Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Does my 5th Grader Visit JM this year? A: All Moraga School District fifth graders will walk to JM or board buses for the JM field trip on Friday, May 27th. Members of JM’s Activities class will lead the fifth graders on a tour of the campus. They will also attend a “Welcome to JM” rally and be given a snack or treat before returning to their elementary schools.
Q: Are there any transition programs for incoming 6th graders? A: WEB (Where Everybody Belongs) is a middle school transition program that welcomes 6th graders and helps them with their transition from 5th grade to 6th grade. WEB is an acronym for Where Everybody Belongs and this program is built on the belief that students want to help other students succeed. WEB trainers work with members of the 8th grade class to become WEB leaders. These leaders are positive role models and teachers who guide 6th graders to discover what it takes to be successful in middle school. The WEB program kicks off with a fun and energetic orientation to build excitement and instill pride in our new students. It allows our 6th graders to begin developing relationships with other students as well as learn strategies that will contribute to their middle school success. After orientation, WEB provides a variety of follow-up activities throughout the year. WEB’s goal is to provide a structure in which students make real connections with each other. Through this program, funded by the JMIS-PTA, students learn that people at school care about them and their success. Our counseling department, along with JM student representatives, will also visit all 5th grade classrooms this spring to make a short presentation and to answer questions from 5th grade students.
Q: Do 6th grade students select any of their classes? A: Yes, in most cases. This guide includes information about choices. Elective Course Selection is on-line and takes place April 15 thru April 25. Parents will receive instructions via email when it is time to enroll. Elective options include chorus, orchestra, concert band, the learning center, ELL and the Skills for Success class. Students not choosing one of the aforementioned electives will be enrolled in the elective wheel. The 6th grade elective wheel is designed to give students an introduction to some of the other exciting electives that JM has to offer. Students rotate through these elective classes (which may include: art, computers, foods and earth stewardship). The wheel is not part of a student’s schedule should they be enrolled in Skills for Success, ELL (English Language Learner), Learning Center, chorus, concert band or orchestra.
Q: What's a typical school day like at JM? A: Your child arrives at school by bus, bike, foot or carpool before the first (warning) bell rings to begin a seven-period day. Currently, the first class begins at 7:50 AM. Three periods are devoted to CORE class (English/Social Studies) with one teacher. The rest of the day will be spent changing classrooms and teachers for Math, Science, PE and the elective wheel or other elective until the dismissal bell. There is a four-minute passing period between classes, and a longer morning break (referred to as snack recess in elementary school, but at JM it is referred to as brunch!).
Q: May I request a teacher? A: We understand that parents hear a lot of differing talk about particular teachers, and desire the best education for their children. However, experience has shown that what works well for one student may not offer the best situation for another student. Moreover, scheduling students with several different teachers is a complex task involving many variables. If you feel your child has exceptional needs that school administrators should consider, please submit a written explanation of these needs to school administrators. Do not list teachers by name, but rather explain the particular learning styles of your child. Parent requests for specific teachers will not be considered.
Q: What?! No recess?! A: No, no, no, we don't say "recess"! We say "passing period"! The four minute passing break is used to get to the next class. There is the also Brunch break (10 minutes) , and also a Lunch Break (45 minutes), during which time sack lunches or hot lunches are consumed. There is time for basketball or other games, or just “hanging out”. Hot lunch, provided by our PTA, is also available at JM.
Q: When is the Open House and What is the Spring Fling? A: Mark the evening of
Thursday, May 26th on your calendar for the JM Spring Fling and Open House. Come have fun at the Spring Fling, from 5:00 to 7:00 PM, where you can enjoy dinner (available for purchase), as well as music, games, face painting, and a cake walk! Parents and students are welcome to visit classrooms during Open House starting at 7:00 PM. This is a great opportunity for first-time families to get acquainted with the JM campus and get a glimpse of what to expect in middle school! A reminder that this is a minimum day for JM students only; LP, CP and Rheem students remain in school all day.
Q: Do I get a locker for books? A: No. 6th grade students are not assigned lockers. Backpacks are the most common means for transporting papers and binders from class to class. A set of classroom text books will be sent home to students so they do not need to transport books to and from school.
Q: What's the deal with PE clothes? A: Spiffy PE uniforms (shorts & shirt) can be purchased at the start of the school year. You'll get more information in the Back to School Packet and from your child’s PE teacher. Your child will (hopefully!) bring them home on Friday afternoon for cleaning! They will be needed back at school the following Monday for PE class. Your child will also need a combination lock or key lock for his/her PE locker. (The inability to pay for PE clothes/locks will not impact a student’s participation.)
Q: What about vaccinations for incoming 6th graders? A: All incoming sixth graders must be vaccinated against hepatitis B. It takes more than seven months to get through the series of shots. Your child must also have the Tdap booster prior to entering 7th grade. You are encouraged to check with your child’s pediatrician!
Q: What is School Loop? A: School Loop is an online program which shows your child’s progress, missing assignments, school news, and even allows your child to retrieve worksheets and send electronic homework. Once signed up you will receive daily e-mail listing grades and homework.
Q: When does my child receive his or her class schedule? A: Class schedules for all students will be available on-line through your parent portal on Thursday, August 18th. You MUST have your child’s permanent student Id number and verification code to access the information. This is the same portal you used to choose your child’s elective course requests. Students are encouraged to walk through their schedule (room locations) to get a sense of where all their classes are prior to the first day of school.
Q: How do I get more answers? A: Attend one of two parent Orientations on April 21st & visit our website (http://jm.moraga.k12.ca.us) or call us at 376-7206.