The Principal's Letter

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Dear Parent or Guardian

Can you believe we have already completed the first quarter and the holiday season is approaching quickly? The enrollment at Leavitt MS topped 1522 students on count day for staffing. We have added some new and talented staff to the Leavitt family and are excited about the coming year. I am proud to announce that all of our hard work last year paid off in the form of Leavitt making our Annual Yearly Progress and we will be ranked as a 4-star school!!! Our mission this year is to provide a quality education for all students in a safe and engaging learning environment which will help our students to become successful citizens and lifelong learners.

We have continued to implement our technologically-rich, interactive curriculum to enhance the core subjects: English, math, science, social studies and reading. I am extremely excited to share the news that we have been able to secure the purchase of 900+ new iPads. These devices will be given to our 8th graders in a one-to-one model where they will take them with them all the time. The remainder will be put into the other classrooms as classroom sets. Please understand that the devices themselves are not a replacement for teachers or instruction but an amazingly powerful tool to help our students to connect to the learning on a different level. These devices will contain some of the textbooks, interactive tools, subject-specific and student productivity applications, and internet access. Student excitement, buy-in, and achievement have increased with the introduction of this learning tool and we hope to roll this program out to the whole school in the coming years. We are also excited to announce the continuation of internet-based programs designed to help students. Reading Plus is in its fifth year of use at Leavitt and has helped our students and school test scores demonstrate significant student growth over that period. Reading Plus helps students to become more fluent readers, increase reading comprehension, and increase reading speed. Both of these awesome programs are available to students free of charge for their use any time and can be accessed on our website at www.leavittms.net. Furthermore, Leavitt has secured funding to create Periods of Intervention (POI) in both math and ELA for individual and small group pull-out instruction during the school day for students struggling on a particular standard(s). Teachers will be contacting parents as they see a need for a child to be pulled from either their PE or elective class temporarily to provide temporary assistance.

Leavitt will also continue with two new curriculum programs designed to help our staff and students meet the new rigorous common core state standards. In ELA and math students will work with the Springboard program which is designed by College Board, the group that created and maintains AP high school classes for college credit. The programs require students to think about more problem-solving and real-life experiences to better prepare them for high school and college level work. The other program which we will be rolling out in all science classes is the Gateway to Technology program or GTT. This also is a nationally renowned program which was created to up the rigor in science classrooms and push students towards careers in the field of technology and engineering, as well as, prepare them for the technology they will use in their adult lives and careers. Students will use CAD software, 3-D printing materials, and robotics equipment to develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills in the area of science.

This year we added an anti-bullying/self-esteem program called Challenge Day for our 7th and 8th grade students which helps students and staff to develop compassion for each other and what we all go through every day. It is an amazingly powerful experience for our students and between the days in November and February, we will be able to put 600 students through. I have experienced personally 3 times and can’t speak highly enough about how meaningful it is for our kids.

We are very excited to work with you and your students this year and look forward to all the great learning opportunities your students will be exposed to. Please feel free to contact me at any time if you need assistance.

A few thoughts and reminders:

*School Police and Metro issue traffic citations on the streets adjacent to the school property according to Senate Bill 534. You will be ticketed if you do not stop when pedestrians step off the curb and into a crosswalk. Please be reminded that the streets around Leavitt have “No U-turn” signs posted as U-turns create an unsafe environment for the students. Students are to be dropped off and picked up in the street only. Please remember that all of these laws and policies are designed to keep your child and others safe. Student safety is a priority at Leavitt Middle School.

*Please remind your bike students to please walk their bikes when on campus and that once they begin to ride their bike, they MUST follow the same traffic laws that cars follow. Metro and school police are concerned, as are we, for the safety of your children as they ride their bikes to and from school.

*Pay close attention to the new state law regarding bullying and harassment. All students received the Clark County School District Regulation 5141.2. This regulation is also available at ccsd.net. It is our goal to make all students feel safe when at school. Please report any and all bullying to the dean’s office or on our bully reporting link on the website.

*Leavitt Middle School is successful due to the involvement and support of our whole community. It is critical to maintain open lines of communication and I hope to see you at Leavitt’s PAC (Parent Advisory Committee) meetings, which are held twice monthly on Tuesdays at 9:30 AM and 6:00 PM

*In an effort to continually encourage students towards the goal of high school graduation and beyond, Leavitt will be selling sweatshirts which designate your child’s graduation year and display a logo created by one of the students. I hope you will be able to support this initiative, school spirit, and help to keep your child warm by purchasing a sweatshirt. As we recognize the trying economic times, we will be selling these sweatshirts for just enough to break even. Also, many generous parents have approached me and stated they would love to assist those in need. If you are a family which finds itself in a position to help others and are willing to do so please feel free to drop by a donation which can be used to give students in need a sweatshirt. More information will be forthcoming. Thank you for your support.

*A big THANK YOU is extended to all of the parent volunteers who assisted during our Challenge Day, who helped during Jump Start, and who are assisting with fundraisers! I am looking forward to working with you during the 2014-2015 school year and I would like to thank you for your support as we celebrate another great school year. The school raised over $20,000 which goes right back to your students in the form of classroom activities and student recognition programs like our new honor card programs.

*Please keep those Boxtops coming as they provide free money for our students and school to use. We appreciate the support!

Sincerely,

Keith Wipperman

Principal

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