A Message from Mr. Davie
I would like to take this opportunity to extend a warm welcome to you as you begin the 2012-2013 school year at Bryson Middle School. We would especially like to welcome our new students and parents and to tell you that we are excited to have you as a part of the Bryson Team. We encourage each of you to take advantage of the many opportunities you will have to grow academically, socially, and physically this year.
The student agenda/handbook contains much information that will help you be successful at Bryson Middle School this year. Teachers and administrators will also be going over this information with all students during the first days of school. Please feel free to contact us with any questions you have as you read through the handbook. Also included in this agenda is a month-by-month calendar that will provide you with dates for most of the functions and activities for our school. We have many opportunities available and encourage you to get involved. We also strongly encourage you to use the agenda as an ongoing communication tool with your studentís teachers.
Again, we welcome you and feel honored to serve you. Please donít hesitate to contact us if we can be of assistance as we work together to help our students have a great year.
Renovations and 2009-2010 School Year Updates
June 3, 2009
Parents and Students,
I want to take the opportunity to thank you for your hard work and support this school year. I would also like to congratulate you on your accomplishments and success. It has been a year filled with many opportunities and challenges, and you are to be commended for your efforts. I hope that each of you enjoy a wonderful summer.
As you know, Bryson Middle School is in the process of renovation. The renovation will continue into next fall, and should be completed before the end of the first semester. Currently, our gymnasium, media center, auditorium, and the 400 and 500 hallways are under renovation. These areas should be complete before students return on August 19. This summer, renovation will also begin in our office wing, as well as the 100, 200, and 300 hallways. As of June 8 the administrative and guidance offices at Bryson Middle School will be relocated to Hillcrest High School. You will be able to contact us using our current numbers. The main number will continue to be 355-2100, and you can also reach us through our current e-mail listings. We will continue to receive information through our current fax number of 355-2194, and our mail will be delivered to Hillcrest High School. Our temporary offices will be located in the main office area of Hillcrest High. You will need to enter the front doors of Hillcrest High and follow the signs to locate our offices. We will do everything possible to be available to you during this transition time.
As we look toward next year, I would like to make you aware of our back to school plan. On Monday, August 17, we will have our First Night Welcome Event for all new 6th graders and other new students. This will take place from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. On that same day from 7:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. we will be distributing schedules and other important information to current rising 7th and 8th grade students. School staff and volunteers will be set up and available during these hours to accommodate you. The first school day for students is August 19th.
We ask that all students come with the following supplies:
One large binder ( 3Ē or larger )
One package of subject dividers
Loose leaf paper
Pens / Pencils
One pouch with notebook holes to hold pens / pencils
Again, I would like to wish all of you a wonderful summer. It has been an honor to serve as your principal this year. We look forward to a great 2009-2010 school year.
GCSD Releases Information on the Swine Flu
Greenville County Schools is well prepared for any viral outbreak, including the swine flu. Each school has a comprehensive health and safety plan, which includes daily disinfection of restrooms, health rooms, water coolers, desks and doorknobs. We work closely with the Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) and follow DHECís guidelines for all diseases.
Each Greenville County public school has a school nurse who assesses students with flu-like symptoms. Any student with a fever of 100 degrees or higher is sent home. School nurses and teachers always emphasize the importance of good hygiene, including frequent hand washing and cough techniques to reduce the spread of viruses.
What is Swine Flu?
Swine influenza (swine flu) is a respiratory disease of pigs caused by type A influenza virus that causes regular outbreaks in pigs. The Center for Disease Control has determined that the current swine influenza virus is contagious and can spread from human to human. However, at this time, it is not known how easily the virus spreads.
The symptoms of swine flu are similar to the symptoms of regular human flu and include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. More severe symptoms include diarrhea and vomiting.
The Center for Disease Controlís research has shown that antiviral medications are effective against the new flu strain.
What Should Parents Do and Know?
To fight the spread of the flu virus, your child should:
- Stay home if sick.
- Wash hands thoroughly and often.
- Cover cough with sleeve.
- Stay away from people who are sick.
- Do not share eating utensils, food, or drinks.
- Eat a healthy diet and get plenty of rest.
If your child complains that he doesnít feel well, please check his temperature before sending him to school. Do not send your child to school if he has a fever.
Your child should not return to school until he has been fever-free without the help of Tylenol or another product for 24 hours, has not vomited for 24 hours, and has not had diarrhea for 24 hours.
If your child starts to have symptoms of the flu, call your healthcare provider or your local health department for guidance.
Make sure that your childís school has your current telephone numbers.
For additional information, visit the SC DHEC website at http://www.scdhec.gov/flu/swine-flu.htm
I want to take this opportunity to thank all of you for your support of Bryson Middle School this year. It is hard to believe that we are already in the final quarter of school. As most of you know, report cards will be sent home on Tuesday, March 31, 2009. Please review your childís report card carefully and contact your childís teacher(s) with questions or concerns. You may set up a conference with the entire team of teachers by contacting the grade level guidance counselor. We encourage all our students to do their very best during this final quarter. For some students, the final quarter grade may be the difference between an A and a B for the year. For others, it may be the difference between passing or failing a particular class. Please make sure you are fully aware of where your child stands regarding his or her academic progress, and feel free to contact us if you need additional assistance.
As you know, Bryson Middle School is in the middle of a major renovation project. We currently have 30 portable classrooms on our campus, and the 400 and 500 hallways are still closed for renovation. It is our estimation that these two hallways will remain under renovation for the majority of this school year. According to the current schedule, the renovation of the 200 and 300 hallways will not begin until the summer. The auditorium is also under renovation at this time and should be completed in late April. I know the renovation project has brought new challenges to our students, parents, and teachers. In many cases, students are required to walk longer paths to get to their classes, and they also have to endure inclement weather conditions at times. We have taken extra measures to maintain safety for our students during this project, but this has also caused many inconveniences. I appreciate your understanding and flexibility, and applaud our student body for their perseverance. I am confident that the inconvenience will be rewarded when all our students are able to enjoy the improvements that are being made to our building. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns you may have during this time. We will continue to provide you with information as we move through the various stages of this project.
I hope that you have a wonderful spring break.
School Report Cards Released
Our School and District Report Cards were recently released by the State Department of Education. For 2007-08, Bryson Middle School achieved an Absolute Rating of Below Average and a Growth Rating of Below Average.
- The Absolute Rating is based on Palmetto Achievement Challenge Test (PACT) results and results of End-of-Course tests for 2007-08 measured against target levels of performance. Target levels increase every year. This means that it is more difficult for a school to achieve an Excellent, Good or Average rating. The impact of the higher scoring requirements is cumulative over time. Also, a schoolís Absolute Rating is dropped one rating if the school has an Excellent or Good Absolute Rating and does not meet its AYP performance target for All Students for either math or English/Language Arts. Our schoolís Absolute rating was not impacted by our AYP rating.
- The Growth Rating indicates the progress of achievement scores for the same students from one year to the next.
- Report Cards include our status toward meeting the Federal requirements of Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) as defined by the No Child Left Behind Act. The South Carolina School Report Card and AYP results can be confusing because a school or school district can score well on the Report Card and not achieve AYP. Why? Absolute and Growth ratings, established by the State, are based on student achievement at all levels (Below Basic or 1 through Advanced or 5). AYP is based on student achievement at the two highest levels - Proficient and Advanced. AYP targets for percentages of students scoring Proficient or Advanced in each content area are established by the state and increase every three years through the year 2014 when 100 percent of students are expected to score Proficient or above. South Carolinaís standards are among the toughest in the nation. If just one student group in a school or school district fails to meet one objective in a given year, the school or district fails to meet AYP.
I encourage you to study the School and District Report Cards and to use their release as an opportunity to be more involved with your childís education and our school. If you have questions, please do not hesitate to call me. I look forward to working with you to ensure that our school continues to improve.
School Report Cards Being Released Soon
On Thursday, February 19, the State is expected to release the results of our School and District Report Cards. Once Report Cards are received from the State, I will send you the Report Cards for our school and school system.
Report Cards rate our schoolís academic performance and growth, and provide other valuable information about our schoolís and school systemís performance. Please note that the Absolute Rating is based on higher scoring requirements that increase each year. This means that it is more difficult for a school to achieve and maintain an Excellent, Good or Average rating. The impact of the higher scoring requirements is cumulative over time. For example, in 2006, a school with an Absolute Rating of Good (3.3 rating) will be Average in 2009.
Also, included in the Report Card will be our schoolís Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) status as defined by the Federal No Child Left Behind Act that was reported several weeks ago.
It is possible for a school to do well on its Report Card and not achieve AYP. Why?
- Our state accountability standards to meet AYP are higher than most states. In fact, our standards have been rated among the highest in the nation by seven independent studies. Because our academic standards are high, only a small percentage of schools in South Carolina met all AYP requirements.
- AYP reports the percentage of each student group scoring at the two highest levels - Proficient or Advanced. School Report Cards provide results for students scoring at all levels of the assessment.
- AYP measures student achievement for all students (like School Report Cards) AND for groups of students. Schools in Greenville County had up to 33 AYP objectives. If just ONE student subgroup fails to meet one of the performance or percentage tested objectives, that school fails to meet AYP for that year. Student groups are: All, White, African-American, Hispanic, Asian/Pacific Islander, Alaskan/American Indian, Limited English Proficiency, Disabled, and Free-Reduced Price Lunch Participants.
I look forward to the release of School and District Report Cards. I encourage you to study the information and to use their release as an opportunity to be more involved with your childís education and our school. If you have questions, please do not hesitate to call me. I look forward to working with you to ensure that our school continues to improve.
I hope that everyone enjoyed a Happy Thanksgiving, and was able to spend some quality time with friends and family. As we move into December, I also want to take this opportunity to wish each of you a Merry Christmas. It has been an honor to serve you over the past several months. I look forward to working with each of you in the future.
We are excited about the many positive things that are taking place at Bryson Middle School. We had a record number of parents to join us for monthly Parent Lunch on Thursday, November 20th. We also had a very good response for our first PTA Family Movie Night on Monday, November 17th. Each month there are at least three opportunities for parents to come and be involved in our school community. These morning, noon, and night opportunities can be found on our website. Our next opportunity will be our Parent-Teacher Connect Time on Thursday, December 4th. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions regarding these events.
We posted some information on our website regarding the School Report Card issued by the South Carolina Department of Education. The date of release has been postponed until January 30th. We will be sending a copy of the report card home with your student at this time.
Please review your studentís interim progress report and make contact with your studentís teacher(s) if you have questions or concerns about the progress of your student. The guidance department will be glad to set up a conference with all your studentís teachers if you would like. We will again be awarding Gold and Silver Cards to students who make the ďAĒ and ďA-BĒ Honor Roll for the second quarter. You will notice on the school calendar of events that we will plan to do this on January 28th, 29th, and 30th. This is not an event that you as a parent need to attend. The administrators will go to each homeroom and recognize the students on the honor roll, and the students will be able to use their Gold/Silver Cards to receive incentives for their hard work. We would like to encourage all of our students to work hard and achieve to their highest potential, and we are proud to recognize those characteristics. We will continue to have a formal awards ceremony for each grade level at the end of the year as well.
Again, I would like to wish each of you a Happy Holiday Season. We appreciate all you do to make Bryson Middle School such a great place.
School Renovations Coming
As most of you know, Bryson Middle School is scheduled for a renovation which will begin very soon. The renovation will be primarily a mechanical, electrical, and plumbing project. The auditorium will receive additional renovations including new flooring and reconditioned seating. The project will be completed in several phases beginning in November and continuing through next fall.
Phase I will take place in the 400 hallway and the 500 hallway. The 400 hallway contains classrooms for many of our seventh grade students, and the 500 hallway contains classrooms for our eighth grade students. The classrooms on these hallways will be moved to portable classrooms to allow the renovation to begin in these areas. Our project manager and architect have worked with school and district staff members to prepare portable classrooms for our students. We now have a total of 30 portable classrooms on our campus.
To prepare for renovation, we will be working with a moving company to relocate our classrooms into the portable classrooms on November 1st and 2nd. The seventh and eighth grade students affected will begin having classes in their new location on Monday, November 3rd. We have arranged the portables so that the different grade levels will continue to be separated from each other. Our district crews have worked very hard to make sure that these classrooms are equipped with everything necessary to maintain a safe and successful environment. Our assistant principals have also relocated their office spaces so that they will be near the portable classroom locations.
The first phase is projected to continue through the end of March. At this point we will bring the 400 and 500 classrooms back into the building, and repeat the process with the 200 hallway and the 300 hallway. Other areas of the building are scheduled for renovation during the summer and next fall. We will keep you updated as we move along. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or concerns regarding this process.
I want to take this opportunity to thank each of you for a great first quarter of school this year. It has been an honor to serve you, and I look forward to working with you throughout the remainder of the year.
Bryson Middle School
Course Changes for 2008-2009
I would like to take this opportunity to thank each of you for your hard work and support. We have had a wonderful opening to the 2008-2009 school year, and look forward to the many things our students will accomplish in the coming weeks.
We have implemented some new things this year that we hope will have a positive impact on the overall academic and social life of our students. In the past, we have had four core classes and two exploratory classes. The four core classes consisted of Language Arts, Math, Science, and Social Studies. We have adjusted our master schedule to include five core classes this year. We still have Math, Science, and Social Studies, but have split our Language Arts Class into two classes which now are listed as English and Reading.. We still have two exploratory classes as before. With this new schedule, our students have seven class periods each day of about fifty minutes each.
A second change we are implementing deals with our lunch periods. In years before, students in any given grade level all ate lunch together during the same lunch shift. This caused our cafeteria to be very crowded, and made it difficult to move through the lines in the cafeteria. We have split the lunch period at each grade level into two sections. Half the students in each grade level are in the cafeteria at any given lunch shift. The other half of the students are given courtyard time where they can interact with their piers through various activities. We also have a room set up for homework recovery during this time. Students who fail to turn in their homework are required to do their homework in the homework recovery room during courtyard time. Students lose the social time, but are given credit for the homework when it is completed. As the year moves forward we plan to utilize this time to offer additional support for students who need extra assistance in their academic classes as well.
Please take time to review your studentís progress report and feel free to contact your studentís teacher(s) if you would like a conference. The guidance counselor at each grade level can schedule the conference if you would like to meet wit several teachers at one time. We have also set aside some time on September 25th to have our first Parent-Teacher Connect Day. Please see our website for details regarding this time.
Again, thank you for your support. I am honored to serve as your principal.
End of the Year Message
I want to take this opportunity to thank you for a wonderful school year. It has been an honor for me to return to Simpsonville and serve as your principal for this past year. I would like to congratulate our eighth grade students as they prepare to enter the high school world. I also want to encourage our rising sixth, seventh, and eighth graders to come prepared to have the best school year ever next year. With that thought in mind, I would like to share some information with you regarding the 2008-2009 school year.
The date for our First Night is set for Monday, August 18th. The times are as follows:
- Sixth Grade: 5 p.m.
- Seventh Grade: 6 p.m.
- Eighth Grade: 7 p.m.
Students will pick up their schedules and also have the opportunity to meet their teachers. The first attendance day of school for all students is Tuesday, August 19th.
As mentioned in the last edition of the Bulldog Bytes, we will require that all students carry one four-inch binder with dividers so that students will only have to carry one notebook to all classes. Regarding materials, students should plan to come the first day with the four-inch binder, dividers, paper, pencils, pens, excitement, and a wonderful attitude. We already have some class sets of textbooks, and are continuing to get more. This will also allow students to travel class-to-class carrying fewer books. We plan to eliminate the use of lockers during the school day. We will accommodate athletes who need to store athletic equipment for practice after school.
We will have eight 50 minute periods next year, and be on a common bell schedule. The eight periods will consist of five core academic classes, two special area classes, and one lunch/activity period. Students who do not maintain a C average in their classes will be given extra assistance from their teachers during the activity period.
Bryson Middle School is scheduled to begin renovation next October. The renovation is primarily an electrical, mechanical, and plumbing project. The project will be completed in three phases of three to four months each in length. The plan is to renovate two hallways during each period. Classrooms will be relocated into portable classrooms on our campus while the renovation takes place on those particular hallways. Once the renovation is complete on two hallways, students from portables will be brought back into their classrooms and the project will proceed to two other hallways. The project is scheduled to reach completion by the end of next summer. We plan to work very hard with district officials to make sure that we maintain a great learning environment for our students during this renovation. I will share more details in the fall as we return for the start of the new school year.
Again, it has been an honor to serve as your principal.
Have a great summer!
Phillip Davie Principal Bryson Middle School
Update on the Single-gender Initiative
We want to thank everyone for the support and interest that you have shown in our single-gender initiative for next year. There have been a lot of questions that we hope to answer in this update.
Why do you want to provide these classes? We want to offer options to our students and parents that have potential for improving academic achievement as well as behavior. In recent years, students who have participated in these kinds of classes have shown improvement in test scores, grades, and their attitudes toward school.
Do you think this is the best format for all students? No technique is the best for ALL students. To say that all boys learn in different ways from girls is not fair; to say that all girls learn differently from boys is also not correct. However, most boys or girls have some characteristics in common that make a single-gender class a good option. For example, boys like a cool room while girls prefer a warmer one. Most girls find noise distracting, but most boys do not. Girls like to hear all of the directions before they begin to work; boys will get to work and ask for directions when they feel that they need them. Boys thrive on competition; girls like to work in cooperative groups. Remember that these are generally correct statements, but they are no 100% accurate for either group. Your daughter may love competition while you son does not.
Who will participate in single-gender classes next year? We have had a lot of interest in the program, but it is 7th grade that has had the largest number of students to sign up. There are almost four times as many 7th graders as 6th or 8th graders who want these classes, so it really makes sense to focus on that one grade level next year.. We can train our teachers to be teacher leaders in this area. With increased interest, we will offer single-gender classes at 6th grade and 8th grade in 2009-2010.
Will all classes for this group of students be single-gender? We cannot accommodate advanced math and Algebra I as single-gender classes at this time, but we can serve students in Math 7 as single-gender groups. We will accommodate all levels of English/Reading, Science, and Social Studies in single-gender settings.
Again, thank you for your interest and support. We will gather a great deal of data in August from both our singlegender classes and our coed classes. We will analyze MAP scores, grades, and attitudes as measured by student and parent surveys. We will cooperate fully with the SC Department of Education to be sure that our surveys are reliable and valid. We are excited about this new opportunity to make Bryson Middle School a great place for our students.
May Bulldog Bytes
It is hard to believe that we are midway through our final quarter of the school year. I want to thank our teachers, parents, and students for all the efforts you have put toward making this year very successful. As we enter our final weeks of this year, we are also planning for next year. We will be moving to a schedule where we have five core classes, two related arts, and a lunch/activity period. All classes will be about 50 minutes, and we will have a common bell schedule across the entire school. The five core classes will be Language Arts, Reading, Math, Science, and Social Studies. The lunch period will give us time to offer additional assistance to students who need help with their classes. Students who are doing well in their classes will have other opportunities during the lunch period after they have eaten.
We are also planning to move to one standard four-inch notebook for all grade levels so that students will only have one notebook to carry to all classes. We already have some class sets of textbooks, which allow students to travel from class to class carrying fewer books. We are currently working on a plan to eliminate the use of lockers during the day.
We want to encourage all students to review the dress code as we move into the final weeks of the year. After being warned, students will be assigned to after-school detention and then Saturday School for failure to comply with the dress code. Boys must wear their pants at the waist level. Failure to do so will result in disciplinary consequences. We also ask our girls to refrain from wearing low cut tops, and shorts or skirts must be worn at the mid-thigh length. Gym shorts are not allowed except during P.E. Class.
We want to challenge our students to do their very best in all their classes as we move into the final period of our school year. We will be sending out letters within the next couple of weeks informing parents about decisions regarding summer school. Please feel free to contact our guidance office if you have questions regarding summer school.
Thank you for all your support,