Sunday, January 27, 2019

Jan. 27 Update

Dear Parents and Guardians,

I hope this message finds you well.  Thank you to everyone who came out this past week to conference with our teachers.  I hope you find the experience to be helpful.  Regardless of how well your students are performing at this point of the school year, it is important for all of us to continue to help them to develop perseverance.  I am including the following article for your reference.   This piece from Parent ToolKit made the compelling point of students who has acquired the ability to persevere is directly linked to their ability to graduate from high school, stay married, and keep a job.  It is such an important skill for students to acquire that one can argue it may be more important than learning the various contents a school teaches.

I think the key point that the author made is the importance of rewarding the students’ efforts and the strategies they utilized in order to achieve success instead of praising the students’ intelligence or innate abilities.  Consider two different ways a parent may respond to her child receiving an A on a big math test.  The first is to praise her by saying, “I am really proud of how well you organized your time this week so that you could put in the effort you needed to study for the test.”  Compare that to the second response where a parent says, “I am so proud of the A on the test because you have a good math brain.”  The first response draws the student’s attention to the strategies and effort she used and would increase the likelihood for her to return to them the next time she encounters similar challenges.  The second response linked a student’s success to her innate ability – something she has no control over.  By focusing the praise on intelligence and innate abilities, it may cause the student to think the struggle she faces in her next challenge is beyond her control, and thus there is not much she can do except to give up.  I hope you find the article to be helpful.

On a separate note, I would like to remind everyone that tomorrow, Monday, January 28 is the start of Semester 2.  Since some of your students' Exploratory Classes are semester long courses, your students’ schedules will change on Monday.  The school is not planning to print out paper schedules in order to conserve valuable resources.  Therefore, we ask all parents and guardians to access your students’ schedules through Aspen’s Parent Portal and remind your students where to go for their Exploratory classes on Monday.  The students themselves can also log onto the Aspen Student Portal in order to check what their Semester 2 Exploratory classes are and where their Semester 2 Exploratory classes are located.  You can do so by taking the following steps after you log in to the Portal:
· Click on the “Family” top tab.
· Click on the student’s name if you have multiple students in the district.
· Click on the “Schedule” side tab.
· Select “S2” on the drop down menu located right above the student’s schedule.

Please see this attachment if you need clarifications on the above instructions. 
Please note that most of your student’s schedule will not change for Semester 2.  Only the semester-long Exploratory Classes will change.

Lastly, please note that we have made a few adjustments to our MCAS Administration schedule.  Please click here for the updated MCAS schedule.  The MCAS dates are also posted on the calendar on our school website.  I urge everyone to plan ahead to make sure your students are in school during the testing dates.  We will make every effort to help your students make up the tests if they are absent for any reason.  However, taking make-up tests will cause your students lose additional instruction time.

Thank you and I wish you a great upcoming week!

James Lin
McCall Middle School

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