Wood River Middle School
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 2013-14 District Calendar
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 2013/14 schedule looked something like this. Though next year they plan to alter the lunchtime breaks, the main block times will look something like this. SVSEF athletes will get out after the 5th period around 1:35 PM
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org – 6th and 8th) and Stani Malmgren (email@example.com - 6th and 7th). 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. You can use this
- 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 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 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:
- Language A (native language) – The old Language Arts
- Language Acquisitions (non-native language – French or Spanish
In addition there are the three additional core areas of:
Last year, WRMS tried mixing different grades levels in the Design, Fine Arts, and PE classes. The age and maturity difference between 6th and 8th graders did not work. Next year the school will return to filling these classes with a single grade level. This will force the scheduling of some of the Design, Fine Arts, and PE classes into the 1st through 5th period. This means that SVSEF athletes will probably have one of the more challenging core courses scheduled in the afternoon 6th and 7th periods. Here is what a HYPOTHETICAL schedule will look like next year for the 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students:
I want to re-iterate that this is a HYPOTHETICAL SCHEDULE. The important thing to note here is that your SVSEF athlete will likely have one of their harder core classes scheduled in the afternoon. In general, the counselor will try to schedule the Math, Science, and Language Acquisitions classes in the morning periods.
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. 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 schedule.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 (download the WRMS PE waiver policy.pdf) 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. You will need a letter from SVSEF confirming your participation in one of our programs for the 2014/15 season. Clock on the link to download the SVSEF PE Waiver letter (pdf).
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 2014 flyer and IDLA Fall 2014 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