Jaguar News

Volume 1, Issue 19 - January 12, 2018

Dear Families,

With the new semester, students have new opportunities to apply the skills they learned and start anew in all their classes. As always, we want to provide opportunities for them to own their education and choices, while we support them in the process. At Gentry, our goal is to have responsible students that thrive with the challenges middle school presents, and that are ready for the freedoms high school will offer.

I want to share with you this article about 10 skills middle schoolers need to be successful, and how you can help as a parent.

Here are the highlights:

1. Make good friend choices

2. Work in teams and negotiate conflict

3. Manage a student-teacher mismatch

4. Create organization and homework systems

5. Monitor and take responsibility for grades

6. Learn to self-advocate

7. Self-regulate emotions

8. Cultivate passions and recognize limitations

9. Make responsible, safe, and ethical choices

10. Create and innovate

Thank you for your constant support!

No School on Monday

There is no school on Monday, January 15, in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. day.

Chili Supper Fundraiser Thank You!

Our Gentry families never cease to amaze us! We wanted to be the first to say thank you so much for your support of Gentry athletics. From the athletes selling tickets to the parents donating raffle basket items and helping to work at the event, we could not have done this without your support! With your help we raised approximately $4,000 which will help us with a wide variety of expenses that we incur in our athletic department. Thanks again for your overwhelming support!


Dear Families,

The AVID Elective is a 6th through 12th grade component of the AVID Secondary System that prepares students in the academic middle for admission to a four-year college or university. Students take an AVID Elective course throughout middle school and high school. This elective provides them with the skills needed to be successful in advancing academically with the ultimate goal of attending college. For more than 30 years, AVID has been instrumental in preparing students for success in higher education.

The core component of the AVID Secondary System is the AVID Elective, which supports students as they challenge themselves in more rigorous classes. Students are taught study skills, note-taking, time management, writing skills, and research skills, while being immersed in a college-going culture. The class also includes tutoring sessions that are led by college students and provide support for success in the academically rigorous curriculum. Additionally, the AVID class provides access to information about colleges and universities through field trips, guest speakers, college tutors, scholarship opportunities, and college admission requirement information.

Please pick up an application from Mrs. Phillips, AVID Coordinator (Room 214) or in the Guidance Office from Mrs. Collins. Applications MUST be returned by Monday, January 22nd.

AVID recruits students who are motivated to do well and who are serious about their academic future. This program is limited in numbers. The AVID Team will use applications and data analysis to decide who will be interviewed & chosen for AVID Elective classes.

Thank you!

Kayla Phillips, Gentry AVID Coordinator

City Council Meeting - January 16

This is a reminder that we would like your support during the City Council Meeting January 16, at 7:00 pm. We want to send a clear message to the City of Columbia about the urgency to keep the negotiated timeline to build the new middle school!

Winter Athletic Recognition Night

We will be hosting our Winter Athletic Recognition Night on January 24th at 6:30 pm in the cafetorium. This is a time for the coaches of our Winter sports to recognize both the accomplishments of their team as a whole and of individual athletes on the team. Parents of athletes are welcome to attend and enjoy this nice wrap-up and conclusion to our Winter athletic season. Hope to see you there!

8th Grade Students to Visit RBHS

This is an exciting time for our eighth grade students! They will be going to RBHS on Tuesday, January 16 for an Orientation Day to high school life. Eighth grade students will depart from Gentry after their 2nd period class and return to Gentry in time for their 8th period (around 1:40 pm). Students will not need to bring anything with them on this trip. Lunch will be provided by RBHS (Subway sandwiches and a drink). If a student needs a special lunch, they may carry it with them or make arrangements with the school nurse or guidance as needed. Eighth grade core teachers and counselors will act as program supervisors.

7th & 8th Grade Art Club

Does your student have dreams of becoming the next Picasso or Renoir? Or do they just love doing art? The Art Club will offer 7th and 8th grade students a chance to further explore their favorite media while creating projects designed and brainstormed by the club itself. The first Art Club will begin on Thursday, January 18th from 2:35-4:00 pm in room 165. If your student is interested in participating, please contact Valynda Carter at or have your student stop by her room (rm. 165) to register.

Art Club Requirements:

  • Students picked up late more than twice will no longer be able to participate.
  • Students should plan to attend consistently and are ineligible for participation if they have received more than one office referral this semester.
  • No F’s
  • School handbook rules and expectations will be observed as they are during the school day.
  • 6th grade may not attend 7th/8th meetings.
  • Dates may be added or time extended depending on the progression of projects.


-PTSA is working with several individuals from our district to start having special guests/presentation at our upcoming meetings. Please check back at these notes in the following weeks to see what we have planned for February and March meetings.

-PTSA is also working with our administration to help raise money to put a much needed sound system in the gym. This is a large expense and we will be asking for help. This sound system will allow our athletic department and our band program to bring a much more exciting atmosphere to their events as well as enhance our overall school community. We hope that we can all pull together to make this happen for GMS this year. More info coming soon...

-Calling anyone interested in being a part of the end of the year activities for the 8th grade this year... we will be holding our kick off meeting for this committee on Thursday, January 18th at noon in the main office conference room. We are looking for volunteers to help put all of the fun details together to ensure that our 8th grade students have a great time. If you are unable to attend but would still like to help, please email Mandy Llewellyn at so we can keep you in on the conversations.

-We would like to congratulate the recipients of our first semester teacher grants: Joan Leyden, Michelle Schane & Diana Duncan, and Sarah Greenlee.

We are excited to be able to offer a little extra support to our teachers and students through the these grants each semester!

-Our next PTSA meeting will be on Tuesday, February 6th at 6pm in the media center. We will be voting on a few financial expenditures and would love input from our members. We hope everyone can attend.

General Reminders

None of this info is new to you, but wanted to send a reminder!

- Riding the bus with a friend: We realize that occasionally your student will need to ride the bus home with a friend. If this is the case, we will need for you as the parent to write a note stating that your child has permission to do so. Please include in your note: the date your child will be riding, who your child will be riding with and that student’s bus number. Instruct your child to bring that note into the main office on the day that they will be riding with a friend and we will in turn issue your student a buss pass that they can give to the driver to be permitted to ride.

- Lunch at Gentry: Parents are always welcome to enjoy an occasional lunch at Gentry with their student, but before you visit we thought you would like a better understanding of our lunchtime guidelines. Our guidelines below are quite simple and by being aware of them we can hopefully alleviate undo parental and student stress on the day of your lunchtime visit.

  • You are welcome to purchase a school lunch through the student lunch line. Our cashiers only accept cash, however, and are unable to make change due to our large student population. An adult school lunch costs $ 3.75.
  • If you wish to carry a lunch in on the day of your visit be sure that the lunch you are bringing in is only for you and your child to share. Due to the overall health concerns of our student population, we cannot have a parent share lunch items or bring in a lunch for any other student other than their own child.
  • Lastly, we do not accept any lunch time food deliveries from local food delivery companies for students.

- Use of Coats: Students are not allowed to wear coats in the building, however, we really want them to dress for the weather. Please, encourage your students to wear coats, long pants, and anything else they need to stay warm while they walk to school or wait at the bus stop!

- Use of Cellphones: Cellphones are not allowed at Gentry during the school day, except at lunch. Please, do not communicate with your students via cellphone during class time, it is extremely disruptive and sends them the message that you, as a parent, are encouraging them to not follow the rules. If the message to your student can't wait until lunch time or the end of the day, please, contact the office!

- Dropping items at the office: Once again, it is ok for your students to learn responsibility by "surviving" a school day without the items they forgot at home. They are more likely to remember next time if you don't bring it to them... and helps the office enormously by not having to contact every student who has forgotten something at home (and there are way too many!)

- Drop off & Pick up procedures: These are the general guidelines:

- Pull up as far as you can in front of the building to drop off your student

- Encourage your student to get off the car as soon as you are close to the building

- All students must be picked up or dropped off by the curb. If you park in the lot, escort your child to and from the car.

- Cars may begin entering the bus area at 7:20am

- Students must be in their classroom no later than 7:30am. Plan accordingly.

- Pick up your student(s) no later than 3:00pm, unless they are staying for a supervised after-school activity.

- Parents need to make arrangements with their students ahead of time for pick up. Make sure you communicate with them if they are to ride the bus or wait to be picked up. If you need to call the office to change arrangements it must be done before 2:00pm.

For other questions about procedures, please check the Student Handbook HERE.

Dates to Remember

January 15 - No School

January 16 - 8th grade visit to Rock Bridge HS

January 18 - PTSA meeting - 8th grade end of the year activities @ 12:00pm

January 23 - Geography Bee

January 23 - February 7 - Pre-MAP testing

January 24 - Winter Athletic Recognition Night

January 25 - Spelling Bee

For practices and games check Gentry website!