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05/13/19 - End-of-year Letter from Ms. Johnson

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Dear Sutton Middle School Family,

It truly feels like just yesterday I was writing my “Welcome to the School Year” letter! I am speechless at how fast this year flew by us. Perhaps it is because of all of the incredible achievements that Sutton students and staff were reaching week in and week out. We had an unprecedented year in championships, awards and recognitions in academics, athletics, the arts and our extra-curricular clubs and teams. I cannot thank our PTA, parents and community for your support as none of this would not have happened without your active engagement in all facets of Sutton Middle School. Our huge increase in student enrollment, expected to continue next year, is a testament to our collective work in making Sutton the choice middle school for our entire zone.

Our Milestone testing went incredibly smooth, (do note 6th grade testing and make-ups are through this week). We were able to meet our commitment of testing 100% of our students online this year and thanks to the incredible technology talent of our teachers and their incorporation of it throughout the year in instruction; our students have managed the online platform without any difficulties.

I look forward to our upcoming Honors and Awards Ceremonies and our 8th grade Promotion Ceremony.  There are so many students to celebrate and recognize for achievements both in and out of the classroom.  Please join us at your child’s grade level ceremony, as I believe that as an International Baccalaureate School, it is important that we all celebrate all of our students as a community of learners and achievers. You are welcome to bring flowers, balloons and other goodies to celebrate your student after the program, but note that if your child is riding the bus home that day; balloons are prohibited on the bus. The programs are in the main gym at each building and you are welcome to check your child out of school for the day following the program. In addition, please take note that we ask our students to dress up for our Honor’s Days and see the specific information regarding the 8th Grade Promotion Ceremony standard of dress.

                                    6th Grade – May 22nd at 10:00 am

                                    7th Grade – May 23rd at 10:00 am

                                    8th Grade – May 24th at 10:00 am

On Thursday, May 16 we invite all families with rising sixth graders to our, “We are Sutton” event at 6:00 pm at the Powers Ferry campus. This is a great opportunity to visit the building and meet our incredible 6th grade and Connections teachers.

This week all students will participate in the Annual Field Day! Our Connections teachers have planned a fun and exciting day for all of the grade levels. On Field Day, we do allow students to wear “running style shorts” but shirts must have sleeves. Other than Field Day, our dress code is in effect everyday including the last day of school. Field Days are as follows:

                                   Wednesday, May 15th – 7th Grade

                                    Thursday, May 16th – 8th Grade

                                    Friday, May 17th – 6th Grade

Without a doubt, there are great activities to look forward to finish out the school year, however, please keep in mind that our teachers are planning and delivering instruction in every class through the remainder of the year when activities are not taking place. Please reinforce with your child the continued expectations for academic work, behavior and dress code that will remain in place through the last day of school.  In addition, please send your child to school every day as there is still learning for each student.

The second semester grading period also concludes at year’s end. I encourage you to reach out to any teacher if you have concerns regarding your child’s grades. It is important that you contact teachers so that teachers are able to provide you with the information you need to understand your child’s grades. Our web site has all of our teacher email addresses.

As a follow up to the Level I lockdown that occurred last week at the Northside Campus, I can assure you that the former student behind the threat was taken into custody and all relevant charges pressed by the police. However, in the days following, we found that some of our students choose to spread unfounded rumors about the situation and even make light of it by making jokes on social media and in school with their friends. Please help us by talking to your children about the seriousness of making threats against a school and the seriousness in which we will take for students who continue choose to use such circumstances to attempt to scare students by spreading rumors and making jokes about it. This situation demonstrated the readiness Atlanta Public Schools and Sutton have to address any situation. We ask that you help us in addressing with your children their responsibilities before, during and after any situation of such severity. I also want to commend the students who reported this situation, because like in others before, our students’ understanding of “See Something, Say Something” is one of our most valuable resources in assuring the safety and security of everyone at Sutton Middle School.

As has always been the case, NO BOOKBAGS are allowed the last week of school, and students will enjoy lunch in their classrooms for the last three days of school. Only a small purse like clutch or lunch bags are permitted the last week. I also ask that you take time to check all of the belongings your child is bringing to school each morning over these last two weeks. By taking this precaution, you can help us assure that our students are arriving to school prepared to learn and in continued compliance of our expectations.

Finally, allow me to extend an incredible amount of gratitude to each of you and especially our PTA and GO Team for incredible support during my third year at Sutton. I am committed to every aspect of this wonderful school and look forward to continued student success in all areas of the middle school student’s development. Information regarding summer hours, summer work packets and reading, and all other information between the end of the year and the start of 2019-2020 will be posted on our web site within the next two weeks. I wish each of you an amazing end of the year and a fabulous summer break!

Gail Johnson in Script Font
Gail Johnson, EdS