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Principal's Message


"Back to School" time is always one of my favorite times of the year.  From the new school supplies (there's just nothing quite like an extra-sharp pencil and fresh, clean notebook) to the excitement and enthusiasm streaming from students and teachers alike, there is no other time in the school year with so much hope, promise, and optimism.  It seems most everyone is excited for a new beginning!

Unfortunately, for some students this bright start quickly dulls and they find themselves falling back into many of the habits that may have sidetracked them in the past.  Others find new obstacles to overcome as they navigate through the changes that come with middle school -- bodies changing, classes becoming more difficult, new social groups forming.  Our goal here at WCMS is to help students be as successful as they possibly can be in this transitional period. With that in mind, here are some tips for students (and parents) to help get off on the right start and stay there throughout the year.

  1. ORGANIZATION – One of the biggest challenges that WCMS students face is keeping up with everything they need for 7 different classes each day.  Most students enjoy our fast-paced schedule that changes every hour, but fail to take steps to make sure they are staying organized for each subject.  Using one folder or binder to hold any and all papers may have worked in elementary school, but we have found students are usually more successful if they have a separate folder for each class.  That way they are not sorting through materials from other classes while trying to find stuff for the class they are in.


Another organizational tip is to make good use of the student planner/agenda that is provided by the school to keep up with important dates for homework, projects, tests, and other school events.Students can take their agendas home each night so that parents can see what they are doing in classes. These agendas are a great tool to help students and parents keep track of their busy schedules!


  1. MAKE NEW FRIENDS – Many of our students (especially our new 7th graders) have been with the same group of classmates for several years.  Now they will be mixed in with students from two other schools, and they will continue their educational journey with these new classmates for the next six years. I have found that students that are willing to open up and make new friends tend to enjoy their middle school careers more. Coming together with new friends from other elementary schools helps students feel like a part of their new school.


It is great for students to have a best friend, but not an only friend! Research even indicates that making new friends during teenage years can lead to improved brain development, increases our abilities to bounce back from adversity, reduces stress and anxiety, and decreases feelings of loneliness and isolation.So get out there and meet somebody new!


  1. BE HERE!!! (and be on time) – I cannot stress enough the importance of good attendance.  Research has clearly shown a link between attendance and student achievement, including grades, reading ability, and dropout rates.  Missing a day of middle school means falling behind in 7 different classes, and completing makeup work still does not replace that time in the classroom.  Also, being a few minutes late to school (or leaving a few minutes early) may not seem like a big deal, but missing just 10 minutes a couple of times each week adds up to nearly 3 and half class periods of missed instruction in just one grading period! In some classes, that can be nearly impossible to overcome.


Here are some things you can do to stay on track with attendance:

  • Start strong.  Students that miss more than two days within the first month of school are more than twice as likely to have attendance issues throughout the school year.
  • Schedule appointments after school hours (even excused absences like doctor appointments negatively effect student achievement!)
  • Get in the habit of using an alarm clock (or alarm on your phone or other device).  Middle school students are more than capable of getting themselves out of bed in the mornings!


  1. REST UP! – Middle school is a time of tremendous physical, mental and social growth.  Your body needs time to recover from all that it is going through!  Staying up late watching TV, chatting on the internet, or playing video games may seem like fun at the time, but it isn’t worth walking around like a zombie at school the next day. Get in a good routine of turning off electronics at a set time each night.  Research indicates that teens need about 9.5 hours of sleep each night.  While that may not always be possible, the more sleep you can get, the better. 

I hope each and every one of our students has a great start to the school year, and carries that excitement and optimism from the first day all the way through to the end.  If I can do anything to help your transition to the new year, please let me know!

Nick Brooks, Principal

Wolfe County Middle School


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