Parent Lunch & Learn – Online Safety

One of the growing concerns across the country is, how do we keep our children safe online? With the easy access to technology, and predators, inappropriate contact, and cyber bullying parents can’t keep up with all the new apps and websites their children have at their fingertips.

That is why the PTSA and the Collaborative Learning Center will be hosting a parent Lunch & Learn entitled “What Parents Should Know to Keep Your Children Safe Online!”

Friday, November 14, 2014
Lunch will begin at 11:30
The session will be from 12:00 – 1:00

Pizza will be available for $1 a slice and sodas for $1 a can. Or you may bring your lunch. Please make it a point to bring your friends and be here for this informative session.

You do not have to be an Awtrey PTSA member or parent to attend. This is open to everyone.

We ask everyone to please register so we know how much pizza and handouts to have available.

Online registration is available.

Online Safety Flyer

Foundation Partners with the KBSF for the Spring Forward 5K

We are pleased to announce that the Awtrey Middle School Foundation is partnering with the Kennesaw Big Shanty Foundation to bring you an exciting 5k race as well as a thrilling 1-mile fun run on Saturday March 7, 2015. More information about race specifics will be coming in the next few weeks but in the meantime please reserve the morning of March 7th on your calendars so you can make plans to take part in this event.

For anyone that is interested in volunteering for this event, we are holding an informational meeting on Wednesday, October 15th at 6:30 p.m. at Kennesaw Elementary School to begin planning for the race. If you are interested in volunteering but are unable to attend the informational meeting, please send an email to Nimesh Patel at nimeshrpatel@hotmail.com.

Thank you for your commitment to our school and Foundation.

 

STUDENT-LED CONFERENCES ARE OCTOBER 20-24

Our conference week is the week of October 20. We are looking forward to showcasing our students as they take ownership of their learning. The students are working hard to prepare for this special event, and your child’s Academic Habits teacher is helping prepare for the conferences. We are looking forward to having you experience your child in a student-led conference.

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. What is the purpose of a student-led conference?

A student-led conference is an excellent opportunity for middle school students to demonstrate ownership of learning by sharing their academic achievement. They also will share their learning styles and goals, and partnering with parents/guardians in the school setting for this conference will strengthen the home-school connection and our priorities to keep the students as the center of the team. Students who take responsibility for their learning will realize greater levels of potential, and parent involvement is critical.

2. Can I schedule a traditional parent-teacher conference?

Yes, but the week of October 20 in addition to the week before and after are dedicated to our student-led conferences. Outside of these three weeks, traditional parent-teacher conferences may be scheduled. Parents/Guardians may request feedback from teachers any time throughout the school year, and we appreciate the phone calls, e-mails, and meetings to help support our students. As always, please continue to find ways to hold your child responsible to answer reasonable questions about school.

3. Who else will be in the room during my child’s conference time?

Aside from the Academic Habits teacher who will be monitoring the conferences, your child will be the one sitting at the table with any guests. There may be multiple conferences going on at the same time, but different table stations will be set up for this purpose.

4. May I speak with any of my child’s teachers during the student-led conference?

No, your child’s Academic Habits teacher is your assigned conferencing teacher. As your child has up to seven different teachers, you are welcome to complete a feedback request card at the end of the conference time for the Academic Habits teacher to provide to any staff member of your choosing. This staff member will follow up with you to address any questions or concerns about your child’s performance.

5. Can my child stay at the school after the 2:15 p.m. early dismissal on the assigned conference day?

Yes, any student may stay after school to wait for a parent in the cafeteria for an assigned conference time. The students will be provided a supervised study hall from 2:15 – 4:15 p.m. in the cafeteria, and parents arriving to school for a conference may pick up their children in the cafeteria before the conference time.

6. What will happen if my child can’t attend the student-led conference?

Student participation is required for the student-led conference. If your child is not able to attend, please contact your child’s Academic Habits teacher to reschedule the conference.

Here is a link to teacher blogs to sign up for a conference.

AWTREY Lockdown 10/09/14 Letter from Mr. Crawford

To Our Awtrey Families:

I want to follow up about today’s emergency incident.  I appreciate the support from our local police department in addition to our school district’s department of Public Safety.  I also appreciate the communication from our county office as we addressed the needs within this situation.  I am proud of the response from our school staff and students as we secured the building as a precautionary measure to help ensure the safety of everyone within the school.  While the perceived threat was located off campus, the proximity to the school warranted the use of our code red protocol.

We took steps today to update staff and students within the school about the situation, and we also sent updated information to our school community by using our e-mail system in addition to our school website and our PTSA Facebook page.  I visited each grade level lunch period to update them about the incident in addition to providing a review of the need for the code red.  During this time, I also thanked the students and staff for their efforts today, and I am proud of how they made the best of this challenge.

We are blessed with an amazing staff at Awtrey, and the students were cared for in the same manner as if they were our own children.  I understand the anxiety that is created within our community when emergency situations arise, and I value the trust you have in us to protect and serve your children.  While needed procedures progressed well today, I welcome feedback for us to consider recommendations to be even more effective in the future.

Please contact me if you have any feedback about today’s incident that could assist with serving our students and community even better.  I also welcome feedback if there are any additional supports that may be needed to help your child better understand and process today’s events.  While there was not a threat within the school building, we understand the stress that may be created within any emergency situation.  I appreciate your help in reviewing with your child the need for safety measures to help people stay safe.

Thank you for your continued support.  We value the privilege to be our community’s middle school, and we value your partnership to serve our students.

Sincerely,

Jeff Crawford

Homework Tracking Tool

 

Below, is a link for a homework tracking tool. It has been set up for students and families to record the approximate number of minutes for each class period for one week.  The purpose of this tool is to provide an opportunity for home and school to partner to ensure we are serving the learning needs of our students.  The average number of minutes expected for students each evening is 60 minutes for 6th grade, 70 minutes for 7th grade, and 80 minutes for 8th grade.  This average number of minutes is for 7 days each week with the exception of school holidays or special school days, including standardized testing days.

We recommend that the student agenda be used nightly to document the time spent on homework, in addition to the work that was completed. Then at the end of the week,  use the tool linked below, to document the minutes spent doing homework during that week. Please make sure you click the “Submit” button at the bottom of the survey. Once the form is submitted, you will see a confirmation message that your results have been received. A staff member will be contacting you after the results are reviewed.

The team will review this information to determine any needed actions.  As the team reflects on homework practices, available options for action could include changing team or subject area practices, changing homework expectations for select students, or assisting students with needed study or organizational skills.

Homework is an important learning opportunity to facilitate the mastery of content standards, and we understand that different students may need different homework requirements.  With reasonable exceptions, students should be able to complete homework independently.  We appreciate the support of families to help provide adequate times and spaces to complete homework that assists with students’ needs allowing them to focus on their academic obligations.  Please contact your child’s teacher for specific class period needs for your child, or contact your child’s school counselor or grade level administrator if they can assist you with the overall requirements.  We welcome your questions or concerns!

Thank you for your support of your child’s education!

 

Homework Tracking Tool

Our New Collaboration Tables (Media Scapes)

Thanks to the PTSA and their generosity our Media Center has two Collaboration Tables. What is a Collaboration Table? Well, you may have heard them called a Media Scape. It is a place where students can plug in their devices and project it on to a large monitor. But what makes these even cooler, they have switchers so that students can switch between various devices while they collaborate on one project.

These are the first Media Scape tables in Cobb County School District! However, teachers and media specialists from other schools have been contacting Mrs. Foster, our media specialist, asking how she put all of this together on a limited budget. She has recently written a blog post sharing her experience so that other schools in Cobb County and beyond can create their own Collaboration Tables!

Makerspace Wishlist

 

The Awtrey Middle School Foundation has just begun the first stage of getting our Makerspace Lab in the Collaborate Learning Center set up.  The Makerspace Lab will be housed in the CLC and will be a space where students and faculty can research, create and invent.  We wanted to make you aware of a special Amazon Wish List that Ms. Anita Foster has created on her CLC blog.  It will also appear on the Awtrey Middle School Foundation website.  If you have a chance, take a look at that list.  You can click on wishlist and it will take you right to the Amazon wish list site. Many items are cleaning/organizing items.   Many of you may have these items and others (such as legos and K’Nex kits) at home.  Since several neighborhood around the area are having a garage sale over the next few weeks, many of you may want to take this opportunity to look around your house at seemingly unwanted items that may be useful to our Makerspace Lab.

If you would like to donate these items, please bring them by the school any time.  Or feel free to order directly from the Amazon site.

Thank you so much Awtrey Families.  Looking forward to creating an incredible Makerspace Lab for the Awtrey students and staff.

Sincerely,

The Awtrey Middle School Foundation Board.