For Parents

  • TRANSPORTATION

    There are 3 primary means of transportation to and from James Madison Middle School.

    Car Riders - Each morning and afternoon, parents and guardians may drop off and pick up their children directly in front of the school building.  To experience the least amount of traffic, it is recommended students be dropped off sometime between 7:20 AM and 7:45 AM.  Afternoon pick up begins at 2:40 PM, however, in order to avoid traffic delays, the recommended pick up times are between 2:50 PM and 3:00 PM.

    **Please review the attached diagram at the bottom of the page to familarize yourself with JMMS parking lot traffic flow**

    Walkers - Students must have a note on file with the school office in order to walk to and from school each day.  Brown Road is a busy thorouhfare, especially during morning commute and afternoon dismissal times; therefore, JMMS administration strongly recommends students use side streets to avoid walking on Brown Road if they must walk to school.  Walkers are dismissed beginning at 2:55 PM each day. 

    School Bus - The Hopkins County Schools Transportation Department is committed to providing the safest, most efficient pupil transportation system possible.  We take to heart our charge of meeting the needs of the students of Hopkins County: Every Child, Every Effort, Every Day.  We will strive to implement practices and policies that protect our students and ensure a positive experience as they travel to and from school and school activities.  We welcome the opportunity to serve our students and the entire school community.

    JMMS 1st Run Buses (leaving at 2:40 PM)

    JMMS Called Buses

    (leaving after 2:40 PM)

    107 – Athletic Bus; transportation to Madisonville North Hopkins High School

    310 (There are 2 departures for Bus #310)

    703

    402

    124

    604 (There are 2 departures for Bus #604)

    265 (262)

    309

     112

    504

     304

     

     

    THE PERSONAL FABLE

    The "personal fable" is a term coined by psychologist David Elkind resulting from his research focused on adolesence during the mid 1960s.  The personal fable is a commonly held teen and older tween belief that arises from adolescent egocentrism.  It is characterized by an over-differentiating of one's experiences and feelings from others to the point of assuming those experiences are unique from those of others. A person might believe that he is the only one who can experience whatever feelings of joy, horror, misery, or confusion he might encounter.

    Examples of the personal fable can be heard in the following assertions often made by adolescents:

    • "NOBODY understands me."
    • "My parents just don't know what I'm going through -- How do they know what its like to be my age?"
    • "EVERYONE hates me!"
    • "EVERYBODY in the whole school heard about what happened and is making fun of me!"

    Belief in the personal fable is a developmentally normal cognitive limitation. Unfortunately, however, the belief can have serious consequences. In particular, the personal fable can cause a tween or teen to believe that nothing bad could possibly happen to someone as exceptional as themselves. In other words, since he's so special, he must be invulnerable. Some research has shown that belief in the personal fable and one's invulnerability is directly connected to risk-taking behaviors, such as: unprotected sex, use of alcohol and/or drugs, and physically dangerous acts, like driving without a license.

     

    TEST ANXIETY

    Test anxiety is almost universal. In fact, it is unusual to find a student who doesn’t approach a big test without a high level of anxiety. Test anxiety can cause a host of problems in students, such as upset stomach, headache, loss of focus, fear, irritability, anger and even depression. New research is helping to better define how emotional stress and anxiety affect learning and academic performance.

    Stressful emotions can inhibit a student’s ability to absorb, retain and recall information. Anxiety creates a kind of “noise” or “mental static” in the brain that blocks our ability to retrieve what’s stored in memory and also greatly impairs our ability to comprehend and reason. The key to understanding how anxiety inhibits cognitive and physical performance lies in understanding how emotions affect the rhythmic activity in the nervous system.

    Feelings such as frustration, fear, anger and anxiety cause the neural activity in the two branches of the autonomic nervous system to get out of sync. This, in turn, affects the synchronized activity in the brain, disrupting our ability to think clearly. On the other hand, uplifting feelings such as appreciation lead to increased harmony and synchronization in the brain and nervous system, which facilitates our ability to think more clearly.

    Research has shown that providing students with tools and strategies that build both emotional skills and healthy physical habits when preparing for a test can help them overcome test anxiety and the associated symptoms, while improving their ability to prepare for and perform on critical testing. It’s important to help students identify what they are feeling and give them tools that will help them learn to manage emotions such as anxiety, self-doubt, anger or frustration. The proper physical habits enable students to have enough energy and stamina for their brain to do its job of thinking and analyzing for a sustained period of time.

    Here are a few tips from the Institute of HeartMath based on its TestEdge™ programs. Share these with your children ahead of time to better prepare them emotionally and physically for test taking.

    Tips for Students

    Practice the neutral tool: When you have uncomfortable feelings about whether you will do well on the test, practice the neutral tool. It’s important to catch negative mind loops that reinforce self-doubt or uncomfortable feelings. Every time you catch a negative thought repeating itself, stop the loop and practice going to neutral. Start by focusing on the area around your heart. This helps to take the focus off the mind loop. Then breathe deeply. Breathe as if your breath is flowing in and out through the center of your chest. Breathe quietly and naturally, four-five seconds on the in-breath, and four-five seconds on the out-breath. While you’re breathing, try and find an attitude of calmness about the situation. Do this in the days leading up to the test, right before and during the test.

    Address the what-if questions: A lot of times before we have to do something like take a test, much of the anxiety we feel is a build-up from negative “what-if’” thoughts. What if I fail, what if I can’t remember anything, or what if I run out of time. Try writing a what-if question that is positive and can help you take the big deal out of the situation and begin to see things in a different way. Examples of these kinds of questions are, “What if I can remember more than I think I can?” “What if I can feel calmer than I think I can?”

    Think good thoughts: Science is showing that good feelings like appreciation can actually help your brain work better. When you feel nervous or anxious, try this. You can do it as many times as you need to or want to. Remember something that nakes you feel good. Maybe it is your pet or how you felt when you got a big hug from your mom, or how you felt after a super fun day at the amusement park with your friends. After you remember how you felt, hold that feeling. Pretend you are holding it in your heart. Let yourself feel that feeling for 10-20 seconds or more. It’s important to let yourself really feel that good feeling all over again. Practice this tool right before the big test.

    Get enough sleep: Big tests require a lot of energy and stamina to be able to focus for several hours. Make sure you get at least eight-10 hours of sleep the night before the test.

    Have fun: Do something fun the night before to take your mind off the test, like see a movie, play a board game with your family or participate in a sports activity. That way your mind and emotions are more relaxed in the time leading up to the test.

    Eat a healthy breakfast: The brain needs a lot of energy to maintain focus on a big test for several hours. Eat a hearty and healthy breakfast, including complex carbohydrates and protein to make your energy last as long as possible. Foods such as eggs, cereal and whole-wheat toast help energize your brain to think more clearly and much longer compared with the fast-disappearing bolt of energy from drinking a soda pop or eating a cookie for breakfast. For a snack food, bring simple foods such as peanut butter and crackers, cheese and crackers or a burrito to sustain energy until lunch.

    Practicing these tools in advance of and during a test can help students limit test anxiety and perform even better on their school work.

     

    TEEN DEPRESSION

    Recognizing The Signs Of Teen Depression
    by Lisbeth Giglio, M.S.

    Ask the parents of virtually any teen whether their child is “moody” at times and you’ll almost always receive a large sigh and a positive answer. From hormonal and other physical changes, to the desire for increased freedoms, to the pressures of school and jobs, teens face a variety of issues that can sometimes leave them stressed and uncommunicative.

    The challenge for parents is to determine when simple moodiness has become a chronic problem such as clinical depression.

    Many of the symptoms of depression — sadness, poor appetite, anger, tantrums, mood swings — are common among most teens at some time. Most parents seem to feel they can recognize when their child has a serious depression problem, as opposed to being just normally sad or upset about something specific. In a recent survey of 900 parents of children 18 or younger, 90 percent were confident they could tell if their child was depressed or suicidal. But a team at Columbia University in New York, which helped sponsor the survey, say statistics show only a third of depressed teenagers are ever diagnosed by a parent, doctor, teacher or other adult.

    The most serious form of depression, described as teenage depressive disorder, is when teens have feelings of depression that persist and interfere with their ability to function. There are a number of changes that can signal when a serious problem may be developing:
    - A radical shift in your child’s identity
    - Previously good grades suddenly slipping
    - A dramatic change in attitude
    - A sudden, often dramatic, change in friends
    - A loss of interest in activities that had been liked and enjoyed
    - A withdrawal from friends and family activities and communication

    While no one or even several of these behaviors necessarily indicates a teen suffering from depression, major changes such as these should be noted. The biggest challenge for most parents, however, is judging whether the behaviors they are observing are serious enough to warrant outside help.

    To help clarify the picture, try the following:
    - Be curious. Your teen is generally not going to volunteer information and may even resent the intrusion your questions represent. But, first and foremost, it is your job as a parent to know what is going on in your child’s life.
    - Ask your teen about his or her friends. A child’s friends are a mirror of his or her own self esteem at that point in time. Ask you child what he or she likes and admires about certain friends. The answers not only reflect what teens think of their friends, but also how they think of themselves.
    - Be involved. Repeat to yourself, “Limits equal love.” Setting boundaries with your teen may cause initial resentment, but boundaries also communicate that you care and are worried about your child’s safety.
    - Being more involved will also mean spending more time with your child. Don’t be surprised if that’s also met with resistance at first. Keep in mind that as much as he or she may hide it from you, your child really wants you to know about his or her depression. By driving your child to school in the morning, organizing outings to the mall with friends, arranging for friends to come over for dinner, going out together to a movie, you child may begin to feel more secure and thus, more hopeful that things will get better because you care about her.
    - Be resourceful. Ask questions of responsible adults involved with your child. Teachers, coaches, school counselors and others with whom your teen regularly interacts may be able to offer valuable insights. School conferences can be about more than just test scores and school performance.

    If you want to consult a professional counselor or therapist, ask your pediatrician, school counselor, local mental health organization or clergy for a reputable referral. When you suspect that your child is suffering from severe depression, don’t delay in seeking assistance. A teen facing depression is asking for help. It takes work to recognize the problem, but your child’s life can hang in the balance.

     

    LEXILE®

    What is a Lexile® Measure?

    A Lexile measure is a valuable piece of information about either an individual's reading ability or the difficulty of a text, like a book or magazine article. The Lexile measure is shown as a number with an "L" after it — 880L is 880 Lexile.

    • A student gets his or her Lexile reader measure from a reading test or program. For example, if a student receives an 880L on her end-of-grade reading test, she is an 880 Lexile reader. Higher Lexile measures represent a higher level of reading ability. A Lexile reader measure can range from below 200L for beginning readers to above 1700L for advanced readers. Readers who score at or below 0L receive a BR for Beginning Reader.
      • A book, article or piece of text gets a Lexile text measure when it's analyzed by MetaMetrics. For example, the first "Harry Potter" book measures 880L, so it's called an 880 Lexile book. A Lexile text measure is based on two strong predictors of how difficult a text is to comprehend: word frequency and sentence length. Many other factors affect the relationship between a reader and a book, including its content, the age and interests of the reader, and the design of the actual book. The Lexile text measure is a good starting point in the book-selection process, with these other factors then being considered. Lexile text measures are rounded to the nearest 10L. Text measures at or below 0L are reported as BR for Beginning Reader.

        The idea behind The Lexile Framework for Reading is simple: if we know how well a student can read and how hard a specific book is to comprehend, we can predict how well that student will likely understand the book.

        When used together, Lexile measures help a reader find books and articles at an appropriate level of difficulty, and determine how well that reader will likely comprehend a text. You also can use Lexile measures to monitor a reader's growth in reading ability over time.

        Lexile Measures Help Readers Grow, and Help Parents and Teachers Know

        Teachers and parents can best serve a student's literacy needs when they treat him or her as a unique individual, rather than as a test score or a grade-level norm or average. The reading abilities of young people in the same grade at school can vary just as much as their shoe sizes. However, grade-leveling methods commonly are used to match students with books.

        When a Lexile text measure matches a Lexile reader measure, this is called a "targeted" reading experience. The reader will likely encounter some level of difficulty with the text, but not enough to get frustrated. This is the best way to grow as a reader—with text that's not too hard but not too easy.

        When you receive a Lexile measure, try not to focus on the exact number. Instead, consider a reading range around the number. A person's Lexile range, or reading comprehension "sweet spot," is from 100L below to 50L above his or her reported Lexile measure.  And don't be afraid to look at books above and below someone's Lexile range. Just know that a reader might find these books particularly challenging or simple.

        If a student tackles reading material above his or her Lexile range, consider what additional instruction or lower-level reading resources might help. Ask him or her to keep track of unknown words, and look them up together. Or take turns reading aloud to each other to chop up the reading experience into smaller portions. Likewise, you can reward students with books that fall below his or her Lexile range for an easier reading experience.

         

        INFINITE CAMPUS PARENT PORTAL

        Below you will find a link to the Hopkins County Schools Infinite Campus Parent Portal ... Here you have instant access to accurate, current and confidential information about your child(ren)'s school attendance, grades, class assignments and more!

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