Dear Parents and Guardians of 7-White Team Students,
Welcome to the 7-White Team! We have just begun a new school year at Hamburg Area Middle School. We look forward to working with your child and getting to know you. Along with the more obvious physical changes you are seeing in him/her, there is also a maturing thinking ability beginning to occur. His/her ability to solve problems is increasing. Working together, parents and teachers can help each student tap these developing abilities to get the highest value from the seventh grade experience. As the teaching team for core subjects, we would like to take this opportunity to explain some of the procedures we have in place to promote your child’s success in seventh grade. The core teachers are Mrs. Horrigan-Life Science, Mrs. Ponter-Math, Mr. Phillips-World Cultures, Mrs.Rollman -Language Arts, and Mrs. Gruber - Special Education.
We encourage students to develop responsible study habits.
We emphasize good study habits and strategies as an ongoing part of our classes. We require students to have the phone numbers and/or e-mails of two study buddies, all from their homeroom/core class. These are students with whom they can check when they are absent or unsure of an assignment. They can also check assignments on the school’s web page. If your child is absent for three or more days, and you do not have access to a computer, you may call the guidance office to request assignments.
Assignment agenda books have been given to all students. Our team strongly encourages the use of this book. It is the student’s hall pass and school handbook. It is also a place to keep track of both short and long term assignments, phone numbers and e-mails of their study buddies. Please look through your student’s agenda; it is an important study tool with your child. If a student loses the book, s/he will be expected to buy a replacement from the guidance office. The cost is $6.00.
We recommend that you insist your child bring the agenda home every night in order for you to see what the assignments are.
In addition to the agenda, assignments will be posted on our website daily in order to view the current day’s assignments. Other links on that page also have important information regarding the team’s plans and activities.
Please refer to the individual teacher's homework policy if your child is falling behind on their homework for rules and consequences. Some things our team does to help students with their assignments are:
- Remind them to use their agendas every day.
- Reward students who are completing all work during the quarter with a special activity.
- Encourage them to get help from their teacher or a knowledgeable student when they don’t understand material.
- Give advance warning about due dates for tests, projects, and reports.
Since many assignments are new to students, assignments may take a longer period of time to complete.
We promote ongoing communication with you, the parents/guardians.
Throughout the year we’ll try to keep you informed of your child’s progress through on-line grading and quarterly report cards. District parent-teacher conferences are scheduled for November. If you need to contact the team there are a few options. You can call us at 610-562-3990 between 7:45-8:15 am and ask for the 7-white team. You can log onto the internet at firstname.lastname@example.org. Write your child’s name in the subject area on the screen. Explain the concern (bullying, sexual harassment, threats, depression, serious illness, feeling of failure, keeping up with homework, making friends, etc.) to the team.
Homework and Grading Policies for Seven White Core teachers will be posted on each teacher’s website. Please review these requirements with your child.
Parents can help too …
Your adult experience in time management can be helpful to your child. Please help him/her plan and work ahead. Waiting until the last minute to do an assignment rarely is the best approach. Be skeptical if your child says s/he has no homework or that s/he has taken care of everything in school. There is always work that can be done at home (reading and re-reading chapters, practicing spelling and vocabulary words, reviewing for tests, reading SSR books, and proof-reading written work).
We recommend that you establish a certain time each day for homework. If your child “forgets” his homework agenda, insist that s/he spend 60-70 minutes reading a book, practicing times tables, reading the newspaper, etc. For many students once they see that the parent is serious about spending time on homework, they will remember to bring the work and agenda home.
Don’t underestimate your child’s ability to do homework. When s/he says the work is too long or hard, GETTING STARTED OR STAYING ON TASK may be the real problem. Have your child study in a quiet place where you can check in occasionally and see that s/he is on task. Because real learning requires that the student be actively engaged with the material, you should not be doing the homework for him/her. If they truly seem to be struggling with an assignment, encourage them to do as much as possible, and go to see the teacher before school starts in the morning.
We will try to provide a safe and enjoyable learning environment.
For most students, now is a good time for teachers and parents to revisit strategies and skills for getting along with others. We will be working on these at school and hope you will focus on them at home, too. We hope all our 7-White students will follow the school and classroom rules. These are for everyone’s benefit, yet we know making unwise choices is a part of the learning process. We have consequences in place, such as staying after class or lunch detentions, to deal with minor difficulties. However, if our early interventions don’t correct behavior problems, students will be assigned an after-school detention. After-school detentions will be held on Thursdays from 2:45-3:45 P. M.. Students will be given at least 24 hours notice to arrange their own transportation. Consequences for offenses are listed in the student’s agenda and will be enforced. Please impress upon your child the importance of cooperation with school and classroom rules.
We’re planning numerous special activities, including two grade wide field trips, The Reading Royals in January, and a field trip to Washington, D.C. in May. Please consider volunteering for these activities and other school functions by completing a volunteer sheet. Our volunteers are chosen on a first come basis, so return them as soon as possible. Our policy is that attendance at these special activities is limited to students who have completed the required preparations and who do not cause chronic discipline problems during the year.
We hope you find the above information helpful, and we look forward to a great year of learning for your child under the guidance of our team.
7 White Core Team Teachers
Kelly Rollman Beth Horrigan George Phillips Mindy Ponter