JCMS Parent Newsletter
- 8th Grade Dance - We are asking that every 8th grader bring in a 2 liter of drink to be used for the 8th grade dance. Please bring it to room 144. You may bring it anytime from now until the day of the dance.
- Spring Break - this is the last week of school before Spring Break. School will not be in session from March 21-25.
- Pennies for Patients - Each Homeroom will have a collection box for you to donate spare change or dollars. All money raised goes to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. The homeroom who collects the most money will earn doughnuts, milk, and juice from the National Junior Honor Society. The contest will begin today and run until the end of the school day, on March 15th.
- Parents for 8th Grade Dance - Parents of 8th graders are invited to come to the 8th grade dance planning meetings. The meetings will be held on Tuesdays beginning March 1st. The meetings will be at 6:00 p.m. in room 144.
2016 ISTEP+ Windows - Please avoid scheduling all appointments or other things where your student misses school on the following dates: April 18-29. These dates are when we will be taking ISTEP+ this year.
Picking Up Your Student - Please make sure that you are picking students up in the afternoon in the back of the building. Picking them up in the front lot is very dangerous with all of the bus traffic and then walkers as they leave after buses.
Snow Make-up Days -
Date Missed - Make-Up Date
January 11 - Monday, January 18 (MLK Day)
January 12 - Thursday May 19th
January 20 - Friday may 20th
Picking Students Up for Appointments - Make a doctors appointment for your student during the school day? No problem! - call ahead or write a note for your student to bring to the main office letting us know what time you will be here. By letting us know ahead of time, we are able to have your student in the main office ready to go by the time you arrive.
2015-2016 Yearbooks - Now on Sale!! Order forms are being mailed home or you can go to: ybpay.lifetouch.com and enter Yearbook ID Code: 12069116. Prices start at $25 for a yearbook.
7th Grade Math Help - Struggling in math? Mrs. Ballenger will be available for tutoring and extra help every Thursday until 4:00pm.
New ISTEP+ Test - If you want to see what all the hype is about and try some of the new ISTEP+ based questions yourself, visit http://parcc.pearson.com/practice-tests/english/.
- Comment Box - Please help make our school better. If you have feedback for us or a suggestion on how we would do something better, please click the following link and let us know. Be as detailed as possible in your suggestion so we are able to act upon it. http://goo.gl/forms/yUo6t4sp8X
Word of the Week - Tranquility
Mrs. Pedigo had hoped to enjoy some tranquility over spring break, but
dressing up as Elsa at Disney World was surprising stressful. After being stalked by hundreds of children, she decided that the cold never bothered her anyway, and came back to Indiana.
Last week, the School Counseling department published the results of a 7th grade survey of social media in the parent newsletter. The survey was inspired by the article below. We wanted to know how many of our JCMS kids might be engaging in high risk internet programs or behavior. As you might remember from the article, 25% of our 7th graders answered that they had used the Kik app. It is the same app that connected the 13 year old Nicole in the article below with her killer. In addition, 43% of our 7th graders admitted that they have talked with someone on the internet that they have never met in person. Please take a few moments to read the article below and talk to your teens about being safe on the internet. 10% of JCMS 7th graders admitted that they had opened up ‘secret’ FaceBook accounts their parents did not know about. If possible, require that your child use a computer in a central location of the house where you are able to observe their interactions. Regulate those accounts. Read their messages. Know who they are talking to. You are not violating their privacy. You are keeping them safe and teaching them skills for interacting with the cyber community.
Slain 13-year-old was caught between childhood and adulthood
There are few holes deeper than those in the heart of a 13-year-old girl.
For many, it is an age of painful yearning, of a life lived in imaginary cloud worlds, away from acne and algebra and all that awkwardness.
It used to be 13-year-olds would cry into their pillows. Or write in rainbow-covered journals, with rainbow pens. Their pain was private. Still, most endured, and survived.
But Nicole Madison Lovell found something we all wanted when we were 13: an audience.
There are people out there who listen to sad, lonely girls, tell them they are beautiful and smart. They were right there — in Nicole’s bedroom.
She asked them if she was cute. She flirted with them. She showed them coquettish pictures of herself. She was a social media-savvy tween when she told them all about her first kiss. Her imaginary cloud world wasn’t private. On Facebook, Instagram, Kik, in chats and groups, she wasn’t the kid with the liver transplant scars, or the baby fat girl bullied in her seventh grade classes. She was a flirting, dating teen with lip gloss and great lines.
And Nicole did not survive.
She left her house at midnight on Wednesday, shoving a nightstand against her bedroom door and leaving with a water bottle and a Minions cartoon blanket. Her body was found in North Carolina, right across the Virginia state line.
A Virginia Tech engineering student has been charged with her abduction and murder. We still don’t know what evidence led police to 18-year-old David Eisenhauer, a track star from Columbia, Md., who ran for Virginia Tech.
A second arrest Sunday was just as shocking. Natalie Marie Keepers, 19, is accused of helping of Eisenhauer get rid of Nicole’s body. She’s a 19-year-old engineering student from Laurel, Md., who once interned at NASA.
Police told Nicole’s mom, Tammy Weeks, that they believe the sweet-faced teen met Eisenhauer online.
The details of that are still unclear. But here’s what we do know for sure: Nicole led an active, imaginary life online, meeting people on Kik, a messaging app that has been the bane of law enforcement officials these past couple years. The app grants users anonymity; it allows searches by age and lets users send photos that aren’t stored on phones. It’s popular with tweens and teens — and predators.
“Unfortunately, we see it every day,” said Lt. James Bacon, head of the child exploitation unit with the Fairfax County Police.
That unit caught a State Department senior counterterrorism official, Daniel Rosen, trying to arrange a tryst with a child using Kik. He pled guilty to a handful of stalking and voyeurism charges and is now serving a 32-month prison sentence. And he hasn’t been the only one using this app to hunt victims.
“Kik became the latest thing,” Bacon said. “It’s attractive to predators because of its anonymity. You can make a Kik account and you can make yourself out to be anyone you want to be.” And because Kik is based in Canada, law enforcement officials have had a tough time getting the company to cooperate on cases, Bacon said.
This shadow world may be where Eisenhauer met Nicole, police told her mother. “It was some off-the-wall site I never heard of,” Weeks said in an interview with The Post. In the digital age, any parent can be Tammy Weeks. Smart phones have made it easier to keep tabs on our children — and much, much harder.
Teens have been outmaneuvering their mothers and fathers for decades. Back in my day, we told our parents we were spending the night at Melanie’s house when we were really at the Echo and the Bunnymen show an hour away, Ferris Buellering our way through adolescence. But a lot of times, our parents won, because they caught us sneaking out. Or they called Melanie’s mom.
This world? The predators aren’t just hiding behind the Galaga machine at the arcade. They’re in our kids’ pockets, in their backpacks, in their bedrooms. Know your kids’ digital lives. Prowl their email, their laptops and their phones.
“Have your kids’ passwords,” Bacon said. “Have a working idea of how to use your kids’ phone. Mom and dad bought it for them, for crying out loud. They need to know how to use it.” Remember iPhone dad? He’s the poor guy who had a two-year legal battle in Dallas after he was arrested on a property theft charge for taking away his daughter’s iPhone when she used it in a horrid way. He was right. Be like iPhone dad.
Bacon said he tells parents to never let their kids have in-depth, online conversations with strangers. If your kid has crossed the line, ask your phone carrier to have your kid’s phone mirrored to your phone. “Every text, every picture they send, mom and dad can see on their device,” he said. My kids hate it when I do that. Too bad.
Not long ago, I was going through the search history on my 11-year-old son’s laptop. Nerf guy, Lego, Nerf, Cats vs. Cucumbers, Curves”...wait! Curves? I clicked on that one, my stomach lurching at the thought of a porn conversation with my tween. “Curves — the Hot Wheels Track Builder Challenge!” Whew. But who knows what the next day will bring. And that’s chilling. Because Nicole had no idea of the potential dangers lurking on the edges of her online fantasy world.
Remember what the lieutenant said: The police see it every day.
Article on the AP website from 2/4/2016
Ms. Melissa Barnes
Mrs. St. John
Mrs. Barb Miller