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Joseph Kerr Families,

Greetings from Joseph Kerr Middle School! As I draft this letter, the first quarter of the 2019-2020 academic year has come to a close. It is hard for me to believe we have completed a quarter of the school year already! As we end the quarter, I would like to thank all parents and guardians for all they have done for the school community this past quarter. This was a great beginning for us at Kerr, perhaps the best start in the 7 years I’ve been here, due in large part to the amazing PBIS (Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports) kickoff we implemented. I trust that we will continue to work closely together, as a school and community team, to ensure the ongoing success of all of our children here at JKMS.

 As we conclude the first quarter and prepare to begin the second, it is important for us all to take a moment and review your child’s progress thus far. Quarter grades will be mailed home on October 18th. Upon receipt of your child’s report card, should you have questions or concerns, the best place to begin is with the teachers. Although Administration is here to offer support, questions that are specific to grades, student behavior, or otherwise unique to the classroom teacher(s), should be addressed with the individual teacher. Each student at JKMS has an assigned guidance counselor who is also ready and willing to help attend to your questions and/or concerns.

 The quarter grade represents an important part of your child’s overall academic profile; however, please keep in mind that there is still much time for improvement. The end of the first quarter allows students the opportunity to reflect on past performance and work with teachers, counselors and parents, as necessary, to improve future performance. For our incoming 7th graders, there is often an adjustment period as students acclimate themselves to the many different nuances that are unique to middle school, such as successfully managing 6 different teacher personalities, classrooms, and expectations.

Often times, we also notice other specific challenges to students as they transition into middle school from elementary school. Some of these include:  no recess, very little “free” time, new grading standards and procedures, more peer pressure, rapid developmental changes, accepting responsibility for their actions, interacting with new students from 4 feeder elementary schools, extracurricular activities and ensuing time management, project based assignments, and for some, social and emotional immaturity.

Here at JKMS, we encourage all students to be vested in our school community. Research confirms that students who are involved in clubs and extracurricular activities  in school, have  a heightened sense of  belonging which  leads to improved


academic performance as well.  We strongly encourage all students to find their own niche, here at Kerr, where they can explore their unique gifts, talents, abilities and inclinations. We have been enjoying our varying events from dances to volleyball and look forward to basketball, wrestling and our upcoming Fall Festival!  Please be sure to check our website at jkms.egusd.net  Parent and then “calendar,” to stay informed as to student activities, current events, club news and other newsworthy items.


We are so blessed by our wonderful parent and school community! On behalf of all of the staff here at JKMS, thank you for entrusting us with those who are most precious to you, your children. Thank you for your support, understanding, positive energy, enthusiasm, encouragement, patience, and above all, for partnering with us on this unforgettable adventure we call middle school! Go Knights!



Zack Cheney

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