ms nov 5

Rethinking Awards
In the Middle School we are continually striving to provide the best environment for students in the middle years. This has included a Middle School specific schedule with a FLEX block, Standards Based Grading, Cougar Time lessons, experiential learning opportunities, and more. Research shows that how we recognize students is another important aspect of schooling. The traditional end of year awards based solely on grades is not necessarily the best way to recognize and motivate students in the middle grades. In combination with our move this year to Standards Based Grading, the Middle School team has taken a long, hard look at how we recognize Middle School students at Academia Cotopaxi. We are excited to share our plans with you, via this newsletter.

Starting this week, students and teachers will have the opportunity to recognize other students who embody the Middle School ATLs (Self-Management, Social Skills, Communication Skills). This will happen with a form, that will be linked to the Edmodo student bulletin every Friday. Students will be recognized each month at an assembly, and their parents will be invited. Recognizing students for exemplifying ATLs supports our goal of fostering the critical skills students need to excel in today’s world.

We will continue to recognize unique students at the end of the school year with the Middle School special awards and the Academia Cotopaxi award. The special awards include: Core Values, Cougar Spirit, Service, Giving Tree, Athletes of the Year, and Cougar Scholar of the Year. We will no longer give the Presidential nor class awards in Middle School. 

In addition to the above student recognitions, we always do a Celebration of Learning at the end of each semester. This has been for students to celebrate their learning with classmates, and starting this school year we will also look for ways to involve parents. 

I will be sharing the above plans with Middle School students at our assembly this Friday. We wanted you, the parents, to be the first to know about this student-centered change.

Parent Day in the Middle 
We still have a few spaces left for Parent Day in the Middle. Join us on Thursday, November 7 for a "deep dive" into the Middle School program, and an opportunity to experience Middle School classes. We will begin at 8:15 a.m. in the Library for a conversation about Middle School curriculum and our counseling program. We will then attend classes, and end the morning by coming together for a follow-up conversation. This event asks for a time commitment of 8:15 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. 

Spaces are limited to 20 parents. You will receive an email confirmation if you are one of the 20. The presentation will be similar to the Parent Days we have held in the past, with different classes to visit. We will repeat this session again in March. Please use this form to sign up. Thank you.

Counselor’s Corner
For those of you who were able to sign up for and attend the Parent Q&A on vaping & juuling hosted by FCD, I would love to hear from you about what you learned and/or what you found helpful about the session. Please email your comments to me at Although I will be sending out more information (along with the PE teachers) to parents when we have our Middle School Health Unit on Drugs & Alcohol Prevention later this year, here is an article from Kids Health which provides more information about what vaping/juuling is, how it impacts teens, and how you can help as a parent. 

We look forward to seeing you in the Middle School soon!

With kind regards,

Sheryl Gruber
Middle School Principal
(593-2) 382-3270 ext. 2001
"We are responsible for being informed global citizens who understand and affect positive change."