INFO NIGHT TRANSCRIPT & TOUR

Thank you to all that joined us last night for the Informational Q and A zoom meeting. We know lives are busy right now so if you couldn’t make it, below is a list of the questions and answers that were covered last night.

If you have any other questions, please feel free to call the office at 360.965.0402!

Q) Can you explain what the overall program is like?

A) We have 180 students We are like a magnate school for the arts. All students will have 3 years of Art, and 3 years of Band. Students will also take 3 years of PE along with the core academics of Math, Language Arts, Social Studies, and Science. They will have the same 7 teachers for all three years, which allows the teachers and students to really get to know each other.

Benefits of it is that it can short cut some instructions such as once you learn how to use a journal in 6th Grade, you will know how to use it in 7th and 8th without it having to be retaught. We spend time introducing the structure and organizations in 6th grade so we can move more smoothly once they get to 7th and 8th grade.

Q) Explain the music requirements.

A) We do 3 years of music. We go through an instrument selection process when they come in at 6th Grade. They are given the basic instruments to start because it’s easier for them to learn on them and then they will have the option to move to a more advanced instrument. We do the traditional wind instruments. Think of your traditional band in high school:

Basic Instruments:

Flutes

Clarinets

Trumpet

Trombone

Baritone

Advanced options:

Percussion (audition in mid-year 6th grade)

Saxophone

Tuba

French Horn

Bass Clarinet

(and some others)

We do not have string or choir

Normal Performances: We do 3 large concerts.

Students are assessed on SmartMusic. It’s a great program that provides feedback and let’s parents know how to help their students that are learning at home.

The goal is to inspire your student to have fun playing an instrument. Mr. Sackman assumes the student knows nothing about music and moves forward from there.

Q) What electives do you have?

A) Once you elect to come to 10th Street, your electives are Band, Art and PE. We do not have any other electives because we do not have any additional staff to teach them. It’s one of the “drawbacks” to our educational model. To keep it small, we have minimal teaching staff, which means a smaller selection of classes.

Q) How do I request a transfer?

A) Go to MSD25.org and click on the “Student Transfers” tab

Go to 10th Street’s web site and click on the link on the left-hand side of the greeting banner

https://www.msd25.org/o/tenth-street-middle-school

Q) When are Transfer Requests due?

A) February 28th

Q) How do I know if my transfer was received?

A) You should receive a copy of your answers in your email after hitting the submit button. Look in your spam folder. If you didn’t receive it, give the office a call and they will check for you: 360.965.0402

Q) How do I know when my student is selected?

A) About a week to a week and half you will receive a letter in the mail with an ID number on it. On March 15th, we will hold the lottery. Results of the lottery will be posted by 3:30 in the afternoon. You may look up on our web site for the results, which will be listed by the ID number of the students. No student names will be used.

You may also call the office on March 16th for the results.

Q) What if my student doesn’t get in? Do you do a wait list? What are the chances they will get called?

A) Yes, we do a wait list for everyone that submits a transfer request. We do have spots that open up throughout the summer and we invite students from the waitlist in the order they were selected. The chances of being invited depends on the year and how far down the list you are. We have had years where we didn’t have any openings and we’ve had years where we went down the full wait list. Unfortunately, there is no way to answer that question. Please note: If your student is still interested in attending after the school year starts, they MUST be enrolled in a band program at their home middle school. They will need to transition directly into our band program with students that have been playing for a while, so this is a requirement.

Q) What if my student doesn’t know if he/she wants to be in Band?

A) We recommend they have at least an interest in band. If they absolutely have zero interest, it will be a long three years if they are participating in a program they have no interest in. There are no places to hide. They will be called on to play and it will be noticed if they don’t play or participate in the class. Not to mention, parents will be spending money on instrument rentals/purchases. We recommend that parents and students have a conversation. If they decide to attend, we ask that they make that commitment to participate in band, even if it’s not their grand passion.

From Mr. Sackman: Some students don’t know, but they have an interest in wanting to try it. Some kids that have been on the fence in the past, ended up being in our best musicians. No one know if they want to do it for ever, but if they have an interest, it’s his job to help them understand it and enjoy it. Show them some videos of people playing the instruments. Have the conversation and if they are interested in it, that’s all that’s needed.

There’s Jazz in 7th and 8th that is an expansion to the program. They end up performing quite a bit more than the full concert bands. Mr. Sackman considers it his Road Band. It’s smaller between 25-40. We do festivals and competitions and have done really well in the past. Jazz Band practices in the morning before school around 6:30 – 6:45 a.m. It’s fun it’s worth it!! Promise!

Q) How to 10th Street Students make the transition to High School?

A) The analogy is we are on a 3-year bus ride. They get to know each, then they get to know each other really well and then they get tired of sitting next to each other. Once it’s over, the kids are really looking forward to diving into a bigger pool and never seeing their 10th Street peers again!  But usually what happens, is that they don’t hang out for their freshman year but at some point they realize, their 10th Street peers are the best ones to work with on projects. They can trust them to get the job done.

We aren’t sure how it compares to other middles schools.

Also, our kids have made a connection with 60 kids, which is a pretty fair sized pool of students. And if they continue on in Band in High School, many of their peers will be there. There are many ways band supports a student’s academic education, but another way is socially. That band connection really supports them in the transition to high school.

Karen: One of the most frequent comments she gets from parents after their kids have left is that they felt the teachers did a good job of preparing their student for high school.

Q) Transportation

A) Yes, the district will provide busing to 10th Street

A) Yes, the students will be riding with high school students in the morning, but remember those students were recently middle schools and are normally brothers and sisters of families in your neighborhoods. However, the bus drivers normally ask the middle schoolers to sit up front of the bus and leave the back for the high schoolers.

In the morning, they will be picked up in their neighborhood and taken to Getchell high school where they will catch a shuttle bus to the MT Campus, where 10th Street school is.

In the afternoon, they will be picked up outside of 10th Street and shuttled over to their home middle school where they will catch their neighborhood bus home.

We’ve been transporting students this way for several years. If there ever is any issues please let the bus driver / school know right away.

Q) Sports

A) Yes, students may participate in sports with their home middle school. The afternoon shuttle buses take the students to their home school and they arrive in time for practice. If it’s game day, transportation arranges a bus to pick students up at 10th and then go pick up the rest of their team in plenty of time to arrive for the competition. 10th Street is like Sweden in district sports, we support and cheer them all on!!

Q) HiCap/Advanced Math/ AP

A) The same limitation with electives applies to advance course work. We have enough staff to support the general education curriculum and we do not have additional staffing to support an accelerated curriculum.

Generally, if your student is passionate about math, Highly Capable math students are better supported in the HiCap program at CMS.

However, every student is different and we have had some HiCap student go through 10th Street very successfully. We encourage you to talk to the teachers in the HiCap Program at CMS, and talk to your student about what will keep them engaged in their education. If your student devours academics and thrives on new challenges and wants to learn a variety of subjects, then CMS would be a better fit. If your student loves music, art, math is not their passion, and they do better if they have a relationship with their teachers, 10th Street might be a good fit for them. Our staff can be creative in ways to challenge intelligent children, though it won’t be a HiCap education.

Q) Do parents volunteer like at the Co-Op?

A) Parents have opportunities to volunteer through our Parent Booster Group. They are the non-profit organization that raises funds and supports our school in a variety of ways. However, it is not a “requirement” like the Co-Op. If you’d like to learn more about the Boosters, please call Karen in the office. We are looking for a replacement Booster Board members for next school year.

Q) Can we tour the school?

A) We have to limit on site access at this point but hopefully that will be relaxed in the near future. We’ll look at posting a video walk through online for families.

Q) Are Life Skills offered such as balancing a check book or changing a tire?

A) Not those life skills. We focus on organization for school work. We use Focus Notes, and teach Binder organization and the use of planners. We teach the skills to help them with their school work. We have done a yard project where students cleaned up an outdoor area so it could be used for outdoor lunches or for reading in the sunshine. However, we like the idea of teaching them to change a tire. We might look into that! 

Q) What is the communication like between parents and staff?

A) The teachers emphasize that students are responsible for their work and entrust them to be able to answer any parent questions…. But we all know that will never work out. So 10th Street provides the options for parents to be able to check on their student’s work, assignments, due dates, and comments from the teacher without having to wait for emails back and forth. This year we are using Google Classroom, but have used Canvas in the past. We will go over this option in our Fall Parent 101 night where we go over all classes. Parent emails are the final option. Hopefully, if we done our job right, the parents can find out the answers to their questions before having to sit down at the computer to send the email.

Office Communication is done through email. Karen will keep parents updated on events and activities through bulk emails. We also have a Facebook page, and Twitter if social media is your way of getting information. Newsletters are published once a month as well.

Q) Field Trips

A) 10th Street has a tradition of making an effort to get students out of the classroom and connecting their learning with real-world experiences. The trips can vary from year to year, but below is a list of the most recent ones we’ve taken:

  • 7th Grade Mount St. Helens (overnight)

  • 8th Grade CWU (overnight)

  • 8th Grade Vancouver WA (Mock Trial competition – overnight)

  • 6th Grade Camp Killoqua (Overnight team building)

  • 7th Grade US Engineering Day

  • Schack Art Center (All Grades)

  • Seattle Art Museum (Depends on the show)

  • 8th Grade Seattle Underground

  • Pacific Science Center (depends on the show)

  • Student of Color Career Conference

  • Music Festivals

Q) When do classes start and end?

A) Our start and end times can vary but last year our day started at 7:40 and ended at 2:25 Monday – Thursday. On Fridays the day ended at 12:40.

Q) Art program

A) Ms. Gonzales has a passion for teaching art for her students at 10th. At each grade level she introduces specific concepts and then gives the students a fun project to practice those concepts. For example, in 6th grade she does some color theory and gives them a project to demonstrate what they’ve learned. She introduces them to a variety of mediums and ensures they walk out of our school with a strong introduction into art. We like to say that art is not the instruction of how to draw, but how to see. This class helps students practice their creativity and to look at things differently. To break them down into bits and see what they can build with those bits. By 8th grade Ms. Gonzales works closely with high school art teachers to bring lessons into the class that will enhance their learning with the use of elements and principles to prepare them for 9th grade.

Q) I have Twins or Siblings in the same grade. How is that handled? What if only one sibling wants to go?

A) Karen will contact you during the preparation of the lottery to ask if you want both students put on one ID number (which would ensure they both attend if that ID number is selected) or on separate ID numbers (which would means there is a possibility that one would get in and the other would not get in).

If one student attends but the other does not, parents will have two middles schools to manage that same school year. Also, keep in mind, middle school events are always on Wednesdays. This means there is the potential the family may end up with two events on the same night.

However, if one of your students is adamant that he/she does not want to attend 10th, it is usually a good idea to listen to their input. As parents we need to find the “thing” that keeps their student connected to their education. Keep in mind, if they aren’t 100% against the idea, they can always transfer out to their home middle school at any point. So they can try it and if they still don’t like it, a transfer can be arranged back to their home middle school.

Q) Do siblings automatically get in if they have an older sibling at the school?

A) If the two siblings will attend 10th Street during the same school year: Yes, the younger one will have a reserved spot (but a transfer request must still be submitted). If the older sibling is currently an 8th grader and will be attending high school next school year when the younger one is in 6th grade: No. The younger sibling will have to go through the lottery process.

Q) Will students be back in class next year?

A) We hope so… we really, really hope so.