Principal’s Corner: Our goals for students when they come home

Published 8:55 am Monday, October 9, 2017

Principal’s Corner by Steve Kovach

We had a great Homecoming week at Southwest Middle School. Students and staff showed their Tiger pride all week long, and we ended with an awesome assembly to make sure that we all were “Claws Out” for the big game on Friday night. As always, we hope that students are coming home and telling you all the things they are involved with each day of the entire school year. Here’s what I hope they are coming home with each day or week.

Steve Kovach

Students should be coming home with something in their backpack. Hours and hours of homework isn’t a goal for us here at Southwest, but every student chooses a book to read based on their own interests and abilities (and some other genres to get them out of their zone a little bit). This is the bare minimum. The more words your student puts their eyes on the better. I see a number of students leaving school with nothing in their hand or on their back. The students that bring work home, generally, are our students who are continually improving or proficient and above. It is as simple as that. Learning is always happening.

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Seventh-grade students should be coming home with the previous paragraph things as well as their Chromebooks. What they do with this device when they get home has a lot to do with the your expectations. Are they sitting mindlessly in front of this screen and others playing a goofy online game? Our teachers continue to work hard using Google Classroom, and other great applications, to manage and guide student work. Ask your student what they are working on. Have them show you how they use Google Classroom or show you some work that they’ve done. This goes a long way with your student in understanding and expectations. It is also important for you to tell your student when the cutoff time is with all of their devices. Remember, their brains are not fully developed and they will stay entranced on those screens as long as you let them. Boundaries are a good thing!

Our ultimate goal is that your student comes home with a love of school and learning. We are also not living in la la land and know that everything isn’t sunshine and rainbows all the time. Please pay attention to what your student is telling you or how they are behaving when they come home each day. I have had numerous discussions with parents who call me to talk about their son or daughter and concerns they have about many different topics. School, and everything involved with being around peers, is very difficult. The more we listen and support these pre-teens and teens, the better our investment will grow in their learning and future success.

So let’s keep those “Claws Out” all year Tigers! Homecoming was great, let’s keep monitoring and celebrating what’s coming home.

Steve Kovach is principal at Southwest Middle School.