Discovery Middle School

July, 2017

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General Information and Important Dates!!!

Believe it or not, it's time to start thinking about going back to school. Our teachers will officially be back August 1st; however, many have been busy all summer gathering materials for their classrooms, attending workshops to beef up their skills, reading countless books and articles to get ideas for their lessons, and already working to make their classrooms a bright and enjoyable space for their students!


MONDAY, July 24th


ONLINE FEE PAYMENT OPENS


TUESDAY, July 25th


Fee Payment Day at DMS: 8 a.m. - 3 p.m.

New students to Madison City 7th and 8th grade orientation: 5 p.m. - 6 p.m. - Media Center

7th grade Orientation: 6 p.m. - 7 p.m. - Media Center


WEDNESDAY, July 26th


8th grade Schedule Pick up day: 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.


THURSDAY, July 27th


7th grade Schedule Pick up day: 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.


THURSDAY, August 3rd


OPEN HOUSE: 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.


MONDAY, August 7th


1st Day of School!!!

Schedule Rotation: We will be running the Week 1 schedule, blocks A B C D E


Please check out our DMS website for ongoing important information at

dms.madisoncity.k12.al.us


For a copy of the supply list, click here: Supply List 17-18


PLEASE CLICK THE LINK BELOW FOR REQUIRED SUMMER READING ASSIGNMENTS.

Summer Reading Assignments

For Our 7th Graders and Their Parents...

Moving Up -

The big day is almost here! Elementary school is forever over and MIDDLE SCHOOL is here! New building, new schedule, new teachers, new routines, new friends, and new opportunities! It's an incredible wonderful chance to start over. So, of course, I have some advice to help you with your transition.


1. Take Advantage of Orientation and Open House. This is a great opportunity to walk around the building and familiarize yourself with where things are such as the Media Center, cafeteria, bathrooms, front office, counselor's office, etc. The first day of middle school can be hectic and stressful. It's very helpful to already have a good idea of where things are to relieve that stress.


2. Get Organized!!!! I cannot say this enough. Use a planner. Look at your schedule and locker location. Decide when you will visit your locker throughout the day. It is not usually convenient for students to try and visit lockers between every single class. Think about a rolling back pack. Books and supplies can be heavy. Develop a system for your schoolwork and "stuff". You will have books, papers, binders, school supplies to keep up with daily. Think about what would work best for you. How about a separate binder for each class that is organized with dividers. If that is too much for you to keep up with, think about a larger portfolio type binder, like a trapper keeper, organized according to classes and assignments. Think about homework and studying. When and how will you keep up with responsibilities? That's where a planner is VERY useful. If you are unsure how to organize yourself. Just let me know. I would be so happy to help you.


3. Get Active and Involved! What are you interested in? Do you enjoy sports? Art? Drama? Band? Chorus? Academics? Technology? We have many clubs, groups and opportunities to get involved! Many of our clubs and sports don't even require previous experience or background knowledge! Getting involved is the BEST way to make new and lasting friendships. It is also the best way to explore new interests, figure out what you love and what you don't so that you can continue to grow and learn.


4. Get Help When You Need It. Don't Ever Be Afraid to Ask. You are your best advocate. When you need assistance, help, or moral support and encouragement, please ASK us. As the counselor, I can offer lots of help, but did you know that you have other resources too? There are teachers, coaches, administrators, Officer Scott, our lunch ladies and even our maintenance workers are helpful and willing to help! You will find that you are not the first and definitely won't be the last student to need help! #wearefamily

ALL STUDENTS - Things To Do Now To Get Ready For Back To School!

  • PLAN AND RESET YOUR DAILY SCHEDULE - Over the next week or two, slowly move bedtimes and wake-up times back to what they should be during the school year. Students your age REQUIRE 8-10 hours of sleep to function at optimum. Block out the school schedule (holidays, early release days, end of grading periods, etc.) in your planner. A family planner in a prominent place at home helps everyone see what's going on at a glance, including before or after school activities.
  • ORGANIZE YOUR WORK SPACE AT HOME - If you do not have a dedicated place to work on homework, project, etc. at home, now is the time to set it up! Your work space should be free of clutter. It should also be in a place that is free from distractions, and quiet. It's a great idea to stock up on supplies you will need.
  • GET IN THE BACK TO SCHOOL MINDSET - Review your previous academic achievements. Identify areas you might want to work on this semester and/or school year.
  • SET GOALS FOR YOURSELF FOR THIS UPCOMING SCHOOL YEAR - This is extremely important when planning for a successful year. After you have reviewed your previous academic achievements, set a few goals regarding what you would like to achieve. This can also include habits, personal and athletic goals. For example, are mornings hard for you? Then your new habit goal could be to make your lunch the night before, lay out your clothes, PE uniform, planner, and your backpack the night before so that your morning is streamlined and less chaotic.


Following these steps are sure to make your start to a new year in middle school a success!

For our Parents...

What We Want You to Know...

Middle School years are tough. More is expected from students than in elementary school and sometimes their brains are just not fully developed enough to handle all the social, emotional, and organizational turmoil. Parents can help kids stay focused and grounded by providing unconditional love and emotional support. Some other things you can do to help:


1. Monitor your child's texts and social media. Make sure they are being appropriate and that others are being appropriate to them. Report any bullying, harassing, or inappropriate texts or posts. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE do this. Parent monitoring cuts down on the issues that follow your children into school. It helps curb cyber-bullying and helps protect our students.


2. Make sure your kids get a full night sleep. Did you know the adolescent brain is growing more now than it did when your child was a toddler? That brain needs sleep to weed out the unimportant mess and file away the important stuff. Turn off ALL electronics about an hour before bed. The light from screens wakes our brains up and can disrupt REM sleep.


3. Help them get to school ON TIME. Students who come in late disrupt class and start their own day off on the wrong foot. Students come in feeling rushed and ill-prepared for the day. They have to spend valuable time catching up on what they missed.


4. Create a routine and stick to it. Middle schoolers have so much chaos in their lives and in their bodies and in their brains. A sturdy routine can help them feel secure and grounded when everything else feels out of control.


5. Help them get organized and stay organized all year. Find one spot in your house for homework, to keep book bags, lunch boxes, band instruments, sports equipment, etc. Train your child to always put their things in that same spot. This cuts down on morning chaos and helps children stick to routines.


6. Talk to your middle schoolers every day. This may be hard, especially as they get older. They need to know you are there for them and that you still love them even when they can seem hard to love.


7. Finally, help them protect their time. Help them schedule in "down time". Down time is time for a students to relax, socialize, or pursue their own interests. I've linked a great article on this topic below from Psychology Today.


"Kids Can't Learn Time Management Without Time to Manage"


Click here for other articles regarding middle school students.

DMS Counseling Office News

The Counseling and Guidance office is a place for all students and not just for those experiencing problems. Programs include advisory, study help, scheduling and registration, bullying, high school 4-year planning, early college awareness, small group and individual counseling, and arranging parent-teacher conferences.