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The Middle Years – December 2018 Edition

| December 17, 2018

Opening LetterLong-Term Calendar of EventsBad Weather and Emergency ClosingsStaying After School/Late Bus NewsImproving Study Skills – HomeworkStudent Council Election ResultsParents: We need your help with Early DismissalsCharacter Education TraitsSJHS PTA Newsletter InformationStudents of the MonthQuestions? Concerns? Please CallMid-Year Exam Schedule

To all SJHS Students and Parents:

Happy Holidays to all!! All of us at SJHS hope that you and your family enjoy a wonderful, happy holiday season. Be sure to take time out of the hustle and bustle to enjoy family and friends! Schoolwork continues unabated as we move through the next few weeks and into the New Year. Before you know it, we will be in the middle of mid-year exams, and again this year our mid-year exam schedule is extensive. The schedule is included in this issue for your information. In future editions of The Middle Years, we will publicize the very important NY State assessment schedule for the rest of the year.

As we began last year, the format of our mid-year exams has changed. Instead of having a special schedule with 1 ½ to 2 hour blocks of time for major mid-year exams, all mid-year exams will be conducted in regular class periods this year. In most cases the test will be 2 periods in length with the test being completed over two days. Again, there will not be a special schedule required for in class testing. Please see the testing schedule that is published in this issue. While this is a “final” schedule at this time, minor revisions could still occur.

We want to stress the importance of all mid-year exams: they provide an assessment of student achievement to date. In grade 7, the mid-year exam grades are weighted as a double test grade and are included in the second quarter average. In grade 8, they are a stand-alone grade: they are listed on the report card and earn quality points toward the promotion criteria. Equally important to all students are the NYS assessments. While they are administered later this year, the ELA and math 7/8 mid-year exams serve as practice assessments, with questions that are very similar to the actual NYS assessments! It certainly is in every student’s best interest to do well on these mid-years. Please do your best to encourage your son or daughter to take them seriously and do his/her best! Extra review sessions will be available; attendance at these can give any students the extra preparation needed to succeed!

With this newsletter we are near the end of the second interim report period. Monday, December 17th marks the official mid‑point of the second ten‑week grading period, so it is an excellent time to check your child’s grades. If concerns arise, even though it won’t be possible to discuss concerns with teachers over the holiday break, the time does not need to be wasted and we are hopeful that many of you address what the grades indicate should be addressed. If the grades are positive, give praise and support; discuss with your youngster(s) what contributed to the success and plan cooperatively how to help it continue.

If the interim grades indicate concern(s), start planning with your son/daughter specific steps to remedy the situation. We are still relatively early in the school year with a lot of time left to effect positive changes. Any concerns need to be viewed in context with the criteria for promotion. All of us need to use our time productively to minimize the need for summer school or grade retention. Contact your child’s teachers or counselor to discuss the situation and to solicit suggestions for help. Plan now a specific daily study/homework schedule and how to actively monitor it. As time passes, if warranted, this monitoring may be scaled back. Later in the newsletter are two short articles on organizing homework and study skills that you may find helpful.  Lastly, take advantage of your student’s daily organizational planner. Use it to monitor daily work. Above all, remember that any issue can be addressed successfully with planning and persistence.

Ski Club begins shortly after the holiday break, with the first ski trip scheduled for Wednesday, January 9. The first day of ski club is always a tad confusing; the parking lot will be jammed! Please be patient and keep our parking lot safe for all! Please mark your calendars and be ready for it!!

On a personal note I want to thank the SJHS community for being great partners with our school for the past 30+ years. One of our greatest assets is our community, with the vast majority of our kids coming to school valuing education. Thanks for all of the support and assistance over these many years, I truly have made some valued connections with many great people! You should look forward to the junior high becoming a middle school with the addition of the sixth graders in a couple of years…a great school will become an even greater asset to our students and families!

Shaker Junior High School wishes all of you a safe, relaxing, and enjoyable holiday season! May all your interim progress reports be good! Enjoy the newsletter and stay in touch and involved with your school.


Russell B. Moore, Ph.D.

Long-Term Calendar of Events

  • Mon., Dec. 17 – 5-Week Interim Point
  • Tues., Dec. 18 – Gr. 8 Chorus to the Teresian House
  • Mon., Dec. 24 – Wed., Jan. 2 – Holiday Recess
  • Mon., Jan. 7 – 2:30 Faculty Mtg.
  • Wed., Jan. 9 – Ski Club week #1
  • Wed., Jan. 16-Fri., Jan 25 – Mid-year exams
  • Wed., Jan 16 – Ski Club week #2
  • Sat., Jan. 19 – 8-10 Saturday Support #3
  • Mon., Jan. 21 – No School, MLK Holiday
  • Wed., Jan. 23 – Ski Club week #3
  • Fri., Jan 25 – Last day of the 1st semester
  • Wed., Jan, 30 – Ski Club week #4
  • Sat., Feb. 2 – Groundhog Day
  • Wed., Feb. 6 – Ski Club week #5
  • Thurs., Feb. 7 – 6:30 PM PTA/PAC meeting
  • Fri., Feb. 8 – 7:00 PM The Show
  • Wed., Feb. 13 – Ski Club week #6
  • Fri., Feb. 15 – JHS Jeopardy
  • Sat., Feb. 16 – 8:00-4:00 Set Building
  • Sun., Feb. 17 – 8:00-4:00 Set Building
  • Mon., Feb. 18- Fri., Feb. 22 – Winter recess
  • Tues. Mar 6 – Five Week Interim Point

Bad Weather and Emergency Closings

We encourage parents to sign up for the District’s SchoolMessenger service! Delays and closings will be shared via an email or text to you! Please be sure to make sure your information in the Parent Portal is up to date, as this is how you’ll be contacted.

When there is bad weather and the schools may be closed, please listen to the following radio and television stations to learn information about when and if school will open:  WGNA, WGY, WKLI, WPTR, WQBK, WROW, WTRY, WTEN, WRGB, WNYT.

Staying After School/Late Bus News

Our district provides several late bus options for students to get home when they have stayed after school for a legitimate reason. It is not necessary for parents to come to school to pick up students. We insist that students remain after school for legitimate school‑related reasons only, such as athletic team practices or games, club or organization meetings, academic assistance from a teacher, assigned detention or other reasons. If we determine that your child has remained in school for no legitimate reason, we will call you to come to school to pick him/her up.

Parents should be aware that these late bus routes take longer to get children home than the normal dismissal routes. The late bus leaves at 3:55 from the high school. It is possible that a late bus could take forty‑five minutes or so to get your child home.

Improving Study Skills – Homework

Plan of Attack

Set up a system for doing your homework and stick to it. It is no simple task to come home from school everyday and stare your homework in the face, but if you develop a plan of attack it will become much easier. Once you get into the habit of doing your homework as part of your daily schedule you will find that it takes less time and effort. Follow the advice from the remaining ideas in this homework section and you can develop your own plan of attack.


Know what homework must be done and when it is due. Part of your plan will need to include directions for your assignment. Use your organizational planner! Make a checklist for each class so you will know what needs to be accomplished each evening. If a paper is due, work on it bit by bit rather than leaving it all for one evening. If a big test is coming up, begin studying for it a few days early.

Time Scheduling

The challenge in dealing with time is to keep track of it. Make a list of your out‑of‑school activities and how much time they require. Then do the same for your homework. When you begin and end your homework each day, note the time. Record how much time is spent on each subject. This record of homework time will help you plan your evenings and weekends to allow enough time for all activities. You may find that you need more than 24 hours a day for all you would like to do. Set priorities, cut out some TV, stay off the phone and take advantage of small blocks of time for extra study. You will notice that your grade will go up if you apply some “extra” time to your homework. Organize and stick to a time schedule. If you have a “worst” subject, or one you really dislike, do that homework first. The rest of your assignments will go easier. Allow yourself breaks between subjects or when studying for a big test.

Study Area

It is important to have a quiet study area for doing your homework. You need a location where no one will interrupt you and you can stick to your task. It is best to have a table or desk and straight‑backed chair. With a straight chair there will be less chance of relaxing and dozing off during study time. You should also have a good study light. It may be difficult to study at home with other family members around; try going to the library occasionally for a nice change of pace.

Organizing for Study

Have everything ready when it is time to sit down and do your homework. It is handy to have a study pack available with a supply of paper, pencils, pens, erasers, rulers, etc. You will need a dictionary and possibly a thesaurus available for homework. If all your materials are ready, you will not have to waste time finding supplies before each study period. You can get right to work.

Study Conflicts

There will be days when it is impossible to stick to your time schedule. There may be special meetings, appointments, or activities which keep you from having enough time for your regular routine. When this happens, make sure you do your daily written assignments first. Some of your extra reading or long‑term projects may be postponed if you keep up with your daily work.

Student Council Election Results


President – Bridget McLoughlin, Houston Hall
Vice President – Kaitlyn Stanton, Calhoun Hall
Secretary – Micaela Tahoe, Clay Hall
Treasurer – Lauren Brissette, Norris Hall


  • Toshin Ahnaf, Calhoun Hall
  • Nicholas Bennett, Norris Hall
  • Lauren Brissette, Norris Hall
  • Natalie Bullington, Houston Hall
  • Andrew Calderon, Houston Hall
  • John DiMarino, Norris Hall
  • Nathan Fazzone, Clay Hall
  • Skyler Hirsch, Houston Hall
  • Caitlin Hughes, Norris Hall
  • Isabel Kats-Rodgers, Calhoun Hall
  • Timothy Kelsey, Calhoun Hall
  • Ishan Khambete, Norris Hall
  • Eric Kim, Clay Hall
  • Jamie Martino, Clay Hall
  • Bridget McLoughlin, Houston Hall
  • Yuktha Milukuri, Clay Hall
  • Gia Patel, Calhoun Hall
  • Madinah Rosen, Houston Hall
  • Troy Serano, Clay Hall
  • Kaitlyn Stanton, Calhoun Hall
  • Micaela Tahoe, Clay Hall
  • Aneel Uppal, Norris Hall
  • MacKenzie Wellington, Calhoun Hall

Parents: We need your help with Early Dismissals

In order to avoid interrupting classes, it is imperative that a note be sent in with your student should he/she have to be dismissed early for an appointment! Recently, we have had many parents calling to get their student out early, or just showing up to pick them up. This causes the class your student is in to be interrupted by a call into the classroom or in order for the pass to be given to the student. Certainly, we understand that sometimes this can’t be avoided as last minute or unexpected appointments need to be made.

Please follow these guidelines should your student need to be dismissed early:

  • Write a note indicating the time and reason for dismissal.
  • Student brings the note to the attendance office first thing in the morning.
  • Ms. Jones will give the student a white dismissal pass.
  • The student shows the pass to the teacher at dismissal time and comes to the main office to be signed out by the parent.

Thank you! Any help you can give to limit disruptions is appreciated by our teachers.

Character Education Traits

The following are the Character Trait Assignments for departments over the course of the school year. These Character Education Traits are found in the student planner. For the month listed, members of the identified department should review the word/trait with all classes.

  • December
    • Math
      • Caring
  • January
    • Art/Tech/FACS
      • Diligence
  • February
    • Foreign Language
      • Integrity
  • March
    • PE/Health/Music
      • Loyalty
  • April
    • English
      • Fairness
  • May
    • Social Studies
      • Trustworthiness
  • June
    • Science
      • Responsibility

SJHS PTA Newsletter Information – December 2018

Hello from the PTA!

Here are a few updates and reminders we would like to share:

  • On behalf of the entire PTA, we would like to thank Dr. Moore for his excellent work and dedication to our school for the last 30 years. We appreciate him and wish him well in his retirement! We are looking forward to be working with Mr. Davis Chamberlain in the remaining school year. 
  • Thank you everyone who supported our Maddio’s pizza. 
  • On November 28, we had a successful Vendor Fair!  This event would not have been possible without our local businesses and entrepreneurs. A special thank you to our custodians whom were there to assist and to all who came and supported the event!
  • We currently have 63 PTA members at this time. If you would like to be part of us, please email the PTA at or download the form here.

What’s Ahead?

  • School Apparel items will be delivered to homerooms the week of December 17th. Please watch out for it!
  • There will be flower sales for Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day! Please keep an eye on them!  We also need volunteers for these events. Please contact if you’re interested! 
  • The Junior Idol will be held on April 12, 2019. We will send out more info next year!

Students of the Month


  • Calhoun 7 – Estelle Porter
  • Calhoun 8 – Lilla Korniss
  • Clay 7 – Siyeong Song
  • Clay 8 – Olivia Pardo
  • Houston 7 – Evan Miles
  • Houston 8 – Axel Pleitez Vasquez
  • Norris 7 – Olivia Gilbert
  • Norris 8 – Christina Mezza


  • Calhoun 7 – Imran Shukralla
  • Calhoun 8 – Amelia Mantey
  • Clay 7 – Sanvi Mishra
  • Clay 8 – Prapti Mishra
  • Houston 7 – Annabel Kelsey
  • Houston 8 – Abigail Walsh
  • Norris 7 – Ishan Khambete
  • Norris 8 – Romeo Salcedo


  • Calhoun 7 – Christina Cheng
  • Calhoun 8 – Joshua Blake
  • Clay 7 – Hyunseo (Eric) Kim
  • Clay 8 – Thomas Lindhurst
  • Houston 7 – Abhinav Thati
  • Houston 8 – Michael Rizk
  • Norris 7 – Solomiia Valihunda
  • Norris 8 –  Jillian Pierone

Questions? Concerns? Please Call

Many things take place in schools and parents hear only a part of the story, or an incorrect version of the story. Often the information is only a rumor or second or third hand in nature. If you have a question or you are concerned about something you have heard, please do not let your questions or concerns go unanswered. We want people to know the facts about what takes place at SJHS ‑ we do not want unfounded or untrue rumors being circulated. Although most people realize that stories are often inaccurate and that they change the more they are told.

Please call us at school to clarify rumors. We cannot always give you all the information (there are confidentiality laws), but we can clear up misconceptions. We want you to know the truth so you can be better informed, therefore, help other people as well.  Please do not put much faith into rumors – call us and find out the facts.

Mid-Year Exam Schedule

  • Tuesday, January 8
    • F/L 8 Speaking Exams
  • Wednesday, January 9
    • F/L 8 Speaking Exams
  • Thursday, January 10
    • F/L 8 Speaking Exams
  • Friday, January 11
    • F/L 8 Speaking Exams
  • Monday, January 14
    • English 7/8 Part 1
    • St. Art Part 1
  • Tuesday, January 15
    • English 7/8 Part 2
    • FL 7/8 Part 1
  • Wednesday January 16
    • Social Studies 7/8 Part 1
    • FL 7/8 Part 2
  • Thursday January 17
    • Social Studies 7/8 Part 2
    • St. Art Part 2
  • Friday, January 18
    • Math 7/8 Part 1
    • Algebra Part 1
  • Monday, January 21
    • NO SCHOOL, Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday
  • Tuesday, January 22
    • Math 7/8 Part 2
    • Algebra Part 2
  • Wednesday, January 23
    • Science 7/8 Part 1
    • Earth Science Part 1
  • Thursday, January 24
    • Science 7/8 Part 2
    • Earth Science Part 2
    • FACS 7/8
  • Friday, January 25
    • Last Day of First Semester

Category: Archive, SJHS

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