Middle Schoolers high diving after talent show performancefrom Dr. Jenn Milam, Middle School director

Mark Your Calendars

  • Friday, February 9: No LS/MS Classes, Conferences
  • Wednesday, February 14: Middle School Parent Quarterly Coffee, 8:15-9:30 AM, Library
  • Wednesday, February 14: MS Grades 7/8 BIPOC Affinity Group Meeting, Panther Center
  • Thursday, February 15: Re-enrollment Deadline
  • Thursday, February 15: LS/MS Evening Conferences, 3:30-8 PM
  • Friday, February 16: No Classes, Professional Development, Panther Club Closed
  • Monday, February 19: No Classes, Presidents’ Day
  • Monday, February 26: SnoDaze Spirit Week Begins
  • Friday, March 1: SnoDaze Assembly, 2:20-3 PM, Lansing Sports Center
  • Monday, March 4-Friday, March 8: i-Term 2024

This may be the first year since joining the MPA family in 2018, that the groundhog predicted an early spring! While we miss the sledding hill at recess, we are grateful to not be bundling up every day to be outside and maybe, just maybe, our spring sports will have a smooth start to their seasons.

As we approach conferences this week, I hope you’re also taking the time to connect with your Middle School students about how their year is going, what is working well for them, and where adjustments may need to be made to see great success. An important part of growing up is coming to a better understanding of how you learn and what you need to be successful. It was in Middle School when I realized that I needed clear checklists, absolute silence to fully comprehend what I was reading and studying and that not having a plan caused me an immeasurable amount of anxiety and caused me to procrastinate and avoid. Identifying hurdles and needs like these for your Middle School student helps them to manage their learning and their emotions and learn to ask for what they need. I encourage you, the next time you’re in the car, running errands, or sharing time on the sofa at home, ask your Middle Schooler about how they learn, what tips and tricks they’re learning, and where they’re finding success. If they’re not sure, guide them—help them see that learning is work, takes intentionality, and doesn’t just “happen.” The best part is that they get to decide how it happens!

Conferences: Friday, February 9 and Thursday, February 15
We are so excited to see you at conferences this week and next! This mid-year conference is a great way to get a sense of how your student’s school year is progressing, what is working and what is not, and how you might shift some things around at home to better support the goals your student has for themself.

While we treasure our time together, we realize that 10-minute conferences may not be sufficient to discuss a concern in detail. Rather than run over and take time from another parent, we ask that if you need additional time with a teacher, you reach out after conferences have concluded to schedule an additional meeting!

Thank you in advance for helping our teachers get time with all parents who made the request!

Valentine’s Day in Middle School
Valentine’s Day is my favorite holiday of the year—a time to tell those you love and appreciate that you do, and who doesn’t love loads of pink and red? It can also be a challenging time in Middle School when our minds and brains tell us that others’ thoughts, opinions, and interactions with us are more important than just about anything. Fear of rejection, unrequited feelings, or being left out are real and powerful, especially for (pre)adolescents. In Middle School, we work hard to teach, practice, and reinforce that no one must like everybody or be liked by all. This is a shifting landscape in the social-emotional journey, for sure.

If you and your student decide to share valentines, treats, cards, or other trinkets, please help them to be mindful of others. It’s always good to share kindness, and it’s also an important lesson to be sure that we’re not sharing at the expense of others. Please reference our Allergy Aware Guidelines prior to purchasing or sending any treats.

NWEA MAP Testing: Winter Administration, Growth, and Sharing Results

We are currently wrapping up our winter testing session and will have growth results to share with you soon. All score reports and student profiles will be sent home the week of February 26, along with some important links for parents to learn more about the NWEA MAP Growth Assessment and how it can support student learning and goal setting.

Middle School Parent Quarterly Coffee: Wednesday, February 14
Every year we have a series of parent gatherings hosted by our Parents Association and our next Middle School time to gather is Wednesday, February 14, 8-9:30 AM, in the PCR. Please join us for coffee, tea, great conversation, and some yummy Valentine’s treats!

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