Eagle Updates

MMS Back-to-School Edition 2022; Principal, Lorraine Johnson

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Dear Eagle Families,


On behalf of the staff at Madras Middle School, we want to welcome you and your child to our Eagle community. We are excited, and we can't wait to meet our newest Eagles! We know that sometimes the thought of “middle school” can trigger feelings of anxiousness (for both parents and students), but our staff wants to reassure you that Madras is a great place to be! Our staff and school community work hard to support families with the middle school transition and to establish a welcoming environment where students feel valued, connected, safe, and supported by their teachers and peers,


Included in this newsletter you'll find back-to-school information to help you navigate the opening of school. If you are a rising sixth grade parent or you're new to Madras, we encourage you to visit the orientation site linked off of our webpage (and linked below), to give both students and parents an inside to our school program including frequently asked questions, course descriptions, band, chorus, and guitar registration information, extracurricular opportunities, supply list, and an overview of our middle school program.


For communication, your best "go-to" place for all things Madras throughout the year is the Madras website. It is continuously updated and includes our newsletter, and a school Google calendar along with an upcoming events listing that stays current. Frequent news updates are also emailed and texted to parents, so please sign up on the front page of our website, or toward the bottom of this newsletter.


Our Open House Meet and Greet (drop-in) will be held prior to the opening of school on Wednesday, August 3rd from 10:00 to noon, so students can meet their homeroom teachers and tour the campus. We'll host additional grade level parent nights beginning the first of September, so look for more information after school opens.


If you have questions, there's a button at the end of this newsletter for either you or your child to ask questions, or you can email a Madras administrator. We're so excited to welcome everyone to the Nest, and we're looking forward to seeing our new and returning Eagles soon!


Lorraine Johnson

Principal

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Frequently Asked Questions

When will we find out about our child’s homeroom/team placement?

Homerooms are visible via Parent and Student Portals in Infinite Campus by August 3rd, and students receive their schedules on the first day of school in homeroom. Homerooms will also be posted throughout the building during Open House Meet and Greet on August 3rd. Families can drop in anytime between 10:00 and noon.


What are the school hours?

Official school hours are 8:15-3:30. Students arrive by bus or car between 7:30 and 8:15. Students who are car riders are dropped off behind the school in the car rider line. Students riding buses will be dropped off at the end of 6th the sixth grade hall. All students report to the gym if it's between 7:30 and 8:00. At 8:00, all students are released to homeroom. If students arrive between 8:00 and 8:15, they report straight to their homerooms. (Students may not arrive at school before 7:30 a.m. as there is no supervision for them at that time.) Students should be in their homerooms by 8:15 or they will be marked tardy.


Is there a school supply list?

Yes. Our school's supply list was posted in May and can be found on our website at any time. viewed here. Any student who needs help with supplies can receive assistance. Our counselor, Caroline Rothchild (caroline.rothschild@cowetaschools.net), is happy to help.


How much do meals cost? During the 22-23 school year, breakfast costs $1.00 (reduced $.30), and lunch costs $3.05 (reduced $.40). You can apply for free or reduced meals online at: https://frapps.horizonsolana.com/welcome


Will students use lockers this year?

Lockers are currently not being used schoolwide. We have found that most students prefer to have their belongings with them in class. It reduces the frequency of losing and forgetting items throughout the day. Students carry their belongings, including their Chromebook, water bottle, a binder, and lunch (if applicable) in their bookbags or backpacks. To reduce the load students need to carry, teachers don't require that students keep multiple large notebooks. A locker may be assigned to a student upon request.


Do students dress out for PE?

No, however, students must wear appropriate shoes for physical activities (sneakers or athletic shoes). Our gym is air conditioned and is now climate controlled.


Can students carry water bottles to class?

Yes. We encourage all students to carry water bottles with them throughout the day. There are water filling stations located in each hall, the gym, and the cafeteria.


Will sixth graders receive new Chromebooks?

Our rising sixth grade students will receive new Chromebooks at the beginning of the year. Any student in Coweta County Schools should have a Chromebook that was issued to them last year. New students to the district will also receive Chromebooks. Students should bring their Chromebooks beginning the first day of school.


Who do I contact if I have questions about my child's IEP or 504 plan?


Can students participate in athletics and/or extracurricular activities?

Seventh and eighth grade students who meet eligibility requirements can participate in athletics. Soccer tryouts for boys and girls will begin August 10th. Clubs and organizations are open to all students and can be viewed on our Club Page. Please check our website for the most current information.


Do parents volunteer at the middle school level, and how can I join PTSO?

Yes! We love our parent volunteers, and we do welcome and appreciate parent/guardian involvement with special events such as the Snack 'n Chat, dances, socials, school programs, luncheons, Career Day, etc. Our PTSO will be onsite for our Open House in August to provide additional information and to answer questions.


How are gifted classes structured in middle school?

Students who receive gifted services will automatically be enrolled in gifted science and gifted language arts, which meets every day. Students may be referred for gifted screening (which takes place once each semester) by a parent or a teacher. Peggy Davenport is the Madras gifted lead teacher, and Dr. Betts is the administrator who oversees the gifted program. If you have questions regarding screening or the overall program, please contact them via e-mail or phone.


What classes are offered at the middle school level?

Coweta County Schools follows the Georgia State Curriculum, the Georgia Standards of Excellence (GSE). All students attend 4 seventy minute core academic classes daily based on any services they may receive such as gifted education, special education, or additional support services.


In connections classes, students experience integrated activities that invite exploration, academic extensions, creativity, and real-world connections, with a wide range of activities designed to enhance their active lifestyles. During the connection block, students rotate through different connection offerings each nine week period. (Band, Acoustic Guitar, and Chorus courses are always yearlong courses.)


Students attend two 45 minute connections classes daily, and they can take:

  1. Two year-long courses (two classes all year; these courses require pre-registration)
  2. Two nine weeks courses (eight classes all year; students will rotate through every connections course by the end of the year as assigned)
  3. One year-long and 4 nine weeks courses (Students will have the year-long course each nine weeks and the second connections course will rotate. Students will only have four of the 9 weeks courses as assigned.


View Academic Courses

View Connections Courses

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Required Immunizations for ALL 7th Grade Students

The Georgia Department of Human Resources has issued an immunization update regarding Tdap (Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis) and Meningococcal immunizations.


Starting July 1, 2014 all children who were born on or after January 1, 2002 who are entering the seventh grade are required to have a


  1. Tdap and a Meningococcal immunization
  2. an updated immunization certificate (Form 3231) reflecting the administration dates of the two additional vaccines.

All rising 7th graders born on or after January 1, 2002, must have ONE of the following:


  1. A current , up-to-date DHR Immunization Form 3231 reflecting the additional one dose of Tdap (Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis) vaccine and one Meningococcal conjugate vaccine have been administered OR

  2. A signed immunization waiver (available at the school for eligible students only) granting an extension of 30 calendar days OR

  3. A notarized affidavit affirming a religious belief conflict.


If you have any questions regarding your student’s immunization status, contact your child’s physician, the local Health Department, or the school nurse (Kate Caswell). We encourage you to attend to this promptly to avoid the “back to school” rush. Your new certificate can be obtained while your child is still in sixth grade and issued to the school.

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Transportation

Car Riders

  • Car rider drop-off and pick-up is behind the school where students are picked up from athletic events (at the football field).

  • Parents should turn onto Frank Cook Road (first left past the school if coming down Edgeworth from highway 29).

  • Take the first left off Frank Cook from Edgeworth, and pass the bus loading loop and parking lot, continuing straight ahead and staying to the far right where the track loops around at the football field.

  • Cars will stop at the sidewalk by the football field until students are dismissed to the car.

  • Once students have been dismissed to the car loading zone, staff will direct traffic (two car lanes) farther down the track which will help expedite the process.

  • The loop in front of the school will be reserved for students who check-in or check-out during the school day and

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Bus Transportation

  • The district’s Transportation Department manages the creation of bus routes. Those are usually finalized the week before school starts. You can find those routes and your child's bus number on our website. There will also be a member of transportation to help answer questions at our school's Open House Visitation on Wednesday, August 3rd prior to school opening. Students are asked to be ready by 6:45 on the first day until routes are established.

  • Students are assigned to ride school buses that will pick them up and drop them off in close proximity to their homes.

  • Bus transportation is a privilege provided to all students who can cooperate and abide by the rules. Problems on a school bus are a road hazard; reasonable behavior ensures a safe ride. Parents should closely supervise children at bus stops to ensure their safety as they wait and properly board the school bus.

  • If a student needs to ride a bus other than the assigned bus, the student must bring a note from the parent/guardian with a telephone number for verification. Once verified, these requests are honored if space allows. Transportation notes will be accepted in the form of a written letter, an email, or by fax.

  • Students do not need a transportation note to change from a car rider to a bus rider or vice versa on a given day. Notes are only needed if students are riding a bus that is not their regular assigned bus (for example, going home with a friend on a different bus).



Arrival and Dismissal

  • No student should arrive on campus before 7:30 a.m.

  • Students arriving before 8:00 a.m. will report to the gym until they are told to report to homeroom at 8:00 a.m. (At 7:45 students who would like to eat breakfast will report to the cafeteria.)

  • Students who are not bus riders are encouraged to report to school after 8:00 a.m. and report directly to their homerooms.

  • All students should be in homeroom by 8:15.

  • Students may not remain at school after scheduled dismissal time unless they have prior approval from a staff member who will supervise them or they are a member of a club, athletic team, etc. sponsored by the school.

  • Supervision will only be provided from 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. each day.



Transportation Changes

  • Transportation changes will not be accepted after 3:00 p.m. If no prior written notification is received, your child will follow his/her regular means of transportation. NOTE: Bus drivers may not let a child off the bus at any stop other than his own without written and approved authorization to do so.

  • Please do not meet the bus along the route and ask your child to get off. Please meet him/her at home instead.

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Dropping Off Items for Your Child During the School Day

Dropping off Lunches or Medication: If a student forgets a lunch at home, parents may drop it off at the front office, and students will be called to pick up their lunch at the beginning of their scheduled lunch time. If a student needs medication, it can be dropped off at any time for the school nurse.


Dropping off Other Items:

Any other item dropped off for students during the school day may be picked up after school. Instruction will not be interrupted for students to pick up items during class. This includes forgotten homework, Chromebooks, shoes for PE, projects, etc. Students are responsible for bringing needed materials to class daily. If these items are brought to school during the day, we are happy to make an announcement at the end of the day for your child to pick them up in the front office.

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School Clinic and Medication

School Clinic and Medication

Nurse, Kate Caswell

Email: kate.caswell@cowetaschools.net

Clinic Hours: 8:00-3:30

MMS Clinic Web Page: (includes all clinic forms to download)


Medication

The MMS clinic is open daily from 8:00-3:30. Our school nurse Kate Caswell assists students who become sick or injured while at school and dispenses medications prescribed by physicians. Any parent who needs to drop off medication can drop off medication in the front lobby of the school between 7:30 and 3:00 during the school day.


Whenever it is necessary for your child to receive medication at school, the following policy must be followed:


  1. A school nurse or school designee may administer medication provided all of the requirements are met.
  2. All medicine shall be in its original LABELED container or prescription bottle.
  3. Written instructions for prescription medication must be from a doctor or a physician's assistant authorized to prescribe medicine. How to administer, amount to be administered, time to be administered, etc., must be shown.
  4. A written request by the parent or guardian must be made to the school nurse or school designee to administer any medication. The school nurse or school designee shall keep a written.

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Cell Phone and Smartwatch Use

Cell phones and Smartwatches may not be used during the instructional day and must be turned off and put away at all times. Students are permitted to use a phone in the front office during school hours for emergencies or for illness. Students should not use a cell phone or smartwatch to call home or text when sick. Any student who is ill should go through the Madras clinic. The school nurse will call parents directly. Calling home for homework, a school project, or to make arrangements to attend an after school event that wasn't previously arranged ties up phone lines and is not permitted. Students may call home if:


  1. There is a transportation issue,
  2. Lunch or lunch money is needed,
  3. There is a dress code issue.
  4. The student is sick or needs medication (must call from the clinic under the nurse's supervision).


We appreciate your help in keeping interruptions to a minimum.

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Monitoring Progress, Grades, Assignments, and Attendance

Student Portal


Students will be assigned a login for Student Portal which will allow them to regularly monitor their grades and assignments. Once logged on the first time, they will be prompted to change their password. Students should keep this in a secure location and should never share the password with others.


Parent Portal

Parent Portal provides access for parents to view students' attendance, grades, schedules, lunch balances, and other useful information. It also allows teachers to communicate with parents via the portal. You can enroll HERE, (directions) If you have questions about your portal account or are having trouble logging in, please contact Student Information Services by emailing infinitecampusportal@cowetaschools.net.

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Registration for Band, Chorus, Guitar

If you would like to register your child for band, chorus, or guitar for the 2022-2023 school year, please visit the fine arts page to sign up and to learn more about each program from our teachers and students.


Music Programs and Registration

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Soccer Tryouts

Soccer Tryouts for both the girls and boys teams starts August 8th.


Tryout Information

Who: 7th/8th grade interested students

Dates: August 8th, 9th, 10th

Time: 3:30-5:15

Pickup: Behind school at car rider zone

What to Bring: water bottle, t-shirt, shorts, cleats

Required Paperwork (including physical): must be submitted to the front office before participating. You can download the packet here.


Coach Contact Information

Girls' Coach: Jimmy Countryman - jimmy.countryman@cowtaschools.net

Boys' Coach: Zach Galatian - zachary.galatian@cowetaschools.net

Athletic Director: - Herbert Betts - herbert.betts@cowetaschoools.net

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Parent Volunteer Training

If you are a parent who plans to volunteer at the school or at a school event during the upcoming school year, please plan to attend one of our volunteer training sessions (approximately 20-30 minutes). These will be held throughout the year at different times in room 118. Sign in at the front office upon arrival, and our secretary can direct you. If we can answer any questions about the training, please feel free to contact Caroline Rothschild or Erin Nash via email or phone (770-254-2744). We love and appreciate Madras parents and are grateful for the many things they do for us throughout the year!

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Our electronic announcements, Eagle Notes, are emailed regularly and will keep you updated with the latest news and happenings. We hope you’ll also take advantage of all the additional ways to connect with our school community such as text reminders via Remind, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Parent and Student Portals, and the Madras Web site.


If your primary email address is correct in Infinite Campus, you should automatically receive newsletters.

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