Dear Parents and Guardians,

Last month I closed my newsletter by asking you not to believe the myth that parents should not be involved in their child’s education once they reach middle school.  I want to expand on why your continued involvement is so important for your middle school student given their age specific, developmental needs. Merton Williams Middle School is purposefully structured to develop and foster the ability for students to become more independent learners.  However, that independence doesn’t happen the minute a child enters middle school.  It takes time and happens at different points for all students.  The level of independence that is appropriate for 7th graders in the fall semester is very different from that of 8thgraders.  Achieving independence is a gradual process that will last long after your child transitions to the high school and beyond. Active parental involvement during this gradual transformation is critical.  Your continued involvement and presence in the building and your active support at home are two ways to help your child on their journey through middle school and beyond.

I have been extremely gratified to see the level of parental presence in Merton Williams so far this year.  7th Grade Orientation, Open House, volunteering for the Student of the Month Room and Team Day, attending the first Parent Forum and Homecoming are all examples of how parents continue to stay involved in their child’s education.  Thanks to all who have  freely given of your time to help make Merton Williams a better place.  Your presence sends a powerful message to your child that their education continues to be important to you.

This week offers another opportunity to show your active support of MW by attending our second Parent Forum this Thursday evening, November 6th at 7 pm.  What is a Parent Forum and what happens at it?  Parent   Forums are one-hour meetings hosted by me and Assistant Principal Mike LeGault that provide the opportunity to learn more about middle level education through a presentation on a featured topic.  Each presentation is followed by an open question and answer session about the presentation topic or any other education-related topic you are interested in. At our first Parent Forum in September, I introduced the Approaches to Learning from the International Baccalaureate –Middle Years Programme.  This week’s Parent Forum will be about our School Improvement Team goal-setting process.  It will also offer a chance to meet MW’s new Assistant Principal, Mike LeGault.

Another opportunity to come to MW and participate in November is the annual Parent Teacher Conferences on the evening of November 24 from 5:00 pm- 8:30 pm or the morning of November 25 from 7:30 am -10:30 am.   At Merton Williams, parent conferences are scheduled ahead of time.  If your child’s team or an individual teacher would like to have a conference to discuss your child’s progress, they will call you to request a conference.  If you would like to request a conference, you can call our counseling office (392-1000 ext. 3192) or your child’s team leader to schedule one. 

Please remember your presence and participation at MW is valued and very necessary.  Please take advantage of the many opportunities MW offers to show your child that their education is important.  Despite the fact that they may tell you not to come to school because they don’t want to be embarrassed in front of their friends and teachers, rest assured, they really still want you to actively support them and more importantly, they need you to! 

Sincerely, Tim Dobbertin, Principal 


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