Attention Incoming 7th Grade Parents

Did you know that a change in the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts last year brought new requirements for childhood immunizations?  All 7th graders are required to have updated information on file with the TMS nurses.

In order for your child to start 7th grade, here’s what is needed:

• 2 doses of MMR vaccine
• 3 doses of hepatitis B vaccine (or 2 doses if adolescent has received the Recombivax HB 2-dose adolescent schedule option)
• 2 doses of varicella vaccine or physician-certified reliable history of chickenpox disease
• 1 booster dose of Tdap (if it has been > 5 years since the last dose of DTaP, DTP, DT, or Td was given)

A printable copy 7th grade immunizations is in PDF format.

Why Use Social Media?

Over the past few weeks I’ve been working to create a social media presence for TMS. Yesterday I went live with both a Facebook page and Twitter account. I’ve used both in the past, and found each to be an excellent way to increase communications between school and home.

While nothing beats face-to-face interaction, in this face-paced world actual conversations are often few and far between. By reaching out to families on social media, it allows the school to communicate in a way that some parents access daily (or in some cases hourly), and for us to be able to share information that may or may not make the weekly email or website.

If you use social media, please consider following us on Twitter and/or “Liking” our Facebook page.  Either one can be accessed by clicking on the small icon in the top right hand corner of this page.

Trouble picking books??? Who, me?

Believe it or not, I’m having a hard time judging the appropriate level of books from online blogs and book reviews! Broad naming categories such as YA, middle grade, middle school, intermediate, etc. have left me reading some novels that are either too simplistic or too difficult for the average middle school student. That said, since I’ve always been one to focus on the interest level of students rather than on a published reading level I’ll mention these two recent reads, and hope they aren’t read by most students until high school!  Both books are easy reads, however the topics are mature, sensitive, and probably not developmentally appropriate for students under age 14.

  • Shine, by Lauren Myracle – I love the story of Cat and the young lady she becomes as this novel progresses.  Set in the rural North Carolina, the setting of this story is key to the plot lines and twists, and in truly creating a rich experience for readers.  Shine starts with the story of a hate crime, but expands to explore addiction, poverty, sexual aggression, and family relationships.  If your child is reading this book – you should be too!
  • A Bad Boy Can Be Good for a Girl, by Tanya Lee Stone – I loved this book!  I’m fond of books written in verse, as well as books with multiple narrators, so this was a win-win for my literary senses.  The sexual content and descriptions were necessary to the story, but definitely put it as a high school read on my criteria list!  That said, it’s a perfect book for a teenage girl who is struggling with issues of self-confidence, peer pressure, and fitting in.

“The important thing is not so much that every child should be taught, as that every child should be given the wish to learn.” ~~ John Lubbock

A snag in my reading …

Over the past week I have actually started and abandoned three separate books – Diary of a Wimpy Kid (don’t ask), Beauty Queens by Libba Bray, and The Poisoner’s Handbook … by Deborah Blum.  It’s frustrating to me because I am typically not one to leave a book mid-stream, and have been very reluctant to do so. I’ve started and re-started, I’ve picked back up, I’ve tried something new to break up the reading, and I still cannot commit to any of these books.  All three books were either highly recommended, or I was reading for a specific purpose, and that has led to my determination to continue on.

This morning, however, I thought back to the lessons we teach our students on abandoning books and really started to question myself.  I know when I love a book everything else in my life tends to get pushed aside and I could stay up all night to find out more!  In these three books I have built no relationship with the characters or people described, I have no commitment to the storyline, and would do anything else rather than read.  But even greater than that,  I thought about all the other books in my T-B-R pile and all the intriguing book reviews and recommendations I read daily.  There are too many books out there for me to give these three books any more of my precious reading time, and for that simple reason I am letting go!

“In the case of good books, the point is not to see how many of them you can get through, but rather how many can get through to you.”   ~ Mortimer Jerome Adler

Happy 236th Birthday!

There are many times of year when I stop and think how lucky we are to live in Massachusetts!  Being a bit of a history buff I consider it a privilege to be able to get in my car and be on the Old North Bridge in less than an hour, or to visit the shores of Plymouth and imagine what it must have been like almost 400 years ago.  Today is the best of those days – watching the USS Constitution conduct its annual turning maneuvers while celebrating the bicentennial of the War of 1812 is fascinating and educating at the same time.

While many say July 4, 1776 wasn’t truly the day the actual Declaration of Independence was signed, only the day the wording was complete, it is in the eyes of all Americans our independence day.  For those brave men and women of the original 13 colonies, we owe a debt of gratitude and respect.  So take some time today between parades, burgers, and fireworks and remember all those who made it possible.

Happy 236th Birthday to the United States of America