Hello Purple Team Students and Parents:

I hope that your 8th grade year will prove to be both challenging and rewarding. I'm so excited about what you will be learning in computer class this year. Mr. McGraw (who teaches the 8 Green team) and I have planned engaging projects that will require to work with your classmates and develop skills that will be very valuable in the high school and beyond.

This year we are very excited to teach our course online via Moodle. Moodle is an e-learning platform. You will be able to access our Moodle class online at school and home via the Internet. You should bookmark this site for easy access: http://derry.wiueacademy.org/ You will receive a username and password for the course.

The 8th grade curriculum focuses on enhancing your computer skills in Microsoft Office applications such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Publisher. You will also create projects using Web 2.0 applications which encourage critical thinking, creativity, and collaboration. Eighth grade students are also required to begin a career development portfolio. Students will participate in career awareness and entrepreneurship activities that will be recorded in a digital portfolio that will become part of the student's graduation project in the high school. In addition, students will pilot a new initiative at Derry Area Middle School known as SALT - Service and Learning Together. SALT encourages students to engage in meaningful learning experiences through community service. We are so excited for our middle school students to participate in this new endeavor.

In 8th grade, students have two (2) days of computer class during the six (6) day rotation. There are fifteen (15) class periods per grading period for a total of sixty (60) class periods per year. Students are responsible for checking with the teacher about assignments when they miss class. I will not remind students about missed work and class time will not be given for students to make-up assignments. After-school tutoring sessions are available for students to make-up missed assignments. Tutoring sessions are from 3:00 - 4:00 pm. Activity buses, leaving at 4:00 pm, are available on Tuesdays and Thursdays, if you cannot provide transportation for your student.

Tutoring times are posted on the District's Website and are also posted on my teacher Web page. I recognize that tutoring times may not accommodate your family's schedule so I post the tutoring schedule in advance for planning purposes. I know that many students are also involved in extracurricular activities and sports; however, practices are not an excuse for missing tutoring sessions. I recommend that students fill out a tutoring reminder slip and write a reminder in their agenda or cell phone calendar. It is the student's responsibility to remember to stay for tutoring.

As a parent, you now have the ability to stay on top of your child's grade at all times through Edline's Parent Portal. You will receive information from the Middle School about your log-in and password for the portal. Training will also be available.

Please be aware of the posted due date for the assignment; assignments may be listed prior to their due dates. (It may appear as if your student did not complete the assignment.) Please also be aware of the following notations:
Not Completed (receives no credit)
Exempted from the assignment
Assignments yet to be created

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions regarding the class expectations or your student's grade. For the fastest response, please email me at ssullenberger@wiu.k12.pa.us. If you wish, you may call the Middle School office at 724-694-8231 and leave a message with a secretary. I will return your call as soon as possible. I'm looking forward to working together to ensure that every student has a successful year!