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Principal: Clinton Smiley, Principal
The West Middle School E-Bulletin is the easiest way to stay up-to-date with what is happening at West Middle School. This e-mail newsletter is sent out each Friday. The E-Bulletin provides updates and briefings about events related to West Middle School and the Plymouth-Canton Community Schools.
Suggestions for Improving Your Child’s Attendance
- Engage in conversations with your child about the importance of attending school regularly and how education helps people become successful
- If your child is not sick, don’t allow him/her to convince you that they need to stay home or be late to school
- Support the school’s rules and consequences in regards to skipping and being tardy
- Whenever possible, avoid scheduling doctor’s appointments, family trips or other similar activities when school is in session
- Be a good example…If children see parents taking off work for no real reason, they may expect to be able to do the same at school
- Research shows that regular attendance is the single most important factor when it comes to being successful in school
Riding the Bus
(Taken from Report to Parents-NAESP)
While statistics show that riding the bus is the safest way to get to school, dangerous situations could occur if children don't follow school bus safety rules and procedures. If you don't know the rules and procedures, get a copy from the school and make sure to review them every year with your children. Here are some general tips for helping students remain safe on the bus:
- Getting On and Off the Bus: Insist that your children be courteous and use their manners when it comes to getting on and off the bus. They should wait their turn to board and get off; never push or shove on the stairs: and say "thank you" and "good morning" to the bus driver. While children are waiting for the bus, they should stay out of the street and watch for cars. They should also avoid running to the bus stop.
- Safety While Underway: Instruct your children to follow the bus driver's rules; find their place quickly and stay in it; don't distract the driver; don't harass other children; and don't throw things, play loud music, or leave trash on the bus.
- Explaining the Rules: Many times, children think rules are unfair. To help them see the reason for bus rules, have them talk about how they would handle getting 30, 40, or even 50 children safely to school on the bus. Explain how distracting the driver even for a second could put a whole busload of children in danger. In addition to the printed rules and procedures, there are some special situations of which children riding the bus need to be aware.
- Bus Bullies:School bus drivers are there to transport children safely. They're not counselors or teachers. Your children should certainly alert the bus driver if there are bullies on the bus who are harassing them, particularly if the abuse is putting them in danger. But they need to tell you as well so you and the driver can work together to find a solution, either with or without the school's involvement.
- Destructive Children:Children have to understand that there are some behaviors that might appear "cool," but can actually be deadly. Explain carefully that it's dangerous, not cool, to stick their heads or arms out of the window, or to bring on board banned substances such as lighters, matches, weapons, or smoke bombs. Enforce tough punishment if your child is involved in any such behavior, because they're putting other children's safety at risk, not just their own.
- Unsafe Drivers:While the vast majority of school bus drivers are top notch, a few may not be. If your child talks about the driver acting impaired, speeding, driving unsafely, or behaving inappropriately toward children, get the facts and report them to the Principal or Assistant Principal immediately.
(Reprinted with permission from National Association of Elementary School Principals)
There is a new kind of humiliation in schools these days - bullying on the Internet. Children are using the anonymity of the Internet to harass other children, spread cruel rumors, and sometimes even threaten physical harm. The worst thing is that it can happen anywhere and at any time. The same technology that has brought so many benefits is also bringing pain to far too many children, while allowing others to brutalize their peers without the chance of getting caught.
- New Pain, Old Problem: There's nothing new about bullying, but the Internet has made it a far easier thing to accomplish. By simply creating a separate screen name of instant message (IM) identity, kids can use the Internet to send hate mail that in most cases, can't be traced.
- Not an Isolated Incident: Studies have found that as many as one in four children have been harassed online.
- IMs are the Biggest Problem: Instant messaging (IM) has replaced the pre-teen and teen rituals of the past - passing notes and talking on the phone. IMs are where the vast majority of bullying takes place online. Unlike computer screen names, people can create an unlimited number of IM names for themselves. Kids use this as an opportunity to create untraceable identities that they use to bully others online.
- Bad Judgments Can Cause a Lifetime of Hurt: Children sometimes, without thinking of the consequences, send very personal information to others over the Internet. Love-sick girls have sent obscene photos or videos of themselves to the boys they like and vice versa. Once they're sent, they're "out there." The person who receives the images can send them to others, and on and on. Some parents have been shocked to find that there are pornographic images of their own children available to anyone on the Web.
- Discuss the Topic with Your Child: You may be surprised to learn that your child has already been a target of cyber-bullying. If so, the most important thing is to find out what kind of bullying is taking place. Are the words just cruel, or are threats involved as well? If your child is being victimized, make sure he or she lets you know when it's happening.
- Keep Records: Use your computer to copy and print all of the offending IMs or e-mails, including the "buddy name" of the perpetrator. Print them out and bring them to the school to discuss the problem with the Principal or Assistant Principal.
- Monitor Your Children When they are on the Computer: Listen for signs that they are being unkind (cruel laughter as they send or read an IM or e-mail) as well as for indications that they are being bullied. Then take action. Your children need your help.