• February 15, 2017

    Posted by Peggy Riley at 3/9/2017

    Del Mar News                                                 February 15, 2017 

     
     
    Dear Families:
     
    Mix-it-Up!
    The following was written by Del Mar students who took a leadership role in producing a school-wide lunchtime activity last week.  As you are aware, one of our district-wide areas of focus is on creating a more inclusive community where everyone belongs. 
     
    Last week on Friday, February 10, Del Mar hosted a "Mix-It-Up Day" when students of different grade-levels and social groups were invited to "Mix-It-Up" and make new friends by sitting in random groups at lunch. Students had ice-breaker type activities and games to play during this time, and lunch was slightly extended so that students got a little extra time to know each other.
     
    This activity was part of the nationally celebrated "No One Eats Alone Day," and students all over the country connected with others and expanded their social horizons. A Bay Area newspaper recently covered the event; the story can be found here. http://www.sfgate.com/visionsf/amp/Bay-Area-students-led-social-10798769.php
     
    "Mix-It-Up Day" was sponsored by the TEA Club (Teaching Equity and Acceptance), and the event went well. One 7th grade student remarked that "'Mix-It-Up" was awkward at first, but hey, it was kinda fun, too." Staff noted several sweet moments and look forward to hosting a similar event again soon!
     
    There is a prevalence, across so many schools especially at middle school age levels, of students saying and doing mean and hurtful things.  I am hoping that events such as this one, along with some of our recent and upcoming social emotional learning programs, advisory class meetings, and assemblies, make a difference in how students feel connected and safe at school.   Join me in being proud of the student leaders and staff who planned and facilitated this school-wide event.
     
    Keep it Safe!
    Please be mindful of driving safely when dropping off and picking up students at school.  Some important reminders:
    • The parking lot is for staff and for buses only at drop off and pick up time.  Please have students walk to and from the street. 
    • Students must use cross-walks when crossing the street (even, or especially on rainy days).
    • Drive safely, slowly and park in ways that allow traffic to flow as freely as possible.
    Our students' safety comes first.  Thank you for your attention and care.
     
    Best regards,
     
    Alan

    Alan Vann Gardner, Ed.D.
    Principal, Del Mar Middle School
    Workshop  during the February break for teens interested in filmmaking.

    PTA News

     
    PTA Nominating Committee 2017
    Congratulations to Victoria Camelio, Aimee Lapic, Sherrill Lybrook, Dana Swanson and Sara Tamer for being elected to this year's PTA Nominating Committee!  The Principal-Advisor for this year will be Lexie Cala.  

    The Nominating Committee will meet over the next few weeks to develop a slate of PTA officers for the 2017-2018 school year. Open positions include District President, Secretary and Treasurer, as well as Bel Aire Treasurer and Del Mar Treasurer.  If you are interested in a PTA leadership position, please contact any of the Nominating Committee members or katiseymore@gmail.com

    Upcoming Parent Ed Events:
    March 22, 7-8:30pm - Mill Valley Middle School

    How to Raise Resilient. Gritty, and Passionate People
    From grade school to the years beyond college, life is a series of transitions for children and parents alike.  Today's parents hear more, know more, and are more involved.  Technology has made it easier than ever for parents to solve, fix, and manage problems.  As a result, many students leave high school without the grit, resilience, and ability to navigate the challenges awaiting them in college and life beyond.  Parents are faced with new questions: Can fixing what's broken today make it harder for my child to fix what's broken tomorrow?


     For more information on Parent Ed events, please click here:


    Choicelunch:
    Spring Menu - Choicelunch will offer new menu items starting March 6. Please see the attached flyer.

    Lunch Credit - Choicelunch will credit anyone that ordered a lunch last Thursday, February 9th due to the school closure. 
     

    Foundation News


    Join the Foundation Team! Thursday, February 16th 8:30am- 9:30am join us to learn more about volunteer opportunities on our board and meet current board members. Please RSVP to RSFoundation@reedschools.org.
     
     
     
    Check out our new website.
    Comments (-1)
  • February 1, 2017

    Posted by Peggy Riley at 3/9/2017
     

    Del Mar News                                                                              February 1, 2017 

     
    Dear Del Mar Families:
     
    How is my child doing in school? An important component of our Strategic Plan is to find the most productive ways to communicate with families about students' progress at school.  No one forum provides a complete and accurate picture and all the information you may need.  As we begin the new calendar year, here are some notes and reminders about how to stay abreast and partner with us in supporting your child at school:
     
    Teachers' websites provide information about the overall curriculum and upcoming assignments. You can these individual sites through the DM Homepage:http://delmar.reedschools.org/domain/280
     
    Students file their work in online folders. Ask your child to show you their work.  Many work samples include teacher comments and feedback.  Students should have copies of rubrics and can reflect with you on how their work meets grade level standards and expectations. You can also ask your child to show you their assignment calendar (they may use iCal, google calendar, or a hard copy planner). In these ways students take active ownership of their assigned projects; they can share this work with you at any time upon your request.
     
    Student Portfolios:  Last month students began selecting samples of work from each class to upload on their digital portfolio site.  Ask them to show you this work of which they are most proud.  Student portfolios provide evidence of progress students are making, their habits of learning, and how they meet standards and embody our vision.
     
    Online Grades are available before and after the school day. If you are curious or have concerns, check occasionally to see your child's current grades.   By clicking on the live links, you can receive more specific information about specific assignments.
     
    Talking to your child can be helpful in getting a sense of his/her subjective experience at school.  Remember that asking questions and listening is often the best way to get a middle school student to speak.  "What did you find most intriguing today?"  "What good questions did you ask in class?"  "How did you lend a helping hand?"...are some questions that both reinforce positive values and may facilitate conversation about academics and social life.
     
    Contact teachers directly when you have a specific question or concern.   Student-led conferences occur only one time per year and the middle school model prohibits adequate meeting time with each of your child's teachers.  While we encourage students to speak directly to teachers and advocate for themselves, please contact individual teachers if you need more specific information. 
     
    Remember the acronym "SCALE," with regard to your critical role as middle school parent, which can truly be a balancing act:
    S = Support students by being more of a coach than a manager.
    C=Celebrate accomplishments and the progress they make.
    A=Ask questions to guide them in arriving at their own answers and solutions.
    L=Listen.  The more you listen, the more they will talk. 
    E=Encourage them to persevere, try new approaches, ask for help, advocate so they learn to solve problems and communicate effectively, by themselves, and with your support.
     
    Best Regards,  
     
    Alan
     
    Alan Vann Gardner, Ed.D.,
    Principal


    A Message from Dr. Gold:
    I would like to offer a support group for Bel Aire and Del Mar students who have siblings with special needs.  Because much attention in a family goes to children with special needs, siblings often have feelings and experiences that they are reluctant to express, for example, most attention going to the special needs sibling, feeling guilty, or taking on adult roles to help out in the family.  Special needs may include any physical, academic/learning, or emotional/behavioral challenge.  The special needs child can be of any age.  If you are interested in having your child participate in this support group, please contact me at agold@reedschools.org.  I am planning to meet with the group once a week for a few weeks to discuss topics, and then meet every other week for a few months, if needed.  We will focus on identifying issues and feelings, communication, and problem solving.  If you are interested, contact me at the email provided above and I will send you a written permission form for your child to participate in the group.  There will be one group at Bel Aire and one group at Del Mar.  If you have any further questions, please contact me.
     
    Sincerely,
     
    Dr. Allan Gold
     
    Do you have an 8th grader who will be attending Redwood High School next year?  Redwood PTSA is looking for a Freshman class parent for the 2017/2018 school year.  If you're interested, please call Julie Cooke (415) 279-0218 for more details.

    PTA News

     
    PTA Members, Click here to vote for your 2017 PTA Nominating Committee Candidates by tomorrow, February 2: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/VRDDRT6

    Thank you to the following candidates for stepping up to serve:
    Victoria Camelio
    Kathryn Ellman
    Aimee Lapic
    Sherrill Lybrook
    Kim Pewitt
    Juliette Rodenbeck
    Dana Swanson
    Sara Tamer
     
    Once confirmed, the Committee will nominate candidates for open 2017-2018 PTA Executive Board positions, such as District President, Secretary, Treasurer, Bel Aire Treasurer and Del Mar Treasurer.  You may vote for up to 5 candidates - one vote per family please.  
     
    Parent Education Event Tomorrow!
     
    "Understanding Difficult Behaviors and What to Do About Them"
    Thursday, February 2, 2017, 7:00-8:30 pm
    Bel Aire Elementary School
    Sponsored by the RUSD PTA
     
    This session, suitable for parents of kids from K-8th grades, will focus on understanding difficult behaviors and how to respond as parents.  The speakers are Stacey and Noah Kempler, RUSD parents and licensed Marriage and Family Therapists in private practice.  The Kemplers work with kids with a variety of behavioral and developmental issues and focus on helping all family members develop the skills to get along better.  Noah is the author of the book Better Behavior: Helping Kids Create Change and Improve Relationships and also the Better Behavior Blog, a blog and website dedicated to providing parents with information and support for a wide variety of parenting issues.  
    Please RSVP: jasims@pacbell.net

    For notes from the recent event, "Cybersafety - Protecting Those You Love" and additional Parent Ed information, please click here: http://www.reedschools.org/Page/170
    Dear 8th grade parents:

    We are looking for pictures for the 8th grade class of 2017 graduation slide show. Specifically we are looking for K-8 Group pictures of the kids with their classmates. These can include school events as well as extracurricular activities. 

    Some ideas:

    Reed K-2 assemblies and field trips, or other classroom activities
    Gold Country
    The Bel Aire Plays
    Outdoor Ed
    The Del Mar Plays
    Sports or other activities

    If you have pictures you would like to be considered for the slide show please email them todelmargrad2017@gmail.com.

    DEADLINE TO SUBMIT PICTURES IS 2/28/2017.

    Photos submitted will be included as deemed appropriate by the slide show producers.

    Thank you and please email Mary Bender atmarymobender@gmail.com if you have any questions.

    Foundation News


    Support The Foundation and help us reach our $2 million grant commitment to RUSD! Your donations pay for the valuable educators and programs that give our children access to the highest quality public education. Your gift is 100% tax deductible. Credit cards accepted and installment payment plans also available.
     
    A Big Thanks to our Districts Dads for being a part of the Foundation's Dad's Phone Bank. The event was a great success - thank you to the families who pledged or donated. We still need YOUR help to get to 100% participation! Every Family Counts and Every Donation Moves the Needle!
     
    Check out our new website and make your donation today athttp://www.foundationforreedschools.com.
    Comments (-1)
  • January 18, 2017

    Posted by Peggy Riley at 2/2/2017

    Del Mar News

    January 18, 2017 

     
    Dear Del Mar Families:
     
    Congratulations Del Mar Mathletes...for a great job during yesterday's county-wide competition.  Our 7th grade team placed third and our 8th grade team came in first place overall! 
     
    Seeking Parent Volunteers with an expertise in science...to help this year's seventh grade students who are about to embark on their TAP (Take Action Projects).  Please contact Mrs. Oefinger or Ms. Baker (a link will soon be added to their class webpages where you can indicate your interest and area of expertise) or Ms. Cerni (jcerni@reedschools.org) if you are able to serve as a resource for students during their research stage (in February) or mentor a small group of students later in March as they develop their action plans.
     
    Special Programs are underway to help students develop social/emotional and healthy/wise decision-making skills.  The Being Adept program provides students with 2-3 sessions related to drug and alcohol awareness and prevention.  Seventh grade students completed their mini-unit, the eighth grade course is underway, and the sixth grade program is forthcoming.
     
    Seventh graders just began working with Soul Shop to build self and social awareness and relationship skills.  Students will learn how assumptions and judgements create disconnection, drama, teasing and other hurtful behaviors, and how to build empathy for others, seeing how everyone has experienced some level of teasing, put­downs or other oppressive behaviors.  Ask your child about the metaphor of carrying a heavy backpack and about what they can "clean out" - a great conversation starter to probe them about what they are learning in class.
     
    Sixth and eighth grade students have upcoming assemblies with David Roche and Michael Pritchard, respectively, both reinforcing values and messages of empathy and respect.  These programs are part of our school and district-wide endeavors to reduce meanness, bullying and to promote kindness within and beyond our community.  Thank you, PTA, for sponsoring some of these important programs!
     
    Best Regards, 
     
    Alan
     
    Alan Vann Gardner, Ed.D.,
    Principal
     
    8th Grade Families:  Your 8th grader will be given a high school registration packet tomorrow (Thursday).  Please go through this document with your student.  It contains everything you need to know/do to register at Redwood High School.
     

    PTA News

     
    Seeking 2017 PTA Nominating Committee Candidates - 
    The RUSD PTA is seeking PTA members to serve on the 2017 Nominating Committee for the PTA Executive Board.  The committee will be comprised of 5 members and 1 alternate with knowledge of all 3 school sites and their volunteer communities.  Meetings will be held in February and March, with the goal of delivering a final slate by late March.  Interested candidates, please contact  katiseymore@gmail.com by tomorrow, January 19.  

    Upcoming Parent Education Events - 
    • "Cybersafety - Protecting Those You Love",  Wednesday, Jan. 25th 7:00 p.m., Cyber Lounge at Del Mar, No RSVP required. 
    • "Understanding Difficult Behaviors and What to Do About Them" Thursday, February 2nd, 7:00 - 8:30 PM, Bel  Aire Elementary School. The speakers are Stacey and Noah Kempler, RUSD parents and licensed Marriage and Family Therapists in private practice.  Please RSVP:  jasims@pacbell.net.
    Click for more Parent Ed information here: http://www.reedschools.org/Page/170
    Del Mar Spring Play "Seussical, the Musical" 
    New this year are  - "Pre-Audition Workshops" to be held in the PE Classroom for any interested kids:
    6th Grade - January 18 at 2:15pm
    7th&8th Grade - January 24 at 3:15pm
    Auditions - January 26/27 at 3:15pm in the PE Classroom
    All information and forms can be found on the Del Marwebsite.

    The Del Mar Class of 2017 has a newly designed, special "8th Grade Only", hoodie sweatshirt.  The sweatshirt includes the names of all the 8th graders on the back and a cool new logo designed by a former Del Mar Student, Josh Chan. Here is a mock-up of the design:



    The sweatshirt is medium weight, gray with navy and yellow lettering, and comes in the following sizes:  Adult Small, Medium, Large and X-Large.

    Click here for the online order page.  
     
    Order deadline is January 25th.  Once we place the order, there will be no additional sales so please get your order in now!

    Foundation News


    New Years Resolution?
     
    Make your Annual Family Giving Donation to The Foundation! Your donations are critical to maintain the high standards of educational excellence we all desire for our children!
     
    Help us reach our $2 million dollar grant commitment to RUSD and donate today atwww.FoundationForReedSchools.com. Your gift is 100% tax deductible. Credit cards accepted and installment payment plans also available. Every donation, from every family makes an impact! 
     
    Like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram and Twitter! Check out The Foundation for Reed Schools on Facebook and Instagram @ReedFoundation and Twitter@FoundationReed for upcoming and past events, photos and more! #foundationfunded.
    Comments (-1)
  • December 21, 2016

    Posted by Peggy Riley at 1/19/2017

    Del Mar News

    December 21, 2016

     
    Dear Families:
     
    No such thing as winding down before holiday break.  Last week students assembled for wonderful winter music concerts featuring the Del Mar Orchestra and Steel Band, as well as for our monthly emergency preparation/safety drill.  This week students are immersed in a variety of activities that include:  chemistry experiments, brain stations and ocean presentations in science, writing letters about literature to favorite authors and much, much more. 
     
    Our holiday food drive is complete-Del Mar students and families were very generous with this year's donations to the Marin Food Bank. 
     
    Reminder: Tomorrow is our last School Spirit Day of 2016-Students, wear ugly sweaters to show your school spirit and pride!
     
    On behalf of the Del Mar staff, thank you for sharing your children with us and for working together to support their learning and growth.  We are fortunate to be part of such a great community.
     
    Wishing you all a happy, restful and fun holiday break.  I am looking forward to a great 2017, a year in which, together, we will provide more great opportunities and support for students so they enjoy their journey of learning and celebrate their progress and accomplishments.
     
    Best regards,
     
    Alan
     
    Alan Vann Gardner, Ed.D.
    Principal, Del Mar Middle School
    Please check the lost and found.  We'll be donating it Thursday afternoon.

    PTA News

     
    Suessical, the Musical - Get ready for the Del Mar Playcoming end of April!  Parent Meeting January 12th at 7pm in the PE classroom next to the gym.  New this year, "Pre-Audition Workshops" to be held for any interested kids January 23-24, with auditions to take place January 26-27. More info to follow in the New Year!!
     
    The PTA wishes everyone a Safe & Happy Holiday break!!

    The Del Mar Class of 2017 has a newly designed, special "8th Grade Only", hoodie sweatshirt.  The sweatshirt includes the names of all the 8th graders on the back and a cool new logo designed by a former Del Mar Student, Josh Chan. Here is a mock-up of the design:



    The sweatshirt is medium weight, gray with navy and yellow lettering, and comes in the following sizes:  Adult Small, Medium, Large and X-Large.

    Click here for the online order page.  
     
    Order deadline is January 15th.


    Foundation News


    Thank you to the 285 families in our extraordinary community who have already donated to The Foundation's Family Giving Campaign. Your contributions are critical to fund the programs, teachers, staff, training, and technology that will foster high academic achievement and ensure your child has access to the highest quality public education! 
     
    Help us reach our $2 million dollar grant commitment to RUSD and donate today atwww.FoundationForReedSchools.com. Your gift is 100% tax deductible. Donate before 12/31/16 to receive a 2016 tax deduction. 
     
    Every donation, from every family makes an impact! 
     
    Shop for Reed This Holiday Season!
     
    3 ways to generate AUTOMATIC donations to our schools:
     
    Amazon Smile
     
    1. Register at www.smile.amazon.com and select "Reed School Foundations" as the charity you would like to support. Remember to go to smile.amazon.com when you need to make a purchase on Amazon.
     
     
    Register your credit and debit cards at www.escrip.com. Select "The Foundation for Reed Schools."
     
    2. Buy groceries at Nugget and Woodlands Markets with cards registered with escrip.com.
     
    3. Install the ForgetMeNot pop-up on your web browser.  When the ForgetMeNot pop-up banner appears at the top of an online retailer's website, click the banner to earn a percentage of your purchase for Reed schools.
     
    Best wishes for a happy and safe holiday season!
    Comments (-1)
  • December 7, 2016

    Posted by Peggy Riley at 1/19/2017

    Del Mar News

     
    December 7, 2016 
     
     
    Dear Families:
     
    Busy times at Del Mar! 
     
    Last week's Winter Wonderland Middle School Dance was a huge success. Approximately 200 students attended and enjoyed their time dancing, visiting with friends, playing ping-pong, getting photo booth pictures, watching a movie, and eating snacks.  Thank you to: Ms. Chase's leadership class for planning and organizing, parent and staff chaperones for supervision, and students for their festive and appropriate school dance behavior!
     
    Lunchtime activities: There are a variety of lunchtime advisory competitions and clubs that provide students with many ways to pursue interests and participate at school. Clubs include: Garden, Lego, SAT, Anime, Magic, Math, TEA (diversity), and two student-led Science and Newspaper. 
     
    Students are reminded of club meeting days through the Morning Bulletin.  Ask your child for their password so you can view the first edition of the Dragon Tribune (student newspaper): dragontribune.weebly.com.  Additionally, peer tutors work during lunch and during Wednesday advisory periods and after school basketball season is underway.
     
    Winter Concerts: All are invited to next week's concert series.  Del Mar's guitar class will perform on Monday, Orchestra/Instrumental Band on Wednesday, and Steel Band on Thursday.  All concerts begin at 6:30pm in the school Concert Hall (gymnasium).
     
    7th Grade Being Adept Program has begun.  Students will receive a series of three sessions of drug and alcohol awareness and education. Eighth and sixth grade to follow.
     
    More 7th Grade News:  Our pilot Teen Screen program is underway.  Also, click here for information on two upcoming science units of study on neuroscience and human reproduction.  All students will receive these units of instruction unless parents notify Vice Principal David Sawyerto opt out.
     
    Del Mar Math News: The math department's monthly newsletter is included here with news and a recap of important information from recent memos.  
    Also including a link to math presentation at the recent parent education meeting on November 9th.  
     

    PTA News

        
    New Winter Menus now available at Choice Lunch! Please click here to order.

    Foundation News


    The Foundation is Thankful for YOU! Pledge Day KICKED OFF our Family Giving Campaign and was a huge success! Thank you to the 192 families who pledged or donated! Our goal is to have 100% family participation. Every family counts! Pledge or donate atwww.FoundationForReedSchools.com
     
    Shop for Reed This Holiday Season!
     
    3 ways to generate AUTOMATIC donations to our schools:
     
    Amazon Smile
     
    Register at www.smile.amazon.com and select Reed School Foundations as the charity you would like to support. Remember to go to  smile.amazon.com when you need to make a purchase on Amazon.
     
    Escrip.com
     
    Register your credit and debit cards at www.escrip.com. Select the Foundation for Reed Schools.
     
    Buy groceries at Nugget and Woodlands Markets with cards registered with  escrip.com.
     
    Install the ForgetMeNot pop-up on your web browser. When the ForgetMeNot pop-up banner appears at the top of an online retailer's website, click the banner to earn a percentage of your purchase for Reed schools.
     
    Thank You to all the volunteers, parents, teachers, grandparents and special friends who made Grandparents Days at Reed and Bel Aire Schools an overwhelming success! A fun and festive time was had by all!#foundationfunded
    Comments (-1)
  • November 30, 2016

    Posted by Peggy Riley at 12/16/2016

    Del Mar News

    November 30, 2016 

     
     
    Dear Families:
     
    Mathematics Update: Here is a recap of some recent efforts to support students in math.
     
    Homework: Students are now using Study Island to practice standards currently being addressed in class, and Dreambox, an adaptive program, to provide remedial support and additional challenges based on student interest and need.  If you or your student has any questions about how to log-in to these programs from home, please contact your student's teacher.  Homework is designed to allow your student to work independently.  If your student is unable to do so, please encourage your student to contact his/her teacher directly for additional support. (Note: algebra students will continue receiving homework from Pearson curriculum as they have done in the past.)
     
    Morning Math Support: Morning math support is provided to any student, at any grade level, who would like additional support. Your student can report to Room 6 on Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday mornings from 7:30-8:00am.
     
    iPad Use:  Students are working on both iPads and in their mathematics notebooks.  Internet browsers and other applications have been removed from the student iPads.  
     
    Communicating Student Progress: In addition to these changes, we also want to improve our school-home communication and provide more accurate and timely feedback about how your child is doing in class.
     
    1. Teachers will use PowerSchool as the main way to communicate information and will now include content standards being addressed when reporting quiz/test scores and grades. Study Island scores will be entered in PowerSchool every two weeks, also listing standards being addressed.
     
    2. Quizzes and end-of-unit tests will be taken using paper and pencil.  After grading, and review in class, the tests will be sent home with your child. This will enable parents to see the problems, student answers and the earned grade.
     
    3. Students will be allowed to make corrections on quizzes to show evidence of understanding and meeting standard, and to boost their score. Instead of using class or lunchtime, any student wishing to do so should attend one of the morning math support sessions (see above).
     
    4. Every Friday afternoon, you will receive email reports from Study Island regarding your child's performance using this program.
     
    5. As always, please email your child's teacher if you have specific questions or concerns.  If after speaking with your child's teacher, you continue to have questions or concerns, I am available to speak to you by phone or in person.
     
     
    Middle School Winter Wonderland Dance:  Here is some important information about this Friday night's Winter Wonderland Dance that we encourage all students to attend!
     
    When and where:     7:00-9:00pm in the Del Mar gym.
     
    Drop off and pick up: Students must arrive by 7:15pm and stay until the end. All students must be picked up by an adult inside the school parking lot by the amphitheater/bus area.
     
    Attire:  Festive and/or winter attire; Dress code expectations apply.
     
    Tickets: On sale in the school office and at the dance.
     
    Fun: Professional DJ and photo booth! Snacks and drinks on sale!
     
    Safe: Songs are middle school appropriate; Teacher and parent supervision provided. Drop off/pick up procedures ensure safety as well.
     
    Calling all Chaperones
    The Winter Wonderland dance is looking for a few chaperones to help the night of the dance.  If you are able to assist, please let Ms. Chase know at  cchase@reedschools.org .
                            
    Content Filters:  Our wonderful IT department staff worked over Thanksgiving break to change students' internet filters in an attempt to resolve internet connection problems some students were experiencing at home.  We anticipate that all students will now be able to access all curriculum resources from locations outside of school.
    Comments (-1)
  • November 16, 2016

    Posted by Peggy Riley at 12/7/2016

    Mathematics and 7th Grade Teen Screen

     
    Dear Families:
     
    This week's Math Memo will focus on three topics: math homework, iPad use, and providing students with additional math support at school.  These were among some key concerns voiced at last week's Parent Education meeting as well as conversations I have had with individual parents.
     
    Mathematics News
    Math Homework: Many of you have expressed confusion and frustration about your child's homework experience.  We want to ensure that students will be successful working independently at home and that parents can provide adequate and easy support if needed (including access to resources if they require review of a concept or instruction).
     
    The purpose of homework is to reinforce mathematics knowledge and skills. Homework should provide students, first and foremost, with an opportunity to practice and review skills they already know. Homework is not intended to be new material that students have not been taught.  In some situations, however, it may present an opportunity for extended learning, which may involve some "productive struggle" for students. Some recent math homework has involved new material, rather than practice and review.  This has lead to frustration and "unproductive struggle" for some students.
     
    In response to comments by students and parents concerning homework, the math department has determined that some exercise problems that were previously assigned for homework would be better incorporated as part of the class lesson.  Homework will now consist of a combination of targeted skill practice based on classroom learning, and personalized math skill practice.  Study Island and Dreambox are two online, aligned programs that will provide this homework support.
     
    Dreambox is an adaptive math program that personalizes instruction and can be used for both intervention and enrichment.  Dreambox will provide students with immediate feedback and both teachers and parents will have access to this data.  Please refer to the Del Mar math homework website at rusdmath.weebly.com for more information. 
     
    Study Island is an online tool that provides an opportunity for quality academic support, practice, and real-time assessment data leading to mastery of the California Common Core Math Standards. The immediate feedback and built-in remediation, coupled with the actionable data, enables students, parents and teachers to easily monitor progress.  Students can work through questions using a standard test format or an interactive game format.  To receive credit (a "blue ribbon") for a topic, a student must complete at least ten questions and get a minimum of seven of them correct. 
     
    By Thanksgiving break, all students will have taken pre-tests for both Study Island and Dreambox, so that upon returning from break on November 28, they will be ready to begin using these programs for their homework practice.
     
    Algebra HW: Please note that students in the compacted 8th grade algebra course will continue receiving the same type of homework as they have in the past.
     
    iPad Use:  This week, our IT department has deleted Safari from all student iPads.  When students use iPad devices, they will be for math use only.
     
    Morning Math Support:  As we have done in prior years, Del Mar will offer additional math support for all interested students three mornings per week.  Ms. Marshall and/or Dr. Gold will be available on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings from 7:30-8:00 am in Room 6.  Students, from any class and grade level, are welcome to drop in if they have questions or need help.  -Begins week after Thanksgiving break!
     
    Teachers are also available for "office hours" at certain break or advisory class times; students should speak with their teacher to arrange an alternative time toask questions if any of the morning times do not work.  
     
    More Math Information Coming Soon
    We are in the process of working on new ways to communicate accurate and timely feedback about how your child is doing in math, beyond the limited information provided in PowerSchool.  More information will be coming soon.  Of course, if at any time, you have questions about your child's progress in math, do not hesitate to contact your student's math teacher via email.
     
    Teen Screen Preview for 7th Grade Families
    We are pleased to announce that seventh grade students will be offered the opportunity to participate in a free mental wellness screening program called TeenScreen. Mental wellness is a key component to the overall health and development of today's teenagers. Del Mar is committed to supporting students struggling with emotional difficulties early and linking them to effective support services.  Developed by Columbia University, and run by Stanford University in conjunction with the Family Service Agency of Marin, the program provides us with a proven method of identification of concerns which can lead to help for our teenagers. On Friday, we will send to you an email letter and permission form for this free, confidential program. Students will learn about the program during a brief presentation on November 29.  We hope many of our seventh graders will participate.

    PTA News

        
    "Raising Resilient Girls"
    Wednesday, November 16, 2016, 7-8:30 pm
    Edna Maguire Elementary School
    80 Lomita Drive, Mill Valley
    Co-sponsored by the Reed Union School District PTA and It Takes a Village, Mill Valley
     
    For more information on Parent Education events, pleaseclick hereParent Teachers Association (PTA) / Parent Education
     
    Come Support and cheer for our students as they participate in the annual Turkey Trot; 11:21am on Monday the 21st.

    "Screenagers: Growing Up in the Digital Age; Screening and Discussion"
    Tuesday, November 29, 2016, 7:00-8:30 pm
    Marin Country Day School
    Sponsored by the MCDS but open to the RUSD Community (Parents Only)
    Open to all, no registration required.

    Winter Wonderland Dance - 7pm-9pm on Dec. 2nd
    All Del Mar Middle School students are invited and can purchase tickets at the front office.  The gym will be transformed with a DJ, photo booth, tattoo station, and Winter Wonderland decor. Festive attire or white outfits are encouraged.
     
    New Winter Menus now available at Choice Lunch!  Pleaseclick here to order.

    Foundation News


    PLEDGE DAY IS ONE WEEK AWAY!The Foundation for Reed School's annual Pledge Day is next Thursday! Please help us meet our $2 million commitment to RUSD by making a donation or pledging your support by November 17th! EVERY FAMILY COUNTS!
     
    More than 1,500 students at Reed, Bel Aire and Del Mar count on The Foundation to ensure funding for specialists and programs in Art Education, PE, Music, Technology, STEAM Labs, Libraries, Spanish; a school psychologist, a Math 
     
    TOSA, and more. Help us meet our $2 million commitment to RUSD!

    Grandparents/Special Friends Day at Reed and Bel Aire! 
    Reed will host its Grandparents/Special Friends day on Monday, November 21st and Bel Aire will host its Grandparents/Special Friends day on Tuesday, November 22nd. Please ask your loved ones to RSVP to their invitation by November 16th with the name of each attendee and include your child's name and grade. Click here  for more information about this fun-filled event!
    Comments (-1)
  • November 2, 2016

    Posted by Peggy Riley at 12/6/2016

    Del Mar News

    November 2, 2016 

     
    Dear Families:
     
    Continuing "the conversation" from last week, here are some additional Q and A's about our mathematics program.  These questions are from recent notes I have received and conversations I have had with students and parents alike. I hope that this series of memos, as well as our upcoming Parent Education meeting (Wednesday morning November 9 @ 8:30am), will help address and alleviate concerns you may have.
     
    Q:  My child feels s/he is not succeeding in math.  Does this reflect my child's ability?
     
    A: The consensus amongst math teachers is that this year's program is more rigorous, with students being required to think more deeply and discuss their mathematic reasoning in ways that were not required of them in the past.  This year's program most accurately aligns with state standards of mathematical practices and end-of-year SBAC assessments.  This can be a difficult adjustment as students learn and grapple with math in new ways.
     
     
    Q:  My child's test scores were low. How will this be reflected in the grade?
     
    A: Students will take a final test for each unit of study.  The design of this unit test resembles the state SBAC assessments students take at the end of the year.  These tests consist of questions that measure if students are below, meet, or exceed grade level standards. Students are not expected to be able to answer every question on these end-of-unit tests, since some questions correlate with challenge problems that not all students will-or are expected to-complete as part of class.  Based on these tests, teachers receive accurate information about how students are performing so they can tailor instruction to meet all ability levels and needs. 
    Please note that students' grades will reflect their knowledge with regard to grade level standards; grades will be higher than the raw test score.
     
    Q:  How are students' grades determined?
     
    A:  Grades are based on scores on tests, quizzes and projects in which students demonstrate their understanding and application of math concepts learned in class.    Teachers are designing additional summative assessments to complement the end of unit test that is part of the Pearson program.  Having multiple data points will provide a more accurate and fair picture of student achievement and progress-one big end of unit test will not be the sole or primary source of a student's grade.
     
     
    Q: Why is homework assigned if it is not being graded? 
     
    A:  Homework provides an opportunity for students to practice a skill they have not yet had the opportunity to master.  It is unfair to grade a student for something s/he is not yet expected to know or master.
     
    It is important, however, for students to be in the habit of practicing, and completing and turning in their work on time.  Teachers check that work is completed, that students understand the material, and indicate that students are doing their homework in the Power School grade book.  We want to provide feedback to you, as parent, that your child is (or is not) staying on top of schoolwork.  Your child's second report card grade is a scholarly work habits and citizenship grade which reflects responsibility, independence, perseverance, respect, collaboration-traits we value and that are indicators of academic success. 
     
     
    Q:  My child is finding use of iPads make it difficult to take notes.  Shouldn't there be use of paper and pencil for math work?
     
    A:  All students use both tools-iPads -and- paper/pencil-in mathematics class.  Students have math notebooks; use scratch paper to solve problems, and sometimes use handout worksheets instead of, or in addition to, using iPads.
     
    Green Transportation Wednesdays

    Reed School District supports ways to reduce congestion and promote active and "green" transportation. Wednesdays are Green Transportation Days in Marin county and in many other places around the country. Ride the Bus, carpool, walk or bike to school. Lets see how much of a difference we can make!
     

    PTA Updates 

     
    Thankful Thursdays - 
    Please help celebrate our 42 wonderful teachers by volunteering this week on Thankful Thursday.

    Join PTA for the 2016-2017 school year and enjoy this Parent Ed event tonight!
    "Raising Kids in a Digital World," with Todd Sarner, MFT
    Wednesday, November 2nd 7:00pm-8:30 pm
    Del Mar School gym 
    This session is appropriate for parents of kids at all three schools! No RSVP necessary.
     
    Upcoming Events:

    Nov 11 - NO SCHOOL  - Veteran's Day
     
    Nov. 16 - "Raising Resilient Girls"
    Wednesday, 7-8:30 pm
    Edna Maguire Elementary School
    80 Lomita Drive, Mill Valley
    Co-sponsored by the Reed Union School District PTA and It Takes a Village, Mill Valley
     
    Nov 21 - Turkey Trot at 11:21am

    Nov 29 - "Screenagers: Growing Up in the Digital Age; Screening and Discussion"
    Tuesday,  7:00-8:30 pm
    Marin Country Day School
    Sponsored by the MCDS but open to the RUSD Community (Parents Only)
    Open to all, no registration required.

    Save the Date: Friday, Dec 2nd - 
    Winter Wonderland Dance - 7pm-9pm

    PTA membershipplease click here
     
    ChoiceLunchplease click here
     
     
     
     

    Foundation Updates 

     
    You can still order a 2016-2017 RUSD Directory and Smartphone App on-line for in class delivery. 
    Go to www.FoundationForReedSchools.com to buy your RUSD Directory & Smartphone App. The Smartphone App is ready to download and you will receive an email with secure login information when you purchase the Directory App.
     
    Grandparents/Special Friends Day at Reed and Bel Aire! 
    Reed will host its Grandparents/Special Friends day on Monday, November 21st and Bel Aire will host its Grandparents/Special Friends day on Tuesday, November 22nd. Please ask your loved ones to RSVP to their invitation by November 16th with the name of each attendee and include your child's name and grade. Click here  for more information about this fun-filled event!
     
    The Foundation's Pledge Day is November 17th. Support our efforts to raise $2 million! More than 1,500 students at our three schools count on The Foundation to ensure funding for teachers and programs in Art Education, PE, Music, Technology, Libraries, Spanish; a school psychologist, a Math TOSA, and more! Every Donation Counts - Help us reach our goal!
     
    Comments (-1)
  • October 19, 2016

    Posted by Peggy Riley at 11/3/2016

    Del Mar News

    October 19, 2016
     
     
    Dear Del Mar Families:  
                                                                 
    Monday's Staff Development Day - Del Mar staff had a successful day of working and learning together.  Math teachers received training on the implementation of our new math program with time to discuss assessment and grading. Other staff devoted time to discussing new grading criteria. 
     
    Assessment and Grading - In our efforts to provide the most accurate feedback about students' progress, we are clarifying what students' grades actually mean.  Students will receive two grades as they have in the past. One grade will be solely devoted to students' progress toward content standards as evidenced by their accomplishments on tests, quizzes and projects in which students demonstrate their knowledge and skills. 
     
    The second grade reflects citizenship and scholarly habits.  Referencing attributes of our district vision, this grade is based on students' demonstration of responsibility, being self-directed/independent, perseverance, collaboration and respect.
     
    Parent Education on Math - Mark your calendars: Please join us on Wednesday morning, November 9 at 8:30am to learn more about our new mathematics program.
     
    Halloween - We look forward to a safe and festive Halloween day.  While this is still a day of classroom learning, we will be celebrating in the following ways: students may dress in costume .  However, no masks, clown costumes,  or costumes with violent and offensive themes  will be allowed.  We are also planning lunchtime activities in the gym.  
     
    Basketball Coach needed - Basketball season is rapidly approaching  (begins end of November and runs through the first week of March).  Please let Athletic Director Gary Oefinger know if you are interested in coaching a teamgoefinger@reedschools.org
     
    Lastly, we are partnering with local community health coalitions and the Marin County Department of Health and Human Services on a healthy lifestyles project. We hope that you can help us by sharing what you know about underage alcohol and marijuana use.
     
    Next week we will send you a link to a 10 minute online survey. This survey is anonymous and confidential. We believe that by capturing parents' perceptions we will better understand the reality of the scope of underage substance use in our community. Help us continue the conversation in our community!
     
    If you have questions or require assistance with the survey do not hesitate to contact our partner at Health and Human Services, Kristen Law (klaw@marincounty.org/415-473-4230).
     
    Best regards,
     
    Alan
     
    Alan Vann Gardner, Ed.D.,
    Principal

     
    Please stop by Del Mar to check the lost and found.  All items will be donated on Friday, October 28th.

    PTA Updates 

     
    Save the date -  RUSD Book Fair: October 24-26 at Bel Aire & October 27-28 at the Del Mar pop-up.  
    For more information, please click here.  If any parents or Del Mar Students who would like to volunteer at the book fair, please see the attached link for the time slots available: RUSD Book Fair
     
    Join PTA for the 2016-2017 school year and enjoy these upcoming free Parent Ed events!

    Dr. Gold Step Parent Meeting, Bel Air MPR
    Thursday, October 20, 2016 - 8:30am - 10am 

    "Raising Kids in a Digital World," with Todd Sarner, MFT
    Wednesday, November 2nd 7:00pm-8:30 pm
    Del Mar School gym 
    This session is appropriate for parents of kids at all three schools! No RSVP necessary.

    "Raising Resilient Girls"
    Wednesday, November 16, 2016, 7-8:30 pm
    Edna Maguire Elementary School
    80 Lomita Drive, Mill Valley
    Co-sponsored by the Reed Union School District PTA and It Takes a Village, Mill Valley

    "Screenagers: Growing Up in the Digital Age; Screening and Discussion"
    Tuesday, November 29, 2016, 7:00-8:30 pm
    Marin Country Day School
    Sponsored by the MCDS but open to the RUSD Community (Parents Only)
    Open to all, no registration required.
     
     
     
     

    Foundation Updates 

     
    There is still time to order your 2016-17 RUSD Directory online!!!  The deadline has been extended until Friday, October 21st to order your Directory and Smartphone App for classroom delivery!  Order today:  www.TheFoundationforReedSchools.com
     
    Thank you to all our families, volunteers, teachers, staff and sponsors for supporting the Run for Reed 2016!
    Save the Date for Pledge Day, November 17th and support The Foundation's efforts to raise $2 million! More than 1,500 students at our three schools count on The Foundation to ensure funding for teachers and programs in Art, PE, Music, Technology, Libraries, Spanish; a school psychologist, a Math TOSA, and more! Every Family Counts - help us reach our goal!
    Comments (-1)
  • October 5, 2016

    Posted by Peggy Riley at 10/20/2016

    Del Mar News

    October 5, 2016 
     
     
    Dear Families:
     
    Here are some notes from our September 23 Parent Education meeting.
     
    Home/school communication:
    The Del Mar Middle School website has important information which includes:
    1. Student/Parent Handbook which contains information about cell phone use, homework policies and much more.
    2. Teacher websites which have course tabs that list students' homework assignments with other course information and links to curriculum resources.
     
    PowerSchool grades provide information about students' work habits and performance.  Many assignments are "checked" to track whether students have completed assignments on time, indicative of motivated, responsible students committed to their learning.  Other assignments are graded to provide information whether students are understanding the course work and meeting standards. 
     
    Grades are offline during the school day, except during advisory class periods.  Students and families will have access before and after school.
     
    We recommend that you:
    1. Check sporadically, one time per week at the most. Regarding homework and other work habits, trust your child, And use this online tool to verify!
    2. Focus on aspects of "motivated learners, " i.e.: is work completed and turned in on time.
    3. Talk with your child-inquire about what your child is curious about and what she is learning.
     
    Supporting middle school students is a balancing act. Remember "SCALE": 
    Support them in your role as consultant vs. problem-solver;
    Celebrate their accomplishments, progress, and process as motivated learners, 
    Ask and Listen so they reflect, speak and arrive at game plans and solutions,
    Encourage them to persevere, conveying your confidence they will succeed with proper focus and effort. 
     
     
    Upcoming Parent Education: Mark your calendars--"Raising Kids in a Digital World, " sponsored by RUSD PTA will be held Wednesday, November 2nd from 7-8:30 pm at Del Mar. 
     
    8th grade students and their parents are invited to a presentation by the Redwood High School Principal, David Sondheim, on October 19th in the Del Mar gym at 6:30pm.
     
    Best regards,
     
    Alan
     
    Alan Vann Gardner, Ed.D.,
    Principal, Del Mar Middle School
      
    For 7th and 8th grade families:  
    Attached is a letter from Dr. Gold regarding the 

    PTA Updates 

     
    Join PTA for the 2016-2017 school year and enjoy this upcoming free Parent Ed event!
     
    "Raising Kids in a Digital World," with Todd Sarner, MFT
    Wednesday, November 2nd 7:00pm-8:30 pm
    Del Mar School gym 
    This session is appropriate for parents of kids at all three schools! No RSVP necessary.

    Save the date -  RUSD Book Fair: October 24-26 at Bel Aire & October 27-28 at the Del Mar pop-up.
      
    For more information, please click here.  If any parents or Del Mar Students who would like to volunteer at the book fair, please see the attached link for the time slots available:  RUSD Book Fair
     
    For PTA membership, please click here

    To sign up for ChoiceLunch, please click here

    Don't forget to order your Spirit Wear online
     
    Thankful Thursdays are back!  Interested in making our teachers feel special?  Please join the PTA in recognizing our teachers by providing great snacks and treats every first Thursday of the month.  To help out this week, click the following link:  Thankful Thursdays at Del Mar
     
     
     
     

    Foundation Updates 

     
    Last Chance to pre-order your 2016-2017 RUSD Directory and Smartphone App for in-class delivery. Go to www.FoundationForReedSchools.com by October 7th  to buy your RUSD Directory & Smartphone App. You will receive an email with secure login information in early October if you also purchase the Directory App. After October 7th, the directories will be available for purchase in the school and Foundation offices.
    Comments (-1)
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