Category: General Team Info

Plea for Tissues!

Dear Parents,

We have an emergency request: We are completely out of tissues here at school!

Your kids have been BURNING through them — It must be allergy season for sure.

If you can send in a box to help us, it would be much appreciated.

Thanks in advance,

Bill Ferriter

A Big Fundraiser Thank You!

Dear Parents,

Now that I’ve had the time to dig MOST of the colored powder out of my nose and ears, I wanted to send you a personal thank you for all that you did to help support our PTA’s color battle fundraiser!

The final total raised by the Gnomes students was $5,865.

That’s an absolutely stunning number. My thoughts all along was that we would raise around $1,000. To see your kids crush that number was incredible.

All of the proceeds from the fund raiser go straight to the PTA — who uses it to invest in our school. One tangible example of how your kids will benefit: As seventh graders, they will have a Poet in Residence named Mr. Shabazz who will coach them in poetry during their seventh grade year. It is an experience that has been a part of the Salem Middle School experience for almost 15 years — and it is an experience we wouldn’t be able to provide if it weren’t for your support of the PTA.

Many thanks also to the sea of 6-4 parents that I saw helping with color battle last Thursday! It was a great time for our kids that also wouldn’t be possible without your willingness to volunteer.

With gratitude,

Bill Ferriter

Honors Assembly on Friday!

Dear Parents,

Just a quick heads up to let you know that our third quarter honors assembly will happen this Friday — April 27th — from 9:00-10:00.

We will HOPEFULLY be in the auditorium, but we haven’t nailed that space down yet. If we aren’t in the auditorium, we will be in the cafeteria.

Parents of students receiving special awards will be notified directly via email or phone call. Parents of students receiving honor roll certificates won’t be notified directly — you can check your child’s honor roll status in PowerSchool.

Hope this helps,

Bill Ferriter

Please Consider Participating in the Annual PTA Fundraiser

Dear Parents,

First, I hope you’ve had a remarkable track out!  Mine has been restful and rewarding all the way around.

Second, our PTA is holding its annual fundraiser right now.  This year, it is a Color Battle:

 

 

 

We will have a short kickoff assembly on Thursday designed to share details with your students about the fund raiser.  

You can also find the information sheet for the fundraiser here.

Finally, here are the important details:

  • Color Battle will happen for our students during electives on April 25th.
  • To participate in Color Battle, students will need to raise at least $30 in donations.
  • More donations give students more color for the battle and access to additional prizes/rewards.
  • Donations can be made online.  Students will all get an access code to create a donation page on Thursday.  We will set those up in science class.
  • Cash/check donations can also be sent into school.

I REALLY hope that you will help your students to get involved in the fundraiser.

The fact of the matter is that schools are almost always underfunded.  The resources that the PTA raises provide us with access to all kinds of learning opportunities that we’d never be able to provide otherwise.  For example, the PTA recently sponsored a Poet in Residence for seventh grade, an Artist in Residence for eighth grade and a theatrical presentation for the sixth grade.

Let me know if you have any questions,

Bill Ferriter

 

Field Trip is ON. Dress Warm and Stay Dry!

Dear Parents,

After checking the weather a million times in the last 48 hours, we’ve decided that our field trip is ON.

It looks like we will have about a 30 percent chance of rain during the time that we are at Bond Park.  Temperatures will hover in the upper forties:

What that means for your child is dress for the weather.  Wear warm clothes.  Find a jacket that can resist rain.  Wear shoes that will stay dry in wet grass — or pack an extra pair of shoes and socks.  Bring an umbrella in case we get caught in stray showers.

If you have any questions, you can contact me quickest by text message.  You can find my phone number here.

Hope this helps,

Bill Ferriter

 

 

 

 

 

A Conversation to Have With Your Kid / National School Walkout Day

Dear Parents,

Many of you may already know that there is a National School Walkout Day planned for March 14th. Students around the country are planning to walk out — both in memory of the students who died in recent school shootings and as an attempt to raise awareness about school safety issues.

Here at Salem Middle School, a group of eighth grade students have been working to plan a walkout for our campus. They have been thoughtful in their planning and have had their plans reviewed and approved by our administration. They are also working to advertise the event both in social media spaces that your students may be a part of and through posters hanging in the hallways of our building.

Here are the details:

(1). The walkout will begin at 10:00 AM on March 14th and will last for 17 minutes. Students will gather outside for moments of silence and speeches that are planned and delivered by student leaders. When the event is over, participating students will return to their classrooms.

(2). Students who choose to participate in the event have to sign up in advance in the Student Services office.

(3). Regular classes will not, however, be cancelled as a result of the event. Teachers will continue to teach their lessons even after participating students have left the room. That’s because this is not an official school event. Students who do not participate will just continue with their lessons in their regular classrooms with their teachers.

(4). Administration and other school personnel will be present to make sure that participating students are safe and acting respectfully.

(5). School staff members are deliberately remaining neutral. They are not encouraging students to attend the walkout OR preventing students from attending either.

I would ask that you sit down with your child at some point this weekend and decide whether or not you want them to participate. If your child chooses to participate, please encourage them to treat the moment with the respect that it deserves.

My hope is that all of the 6-4 students who decide to participate will use the event as something more than a chance to get out of class for twenty minutes! If they do, it could be a really powerful learning experience. If not, it just ends up being wasted time. Most of that will be determined by the conversations, coaching and expectations that you set with your child when discussing whether or not you are willing to let them participate.

Let me know if you have any questions.

Bill Ferriter

Science Tests Monday AND Tuesday

Dear Parents,

Just a quick heads up to let you know that there are TWO tests in science next week. One is on Monday and one is on Tuesday.

On Monday, students will be taking their energy unit test. This covers light, sound, heat and parts of a wave. It will count as a summative grade in students’ averages. That makes it an important assessment.

Students can study by using the Energy Quizizz posted in Google Classroom. The questions in the Quizizz closely parallel the questions on the assessment. What I recommend is that students take the Quizizz several times to identify concepts that they are struggling with. Then, they can use the notesheets they’ve created in Google Classroom to review the core concepts of the unit. Finally, they can use Brainpop videos for quick refreshers of the content that they are struggling with.

On Tuesday, students will be taking their Mid-Year Science Benchmark exam. This covers both our Matter Unit and our Energy Unit. Preparing for the energy portion of the exam should be easy — preparations for the Energy Unit Exam will cover that. To prepare for the Matter portion of the exam, there is a Matter Quizizz posted in Google Classroom. Students can use the process described above with the Matter content to ready themselves for that portion of the exam.

The benchmark will be entered into the gradebook, but it will not be weighted. It is designed primarily as a check-in for students — to see if they are doing a good job remembering the content covered in class since the beginning of the year. Because our End of Grade Exam is also cumulative — covering every unit that we study from July to June, constant revisiting is required in order to do well on the exam.

Hope this helps,

Bill Ferriter

Do You Shop on Amazon? Here’s an Easy Way to Help Salem Middle School.

Dear Parents,

If you ever make purchases on Amazon, there is a REALLY easy way that you can help Salem Middle School.

Here’s how:

(1). Visit http://smile.amazon.com

(2). On your first visit, select PTA North Carolina Congress Salem Middle School as your charity of choice.

(3). From that point forward, navigate to smile.amazon.com whenever you plan to make purchases on Amazon. You will get the same selection, same prices and same shipping options as you would navigating to amazon.com — but a portion of every purchase will be donated back to our PTA.

If you want more details about the Amazon Smile program, check out this link.

Let me know if you have any questions,

Bill Ferriter

27 Missing Permission Slips / Deadline Monday

Dear Parents,

There are still 27 students who haven’t turned in their permission slips for our March field trip.

Students who don’t turn their permission slips in by Monday February 12th will be staying back at school and working on textbook tasks.

There are no exceptions.

If money is tight right now, that’s fine — pay when you can. But the permission slip is a nonnegotiable.

Please check this list to see if your child’s permission slip is missing.

Thanks,

Bill Ferriter

Students Missing Field Trip Permission Slips

Dear Parents,

As you may already know, we are heading to Bond Park for a field trip later in March.

All field trip permission slips are due by next Monday, February 12th. Due to WCPSS policy, any student who does not turn in a permission slip by the 12th will not be able to attend the field trip.

We have a significant number of students who still haven’t turned in their permission slips. You can find that list here.

Please double check to see if your child has turned in their permission slips yet. If your child is missing their permission slip, you can print out another copy from the link in this post on our team website.

Your child can also get a copy of the field trip permission slip from me in class.

Hope this helps,

Bill Ferriter