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PTSA Skylert Wally the Wapiti

PTSA Reflections Contest, Brandon Mull Visit

PTSA Reflections Submissions Due October 25th

The National PTA’s Reflections program provides opportunities for recognition and access to the arts which boost student confidence and success in the arts and in life.

Each year, over 300,000 students in Pre-K through Grade 12 create original works of art in response to a student-selected theme. This 50+ year-old program helps them explore their own thoughts, feelings and ideas, develop artistic literacy, increase confidence and find a love for learning that will help them become more successful in school and in life.

The theme for the 2021-2022 program year is I Will Change the World By…. Students submit their completed works of art in one or all of the available arts categories: Dance Choreography, Film Production, Literature, Music Composition, Photography, Visual Arts.

Submissions are due October 25th by midnight and are submitted online at utahpta.org/ref. Submissions at the school are not accepted.

If you have any questions, please contact Diana Baun at diana.baun@gmail.com.

Author Brandon Mull Visit on November 3rd

New York Times Bestselling Author Brandon Mull will be visiting Elk Ridge on November 3rd. Brandon’s work includes the world-famous Fablehaven and Dragonwatch series, the Candy Shop War, Beyonders, and the Five Kingdoms. He will be speaking about the value of reading, the joy of writing, and the importance of developing the imagination.

Because his schedule is limited, he will only be available for one assembly. In order to ensure that the students attending want to be there, we are using our school coins (Wally Coins) to purchase tickets to the event. The price will be low enough that any student who genuinely wants to attend should be able to do so. More on that as we determine how many students are interested. It’s an exciting opportunity, and a huge shoutout goes to Brandon and his team for making the opportunity available to the school free of charge.

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PTSA Skylert Wally the Wapiti

Picture Retakes, Job Shadow, PCCR’s

Picture Retakes

If you would like a retake of your school picture, Bell Photography will be here on Wednesday, October 13th. You can check out this flyer for information on ordering. Because of the small number of students that typically participate in retakes, proofs will be virtual and not printed. If you would like a virtual proof, email cs@bellphoto.com with the subject, “Virtual Proof”. Bell Photo will email the proof directly to you once the picture has been taken.

Stay Connected with the PTSA

Want to know what’s happening with the Elk Ridge PTSA? Check out the PTSA Instagram and Facebook pages:

8th Grade Job Shadow – Tuesday, November 9th, 2021

Students will receive their job shadow packet in their history class last week or this week. Also, a career inventory will be given on Thursday to prepare them for their job shadow and upcoming PCCR appointments. Please ask your 8th grader about these items. 

MESA-STEM Next activity – Wed, October 27, 2021

Our monthly  MESA-STEM activity for October will be on Wed, Oct. 27, 2021 right after school (3:00 – 4:00 pm).  All Elk Ridge Middle School students are invited and welcome to participate.  For more information see Mr. Bennett (Counselor) or Ms. Hardy (Teacher, Room #209).

Wally Time

We had a lesson planned for this Wednesday taking the work of making students feel welcome and expanding it to what students can do to change or influence the school culture. However, with it being the last week of the quarter, we had many requests from teachers and students to use that time to help students shore up their grades before the quarter officially ends on Friday. The planned lesson will take place next week instead.

8th Grade PCCR Appointments Coming Soon 

We encourage all parents/guardians of their 8th grade students to meet together with their assigned school counselor for a PCCR meeting. Plan for College and Career (PCCR) appointments will become available soon on Skyward this week. We encourage all parents/guardians of 8th grade students to sign up for a conference appointment with your student’s counselor.  PCCR appointments will be available for sign up Nov. 1 – Nov. 23 during school hours.  If evening hours are needed, we will have the evenings (4:00 pm – 6:00 pm) of Nov, 17 and Nov. 18 available. If you are needing a PCCR appointment scheduled before sign ups become available, please send an email to your student’s assigned counselor with the specific date and time needed.  

Your 8th grade PCCR meeting will briefly discuss your student’s high school graduation requirements. The majority of the PCCR will be used to discuss your student’s future college and career interests.  The PCCR is also a good opportunity for parents and students to discuss any questions or concerns that they might have regarding the student’s college and career interests and other educational endeavors.

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Skylert Wally the Wapiti

October Events

Welcome to October! There are a lot of great things coming up, from concerts to carnivals. Here’s a quick list:

  • Choir Concert – October 12
  • Picture Retakes – October 13
  • End of 1st Quarter – October 15
  • No School – October 18 – 22
  • NJHS Induction Ceremony – October 27
  • Orchestra Concert – October 27
  • Band Concert – October 28
  • Fall Carnival & Goblin Chase – October 29

As discussed in our last Skylert, there is no Wally Time lesson this week. Instead, teachers are making a concerted effort to take the things your students told us made them feel welcome and apply those during the week this week. Next week, we’re going to flip the conversation and have students look at what they can do to make other students feel welcome in the school.

8th Grade Job Shadow – Tuesday, November 9th, 2021

As part of our career exploration program, 8th grade students will have the opportunity to participate in a Job Shadow experience on Tuesday, November 9th. This is a chance to take your student to work with you or send them to work with someone you know. It is our hope that you will share your excitement for your profession with your child or that they will have the opportunity to study a career of interest. If your student pre-arranges a job shadow experience, and they complete the required forms, they will be excused from school on this day. Encourage your student to think about a career area they are interested in. Students that don’t arrange a job shadow are expected to be in school on this day. Parents are responsible to provide transportation to the job shadow. More information will be provided but please start thinking about options that your student might be interested in. 

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Skylert Wally the Wapiti

Chalk Art Festival, Job Shadow Preview

Chalk Art Festival

The Fall Chalk Art Festival will be taking place this Friday after school. Students had to submit an application on this year’s theme well in advance, and you will be able to check out the work of our finalists when you pick up your students on Friday. Don’t miss it!

8th Grade Job Shadow – Tuesday, November 9th, 2021

As part of our career exploration program, 8th grade students will have the opportunity to participate in a Job Shadow experience on Tuesday, November 9th. This is a chance to take your student to work with you or send them to work with someone you know. It is our hope that you will share your excitement for your profession with your child or that they will have the opportunity to study a career of interest. If your student pre-arranges a job shadow experience, and they complete the required forms, they will be excused from school on this day. Encourage your student to think about a career area they are interested in. Students that don’t arrange a job shadow are expected to be in school on this day. Parents are responsible to provide transportation to the job shadow. More information will be provided but please start thinking about options that your student might be interested in. 

MESA-STEM After-School Activities

We will continue to have a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) related activity each month. All Elk Ridge Students are welcome and encouraged to attend. Each month’s activity will begin immediately after school and will probably last about an hour (approx, 3:00 – 4:00 pm). Flyers are available in the counseling center. For more information or details, contact Mr. Bennett or Ms. Hardy.

Wally Time Update

After much discussion as a faculty about what we love and want to adjust about Wally Time, we’re making a small change to the structure of the lessons. Instead of one lesson we don’t have enough time to really digest and apply each week, we’re moving to one lesson/activity every other week so that teachers can spend more time during all of their classes over the week with no lesson or activity.

To illustrate what this looks like, this week’s lesson is on identifying what makes you feel welcome at school. We’ll spend half an hour having a discussion with our students about the things adults in the school have done so far this year to make them feel welcome. We’ll then use those things over the next week in all classes to make a concerted effort to make all students feel like there are adults who care about them and want them to feel like they belong. If you as parents can have the same conversation with your child, we would love to get input from you as well. Just reply to this email if you have something you want us to keep doing. 

Our end goal is that no student can go through their day without interacting with an adult in a positive and individual way. If your child is having an off day, we also want to make sure there is someone who notices, and that your child knows the people here care about making them feel welcome.

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Skylert Wally the Wapiti

Spirit Week

Happy Monday, and we hope that parent conferences were a success. As before, we want to emphasize that those days are not the only time you can communicate or meet with a teacher. We work best with context, and as parents, your context in helping your child succeed is invaluable.

Here’s what’s happening this week:

Spirit Week

Today was Tie-Dye Day. Here’s the rest of the week:

  • Tuesday: Hawaiian Day
  • Wednesday: Hat Day
  • Thursday: Cozy Day (School appropriate, of course)
  • Friday: School Swag (ERMS, BHS, CHHS, WJHS, etc.)

MESA-STEM After-School Activities

We will be holding our first MESA-STEM after school activity on Wed, Sept 22. We will continue to have a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) related activity each month. All Elk Ridge Students are welcome and encouraged to attend. Each month’s activity will begin immediately after school and will probably last about an hour (approx, 3:00 – 4:00 pm). Flyers are available in the counseling center.   For more information or details, contact Mr. Bennett or Ms. Hardy. 

8th Grade Job Shadow – Tuesday, November 9th, 2021

As part of our career exploration program, 8th grade students will have the opportunity to participate in a Job Shadow experience on Tuesday, November 9th. This is a chance to take your student to work with you or send them to work with someone you know. It is our hope that you will share your excitement for your profession with your child or that they will have the opportunity to study a career of interest. If your student pre-arranges a job shadow experience, and they complete the required forms, they will be excused from school on this day. Encourage your student to think about a career area they are interested in. Students that don’t arrange a job shadow are expected to be in school on this day. Parents are responsible to provide transportation to the job shadow. More information will be provided but please start thinking about options that your student might be interested in. 

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PTC's Wally the Wapiti

Parent Conferences, Picture Day

We have a lot going on this week. In today’s Skylert, you’ll find:

  • Parent Conference Dates, Types, and Instructions
  • Flu Shot Information
  • Picture Day & Purchase Information
  • MESA-STEM Activities
  • National Junior Honors Society Information
  • Wally Time Weekly Topic
  • Bingham High School Swim Team Tryouts

Parent Conferences this Wednesday (In-Person) and Thursday (Virtual)

Parent-Teacher Conferences will be held this Wednesday, September 15th (in-person in classrooms) and Thursday, September 16th (virtual). Both nights will be by appointment in Skyward. We want to stress that teachers are available before and after school all year by appointment, and can also be reached via email and phone call as well. Please don’t feel the need to wait until this or the next conference day if you have a concern, question, or information we need to help your student.

To set up an appointment (again, Wednesday in-person and Thursday virtual), you’ll go to Skyward. If you need help, use these instructions. If a teacher doesn’t have any available times that work for you, reach out to the teacher and something can be arranged.

If you have signed up for a virtual appointment on Thursday, or at any other point in the week, use these Zoom Links to join the conference on the day and time of your appointment.

Flu Shots Available Wednesday from 4-7:30 pm During Parent Conferences

Community Nursing Services will be hosting Boo to the Flu during parent conference this Wednesday to offer flu shots. No other immunizations or vaccinations will be offered outside of the flu shot.

Picture Day This Wednesday

Picture Day is this Wednesday, September 15th! To prepay, view package options, and more, check out this flyer. Plan on getting your picture taken even if you aren’t purchasing one, as it’s the picture we use in the Memory Books.

MESA-STEM After-School Activities

We will be holding our first MESA-STEM after school activity on Wed, Sept 22. We will continue to have a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) related activity each month. All Elk Ridge Students are welcome and encouraged to attend. Each month’s activity will begin immediately after school and will probably last about an hour (approx, 3:00 – 4:00 pm). Flyers with more information will soon be provided.  

National Junior Honors Society (NJHS)

Attention all 8th and 9th graders who love to help! The National Junior Honor Society is up and running again. This is an organization centered around academic excellence, leadership, and service projects. A 3.75 cumulative GPA is required to join and to retain membership. Honors or Satisfactory citizenship grades required, however you are allowed to have no more than one “N.” There will be monthly after school meetings and occasional meetings during school or Wally Time. Please see your ELA teacher for an application, the main office, or Mrs. Young in room 304. Applications are due Tuesday, September 21 to your ELA teacher or Mrs. Young.

Wally Time

This week, we’ll be using our time on Wednesday to complete a survey of students, and will use the rest of the time to ensure students know their grades, what can still be done or redone, and how to talk to you about it.

The optional survey is one we do several times a year asking about their sense of belonging in school, their academic behaviors (being prepared, etc.), their current classes and workload, etc. A sample of the survey can be viewed here, and we use this to plan our supports as a school and measure the effectiveness of those supports. If you have any questions or concerns, please reply to this email.

Bingham Swim Team

Any 9th grader interested in trying out for the 2021-2022 Bingham Swim Team needs to plan on attending, along with a parent/guardian, the parent meeting on Tuesday, September 14th at 6:30 pm in the Bingham Media Center. Information that is essential to the start of the season will be handed out at this meeting.

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PTC's Skylert Wally the Wapiti

Flex Friday, Parent Conferences

Flex Friday

This coming Friday, September 10th, will be our first-ever Flex Friday as a district. Each school will be handling it slightly differently, but all within the structure outlined here.

For all Elk Ridge students, they should expect roughly 3 hours total of engagement in schoolwork. This will vary from class to class, but students will be able to complete this work from home. If students have questions about work, they should contact their teacher.

In addition, any student needing extra support will be able to attend in-person between 10 am and 12:15 pm, as long as they have arranged with their teacher beforehand to do so. Busing will be provided following the normal Friday bus schedule. Lunch will be served from 12:15 – 1:15 pm, and students who are bused will work in either the cafeteria or the media center until buses come at 2:30 pm.

PTC

Parent-Teacher Conferences will be held next Wednesday, September 15th (in-person in classrooms) and Thursday, September 16th (virtual). Both nights will be by appointment, and we’ll open up sign-ups later this week. We want to stress that teachers are available before and after school all year by appointment, and can also be reached via email and phone call as well. Please don’t feel the need to wait until the conference day if you have a concern or question.

To set up an appointment (again, Wednesday in-person and Thursday virtual), you’ll go to Skyward later this week much like you’ve done in elementary school and in the past. If a teacher doesn’t have any available times, reach out to the teacher and something can be arranged.

Wally Time

This week’s time on Wednesday during Wally Time will focus on getting ready for parent-teacher conferences. Students will first take time to look into their grades, what can be made up and when, etc. Next, they’ll make a plan for what to do to improve their grade if improvement is needed. Last, they’ll work on how to talk with their parents about their grades leading up to next week with a focus on having answers for the questions parents are going to ask about their grades. 

PTSA Newsletter

Our wonderful PTSA has a newsletter they release quarterly. If you’re a PTSA member, you likely already received this, but we’re posting it here as well so that you have the information. Thank you as always to the PTSA for their hard work and commitment to our students!

Social-Emotional Learning Survey

We periodically administer a survey to students asking about their sense of belonging in school, their academic behaviors (being prepared, etc.), their current classes and workload, etc. A sample of the survey can be viewed here, and we use this to plan our supports as a school and measure the effectiveness of those supports. This survey will be administered next week. If you have any questions or concerns, please reply to this email.

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COVID-19 Skylert Wally the Wapiti

Wally Time, COVID Testing, SCC

It’s been a great first two weeks, and we appreciate your support as parents in the learning process. We love having your children with us again, and hope they are enjoying being back in school as much as we are.

COVID Testing at ERMS

The Utah Department of Health sets up testing sites throughout the state, and we’ve been hosting one for the past few months in our parking lot at their request. Due to increased demand, they are now offering COVID testing M-F from 4 – 7 pm. You can register for an appointment at coronavirus.utah.gov, and they will also allow drive-up testing without an appointment when wait times allow for it to be done reasonably. See this flyer for more information.

If you have other COVID questions (exposure, quarantine, etc.), this new one-page flyer from the Salt Lake County Health Department does a great job of outlining the most common topics. Full and regularly-updated information for the state can be found at coronavirus.utah.gov/education.

Wally Time – A Small Space for Life Skills

Each day of the week except Fridays, students have half a half hour set aside for Wally Time (our school mascot is Wally the Wapiti). Most days, this time is used for students to read a book, which has proven benefits in many academic areas and has a history at Elk Ridge (we used to call it DEAR – Drop Everything and Read). This also allows teachers to work with students individually if they are struggling with a concept being covered in class. The teacher they go to during this time changes each day so that they can get help in all classes if they need it.

But kids have a lot going on, and we often don’t have a space to talk about life skills they need to thrive in school. To give students a space to learn these skills, we take that time each Wednesday to cover a topic we’re seeing as an area our students in our school need some support. To give you an idea what this looks like, our topic this past week was Emotional Regulation. Students got a chance to discuss what emotions they are feeling (stressed being at a new school, overwhelmed, tired, etc.) and were given a few basic strategies for regulating their emotions: self care like exercising and getting enough sleep, breathing exercises, etc. 

This next Wednesday, we’re talking about how to speak to adults. We can’t read minds – not that we’d want to in middle school, mind you – and if a student doesn’t understand a concept, has an issue seeing the board, is feeling overwhelmed, etc., we want them to speak up. We’ll give a few scenarios and have them actually practice how to bring it up with an adult. If you can support this at home by talking with them about things they can speak up about, we’d love the support and reinforcement.

We’ll work to include each week’s Wednesday topic in our Monday email so that you know what’s coming and can work with your students at home or ask questions if you have them. Some weeks will be more focused on college and career readiness, some on building community, and others on academic strategies. You are always welcome at any time to talk with us or your students about what we’re learning that week.

School Community Council Elections & First Meeting

If you want to have a say in what happens at the school, we’d love to have you join our school community council! Fill out an election application here, or just attend our first meeting. We will meet at 6 pm on September 21st in the Media Center. We will also have a Zoom option for those wishing to attend virtually. That link will be posted on the Community Council page of the school website on the date of the meeting. We would love to have you, so mark your calendar!

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Skylert Student Body Officers Wally the Wapiti

7th Grade Elections, Dress Code, SCC Elections

We hope your students are enjoying being back in school as much as we are! With the first week under our belts, we’re settling into the more routine aspects of school. As always, check your email each Monday for a Skylert, and check our website and social media pages for both the Skylert information and highlights from life at school.

7th Grade Student Government Elections

Since our 7th graders come from various elementary schools, we hold elections for student body officers when they get here to Elk Ridge. If your student is at all interested – or you as their parent think they should give it a go – have them check out this page on the school website for dates, deadlines, and application information.

Dress Code

Please make sure you send your students to school in clothing that follows the JSD Dress Code. A good rule of thumb if you aren’t sure it works is to make sure your student is covered from shoulder to shoulder and from the neck to the knee. If you have any questions please contact a member of the administration. 

School Community Council Elections & First MeetingIf you want to have a say in what happens at the school, we’d love to have you join our school community council! Fill out an election application here, or just attend our first meeting. We will meet at 6 pm on September 21st in the Media Center. We will also have a Zoom option for those wishing to attend virtually. That link will be posted on the Community Council page of the school website on the date of the meeting. We would love to have you, so mark your calendar!

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Skylert Student Body Officers Wally the Wapiti

7th Grade Student Gov. Applications

Interested in running for student body officer? Check out the dates and deadlines below, as well as the promotional video from our current 8th and 9th grade SBO’s.

August 23 – 27: Applications available in the Main Office

August 31: Applications, questionnaire, poster examples, and video outline due to Mr. Fife in Room 406 by 3 pm.

September 2 – 8: Posters up in the cafeteria and hallways – You need to get Mr. Fife’s approval before hanging your posters.

September 8: Primary elections (if needed). 8 students move on. Mandatory meeting at the end of the day for the results for all applicants. Interview sign-ups start if moving on. You will have only ONE interview.

September 10: Interviews after school.

September 13: Videos are due to Mr. Fife by 3 pm.

September 14: Final Elections – Winners will be notified at the end of the day in the library. School-wide announcement of winners will be at the end of the day or the following morning.

SBO Advisor Contact Information: Mr. Fife, jason.fife@jordandistrict.org – Room 406