Dear Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School Families:
It is hard to believe that it is already time to prepare for the next school year. The intent of this letter is to help you get off to a smooth start and make the most of the coming year. It will focus on preparation, opening activities, and other key information. This letter is also part of an opening packet with other critical information. Please be sure to read it and call us if you have questions.
First Day of School
The first day of school is Wednesday, August 29th. First period starts at 8:45 and the warning bell rings at 8:38. Please note on the attached schedule/calendar that Wednesdays are minimum days throughout the year – school finishes at 2:12 on Wednesdays and at 2:48 on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Before school music classes will start at 7:45 on the first day of school.
Welcome Fair for All Families
There will be a Welcome Fair all day on Tuesday, August 28th. This is a time to learn about and have the opportunity to sign up for all King has to offer including: Afterschool program, Sports teams, Music classes, Edible Schoolyard, WritersCoach Connection, and more volunteer opportunities.
All 6th and new to King 7th and 8th graders) should plan to attend from 9:00-12:00 according to the following schedule:
A–C: Arrival time 9:00 am D–K: Arrival time: 10:00 am
L–R: Arrival time 11:00 am S–Z: Arrival time 12:00 am
A–D: Arrival time 2:00 pm E–K: Arrival time: 3:00 pm
L–R: Arrival time 4:00 pm S–Z: Arrival time: 5:00 pm
The Welcome Fair will be in the gymnasium (you can drive own and park on the yard). All families are expected to attend to pick up information, including your child’s schedule for the coming year.
All incoming 7th graders must show proof of TDap vaccination before they can enter school. Please bring the TDap verification to the school office any day after Aug. 14th between 8:00-4:00, or bring it to the Welcome Fair. Any student without TDap verification will not be allowed to start school.
The faculty will require that every student have a three-ring heavy-duty binder which includes six tab dividers and a zippered pencil case to fit in the binder. Every student will be given a twelve-month planning calendar to keep in this binder. All teachers will use the planning calendar to teach and reinforce study skills in every subject. We call this the “Cobra”. In addition, there are other basic supplies which students should bring to school everyday: a backpack labeled with the student’s name no larger than 10 1/2” deep x 9” wide so it will fit inside the locker, 2 pens and 2 pencils, a highlighter, an eraser, a two pocket folder for homework, a 12-inch ruler, and lined notebook paper (3-hole).
On the first day of school all King students will receive the “Cobra”, the King student handbook for the 2012-2013 school year. It is essential that you set aside time the first night to go over the student handbook with your child. This handbook contains detailed information regarding grades, attendance, classroom standards, general information, and behavioral expectations.
Back to School Night
Back to School Night is September 13th. This is one of the most important parent events of the year. It is your chance to meet your child’s teachers, hear about the classroom programs and see the whole school. It is essential to understanding the expectations of the year, building relationships with teachers, and connecting with your child’s experience. Please mark it on your calendar and plan to attend to support your child’s education.
Breakfast and Lunch
A free breakfast is provided daily to all students at King in their first class of the day (not counting zero period). At lunch students eat in the Dining Commons, one of the most spectacular cafeteria spaces in any public school. We strongly encourage families to participate in the lunch program and you can pay for meals at school or online at myschoolbucks.com. Full fee lunch is $3.75. It is expected that all students will eat lunch daily. Lunch forms should be filled out at the Welcome Fair. We need these back for every King student regardless of whether you believe your family qualifies for free and reduced lunch.
Every 7th and 8th grade student will also need a King P.E. uniform. These uniforms will be sold at the Welcome Fair on Tuesday 8/28. Dressing in a P.E. uniform is required for 7th and 8th grade. 6th graders will not dress for P.E. this year but must wear appropriate clothing for P.E. on a daily basis. It is particularly important that students wear tennis shoes or other appropriate footwear. These can be kept in the locker at school if needed.
Music and Arts
Please note that music classes at King begin at 7:45 and there will be music class the first day of school. Music enrollment continues for the first two weeks of school- so don’t worry about whether or not you are signed up. Before school music classes are 6th grade band, 7th/8th grade symphonic band, 6th-8th grade orchestra, and chorus. You are strongly encouraged to continue in the BUSD music program in middle school because (1) music is a powerful part of our lives (2) music has been demonstrated to have a positive impact on academic achievement and college attendance (3) it prepares students for the award winning music program at BHS (4) it’s fun and free. In addition to music we also have drama production (for grades 7/8) and dance production (6-8). These are part of our extended day arts program and are offered free of charge.
After School Program
After school enrollment information is included in this mailing. Please look over the attached schedule, but also be aware that we are continuing to add programs. More details can be found at mlkmiddleschool.org. The after school program also has the game room with ping pong, pool, foosball, board games, and more available every day. The sports program is incredible and we offer a daily homework tutorial in the library as well as a specialized English Language Learner tutorial in the science building. We will continue to add classes so look for updates. There is overwhelming research evidence that involvement in after school organized activities improves student academic performance, health, and safety, especially at the middle school level. I strongly recommend that all students not already enrolled in outside after school programs attend the King program at least one day a week. The after school program begins the first day of school. Most after school classes, however, will not begin until the week of September 10th.
I look forward to meeting you and to working with you throughout the year.