Welcome to Itliong-Vera Cruz Middle School

PRINCIPAL'S NEWSLETTER
December 2017

Happy Holidays  IVCMS families!


I cannot believe that we are in the last month of 2017.  I feel like I just got used to writing 2017 and now 2018 is almost here.  Just a few more weeks and we will say good bye and take a well earned break for both students and staff. I hope the break is used to rest, relax and spend time with loved ones.  I want to thank those of you who were able to donate to our Holiday Tote bag drive, we will be working this week to put together the bags and get them distributed to our families who need a little extra love right now.


With the holiday season here and in full swing I wanted to take a moment to remind you about the importance of monitoring your students’ online activity.  Some families may be considering a new device as a gift for the holidays or you may have decided to let your middle schooler have a phone.

With everything that is going on in society today, our kids are exposed to all sorts of things.  I know we cannot protect them from everything that is out there, but by monitoring your kids you will hopefully have a good idea of what they are doing online and how they are interacting.  Please know that we know  it is impossible to see everything, but when students know their parents are regularly checking, they are much less likely to be exposed to something inappropriate for their age.  


Like our society as a whole, IVCMS is seeing an increase in issues arising due to online activity, text messages, Snapchats, and Instagram Direct  Messages(DM).  I will be honest with you, some of the language we have seen and topics being discussed are concerning. I know we are not alone in this problem.  Many middle schools across the country are experiencing the same challenges.  Please know that we take every issue that comes to our attention seriously and we take action where appropriate. For us to really change the culture of our middle school age students, IVC needs you as partners. IVC is committed to helping students make the right choices. As parents and guardians, talking to your students regularly about what is happening in their lives, monitoring and discussing what they are looking at online and being there to answer questions are great ways to stay in tune with what your student is doing.


This is an every kid issue.  Please know that even though your child may seem totally fine, may be doing well in school and has lots of friends it is still important for you to monitor what they are doing online and to regularly talk to your student.  I am including a few articles that outline some tips and tricks for navigating parenting with a child who is a digital native.By sharing what we see here at IVC, we are hoping to keep our community around our students secure and growing.


http://www.cnn.com/2012/11/27/living/child-social-media/index.html


https://www.commonsensemedia.org/cell-phone-parenting


At this time of year I am also reminded of how thankful I am to be a part of the IVC community.  I don’t know how we would be able to do what we do without the support that we have from all of you on a regular basis.  Thank you on behalf of myself and the staff of IVC. We are looking forward to the great things 2018 will bring!


All my best to all of my IVC families!

Heather Thorner

hthorner@nhusd.k12.ca.us


Important Dates:

December 7th and 8th- Minimum Days- Parent Conferences

December 8th- Winter Dance 12:30-2:30 pm

December 9th- Choir Performing-Old Alvarado Tree Lightning

December 14th-Band Concert @ IVC Gym  5-9pm

December 20th- 6th Grade Sing A long

December 21st- All 7th grade field trip to the Exploratorium


Last student day is December 21st.  School will resume on January 8th, 2018

Notes from Staff:

Parent Teacher Conferences:

Some parents may have been contacted by their student’s teacher to meet during the 2 minimum days this week.  Typically teachers extend invitations to meet with those students who are not passing the course.  If teachers have additional open conference time then they will alert the parents to sign up for an open time.  If you did not get contacted about meeting, but have questions, feel free to reach out to your child’s teacher via email. Please know that teachers are limited in the amount of conferences they have, so our at-risk students do take priority. Many teachers are happy to have phone calls or answer questions via email.


Hand on Bay Area- Inspirational Quotes

During your next visit to IVC, check out the various quotes above some locker banks.  We were lucky enough to have a team of volunteers working with Hands on Bay Area to come to IVC last week and help us continue to improve the working spaces for our students.


From the Science teachers:

6th grade science night was a success and the students enjoyed the first dissection of the year! This month, the 7th graders will be engineering desalination devices in science.  Make sure to ask your 7th grader about the process.


From Ms Miller:

The special day classes with Mr. Carota and Mrs. Miller will be practicing travel training on a community outing to San Francisco on December 15th.  Students will take a public transit bus to BART and will take BART to Powell Street in San Francisco.  Students will experience city life and will see the holiday decorations at Union Square. Thank you for supporting activities like these by purchasing chocolate chip cookies.  Our next cookie sale will be on December 13th!  


From Ms. Nemecek:

Friday, December 8th is the Winter Dance.  Because it's a minimum day, the dance will be 12:30-2:30.  Tickets are already on sale at lunch. Students who earned a free ticket for jog-a-thon received a special permission slip earlier this week.  All students must have a signed permission slip in order to get a ticket.  No tickets will be sold after break on Friday, December 8th.


Save the date! Wednesday, December 20th is our 6th grade movie sing-a-long afternoon.  We're still working out the details and an email will be sent with more information soon.


This year's talent show will be in January.  Auditions are the week we return from winter break: Tuesday, 1/9 3-5pm, Wednesday 1/10 2-4pm, and Thursday 1/11 3-5pm.  Sign ups for audition slots will be available at lunch the week before break.  Student performances may not exceed 3 min 30 seconds.


From Mrs. Albright:

The students in my class will be completing a seminar.  If parents are interested in attending, they are more than welcome.  Please email salbright@nhusd.k12.ca.us if you are interested in attending.  They will be held during periods 1 and 5 with some carry over into the next period.


From Mr. Packham:

With the upcoming holiday season, we know this means that families who are traveling out of town sometimes need a few extra days away from school on top of the scheduled vacation time.  If you are planning to have your child out of school for more than 4 days, please consider requesting a short term independent study contract.  You can contact Ms. Antonia in our office and she can walk you through the process to get the contract.  Please note you do need to request the contract 5 days before the scheduled absence.


From Ms. Agregado:

Currently, IVC is hosting R3 Academy Fatherhood Classes to our Fathers and Father-Figures on Thursday evenings from 6:00 to 8:00 pm.  These classes are both in English and Spanish.  This 12-week course highlights the 3 key relationships that Fathers and Father-Figures have with child(ren), co-parent, and at work.  The weeks are focused into Relationship and Parenting Skills (8 session), Job Search Success Skills (2 sessions), and Money Management Skills (1 session).  


Over the summer a few of our IVCMS fathers completed this workshop with great reviews and it was highlighted on the ABC News as well. Click the R3 Academy Classes link to learn more.


We have heard such great feedback from our Fathers and Father-Figures that we are considering starting another set of 12 week R3 Academy Classes in February.  We would like to see if there is enough interest among IVC's and the NHUSD's Father and Father-Figures to do so.  A minimum of 12 participants are needed to commit to enrolling with a "Yes" or a "Maybe" for the course (English & Spanish) in order for these classes to take place.  


Registration is FREE, along with the classes and workbooks used due to a federal grant received by the organization teaching the classes. That organization is the Healthy Relationships California, a non-profit, non sectarian educational organization.
Please take a moment to fill out a brief survey to let us know your interests.


Thank you so much for your time and participating in this survey.  Your feedback is greatly appreciated.