Greetings Kent Community,
This fall Kent students, teachers, and staff are working together to get "back to basics!" The "back to basics" approach highlights five simple habits that each person can practice to help improve the school climate and culture for all Kent Falcons.
- Back to basics habit number 1 is saying please and thank you,
- Number 2 is making silent eye contact when interacting with others,
- Number 3 is offering a kind greeting,
- Number 4 is picking up after oneself and others, and
- ‘Back to basics’ habit number 5 is setting a personal goal, and working to achieve it.
Our 8th grade WEB (Where Everyone Belongs) leaders introduced ‘back to basics’ to the whole school community to start the year, and have been working to model these habits in classrooms and around campus. Plus, there is a simple hand signal students and staff are using to remind and support each other in using our ‘back to basics’ practices. Perhaps you’re seeing evidence of these five habits at home; encourage your child to get "back to basics!" It’s a simple and traditional practice, and it has already had a positive impact on our school climate.
Be the Change Week returns to Kent next week. Inspired by the esteemed Ghandi quote, Be the Change Week is an annual experience when students consider the profound influence they can have on the world. This year we explore the theme of personal journeys, reflecting on journeys of growth and transition that all of us have experienced, and building empathy for and understanding of the journeys of others. During the week students will experience a student-led assembly, an advisory activity, guest speakers, and more. I’m looking forward to a week full of reflection, empowerment, hope, and optimism.
We are excited to be partnering once again with Good Eggs online grocery to raise money for a Kent Middle School project. This year, our fundraising efforts will be directed toward our One-Book-One-School initiative. If you haven't already heard, we are bringing author Alan Gratz to Kent Middle School this spring. In advance of his visit, our entire school will read his novel, Refugee. In it, Gratz weaves the stories of three different main characters and time periods, and "all three young people will go on harrowing journeys in search of refuge." Our Be the Change week, which begins on Monday, will introduce the theme of journey and that will remain our focus this year in our social and emotional learning curriculum.
Our Good Eggs fundraiser begins October 1st and ends November 30th. If you haven't used Good Eggs before, I encourage you to check it out and use the new customer discount. If we get 20 new customers to join, Kent will receive a $500 fundraising bonus. Our school's code is FALCONS2018.
As always, we remain extremely grateful for our community's support of our school.
Kent Counselors’ Corner
Hello and welcome to the Counselors’ Corner! The school year had a good and busy start! Middle school is definitely a time that is ripe with opportunities to explore and talk about socially and emotionally related topics!
General Info: A counselor’s role is to assist in clearing the way for each student to have a happy and educationally successful year. Sometimes issues with work habits, friends, behavior, stress, difficulty managing schoolwork, busy schedules, or events taking place outside of school surface. We encourage you to let us know if there are any major changes and challenges in your family life (such as illness or divorce) so that we can be alerted and, hopefully, more sensitive to your child’s needs during a difficult time. Please feel free to contact us if you have any worries about your child. Also – we want to urge you to contact us if your child feels he/she is being bullied. We have a very unique and effective way of dealing with bullying that really has turned students’ lives around. Please do not wait too long before contacting us, as we are interested in helping to alleviate any undue suffering. We are very happy to try to help so our students feel safe and supported here at Kent Middle School. (See below for more information about Solution Teams.)
Meeting with individual students and their parents is, of course, a big part of a counselor’s job. We encourage students to take the initiative to sign-up to see us using the counseling box in the main office, as well as outside the Counseling offices. We are also very fortunate to have our fantastic counselor interns, Laura Bolles and Suzanna Brown this year. Laura and Suzanna are here to help us provide consistent and ongoing school-based counseling support for our Kent students.
Meetings: We encourage you to contact your child’s teacher directly, if there is a concern or question in a specific class. If you feel there is a need to meet with all of your student’s teachers, feel free to email either Heidi or Corey and we will facilitate putting a meeting on the calendar. These “all-call” meetings are held at 8:00 a.m. in one of our conference rooms. We also meet with the entire school staff by grade level at Guidance meetings, which take place twice per month after school on Wednesdays. Guidance meetings give school staff an opportunity to discuss students about whom we may have concerns or questions. We may also be contacting you to come meet with your child’s team to put together a plan to better support their academic success.
Advisory: Advisory is a time for your child and his/her teacher and classmates to talk about socially-emotionally related topics relevant to their grade level. Feel free to ask your child about these discussions. The themes are organized accordingly:
- 5th Grade: Who Am I and How Do I Organize My Life?
- 6th Grade: Leaving the Nest - How Do I Advocate for Myself and Others?
- 7th Grade: My Social Circles, My Community
- 8th Grade: Building My Future
Be The Change Week
Our annual Be the Change week takes place next week! This is a very special time for the Kent Middle School community when we spearhead our focus for the school year. This year, our focus is on the theme of exploring and sharing our “journey." Kent Falcons will examine and share some of their successes and challenges, as well as reflect on the individuals in their lives that have supported them along the way.
- School-Wide Assembly: On Monday, students and staff will attend a school-wide assembly led by some of our fantastic WEB Leaders. The assembly will feature teachers and students who will recite poems, sing songs and tell stories of experiences of overcoming challenges – and will explain the role their peers and adults played in offering kindness and support during those challenging times.
- Advisory: On Tuesday and Thursday, students will meet in their Advisory groups to delve more deeply into their own stories. Students and staff will have an opportunity to share some of their own personal journeys with their classmates. It is our hope and belief that experience sharing will help students discover more about themselves and the positive impact they can have on others.
- 8th grade BTC Day: On Wednesday, October 3rd, eighth graders will spend an entire day with their advisory teachers explorings “growth circles,” discussing ways they can push themselves outside of their comfort zone, in order to learn and develop new skills. At the end of the day, students will enjoy a compelling performance and presentation by comedian and motivational speaker, Michael Pritchard. Michael skillfully uses humor to convey the importance of treating others with kindness, empathy, and respect. At the conclusion of Michael’s performance, he invites willing students to stand up and share thoughts and reflections with their fellow classmates. It is usually a very moving and meaningful day for the 8th graders and the teachers. Be prepared to hear all about it on Wednesday afternoon!
Bullying and Solution Teams
As most of you know, we have a special protocol for how we deal with bullying at Kent – the Solution Team Approach. For more information, please check out our new Kent Middle School School Counselor website here.
- Please do inform us if your child is being bullied, even if you do not think a Solution Team is the right fit for your child’s situation - as we would like to assist in making sure that all students feel safe and supported, while at school.
- Teens in Transition Parent Information Letter to be mailed: Week of October 1st
- Teens in Transition Parent Information Night: Thursday, November 1, 2018 at 6:30 p.m. in the Kent Library
- Teens in Transition for 8th graders: November 16, 2018 at Kent, November 19-20, 2018 at Branson.
Heidi Longo, Counselor, at Kent Monday-Thursday, email@example.com, tel: 415-482-9851
Corey Shaw, Counselor, at Kent Monday-Friday, firstname.lastname@example.org, tel: 415-482-9852
Laura Bolles, Counselor Intern, at Kent Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, email@example.com
Important Notice for Parents Dropping Off Students in Surrounding Campus Streets
If you are choosing to drop your child off in neighborhoods surrounding Kent Middle School, please ensure that your child exits the vehicle on the right hand side and follows all traffic laws like crossing streets in crosswalks. As the driver, please ensure that you are not blocking private driveways and that you follow relevant traffic laws when you re enter the flow of traffic. Thank you for your attention to student safety in the neighborhoods around our school.
Intake Conferences - online scheduling closes at 5 p.m. on Friday, September 28, 2018
- 5th Grade: Wednesday, October 3, 2018; 1:30-4:30 p.m.
- All Grades: Friday, October 5, 2018
- Online portal to schedule intake conferences at conferences.kentfieldschools.org closes on Friday, September 28, 2018 at 5 p.m.
- Instructions on booking your parent-teacher conference.
Kent Events – Mark Your Calendars
- Wednesday, October 24, 2018, 8:45-9:45 a.m., 5th/6th grade Principal Chat in the Kent Library
- Thursday, October 25, 2018, 8:45-9:45 a.m., 7th/8th grade Principal Chat in the Kent Library
- Thursday, November 15, 2018 6:30- 8:00 p.m., 8th grade transition to high school meeting with Parents and 8th grade students in the Kent library
Kent Lunch Clubs
- Eco Action Club, Garden Club, Library Council, and Games Club are starting. Listen to morning announcements for more information.
- If you are interested in hosting a club at Kent this year please contact Jenny Walsh, firstname.lastname@example.org. Some clubs we have held in the past include knitting, art, drama, and fantasy sports.
Kent Library Daily Lunch Activities: Once again we are offering daily activities in the library each day at lunch. Students may choose to eat their lunch in the library as long as they are participating! The schedule is as follows:
- Monday: Get Crafty!
- Tuesday: Kent Library Council AND the new Dungeons and Dragons Club (run by eighth graders Aaron Addis, Lia Fugazatto, and Bryce Kim)
- Thursday: Magic the Gathering Club
- Friday: Unplugged Fun and Games (no computers at lunch and board games)
- Everyday: As always, we have board games, puzzles and more for students to use.
Kent Site Council
Next Meeting: October 2, 2018, 3:30-4:30 p.m., Main Office Conference Room
- All Kent parents are welcome to attend Site Council meetings. Please visit our Site Council page for meeting dates, agendas, and minutes.
All School Read Ahead!
If you attended the gathering in the gym at the beginning of Back to School Night, you heard about our all school read of Alan Gratz's incredible book Refugee, which will culminate in a visit by the author to Kent on May 13, 2019. Click here for more information about this amazing story, and get your copy today!
Author Spotlight for September: Jason Reynolds:
Looking for a great book to read with your child or is your child looking for a book to get them into the reading groove? Check out any title by the incredibly talented Jason Reynolds. Jason is a New York Times bestselling author who admits (not proudly) that he found little motivation to read when he was a kid. In fact, he says he never read a book until he was 17, a fact that motivated him to write books that really speak to kids. As I once heard him say in an interview – "kids don't really think reading is boring, they just don't like reading boring books." His titles and characters are diverse in their experiences, and include books for kids in fifth grade through high school. Click here to read about Jason and his books. Check one out from the Kent or public library today!
Student Athletes: Please fill out an Athletics Packet from the office so you can play!
Kent Athletic Director: Ryan Palmer, email@example.com
New Kent Athletics website: https://sites.google.com/kentfieldschools.org/kent-athletics
- Please note that all volleyball games are at 3:45 p.m. at Davidson, unless the venue is changed by coaches.