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Wood river Middle School - General Information


Wood River Middle School is part of the Blaine County School district.  It is one of several schools that SVSEF athlete have the option of attending in the Wood River Valley.  The campus is located in Hailey, ID.  Here are some useful links:

 

Wood River Middle School Website


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 about morning training?

During the 2014/15 season, the Alpine U12 Travel and U14 athletes started to train in the morning.  These athletes skipped the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd periods of the day and were bussed back to school in time for the 11:11 AM 4th period class.  As with the afternoon training kids, these students are responsible for keeping up with work missed while training.  Freestyle and Snowboard athletes will continue to train in the afternoon.

 

What time are students allowed to leave?

SVSEF athletes are allowed to leave at the break between 5th and 6th period.  Last year, the 2015/16 schedule looked like this.  SVSEF athletes get out after the 5th period around 1:35 PM

 

WRMH period schedule 

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 2013/14.  Students are not allowed to leave their 5th period class early in order to catch the bus.  Please check both the WRMS website for an update schedule for next year AND the Mountain Rides website to see if the academic/valley route schedules will overlap better for 2014/15. ***

 

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 (hcoiner@blaineschools.org – 6th and 7th) and Stani Malmgren (smalmgren@blaineschools.org - 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 International  Baccalaureate (IB)?


Ok, this is big change for athletes coming up from 5th grade 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 (jwalther@blaineschools.org).  Here are several information links:

 

WRMS IB/MYP page

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.

IM/MYP curriculum diagram

 

 

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 Design, Fine Arts, 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 Lang Acquisitions component of the IB/MYP there are now five challenging core classes that WRMS are required to take each semester:

  • Math
  • Science
  • Language A (native language) – The old Language Arts
  • Language Acquisitions (non-native language – French or Spanish
  • Humanities

 

In addition there are the three additional required elective core subjects of:

  • Design
  • Fine Arts
  • PE/Health

Theoretically, the Design, Fine Art, and PE courses are the easiest for SVSEF athletes to miss on a regular basis for training.  Unfortunately, these blocks are scheduled at specific times (purple below) in the daily schedule.

 


 

 

The important thing to note here is that afternoon training athletes will miss at least ONE (TWO for 7th graders) of their harder core classes on a regular basis.  Morning training athletes will miss TWO of the harder core classes in the morning.  In general, the counselors will try to schedule the Math, Science, and Language Acquisitions classes in periods (morning or afternoon) when our students will be in school 5 days a week.

 

*** This will not always be possible, so it is important to communicate with the counselors and let them know which of the harder core classes your child could handle skipping for afternoon training.  ***

 


What about PE?  Does SVSEF count towards a PE credit?

WRMS is no longer offering a PE waiver for extracurricular teams like SVSEF.  By removing PE from the daily schedule of some athletes, the counselors had to place those kids into an extra section of Art, Design, and health.  There was simply not enough space in those courses to support waiving the PE credit.   On the upside, having PE/Health scheduling during those training conflict periods is an easy class to skip on a regular basis.

 

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, it is actually more difficult to arrange than it might seem.  Historically very few athletes and families have pursued this option.  Here are the big issues: 

  1. Online courses don’t work well for all types of learners, especially younger students.
  2. The IDLA course schedule does not always overlap with what SVSEF athletes might need to take.
  3. 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 Summer 2015 IDLA Flyer and Fall 2015 IDLA 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.

 

It is possible to begin taking high school level IDLA courses on line in middle school as a forward thinking way to tackle the credit accumulation obligations of a competitive high school athlete.  I am happy to answer any questions or talk to your counselor for more details/ideas.

 

Do any WRMS courses count for High School Credit?

This has changes from how it has worked in the past.  Historically, any high school classes taken during 6-8th grade would transfer as an elective credit to a students' high school transcript.  Now, if a student gets a C or above, the course will transfer as a specific math or language credit to their high school transcript.  High school level courses are:

 

  • Math - Alg 1 and higher
  • Language - All Language B classes are now considered high school courses

 

While this can be an advantage for SVSEF athletes who will have a heavy travel/competition load during their high school years, it also has the potential to backfire.  These classes (the specifics with languages are still being ironed out) WILL count on the high school transcripts.  If your student is struggling as a 6th, 7th, or 8th, however, you may not want the grade to carry over into high school!  It is possible to opt for a pass/fail grade at the midway point through the course (9 weeks).  If you do this, the high school credit will transfer as a general elective credit, and not a specific math or language credit.

 

With these new changes, it is possible to enter high school with 10 credits (two each in Alg 1 and 8th Geom, & 6 - 8th Lang B) if your student is taking upper level math courses. 

 

Academic Monitoring, Travel Requirements, and Academic Support?

The SVSEF requires that all athletes maintain a "C" letter grade in every class in order to be eligible for competition travel when school will be missed.

 

The Academic Director receives weekly Skyward grade updates from the school and will send out an email "alert" to students & parents for any grade that is a C- or below.  In addition, the SVSEF Academic Director will follow up with the teachers in an attempt to understand the reason for the grade and how best help get it back up.  To that end, all SVSEF athletes are welcome to get help from Matt Leidecker in the academic center during or after weekday training.  Visit the Academic Center page for current open hours.

 

WRMS requires that all students keep their grades above a "D" in order to participate in the Early Release training program.  Students with a "D" or below in any class will not be allowed to check out of WRMS.  If a student shows a "D" or below for two consecutive grade reporting periods (weekly on Friday) the coaches will be alerted and the athlete will not be allowed to train until the grade is improved.

 

More questions?

Feel free to contact me directly at 720-4712 or matt@svsef.org

 

Sincerely,

 

Matt Leidecker

Academic Director

SVSEF