Dear Middle School parents,
I hope that this July update finds you all having a wonderful summer, in spite of the extraordinarily hot days that we have had. Last week’s cooler days and rain were great, especially as the GDS summer campers returned following the July 4 holiday week.
It has been five weeks since our closing ceremony for the 2011-12 year, and I miss the students in our mostly quiet hallways and classrooms. I am looking forward to the new year and all of the fun and amazing learning experiences that will happen, thanks to your support, our very able and motivated children, and the fantastic Middle School faculty.
I am happy to announce that we will be welcoming 23 newcomers to GDS in Middle School when we get started in August. This is eight more new students compared to this time last year. This increase is due primarily to the good news that our current parents share with others about the GDS experience. Thank you for supporting YOUR school in this way. I will be sharing more details about the new students and the orientation for everyone in an early August letter.
Please continue to encourage your child(ren) to complete the summer reading assignments. As I said to our rising 6th graders at the Lower School Closing in June, the required books should be the minimum they read this summer. Summer vacation needs to include time away from structured activities and too many technological connections. It is okay to be bored; creativity happens when one has the time for it, including time for imagination to be encouraged by good reading.
Textbook purchasing for grades 7 and 8 begins in early August. More details about the purchase dates and times for the Bengal Book Store are posted on the GDS web site---including how to take advantage of the tax-free weekend (www.greensboroday.org/backtoschool). When 7th and 8th graders arrive to purchase books, they will learn the name of their advisor and their locker assignment. For 6th graders, there is no need to come to campus for books. All hardback texts will be provided by the school primarily for classroom use. Paperback book orders will be billed to families and distributed by teachers at the start of school. Sixth grade students will be introduced to their advising groups and given locker assignments on August 22, our first half-day of school.
New student orientation is scheduled for Tuesday, August 21, from 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. During this morning, we are also offering a new parent informational session. All 6th grade parents and parents of 7th and 8th graders new to GDS will meet from 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. in the Studio Theatre.
Come cheer on the Bengals against Cary Academy during our first GameDay Grill of the year on August 21. Varsity games begin at 4:00 p.m. that Tuesday. This is a great time to see old friends and meet some new ones. Dinner will be available for purchase near the field house located by the track.
During our Middle School Parents’ Night, scheduled for the evening of August 30, the teachers will share information about our academic program. Also, during the first two weeks of school, many details about the Middle School advising program will be provided to students and to you. Please contact me at any time as we move into August if you have any questions about this year’s program.
For those of us who have been GDS parents for awhile, we sometimes forget that the Family Handbook is a great resource for school information, expectations and policies. For new families, it is a wonderful way to become familiarized with GDS. The Handbook can be found online at www.greensboroday.org/handbook. I would like to remind you about two important areas:
- Technology Responsible Use Policy – this section sets forth guidelines for students, faculty and staff to provide a safe and appropriate learning environment for the GDS community.
- Conduct Policies and Expectations – this section includes information about attendance, dress code, sportsmanship and more.
I also encourage you to frequent the GDS homepage at www.gdsbengals.org for important back to school information and news updates throughout the year. This page will house information about start of school dates and times, school supplies, carpool and class lists in late July and August.
Ed Dickinson, Middle School Director