Hello parents and greetings once again from the wonderful confines of your UAS Middle School! WOOHOO!!
I was so very pleased to see many parents in our Middle School last week. As we conclude our 6th quarter of existence as a Middle School on Thursday, January 26, the significance of parent involvement in our school did not go unnoticed. Specifically, there were three events that drew parents into our “house” and helped to strengthen our relationships and build a more viable community.
On Monday, January 16, a group of parents gathered for the MS Principals Coffee, and to learn more about the progress being made within our MS Arabic Program. Mr. Mahmoud Ali did a masterful job of detailing the Professional Development opportunities provided to, and the high level of expectations being required of, the MS Arabic staff. It is worthy to note that the Arabic staff, under Mr. Mahmoud’s leadership, is in fact rising to the challenge. Though there were many questions, the parents acknowledged the efforts and improvement being made. Is there still room for improvement? Of course the answer is yes, but as we focus on a growth mindset, the MS Arabic Department is fostering a climate of quality instruction and student academic achievement.
Thursday, January 19 brought a nice group of parents into the Middle School hallway for the monthly installment of the Counselors Coffee. Hosted by our caring and talented duo of counselors: Kara Haines, and Mark Gaffney, the visiting parents engaged in conversation for nearly 2 hours that focused on our most precious commodity – our students. From my perspective, it is heartwarming to know our parents are so passionate about the safety and well being of their children. Rest assured, the staff of the UAS MS shares that sentiment. Parent voice was well represented, and most definitely heard!
Our final parent involvement opportunity happened on Wednesday, January 18, with our first ever MS band and choir concert. Nearly 100 students graced the stage during the 2-hour musical extravaganza, and I would venture to guess that nearly 200 people filled the chairs of the MPH! A fabulous crowd under any circumstances! The entire evening was a HUGE success starting with the grade 6 choir singing Scat Cat, and ending with the combined forces of all choir members singing a heart warming selection called Song of Peace. Many parents commented on what a magical evening it was, and I must wholeheartedly agree. Emma Gordon deserves accolades for her work with all six groups spanning three grade levels and including both instrumentalists and vocalists. Student introductions prior to each performance highlighted interesting details about each selection, and I couldn’t have been more proud of how our students conducted themselves throughout the evening. The future is bright for the MS music program, of this there is no doubt!
The prevailing theme throughout the week of parent participation was: community. One of the things that makes me so very proud as the Principal of the awesome UAS Middle School is to see all key stakeholder groups – students, staff, parents – engaging in meaningful and various ways. We are only as strong as the sum of our parts, and it is obvious to this observer that we are growing stronger by the quarter. I appreciate and commend those parents who were able to join with us this week, and I encourage all parents to seek opportunities in the future to participate in “our” learning community. I am reminded of a quote I read early in my career from an unknown author: “While students may comprise only 20% of the earths population, they are 100% of our future.” How very true. The lives of our students’ matter, and thus our collective contribution to their success matters. Together we will make a difference in the lives of our young people, and I thank you for your willing partnership to that end.
Important Dates and Activities:
January 26: Last day of quarter 2/semester 1
January 29: Frist day of quarter 3/semester 2
February 2: MS/HS Sports Day
February 8: Middle School Celebration of Achievement (COA) @ 10 AM in the MPH
February 9: MS/HS report cards are posted to the Portal.
February 12 – 15: Week Without Walls
February 16: School Holiday
That’s the news from your neighbors in the Middle. Until our paths cross again, please take good care, and please remember, Middle School students matter!! May peace be upon you.