Principal Update: Week of January 31
Connecting * Informing * Supporting
From Principal Andrews
Parents, We Need You! There are various opportunities for you to get involved and help our school community. Below is a list of current needs for volunteers:
- Scholastic Book Fair - Our school Book Fair will be open, February 7 - 11. If interested in volunteering, please sign up to volunteer at our Book Fair. A new feature is for parents and guardians to set up an eWallet or digital payment account for students to shop. Visit our Greenville Middle Scholastic Homepage to learn more, or shop online.
- Clothes Closet - We are collecting donations for new or gently used clothing items for the GMA Clothes Closet. The items in the closet will be available to any student in need, for free. Please sign up for specific clothing articles requested on the SignUp Genius. Donations may be dropped off in the front office. Please clearly mark your items and sizes.
- Frosty Fridays - We need parent volunteers to run the store. (The ice cream window is across the hall from the Guidance office.) If you would like to work a shift or two, please sign up here.
The NHI Lab and Mathia Lab will be available this week on Tue/Wed AM, from 7:30-8:30 AM in the Media Center and Tue/Thu, from 3:30-4:30 PM in the Media Center.
Teachers will facilitate a lesson on wellbeing on Thursday during RAM Time. Contact your student's grade level school counselor if you have any questions. The lesson titles and focus are included below.
- 8th Grade: In the Moment - In this lesson, students will focus on mindfulness as it is an important part of Self-Care. Mindfulness provides a way to nurture a sense of quiet inner peace, improve one's ability to learn, and promote deeper and more meaningful relationships. From this lesson, students will learn techniques for mindfulness and be able to practice strategies for mindfulness.
- 7th Grade: Healthy Boundaries - In this lesson, students will learn that healthy boundaries are important to protect our safety and take care of ourselves. Boundaries are guidelines and limits we set for ourselves and our relationships. Students will learn the importance of healthy boundaries, how to identify one's own boundaries, and how to know when a boundary has been crossed.
- 6th Grade: Setting Boundaries to Be Yourself - In this lesson, healthy boundaries are important to protect our safety and take care of ourselves. Boundaries are guidelines and limits we set for ourselves and our relationships. Students learn the importance of healthy boundaries, how to identify one's own boundaries, and how to know when a boundary has been crossed.
We appreciate parents being proactive with keeping students home who aren't well. Help us keep GMA open on an in-person basis by keeping students home and getting them tested for COVID if they are presenting with a new or worsening cough, change of taste or smell, or difficulty breathing. Please also keep students home they are presenting with two or more of the following symptoms: headache, fatigue, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, nausea/vomiting, or diarrhea. Speak with your doctor and/or have your student get tested for COVID.
The latest time for an early dismissal is 2:30 PM. Students are reminded to bring their Student ID daily and have them on prior to entering the building. If a student needs a replacement ID, please send in $5. Students should charge Chromebooks nightly so there is a full charge for the entire school day.
- Feb 1 - STUCO Meeting
- Feb 4 - PTA Board Meeting
- Feb 7-11 - Book Fair
- Feb 7-11 - National School Counseling Week
- Feb 10 - Rambassador Meeting
- Feb 14-17 Unity Week
- Feb 14 - Bus Evacuation Drill
- Feb 15 - GMA Sports Banquet
- Feb 16 - 7th Grade District Career Fair
- Feb 18 - Student Holiday
- Feb 21 - Student Holiday/President's Day
- Feb 22 - STUCO Meeting
- Feb 25 - SIC Meeting
As always, thank you for your support of Greenville Middle Academy! Let's have a great week!
DON'T FORGET: Charge Chromebooks Nightly / Have Your Student ID
Call for Parent Volunteers
Scholastic Book Fair
Our school Book Fair will be here soon! February 7 - 11 our Book Fair will be open for our students. We appreciate our PTA volunteers who encourage our students to read. If interested in volunteering, please sign up to volunteer at our Book Fair here. A new feature is for parents and guardians to set up an eWallet or digital payment account for students to shop. Visit our Greenville Middle Scholastic homepage to learn more or shop online.
We are collecting donations for new or gently used clothing items for the GMA Clothes Closet. The items in the closet will be available to any child for free who needs them. Please sign up for specific clothing articles requested on the SignUp Genius. Donations may be dropped off in the front office. Please clearly mark your items and sizes.
If your child has a January birthday, be sure to recognize him or her at school. For $10, your child’s birthday will be announced at school, and it will be recognized on the school’s website. Deadline for January recognitions is December 30. Sign up here.
Ice cream treats will be available for students to purchase during lunch for $1.00, and we need parent volunteers to run the store. (The ice cream window is across the hall from the Guidance office.) If you would like to work a shift or two, please sign up here.
Tdap Requirement for Rising 7th Graders
South Carolina law states that ALL students are required to have the Tdap vaccine BEFORE they enter 7th grade. This means that your 6th grader should get the vaccination during his/her annual doctor visit this year. The Tdap vaccine can be obtained at your primary health care provider, the Health Department, or various walk-in clinics.
Please make sure your student has the Tdap vaccine this year and have the vaccine certificate sent to school as soon as it is completed. If your child already had the Tdap vaccine, please send a copy of the immunization form into school to ensure that we have it on record. Your child will not be able to attend the 7th grade until we have this form on record at school. Thank you in advance for your help. Please feel free to call the GMA health room with any questions.
Catherine Manske GMA School Nurse 864-355-5607
ACE Awards Nominations
Nominations for the 2022 ACE Awards are now being accepted! The ACE Awards (Advocates for Character and Education) was created by Greg Blatt, Founder and Executive Director of Coaches 4 Character. It is an annual award given to one male and one female student from each of the Greenville County middle and high schools. The award is designed to honor true “unsung heroes” who all too often are not recognized for their accomplishments. The selection process focuses on identifying and selecting students who often go unnoticed for one reason or another, but who have accomplished great things in their community, church or school.
If you would like to nominate a Greenville County 8th or 12th grader, please submit your nomination through the attached link: www.coaches4character.com/ace-awards. (Paper nomination forms are available at each school as well.) All nominations must be submitted by January 31, 2022 An ACE Advisory Committee at each school will choose finalists from among those nominated to complete an application for the ACE Award. One male and one female will be chosen from each middle and high school in Greenville County.
GCS Magnet Academies Information
The academic program of each magnet academy offers a theme or focus that is designed to give students an opportunity to explore a special interest, gift, talent or skill. These schools attract top students and talented teachers who bring innovative ideas to the classroom. Teachers are chosen based on their academic preparation, professional experience, and specialized skills.
Admission into magnet academies is open to all eligible students, but spaces are limited. Students may apply to more than one magnet academy. Applications are scored based on four criteria: attendance, discipline, grade average (student interview in Grades K-5, 1, 2), and a student statement indicating why the student would like to attend the magnet academy. Students who apply and qualify during the first application period have a greater chance of being offered a slot than those students who apply and qualify in later rounds.
ACCESS Testing for Multilingual Learners
In February, we will be administering the State test called ACCESS for ELLS which tests students’ proficiency in the English language. If your child will be taking this test, please mark your calendar and be sure your child gets plenty of rest and is prepared on these test dates. The schedule for testing will be as follows:
- 2/14 Listening
- 2/15 Reading
- 2/23 Writing
- 2/28+3/3 Speaking
- 2/16 Listening
- 2/17 Reading
- 2/24 Writing
- 3/1 Speaking
- 2/16 Listening
- 2/17 Reading
- 2/24 Writing
- 3/2 Speaking
- 2/22 = Listening, Reading
- 2/25 = Writing
- 3/3 = Speaking
- 3/4 = Any needed
Parents are asked to report any COVID-19 symptoms, exposures, quarantines within the home, and positive test results to the school principal.
Parents are strongly encouraged to screen their students daily, at home, for COVID-19 symptoms (see below). If a student takes a COVID-19 test because he/she is symptomatic, the student should not be physically present in school until the test results are returned.
Keep students at home if they present with any of the following symptoms:
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing - or –
- Loss of taste or smell - or –
- New or worsening cough
In order to return to school from this exclusion, student must provide one of the following:
- Return to school note from your student's medical provider indicating a medical evaluation has determined symptoms are related to another cause other than COVID-19 OR
- Documentation of a negative COVID-19 test.
Student are also required to exclude from school with one of the following symptoms but does not require COVID-19 medical clearance:
- Fever (100.4 or greater). Must be 24 hours fever free before returning to school. (this means without the use of fever reducing medications).
- Diarrhea (3 or more episodes of loose stools in a 24 hour period). Must be 24 hours diarrhea free before returning to school (this means without the use of diarrhea suppressing medication).
- Vomiting (2 or more times in a 24 hour period). Must be 24 hours without vomit and able to have 1 to 2 meals before returning to school. (this means without the use of vomiting suppressing medications)
Set Up Parent Backpack - An App for Parents & Guardians
To access Parent Backpack, go to https://parents.gcsbackpack.com and create an account. Please access directions by clicking on Creating a Parent Backpack Account. Parent Backpack is an online application that allows parents and guardians to view your student's grades, school attendance, and discipline when you are logged into the system. English Directions / Direcciones en español
Student Attendance & Arrival
The school year contains 180 days. To earn credit, students must attend 85 days of each 90-day (semester) course and at least 170 days of each 180-day course. Any absence in excess of ten (10) days may cause the loss of credit for the year. Morning Announcements will begin at 8:20 AM. Students will need to be in their 1st class, in their seats by 8:30 AM, otherwise, they will be marked Tardy.
Perfect Attendance Criteria:
The definition of an absence at a Greenville County Middle School is missing more than one-half of any single class period for which a student is enrolled, or multiple class periods for which a student is enrolled, during a school day. Absence in any part of the school day for a minimum of more than one-half class period, even if the student was present for all other portions of that same school day, by definition excludes a student from being determined to have Perfect Attendance for the year.
Students are expected to dress in an appropriate manner while on school district property or representing the school. Personal appearance shall be such that it does not disrupt student work or school order, become distracting to students, or violate health and safety guidelines.
The following standards apply and will be vigorously enforced. Principals may make additions to these standards as they deem necessary.
- Hoods from sweatshirts/jackets cannot be worn inside the building.
- No skin showing through the jeans above the knee. Leggings are allowed under clothing that meets the dress code.
- Shoes must be worn at all times. All sandals must have a hard sole. Slides, bedroom slippers and shower shoes are prohibited.
- Shorts, dresses, and skirts must be mid-thigh when standing up straight. Leggings under dresses and skirts are recommended.
- All shirts/tops must be at least one ID card width at the shoulder. Low cut tops, mid-drifts, tanks, and off-the shoulder shirts are prohibited.
- No cut-off pants, yoga pants, biker shorts or pajamas.
- Undergarments are to be covered by outer clothing. No see-through garments.
- No pants or shorts hanging too far below the waistline (no “sagging”).
- No profane or vulgar language; no drawings containing alcohol, tobacco or illegal drug advertisements on any part of clothing or jewelry.
- No hats, bandanas (any color), shower or hair caps, skullies, curlers or sunglasses.
Student Technology & Cellphones
Each student will be checked-out a Chromebook provided by Greenville County Schools. Chromebooks are permitted to go home with students for educational use. However, students will be responsible for maintaining their good condition and returning the Chromebooks at the end of the school year.
- The expectation is that all students bring a charged Chromebook to school each day and practice responsible digital citizenship at all times.
- A consequence matrix addressing infractions is included in the Student Handbook.
- Cell phones should be turned off and stored in the bookbag during the school day.
- Smart watches may be worn during the day, but are only permitted to be used to keep time.
- Students are not permitted to wear wireless headphones/earbuds unless directed to by a teacher. This includes arrival, dismissal and transitions between classes.
More information about Chromebook use and expectations will be shared by teachers at the beginning of the year.
Bookbags & Student ID Badges
As part of our school district’s continuing efforts to provide a safe learning environment, all middle school students and staff will be required to wear Photo ID badges.
- Students must wear their ID badge whenever they are on campus.
- Students who do not have their ID badges will receive a temporary ID.
- Lost, stolen, or defaced ID badges must be replaced at a cost of $5.00
- Stickers, writing, or other defacing of the ID badge is not be permitted.
- ID badges will also be used to purchase lunch and check out media books & textbooks.
- After the first week of school, students not wearing their ID badge will be subject to disciplinary action.