August 23, 2019
We have had a busy first week of school, and students seem to be getting settled. Each day, we have less kids looking lost, less kids having troubles with lockers, and less kids being late to classes. I have enjoyed getting to meet the students and talk to them before and after school, at lunch, and between classes. I have also taken the opportunity to visit each teacher’s classroom so I can see what’s happening and start getting a feel for the school. I have appreciated the positive attitude of the student and teachers this week as we have worked on getting back into school and the flow of the year. We have reached the point that we won’t have designated help in the halls to help with lockers and directions, and I’d like to thank the SBOs and Cheerleaders for their help this week, but please let your student know that if they need help with anything they can swing by the main office or counseling center to get it.
Your students may have noticed some differences to their days this year. We have added a daily advisory period between 1st and 2nd periods. This will be a benefit to the students as it will provide a designated time for grade tracking, social emotional learning activities, assessment re-dos, remediation help, and enrichment time. To create the time for advisory, we needed to adjust the passing time between classes to four minutes. The students have been getting better as the week has gone on about moving with purpose between classes and getting where they need to be on time. The addition of the advisory period also pushed lunch back a little so first lunch is at 11:37am, and second lunch is at 12:29pm. The other big change students should be noticing is that the school has moved to Performance Based Grading (PBG). A letter was sent home prior to the beginning of school with a detailed discussion of PBG, and I also held an information meeting at Back to School Night to provide information, so I won’t go into major detail about PBG here. However, I do encourage you to talk to your students about PBG and what is happening in their classes with learning activities and assessments.
I am now managing the school’s Facebook page. It will be a great source of information about the school and our events. I will also post pictures and videos of things happening at the school, so I recommend everyone follow us on Facebook. To get to our official page, go to the school’s website, https://schools.graniteschools.org/olympusjr/, and click on the Facebook icon. From there, you can click to follow us.
With the first week behind us, I have noticed some behaviors at lunch that we will be working on at school. It would be helpful if you could also discuss these things with your student. The basic behaviors we need to improve are: cleaning up after yourself (don’t leave garbage around and don’t throw food), stay in the designated areas during lunch (students can be in the lunchroom and commons area, vending machine area, and in the north and south hall areas to the cones but not past, and they can go outside onto the field or the tables by the outside classroom), and no running/horseplay in the building. We are also working on getting more lunchroom tables to provide more seating for students during lunch. The lunchroom itself is packed as tightly as it can be, so we will place new tables in the commons area for students. While we are working on this, please be aware that it will take a little time to get the tables here.
Fee Waiver/Free and Reduced Lunch:
If you would like to apply for fee waiver or free and reduced lunch, please remember that they are two separate systems and applications. Fee waivers are handled with me, so you can fill out the paperwork completely and bring it to the main office with your taxes from this past year. If your family qualifies for government assistance, a copy of your most recent benefits definition page will suffice for fee waiver approval. Fee waivers need to be completed at each school where you have children; one application does not cover all your children. Finally, fee waiver applications are due 30 days after the first day of school, so please don’t wait to apply. The deadline for application will be September 17, 2019.
Free and reduced lunch applications are not handled by the school. You can pick up a paper application in the school office, fill it out, and turn it in to the lunchroom. However, the quickest way to apply for free and reduced lunch is to go to www.MYSCHOOLAPPS.com and fill out the application there. Free and reduced lunch applications can be turned in for an entire family of kids at one time, so you will not need to fill it out at each individual school.
When you registered your student(s) for school you were charged the basic registration fee. This fee covers class fees for required core classes that all students take. Any class fees that will need to be charged for elective classes your student is enrolled in will not be applied to their account until September 20. So, please make sure you check your account again at that time.
Ms. Moody is getting the library set-up and ready for the year. This week she had students stopping by to pick up yellow “The Amazing Read” lanyards. With those, she has a collection of button pins students can earn throughout the year. Each pin relates to a different genre of novel, and each time a student reads a book from a different genre they can see Ms. Moody for that pin. Obviously, we will be encouraging the students to earn them all. I finished reading Scythe by Neal Shusterman last week, so I picked-up my Science Fiction pin. I will be working on earning my pins along with the students.
We will have a few openings on Community Council for this year. If you are interested in running for a spot, please go to the school website, under the Community Council tab, and fill out a Declaration of Candidacy. This can be turned in to the main office. We will also have paper copies of the declaration available in the main office for those interested. Voting for the open positions will take place in mid-September, so Declarations of Candidacy are due to the office by August 30. I am required to give the list of names to the district by August 31 so they can set-up the on-line voting form we will use for the elections. If the number of candidates is equal to or less than the number of openings, we will forego elections and all candidates will be appointed to the Community Council.
We will also be holding a special meeting of the Community Council on Monday, August 26, at 3:15pm. As with all Community Council meetings, it will be open to the public. The purpose of this meeting will be to discuss and vote on grade reconfiguration. The Community Council is considering moving 9th graders to Olympus High School and bringing 6th graders to Olympus Jr. High School.
Cross Country begins on Monday, August 26. Cross Country is an open sport, meaning that anyone who would like to participate is welcome to do so. There won’t be “cuts” and all kids can go to the meets and run. We look forward to getting a bunch of kids out to run so we can continue to strengthen our program. Additional information about practices and meets will be given on Monday. Make sure to bring a water bottle.
Soccer will operate under the intramural/competitive format of the team sports. This means that for the first three weeks, anyone can come and play. The coaches will be working on helping everyone improve their skills and have fun playing the game. In mid-September, the coaches will choose a team that will then compete against the other junior highs. In order to be eligible to be chosen for the team, a player needs to have attended at least 70% of the intramural sessions. Soccer begins for both boys and girls on Monday, August 26. Make sure to bring a water bottle.
Aug. 26 Soccer and Cross Country begin
Aug. 26 Community Council Meeting, 3:15pm
Aug. 28 Class Officer Election
Aug. 29 Hello Day Assembly
Sept. 2 Labor Day-No School
Sept. 4 Cross Country Meet @ Bonneville
Sept. 10 PTSA Meeting (11am)
Sept. 11 Cross Country Meet @ Hunter Jr.
Sept. 16 Junior High Day of Dance Fieldtrip, Dance Co.
Sept. 18 Cross Country @ Jefferson
Sept. 23 Soccer vs. Bennion (boys away)
Sept. 24-25 Parent-Teacher Conferences (4-7pm)
Sept. 27 No School
Sept. 30 Soccer vs. Evergreen (girls away)
Congrats on making it through the first week!