Sunday, August 12, 2018

Voyager Academy Middle School News, August 12, 2018

Dear VAMS Families,

It has been a terrific week at Voyager Middle School.  I’ve had the opportunity to be in your child’s class more than once this week.  Each time I visited the classrooms or the elective classes, I was amazed with the learning that was taking place.  Mrs. Steelman had students reading, Mrs. Lecky had students working on their multiplication, Mr. Credle was teaching math, Mrs. Cline was working on an experiment that created an environment in which the students really had to problem solve, Mrs. Higdon had students determining which information was true and which was false, and Mrs. Thompson had students preparing to perform.

We have several new students this year. Some comments they have shared with me are: “I’m glad I’m at Voyager!” “I already have a friend.” “Voyager is a really cool place.”
Staff Lunches Info from Ricci McKenna and Dana King
VAMS Parents,
The Hospitality Committee provides a luncheon for the staff once a month during the school year.  Would you like to help out? We need volunteers to bring food and drinks and to help set up and clean up. Each month we send out a Sign Up Genius to our volunteers. If you'd like to be added to the email list, please email Ricci McKenna at  IF YOU WERE ON THE LIST LAST YEAR, THERE IS NO NEED TO SIGN UP AGAIN. This is an easy volunteer committee; there is no time commitment. You sign up to help when it fits your schedule!

Mark your calendar and plan to attend our Curriculum Nights.  Each grade level will share valuable information. Attending your child’s grade level session will give you an idea of what happens during the day and what will happen during the year.
·  4th Grade Curriculum Night - Thursday, August 16, 6:00
·  5th Grade Curriculum Night - Tuesday, August 28, 6:00
·  6th Grade Curriculum Night - Tuesday, August 14, 5:15 -5:45 Google Classroom Session, Curriculum Night, 6:00
·  7th Grade Curriculum Night – Wednesday, August 15, 6:00
·  8th Grade Curriculum Night – Thursday, August 16, 6:00
Fall Pictures
Picture Day is scheduled for Tuesday, August 21.  Your child will receive a picture envelope prior to Picture Day.  Be looking for the picture envelope!
11 Principles of Character Education
Our staff had the opportunity to be trained in 11 Principles of Character Education.  This program supports all students, and the components focus on the social and emotional part of education.  Since our training, our staff has decided that we want to focus on Voyager’s Core Values. This year will we have ACT (Advancing Character Together) time.   ACT time provides staff members and students time to discuss core values with a small group of Voyager Vikings. Each staff member has been assigned a small group of students from different grade levels.  Each group will meet two times a month, with the focus being Voyager’s Core Values – what they mean and what we can do to exhibit each value. We are excited to spend meaningful time on the social/emotional component creating stronger students.  When you visit the middle school, check the posters by the Viking in the lobby so you will know what the values are and what they mean.
Voyager’s Silent Auction
Many of you have shared that it would be great if Voyager had a silent auction similar to what is done at other schools.   Here it is, and here is your opportunity to help!
From Mr. Eisenson:
There will be a K-12 Silent Auction interest meeting in Mr. Eisenson's 8th grade classroom on 8/16 at 5:30 pm.  Mr. Eisenson is trying to set up a silent auction to bring funds to our three schools, but he can't do it alone.  The goal is to have this Silent Auction off campus in November. Mr. Eisenson will have students write persuasive letters to the community to request donations for the auction.    He would need parents to help get donations, secure a location, and help run the auction. Again, if you are interested and able to volunteer, Mr. Eisenson would love to chat on 8/16 at 5:30 pm in his classroom.  Thanks.
Middle School Fall Tryout/Practice Times
MS Boys’ Soccer Tryouts
Tryouts are at Ridgecrest Baptist Church (pond side)
·  August 13th, 2:00-3:30
·  August 14th, 4:00-5:30
·  August 15th, 4:00-5:30 if needed. The coach will communicate with boys and parents.
MS Cross Country
·  Practice begins on Wednesday, August 15.
·  Cross Country practices are Tuesday-Friday, 4:00 -5:30.
·  No practice on Monday unless necessary.
MS Girls’ Tennis
·  At Rock Quarry Park, TBA
MS Girls’ Volleyball  Tryouts
·  Monday, August 13 from 4-5:30pm
·  Tuesday, August 14 from 4-5:30pm
Background Check Directions
Parents and guardians are able to access a link that can be found on the Voyager web site under “Support Voyager”. The instructions will lead to a log-in site where a background search can be requested. After you input your information, you will be sent an estimated cost to approve before the background is ordered. This process has been put into place to protect privacy and minimize the possibility of hacking and fraud.  Background checks and driving records must be renewed every school year after the initial search.
The costs for the background checks and driving records will be incurred by the parent or guardian requesting the search. This background search will be available for download and for personal use. Please allow five business days for the process to clear. The prices for these are below:
·  First time criminal background and NC driving record: $27.00 ($12 savings if no driving search)
·  Renewal update with discount: $24.00 ($10 savings if no driving search)
·  Out-of-state searches are at an additional cost.
If a parent/guardian does not want to have the driving check, the savings is shown above. However, they must state this on their online request. THE DEFAULT IS FOR BOTH A DRIVING AND BACKGROUND CHECK.
Please call Background Inquiries and Services at 919-460-7799 with any questions.
If you plan to chaperone a field trip, you must have the background check completed prior to the field trip.  If you plan to drive students during the field trip, you must also have the driving record check.
Go Play Save Books
Hopefully, students have taken their Go Play Save books home by today. This is a fundraiser for our athletic department. You may send cash for the book, send a check made payable to Voyager, or return the book.  For the past two years, Voyager Middle School has been fortunate to have 100% participation. This means the book that each student was given was paid for, OR the book was returned to school. Let’s make it three years! The list will be checked daily, and reminders will be sent home if needed. The classroom selling the most books will receive a reward.  Let the competition begin! Money or book needs to be returned no later than August 22. Thanks!
Thanks to all of you for the job you are doing to make arrival and dismissal run smoothly.  Each day has gotten better and better! Please make sure you adhere to the pick-up times that have been emailed several times to all families.  It truly makes a difference when we all follow the suggested arrival times for morning and especially for the afternoon. Thanks!
I will send an email to each grade level this weekend so you can sign-up to receive REMIND texts.  Our REMIND texts will provide you with information in the event of an emergency, school closing, grade level reminders, along with other pertinent information.  Please sign-up to receive. Be on the look-out!!!!!!
As always, if you have questions regarding any information in the newsletter, please email ( me or call me!
Thanks for all the support you provide VAMS!
Gwen Johnson
Voyager Academy Middle School