Georgia Morse Middle School

2017-2018 Newsletter January 2018

And just like that, second quarter (and first semester) come to a close. I truly am not able to tell you where the time has gone. Our students are working hard at GMMS and setting individual goals that both challenge them and provide a sense of accomplishment. As we move into our student led conferences in February, much of the conversation that students will have with their teachers are about these goals- reflecting on what they accomplished first semester and what they would like to work towards second semester. We look forward to this experience with our 6th graders that are new to the process and thoroughly enjoy the process with our 8th graders that have the opportunity to reflect on how much progress has occurred from 6th to 8th grade.

We ended school before Christmas break with over 500 students attending a staff vs. students cageball volleyball game. A challenge was presented to students at the beginning of 2nd quarter to have two or less days of absences in order to participate. Over 500 made this goal. We have challenged our students to meet this goal again for 3rd quarter. Although there were many teachers a bit sore after the volleyball game, many smiles and laughs were had by all. Teachers are up for another round of some sort of fun activity with students. Encourage your child to monitor their attendance and be here.

Third quarter is the time of the school year that we see more unmotivated students than other quarters. Sometimes this quarter can be referred to as the "long haul." This is a good quarter for parents to touch base with their child just a bit more than they have first semester. Discuss with your child their academic goals. Celebrate accomplishments with them; discuss methods to keep reaching their other goals.



By Renae Lehman, GMMS Library Media Specialist

“What’s a good book?” If I had a quarter for each time a student asked me this question, I’d have enough money to purchase something very elaborate! When kids tell me they don’t know what to read, I ask “What book have you read or listened to that you couldn’t put down?” Unfortunately, some kids claim that it has never happened, and so I ask “What do you enjoy outside of school hours?” Hobbies, sports, games, interests and people are all great sources of inspiration for a good book recommendation.

Another barrier to finding “the perfect book,” can be a child’s reading level, but trust me, there are many interesting and inspiring books at every reading level, so it’s an invalid excuse to skip reading for fun. Fortunately, there are many resources available to help your child choose a great book. Here are a few of my favorites:

1. Ask me for suggestions, or check out some of the book trailers on my webpage here:

2. Use the Book Adventure site from Sylvan Learning here:

3. Use the FIND A BOOK tool through the SD State Library here: .

Whatever avenue you use for recommendations, just keep your family reading—it’s not only great exercise for your brain, but also a free vacation to ANYWHERE YOU CHOOSE!


What: A “pop-up” book fair with titles for everyone!

Where: GMMS Cafeteria Commons and online at

When: Online 2/10/18 – 2/17/18; in the commons Monday, February 12, & Thursday, February 15, from 4–7:30 PM



  • January 15- No School
  • January 24- Early Release
  • January 25-February 2- NWEA Testing
  • February 9th- Midterm grades
  • February 12 and 15- Student Led Conferences
  • February 20 and 22- GMMS Musical
  • March 8- GMMS Band and Vocal Concert
  • March 15- End of 3rd quarter

From the Office

Before school please discuss ride arrangements & after-school activities with your child. It is the student’s responsibility to let their parents know if they are staying late. With 640 students at GMMS, it can be quite hectic in the office calling students with messages and items to pick up in the office. Please try to help your middle schooler be organized in the morning and know what his/her after school plans are. Thank you.

From the Kitchen

Food and Nutrition Tips for Parents

  1. You control the supply line. You decide what to buy and what is available for your kids to snack on. Offer those not-so-healthy snacks every once in a while but majority of the time supplying healthy options.
  2. Let them choose. From what you purchase and offer, let them have some say.
  3. Quit the CPC. Clean Plate Club is a thing of the past. Let them stop when they feel full. This allows them to establish accurate hunger and fullness cues.
  4. Start young, start now. Food preferences start early. You may need to serve a new food multiple times for your kids to accept it.
  5. Rewrite the Kids Menu. If you experiment often with new foods you might be surprised that they like things other than pizza, hot dogs and chicken nuggets.
  6. Drink cals count. Sweetened beverages (soda, juice, sports drinks) add extra calories that kids just don’t need. Allowing this beverages often sets them up for struggles with sweetened beverages as the grow older. Decrease them now and they wont have to worry about it later.
  7. Sweets have a place. Desserts have a place on our plate on occasion. But don’t make dessert the reward for eating dinner.
  8. Food ≠ Love. Using food to say “I love you” can form an unnecessary link between food and emotion. Hugs, praise, and attention say “I love you” best.
  9. Be a mirror. Kids will do what you do so show the good habits and they will mirror them.
  10. Screen time turmoil. Studies show that kids who cut down on screen time also reduce their percentage of body fat. If screen time is limited they will find other activities to do.

* Adopted from

Nurse Bieber

Lighten the Load

Most of the students at GMMS carry a backpack and a majority of the students are carrying a backpack that is too heavy for them. You can make sure your child’s backpack will not/is not causing injury by weighing the backpack at home with a bathroom scale. The backpack should not weigh over 10% to 15% of your child’s body weight. We encourage GMMS students to carry their morning books and supplies in the morning and switch everything out 4th or 5th period for afternoon books and supplies. They do not need to carry all of their books and supplies all day every day, they can use their lockers to store what is not needed. You can find more helpful information on this subject at...

Shannon Bieber, RN

PPS Nurse