Archives for May 2019

Parent Involvement & the Middle School Years

The Importance of Parent Involvement During the Middle School Years
By Todd Grina, Middle School Principal

Many parents who are actively involved in the education of their children at the elementary school level typically become less involved when their children reach middle school. However, parent involvement in a child’s education during the middle school years is just as important in a child’s success at school as it is in earlier grades. During a child’s adolescent years, they experience the second largest growth period in their lives. As children grow, they begin to experience physical, intellectual, emotional and social changes. These are confusing times for the adolescent learner. These changes, along with the added demands of increased academic rigor and expectations of school, activities and peer pressure, create conflicts and tension in the adolescent, which can lead to increased mental health issues and conflict in school and at home.

The participation of all parents is important to the academic achievement and mental well-being of their children. Such participation has many positive consequences for the family, the school, and especially for the young adolescent: the family better understands school expectations and operations. The student receives support from adults, at home and at school, in order to confront and to help them navigate the issues of the ever evolving adolescent. Adult support is particularly important where these problems are accentuated by the conflicting cultures of home, friends, and school. The school can become the natural extension of the home, aiding in the preservation of families’ cultures, morals and values. When parents become involved and team with the school, both students and school benefit. We see higher academic achievement, students’ attitudes and behaviors are more positive, less mental health issues, academic programs are more successful; and the schools, as a whole, are more effective.

There are many ways that parents can demonstrate to their adolescent children that they are interested in academic success and that they are available to offer support and protection when there are problems. Here are some suggestions:

  • Talk with your child about daily happenings at school. Both academically and socially.
  • Find ways to spend some stress free time with your child. Share a meal or a snack. Make sure they know the positive attributes you like about them.
  • Listen to and share their concerns. Support what you believe to be good about the school and offer your help to change practices that you believe could enhance your child’s educational experience.
  • Avoid scoldings and arguments when your teenagers bring bad news home. It’s better to be a listener and suggest ways to improve the situation.
  • Show that you value education by encouraging homework completion and reading. Establishing a consistent time and place for them to do their homework that is void of distraction
  • Establish a positive relationship with teachers early in the year. This makes it easier to have constructive conversations in times of difficulty.
  • Avoid comparing sibling experiences as each child’s experience is unique to them.
  • Get to know the guidance counselors. They can keep you informed regarding the progress and behavior of your child as well as a good resource for added supports you may need.
  • Read the student/parent handbook carefully and stay updated with the day to day happenings at the school through the daily announcements and Campus Messenger.
  • Keep informed about your child’s grades and test results, especially in any subjects in which he or she struggles, though the parent portal.

The results of recent research are very clear: when parents are actively involved in their children’s education, they do better in school. It is essential for parents to have a positive attitude regarding education, and to demonstrate trust that their children can do well.

Tiger of the Week: Blake Schmidt

Congratulations to Blake, our TIGER of the Week:

Blake Schmidt – Boys Tennis

In the section tennis first round meet, Blake bounced back from an earlier season loss against New Prague to win in straight sets and get the team off to a good start helping the team pull an upset. Blake is a leader by example and words. He is always ready to lend a helping word. Blake shows up to practice every day and works harder than anyone from the start of practice to the end. He’s always giving it his all in matches and is respectful to his opponent during good and bad times. Playing #1 singles is very difficult and Blake all season hasn’t allowed anything to affect his leadership.

Activities: May 27 – June 1, 2019

Click Here for this Week’s Activity Schedule

Click Here for more information about Hutch Tiger Activities

Activities Director – Thayne Johnson, CAA
Phone: 320-234-2698
Email: thayne.johnson@isd423.org

Administrative Assistant – Amber Larson
Phone: 320-234-2647
Email: amber.larson@isd423.org

 

Tigers of the Week: Morgan Dean & Ethan Beffert

Morgan Dean – Girls Track and Field

Morgan finished 2nd in the 400 meter dash at the WCC Championship meet. She is a great young leader for the Girl’s Varsity Track and Field Team. She is positive, caring, determined, and dedicated. You can find Morgan at the front of the pack at practice keeping her teammates motivated during tough workouts and staying late and even running again with teammates who are still completing practice. Morgan demonstrates that hard work pays off.

Ethan Beffert – Baseball

Ethan had a big week last week helping the Tigers to 4 wins as he hit .357 with 2 home runs, and 9 RBI in those games. He has been a big part in the success of the Tigers this spring as he has really stepped up as a leader both on and off the field. He takes pride in being tenacious in his training, working on his weaknesses to make himself a better all-around player. His level of respect for his teammates, his coaches, opponents and officials represents all of Hutchinson in a way that we can be proud – the true epitome of the Tiger way!

Activities: May 20 – 25, 2019

Click Here for this Week’s Activity Schedule

Click Here for more information about Hutch Tiger Activities

Activities Director – Thayne Johnson, CAA
Phone: 320-234-2698
Email: thayne.johnson@isd423.org

Administrative Assistant – Amber Larson
Phone: 320-234-2647
Email: amber.larson@isd423.org

 

Tigers of the Week: Claire Schweim & Jacob Caspers

Congratulations to Claire and Jacob, our TIGERs of the Week for May 13 – 17

Claire Schweim – Girls Golf

As an 8th grader, Claire has stepped up to fill a a varsity spot and consistently be part of our scoring team. Claire has shown tenacity in overcoming bad shots or rounds and her effort at both practice and competition sets an strong example. She is willing to stay late or practice independently to improve. She is always respectful toward her teammates, competitors, and coaches on the course.

Jacob Caspers – Boys Golf

Jake has been a mainstay on the Boys varsity golf team for four years, and has improved every year.  As a captain, he has been a tremendous leader and role model for the younger kids on the golf team in many ways. He always has an upbeat and positive attitude, and never gives up on the golf course. Jake has represented Hutchinson High School golf with dignity the past four years, and has earned the respect of both his teammates and opponents.

Technology Innovation Specialist – Jocelynn Buckentin

Smartphones: Making a Case for Waiting Until 8th

Kids these days. This phrase has been uttered by each generation as they progress into adulthood and reflect back on their own childhood. When I think of my own, I remember playing outside until the streetlights came on in the summer. My neighborhood friends and I were kept busy building forts, climbing trees, and exploring the world around us. Children are growing up in a different world than the one experienced by past generations. Technology use is now a given rather than a luxury. Smartphones have become constant companions.

The full impact of being constantly connected has yet to be ascertained, but there are several distressing effects that have come to light in recent years, including the negative impact on the mental health of our children. Early social media use is a contributing factor, as it allows kids to dwell on what their friends are doing without them.

One common pressure faced by families at increasingly younger ages is the question of when to get your child their first cell phone. The day before I left for college, I purchased my first cell phone because I wanted an easy way to keep track of  friends and family. Today, students as young as elementary school begin making this request of their parents. You might hear about how everyone already has one, and how your child doesn’t want to be the only one who doesn’t. The word unfair might be thrown in for good measure.

According to a recent survey given to parents of students in grades 5-12 in Hutchinson Public Schools, 81.7% of parents believe that students should receive their first smartphone between grades 6-9. Just over 31% of parents feel that it is appropriate to introduce smartphones in Grade 6, and 50% of parents wait until their student is in grades 7-9 before purchasing their child a smartphone.

The decision on when to give your child a smartphone is a deeply personal one based on many factors, but typically revolving around the need to be connected. Kids today are busy, and parents need a method for knowing both where their children are and when they might need a ride. This issue alone tips the scales in favor of a cell phone purchase for many families.

There has been a push in recent months for parents around the country to sign a pledge to “Wait Until 8th.” This grassroots movement encourages parents to band together in support of letting kids be kids by delaying the purchase of a smartphone until Grade 8. They argue that smartphone use in childhood is altering the typical childhood experience because kids are choosing to be on devices instead of hanging out with friends, playing outside, or reading.

No matter what each family decides, it is important to weigh all options and avoid the early purchase of a smartphone due to the convenience of adding a child to the family plan. It’s more work to find a flip phone than it is to take advantage of a free smartphone offer, which may be what’s best for the wireless provider but not the child. To sign the pledge and learn more about the potential negative effects of smartphone use in children, visit www.waituntil8th.org.

 

Activities: May 13 – 17, 2019

Click Here for this Week’s Activity Schedule

Click Here for more information about Hutch Tiger Activities

Activities Director – Thayne Johnson, CAA
Phone: 320-234-2698
Email: thayne.johnson@isd423.org

Administrative Assistant – Amber Larson
Phone: 320-234-2647
Email: amber.larson@isd423.org

 

Tigers of the Week: Trumpet Ensemble & Clarinet Choir

Congratulations to two of our band ensemble groups, they are our TIGERs of the Week for May 6 – 10:

Trumpet Ensemble – Cole Meyer, Kat Anderson, Bella Maher, Cole Nelson, Rachel Scheele, Kendra White. They received a perfect score at Solo and Ensemble contest. This group was mostly a student driven group and they gave up their lunch time to practice. The piece they performed was a collegiate level piece and required multiple different techniques which are usually above and beyond a typical high school students level.

Clarinet Choir – Emma Trettin, Sarah Skrove, Eavan McCormick, Cecilia Schmitz, Ari Vos, Megan Lipke, Kamia Stoltenberg, Carson Markovic, Veronica Junker. This group received a perfect score at Solo and Ensemble Contest. The work, time, and persistence that this group put in was above and beyond many groups of their peers. With their practice, they were precise and didn’t falter during the performance. The time they spent outside of practices was also what set them apart from their peers.

Activities: May 6-11, 2019

Click Here for this Week’s Activity Schedule

Click Here for more information about Hutch Tiger Activities

Activities Director – Thayne Johnson, CAA
Phone: 320-234-2698
Email: thayne.johnson@isd423.org

Administrative Assistant – Amber Larson
Phone: 320-234-2647
Email: amber.larson@isd423.org

 

Hutchinson Public Schools

Hutchinson Public Schools