Welcome Back!

Dear Family Members and Friends,
Here’s wishing you a warm and sunny welcome back!
I hope you found some sun this summer rested up for the studies and adventures that lay ahead this school year.  Remember school starts at 8:50 now and Mondays are early release at 2:10. 

Many great things are in store for us:

Overnight Backpack Trip
Our fifth annual 7 & 8 backpack trip is tentatively scheduled for Thursday and Friday , September 23 & 24. We will be hiking the Redwood Creek or Ossagon Rocks trail. There will be a $10 cost for students renting equipment plus the obligatory smorgasbord group food item. As always we will need parents to drop off and pick up at the trail head: more details in the weeks to come.

8th Grade Ski Trip and 7th Grade Aquatics Camp
It may seem like a long way off now, but these epic adventures will be underway before we know it, and now is the time to start planning and, most importantly, fundraising. The eighth grade trip costs around $450 per student and aquatics camp could cost $150, so begin talking with your child about fundraising opportunities such as: mowing lawns, babysitting, recycling, car washes, bakes sales etc. Because of the high level of maturity and motivation present in the eighth grade class this year, I’m putting much of the fundraising into their hands. I think in this way, students will develop a deeper understanding and a greater appreciation of this, once in a lifetime experience. Of course I’m happy to help organize events any way I can. Let’s brainstorm ideas soon.

School Supplies
By next Monday, all students need to bring to school the following school supplies: solar scientific calculator, pencil box or desk storage tray, 2 inch binder with subject dividers, hand pencil sharpener, pair of scissors, glue sticks, one package of graph paper, a compass, two pocket folders, and a set of colored pens.

Cell phones, i-pods, & hand held video games
Despite my love for technology and all things geekdom, cell phones and other gizmos can be a source of great distraction for some students. For this reason, all cell phones brought to school must be turned off and stowed away while your child is at school. A failure to follow this rule will result in your child’s phone being confiscated for the day and possibly banned from school. Personal music players and hand held games can be used in class at my discretion (rainy day recess for example), but cannot be used outside of room 12, and risk being stolen or broken if brought to school.

Weekly Progress Reports & Homework Assignments
In order to ensure the success of your child and keep you well informed, weekly progress reports, along with class/school news and reading records, will be sent home with your child every Tuesday. Progress reports reflect grades and assignments we have covered in the previous two weeks. Please sign the progress report and send it back with your child the following day (Wednesday). This is also a good place to write me any questions or comments.
Homework is generally assigned daily, Monday through Thursday, with occasional weekend work for projects. Weekly homework assignments are always written on the chalkboard and posted on my website, Expect your child to spend around an hour on homework each day. An hour long “Homework Club” is also available after school, Monday through Thursday, for any student that needs academic assistance, access to computers and the internet, or just a focused place to work. If absent, students have one week to make up missing assignments before the grade becomes a zero. Otherwise, 10% will be subtracted from the homework assignment each day that is late. More than one late or missing assignment per week will result in the student attending recess detention.

Reading Records
Reading records should be initialed by a parent and returned with progress reports every Wednesday. For full credit, students need to read at least 30 minutes a day, including weekends and vacations. Students are also responsible for writing, at home, a one-page independent reading journal response that will be due every Friday. These may be typed or neatly written, and remember, spelling counts! More on this in the weeks to come.

Best regards and have a happy school year,

Tyler Vack

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