FMS Parent Newsletter

8/31-9/11 Edition

RIGHT NOW THE BIG QUESTION IS, "IS MY CHILD BEING SUCCESSFUL WITH REMOTE LEARNING?

FIRST: HOW TO KNOW IF YOUR CHILD IS COMPLETING WORK AS ASSIGNED

GET ADDED AS A GUARDIAN IN YOUR CHILD'S GOOGLE CLASSROOM OR CANVAS

  1. If you haven't been sent an invitation already, contact the teacher and request to be added as a guardian. Make sure you give them an email you check frequently.
  2. You will get an email with an invitation to join the class - go ahead and accept.
  3. Being a guardian means that you can get a daily or weekly summary of what your child needs to get done. You also can see all the announcements that teachers have made, and all the classes that you are signed up as a guardian for will be combined into the summary.
  4. Check out the pics below to see what a weekly summary looks like!
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SECOND: HOW TO KEEP TRACK OF YOUR CHILD'S GRADES K-12

POWERSCHOOL IS A POWERFUL TOOL FOR PARENTS OF CHILDREN FROM K-12

PowerSchool is a powerful tool in making sure that your child(ren) are keeping up with their academics and attendance. You can go in any time you like, click on a grade, and see the assignments right there (see the pic below). You can also sign up to get daily, weekly, or monthly updates sent right to your email.


  • See a zero? That likely means that the assignment was not turned in
  • Have a question? Email the teacher (the email is right there in PowerSchool)


*A lot of students in middle school will begin telling untruths to their parents to stay out of trouble or get what they want. Don't worry! It's part of how their brain is working during this time as they push boundaries and figure out who they are as a person. Having Google Meet, Canvas, and PowerSchool access helps you to sort out for sure what is going on with your student academically. These are tools to help you to stay "in the know" get signs when you may need to step in and advocate for your child. You keep PowerSchool access all the way through high school, and it's been a great tool for parents as their children get older and ask for more independence.


READY TO GET SIGNED UP? CALL THE SCHOOL AT 919-494-2971

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ONCE YOU CLICK ON THE GRADE, YOU CAN SEE THE ASSIGNMENTS AND HOW THEY DID ON THEM

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WHAT TEACHERS ARE TELLING ME ABOUT STUDENT ENGAGEMENT

  • Lots of students are logging on every day and doing their assignments and doing it fabulously!! Teachers are happily surprised with the number of students who are taking to remote learning like a fish in water :)
  • Some students are logging in and then not participating and not completing work. The students that are doing this are for the most part doing this every day in most classes. These students will turn off their camera and mic, and then go do something else like games or talking to their friends. If you check your child's PowerSchool and your child is marked attended all day every day, but their grades are terrible, you may want to have a conversation with them about why they are attended every day but not getting work done.
  • Some students aren't logging in at all. There aren't that many students, and most of them got Kajeets and are able to log on now (even though the connection is not ideal). Teachers are aware of this issue and are trying to communicate with parents. If you know someone who didn't sign up for a Kajeet but legit have no internet connection, please tell them to call the school about this.
  • Some students are logging on and attending, but are struggling. Make sure that your child knows that videos are posted every day for parents and students to watch to go over what happened in class as many times as needed. You can also have your child advocate for themselves and email their teacher for help. All FMS teachers also have office hours Monday-Thursday from 2:30-3pm and you can call the school or email them with questions during this time.

ARISTOTLE IS OUR NEW TEACHER TOOL FOR "SEEING" YOUR CHILD'S SCREEN

CHROMEBOOKS AT HOME STILL HAVE A CONNECTION TO THE SCHOOL

Last year we had GoGuardian - this year we have Aristotle. This program allows teachers to see student screens while they are using their Chromebooks. If students are using their own personal devices, then teachers are unable to see what they are doing.


Note: if a teacher contacts you and says that they saw your child on other programs/games while they were supposed to be in class, they saw it clear as day on Aristotle! Usually teachers will send a private message to a student who is on other programs/games and tell them to pay attention to class. If it keeps happening they will likely contact you. If they are doing something against the district use policy then it becomes a discipline issue and you will likely hear from me or Mr. Jones.

No electricity? Need help with food? Need help finding a job or getting help with legal services? This is the site you need! NC211.org

REMEMBER THOSE FREE DESKS? WE MAY HAVE A FEW MORE IF THEY DON'T GET PICKED UP

DID YOU RESERVE A DESK? IF YOU HAVEN'T PICKED IT UP BY WEDNESDAY THIS WEEK WE WILL REMOVE THE RESERVATION AND GIVE THOSE DESKS TO OTHER FAMILIES


CALL MR. JONES AT 919-494-2971 TO MAKE PLANS TO PICK UP YOUR RESERVED DESKS BY THE END OF THE DAY ON WEDNESDAY!!

IREADY TESTING IS GOING ON NOW

IReady testing is ongoing this month. This is a diagnostic test that we will use to see where students are academically, especially after this last spring!


What to know more about iReady and how you can support your child? CLICK HERE

JUST IN - FREE LUNCHES FOR EVERYONE K-12 THROUGH DECEMBER!

CLICK ON THE BUTTON BELOW FOR MORE INFORMATION

6TH GRADE TEAM

MS. DOWNUM - SCIENCE

We had a great first week of class. The students did amazing with virtual learning. Keep up the hard work. We covered the basics for the first week and we are going to jump right into Earth in the Universe the second week.


MR. GENTILE - MATH

We have had an excellent start to the year. I’m so thankful and impressed by the amount of responsibility and effort I’m seeing from students in class each day :) We are continuing to work through our first topics in math that have reviewed perimeter, area of rectangles, and now we have moved on to calculating the area of triangles. Please talk with your child and ask about their vocabulary project (which we started on week one). Please email me with any questions or concerns and keep up the positive support at home!

https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1zWhL-fbLKb24veQz1Q4bbc58vZakcjiBtpStBS8ONRw/edit?usp=sharing


MS. MCINTOSH - ELA

We are off to a wonderful start. You are bringing so much positive energy to class.Thank you so much! I am so excited about teaching and learning with each of you this year. Let’s be great together.

  1. We will continue with our lessons in preparation of our first novel “Percy Jackson”.

  2. Students will be given access to the online books by next week

  3. We will be taking our IReady diagnostic this week.

  4. Please look at IReady Video for more information.

  5. Make sure you are completing your FFM (First Five Minutes) questions daily. Posted in Google Classroom.

If you have any questions or concerns you can email me at chasitymcintosh@fcschools.net


MS. BROOKS - SOCIAL STUDIES

We have had a successful beginning to the school year. This week we will be learning about Map Skills and the 5 Themes of Geography. If you have any questions or concerns you can email me at jericabrooks@fcschools.net.

7TH GRADE TEAM

MS. NEUJAHR - SCIENCE

WELCOME students and parents! First week went great with getting to know everyone and their personalities. Hopefully everyone was able to adjust to the internet issues and technology problems and is well on their way to being successful with the virtual classrooms we have set up. In the second week of school, we’re going into a sprint learning the curriculum. Students will be learning the scientific method as well as the metric system in this week's studies. Although the material may seem pretty basic, it's a foundation that they will need to know for the rest of the year! We are also learning Layers of Atmosphere, Ozone Layer, Types of Weather and how to predict, as well as Global Warming and the Human Impact on Earth's Environment.


MR. COBB - MATH

We are off to a great start this year! Please remind your students to stay on task during class, review with instructional videos and turn in all assignments each day. I have emailed all parents about missing assignments and PowerSchool will be updated at the end of each week.


MS. BAECHLE - ELA

Welcome students and families to the 2020-2021 FMS school year. Even though we are starting off in a different way than we had hoped with remote learning, we will persevere and succeed as a team! For the week of 8/31: On next Th/Fri students will be completing an ELA Assessment on I-Ready through Clever to obtain a baseline for their reading comprehension skills since we have seen one another since March. They will be able to log on with their student ID and username. I will be sending a link through email for students and parents to view for taking the assessment. You can also access the link attached here: https://share.vidyard.com/watch/yrSgQr639jzH8sTAAbuiBR?


In addition, I will be introducing our first text and unit of the year on the text, “A Long Walk To Water.” The students will be introduced to the format of a daily lesson, new vocabulary, writing exercises; etc. Any and all work can be found on the students Google Classroom, per core and remember to check your Powerschool for grades and what you owe. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me at: kimberlybaechle@fcschools.net. I look forward to a great year!


MR. LEMONS - SOCIAL STUDIES

Welcome Mr. Lemons!! Tomorrow is Mr. Lemons' first day with his classroom - we are so happy to have him on board!

8TH GRADE TEAM

MS. FOGG - SCIENCE

Welcome Back Jr RAMS! It has been a great start to the semester. We have started our first official unit “The Hydrosphere” where students have been learning all about the unique properties of water and how water is distributed within the amazing “Blue Planet Earth.” This week we will be looking more closely at freshwater and learning about our river basin. There will be a mini river basin project presented to students at the end of the week which will also focus on stewardship . Although we meet in google classroom for synchronous learning, All assignments are located in Canvas. Parents you can have access to your child’s canvas page by completing the following steps:

  • Have your student(s) Generate a Pairing Code (this will be different for each student).

  • Go to https://fcschools.instructure.com/login/canvas (bookmark this site so that you can easily access your Observer dashboard for your student(s).

  • Click on Parent of a Canvas User? in the upper right-hand corner of the window.

  • Complete the required information in the window, which will include inputting the student Pairing Code. Multiple students can be added.

  • Go to the Dashboard to see your student(s)' courses.

  • Parents can sign into this account to easily access their student's courses within Canvas.

  • What can parents view as an Observer?

If you have any questions as it relates to assignments or grades please feel free to contact me at tiffanyfogg@fcschools.net. Please continue to stay safe!



MR. HOOPER - MATH

It has been great to see all of my 8th grade students. I miss seeing their smiling faces and hearing their voices. We have completed the required diagnostic testing for math as well as discussed classroom expectations and procedures. We have started our new unit on Transformations and will continue for the next 3 weeks. Please refer to my canvas page for any updates as well as current and missing assignments. Please contact me with any questions or concerns at davidhooper@fcschools.net.


MR. DOWNUM - SOCIAL STUDIES

First off all welcome back to all the students, it has been great to get back to work and see all of the kids. The first two weeks went by fast and the kids have been doing a great job adjusting to the new normal of the workday. We kept it light in class the first few weeks learning expectations and practicing some skills that the kids will need to have this year. We have worked on the first unit of the year which is geography, and the kids have been learning vocabulary and working on maps. I am looking forward to a great year.


MS. FROST - ELA

Obtain Access to Grade 8 ELA Canvas Page to Monitor Your Child’s Lessons, Announcements, and Assignments via the Directions Below…


PARENTS: Use the following directions to create a Canvas Observer Account.

  • Have your student(s) Generate a Pairing Code (this will be different for each student).

  • Go to https://fcschools.instructure.com/login/canvas (bookmark this site so that you can easily access your Observer dashboard for your student(s).

  • Click on Parent of a Canvas User? in the upper right-hand corner of the window.

  • Complete the required information in the window, which will include inputting the student Pairing Code. Multiple students can be added.

  • Go to the Dashboard to see your student(s)' courses.

  • Parents can sign into this account to easily access their student's courses within Canvas.

  • What can parents view as an Observer?


ELA Updates: ELA Parents, first and foremost, I want to convey how proud I am of each student actively participating in online classes daily. My attendance is close to 100%! And, I feel that together we are establishing an online community where students are actively engaged in each lesson. I appreciate the ongoing communication with your child via email with questions. That is a testament to you (your support) and your child's commitment to learning virtually.

With that being said, next week, your child will be taking an online diagnostic reading assessment on September 3 and 4. Students will access the online diagnostic reading assessment via Clever. The student username and password is each student's ID number. This past Thursday, I covered the importance of this assessment. The tips can be viewed at Student IReady Information for Reading Diagnostic Test.

Please communicate to your child that the diagnostic reading test provides you as parents and myself with valuable information regarding each student's readability level to target lessons based on your child's needs.

Below are some highlighted tips:

  • Show what you know! Try your best so you can show what you’ve learned.

  • The results include what your child already knows and is able to successfully complete work independently, as well as gaps that your child may need additional support.

  • Determines what each child needs to learn in alignment with Grade 8 Standards.

  • The results of your child's Diagnostic test decides what lessons your child will be assigned.

  • IMPORTANT NOTE: If your child tries his/her best on the diagnostic test, lessons will accurately match what your child needs to learn.

  • I shared this video with students last Thursday, and I encourage you to watch again with your child for review at https://i-readycentral.com/view-resource/?id=20217

Please review iReady test parent guidance video prior to September 3rd at: https://share.vidyard.com/watch/yrSgQr639jzH8sTAAbuiBR?

IN ADDITION...

Daily Expectations: Meet Our Ultimate Reading Goal... Read for 20 to 30 minutes daily for enjoyment.

Reading independently for sustained periods of time increases student vocabulary bank, background knowledge, comprehension skills, and the ability to build stamina when faced with complex texts.

Please email me with any questions at annafrost@fcschools.net.

Sincerely, Ms. Frost

ELECTIVES TEAM

MR. SMITH - BAND/MUSIC APPRECIATION

Annnd we’re off! The music program is off and running. I have been very impressed with attendance overall. Students are showing up for class, but that’s just half the battle. Participation is an essential part of music whether in band or music appreciation. Please encourage students to play a more active role in our class by participating in class discussions and activities. These past two weeks have been dedicated to reviewing musical concepts that may have been forgotten. Students have been working hard and familiarizing themselves with not only the content, but the expectations regarding how our classroom operates both virtually and (eventually) in person. Instrument distribution is taking place Monday August 31 from 8-3 from 7th and 8th grade band students ONLY. If you are not able to come out during that time, please contact me to make other arrangements. If you have any questions or concerns, please email me.


MS. HATTEN - DRAMA

What a great start to the year! Students are working hard, and now that grades are going in they are seeing the results of their work! Please talk to your student about their Interactive Notebook for Drama. I will be checking those weekly and they will be getting grades based on the work they do in that notebook. If your child is showing missing work or grades are 0’s, please have them check their interactive notebook status and see if it is OWNED by me or by your student. If your student is the owner, it is a local copy and I am probably not seeing the work done. If your child has not been able to get their notebook to load, please have them (or you) see me during my office hours Monday - Thursday from 2:30 - 3:00 pm Google Meet nickname HattenDrama. I have had a few students take advantage of office hours already and I am so proud of them for asking for help! We have to work together! I hope to be posting some FUN videos soon of our very first video project done remotely! Stay tuned!


COACH HARTSFIELD - PE/HEALTH

Congrats students! You have taken the virtual learning platform challenge and been successful! The first couple of weeks have been a review about Health and Physical activity. Students have been taking notes, using quizzez and participating in physical activities. Announcements for test, project and Fun Friday’s will be posted in the “upcoming” box. If students missed a class, they can always get the notes from their google classroom “Classwork - Notes” section.

Please contact me by email, if you have any concerns.

MS. FAULKNER - DIGITAL LEARNING COACH

Welcome back to FMS!!


I hope you all had a nice break and are ready to get back to work.


Click here for the 2020/2021 North Carolina Battle of the Books list


https://ncslma.wildapricot.org/resources/Documents/MSBOB%20official%20book%20list%202020-2021.pdf


If your student would like to check out a book please let me know and I will do all I am able to get that book in their hands...even if it means delivering it to your house (COVID 19 safety measures will be enforced.)


The most important thing for your child to do, at this time, is to read! Everything in life revolves around reading!!


You can always contact me by phone at 919-494-2971 or by email at kimfaulkner@fcschools.net


Tutorial for logging into SORA coming soon!

MS. MOORE - GUIDANCE COUNSELOR

Welcome!

I’m available from 8:00a.m. to 3:00p.m. Monday-Friday.

You and your child can reach out to me using this School Counselor Request Form.

Or, feel free to call me at 919-494-2971 or email me at marymoore@fcschools.net if you have questions or concerns about your child.



  • How to Help Your Child Succeed During Distance Learning
  • Establish expectations with your child. Discuss worries, what motivates them, have a two way conversation with your child and create a plan together.
  • Make an academic space to help them focus. Help them keep it organized.
  • Stock their space with school supplies they’ll need. Remember markers/colored pencils, and headphones.
  • Post your child’s schedule to help your child stay on track.
  • Have your child get dressed for school - getting out of pajamas helps the brain get into learning mode.
  • Help your child use a planner and keep it organized. Help your child learn how to utilize a planner effectively. Review it with them regularly to help your child stay on top of their classes.
  • Let the school know if you’re having internet issues at home.
  • It’s good for them to have a few minutes between classes to stretch, drink some water, take a brain break.
  • Help them make daily “to do” lists. Include tasks for organizing their learning area and take breaks.
  • Reach out to the school! The parent-teacher-student relationship is vital for success. Ask any questions you have. Let the teachers know if your child needs more help.
  • Plan screen-free time every day. “Unplug” with your child and do something fun together!
  • We all need to try our best, but have patience with your child, your school, yourself (and others)!



Helpful Resources


NC211.org

*No electricity? Need help with food? Need help finding a job or getting help with legal services? This is the site you need!


Hope4NC

*Great place for mental health resources

AIG - MRS. HAWTHORNE

Welcome to a unique year of learning! The challenges presented in this season will only serve to improve the character of our children. I have two elementary children myself and am seeing both the teacher and parent side of remote learning! Together we can do hard things! I continue to support teachers of the advanced ELA and Math classes. New this year, is a district wide AIG Google Classroom! I am co-teaching this asynchronous class with my counterpart, Myra Bridgers. Students are offered challenges and afforded the opportunity to enter contests to keep their critical thinking and creativity sharp! To access a welcome video and information about the AIG programs for Franklin County Schools, check out my CANVAS page. Feel free to reach me anytime at valeriehawthorne@fcschools.net with your questions.
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