Frequently Asked Questions

Middle School FAQs

Are students permitted to carry book bags?

Are students permitted to carry book bags?
Students may use book bags/backpacks to transport their school materials to and from school, but they may not use them during the school day. All students are issued lockers to which they have access during the school day.  Students are encouraged to organize their locker so that materials needed in the morning can be picked up easily when they arrive at school and then dropped off before going to lunch. Afternoon materials should be available for pick up after lunch. Handling school materials strategically is an important organizational skill all middle school students need to develop.  Students are not permitted to exchange lockers with other students and should not share combinations or locker space with other students for security purposes.

What do athletes do with their sports bags and equipment?

What do athletes do with their sports bags and equipment?
Students who participate in scholastic athletics and who need to bring sports equipment to school for practices and games held after school may store items either in their school locker or in the “bag room” that is located in a closet area in the gymnasium. Students should bring their materials to the bag room before the start of homeroom; they may retrieve their bags/equipment after the 2:30 p.m. dismissal bell.

Whom should I contact with questions about my schedule?

Whom should I contact with questions about my schedule?
Scheduling questions can be directed to the middle school counselors at 560-3111.

Grade 7 – Mrs. Doyle
Grade 8 – Mrs. O’Connor

How is the middle school organized?

How is the middle school organized?
Students in the middle school, which serves students in grades 7 and 8, are placed on one of four teams in each grade. The teams are divided into heterogeneously grouped sections for each team period. Students receive instruction in English, math, reading science, and social studies from their team teachers. Entire teams report to their related arts classes for instruction during two periods of the day. Furthermore, some students will receive additional math and reading support, while others will receive instruction in world languages. Special education students have access to services ranging from consultative support to inclusion or pull-out instruction, depending on requirements outlined in each student’s IEP. Students who qualify for gifted services and have GIEP’s receive services in a “pull-out” instructional format. Limited English Proficiency (LEP or ELL) students, depending on degree of need, receive “pull-out” instruction and support from the middle school ESL teacher.

 

What do students and parents need to know about busing and transportation?

What do students and parents need to know about busing and transportation?
Specific information concerning bus assignments, bus stops, and pick up/drop off times will be mailed to students and parents over the summer. In the morning, parents who are dropping off students should use the Oregon Road entrance and follow the parent drop-off route. Parents should also follow this procedure to pick up students at dismissal.

 

Middle school students may sign up in the office to ride the 4:15 p.m. activity bus on Tuesday’s and Thursday’s, provided they are attending Homework Club or have arranged to remain after school with a teacher to make up work, and/or receive assistance.  Students who do not signup for the activity bus not ride the 4:15 p.m. bus.

Please keep in mind that transportation provided by the school district is a privilege, and that conduct that is disruptive, disrespectful, or puts others in danger will not be tolerated. Students who misbehave on school transportation will be disciplined and may have their bus privileges revoked indefinitely. Please consult the student handbook section of the agenda planner received the first day of school for additional information.

How does lunch work?

How does lunch work?
Lunch at the middle school occurs during 25-minute time slots scheduled across Periods 5 and 6. Students eat lunch with their team. 7th graders dine on the north side  and 8th graders on the south side of the cafeteria. Students are not assigned seats unless problems arise during the year. Students may arrange themselves in groups of up to 9 students around the circular tables available.  The standard student lunch will cost $2.05 during the 2013-2014 school year. Other items may be purchased from the snack line. Items purchased in the cafeteria must be eaten prior to dismissal; students are not permitted to remove items bought during lunch from the cafeteria. Also, students may not arrange to have party foods (pizzas, take-out, birthday treats, etc.) dropped off during lunch periods.

How much time do students have to pass from class to class?

How much time do students have to pass from class to class?
Students have 3 minutes to pass from one class to the next. During the first week or two of school, teachers will be lenient with tardiness to class while students learn their way around the building. However, once students have had a chance to become comfortable with the layout of the school and to determine the best routes for getting from one class to the next, they will be held accountable for tardiness. We expect students to arrive to classes and school on time! Students are encouraged to ask their teachers or an administrator for help determining the best way to get from class to class on time.

What happens when students are late to class? To school?

What happens when students are late to class?  To school?
Teachers will provide students with a warning after they arrive late to class. The assignment of teacher detention, and eventually referral to the principal’s office, will occur if students continually arrive late to class after the warning is issued. It is the student’s responsibility to make sure they understand each teacher’s specific expectations regarding tardiness to class and the consequences associated with being tardy. Students who arrive to school after 7:30 a.m. (school starting time) must report to the main office to sign in and receive a pass to homeroom. Students who are habitually late to school could be subject to disciplinary actions.

What happens when students miss school?

What happens when students miss school?
Anytime a student arrives late, must be dismissed early, or is absent from school, he/she must bring an excuse card (cards provided by the school or any note will suffice) that indicates the date and reason for the tardy, early dismissal, or absence. The card must be signed by a parent/guardian. Excuses should be presented to the main office the day of a late arrival or early dismissal or within three days following one’s return after an absence. If excuse cards are not turned in within three days after returning from an absence, the absence could be coded as unlawful and the student may be subject to disciplinary consequences. It is the student’s responsibility to make sure excuse cards are submitted to the office on time. When students return to school following an absence, it is their responsibility to see each of their teachers to determine what they missed. Teachers will then provide directions for making up work. If it is known in advance that a student will be absent from school (vacation, etc.), the student is encouraged to notify teachers and attempt to obtain work prior to the absence.  If a vacation is planned, please see the guidelines on page 12 in the student handbook section of the agenda planner (see Vacations).

How often are report cards issued?

How often are report cards issued?
At MTMS, the year is broken into four marking periods. Report cards are distributed to  students following each marking period. Grades are translated from percentages into letter grades on report cards. Parents are strongly encouraged to sign up for the Community Portal feature provided by the district, which provides “24/7” access to student grade information via the Internet. Additional information about middle school grading procedures can be found in the student handbook section of the student agenda planner. Other information concerning grading procedures and related issues can be obtained by contacting the counseling department.

How much homework is assigned at the middle school?

How much homework is assigned at the middle school?

Students should expect to do more homework in the middle school than they’ve done in previous years. As ideas, concepts, and skills students need to learn become more numerous and complex, more time needs to be devoted to the processing and understanding of ideas and information students are expected to learn.  As a “rule of thumb,” 7th graders should set aside at least 60 minutes per day outside of school to work on assignments, study notes and previously learned concepts, and organize and maintain their school materials in a neat, functional manner. Eighth graders should set aside at least 90 minutes daily for school work in preparation for entry into the high school, where students can expect to have at least 2 hours of out-of-school work to complete daily. The middle school provides the access to homework assignment via the Community Portal to assist students and parents who wish to have Internet access to student assignment information. The Community Portal can be accessed by going to www.mtwp.net and selecting the Sapphire Community Portal from the “Community” section of the menu located near the top of the district web page.

When and how are students disciplined?

When and how are students disciplined?
Students who attend MTMS are expected to exhibit respect for all persons with whom they have contact, as well as the belongings of others (including school district property). Students are expected to conduct themselves in accordance with district and school policies, and to comply with reasonable requests made by school personnel. We strive to maintain an educational climate at MTMS in which all students are able to learn and interact with members of the school community, free from distraction, harassment, or the threat of harm. Students can expect to be held accountable for choices they make relative to guidelines shared in the student handbook. When students make poor choices, they can expect their behavior to be addressed by their teachers and/or building administrators. For detailed information regarding middle school expectations, please review the Student Handbook section of the agenda planner. Please contact an administrator if you have questions about school disciplinary procedures or information.

Does the middle school have a dress code?

Does the middle school have a dress code?
The middle school is a place of business for students and staff and as such, we believe it is important to maintain a climate where student dress does not distract from, or interfere with, the educational environment or operation of the school. Please review the dress code guidelines found in the student handbook carefully and make back-to-school clothing purchases accordingly. Students who show up to school dressed inappropriately will be removed from class and will not be permitted to return to classes until they have changed into acceptable attire. Parents are strongly encouraged to review the dress code carefully and monitor what their child is wearing, prior to leaving for school – this should help minimize the need to remove students from classes during the year, which can result in students missing important instruction. Students who violate the dress code repeatedly will receive disciplinary consequences beyond being required to change.

Does the middle school have a policy regarding public displays of affection (pda’s)?

Does the middle school have a policy regarding public displays of affection (pda’s)?
Once again, the middle school is a place of business; student displays of affection in the school setting serve no educational purpose and are not appropriate. Thus, kissing, or other forms of prolonged physical contact are prohibited at the middle school. Students who persist in engaging in public displays of affection will experience progressive disciplinary consequences.

How should parents address questions/concerns they have about the middle school?

How should parents address questions/concerns they have about the middle school?
When questions or concerns arise concerning students and their performance or standing within the school, parents need to contact and speak with the school personnel closest to the problem that needs to be addressed. Our experience indicates that dealing directly with the school employee with whom you have a concern normally leads to the quickest and most effective resolution of the concern. If after attempting to address a concern at its source (teacher, counselor, coach, etc.) you feel an adequate resolution has not been reached, please contact the office and ask to speak with an administrator. This represents the next step in the chain of communication the school district employs when addressing problems or concerns.  If after speaking with the building administration you are not satisfied with the handling of your concern, it is appropriate to contact the district office for further assistance.

Does the middle school have clubs during the school day?

Does the middle school have clubs during the school day?
The middle school offers a club program throughout the school year. For the most part clubs meet every other Friday during Period 9. Students select a fall semester club at the beginning of the year and a spring semester club midway through the school year.

Does the middle school have dances and other activities?

Does the middle school have dances and other activities?
The Middle School Student Council and PTO organizations sponsor most of the social activities that occur throughout the school year. Dances are held at different points in the year, usually on Friday evenings. Tickets are sold during lunch periods prior to the activity. Only students enrolled at the middle school may attend dances and other activities. Students from other schools are not permitted to attend dances or other activities intended for MTMS students.

How do students sign up for sports and other activities?

How do students sign up for sports and other activities?
Sign-ups for athletic teams usually occur several weeks prior to the start of the fall, winter and spring seasons. However, students interested in playing a sport this fall may still be able to sign up.  Please contact the athletic office at 560-3098. They can put you in contact with the appropriate coach if a student is interested in a fall sport. Announcements about other activities in which students may choose to participate at the middle school are made throughout the year. A list of possible extracurricular activities is located in the Student Handbook section of the agenda planner.