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Welcome to Clarksville Middle School Middle School Parenting 101 Parent Class of 2007 Tips for helping your child manage the unique challenges the middle school experience will bring Presented August 23rd 8:30 - 9:30 am at Clarksville Click or press space bar to advance each slide

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welcome to clarksville middle school

Welcome to Clarksville Middle School

Middle School Parenting 101

Parent Class of 2007

Tips for helping your child manage the unique challenges the middle school experience will bring

Presented August 23rd 8:30 - 9:30 am at Clarksville

Click or press space bar to advance each slide

your new est role as parent
Your (Newest) Role as Parent
  • Now that your child is in middle school, it is

NOT TIME TO STEP BACK and let them

be more independent.

  • Your children are in a new environment.
  • They will have many new and exciting challenges that require your support.
  • They need you to STEP UP and help them more so that they can fully adjust to the newness of middle school.
  • It is like first grade all over - only they are bigger!
student drop off pick up
Student Drop Off / Pick Up
  • Our parking lot is designed with a special student drop off area. Please use this area for dropping off your children.
  • Please do not attempt to drop off or pick up your child in the area designated for buses due to safety considerations.

---------------------------------------SOUTH TROTTER ROAD--------------------------------------

School Bus Only

Drop Off and Pick Up

For You to Drop Off/Pickup

what students need to wear
What Students Need to Wear
  • For “Regular School”-Inside clothes such as jeans and a T-shirt.

Our school building is air conditioned. Some students find themselves chilly because they come to school dressed for outside play. Many students find that long pants or a sweater can help them feel more comfortable, especially when the weather is warm.

  • Open-toe footwear such as flip-flops or sandals should not be worn on days when students have science class.
  • For Recess, which is almost always outside - bring a jacket and warm clothes once the weather begins to change.
  • For specific questions about what clothes students may wear, consult the Howard County Public School System Dress Code.
what students need to bring for the first day of school
What Students Need to Bring for the First Day of School
  • One HEAVY DUTY 3-ring binder
  • Dividers for each subject (7-9 for first quarter)
  • Lots of lined notebook paper (3 hole kind)
  • Ample supply of pencils (Five is a good number)
    • The problem with mechanicals: many parts to manage!
  • A few pens (Three is a good number)
  • Page protectors and/or paper reinforcers
what students need to bring for the first day of school6
What Students Need to Bring for the First Day of School
  • If they have Physical Education first quarter, they will

need their Gymnasium Uniform by the end of week 1

    • Students will know if they have gym first quarter because they will receive their schedule on the first day of school
    • Uniforms may be purchased the gym for $20 immediately following this meeting
  • Encourage your child to bring a positive attitude and willingness to ask to for help when they need it.
  • Remind them that their teachers are here to help!
what students do not need to bring to school
What Students DO NOTNeed to Bring to School
  • Other school supplies on 6th grade shopping list
    • Teachers will announce when students need supplies such as journals, colored pencils, protractors, rulers, scissors, etc.
  • Large Amounts of Money (over $5)
    • Little else but lunch may be purchased
    • Students often misplace items in 6th grade
  • Skateboards and Scooters
  • Sports Equipment (i.e. footballs, etc)
  • Electronic devices such as iPods and CD players
  • Cell phones are permitted, but must be turned off and left in a student’s locker during the regular school day.
  • Gum and Candy
the middle school binder
The Middle School Binder
  • Must be HEAVY DUTY and of the 3 ring variety.
  • Separate sections for each subject (7-9 dividers)
  • All papers for each subject must be kept together
  • Many subjects have a specific order for papers
  • Parents: Never take papers out of the binder!
    • Teachers reorganize binder sections each quarter
    • Many teachers keep papers in work portfolios, so do not throw away your child’s schoolwork until the year’s end
  • Develop your own “binder check” system at home
    • Help your child organize papers into the correct subject-

specific section of their binder, placing them in order,

and refilling any needed supplies each week.

your child s assignment book
Your Child’s Assignment Book
  • Students will be assisted in highlighting their assignment book on the first day of each school week to help them develop organizational skills and learn their schedule.
  • Each class your child will be instructed to write their homework in the space provided for each subject in the assignment book. If there is no homework for a class, they are to write the word “None” in the corresponding assignment box.
  • You can help them learn how to manage their workload more quickly by asking them to show you their homework assignments and match them to what is written in their assignment book. This is a great way to check that they have finished all their homework.
middle school homework tips
Middle School Homework Tips
  • Set up a routine that includes a specific and consistent time and place free from distractions for your child to complete homework. Next to the T.V. or a sibling is not an ideal setting.
  • Help your child learn to do homework on the night it was assigned to avoid the “night before” syndrome.
  • Check accuracy of recorded homework in your child’s assignment book by going to www.schoolnotes.com
  • When finished, place homework inside the binder section designated for that subject. Leave it there until it is turned in.
  • Never allow your child to leave homework at home.

Homework is often used as part of the following day’s lesson as a follow-up or assessment activity. Keep homework in the binder.

  • Discourage your child from calling home when homework or supplies are forgotten. Students need to build the skills needed for academic success, part of which is getting their materials to school on their own.
using schoolnotes com
Using Schoolnotes.com
  • Ask your child to write down their teacher’s names.
    • All of your child’s teacher’s names will be on their schedule.
  • Open your web browser. Type this into the URL bar:
  • Click Enter or Return to tell the computer to go to the website.
  • Bookmark the website as a favorite, you’ll use it often.
  • Type in Clarksville’s Zip code: 21029, and click the red “GO” button.
using schoolnotes com12
Using Schoolnotes.com
  • A listing of schools organizations and teachers will appear.
  • Scroll down the list of teachers until you find the teacher whose homework assignment you wish to check.
  • Double click on that teachers name.
using schoolnotes com13
Using Schoolnotes.com
  • You should see something that looks like this:
  • Scroll down on the right hand side to read the homework assigned.
  • Check as many classes as often as you like. You may even select
  • the “Notify me” option to sign up to be notified each time a teacher
  • changes or updates their schoolnotes.com webpage.
signing up for homework updates
Signing Up for Homework Updates:
  • After clicking on “Notify me” under the teacher’s name on any teacher’s schoolnotes.com website page, simply complete this form asking for your email address, first name, and last name.
  • Check your email regularly to find out about schoolnotes updates.
  • Be sure to check the same email that you used when registering.
some scheduling terms
Some Scheduling Terms
  • Alpha - homeroom class
    • Students report here first everyday
    • Attendance is done here, papers distributed
  • Block – Time period for when class meets.
  • Comet Time - a 45 minute class period used for for band,

orchestra, enrichment activities, team building, make-up work,

and extra help from teachers.

  • F.A.C.S. - Family and Consumer Science
    • You may have formerly known this class as Home Economics
  • T.H.E. - Technology Helping Education
  • World Language Exploration Time - an 8-day language and culture class given as part of comet time for sixth grade students. This class addresses six different languages and cultures.
the 6 th grade schedule
The 6th Grade Schedule
  • Students take five academic classes for all four grading quarters, throughout the entire year.
    • Reading, Math, English, Science, & Social Studies
  • Students take two related arts classes each grading quarter
    • Phys Ed, Music, Tech Ed, Art, F.A.C.S., T.H.E., etc.
  • Students may opt to take Band, Chorus, or Orchestra during the comet time period
    • World Language Exploration Time is given to all students during comet time for 8 days at some time during the school year.
when will my child get their new middle school schedule
When will my child get their new middle school schedule?
  • Your child will get their new middle school schedule in alpha class on the first day of school.
  • Your child’s alpha teacher will hand them their schedule, explain how it works, and offer any assistance needed.
typical 6 th grade schedule
Typical 6th Grade Schedule



8:30 – 8:35

8:35 – 10:05

10:05 – 11:40

11:40 – 12:10

12:10 – 1:00

1:00 – 1:40

1:40 - 3:15



Arrive at School


A – (Reading)

B – (Math)

Lunch & Recess

C – (Science)

Comet Time

X – (Phys Ed.)



Arrive at School


D – (S. Studies)

E – (English)

Lunch & Recess

A – (Reading)

Comet Time

O – (Art)



Arrive at School


B – (Math)

C – (Science)

Lunch & Recess

D – (S. Studies)

Comet Time

X – (Phys Ed.)


Click Mouse to show schedules for typical days of school

how can we do this to children
How Can We Do This to Children?
  • While it is true that our schedule:
    • Oscillates between different (X and O) related arts classes
    • Alternates which days of the week each subject is taught, AND
    • Rotates which school subjects are taught together each day
  • It is also true that our schedule allows for:
    • Decreased time in hallways
    • Increased academic time for all subjects taught
    • More related arts classes to be taken by each child
    • Larger blocks of uninterrupted learning time
  • Worried about your child adjusting?
    • We have found that most sixth grade students are able to master the schedule in about two weeks, and many are able to learn the schedule as good as or better than their teachers!
first day of school schedule
First Day of School Schedule



8:30 – 9:35

9:35 – 10:25

10:25 – 11:15

11:15 – 11:50

11:50 – 12:40

12:40– 1:30

1:30 – 2:20

2:20 – 2:48

2:48 - 3:15


First Day Schedule

Arrive at School, go to locker then report to Alpha.

Alpha – Students will be introduced to their schedule.

A Block (Reading)

B Block (Math)

LUNCH and Recess

C Block (Science)

D Block (Social Studies)

E – Block (English)

X – Related Arts (Phys Ed)

0 – Related Arts (Art)


In order to allow students to meet all of their teachers and figure out how their schedule will work, their schedule for the first day will be:

Note: Classes names given in ( ) are examples only.

Your child’s schedule may vary.

  • Traditional Academic and Related Arts subjects
    • A (90% or better)
    • B (80% to 89%)
    • C (70% to 79%)
    • D (60% to 69%)
    • E (59% and below)
    • Each teacher will send a home an explanation of their classroom expectations and grading policy that will detail how different kinds of assignments contribute to your

child’s overall quarter grade.

  • Comet time
    • S (satisfactory) or N (non-satisfactory) participation-based
    • World Language Exploration Time - part of comet time grade
  • Lunch for sixth graders is 11:40 – 12:10
  • School lunches cost $2.75 including milk
  • Milk alone costs $0.50
  • Average school snack cost is $0.50 to $1.50
  • After lunch, students go outside for recess
  • Students choose their own assigned seating

by the end of the second week of school

  • Students may go to their lockers
    • Before Alpha/Homeroom
    • Before Lunch
    • After Lunch
    • After Dismissal (before getting on bus)
  • Student backpacks must be No Larger Than

10.5 inches deep and 9.0 inches wide

in order to fit inside their locker

chaperoning field trips
Chaperoning Field Trips
  • You already know that when students are participating in a school sponsored field trip, they bring home a permission slip for you to sign.
  • You also probably remember that the bottom portion of the permission slip has a box for you to check if you are able to volunteer your services for chaperoning.
  • While your child was in Elementary school, you would have received a phone call if you had checked that box.
  • Now that your child is in Middle school, we will only call you if you have checked that box and we require your services for the field trip. We do not call everyone who checks the box volunteering as a chaperone.
service learning
Service Learning
  • The purpose of Middle School Service Learning is to provide students with an opportunity to experience and learn about giving of themselves.
  • This year, our 6th grade will be participating in a program called “Food on the 15th.”
  • Students will be working over the course of the year to provide food for the elderly and others in need in our area by doing chores and preparing canned goods via alpha class.
  • All students are expected to participate on a regular basis throughout the entire year to fulfill their Service Learning graduation requirement for graduation. Other opportunities for service learning may also be provided, but “Food on the 15th” will be our focus.
report cards progress reports
Report Cards & Progress Reports
  • Progress reports are sent home at the midpoint of each grading quarter.
  • Report Cards are sent home at the end of each grading quarter.
  • Each report card or progress report will come to you in a white envelope via your child.
  • Write any comments you would like to make on the

front portion of the white envelope.

  • Return the white envelope to your child’s alpha teacher via your child the day after you receive it at home.
  • You may keep the actual progress or grade report.
communicating with school
Communicating with School
  • Calling the School
    • Front office phone number: 410.313.7057
    • Guidance office phone number: 410.313.7060
    • Health room phone number: 410.313.5610

We have all new staff in the front office this year, please be

patient with them as they learn their new roles in our school.

  • Communicating with Teachers
    • Email or phone the front office during the school day
    • Sixth grade teacher planning is the last block of the day,

so the best time to call or email is around two o’clock.

    • All teachers can be emailed using the following format: firstinitiallastname@hcpss.org
    • Example: Mr. John Smith is at: jsmith@hcpss.org
    • If you decide to send an email after school hours, please

wait until around 2 pm the following school day for an email reply

how can i know what is going on at clarksville middle school
How Can I Know What is Going on at Clarksville Middle School?
  • Subscribe to the weekly CMS school newsletter at
    • http://www.eschoolnewsletter.com
  • Check to see what is on the CMS school webpage at
    • http://www.howard.k12.md.us/cms
  • Use www.schoolnotes.com to verify the accuracy of your child’s homework assignments. Use zip code 21029
  • Look inside your child’s backpack and binder
  • Look at what is written in the assignment book
  • Ask your child about what is going on at school
the cms website
The CMS Website
  • The website looks like this:
using the cms website
Using the CMS Website
  • CMS will often send home important papers with your child to give to you, have you complete, and return
  • If you find that they have misplaced them or left them at school, you can go here to print out copies as often as you need
  • You may also use the website to checkout student links, staff links, and get information about the PTA
  • Currently posted are complete school supply lists for all three grades, including sixth grade.
out of school
Out of School?
  • Full day absences – Send a note with your child to take to the health room after checking in with their alpha teacher. The health room will provide them will a form to collect all of the work they need to makeup.
  • Arriving to School late –Bring your child to the front office so that you may sign your child in for the remainder of the day.
  • Leaving Early – Send a note with your child specifying what time you will pick them up from school. They will take this note to the health room after checking in with their alpha teacher.
bus change for a day
Bus Change for a Day
  • If you have made arrangements for your child to be supervised by another adult after school, and they must ride a bus other than their assigned bus, send them to school with a note detailing the reason for the change along with a contact phone number. After checking in with their alpha teacher, they should take that note to the front office to be delivered to our Principal.
  • Otherwise, your child will have to ride their normal assigned bus home.
parent conferences
Parent Conferences
  • Purpose is to provide a time and place for a face to face meeting to discuss strategies for student improvement.
  • If you would like a snapshot update on your child’s progress, many teachers can do this easily via email.
  • You must complete a Parent Conference Request Form and return it to school in order to have a conference during that time. There is not enough time available to allow for walk-ins during this time.
  • Parent Conference Request Forms are posted on the school webpage in October and come home in November.
what to do when your child comes home with a problem
What to do When Your Child Comes Home with a Problem
  • Validate the problem, verify that their concern is an important one. Tell them you love them, and that you will get involved in order to help.
  • Avoid negative talk about teachers or other students involved.
  • Contact the teacher via email or phone the following school day during school hours.
  • Working together, we will solve the problem.

We thank you for your attention and patience.

We look forward to working with you and your children.

You may view this slideshow at:


You have just completed our Parenting 101 course, and are now better prepared to be parents of middle school students.