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Greetings to the Richardson Rattlesnake Team:

It’s the top of 1st, no outs, and your child is leading off the game. The Boys and Girls of Summer are now the starting players in the RMS 2018-19 Season. Welcome to this year’s school theme: This Team! Those of you who follow Major League Baseball may have seen a similar theme in last year’s playoffs. While the baseball season is long (162 games – not counting playoffs), it’s not as long as the middle school season of 180 days.

We Are Here To Practice Before Getting To High School

Here at RMS, unlike Major League Baseball, every player will make the playoffs. However, it takes three years of Middle School Preparation and Practice to finally make it to the Playoffs: High School! The stakes are much greater and the pressure significantly higher once your child finally reaches high school. Our job is to do everything we can to help them get there feeling confident and prepared to be successful at this next level, and it takes a huge team effort.

Who Is On This Team!?

We all are. Students, Parents, Teachers, Support Staff, and Administration need to all work together towards common goals. These goals must be first and foremost to build foundational skills for future success in each and every subject. This will take Practice – lots and lots of Practice. We need our students to Practice in their areas of strength in order to grow and excel. We also need them to practice as hard as they can to improve their needed areas of growth. As I discussed with many of our incoming 6th graders at the Rattlesnake Retreat, if a baseball player cannot hit a curveball, he really has two choices. He can continue to strike out or he can PRACTICE hitting curveballs until they are no longer an issue. Your child will see many curveballs in his or her secondary school academic career. He or she has the same two choices as the baseball player: strike out or practice. However, we’re not going to let them accept the striking out option. Practice and Support – with the help of all of us. That is the key to the future success of the entire Richardson Rattlesnake Team!

Your Role As A Parent On This Team

We are asking all of our RMS Parents to help create the Home Field Advantage. Your children will accomplish more academically with the support of their family than they will if they take this journey alone. Yes, I know at this age many students share less and less with their parents as they strive to establish a level of independence. However, in spite of this behavior, middle school students need the support and guidance of their parents even more than they are often willing to ask for.

How You Can Help Your Child

You can help coach your child to be a successful student. Ask your child specific questions about school such as: “What are you reading in your English class? Do you like the book? Why or why not?” or “What period are you studying in social studiesWho were the important leaders at that time?” Better yet, ask your child to teach you something he or she learned at school. Teaching what you have learned is one of the best ways to master and retain the knowledge.

Skills Are Far More Important Than Grades!

During the 3 Years of Middle School Practice, it is important to have a good understanding of the Significance of Grades. Grades are simply Feedback of Progress towards Mastering Essential Content Knowledge and Skills – nothing more and nothing less. Colleges will never see your child’s middle school grades (with the exception of those 8th graders taking 9th grade classes at South). Grades are there to provide feedback to students and parents about where your child is excelling and where he/she needs additional Practice. The skills your child develops now are far more important than the grades they receive. Please try to keep this in mind as you supportively help coach your child towards a strong foundation for future High School Success.

Positive Communication – From Everyone

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, open and positive communication is essential to maintain the highest level of teamwork. The key word here is “positive.” I am encouraging all members of This Team! to strive for positivity at all times. Please try to keep this in mind when communicating with your child and his/her teachers in trying to support the goals of strong foundational skills and academic success for your student.

I look forward to seeing you at our Back To School Night on Tuesday, September 25th where you will meet the other members of This Team!

Let’s Play Ball!

Ian Drummond

Principal

Richardson Middle School