakes

October 16: Merrill Matters "Getting to Know Merrill"

October 18: Conferences 4:00-7:15

October 19: Dance

The first middle school dance of the year will be held on Friday, October 19th from 3:30-5:00 in the Merrill gymnasium. Stay tuned!

October 22: Conferences 4:00-7:15