Morey FAQ May 2020

Morey Middle School

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Schedules/Classes
When will I know my class schedule?

Morey normally hosts a Welcome Back BBQ in late August. Students receive their schedules then. If we are not able to host the BBQ, we will give them to you on the first day of school.

When does school start? Is there an orientation?

August 17th will be the first day of classes for 6th graders.  The orientation for 6th graders will be during the first day. They will get to know their teachers and classmates. As well, they will learn to navigate Morey’s school building and how to open their locker. 7th and 8th graders return to school on Aug. 18th.

Which classes will I be taking?

You will take Language Arts and Math all year long for 80 minutes a day, 5 days a week. Each semester, you will take either Science or Social Studies for that same amount of time. Each student also has two electives that last 40 minutes each day. Electives last for one semester. Finally, everyone also has SUCCESS Seminar, which is your homeroom. This will be every day for about 40 minutes as well. In that class, you will learn more about what it means to be a Morey student, get to know a few students really well, meet with your mentor teacher, and have time to work on any classes that you did not complete during the rest of the school day.

Are there electives and how do we determine them? Do I get to choose certain classes?

We have four electives. Therefore, you do not need to choose. You will be in two the first semester and two the second semester. When we are ready for Discovery Seminar, a one-day-a -week elective, you will choose from the options that teachers share out.

How long is the school day?

Classes start at 7:45 am and end at 3:05pm. Therefore, the day is 7 hours and 20 minutes long. Recess and lunch is one period that lasts about 50 minutes. Passing periods are 3-minute long blocks between classes. You will have about 5 or so of those a day. So, you have some short breaks and a longer break.

How often are students late to class while changing classrooms? How long do you give new students to learn to switch classrooms quickly?

Students are very rarely late to class because we give them 3 minutes to get there. If they are, it is because they were not being purposeful about getting to their next class. It does not take long to get from one class to another at Morey. During the first few weeks, teachers and staff will remind students how the Morey school building is set up so they can navigate the building easily.

How many kids are in a class?

We average about 27 students in a class. Some classes are a little smaller while others are a little larger. Sometimes, we have HGT classes with over 30 students. Teachers are good at managing this quantity of students.

Fun/Relationships
What makes your teachers great teachers?

Our teachers focus on relationship building and knowing their students. They realize that caring about students helps them feel comfortable and ready to learn. They invest in getting to know kids so their instruction makes sense and aligns with students’ needs. Are you life-long learners? We are constantly improving what we do at Morey. So, our teachers are continuously learning.

How fun is it?

For some people, having the right amount of challenge in school is fun, so that is one of our focus areas. For other people, having good times with classmates, playing sports and trying new things is fun. We provide all those experiences. As well, the teachers and staff like each other. The comradery, spirit weeks and other programming allows us to keep life at Morey lighthearted and fun. There is always activities going on. If you get involved, you will have a great time!

How do you make sure kids feel included (when new).

We have a variety of “get to know you” style games that are included in lessons at the beginning of the year. Teachers help kids start conversation and give them topics to discuss. Staff is looking out for any kids who do not seem to be included. They make suggestions to kids to help them find ways to interact.

What advice do you have for incoming 6th graders who are concerned about making friends?

 Do not be afraid to show others that you are curious about them. Most people like to talk about themselves, so ask your new classmates questions. They will be grateful when you do!

Do we get to go on any fun trips?

We offer On-Track trips for students who are passing all of their classes, have 95% attendance and no behavior referrals. Even if students do fall behind in class or have a referral, we give them time to get back on track to attend these trips. We provide letters that go home to families every 2 weeks to show progress. Teachers also plan fun trips as part of their unit long lesson plans. Morey is located close to lots of great places, so we often walk to these places when we can. These can include the Botanic Gardens, the Denver Zoo, the Museum of Nature and Science, the Colorado State Capitol, and History Colorado. On-Track trips have included Jumpstreet, Skate City, the movies at the Denver Pavilions, Ice Skating at Skyline Park, and Boondocks.

Modified School because of Remote Learning
If we still are doing remote learning in the fall, how do you think it will be structured, and how will it be different from what you were doing previously? Please watch the front page of our website for on-going updates to district and school procedures.
How will we get to know each other this Fall if we have to learn from home?

Teachers will organize ways for students to socialize at the beginning of the school year in face-to-face meetings. It could be tricky, but they should be able to do breakout rooms like small group discussions. We have actually had some hangout sessions with our counselor and social worker during remote learning for kids to show off their pets or have other discussions.

Are specials required during remote learning?

Yes, specials or electives, as we call them, will be required during remote learning.

Afterschool Programming
How do the before and after school programs work? When is information going to be released about after-school electives?

We do not have before school programs at Morey. Students are allowed into the cafeteria or onto the recess area starting at 7:20am. This is when we have adult supervision. There are two styles of afterschool programs at Morey. Study Buddies meets every day from the end of the school day until 5:30pm, or when parents pick students up. They receive a snack, do an activity and have a time for homework completion. Other electives options meet less often, normally once a week. Students and families receive a list of offerings at the beginning of the school year that includes the day and location of the class. They will also be posted on our website. These sessions normally begin in mid-September. Students sign up and then attend the sessions. The cost varies depending on the organization that offers the program.

What are the after school electives?

Morey School led: Study Buddies, After School Sports, After School Tutoring

Teacher Led: Umbrellas, Girl Power!, Cartooning and Anime

Programming from Community Organizations: Spanish, French, DeMolay, History Colorado, Science Matters, Gardening Club

Elementary/Middle School Transition
How do you help kids with the transition from elementary to middle school?

We have already contacted all the students’ teachers to get their advice on how best to support each student next year. Sometimes, we have more in-depth meetings with staff from the prior school in case increase nuances are necessary for teachers to get even more detail. We focus on students integrating to our school and with each other during the first two weeks of school. We emphasize that there are new students in every class and grade. We also let kids know that middle school is a great opportunity for increasing the number of friends that they know.

What can I do to help my kid transition?

Ask your student to be the driver of their education when starting at Morey. Let them know that you are there to support them with their hopes and dreams. This helps them have increased ownership over their experience.

What have you seen is usually the biggest hurdle that kids need to overcome when transitioning from elementary to middle school?

Being open to a new way of doing school can be hard for some kids. Otherwise, making friends can be difficult.

What is one thing you wish parents would do to help prepare their kid(s) for middle school and Morey?

I would ask parents to encourage students to be open to new things. Reassure them that a middle school is also a caring place can help them feel better. We want students to succeed and be happy, just like their elementary school community.

HGT Questions
What types of classes make up the HGT program? How are the classes integrated into a student’s daily schedule?

HGT classes are a student’s core classes: Language Arts, Math, Science and Social Studies. Students follow their specific schedule, so they will go to these classes without even noticing.

If you are in GT math, are you automatically placed into GT literacy? How do you differentiate in the GT class (I have dyslexia.)

A student is in HGT classes no matter their strength area. Teachers realize that gifted students do not necessarily have strength in all classes. So, they are used to differentiating for students’ needs. First of all, teachers pull students into small groups to explain the content in another way. Secondly, they give students individual feedback. Finally, the offer some choice so you can choose the way you prefer to show your learning.

Is there a math placement test?

We have already received your current teacher’s math level recommendations for you next year. We will also be giving some tests at the beginning of the school year to make sure their recommendation makes sense. Rather than testing at the end of the school year, we will either conduct testing during registration or during the first week of school. For your other classes, we assign you randomly after checking if you are our general education or magnet program.

Can we move ahead if we have mastered a subject that class is still working on?

There is a variety of options. Students can work on Additional or Challenge Focus areas. They can also work on choice projects. Your student should be placed in classes at their level so this won’t be as necessary.

For kids wanting to accelerate to 7th or 8th grade math are there any resources or suggested courses they could do over the summer?

I would recommend going into Khan Academy and learning new topics. Otherwise, I like Ed Zacarro’s books. He has a number of books at different levels that can push math thinking.

Supporting Students
Do you have a school Psychologist?

We have a psychologist who comes to our building 1 day a week. We also have a full-time school counselor and a full-time school social worker. They are the main people that support students’ social and emotional needs. Ms. Fiz also helps students who need her gifted and talented expertise.

How do you best support students that are struggling to catch up or if one-on-one support is needed?

Teachers are willing to help kids when they have extra time. This could be during SUCCESS Seminar when students are mentored, during independent work time in class or during recess. Otherwise, students can attend tutoring after school with one of our teachers. There are a limited number of spaces four days a week. Therefore, we ask kids to sign up a day or two before the day they would like help.

Do you make students miss recess if their work is not completed?

Students do not lose recess unless they are not being responsible during recess. We believe that getting outside and moving is important for students to be able focus on learning and taking care of each other. If a student does not complete their work, they have time to make up the work. They can take time at home to get it done.

What could Morey do better?

We can always do a better job at targeting instruction. We like to personalize instruction to meet students’ needs and preferences. Personalizing learning is complex, so we could be more skilled at this.

Subject Specific Questions
Is swimming a P.E. course? Is there a swim team?

Swimming takes place during a student’s PE elective. I believe they swim about once a week. We don’t have a swim team because there aren’t enough middle schools with whom to schedule competitions.

Can I request to not have Math class at the end of the day?

At this time, there are no 6th grade math classes scheduled at the end of the day. So, you should not have to worry about that. Scheduling for a small school with two programs is incredibly hard and tweaking schedules for kids is often not possible.

Is there a French class?

We do not offer a semester long French class. We have a Discovery Seminar, which meets once a week, which teaches French to students. We also have a partnership with Alliance Française for a weekly French club after school.

Do the Spanish electives/programs build on one another and if a student did those throughout three years at Morey, how many years of a Spanish class would that equal?

At this time, there are two levels of Spanish class after school. I am not sure how these would measure up against a typical Spanish curriculum.

If a Drama class does a musical, does everyone have to do a singing audition if they do not want a singing part?

Only student that want a singing part have to sing.

Is there an Economics class?

We do not offer Economics. You could get some information on economics and do a Passion Project on it during our 2nd semester Passion Project time.