Bobcat Tracks

Monthly Newsletter for South Junior High School

Welcome Back to School Bobcats!

Principal’s Message


Welcome to the 2017-2018 School Year! At South Junior High, our teachers and staff get sincerely excited for the beginning of the school year, and this year is no different. In turn, we thoroughly enjoy the range of emotions amongst students that are varied and entertaining to observe. Some are very excited to return after summer break, some are indifferent, and some would like to extend their summer vacations.


Our first week went really well as students participated in a school-wide character education day. Teachers planned diverse activities that emphasized characteristics to help your student with future success, while building team and student camaraderie. The seventh graders seem to be figuring out the “map” to navigating the junior high world!


I know that each year, every student returns to school wanting to do his or her best. With this in mind, almost all students share a common goal of staying organized, earning good grades, and improving on last year’s performance. The desire to complete more assignments, improve attendance, or achieve higher grades is real, but sometimes the challenge of following through is often lacking, which is completely normal. In an effort to help students with their achievement, the BSD Board of Trustees enacted new policies where students can retake assessments or re-do assignments to prove their competency with the material. Teachers have also been instructed to accept late work; however, the student may still receive a consequence finishing an assignment late. This effort and policy stresses one thing: STUDENT LEARNING HAPPENS AT A VARIETY OF PACES AND IS OF THE UTMOST IMPORTANCE. If you have questions regarding a grading practice for a class, please do not hesitate to contact your child’s teacher. If students do struggle to succeed, the message from school will be to keep trying until they understand the concepts and succeed. In these cases, zest, self-control, optimism, and grit are a student and parent’s best friend.


Finally, attendance is a critical component of student success. Ensuring that your child is here on time each day will allow them to learn and grow in multiple areas: academic, behavioral, and social/emotional. When possible, please try to schedule appointments outside of the school day. If you do need to take your child out of school for an appointment, thank you for minimizing the time away from school.


Remember, here at South, we are ONE TEAM composed of students, parents, guardians, teachers, counselors, administrators and staff, and TOGETHER WE ACHIEVE!


Regards,


Jeff Hultberg

South Junior High's Charachter Traits

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In September we will focus on understanding and embracing the Growth Mindset

The Brain Grows with Learning to Make You Smarter!


Dr. Susan Dweck, a leading researcher in the field of cognitive psychology, discovered that when people believe that their intelligence is malleable, or can be increased through learning, that they make the effort to learn and embrace failure as part of the learning process. Studies by Dr Dweck concluded that students who exhibited behaviors of the growth mindset showed an increase in effort and motivation in comparison to peers whose mindset allowed failure to be a barrier to learning.


Consider this when your student wants to give up when tasks become difficult. How can you and your student learn from the things that didn't work out?


Watch the video below for an abbreviated explanation of the Growth Mindset

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=73&v=Yl9TVbAal5s

Boise School Districts Grading Policy Has Changed!

This school year students will benefit from a new grading policy that aims to create a school culture based on the ideas of the growth mindset. Our district wants to encourage students to embrace the failures and use them to try harder to be successful in their classes and one of the first steps in doing so is adjusting our grading policy to align with our belief in the power of the growth mindset.


1. Students can make up any test, quiz, or assignment in whole or in part. By providing students with the opportunity to participate in relearning content, our district hopes that students will embrace challenges and put effort into mastering the skills, concepts, and content of our state standards.


2. Students can turn in work late. Teachers can create their own policy to reduce the number of points a student can earn in turning in work late, as we value punctuality as a vital occupational skill in our society. At South, our teacher will create late work policies that will not dissuade students from turning in their work, even if it's late.


3. Grading scales have been adjusted. This year, students will be graded on a 5 point, 4 point, or traditional grading scale where a A is still worth 100%, but an F is worth no less than 50%. Consider this, on a 100% to 0% scale a F makes up 60% of the grading scale. As we promote motivating students to overcome challenges as a means to learning, we also need to support our students in this goal by leveling the playing field. Research suggests that by using grading scales with equal intervals, we allow students the leverage to make mistakes without taxing their grade to the extent that they cannot recover.

South Team Day Memories

Register NOW for FALL Community Education Classes

Whether you're a parent, student, patron or staff member, you are invited to register NOW for Boise School District's FALL Community Education classes. We are excited to offer you nearly 300 personal enrichment courses, many of them new & affordable lifelong learning classes that are sure to enrich your life! We have classes for all ages! Hurry, courses fill quickly! Enroll online at www.boiselearns.org


FALL Community Education session begins Monday, September 11, 2017 and runs through Thursday, October 19, 2017.


For more than 45 years, Boise School District's Community ED program has served as Boise's first choice for lifelong learning. Continue your journey with us!