Happy February! For those who haven't already checked, your child's first semester grades are now available on the parent portal of AERIES. One of the great things about school is that there are beginnings and endings. We begin school in mid-August and end the first part of June. In mid-January we end the first semester and then begin the second semester. These breaks give all of us a chance to finish one thing and then begin anew. This is a rare gift in the work world, and we as educators appreciate it. Teachers want their students to do well. We want them to succeed and feel good about themselves as learners. There is very little that makes a teacher happier than to have a student who didn't do well change his or her attitude/work habits and takes off as a student. It makes all of us feel successful, and it IS possible to be successful second semester no matter what the grade was for first semester. It is not uncommon for students to have a slow start during the first five to ten weeks of the second semester. The excitement of starting school has worn off and students are already dreaming of spring break. 8th grade students start thinking about high school and do not always see how the things they are learning now are important to their success in high school. Often, things such as not turning in homework on time, lackadaisical study habits, not using class time wisely, and misbehavior in the classroom are common pitfalls for students in the second semester. To help your child avoid such pitfalls, here are a few tips to help keep your student on track:
1. Ask to see your student's organizer every day. Students are told daily in their classes to write their homework down. Make sure this is happening. This will help you know what homework you should be checking for and help your student stay organized. If your student is struggling with work completion, ask to see the homework. You can check to see if both sides of a worksheet are completed, that all assigned questions have been answered, and that the homework is put away in the proper spot.
2. Have your student sit at the table while you are cooking dinner. Ask your student to explain to you the homework or terms from a study guide. Ask questions such as: can you explain that in another way, can you give another example, can you walk me through how you solved the problem, why did the character say what he said, etc. This creates a situation in which your student has the opportunity to "teach" you and explain things in his/her own words.
3. Don't forget about WARP! Help your child set deadline dates for finishing the required number of books.
4. Sit down with your student every two to three weeks and review the on-line teacher grade books for your student's classes. Ask your student questions about any missing assignments or low test scores. This may be an ideal time to have a "teachable" moment about personal responsibility and accountability.
5. Encourage your student to seek help from adults on campus when needed. Many of the A.E. Wright teachers have their rooms open at lunch at least one day a week to help students. Homework help is also available afters chool on Mondays and Wednesdays from 3:15-4:00pm in the library. A.E. Wright students may also attend the Saturday School Tutoring Program at Calabasas High School on most Saturdays from 8:30am-12:00pm in the library. The tutoring is free! Please visit www.calabasashigh.net for more information.
6. Help your student get a good night's sleep, a nutritious breakfast (you wouldn't believe the amount of students who do not eat breakfast), and provide them with lots of love and positive encouragement. According to the National Sleep Foundation, adolescents need 9 ¼ hours of sleep a night.
In addition to reviewing your academic expectations with your child, this is the perfect time of year to also discuss your behavior and social media expectations with your child as well as share your hopes and dreams for their future. The conversation may be difficult as most teenagers don't want to hear anything that resembles criticism or boundary setting, so do it in bits and pieces. Long lectures do not work! Kids want to know that you are proud of them, but they also do much better in life (inside and outside of school) when appropriate boundaries are established. Teenagers left to their own devices generally do not do well, no matter what your teenager may say. Just reread Lord of the Flies and see how well that worked out! There is safety in boundaries, clear expectations, and follow-through. Your own life will be better in the long run when you have made crystal clear what the values and standards are in your home. State those values and expectations and then regularly follow up on them. Remember, YOU are in charge of which websites your child visits, their social media usage, their cell phone including text messages, the amount of recreational computer or gaming use, and where your student goes on nights and during the weekends. Good parenting is not a job for the weak or the faint of heart. Hang in there and don't give up!
8th grade parents, please visit the counseling tab on the A.E. Wright web site for important information regarding high school transition dates and deadlines. Please note, the deadline date for School of Choice applications for high school is February 15th. Calabasas High School's showcase for future freshmen is on February 3 from 5:30-8:00pm and Agoura High School's showcase for future freshmen is on February 11th at 5:45pm.
Towards the end of the month, we will be having our annual Recognition Rally. During the rally, individual students will be recognized for academic achievement, citizenship, and commitment to learning in a particular subject matter during the first semester. The biggest applause getter every year is the WARP awards for the top ten students with the most WARP points. I'm looking forward to finding out the names of our top readers!
February 27th is our 3rd Annual Mock Rock competition. This year, the event will be held at the Performing Arts Education Center (PAEC) on the Calabasas High School campus. A.E. Wright family, friends, and students are all invited to attend. Don't miss out on the opportunity to see who is crowned the 2015 Mock Rock Champ! Tickets can be purchased online at http://thepaecs.org or at the box office the evening of the event.
A few dates for your calendar:
February 2-5 Honor Society/CJSF Membership Drive
February 9 Gown Measurements for 8th Grade Culmination at Lunch
February 11 PFC Meeting, 9:00am
February 12 Early Release Day, 1:10pm Dismissal
February 13 & 16 No School
February 20 Recognition Rally
February 26 Early Release Day, 1:10pm Dismissal
February 27 End of the Five Week Grading Period
Mock Rock, 7pm at the C-PAEC
Best wishes for a great February!
|Period 0||7:50 – 8:40|
|Period 1/HR||8:50 – 9:30|
|Period 2||9:35 – 10:10|
|Period 3||10:15 – 10:50|
|Period 4||10:55 – 11:30|
|Nutrition||11:30 – 11:50|
|Period 5||11:55 – 12:30|
|Period 6||12:35 – 1:10|
Please ensure that your student is at school daily and on time. If your child is unable to attend school, please verify their absence by calling 818-880-4614, extension 226. Verifying their absence does not excuse their absence. Per state law, excused absences include illness, medical appointments, immediate family funerals, court appearances or jury duty, and religious holiday with prior written approval.
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