Oliver Wendell Holmes Middle School

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Dear Parents and Guardians,                                                      August 09, 2017

Welcome back to school! I am Melinda Dinsmore and I will be your child’s teacher this year. My colleague and team teacher is Marianna Sronce. My special education assistant is Ms. Cindy. We work closely together to make sure all our students are learning and growing. I will be their teacher and case manager, but there are times where Ms. Sronce and I may collaborate and combine classes. I am looking forward to a great year! We have a lot of fun lesson planned for this year and new friends to meet! I am very enthusiastic about the fun we will have!

If your child is in 8th grade there are wonderful activities planned for them throughout the school year. They will have 8th grade t-shirts available for purchase, spirt days, afterschool dances, grad night, and an 8th grade picnic. Make sure you check the website often for 8th grade activities! It is a lot of fun, a wonderful opportunity to be with friends, and to build lasting friendships!

Many of our students will join their peers in general education classes. Support will be provided by the special education assistants as available. They will be given a syllabus, textbooks, and assignments in those classes. These assignments will be modified to the alternate curriculum for students with moderate/severe disabilities. Please make sure you keep in touch with their other teachers as well as with me. The special education team and general education team will do their best to make sure all educational and social needs are met. This is a great opportunity for your child to grow, become more independent, as well as make friends with their typical peers.

All curriculums are provided by the District Special Education Office. They are The Unique Learning Systems Curriculum, and Attainment Math, Sciences and Social skills. In addition to those listed supplemental materials will be used to help meet individual goals and support them as well. I also plan on doing some cooking and gardening for math and science. Vegetable plant donations may be requested and gratefully accepted!

Mathematics

We will focus on the IEP goals and work on strengthening and expanding student skills. We will be working on addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, time, money, measurement, fractions, word problems, data collection, and algebra. Visual aids will also be used to support learning. There will be daily homework in math.

 

Language Arts

We will have a strong focus on reading. We will practice phonics and spelling, as well as writing multiple times a day, across all subjects. This includes any ELD instruction. Visual aids will also be used to support learning. There will be daily homework in language arts.

Supplies:

In middle school, the students will need to carry a notebook with pocket providers or a spiral bound notebook and a folder, pencils, pens, and erasers. A quiet pencil sharpener is also a good idea. They will need colored pencils. They will receive a planner which they will write their homework assignments in. You may use this planner to write brief notes, if you’d like. They will need 2, 2-3 inch binders for math and language arts portfolios.

Attendance:

Attendance is extremely important. If your child is not in school they are missing opportunities to learn and progress in their goals. However, in the event your child does become ill, we also ask that as parents please remember that many of your child’s classmates may have some medical problems that could be aggravated by illness; please use your best judgment on school after being fever free, with no medicine, or on antibiotics for at least 24 hours before returning to school, If your child is sick and going to be absent please call the attendance office or send in a note. While I appreciate you letting me know I can’t excuse the absence for you. You will need to contact the attendance office. If your child has medical needs, please inform both myself AND the school nurse.

Drop off and Pick up:

If you are dropping your child off in the morning please bring them to the side gate on Vincennes where the buses drop off and pickup. We will have supervision there. If you arrive after the buses you may bring them to the Attendance Office. In the afternoons, students who are not riding the bus will need to be picked up at the same location by the bus gate. Parents/authorized person must pick the child up must meet their child at the gate and communicate with staff that they are leaving with the child. Supervision is available until all buses are loaded and gone. This is usually 5 minutes after school at which time the gate is locked and students are sent to the yard. Please keep in mind that Youth Services has one coach for supervision. There are no Special education assistants or teachers available for supervision after school. In addition; if you are planning on picking your child up after school rather than having them ride the bus please let an adult know; whether it is myself, the attendance office, or the bus coordinator. If someone on the emergency card is picking up your child from school they must go through the attendance office and show an ID. No other adult will be able to pick your child up from school. Furthermore, Tuesday’s are shortened days. Please plan for these days as there is no supervision after school unless you have made prior arrangement with Beyond the Bell. Tuesdays are staff development days in which all school staff are required to attend and be on time. Students may not wait in the office as there is no supervision.

Homework:

Home work will be assigned in my class daily. Generally, they will have a math assignment and reading assignment. Spelling is also assigned. Comprehension and math Quizzes will be administered on Fridays, so Thursdays will be review and study nights. The homework given daily will mirror the day’s classwork. This is to help students generalize the work in multiple areas. If your child is unable to do or complete the task, please leave a note for me in the planner. Assignments are not designed to frustrate parents. This is one less battle that you need to fight.

Grading:

Grades reflect the student’s progress in meeting IEP goals and progress in class. They are also based on the level of independence used in completing the task.

90-100 A

89-79 B

78-70 C

69- 60 D

I do not give out Failures. If your child is failing, so am I. All students will learn and show progress because they are amazing!

Work Habits and Cooperation will be based on their attendance, behavior, and their homework assignments. Homework assignments should be turned in each day to receive credit. Disability related behaviors are not counted against them,

Community Generalization:

While the students may master a task in the classroom, learning is not complete until they can use learned skills in a real-life community setting. Trips will be planned that involve community safety, math, public transportation, time, money, and reading. We may ask for a small donation on these trips. Donations are not mandatory, but certainly helpful.

Supply Donations

We gladly accept and are grateful for any supply donations. Hand soap (not antibacterial), tissues, paper, pencils, and pens. We are not picky, we love it all!

 

Contact

I am available to schedule parent conferences before school from 7:15am -7:40 am. I am always willing to make time to speak with you. Your child’s education and success is important me. You may also email me at any time. I check my emails several times throughout the day. To schedule a conference please call the office and leave a message or you may email me. Parents, or any other visitors, are not allowed on campus without prior permission from administration, and a visitor pass obtained at the from gate or office. This is for the safety of all students. The administrator in charge of special education is Mari Ann Aguilar.

Contact information

818-678-4100.

mdinsmor@lausd.net

Sincerely,

Melinda Dinsmore

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please take some time to tell me all about your child. Thank you for your help and support. Together as a team we will make this a fantastic year!

My child’s favorite subject(s) are __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

My Childs least favorite subjects are __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Things that make my child happy __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Things that make my child unhappy __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

What I should know about your child; allergies, medical information, favorite foods, characters games, sports extra-curricular activities__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Pleas provide me the best and most convenient way to contact you should the need arise. ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Student________________________   Parents/Guardian________________________________