After a restful long weekend break, we are excited to return to life in the AC Middle School!
Thank you to parents who ensure that your children wear the AC uniform each day. In order to encourage all students to wear uniforms, we will take a two-pronged approach for the rest of the school year. Students who do not wear the uniform on a given day will spend 5 minutes with their teacher at the beginning of lunch. All students who wear the uniform every day from April 2 until the end of the school year will receive a reward. Students received this information at our March 26 assembly, and it is also posted in the Student Bulletin on Edmodo. AC uniforms are required Monday - Thursday. Fridays are “free dress,” within the general dress code expectations.

Our final MS Conference session of the school year will be on Tuesday, April 17. These parent/student/teacher conferences are intended to allow time for you to meet with each of your child’s teachers. Similar to the November conferences, teachers are available for brief conversations about your child’s learning. The best conversations will occur if your child is also present to participate in the discussion. Different from the November conferences, the location will be in teacher classrooms. Your first stop will be to your child’s mentor teacher to collect the Progress Report, and then you may visit any of the teachers. Conference time is 7:45am - 3:45pm, with lunch from 12:30 - 1:30. You do not need to schedule appointments. I look forward to seeing you at AC on April 17.

Counselor’s Corner - Social Media and Self Image
Last week’s Cougar Time included a lesson and lively discussions in mentor groups regarding social media & self-image. Social Media has its many advantages but for adolescents living in the age of selfies, self-worth and self-image have become more impacted than ever. With snapchat filters teens can cover up pimples, whiten teeth and even contour their facial features to look slimmer with the swipe of a finger, curating a new image of themselves to post to the social media world. The idea of what is real and what is fake becomes blurred. A simple “like” of their photo is actually not so simple,  and teens end up feeling ranked, judged and comparing themselves more than ever to others. Even as adults we may find this happening for us as we peruse our Facebook account. However, for adolescents going through a time when peer opinion and development of identity are at their height, these have significantly different effects.
So what can parents do? Ask your kids their opinion of the ways people modify their own appearance online. Get them to think about: Why do people do it? What do they gain, and from whom? Who decides what is beautiful? How do they feel before and after posting a picture of themselves? Most importantly, normalize these thoughts and questions for them, and allow them to become aware of their own responses. Sometimes just naming a feeling as normal can make a teen feel less alone.
I encourage you to read this article by Common Sense Media on how social media has become a toxic mirror for adolescents. At the end of the article are two links to tips for talking about social media and body image with your daughters and/or your sons.

I hope to see you at the PTSA Bingo Night on Friday! This fun community event provides important service funds to student projects and is a great way to stay connected with AC families!

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."