Dear Parents and Guardians,
I am privileged to work with all of the wonderful students of City Hill Middle School. At City Hill Middle School we value and embody our district’s vision and mission. I want to provide some information to ensure a successful 2019-2020 academic year.
First Day of School
Grade seven students will report directly to the cafeteria where they will meet their homeroom teachers. Alphabetical lists of student homerooms will be posted in our cafeteria and on our front patio. Grade eight students will report directly to their homeroom on day one.
Morning Arrival/Drop Off Procedures
Students riding the bus to school will be dropped off in the back. All students are eligible for hot breakfast as well as hot lunch. Students will enter the building through the cafeteria. Students who ride in with a parent will be dropped off in the front of the building again this year. We will have our security guard directing parents to the front of the building. Parents can arrive as early as 7:25 AM, but students are not permitted to be dropped off until 7:40 AM. We ask that parents who arrive early turn their engines off to adhere to the anti-idling policy.
The bus schedules should be posted soon. The bus company has tentatively set August 21st to have the routes to the schools. As soon as I receive the bus routes I will link to this letter, my summer snapshot and on our website. Stay tuned!
Positive Behavior Support System -CHMS ROCKS
We will again implement our school wide behavioral and academic expectations, the CHMS ROCKS program. (The acronym stands for Respect, Organization, Cooperation, Kindness and Safety) During the first weeks of school, teachers will deliver lessons that explicitly teach our school wide expectations in each of the following settings: cafeteria, bus, auditorium, hallways, classrooms and in the math lab. Additionally, we will specifically teach the rationale and rules of our electronic and attendance policies. We believe when everyone understands and adheres to the expectations, City Hill Middle School ROCKS!
This year in addition to our Positive Behavior Support Initiative, we will also implement a social intelligence program called, RULER. RULER is an acronym that stands for recognizing, understanding, labeling, expressing and regulating our emotions. Each day every period students will be asked to check in with a mood meter to begin to better understand their own emotions. Lessons will be implemented throughout the year to help students regulate emotions using a variety of tools and strategies.
Partnering for a Culture of High Expectations
The transition from middle school to high school can be challenging. The middle school and high school teachers will engage in regular professional dialogue to ensure consistent practices and expectations. A panel of students, faculty and parents collaboratively worked to create a set of learner dispositions for students, educators and families. The learner disposition outlines how educators and families can partner to support high expectations for students. The students will be introduced to a rubric to self assess their progress towards mastery of the learner dispositions. Students will share their progress towards individual goals at the fall and spring conferences. We will refer to the ROCKS learner disposition rubric regularly to raise the bar for all.
Strive for Less than Five Program
We will embark on a campaign to increase awareness about the importance of consistent attendance. We encourage students to strive for less than five absences in one school year. Students will sign the pledge to get to school each day and keep absences to under five for the school year. We recognize the need to utilize parent and community resources to address our problem of chronic absenteeism. Parents interested in joining with our school and Naugatuck Youth Services to help our students attend school daily should email the assistant principal, Mrs. Fonseca at email@example.com
Students should not arrive at school before 7:40 AM. Walkers may enter the building when the bus students enter at 7:40 AM. Upon entering the building, students should go to their lockers and then report to their homerooms by 7:55 AM. Homeroom periods will be used to take attendance, distribute and collect materials, and relay information concerning upcoming events and activities.
Students who arrive to school after the 7:55 AM bell are considered tardy and must report to the Guidance Office with a parent/guardian. Documentation must be provided to the office for the tardy to be excused. Doctor's note, court papers, etc.)
Three unexcused tardies in one trimester will result in a Make It Right after school. A Make It Right will be assigned for each incident thereafter.
Power Down/Achievement Up
According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, teens are spending eight hours a day on electronic devices. The addiction to technological devices is real. Educators and parents are charged with monitoring the use of cellphones and social media. When teens limit the amount of time spent on electronic devices, they sleep better, reduce anxiety, and improve interpersonal skills resulting in improved academic performance and relationships. At CHMS, electronic devices are permitted, but must be turned off and out of sight during the school day. We urge parents to call the office when relaying a message to students. Students are not permitted to check their phone. Presently the cell phone is the number one academic disruption of the day.
All personal electronic devices 9ear buds, ipods, cell phones, etc.) must remain off and out of sight between 7:40 AM and 2:25 PM, including during passing times, lunch and study halls.
➢ First offense: Students may pick up their device from the dean's office/security after 2:00 PM; parents will be notified of the offense.
➢ Second offense: Parents may pick up the device after 2:00 PM.
➢ Third and subsequent offenses will require parents to pick up the device and students may lose the privilege of carrying the phone at school.
All students at City Hill Middle School must adhere to a student dress code. They should be dressed and groomed in a neat, modest, and appropriate manner not disruptive to the educational environment. Please be sure to check the handbook for the dress code policy. Students who are dressed inappropriately will be allowed to call home for a change of clothes and offered a change of clothing before a consequence is given. The academic environment of the school is enhanced when students come to school dressed appropriately for learning.
Every seventh grade student must have a physical on file in the nurse’s office, dated July 1, 2018 or later in order to attend on the first day of school. The physical form must include evidence the student has received the DTAP and Menactra vaccines. Physical forms may be faxed to the school (203) 720-5256, mailed to 441 City Hill Street or dropped off in the CHMS main office this summer.
All students interested in playing a sport need to have a physical on file in the nurse’s office that is not older than 1 year from the start of the sport. The physical must remain current during the season, or you will need to get one during the season.
Middle School Seminar
In addition to the core academic curriculum, we understand twenty-first century skills play a significant role in student success. Administrators and school counselors will co-teach a course titled, Middle School Seminar to all grade seven students. The lessons will serve to strengthen work ethic, organizational skills and interpersonal skills. Students will set goals and learn how to overcome obstacles that prohibit goal attainment. Engaging lessons will help students learn about emotional intelligence including stress and anger management as well as conflict resolution. A more comprehensive scope and sequence will be sent home with the students on the first day of the course.
Support for Students
Administration and counselors will review students’ grades every three weeks. Students who are passing each class with a seventy or higher will be deemed “academically healthy”. Those students will be permitted to choose an enrichment activity. Students with more than one grade below a 70 will be placed in a guided study hall and may receive additional interventions which may include our after school Math Lab and “Make It Right” program on Tuesdays and Thursdays until 4:00 PM. Transportation will be provided for students attending after school programs.
Celebrations of Excellence
We seek every opportunity to celebrate student success. Informal daily shouts are provided through our morning news show. More formally, students will be recognized monthly for academic as well as athletic, musical and personal success in our Town Hall Assembly. Each year we induct new members into the CHMS chapter of the Junior National Honor Society. Incoming seventh grade students will be invited to apply for this prestigious organization in early spring of the 2019-2020 school year. We celebrate students who exemplify our CHMS ROCKS matrix through their daily actions. These students are considered our ROCK Stars.
You will receive a weekly communication from me once the year begins. Follow the link to the August snapshot. Much of the information from my opening letter is contained in the August snapshot as well. Throughout the year, weekly updated information will be sent via school messenger.
It is our goal to work collaboratively with you for the next two years. Please contact us with any concerns, questions or ideas. We encourage all parents to participate in our parent teacher organization and our governance council. The first PTO meeting will be held on September 18th at 6:30 PM. We look forward to serving your children and creating an environment with a focus on a positive climate, rigorous academic standards and expectations, and a lifelong curiosity for learning.
City Hill Middle School Principal