December 18th is just around the corner and that means the end of the semester and the start of a well-deserved Christmas break for students and staff! We have had an amazing semester with some great activities and student involvement! A few of our memorable moments include: Teens Make a Difference Day, Parents Get Schooled Night, Paws for Greatness, Homecoming, All Region Choir auditions, Making the Grade with Teen Ken Po, Back to the Future Day, Veterans’ Day concert, dodgeball with the Wildcats, the Turkey Shoot, Red Ribbon Week and so much more! We have enjoyed all the parents and family members who have joined us in our activities and extend that invitation for all future activities.
As the semester draws to a close, students begin to realize that they have a fast approaching deadline to earn the grades that they and their parents’ desire. Please check Skyward regularly to keep track of your student’s progress or lack of. Progress reports do come home at the three week mark during the six weeks, but sometimes those paper copies mysteriously do not make it home. The last week of the semester is always hectic. Students need to be working now to earn all passing grades which entitles them to be included in future extracurricular activities.
With the second semester, also comes the STAAR test! As with any test, the STAAR test is a measure of basic skills to determine if students have mastered the skills to move on to the next grade level. We are encouraging students to not only pass the STAAR test, but also show progress or growth. Talk to your students about trying to increase their scores from years’ past. Whether your student breezes through every standardized test or whether they struggle with tests, encourage and praise them for the gains that they make as this shows they are learning and that is the ultimate goal.
During the second semester, teachers will be doing their best to help our students do their best. We will be taking Curriculum Based Assessments and Benchmark tests in STAAR tested subjects as a way to gauge student readiness. These tests are also a good way for parents to determine how their students should fair on the STAAR test and what areas of weakness need targeting. As always, if parents have any concern or questions regarding their student, please contact the teacher.
Thank you for all you do to support McNiel, the staff and especially our students! We appreciate you!
Let me be one of the first to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Spend time relaxing and enjoying your family and remember the reason for the season.
Tania R. Rushing, Principal
McNiel Junior High School