Wood River Middle School
Wood river Middle School - General Information
How does the Skiing/Training/Traveling/School conflict work at WRMS?
We all know that there is an inherent conflict in being a ski/snowboard athlete AND going to school. In order to attend afternoon training sessions and travel to regional competitions athletes will miss school. While athletes at the Middle School level have a fairly light travel load, they can train up to four times a week. The following Q&A section will help parents understand how this conflict plays out at WRMS.
How does daily afternoon training work for SVSEF athletes at WRMS?
SVSEF athletes who attend WRMS are allowed to leave school early so they can attend daily training sessions. Depending on the team and discipline, training sessions happen anywhere from one to four days during the school week. Students who leave early for school are skipping their 6th and 7th period classes and are responsible for keeping up with their classwork. Parents need to fill out an “early release” form in the front office each year to allow their child to leave for training.
What time are students allowed to leave?
SVSEF athletes are allowed to leave at the break between 5th and 6th period. The current daily schedule puts that break at 1:34 PM. Here is what the daily schedule will probably look like in 2013/14:
What about transportation from WRMS to Baldy or Dollar Mountain?
Parents and students are responsible for after school transportation. The SVSEF does not have the resources to provide transportation. If the WRMS schedule and Mountain Rides bus schedule overlap, it may be possible to catch the Valley Route bus heading north.
*** This did not work in 2012/13. Students are not allowed to leave their 5th period class early in order to catch the bus. If either schedule changes enough in 2013/14 for this to be a possibility we will announce that to the WRMS community ***
In the past, SVSEF parents have organized individual car-pools and large van-pools using Mountain Rides 15-passenger vans. SVSEF is willing to help facilitate communication amongst WRMS parents who are trying to find transportation solutions. Please email Jody Zarkos (email@example.com) to get on a list so we have permission to share your personal information with other parents.
How do mid-week travel competitions work for SVSEF athletes at WRMS?
The SVSEF academic director sends travel rosters to the WRMS attendance secretary so they will be officially excused for SVSEF sanctioned events. Students are responsible for keeping up with missed work and assignments.
Is there any paperwork I need to take care of?
Parents need to fill out an “early release” form in the front office each year to allow their child to leave for training. This should be done in the fall before on-snow training begins.
Does WRMS accommodate SVSEF athletes in any way?
Yes. First and foremost, we work closely with the WRMS counselors in the spring to identify who will be on SVSEF teams the following school year. Each year, they try to schedule classes that are easier to miss in the 6th and 7th periods for SVSEF athletes.
We do our best to communicate with the staff at the WRMS about SVSEF events and programs. In general, they are familiar with our programs and are willing to work with students who are missing school for SVSEF sanctioned training and events. It is still the responsibility of the student and family to keep in their classes. Sometimes, it is in the best academic interest of the student to selectively skip training sessions in order to keep up in school.
What can I do as a parent to help?
The most important think parents can do is to be involved. Familiarize yourself with the schedule and curriculum at WRMS. It is very important to communicate with the counselors Holly Coiner (firstname.lastname@example.org – 6th and 7th) and Stani Malmgren (email@example.com - 6th and 8th). In particular, they appreciate the following information:
- That your child is an SVSEF athlete
- What subjects would be particularly challenging for your child to skip on a regular basis.
- What subjects you child CAN handle to miss on a regular basis. Ie. If they are strong in math, science, or language and can manage missing those courses regularly for daily training it will make it easier for the counselors to schedule. OR if you as a parent have specific skills in a subject and can provide additional assistance at home, that would be good to point out.
What about the IB/MYP and switch to a semester schedule in 2013/14?
Ok, this is a big one so I will break it down into several different pieces.
What is IB/MYP?
IB/MYP stands for the International Baccalaureate (IB) Middle Years Programme (MYP). This has been in the works for several years so hopefully most of your are familiar with the program. Jane Walther is the IB/MYP coordinator at WRMS so you can contact her with any questions (firstname.lastname@example.org). Here are several information links:
WRMS IB/MYP page
WRMS FAQ about the IB/MYP
WRMS PTA presentation on the IB/MYP by Jane Wolter
2012 Board presentation on IB/MYP by Jane Wolter
IBO.org Middle Years Program website
Does this effect SVSEF athletes?
In short, no. In reality, yes. Confused? The reality is that nothing as described above changes for SVSEF athletes. They are still allowed to skip classes for training and miss school for travel competitions. The bottom line, however, is that the IB/MYP is a more demanding curriculum so the biggest challenge will be in missing the 6th and 7th period classes for after-school training.
What does the IB/MYP curriculum look like?
This image below is a simplified version of the IB/MYP curriculum. There are specific curriculum maps on the WRMS IB/MYP FAQ page linked above.
The IB/MYP includes 8 core subject areas and requires a full year of study in each.
How does WRMS fit 8 core subject areas into a 7 period day?
It quickly becomes apparent that there is not enough space in the WRMS 7-period day to fit a years worth of study for all eight subject areas. IB/MYP allows schools to “semesterize” the core Technology, Art, and PE subjects. This means that students will be allowed to fulfill their IB/MYP requirements with only one semester in these subjects. Most (but not all) of the Tech, Art, and PE classes are one-semester classes.
So what does this mean for SVSEF athletes?
With the addition of the Language B component of the IB/MYP there are now five challenging core classes that WRMS are required to take each semester:
- Language A (native language) – The old Language Arts
- Language B (non-native language – French or Spanish
In addition there are the three additional core areas of:
When the Academic Director supplies a list of future SVSEF athletes to the counselors each spring they will do their best put the “easier” Tech, Art, and PE courses in the 6th and 7th periods. Here is a snapshot of what this might look like (THIS IS ONLY HYPOTHETICAL AND IS SUBJECT TO FINAL SCHEDULING CONSTRAINTS):
I want to re-iterate that the counselors will make this work as long as it is possible within the constraints of their task of scheduling the ENTIRE student body. This will not always be possible, so it is important to communicate with the counselors and let them know if your child could handle missing any of the first five core areas on a regular basis for afternoon training. This information will give them more flexibility when working with SVSEF athletes. I have created a MS Excel file that contains the above diagram as well as the following blank form:
Parents can download the WRMS schedlue.xls and fill out this form with a "best case scenario" schedule for their SVSEF athlete. This will provide the counselors with additional information that might give them more flexibility when scheduling courses.
What about PE? Does SVSEF count towards a PE credit?
In some cases it is possible to get PE credit for participating in an SVSEF program. The main issue here is that PE is an easy course for SVSEF athletes to miss in the afternoon. By removing it from their daily schedule it will have to be replaced with an A.P. Language Arts, Tech, or Art class that may require more work to stay on top of. Students may also take IDLA online Health as a substitute to their 8th grade Heath/Fitness requirement.
Please talk to your counselors if you have a specific need that would require getting PE credit for your participation in SVSEF programs.
What about IDLA online courses?
Idaho Digital Learning Academy (IDLA) is a state-sponsored online curriculum that meshes well with both WRMS and WRHS. Their web address is www.idahodigitallearning.org. Check out the IDLA link under Academics in the menu bar on this site.
It is possible for your child to take IDLA online courses (over the summer and throughout the year) and get credit for them at WRMS. This could effectively free up a block or two of their schedule so they won’t have any 6th or 7th period classes (depending on scheduling).
While this seems like a reasonable solution there are several issues:
- Online courses don’t work well for all types of learners.
- The IDLA course schedule does not always overlap with what SVSEF athletes might need to take.
- If your child in not scheduled in a WRMS class, they CANNOT stay on campus. So while is seem logical to free up the 6th and 7th periods so they don’t miss any school during the winter training season, they will have to leave school at 1:34 FOR THE ENTIRE YEAR.
For these reasons, IDLA is not a viable option for most families. If it has the potential to work for you, here is a link for the IDLA Summer 2013 Flyer and IDLA Fall 2013 Flyer. Take a look a the courses offered for Middle School students to see if there is something that might work and then contact your counselor to discuss if and how IDLA courses can be incorporated into your WRMS plan.
Feel free to contact me directly at 720-4712 or email@example.com