Howdy hello parents and greetings from the amazing confines of the UAS Middle School!!
It is shocking to review the calendar and note the end of the 1st semester on Thursday, February 1 is approaching faster than the speed of light. Where did the first half of our school year go? Time apparently does fly when you’re having fun! WOOHOO!!!
You are kindly encouraged to check with your Middle School student and ask about any end of the semester assessments, semester ending projects and the online grade book (are all of your child’s assessments completed?) The next two weeks are likely going to be very busy, and your child will likely need your assistance to stay organized. Healthy food choices and lots of sleep will help your child cope with the academic challenges they will encounter at this time of the school year. May your child be receptive to your care and encouragement, and may your busy schedule permit you to provide the support they need to feel successful. Good luck!!!
Thoughts About Technology
As February 1 passes, the UAS MS will have officially enjoyed 5 semesters of existence. As you know, from the beginning, our students have been expected to have a MacBook as part of their daily educational routine. Access to technology and the ability for students to research, learn and grow has been, and continues to be absolutely extraordinary. The variety of ways in which technology potentially enriches our lives, and in theory makes our daily routines easier, is truly unbelievable. But, let’s be honest: just because the technology of today “can” make our lives easier, doesn’t always mean that having access to the technology makes our lives better.
As I ponder the impact technology has on our young people and our school, I felt the need to pass along some tips to parents. I encourage you to:
- Regularly check your student’s devices for applications (Apps), pictures and/or other information that are potentially unhealthy for their consumption. You are the parent, and you most certainly have the right to keep an eye on the Apps your child is using, and the interactions they are having with other people. Your/our job is to protect our children, even when they are either unwilling or unable to protect themselves.
- When it comes to life and/or the use of technology, I strongly suggest you remind your child to always observe the golden rule. Encourage them to only communicate with other people (students and adults) in the manner in which they would like to be communicated. Respectfully. Positively. Productively. Purposefully.
- I would encourage you to have an ongoing conversation with your child about the role technology has in their life, and about their online personality. We want our children to establish a well-balanced life, that is not exclusive of human connection. We should remind them to never underestimate the power of face to face interactions. Social media, email, WhatsApp, etc., are all effective means of communicating, but it doesn’t mean they are always the best, or the most respectful. The power of the tool remains where it should be – with the user.
- Finally, please encourage your child to report any issues of inappropriate technology use to an adult. Your child should feel safe reporting concerns about cyber bullying etc., to you or any other adult that is ready, willing and able to keep them safe from harm. Please speak with your child about what their plan will be if they become aware of other students using technology inappropriately, or if they are the target of an unsuitable technology practice. Technology is not going away, and I strongly encourage you to keep checking, keep asking, and keep watching your child and their technology use throughout their teen years that lie ahead.
We want our children to lead normal, productive lives that include these amazing advances in technology, but their lives must also include people. May we continue to work together to find the balance for your child that is not only healthy, but appropriate and inclusive of the school community, your family and the world in which we live.
If you follow this BLOG, you know that I shared a note last week about the MS Fringe Festival, which will land on our doorstep on February 28. For your viewing pleasure, I have attached a link with a video with more details about this year’s celebration of Middle School arts, and the talented students who are wonder our hallways every day.
Thank you for listening. I do hope this message finds you and your family happy and healthy. Until our paths cross in person, please take good care and peace be upon you.
Upcoming dates and activities:
- February 1: Last day of semester 1
- February 4-8: Week Without Walls
- February 11: Professional Development for MS staff – NO SCHOOL for MS students
- February 1: first MS day of semester 2
- February 12-20: MS MAP testing
- February 21: semester 1 report cards available to parents/students
- February 28: MS Fringe Festival