Middle School - September 15 /2017


Dear Parents,

School is well underway and our faculty is establishing routines, support systems and building communities that are inclusive, caring and welcoming. 

In the weekly ‘Flash,’ my message to the Middle School community will include: 

  • Important upcoming events
  • Celebrations of learning
  • School practices to support all of our students

This week’s message is about establishing good technology practices at school and at home. Your partnership in best technology practices is paramount to contributing to an inclusive and kind Middle School community.

Technology Practices at Home and at School
While many Middle School students do bring phones to school, I ask for your assistance in helping set boundaries around social media. From my research and experience, here are three practices to consider:

  • Children should not access social media sites until age 13 (Sealy, 2017, Tankh, nd). Access or participation in social media sites that have anonymity, such as Sarahah or Ask.FM, should be prohibited. These sites can breed inappropriate, mean behaviour and lead to cyber bullying. Please read more about Sarahah here.
  • Set time boundaries for technology and check in devices to a place in the home so children do not have access in the night and into their sleep time. (Sax, 2016)
  • Remind children they should not be engaging in any digital communication that they would not want posted on the front page of the news – nothing is private and nothing disappears.

We will be teaching students the THINK framework for social media (is what you are sharing True, Helpful, Inspiring, Necessary, Kind?), and holding various sessions through the Homeroom programme about the potential problems involving social media. Here is a link to The York School’s approach to technology and some information about various social media sites.

Sealy, L., (2017). Growing Strong Girls: Practical Tools to Cultivate Connection in the Tween Years. 

Tankhd, L (n.d.). http://www.parenting.com/gallery/social-media-monitoring-kids

Cell Phone Policy in the Middle School
Students are permitted to access their phones for 10 minutes at the beginning of lunch. This time should be used to connect at home about changes to scheduling/ appointments/transportation – not to play video games or participate on social media sites. Outside of this time, phones should be stowed away in lockers and not carried in backpacks or on students’ bodies. Students failing to adhere to this policy will have their phones confiscated and the infraction noted by me. They can pick up their phone at the end of the school day. A recurring pattern of cell phone misuse will result in a call home and the loss of phone privileges or other school privileges (i.e. lunch out). This policy is an effort to reduce technology during days that are already filled with screens.

If you need to contact your child during the day, please contact the school and the message will be relayed to them.

Code of Conduct Agreement
In keeping with our mission of creating caring, knowledgeable, inquiring and engaged citizens, Homeroom teachers and I will be reviewing the Code of Conduct Agreement with children through an interactive presentation and sign off. Please take a moment to read it.

Thank you for your support.

Sincerely,

Helen Gin
Middle School

Curriculum Night - Tuesday, September 19, 7:00 - 9:00 p.m.
Curriculum night is an opportunity to meet your child’s teacher and hear about our curriculum and approaches to learning. The event is generally for parents only. Please RSVP here. 

Visit YorkNet to download the curriculum guides. 

The event will be segmented as follows:

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Grade 8 - Camp Wanakita
The Grade 8 students started off their school year with three fantastic days at Camp Wanakita. Throughout their trip, everyone challenged themselves in various outdoor activities in preparation for Challenge Week. Students worked together to hone their skills in tent set-up, fire building, orienteering, canoeing and portaging. The evenings brought active games, campfire sing-a-longs, and a dynamic variety show. We all returned with stronger relationships and a better understanding of the upcoming challenges of our week in the Canadian wilderness.
- Andrea Lossing, Trip Coordinator