October 11, 2019
Dear EMS Families,
As families complete the annual student update, they will have the opportunity to opt in to their child taking home their chromebook. Thus, it feels like an appropriate time to encourage us all to consider how we are collectively supporting the healthy use of technology.
At EMS this year we have embraced the policy that all personal devices go into student lockers upon arrival or remain at home in order to create a positive and focused learning environment. Research is consistently showing that personal electronic devices (e.g. laser pointers, iPods, MP3 players, cell phones, cameras, etc.) are disruptive to the learning environment. Therefore, our school-wide expectation is that all personal electronics devices must be turned off and out of sight for the day. If a personal device is seen during the school day, it will be confiscated by teachers and returned to students at the end of the day. A second infraction will result in confiscation and parents will be asked to pick them up from Administration.
As a family, I want to encourage you to dig into the resources below and identify how you are supporting your child in this continued work.
Open the lines of communication and make a plan
Family Media Agreement and Device Contract - https://www.commonsensemedia.org/research/technology-addiction-concern-controversy-and-finding-balance/resources
Family Media plan - https://www.healthychildren.org/English/media/Pages/default.aspx#wizard
Media time calculator - https://www.healthychildren.org/English/media/Pages/default.aspx#wizard
Common Sense Media - https://www.commonsensemedia.org/blog/teens
Social Media, Social Life: Teens Reveal Their Experiences (2018) - https://www.commonsensemedia.org/research/social-media-social-life-2018
Digital Citizenship from Screenagers site - https://screenagers.squarespace.com/digital-citizenship/
10/14 - Nepali family meeting EMS Makerspace/Library - 6:00-7:00 p.m.
10/17 - Picture re-takes
10/18 - No School; Faculty Inservice
10/22 - Engage EMS Makerspace/Library - 5:30-7:00 p.m.
10/25 - Annual faculty vs. student soccer game - Calahan Park - 3:45 p.m.
Check out the amazing work being done in Ms. Judy’s art class. How lucky we are to have her at EMS this year inspiring our students/your children. http://emsartstudio.weebly.com/
We are excited to announce that our EMS Website now includes links to 7/8th grade team pages and our weekly student recognitions done during Community Meeting.
Between 10/15 - 10/21 the state will be conducting the required lead testing for all schools in Vermont at EMS. Please see here for details from the state.
Upcoming: In our next family newsletter, we will be including directions to schedule our Parent/Teacher conferences on November 25th and 26th.
Friendly Reminder: Some families have still not completed the annual student update on PowerSchool. Please prioritize this task so your child’s information is up to date in case of an emergency. You can reach out for assistance to Julia Stein at email@example.com. Directions below:
Go to bsdvt.org or to your school’s home page.
Click on this image in the upper right hand corner of the webpage (pictured below)
Enter your username and password.
Follow the steps for “Forgot Username or Password?” if needed.
If you have never created a PowerSchool account, instead call your school and ask for an access ID and Access Password; when given these, click on create account, and enter the ID and Password as directed.
The Dean’s Den
The school year is off to a positive start. A reminder to parents that you are always invited to join us at our Community Meetings. These all-school assemblies take place every Wednesday afternoon at 1:15 pm in the gymnasium. This is a time when our school community comes together to celebrate students and to further ensure connectedness for all. Students are recognized for specific accomplishments related to our success guidelines. Feel free to join us Wednesday that you are able.
Middle school is also a time when students test boundaries and limits. We recently became aware of a game that some of our students are playing called “Press Play”. The game is particularly popular with sixth graders. As you will note from the "rules" (listed below), the game has the potential to be unsafe and is a violation of personal space, not to mention school rules. For this reason, we ask for your help in messaging to your children that this game can be hurtful to others. If a student is found using this game in school we will support them in understanding its impact as well as limit chromebook access.
The Game: Students choose another student from a paper that lists gender, action, number of actions, and specific student names.
The actions are non consensual, and include the options of hitting, kicking, hugging or kissing the selected student.
The actions, as well as the non consensual nature of the game and the binary decision of choosing between boys and girls, makes this game inappropriate for the school setting.
All students have been asked to stop playing this game immediately.
Thank you for your continued partnership.
Scholastic Book Fair Coming Soon!
Dear Parents and Guardians,
The middle school Scholastic Book Fair will begin in the EMS library the week of November 4th and will be open during the day from 7:45 – 3:45 Monday through Thursday and Friday from 7:45 to noon. It is a “books only” fair; however, there will be posters and small STEM kits. Profits from the book fair go directly to the library and we appreciate your support!
If you are interested in volunteering, please sign up using the Google Doc link and I will be in contact with you. 7:45 - 8:15 a.m. and 2:30 - 3:30 p.m. are the busiest times. Other times of the day can be slow.
The full time frame is listed below:
- Monday and Thursday- November 4th and 7th at 7:45 am – 3:45 pm
- Wed. — November 6th at 7:45 am – 2:00 pm
- Friday – November 8th at 7:45 am – noon
Contact Information: Carole Renca firstname.lastname@example.org or 802 – 864- 8487 x41109
Thank you very much!