October 5, 2018
A few times a year I mention social media in this newsletter. Usually when I’m mentioning it, it’s because we are seeing an increase in issues at school that are the result of things going on with social media. Such is the case right now. We are seeing an increase in issues resulting from student use of social media. Students are going back and forth insulting and making fun of each other and they are using texting as well as social media. Please remind your student to be appropriate with their on line presence. Please check and see what apps they have, are using, and look and see what they are posting on those apps. At conferences last week we had a hand-out that listed popular social media apps and what kinds of things those apps are used for. I will make sure the counselors post that on their page of the school website so you can have it as a reference.
Reality Town Volunteers:
The annual Reality Town is scheduled for November 7 this year. This event is for 8th graders and allows them to choose a profession and earn a salary. They then take the salary and have to purchase the goods of life from different stations. Some items are required “bills” that adults have, and some categories are extras that they may want (i.e. a pet). Reality Town is an activity to help students begin to understand costs of living. The purpose is to help students see the importance of education and training in helping them get a job that will allow them to have the lifestyle they envision for themselves.
What allows this activity to run so smoothly is volunteers. The PTSA helps recruit volunteers for the school for Reality Town. For the activity to run as smoothly as possible we need many volunteers. The volunteers man the stations that students visit during the activity. Each station needs at least two volunteers, and most run best with three or four volunteers. This means that we need between 60-80 volunteers. I would also like to add that we would love to have volunteers regardless of what grade your student is in. Reality Town is an 8th grade activity, but we rely on the whole community of our parents to make it work. An advantage of volunteering earlier than your student’s 8th grade year is that you can participate in the event more than one time, and you’ll be an expert by the time your own child is in 8th grade.
If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Cris at firstname.lastname@example.org and she will pass your information on to the Reality Town coordinator.
Suicide Prevention Night:
Skyline High School is hosting a Suicide Prevention Parent Information Night again this year. Dr. Greg Hundall will be the speaker. Dr. Hundall is the founder and executive director of HOPE4UTAH. He has been working on suicide prevention in Utah for over 20 years. Parents will be given information about warning signs, suicide prevention, and resources that are available for families. Dr. Hundall will present in the Skyline Cafeteria on Tuesday, October 16, from 6-7pm.
I generally avoid advertising .com websites anywhere, but I’m going to do so here with a caveat. I am in no way suggesting that anyone go to this website and give them any money or personal information. With that said, I am including some information about this website that can be useful to you and your student. All students have completed their first Reading Inventory (RI) of the school year. As a quick reminder, and I know I writing about RI frequently throughout the school year, the RI is a test that provides students with their Lexile score. The Lexile score is indicative of not only reading speed, but also reading comprehension. Each grade level has a cut-off score that defines a student as proficient and above, or below proficient. We are working to have all students proficient at grade level.
The English teachers should have sent home your student’s RI report already. The RI report will have the Lexile score listed. There are a couple of things students can do to improve their Lexile score: the absolute best thing to do is to read, and the second most impactful thing to do is to read material that is at and a little above their current Lexile score. The second piece of this is where Lexile.com can come in handy. The website houses Lexile information on 321,665 books. You can use the Book Finder tool on the front page of the site to type in the title of a book and find out its Lexile score. This can help you and your student make sure they are reading books that will help them improve their reading ability.
Information about all the clubs was distributed last week during lunch and parent-teacher conferences. That information has been posted to the school’s website under the “Clubs” tab. If you have questions about a specific club, please feel free to email the teacher advisor responsible for the club. I have also put the club information that I know on the school calendar at the website. Many of the clubs are starting to get up and going now, so if your student is interested in being involved, encourage them to get involved earlier rather than later.
We also run what we call Homework Club. This is essential after school help teachers offer for students. The schedule for Homework Club has been posted to the website and to Facebook, and we have paper copies available in the main office. I suggest printing the schedule off and keeping if available for reference. Homework Club is staffed by the teachers and it identifies times the teachers are available after school to work with and help students with questions and work. Your student does NOT have to go to their specific teacher for help. For example, if they are struggling with math, they can go to any of the math teachers for help. I encourage everyone to take advantage of Homework Club.
PTSA has told me they are starting to get a few questions about Halloween costumes and school. There are two days when students can wear their costumes to school. The first is the day of the Halloween Hustle 5k on October 24 and the other is during Spirit Week on October 31. The rules for costumes are: no masks, no weapons, the costume needs to fit within dress code, nothing gory, and it needs to be something the kids can be comfortable in at school (they will need to be able to get in and out of a student desk). We have usually allowed face paint within reason (again, the students need to be comfortable at school) and hats that are specifically part of the costume being worn. If you have specific questions, please feel free to email me at email@example.com
Class fees for elective classes have been charged to accounts. Please check your student’s account to make sure it has been paid. Mrs. Cluff has been sending account balances home with students this week, but it would be great if everyone would do a quick check on line.
The PTSA has started doing a monthly recognition for student birthdays. Once a month, they come in and give a piece of pizza to all the students with birthdays that month. This has been going over very well. The students love recognition and pizza. I wanted to thank the PTSA, and, specifically, Allison Armstrong, for thinking of and executing this activity. I would also like to remind everyone that the activities PTSA does for the school cost money, and their money comes from memberships and fundraisers/donations. If you haven’t joined PTSA yet, please do so. Also, our PTSA ties to focus on donations as opposed to organizing a major, concerted effort on a fundraiser, so please consider going to the Churchill webstore and making a donation to our awesome PTSA.
Mrs. Wiebe-Strong is currently getting the library set up for this year’s district library theme: magic. She has taken this theme in a distinctly Harry Potter direction. Currently, the sorting hat is in the library and ready to sort your student into one of the four houses of Hogwarts. Next to the hat is an iPad on a stand with a short questionnaire students can answer. Based on the responses, they will be sorted into a house and then directed to see Mrs. Wiebe-Strong to receive a pin to wear that will show their house. It would be great to have all the students come up and be sorted.
The library will also be hosting Harry Potter movie days this year. Throughout the year, the library will be open after school so students can gather to watch the movies. The second movie, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, will be shown on Tuesday, October 23, after school. Students do need to have a permission slip signed by a parent to watch the movies because they are rated PG and then PG-13 for the later ones. Permission slips can be picked up and then returned to the library.
Cross Country season wraps up next week with the district championships. The kids have been working hard and improving their personal scores throughout the season. Last week at the East Regionals, we had three of the top 10 girls finishers. Good luck to both the boys and girls at the district meet this upcoming Tuesday.
The soccer teams have been representing the school well during their games the last two weeks. The girls are currently undefeated and the boys have lost one game. The teams play Granite Park on Monday and finish the regular season with Wasatch next Wednesday. Both teams will play their final game on October 16. Good luck to the teams as they finish up the season!
Thank you to everyone who came to Parent-Teacher Conferences this year. We used the traditional format for conferences and everything seemed to run smoothly except for the 6th grade core teachers (English, math, science). All of the English lines were more slow moving than usual, but we had anticipated that due to the department using Performance Based Grading this year.
Prior to conferences the faculty was have discussions of how we could change the format of conferences to better use everyone’s time. After seeing how things went, we will certainly be revisiting those conversations and looking at how we can change for format of conferences in February so we don’t have the problems with lines that we had this time.
We have a lot of people calling the main office to handle attendance issues. Please call the Counseling Center for attendance issues. Their phone number is 385-646-5145. Calling the main office will only mean it will take longer for you to take care of the attendance as they will have to put you on hold and then transfer you back to the Counseling Center.
Oct. 8 Soccer vs. Granite Park
Oct. 9 XC District Championship
Oct. 9 Community Council Meeting
Oct. 10 Soccer vs. Wasatch
Oct. 11 Math Olympiad Club begins (Rm. 206)
Oct. 16 Soccer final games
Oct. 18-19 Fall break, no school
Oct. 23 Performing Arts Assembly (9:20am)
Oct. 24 Orchestra/Dance/Drama Event (7pm)
Oct. 24 Halloween Hustle (10am)
Oct. 25 Band/Dance/Drama Event (7pm)
Oct. 25 End of 1st Quarter
Oct. 26 No school for students
Oct. 29-Nov. 2 Spirit Week
Oct. 29 2nd Quarter Begins
Oct. 29 Fall Dance (3-4pm)
Oct. 30 Picture Make-up Day
Oct. 30 MESA Club begins