Greetings DMS Families,
We are so very excited to welcome our 6th grade students to Drake Middle School on Tuesday, August 10th! We are especially thrilled to open the doors to our new exploratory hallway and brand new kitchen and cafeteria!
Here are some important announcements and reminders as we prepare to begin another great school year. I know this is a lot of information, but it is always my goal that you feel over-prepared for events and experiences at Drake Middle School.
Changes to the ACS Return to Learning Plan – Masks and Visitors
On Thursday, July 29th, the Auburn City Schools Board of Education voted to require that all individuals wear masks/face coverings inside of school buildings and on school buses. This requirement is effective August 2nd through September 17th. The Auburn City Schools Board of Education will re-evaluate our district’s data and trends in the community at the September School Board meeting.
Students, staff, and visitors will be required to wear masks while they are indoors at J. F. Drake Middle School. Students who ride an Auburn City Schools bus will also be required to wear a mask while on the bus.
Parents are welcome to visit DMS for pre-arranged, face-to-face conferences and for the purposeful work of PTO. All work and visits will be conducted in in common areas and visitors will be required to wear masks and facial coverings per the Auburn City Schools Board action on Thursday, July 29th.
I have attached the revised “ACS Return to Learning Plan” which includes the mask mandate and information regarding visitors on campus.
Open House/Meet Your Teacher Events – Friday, August 6th
We are excited to host our Meet Your Teacher/Open House event on Friday, August 6th. Parents and students are invited to tour campus and visit classrooms, meet teachers, and purchase any necessary items such as T-shirts or team spirit merchandise in the cafeteria.
Masks/facial coverings are required for all individuals while indoors at Drake Middle School during the Open House event.
Please see the timing for each team’s Open House below. We extended each block to one hour to hopefully support campus traffic and parking challenges. Please plan for your visit to last no longer than 30 minutes and exit the building immediately by the conclusion of your team session.
- 8:45-9:45 Pumas and Panthers
- 9:45-10:45 Cosmic Cats
- 10:45-11:45 Leopards and Tigers
While you are here, you will be able to do the following:
- Meet your child’s teachers and see their classroom/team areas.
- Pick up your pre-ordered supply kits (cafeteria). We have a very limited supply of extra supply kits for sale for ($55) – first come first served.
- Join PTO ($5), purchase a team T-shirt ($10, purchase a team lanyard ($8), water bottle ($5), drawstring bag ($5), or DMS car magnet ($5).
- Drop-off any medication with Nurse Beth with the mandatory Parent Prescriber Authorization form. (See information below.)
Logistics of Open House
Please enter the front driveway loop from North Donahue Drive and enter and exit the building from the N. Donahue main entrance ONLY. All other entrances will be locked.
Please park in the front parking lot or along the right side of the front loop. Please do not park on the grass in any location on campus.
Purchases on My School Bucks Through Thursday, August 5th
You may pre-order team merchandise and team T-shirts on My School Bucks until this Thursday, August 5th at 7:00 p.m. Those pre-orders will be available for pickup at your child’s Open House. After that time, T-shirts and team merchandise may be purchased in our school office after August 10th by completing an order form and providing payment by cash, card, or check.
A Work In Progress – Construction Update
We were granted full access to all interior spaces through building inspection on Friday July 30th, 2021. However, there are portions of the newest connecting hallways and central campus courtyard that are still very much in the “finishing stages” of our project. We appreciate the grace you will extend us as we continue to work hard to be ready for the official first day of school on Tuesday, August 10th!
A Note From Nurse Beth Jones
On Friday, August 6th Nurse Beth Jones will only receive medication that is accompanied with the Parent Prescriber Authorization form. Click here to access the medication guidelines and the required school medication forms.
If you are unable to drop off medication at this time you can set up an appointment to meet with Nurse Jones at the front of the school. Please call the school at 728-7243 or email email@example.com. Students are not allowed to bring medication to school; a parent must bring the medication.
If your student requires an Individualized Healthcare Plan, Nurse Jones will call families within the first few days of school and discuss the plan over the phone. The finalized plan will be sent home and the plan must be signed and returned to the school.
If you need to turn in immunization records (a Blue Card) you can drop it in the box at the registration table, email it to Nurse Jones (firstname.lastname@example.org), or send it to the office with your child on the first day of school.
Bus routes can be found on the ACS website or DMS website under the “For Parents” tab. We will also post hard copies of these lists in front of DMS from Monday, August 2nd through Monday, August 9th if you need to view a paper copy of the information. If you need help locating your child’s bus, please contact the DMS office at 887-1940.
The car line instructional video is linked on the DMS Website under Camp Drake 2021.
Bike riders and walkers may enter campus from the N. Donahue Drive entrance or the Spencer Avenue entrance utilizing crosswalks and sidewalks.
Camp Drake Documents on Drake Website
You may access a full video of the parent orientation presentation or a copy of the PowerPoint presentation on the DMS website under the heading Camp Drake 2021.
First Day and First Week of School
Students do not need to bring any school supplies on the first day of school. They will want to bring a backpack for any items they receive and need to bring home for parental review. We are focusing on re-acclimating to the school environment, getting to know one another, and ensuring that all individuals feel confident and safe in their new surroundings.
If you purchased a supply kit and didn’t get to pick it up at Open House, we will deliver it to your child’s homeroom class for them to bring home on the first day of school.
Each day, all doors will open at 7:50 a.m. Supervision will not begin until that time. If students arrive before 7:50 a.m., they need to remain in their vehicle or bus. If students walk or ride their bike, they do not need to arrive on campus prior to 7:50 a.m.
Once the doors open, students will have an opportunity to purchase and eat breakfast in the cafeteria or report directly to their homeroom.
To help students find their team area, DMS staff members will greet students in both the bus and car lines and we will have directional signs to help as well. Once students arrive in their team area, team teachers will direct them to their homeroom classroom.
For the first day of school students will remain on team with homeroom groups all day to provide information, support, and discuss the following topics:
- General school expectations and procedures
- Schedule review and learning to use the student take-home folder
- COVID-19 related safety protocols and expectations
- Team building and get-to-know-you activities
- Campus tours
- Cafeteria procedures
- Arrival/Dismissal procedures
- Water fountain/restroom procedures
- Student IDs and Lanyards
Students will begin their rotating schedule on Wednesday, August 11th. We will provide maximum support to help them feel good about class locations, transitions, etc. Teachers will review class procedures and teach students how to use Schoology, Office 365, and our online math program Envision during the first week of school.
Students are encouraged to wear their team T-shirt on Thursday, August 12th (and every Thursday thereafter).
We are grateful to partner with you on this journey and we thank you for sharing your children with us each day. We can’t wait to meet our new students and hear laughter and students back in our hallways very soon.
J. F. Drake Middle School