Frequently Asked Questions

Asking For Help

Who can you go to if you have problems at the Middle School?

You will be surrounded by supportive adults in the middle school. Your teachers, counselor, principals and all the other adults that work at the middle school are all wonderful people to talk to if you ever need any help. When you have a problem, go to an adult you feel comfortable talking with; that person will help you with whatever it is that is bothering you.

 

Classes

What is homeroom?

Homeroom is the first part of the day, announcements are made, students are organized for the day, responsive classroom discussions occur and attendance is taken. Your homeroom teacher will be one of your teachers in the academic team.

What is an Academic Team?

An Academic Team is assigned to a student along with their homeroom. The team consists of 3 teachers that each have approximately 20-25 students. These three teachers will provide instruction in all subject areas.

When do we change classes?

Core classes are approximately 75 minutes long, specials are 35 minutes long, lunch is 30 minutes and recess is 20 minutes long. All core class switches will occur within the academic team, and these room are all beside each other. Teachers escort their students to all classes, special, lunch and recess.

What classes do we have?

All students will have Reading, Math, Science, Social Studies, Writing and Specials to include: Gym, Art, Music, Library and STEAM.

How long is a school day?

Our school day lasts from 9:15 in the morning until 3:30 in the afternoon.

Can you pick your own seats in the classes?

On the first day of school most of your teachers will have seating charts already made. Throughout the year your seats will change. Sometimes teachers allow students to pick seats, and sometimes they will assign them.

Do we have to have neat handwriting?

It’s always best to hand in your neatest work. It shows the teachers that you are proud of your work, and it’s easier for them to read a neatly written paper. You may also lose points if your teacher can’t understand what you wrote. Make sure you take your time and always do you best to write neatly.

What if we forget our homework?

Do your best to stay organized and write all of your assignments in your agenda book every day. If you do forget an assignment, talk to your teacher about how to make it up. Some teachers will accept assignments late but will deduct a few points. Sometimes you will be assigned time during recess to complete your missing assignments. Your teachers will explain their homework policies during the first week of school.

How do you stay organized?

Most teachers will suggest an organizational procedure for all students in the academic team. You will be provided with an agenda and are expected to use it for all course work and restroom privileges.

Do we stay with our homeroom class all day long?

There will be times that you travel with your homeroom, but there will also be opportunities where you are flexibly grouped with students within your academic team. Lunch, specials and recess will be with your morning homeroom peers.

How much homework will I have every night?

Teachers assign different amounts depending on what you are learning as well. It is always a good idea to set aside at least a half hour every night to study and do homework. Creating a good schedule at home will help you be more successful in the Middle School.

Recess / Field Trips

Are their field trips at the Middle School?

Field trips are organize by grade level and are offered to all students within that grade. There may be other opportunities provided by academic teams for local trips.

Do we get recess?

Yes, all students are offered recess each day for approximately 20 minutes.

 

Lockers

What happens if I can’t reach the top shelf in my locker?

If you aren’t able to reach the top shelf, keep your books on the bottom of the locker.

How do I get a locker?

Lockers are assigned by homeroom teachers. Most students will share a locker with a classmate.

Do the lockers have combinations?

Lockers do not have locks and students are not permitted to bring their own lock for their locker.

Do you have to use a locker?

All students in the middle school have to keep their things in their lockers. Your backpacks, jackets, and packed lunches are kept in your locker. You will also keep books for classes in your locker when you are not carrying them around.

How often can we go to our lockers?

There are set times during the day that teachers allow students to go to their lockers. All students go in the morning, in the afternoon before dismissal and one or two other times during the school day.

Can we decorate the inside and outside of our lockers?

You can decorate the inside of your locker with things that will not damage the locker – so no stickers! You can use magnetic decorations or decorations that are easy to remove. You can be as creative as you would like on the inside, but the only decorations you can put on the outside of you lockers are ones that your teachers instruct you to put up.

 

Lunch and Breakfast

Do we have lunch accounts at the Middle School?

You have a lunch number at the middle school just like you did at the elementary school. Your lunch number will stay the same clear through high school. You can bring money into the cafeteria for your lunch account or put the money in online through the district website.

Do we have assigned seats at lunch?

All students will be assigned a table with your homeroom. There will be opportunities throughout the school year to “mix it up”, but the opportunities will be organized by building principals. Students that misbehave can be assigned alternative seating throughout the cafeteria. There is no food or drink permitted outside of the cafeteria.

Do 5th and 6th graders eat together?

There are some lunch times where students from 5th and 6th grade eat together.

How do we know what is on the lunch menu?

The lunch menu will be posted in your classroom, read over the announcements in the morning, and available online.

What can I eat at lunch?

Students can bring their own lunch to school or choose to purchase a school lunch. A school lunches are prepared on site at the Middle School. There are a variety of options to choose from for your purchased school lunches. Please review the Food Service webpage for more information.

Is breakfast served at the Middle School?

Yes. Middle School students can go straight to the cafeteria in the morning to eat breakfast.

What happens if I don’t have enough money in my account for lunch?

You are allowed to charge a lunch and then add the money later. Your parents can keep track online how much money is in your account so you won’t run out.

Getting Here and Going Home

What time can I come to school?

Students are not permitted in the building before 8:45 AM. Students must be in there homerooms by 9:15 AM. Exceptions would be for chorus and band students.

Where and when do car riders get dropped off and picked up?

It is recommended that all parent drop offs take place on New Castle Street between the two buildings at entrance A. All parent pickups will occur in the basketball court and students will be dismissed at 3:25

Where do bus riders get dropped off and picked up?

All buses are dropped off on North Street and students will be directed toward an entrance by staff. All bus pickups will occur on North and Franklin Street and dismissed through announcements made by the office.

Does the School have Metal Detectors?

Yes, there are 4 entrances (A,B,C,D) to the building open each morning for students. These entrances all require that students successfully pass through a metal detector. Metal Detector rules can be found in the student handbook and district policy manual. If a student purposely avoids a metal detector, they will be disciplined according to the handbook and district policy.

What happens if you are late to school?

If you are late to school you must sign in at the attendance office.

What happens if a student misses the bus?

If you miss the bus in the morning you must get a ride to school. You are not permitted to ride other elementary busses to school. If you miss the bus in the afternoon you will be sent to the office to contact a parent or guardian for a ride.

 

Grades

Are the grades percentages or letter grades?

We use both percentages and letter grades.

What is the best way for parents to communicate with teachers?

Email is the most efficient way to communicate with teachers. All teachers have a website on the district webpage with class and contact information. If there is an emergency or need to speak to a teacher, please contact the school office at 724-214-3600.

How can I check my grades?

All parents and students will receive an access code for their Edline account. Teachers are responsible for updating their grades weekly

 

Rules

Can we bring cell phones?

You are welcome to bring a cell phone to school but it must be turned completely off once you enter the building. While phones are a great way to get in touch with parents after school, there really is no need for students to have cell phones if they are not staying for any afterschool activities. If you don’t need to bring a phone, it’s best to just leave it at home. Additional information can be found in the student handbook and district policy manual.

Can I carry a backpack in school?

Most students bring some type of backpack or book bag to carry their things on the bus but all backpacks and book bags must be kept in the lockers during the school day.

Is there after school detention?

There is after school detention on Tuesday’s and Thursday’s as scheduled by your principal until 4:30. If you follow the rules, you will never earn a detention. Check out the rules in the handbook to make sure you understand them.

Are we allowed to have electronics at school?

You may have e-readers, like Kindles or IPads for reading books only. You cannot use these to play games during school

What is the dress code?

Students should dress comfortably and modestly. Please read the dress code in the hand book for the additional rules. And if in doubt, don’t wear it.

Are parents allowed to volunteer at school?

There are many opportunities for parents to volunteer at school. The PTO organizes a parent volunteer list. PTO meeting dates can be found on the PTO website or Middle School Website. You can also check in at the main office for the rules about volunteering.