Students, families or parents may submit a question by clicking here.
A couple years ago, 6th graders answered some common student questions in this video. Have additional questions? Submit your question above and check back on this blog page later. Adults watching this…please note these responses are a 6th grader’s perspective! 🙂
Question: When do schedules become available?
Answer: Schedules will be available on Powerschool in August (typically the 2 weeks prior to the start of school; check out our Dates to Note tab).
Question: I can’t log into Powerschool or see my child’s schedule. Why not?
Answer: You have to have completed registration and paid fees. Give 24-48 hours after you pay fees before you check again. If you cannot log in or have not created a single sign-on account, start here and look for the link to directions: https://ps.waukeeschools.org/public. If you need your ID Access and passwords to create your single sign on account, please talk to our secretaries at SMS.
Question: How do I know what color team my child is on?
Answer: When schedules are posted, you can find your child’s color team by seeing who he/she has for Science and check out the staff page on our blog. Some students are “cross-teamed” for math — i.e. the student is on 7th Gold, but her math teacher is on 7th Silver. This is scheduled this way to keep class sizes smaller.
Question: Does it matter what pod or color team my child is on?
Answer: No. As of the 2017-18 school year, SMS has three color teams per grade: Gold, Purple & Silver. The color teams are made up of five teachers (with 125-150 students) who teach math, language arts, science and social studies. Each team has a mix of students with math, reading, science and social studies skills ranging from exceeds, secure, developing and beginning. Students from different color teams are mixed during elective classes and sometimes for math as well due to the multiple levels of math taught in the building. We are purposeful in creating three smaller teams at each grade level at each grade level in order to create a family feel, allow teachers to get to know students and families better and provide opportunity for students to build connections with new and old friends.
Question: Do we need to bring PE clothes?
Answer: Students need t-shirt, gym shorts, socks and tennis shoes (regular clean school tennis are fine). Students should use a grocery sack or draw string bag (no backpacks) to bring this change of clothes to and from their regular school locker in the pod each PE class. A more detailed syllabus for parents can be found here: http://blogs.waukeeschools.org/bbeardsley/syllabus/
Question: When I look at the “Weekly Schedule” under “My Schedule,” the lunch times are different than what is listed on the “Schedule Tab” on this parent blog (see below). Which one is right?
Answer: The “Weekly Schedule” has inaccurate times. Use the “Schedule Tab” on this parent blog.
Question: When will my child eat lunch?
Answer: Students eat by color team instead of grade due to the size of our grades (6th grade has 400+ students). We will continue with three lunches with each lunch having 25-30 minutes to eat.
- Gold lunch: 10:35-11:05am
- Purple lunch: 11:20-11:50am
- Silver lunch: 12:05-12:35pm
Question: What are you school hours?
Answer: First bell rings at 7:55am and class begins at 8:05am. Our students can enter the building after 7:35am. The 7th graders should hang out in lunch room while the 6th graders will go to the big gym and sit along around the edge of the gym until the 7:55am bell rings. To end the day, the announcements will take place at 2:55pm and the dismissal bell will ring at 2:58pm. Students who are being picked up after school should be picked up by 3:15pm. There is no adult supervision after that time.
Question: Mostly I want to know how my child is doing (behavior and friendships and anxiety levels) but I know that isn’t what the Parent Nights are about. What can I do?
Answer: If you have questions about any of these areas please call or email any teacher or a counselor anytime. Most questions/concerns can be answered over the phone but our staff is always willing to meet with parents and do so on a regular basis.
Question: My son does not seem to have homework even when there are project due dates coming up. I am concerned that when he gets into high school he will not have nightly study habits established.
Answer: Students don’t have a great deal of homework on a “normal” day, but they do regularly get math homework. If your child is completing that homework and projects on time then they are doing a nice job of managing their work. We do use 9th Hour where students may have to stay after school on Monday, Tuesday, or Thursday if they are not completing work.
Question: I have not yet received any communication regarding grades on Powerschool. Did I miss something?
Answer: You are able to login to PowerSchool at any time using your parent username and password. You can call in to the office if you need that information. Once you have the username and password you can create a single sign on account if you have more than one child in the district. Directions are on the PowerSchool login screen. We encourage parents to log in and check PowerSchool on at least on a monthly basis.
Question: How and when do our students begin to plan for next year? For example, when do they learn what their options are for electives? Do they choose schedules for next year this year?
Answer: Students bring request sheets home in late February or March to look at what classes they would like to request for next year. We do our best to fulfill student requests but are not always able to meet the request.
Question: Who do I contact if we have information, concerns or something to share about my child?
Answer: You have a few options depending on the nature of the concern or immediacy of us getting the information. You can always start with the grade level counselor (Mrs. Baugh – 7th grade; Mrs. Steffensmeier – 6th grade) and they can share the information with the teachers as they meet with the team 1-2 times per week. You can email the Advisory teacher and he/she will share or email the entire team. It is really up to you.
Question: If my child needs reteaching or needs to retake an assessment, what do I do?
Answer: We encourage students to get a pass from the teacher the previous day so they can come straight in off the bus/drop off and go down to the classroom. The child could also check in the office and the secretary will call down to see if the teacher is available. Teachers do have meetings in the morning so the student/teacher setting this up ahead of time is key.
Question: How often do teachers/teams meet?
Answer: Color teams meet twice a week during the school day for 40 minutes each time. They talk about instructional practices, student needs, share celebrations, use it as time to communicate with students/parents, etc. Content (math, science, etc.) meet 3 times per week to talk about student data, instructional practices, planning for instruction, ideas to extend learning or support students struggling, etc.
- …in order for faculty members to better know the individual student’s ability, interests, and needs.
- …to allow collaboration of teachers in Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) to plan and provide learning opportunities that challenge and support student learning.
- …advocate for more collaborative learning and problem-solving among students. Learning strategies will often involve inquiry-based, or problem-based, learning on a relevant academic task. This requires a student to collaborate with a group while learning, but learn to be responsible for their individual task.
Question: Can we request to change pods/color teams?
Answer: No. There are many factors and variables to creating schedules. We do view parent or student schedule-change requests (form available AFTER schedules are available) but changes to students’ schedules usually include adding or changing an elective for our 7th graders and/or mistakes to a student’s schedule (ex: no social studies class scheduled).
- Please understand that all three teams are randomly put together. Each team has students on the team that are exceeds, secure, developing and beginning on standards for core content areas.
- Students will be mixed during elective classes and a number of students are “cross-teamed” for math (ex: gold & purple students going to math with Mr. McEwan for Silver or silver students going to Mr. Lichty for math).
Question: So we can’t request a change in teams, but how do we request a change in schedule?
Answer: If you have a request (ex: add band or add art), please use our online form found on this blog AFTER schedules are released in August and will be open until 10 days after the first day of school: http://blogs.waukeeschools.org/dbarry/schedule-change-request/ Please know we cannot appease all request as we have to look at numbers, teacher/student availability and a number of other factors. Due to the number of requests we receive, counselors/Mr. Young will not email back parents or students as to whether the request was able to be made or not. Please check Powerschool prior to the start of school to see if the request was processed.
Question: Are there sports at South MS?
Answer: We do not have school sports at South MS. School sports start in 8th grade at Timberline.