SJHS 2018-19 Welcome Back Letter
Welcome to the 2018-2019 school year at Shaker Junior High School! The summer has gone by extremely fast, as it always seems to do, and the opening of school is just around the corner. Students will begin the school year with a full day of school on Thursday, September 6, so to ensure that all students get off to a smooth and pleasant opening, we are providing you with some helpful and necessary information. First, I encourage everyone to have your youngster ride the school bus to minimize early morning congestion. Our entire parking lot/drop-off area has been reconfigured, and we have clearly marked traffic patterns so, please, follow the intended traffic flow arrows and drop students only at the crosswalk. Once in the parking lot, it is clear to see the traffic pattern that is required. If you must drop your son /daughter off, please drive carefully into the parking lot, not the bus drop-off loop, and drop off only in the designated zone marked by the crosswalk. We ask parents to be especially careful when driving in our parking lot, paying particular attention to the many adult and student walkers. Every year, we have a number of “near misses” due to the inattention or excess speed of drivers. Safety is of the utmost importance for everyone, so please drive attentively. Parents then should exit the parking lot, not through the parked cars, but into the bus loop as indicated.
Enclosed are a few items, as we have tried to limit the amount of information posted for parents in the summer. Parents should access the Shaker Junior High School website for much more information that is available. While you should read through the entire packet, student schedules, including locker assignments and combinations, are not included. Student schedules must be accessed via the Parent Portal; once in the Parent Portal, click on the “Reports” tab. Your youngster’s schedule is located in that file. If you do not yet have a Parent Portal account, please obtain one ASAP. Not only is it necessary to access your student’s schedule and other valuable information regarding your child, but more and more communication during the course of the school year will be available via the Parent Portal. You can sign up for a Parent Portal account in the main office of Shaker Junior High School. Transportation information will be mailed to you in the near future directly from the Transportation Department and, therefore, is not included here. Please be sure to read the items related to student organizational planners and our 1-1 Chromebook program, specifically the distribution.
Please note that upon arriving at school, students should report to the cafeteria, from which they are released at 7:25am to report to homeroom. In general, students will be released at 2:17; students should remain after school only if working with a teacher, taking part in athletics or some other activity, or when required for other reasons. Every year concerns arise regarding students being on school grounds when they have no reason to be here. Your assistance in making sure children are here for legitimate reasons only will be greatly appreciated. Also, please take specific notice of our Student Dress Policy! A copy is included and we ask that you review it with your son/daughter and reinforce it regularly. We enforce it and we’d prefer that you not receive a phone call from your son/daughter at school asking you to bring a change of clothes.
All students will have their picture taken at school on Monday, October 1. It is optional whether or not you purchase a photo package, however, the picture taken on Picture Day will be the one that will appear in the school’s yearbook. All students will need to make an extra effort to be in attendance at school and dressed appropriately that day. During the week of September 24, students will be given information as to the contents and prices of the various packages; hopefully the information will make it home! There will be a makeup day for pictures on Friday, October 26 for students absent on October 1.
Parents, and students, always wonder about band and orchestra rehearsals during our opening days. Please note that kids do not need their instruments the first two days of the school year. They need to bring them beginning Monday, September 10.
As of September 1, 2018, SNN (School News Notifier) will no longer be used in North Colonie. It will be replaced with a new communication and emergency notification system called School Messenger, and continue to provide parents and community members with important announcements and alerts via email, text messages and phone calls. Parents will be automatically connected to School Messenger through Infinite Campus, which is the district’s student information management system and parent portal. Please take a moment to make sure your contact information is up to date in Infinite Campus by June 30, as this will be vital to you receiving important messages through School Messenger. To access your Infinite Campus account, click here.
The Infinite Campus grading portal offers parents a twenty four hour view of the progress of their children their classes. With this increased monitoring capability in place there will no longer be a need to post interim reports every five weeks, thus we will not be completing/posting interim progress reports. Teachers will be expected to follow these guidelines:
- Gradebooks in Infinite Campus are expected to be updated at least once a week
- At quarterly interim dates the Infinite Campus gradebook is expected to be up to date
- We will School Messenger parents at the interim points to remind you to check grades
Public Health Law 2167 requires immunization with the meningococcal vaccine for all children enrolled in the seventh grade in any public, private, or parochial school. We understand that compliance with new school-entry legislation can entail significant effort by many parties. Needed detail is provided later in this posting under “Nurse’s Notes”. If you have any questions or need further assistance, please call one of our school nurses, Mrs. Schneider or Mrs. Sail, at 785-1341.
One major skill that affects all students (and adults!) is the ability to organize and plan. Junior high age students in particular have trouble with organizing daily and longer-term assignments. As you were informed in the spring, to assist with these important skills, we have had a planner/notebook made especially for Shaker Junior High students in the various hall colors. All students will be given one of these the first day; the cost is $6.00. Please send a check for $6.00 made out to SJHS on the first day of school. These planners will replace other assignment pads that you would normally purchase and will provide us with a consistent approach to organizational skills. They will be distributed to students on the first day of school. If students have to replace this planner due to loss or damage, the replacement will have to be purchased for $6.00 from the school store.
A very important form attached is the “Emergency Health Procedure Record”. Please be sure to print out a copy, complete it and have your son/daughter return it the first day to his/her homeroom teacher!
INFINITE CAMPUS PARENT PORTAL INFORMATION
The Campus Portal is North Colonie Central School District’s tool for parents, guardians and students to access instant, online, timely and secure student information such as schedules, attendance, grades, assignments, NYS assessments, immunizations, report cards and progress reports. It is a means to further promote educational excellence by enhancing our program of communication with parents and students.
In an effort to improve communication with families, the Campus Portal now allows parents and guardians to update their phone numbers and email addresses. The Household Information area accepts updates to household phones while the Family Members area accepts email addresses and phone numbers such as cell and work numbers for parents and guardians.
Please log in to the Campus Portal today and insure your contact information is correct.
To access the Campus Portal:
- Go to the district’s website at northcolonie.org.
- Under QUICK LINKS select Infinite Campus Parent Portal and Log in.
If you forgot your password:
- Contact Mrs. Holden at 785-5511.
If you do not currently have a Campus Portal account:
- Bring a photo ID such as a driver’s license to your child’s school and fill out the Portal form.
Each student will be issued a Chromebook laptop within the first few days of school. Each student must have a completed agreement, signed by a parent/guardian to receive his/her assigned Chromebook.
The district also offers a very inexpensive insurance policy to cover the cost of the loss of and/or damage to Chromebooks. The policy can be purchased by check only, no cash. The check should be submitted with the signed use agreement when the student picks up his/her Chromebook.
We will send the needed forms home with your youngster the first day of school. They need to be completed, checks written if you are selecting the insurance coverage, and returned with your child on his/her distribution day. The 7th grade distribution will take place on Monday, September 10, and the 8th grade on Tuesday, September 11.
Students arriving at school should report to the cafeteria, where supervision will be provided. Students will be dismissed at 2:17 and the buses will normally depart at 2:27. Please be sure that if your youngster remains in school beyond the regular dismissal it is for a legitimate reason. We have had problems in the past with students remaining after school for no acceptable reason. Your help will be greatly appreciated. There is a 3:55pm late bus run every day for junior high students staying after school for a legitimate reason. There is NO LONGER a 5:00pm late bus from the high school for students participating in sports and/or music. Any students participating in activities that extend beyond the 3:55 Late Bus will need to arrange for their own transportation.
When you visit school, you will note the security measures that are in place. All doors to Shaker Junior High School are kept locked. The only entry is through the main entrance and, even there, only via the right hand door. This door is locked, but there is a buzzer than can be rung. A member of our main office staff with ask you the nature of your business and your identity. We also have a camera displaying your image to us in the main office. If all seems appropriate, we will unlock the door electronically for you to enter. Upon entering the building, please immediately turn to your right and head directly into the main office. All visitors to our school will sign-in in the main office.
There is no entrance to school after 4:00pm as there is no one in the main office to unlock the front door. Thus, students have been reminded, and parents are reminded, that students must have all their materials when they leave school. They will not be able to return to school to pick up a forgotten textbook, notebook, etc. There will, of course, be access to our school when evening events are taking place. For athletic contests, the gym foyer doors will be open; other safety doors will be locked and closed, however, so that entry to the remainder of the building cannot occur. Lastly, please do not drop your children off at school before 6:45am. All doors for student access are locked until 6:45am and we do not want to have young students waiting outside for the doors to open. While it may be a convenience for adults and/or students to be dropped off at school earlier than that, we are not be able to accommodate this convenience. Please plan now to work within this time frame.
SCHOOL SUPPLIES FOR NEEDY FAMILIES
We have many families that struggle to make ends meet, and as a school we are always looking to help out. You can help too, if you wish, by donating some school supplies that we will pass on to kids who need them. The following items are in need for students who may need some assistance with school supplies at the junior high school. If you would like to purchase items on this list, we would greatly appreciate it. Thank you in advance. Donated materials may be dropped off in the Main Office.
- Two pocket folders
- Binder dividers
- Calculators (TI-34 MultiView)
- Blue and Black pens
- 1″ or 1&1/2″ binders
- Composition notebooks
- 3X5 index cards
- Index card boxes
- #2 Pencils
Students are not allowed to use any electronic devices, other than those being used for specific class activities, during regular school hours (7:30am – 2:17pm). They must be turned off and put away. If a student is using a cell phone, iPod, etc. during regular school hours the device will be taken away from the student, delivered to the hall principal’s office and a discipline referral will be written. We will not give the device back to the student; parents will be contacted to come to school and pick it up. The only exception, as written already, will be if students are allowed by a teacher to use a personal electronic device as part of an instructional class activity.
INSTRUCTIONAL TECHNOLOGY AND NETWORK USE
With network capabilities now readily available and each student issued his/her own Chromebook to use, ensuring that students use the equipment appropriately and only access sites that are educationally useful becomes a priority. One important facet is explaining acceptable use to students, which we will do. A second step is to have all students sign an agreement indicating they understand acceptable use and agree to abide by our rules. All students will need to sign such an agreement before he/she is allowed to use any of our technology assets. Most students have already signed such an agreement; as long as we have it on record, a second one does not have to be signed. New students or students for whom we cannot locate a signed agreement will have to complete one.
ATHLETICS AT SJHS
At Shaker Junior High we have a large and diverse Athletic Program for students after school. Our Athletic Department would like to encourage all students to participate in a fall sport. Please check out the athletics page on our District website.
There are three different levels of competition for our junior high students:
- Intramural-Extramural Program: This is open to all students of all ability levels. Fall sports include: girls and boys cross-country; girls and boys soccer and girls field hockey. These five teams practice about 3-4 days a week after school and play about 4-6 contests against other schools. This is an excellent exploratory program for beginners or those with some experience. Sports physicals are not required for these programs. Students sign up for these activities the first week of school in physical education class.
- 7th/8th Grade Interscholastic Sports: These sports involve competitive athletic programs in girls and boys soccer and boys football. The soccer teams usually have about 50 players try out and cut players to a final roster of about 25 players. The cut players are encouraged to join the intramural-extramural program to improve their ability. The football team welcomes all players (no prior experience is necessary)*. Football will have a seven game schedule ending in late October and the soccer teams will have a 12 game schedule ending late October. Practice for soccer and football will start on September 2. *The final roster may include up to 50 players.
- High School Interscholastic Sports: These teams are for the exceptional athlete in 7th or 8th grade with advanced physical maturity and a high level of skill. The 7th grader on a high school team usually has many years of experience in their sport. The athletes must be recommended by the varsity coach. The teams which occasionally have 7th graders on them include: girls cross country and girls tennis. These sports begin August 17; tryouts for junior high students are by invitation only.
Interscholastic Sports Physicals: A student needs an annual sports physical before trying out for an interscholastic sport. This will be done by returning the mandatory 7th grade physical form to the junior high nurse’s office during the first week of August. The additional physical maturity form (selection/classification form) is required for high school interscholastic athletics.
EARLY DISMISSALS AND EMERGENCY PROCEDURES
Under normal circumstances students who are to be excused early are to bring a note from their parent/guardian and present it to the attendance office upon arrival at school. The parent or designated person picking up the student must come to the main office and sign out the student at the designated time. New York State Education Law mandates that schools may only release a child to a parent or person whose name has been designated on the Emergency Procedure Form. It should be noted that the school must release a student to either parent unless we have on file in the guidance office a court order of custody to the contrary. It is also important that all records be accurate and up to date in the school offices; we rely on parents to keep us informed. Newly diagnosed medical conditions, allergies, impairments, etc. must be reported to the health office. The guidance office should be notified of changes of address, telephone numbers, and places of employment.
Please note that if a child at school becomes ill, the child should report to the Health Office; the nurse will make a decision about contacting a parent. Students should NOT contact parents directly about an illness.
As we enter a new school year, please be aware of the following:
- All seventh graders are required to have a physical. (Physicals dated 9/2017 or later are accepted).
- New medication orders are required for every school year. (It is encouraged to get a doctor’s order allowing the student to use and carry inhalers and Epipens.)
- Meningitis immunizations are required before a student can start school in September.
- All forms can be found on the school’s website.
- Forms can be dropped off or faxed to the Health Office at 785-2768.
There exist clear immunization requirements for school entry related to meningitis that took effect beginning September 1, 2016. All incoming 7th and 12th graders need to have proof of Meningitis immunization as required by New York State, prior to entering school in September. The pertinent information is listed below:
- A single dose of vaccine against meningococcal serogroups A, C, W-135 and Y (MenACWY vaccine; brand names Menactra® or Menveo®) should be administered to all adolescents at age 11 or 12 years.
- A second (booster) dose of MenACWY vaccine should be administered at age 16 years. The booster dose is not necessary for adolescents who receive the first dose of MenACWY at 16 years of age or older.
- The minimum interval between doses of MenACWY vaccine is 8 weeks.
- A serogroup B meningococcal vaccine series (MenB vaccine) may be administered to adolescents and you adults 16 through 23 years of age, at the discretion of the healthcare provider. The preferred age for MenB vaccine is 16 through 18 years of age.
Please make an appointment for your child to see his/her physician to obtain the required immunizations. It is the parent/guardian’s responsibility to obtain proof of immunizations. This proof needs to be presented to the school nurse prior to the start of the school year. Without this documentation, your child will be excluded from school. Please have your child’s physician fill out the form and return to the health office by September 1.
The school nurse may not dispense internal medication to school children or to school personnel. Under certain circumstances, when it is necessary for the student to take internal medicine during school hours, the nurse may cooperate with the family physician and the parents. We must have on file a written request from the family physician indicating the name of the drug, the frequency, and the dosage. The medication should be delivered directly to the school nurse by the parents along with a written request from the parents to administer the medication as specified by the family physician.
Student financial obligations sometimes cause misunderstandings. Certain expenses are parents’ responsibility, such as the cost of supplying your youngster’s paper, pens, notebooks, etc. We suggest that notebooks not be purchased until the classroom teachers have described preferred types. The school store will carry many of these items. Hours for the school store will be posted early in the school year. Students are responsible for their textbooks as well. Fines will be assessed for lost or damaged (beyond normal wear and tear) texts.
“THE MIDDLE YEARS”
Shaker Junior High School develops its own newsletters on a quarterly basis. These newsletters contain information that is of interest to students and parents. Often they will contain schedules of upcoming concerts, sporting events, etc., tips for students and/or parents, information of a general nature, and individual student accomplishments. ALL NEWSLETTERS WILL ONLY BE POSTED ONLINE. You can find each newsletter, we only publish four editions a year, online at www.northcolonie.org. The newsletter online postings will be on or about the following dates:
- September 21
- December 7
- March 1
- May/June: May 17
A student handbook, explaining our normal procedures and expectations for student behavior, will be handed out to every youngster in the opening days of school. It is available on our school’s website as well. A good portion of it will be discussed with the students within the first few days of school. The handbook should also be of interest to parents. A tear-off sheet is included in the handbook for parents to sign and return to school indicating that your son/daughter has shared it with you. Please read the handbook and return the signed form with your youngster to his/her homeroom teacher.
Our annual Back-to-School night is scheduled for Thursday, September 27. We will begin promptly at 6:30 PM. Parents will follow their youngster’s schedule, visiting most classes for a short period of time. Mark your calendars! Look for more information in the September newsletter!
Shaker Junior High School provides an extensive activities program for all students. All activities will take place after the 2:17 dismissal of school. Various clubs, interest groups, and other activities will be run under the direction of staff members on a voluntary basis for students. A schedule of the meeting dates and times of activities will be developed as appropriate and posted on the Activities Bulletin Board outside the health office. We encourage all students to take part. Following is a list of clubs and activities which were offered during the 2017-2018 school year. While not all of these may be offered during 2018-2019, the list provides an overview of the wide range of involvement opportunities for students: Adventure Club, Builders Club, History Club, School Musical, Drama Club, Select Chorus, Ski Club, Student Council, The Show, Jazz Ensemble, Perfect Pals, Stock Market Game Club, Math Club, GSA (Gay Straight Alliance), Yearbook, and a wide range of athletic teams for boys and girls.
PARENT ADVISORY COUNCIL (PAC)/PTA
There is a Shaker Junior High School Parent Advisory Council which facilitates home-school communication and provides an opportunity for input from parents. Meetings are held concurrently with PTA meetings. Meeting dates are designated on the school calendar and all parents are welcome to attend. We encourage you to get involved by attending these informative sessions! Our first meeting is scheduled for 6:30pm in the SJHS Library, on Thursday, October 11 at 6:30pm.
CONTACTING SCHOOL (581-785-1341)
Parents are urged to contact the school if there are any questions or concerns. Questions may be addressed to Dr. Moore, building principal; Mr. Zadoorian or Mrs. Lange, Hall Principals, with responsibilities for Calhoun/Clay Halls and Houston/Norris Halls, respectively, or the guidance counselors, Ms. Suarez, Calhoun Hall; Ms. Hayes, Clay Hall; Ms. Demeter, Houston Hall; Mr. Spring, Norris Hall.
In accordance with the EPA Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act of 1987″ (40 CFR Part 763), the asbestos management plan for all schools is available and kept on file in each school building and at the Central Office on Fiddler’s Lane. These records are available for review during normal working hours. For more information please contact our maintenance staff at 786-8858.
The Board of Education provides an individual locker for the convenience of each student in Shaker Junior High School. The locker listed on your youngster’s schedule has been reserved for him/her. Students are responsible for keeping the locker clean and in proper order. Any damage to a locker will be the responsibility of the student assigned to it. It should be understood, however, that the locker remains the property of the school, and the administration reserves the right to examine it and its contents at any time. Please keep decorations, decorative paper, magnets, large binders away from the locking mechanism on the inside door. Should your locker become jammed and you are unable to open it, please see your hall secretary. Following are the steps to follow to open your locker:
Start at 0 and turn the dial to the right. Go past 0 twice. The second time past 0, stop on the first number of your combination.
Now turn the dial to the left. Go past your second number once and stop when you come to it the second time.
Turn the dial to the right slowly and stop when you reach your third number. Lift up on the handle of your locker and it should open.
Enjoy the remaining days of your vacation. We are looking forward to a successful 2018-2019 school year.
Russell B. Moore, Ph.D., Principal