Welcome to the GMSD Neighborhood
Behind the Scenes of Houston Middle School
Last week at Houston Middle School students enjoyed their annual house sorting celebration. All incoming sixth graders and new students found out their house assignments. While this is a fun and festive reminder of why it's good to be a Mustang, it's all part of a bigger initiative to make sure all students have a place they belong. Students meet in houses and compete for points throughout the year.
On Fun Fridays, students and staff begin the day with a school-wide dance party with a teacher themed walk-out song. Follow them on Instagram to see which teacher and which song is featured each week.
This year marks some important changes for our HMS Mustangs–including the addition of 24 elective classes such as Career Exploration, Speech and Debate, Jazz Ensemble, Advanced Art, and Coding-plus many more. Students can also choose these electives on a more frequent basis, ensuring they can explore different pathways before they arrive at the high school. They’ve added in a recess mid-day called Mustang Moves and a 30-minute study hall at the end of the day that they call their Focus Period.
Our team is even more excited to open the new addition to the community this Winter.
The Germantown Board of Education amends the grading policy to incentivize attendance
One thing you'll notice about GMSD this year, is that it is moving past the pandemic. And, one of those tasks includes reminding parents and students about the importance of school attendance.
Every day a student is absent is a lost opportunity for learning. Too many absences not only can affect achievement for the absent student but also can disrupt learning for the entire class. Because attendance is so important, the Germantown Municipal School District is returning to its exam-exemption policy--with a few tweaks. They've added to the number of excused absences to allow for a student to follow current COVID guidelines.
Research shows that students who consistently miss school are at risk of lower academic achievement, failure and even dropping out of school altogether. Here are some facts:
- Chronic absenteeism (missing more than 10 days a semester) begins as early as pre-kindergarten
- Compared to children with average attendance, chronically absent students gained 14% fewer literacy skills in kindergarten and 15% fewer literacy skills in 1st grade
- By 6th grade, chronic absence is one of three early warning signs that a student is more likely to dropout of school
- By 9th grade, student attendance is a better predictor of graduation than 8th grade test scores
Bringing awareness to the issue of chronic absenteeism, and providing information and resources to parents can help improve student attendance and, consequently, student achievement.
Before the pandemic began, GMSD had a policy in place that incentivized or rewarded students in credit-bearing courses (high school and some middle school students) by exempting them from exams if they meet the following criteria:
A student having a (ninety) 90 or higher average for the two (2) terms in a specific course
Any unexcused absence or more than seven (7) excused absences per semester in a course will disqualify the student from being exempt from the semester exam for that particular course. Exemptions apply only to teacher-made semester examinations. 12th grade students are eligible for exam exemption during both semesters. All other students in high school courses who meet the above requirements may be exempted for only the second semester exam; however, for courses that are only one semester, underclassmen may also be exempt during first semester.
Watch the Germantown Board of Education Business Meeting, including the Superintendent's Report: Early Literacy Outcomes, a celebration of elementary school reading teachers, and an introduction to the district's new Student Board Representative, Joseph Opferman.
Join the GMSD Community in celebrating homecoming this year
GMSD is gearing up for Houston High School's Homecoming Week. Join us September 12-17th for Dancing Through the Decades.
The entire district will be observing two of the dress-up days.
- Thursday, September 15th- Mustang Spirit Day- Wear your Houston gear or sport the colors: silver, white and black
- Friday, Sept. 16- Decades Day- Dress up from your favorite decade. Students will be wearing their decade outfits at the game too.
Are you a local business that wants to support your local schools?
We would like to highlight the businesses that partner and support Houston High with a social media campaign during Homecoming Week (September 10-16). This is a great opportunity for the community of Germantown to come together and support the Houston Mustangs!
Ways you can #reptheH
If you are a local business owner who supports Houston, we would love your help!
We ask that you post a #reptheH sign at their business for the week
Be willing to run a promotion for Houston High customers during Homecoming week September 10-16) for customers who check in and tag the business and Houston High social media
We will advertise partnering businesses on our social media (@houstonhighgmsd) during Homecoming week
Show your GMSD-spirit by participating in a FREE contest. Observe one of our two dress-up days, take a picture, and tag us @gmsdk12 or use the hashtag #reptheH
All business participants will receive a small prize!
*To clarify, HHS will be observing dress up days throughout the week. Visit https://www.instagram.com/houstonhighsga to see more information specific to high school plans.
Students at HHS are building floats for homecoming & they need your help!
Hi, My name is Liza Grace. I am a senior at Houston High School, and am involved with lots of clubs and extracurriculars such as softball, cross country, orchestra, National Honors Society, Beta Club, and one of my favorites…Student Government Association (SGA). I am a class representative on SGA, and am SO excited about our float competition this year. This is one of Houston High School’s favorite homecoming traditions, but due to Covid, we were unable to enjoy several cultural milestones. Because of this, we want to go ALL out and promote school spirit by allowing all of our students to get involved!
We plan to showcase our fun class floats during our homecoming game, September 16th. Our class floats are based on decades, and the seniors have 70’s!!!!! We are SO excited to get started, but due to covid and the lack of funds we do not have all the money we need to make these magnificent floats.
Why you consider donating to us:
This is one of our biggest games of the year meaning we will have a ton of spectators viewing our beautiful float! All eyes will be on the floats during half time as the drive them around the track. Our float is a Volkswagen bus and we are going to put y’all’s business as our bumper stickers! Y’all can either give us a bumper sticker y’all want us to use or we can create one!
Better Way Athletics & HUDL Cameras Debut in GMSD Athletic Programs
GMSD is excited to announce our new partnership with A Better Way Athletics. This program is designed for coaches and families to help students build skills for life including confidence and character while restoring joy to sports. Our coaches will be sharing information with parents during the month of September.
We also have a new partnership with HUDL platforms. This video capturing program allows every coach, player and team to access game changing technology. New cameras in our gym and on our field will allow athletes to access video that they can use for game review and for highlights videos for colleges and universities.
Also, this week: It's never too early to learn what your aspiring athlete needs to do to plan for post-secondary opportunities. On Thursday, September 8th, join us for a parent workshop about NCAA eligibility in the Houston High School Traverse Library.
GFL Night this Friday Night: You're Invited
On Friday, Sept 9th, Houston High will be hosting GFL NIGHT at our home football game vs. PURE Academy. We will be celebrating our future Mustangs all evening with events that include GFL football players on the field for pregame activities and 4th & 5th grade cheerleaders leading cheers with Houston High's own defending National and World Champion Varsity Cheer team. All GFL players in jerseys and GFL cheerleaders in uniform will be admitted to the game for free. Kickoff is 7:00pm.
A handful of students fill their summer with meaningful internship experiences
August 2022--What did you do this summer? Meet three students who used their summer vacation to do complete incredible internships: Bridget Igadwa, Perry Pearson, and Sarah Folz. READ MORE
The Germantown Public Art Commission, in addition to creating art spaces, has also partnered with GMSD on an exciting new venture. The City of Germantown's Public Art Manager Cat Pena and Houston High School Art Teacher Bobby Spillman are using GMSD's most talented young artists to design "creative crosswalks" proposals for the Commission. READ MORE
Plant dissection day brings hands-on learning to third grade classrooms at Dogwood Elementary School
August 2022--Last week at Dogwood Elementary, the third grade hall was smelling especially sweet because they were studying plants and flowers. “My favorite part about the plant unit was learning about germinating and reproduction,” said Madeline French, a third grader in Ms. Mashour’s class. READ MORE
Football players raise money to fight pediatric cancer with lemonade stand
August 2022--Senior and junior Houston football players Andy Belles (long snapper) and George Vezina (kicker) teamed up with Kick-It for Cancer and are raising money to support the fight against pediatric cancer this season. READ MORE
Meet this week's Blue Chip Teacher Feature, Rhonyai Mitchell. Ms. Mitchell recently completed a student teaching placement at Forest Hill Elementary School and is excited to have gotten her first teaching job at the Home of the Foxes.