Middle School is fast approaching; here are some frequently asked questions from our parents and students.

What are Academies?
At Granite Oaks Middle School each student is assigned to an academy. Academies are teams of up to four teachers with 70 to 140 students, depending on the number of teachers in the academy. In this environment teachers are better able to collaborate with each other to assist students who may need extra help and support. The teachers are in separate classrooms and students rotate among the academy classrooms.

Each student is assigned a classroom within the academy to be his/her homeroom. Students spend the first five minutes of each day in homeroom. During this time roll is taken, announcements are made, and any material to be sent home is distributed. After homeroom, students go to their first class. This could be physical education, elective, or academic time depending on academy rotation.

The students spend five periods out of the seven-period day in their academies. These periods are scheduled for core academics (language arts, math, science, and social studies). Time in the academy may be used to teach periods of separate academics or blocks of time may be scheduled to accommodate instruction. All students are assigned to a reading (Accelerated Reading) or intervention class during the academy enrichment period.

The remaining two periods of the seven-period day are reserved for physical education and electives. Each student has one period of physical education and one period of an elective. The electives currently available at Granite Oaks for both grades include band, chorus, orchestra, art, home economics, manufacturing technology, exploratory Spanish and Spanish 1. A student who enters Granite Oaks as a 7th grader and stays through the four semesters to promotion will be able to take four of the seven electives, plus honor band during "0" period. Students are given the opportunity to indicate their first, second and third choices for an elective.

How is the food?
The cafeteria offers several choices of entrées each day.

Are there after-school sports or clubs?
YES --- there are fall, winter and spring sports and clubs --- have your student get involved.

When will we find out their class schedules?
A panel of counselors, teachers, and select eighth grade students from Granite Oaks will visit all five feeder schools sixth grade classes in April. An informational packet for you to review will be handed to each student to bring home following the sixth grade presentations. Your student will be able to select their electives and return the form to their teacher to forward to the middle school. In August, your student will be contacted to attend WEB (Welcome Everybody). This is a day that the students are placed in small groups, tour the campus and participate in small group activities. Academy assignments will be posted outside the Granite Oaks office the Friday before the school year starts. All students are given their class schedules during homeroom the first day of school. If your student has any outstanding RUSD fines for books or materials, they will not be able to pick up their class schedules until the fine is settled.

What time does Middle School start?
Good News! Your student begins class at 8:30 a.m. --- sharp! The school day ends at 3:10 p.m. Of course this is always subject to change, but that has been the current schedule. The Middle School is quite strict on tardiness . . . if your child is late, they may end up serving after school detention . . . even if it is your fault that they are late.

What are merits?
The merit system is the middle school behavior system. Each student begins the quarter with 100 merits --- this means they are outstanding in their behavior, attitude and respect for others. It is relatively hard to lose merits, but disrespecting a guest teacher, breaking any major school rules, or continual disruption of class can result in loss of merits. If a student maintains their merits for the quarter, there is a school-wide celebration that is TONS of fun. At the beginning of each quarter, the students are re-issued merits for another try.

Can I check homework assignments and grades online?
ABSOLUTELY! In fact, if you have not developed that habit this year, you need to do so for the upcoming school year. The teachers at the middle school are excellent at updating their websites --- they will post homework, study guides, upcoming events and grades. You will find communication is quite different at the middle school, and the staff there depends on you watching the website and the grades. E-mail is their most common way of communication, and you usually will get the quickest response by e-mailing your student’s teachers.

Is there a dress code?
Yes --- the student handbook distributed the first day of school and reviewed with the students will list acceptable and not acceptable items that can be worn to school. It is not really all that different from elementary, but it is enforced. If your student should violate the dress code, they may be asked to put on PE loaner clothes for the remainder of the day. You will need to obtain the clothing items that did not meet code from student services after school.

Additional questions will be addressed and answered at the Parent Orientation in the spring.

Your student will make the transition beautifully.

Relax --- they will surprise you!