October 15, 2021

Dear DHMS Families,

There was no better way to end the work week than sitting by DHMS Door 1 with a few passionate Ukulele players and learning how to strum. I’m so impressed with the musical talent around DHMS. I hope at some point you get to hear us play! This week’s Flyer touches on mask use, upcoming conferences, and thoughts about supporting your youngster academically.

  • Mask Use – Increasing numbers of students are coming to school without their masks.  We have a stockpile of masks that we have been giving to students – but our supplies are running low.  Please make sure your child always has an extra mask in his or her backpack.
  • Conferences – Thursday 10/21 (PM) or Friday 10/22 (AM).  By now your TA teacher has reached out to schedule your parent/teacher/student conference.
    • Conferences are a 20-minute opportunity for your youngster to share with his “support team” (parents and TA teacher) how the year is going, their strengths and areas for growth, and their goals for the year – and also to hear from the TA teacher how things are going.  Feel free to come with any questions you might have for your student about what’s working for them, or what’s not!  By putting students in charge of their conferences, we ask them to take ownership of their learning.
    • Before your conference time, please ask your student to use their IPad to access the Conferences Teams Meeting Link in Canvas the TA teacher has established.
  • Academic Support – As we get closer to the end of the first quarter (November 1), staff members notice that the academic “honeymoon” is over…and sometimes grades aren’t as good as students expect.  it’s important to help students practices some good habits when they get home – here are some things they can do to help themselves:
    • Every day once they are home they should check their agenda for their homework.  Teachers are requiring students to write homework down in their agenda daily – for every class they have.  TA teachers are supporting the agenda’s use with mini-lessons and set up time for the week (on Mondays) – and for the weekend (on Fridays).  This should be your student’s go-to resource to remember if they have homework.  If this is not a habit for your youngster, or their grades are not what you both expect, implement this practice at a time when you both can look at the agenda.
    • Check Student/ParentVue regularly – Regularly in middle school, I asked my kids to share their grades, break down timelines for major projects, and write their extra-curricular activities on our family calendar.  These conversations model for students the kind of organizational thinking and organizational strategies that you use to be successful.  The best kind of teaching!
    • Finally – encourage your Phoenix student to meet with any teacher in whose class they might be struggling.  This might involve a rehearsal, “What are you going to say to Ms. E. Smith?” and that is great too.  Please normalize this teacher/student interaction – we want students to learn to advocate for themselves – and their teachers want to support them!
  • Social Emotional Support –
    • I’m sure that you have read articles or heard stories about the struggles many students are having with adjusting to being back in person after so many months out of school.  This is true for many of our students.  I’m hearing inappropriate language in student conversations, students are complaining about kids being unkind, and while they are glad to be back, their stamina for interpersonal interactions are short – leading to frustration and the occasional outburst.
    • Please remind your student that our community depends on each of us following the Golden Rule – treat others how you would like to be treated.  And, perhaps most importantly, remind students to be an “Upstander” in our community, if they see something, they should say something to a trust adult.
    • We will continue teaching kids the importance of being kind and respectful to each other through TA Lessons.  This week, on Wednesday, October 20, please join DHMS students and staff members in wearing ORANGE to support kindness and inclusion.

Many thanks for all you do –EllenEllen Smith, Principal DHMSUpcoming events:

  • October 19 – PTSA Meeting
  • October 21 (PM) and October 22 (AM) – Virtual Parent/Teacher/Student Conferences
  • October 22 – No School for Students
  • October 25 – DHMS VLP Families – Parent Chat @8:30
  • October 27 – Early Release Day – Dismissal at 11:54
  • October 29 – DHMS School Picture Make-up Day
  • November 1 – Last day of first quarter
  • November 2 – No School for Students (Grade Prep Day)
  • November 4 – No School for Students (Diwali)
  • November 11 – No School for Students (Veteran’s Day)