Conference week at Dickerson will be October 16th – 20th. I encourage you to check out the following ideas to have a great conference!

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Mrs. Hamer – [email protected]

Parent-teacher conferences in middle school are often brief. But they’re extremely important, too. To get the most from a meeting with your child’s teacher:

• Have a list of questions. Is there something in particular you need to discuss with your child’s teacher? Jot it down ahead of time so you won’t forget to bring it up.
• Be prompt. Arriving late may cause you to feel rushed during your conference.
• Stay focused. To make the most of your time, avoid topics unrelated to your child’s experience at school.
• Be open-minded. Really listen to what your child’s teacher has to say. Her/His insight matters.
• Ask the teacher how you can help at home. Remember: You are partners in your child’s education.
• Take notes. This will help you remember what you discussed and for potential follow-up communication.

 

Reprinted with permission from the October 2016 issue of Parents Still Make the Difference!® (Middle School Edition) newsletter. Copyright © 2016 The Parent Institute®, a division of NIS, Inc.

Welcome back!

Welcome back to another great year at Dickerson! Here we are at the start of week three, and I am seeing more and more students settling in to the rhythm of 6th grade! Changing classes, remembering locker combinations and learning the layout of a new school can take some time, and I am encouraged to see so many students feeling confident in the hallways each day. If you have any concerns, or your child seems unsure about the transition to middle school, please feel free to reach out to me.

I am excited about getting to know your students and work with them this year. I will be visiting all of the homerooms over the next few weeks to introduce myself and let students know how they can set up appointments with me. Additionally, I will lead 6th grade guidance lessons during the year and will offer small groups covering a variety of topics that may be helpful for your child.

We are looking forward to 6th grade Open House this evening and hope to see you there! Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or concerns, and I encourage you to please remind your children the same is true for them!

Thank you!

Mrs. Hamer
[email protected]
770-578-2710 ext. 231

Social and emotional trends are common among teens. Many movies, books, music and television shows capture those trends. Thirteen Reasons Why on Netflix is one example. Based on a 2007 best-selling novel for young adults, Thirteen Reasons Why follows a high school student who completes suicide. Each episode addresses one of thirteen reasons why she chose to take her life. Though the show is meant for mature audiences, it does bring up important social and emotional issues that affect many of today’s young people.

Guided by Jeff Dess, Coordinator of our Cobb County Prevention/Intervention Program, we suggest that if your child is engaged in watching Thirteen Reasons Why be prepared to talk about it together. It is a real opportunity to have conversations about critical issues many young people face today. We encourage you to consider the links below to help you prepare. We understand what students watch at home is totally a parent’s responsibility, but we would be remiss not to share that the Dickerson staff does not recommend this for the young or sensitive middle school student.

A review by Common Sense Media of the Netflix Series: https://www.commonsensemedia.org/tv-reviews/13-reasons-why

Parents who want a guide to important conversations with their teens who watch the series may benefit from the following suggestions:

https://www.commonsensemedia.org/blog/5-conversations-to-have-with-your-teens-after-13-reasons-why

As always, please let me know if you have any questions or concerns!

Mrs. Hamer

Dickerson was fortunate to have Dr. Patti Agatston, from Cobb County School’s Prevention Intervention, present “Parenting in the Digital Age” this past Tuesday as part of our Parent/Family Education Series. Dr. Agatston shared a wealth of helpful information and offered numerous ideas to help parents in our current digital age.

Please find information from her handout here:

Parenting in the Digital Age-r92qfx

As always, please let me know if you have any questions or concerns!

Mrs. Hamer

The Power of Words

Happy New Year! I hope each of you had a fun and restful holiday!

During our December DMS Challenge  meeting, students discussed how our words matter and how our choice of words can have a huge impact on others – in both positive and negative ways.

This idea applies to how we talk to and about our children, as well. Please take a few minutes to read the following article and remember how powerful your words can be!

As always, please let me know if you have any questions or concerns!

Mrs. Hamer

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Your words can affect your middle schooler’s motivation…

The way your middle schooler hears you talk about him to others can have a lasting effect on him. It can motivate him to do his best—or discourage him from even trying.

To make sure your conversations have a positive effect on your child:

  • Assume he is listening when you speak, even if he doesn’t appear to be paying attention. Kids instantly perk up their ears when they hear their names. And your child picks up more than your words. He is mature enough to take note of the tone of your voice and the context of the conversation.
  • Avoid discussing your child’s strengths and weaknesses with his brothers or sisters. This can fuel sibling rivalry.
  • Avoid making negative comments about your middle schooler to others—especially to other family members. Think of how you would feel if two people you love talked about how lazy you were, right in front of you.
  • Congratulate him on his great grades and sports victories, but focus on what’s really important to you. Talk about his kindness or his sense of responsibility. And if you really want to motivate him, praise his effort. Tell about a time that he didn’t give up, even when the going got tough.

Reprinted with permission from the January 2017 issue of Parents Still make the difference!® (Middle School Edition) newsletter. Copyright © 2017 The Parent Institute®, a division of PaperClip Media, Inc. Source: S. Rimm, Why Bright Kids Get Poor Grades and What You Can Do About It: A Six-Step Program for Parents and Teachers, Great Potential Press.

Parent Requests for Records/Recommendations/Medical Forms

Do you need a copy of something from your child’s permanent record?
If so, please come to Dickerson’s front office and bring your identification. You will complete the “Parent/Guardian Request for Education Records.” One of our notaries will take care of the fancy stuff and I will make the requested copy and hand it to you.

Is your child’s physician/psychologist asking for teacher input?
If so, please write a note giving specific teachers/counselors permission to complete information for your child. Give us enough forms that each teacher requested will have one to complete. Add the demographic information (name, birth date, etc.) on each. Bring an envelope large enough to hold all the forms and clearly write the name and address of the physician/psychologist on the envelope. Include postage. You’ll want to allow 10 school days for this to be completed and delivered.

Bring all these materials to the front office and ask that they be put it in my mailbox. I will distribute them to the teachers and gather them when complete, put them in the envelope and drop them in the US mail.

Materials of this nature must be sent directly to the medical personnel via US Mail.

Is a private school asking for teacher/counselor recommendations?
If so, please write a note giving specific teachers/counselors permission to complete information for your child. Give us enough forms that each teacher requested will have one to complete. Add the demographic information (name, birth date, etc.) on each. Bring an envelope large enough to hold all the forms and clearly write the name and address of the school on the envelope. Include postage. You’ll want to allow 10 school days for this to be completed and delivered.

Bring all these materials to the front office and ask one of our fabulous front office personnel to put it in my mailbox. I will distribute them to the teachers and gather them when complete, put them in the envelope and drop them in the US mail.

Please note that this information will not be given directly to the parent.

 

Welcome to 6th Grade!

Hello! I am the 6th grade counselor at Dickerson and am looking forward to a great year with your children! I see lots of excitement, enthusiasm, a little apprehension and even awe from the students, as they navigate this first week of school. Hopefully, you are hearing positive reports each afternoon, but there is also an expected adjustment period at the start of each year that should soon settle into a regular routine.

Yesterday, I was introduced to all of the 6th graders during a class meeting but am eager to get to know your children individually!  I will be visiting all of the homerooms over the next few weeks to re-introduce myself and let students know how they can set up appointments with me.  Additionally, I will lead 6th grade guidance lessons during the year and will offer small groups covering a variety of topics that may be helpful for your child.

Today was a big day for the kids – they got LOCKERS! As you can imagine, mastering a combination lock can take time, but teachers, parent volunteers and I were all on hand to help with the process. If you have a combination lock at home (think back to your high school days – 3 numbers and right-left-right) and you remember the combination :), I encourage you to have your child practice at home over the next few days. I also have some locks in my office, and students are welcome to set up a time to practice with me. As simple as it may seem, when a locker doesn’t open the first time, anxiety levels rise, making it even harder to get the combination just right!

6th grade is full of new experiences, responsibilities, privileges and opportunities; and I am honored to have the chance to share that with your children. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or concerns, and I encourage you to please remind your children the same is true for them!

Thank you!

Mrs. Hamer

[email protected]
770-578-2710 ext. 231