Albany Middle School

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If your child is absent, please call 510-558-3613.

Headlines & Announcements

For our 8th Grade Families RE: promotion planning

Dear AMS Families,

Your child will receive promotion tickets on Friday, May 19th. Each child will receive 4 tickets. If you don't need that many, please return what you don't need as soon as possible. If you'd like more than the four, you may request up to two additional tickets by emailing Minka Bakkenta <mbakkenta@ausdk12.org> with your name, your child's name, and the number of tickets you are requesting. You will have until Friday, May 26th to request extra tickets. You will be put on a list and tickets will be distributed on a first come first serve basis. If you need more than two additional tickets, you may let Minka know and once we have distributed two extra tickets to those who requested them, and if there are tickets remaining, we can offer them to you.

Thank you,
Deborah

SchoolCARE Phonathon- Your help is needed

SchoolCARE is below their fundraising target and needs your help to be able to raise enough to continue to provide the needed staff support at AMS such as counseling and library tech. A parent is generously hosting a phonathon- materials and snacks provided. It will be on Thursday, May 18th from 6:30-8:30 at 623 San Gabriel - right around the corner from the middle school. Please sign up below:
www.SignUpGenius.com/go/10C0E4AA5AF28A7FD0-schoolcare1
Thank you for your support!
-Deborah

Cobrathon

We need your help!!! We are trying to reach our goal for the Cobrathon, so your donation counts!

Again, the main goal of our Cobrathon fundraising drive is to purchase a new cart with 32 brand-new Chromebooks for our students’ use. To support this important need, we are asking that each family contribute $100. Please give what you can: $50, $25 - any amount is gladly welcome. The goal is to support our school with 100 percent Cobrathon participation. Your support counts!!!!!

Albany Middle PTA

Jewish Parent Engagement Committee

A Jewish Parent Engagement Group is forming in Albany. This group is open to any interested community members who identify as Jewish or are raising Jewish children. The purpose of this group is to create a group of self-identified Jewish families that would: (1) have a collective voice in the current efforts to address racism, anti-Semitism, sexism and any form of bias or hate in the Albany public schools (2) educate the community about Jewish history, culture, and religion (3) ally with other parent engagement and community groups to help create an affirming and safe environment for all students and families in Albany (4) provide mutual support within our group around Jewish identity and anti-Semitism (5) embrace all Jewish identities (e.g. secular, interfaith, Jews of color, LGBTQ, all levels of observance). The group is meeting on Sunday, June 4th from 8am-9:30am at the Cornell School Library. At this meeting, all participants will have a chance to help craft the mission and goals of the group.

Netflix's 13 Reasons Why (click here to read in full)

Dear AMS Families,
I am reaching out to you to share our concerns about the Netflix Series 13 Reasons Why. Many of our middle school students are watching it and talking about it. It is important for you to know that it depicts 13 tapes that a girl who committed suicide left behind sharing why she committed suicide, focusing on bullying, sexual assault, rape and drug/alcohol use. These as well as her suicide are depicted graphically.

There are strong concerns that this show glorifies and over-simplifies suicide. Research shows that the prominence of suicide publicity, including in social media, can increase the likelihood of suicide in vulnerable individuals. The show does not adequately show healthy attempts for the girl to seek help. Additionally, in reality, according to the CDC (2010), 75-90% of suicides occur in persons who have had a mental health disorder for at least a year. This show doesn't mention mental illness or depression.

Please keep this in mind when deciding whether or not to let your child watch this show. If you do choose to let your child which it, please use the opportunity to talk with them about suicide- providing the message that suicide is never an option. There are always other things to do to get help. You can help explore those other options with them including talking to a trusted adult in their lives, a school counselor, or even calling a suicide hotline (see resources below). You can also talk with them about what to do if a friend approaches them about considering suicide. The main message here is it is more important to get help even if it breaks a friends trust, when the alternative could be that they die. Additionally, talking with your children about the other mature topics raised such as sexual assault could help them to process what they are seeing, and help protect them from being victims of sexual assault. Talking with your children directly about depression and suicide does not increase their risk, but rather serves as a protective factor.

Please know that we also have resources at AMS to support your children. If you ever have any concerns about your children's mental health, please contact one of our school counselors: Kelly Britton (kbritton@ausdk12.org, 558-3669), Brandon Mohan (bmohan@ausdk12.org, 558-3670), or Morgan Koblick (mkoblick@ausdk12.org, 558-3669). If needed, they can work with you to refer your children to mental health resources at our school or with outside providers.

If you'd like to learn more, here is an article that provides more information about the show: http://www.nasponline.org/resources-and-publications/resources/school-safety-and-crisis/preventing-youth-suicide/13-reasons-why-netflix-series-considerations-for-educators

Other Resources are:
Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255
Warning Signs of Suicide: afsp.org
Talking Points for Educators & Families: nasponline.org

Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions or concerns,

--
Deborah Brill, Principal
Albany Middle School
1259 Brighton Ave.
Albany, CA 94706
510-558-3612

Instagram

Dear Albany Middle School Community,
Late last night the AHS and AMS administrations were made aware of an Instagram account that contains pictures of several AHS students and one AMS student. Some of the pictures are sexually explicit and many of the comments are. AHS is taking the lead on investigating and has involved the Albany Police Department as well.

We are encouraging our middle school students, some of whom saw the account to please delete any screenshots they may have taken and to not spread this among their peers as it can make the girls whose photos are in there uncomfortable.

This may provide another opportunity for you to talk to your children about social media use and when are the important times to seek adult help.

Thank you and please feel free to reach out to me with any questions.
Best,
Deborah

Best Buddies Award

AMS has worked hard to establish a club affiliated with the internationally known Best Buddies program and is now in year two of the process. Last year our club, which pairs students with disabilities with peers without disabilities, had approximately 40 members. This year the club proudly hosts 60 members! Our club aims to form meaningful and potentially life long friendships. Overseen by 3 teachers, governed by a student board, Best Buddies AMS has been recognized for the 2nd straight year as the Outstanding Middle School chapter in the state of California. Way to go kids!! And thanks to Karen Bonini, Camille Fisher, and Sam Haller for heading this up!

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Events

6th Grade Greek Games
Date: 5/26/2017, 1 PM 3 PM
Location: Cougar Field
Memorial Day Holiday-No School
Date: 5/29/2017
AMS/AHS Orchestra End of Year Concert
Date: 6/5/2017, 7 PM 9 PM
Location: Memorial Park
AMS Bands, End of Year Concert
Date: 6/6/2017, 7 PM 9 PM
Location: AHS Little Theater
AMS Bands, End of Year Concert
Date: 6/7/2017, 7 PM 9 PM
Location: AHS Little Theater

Principal's Message

Hello AMS Families,

AMS is being spotlighted by the Board of Education this month.  At the board meeting, we presented our pride in all of the clubs we have to offer.  We recognize how important student engagement is to students' success in school.  We are grateful to have so many teachers who offer these opportunities to our students.  Check out our video!
 
Thank you,
Deborah