Parent Letter 2018

August 21, 2018

Dear Parents/Guardians,

I would like to welcome you and your child to 5th grade! My name is Mrs. Michelle Martin and I am excited to be your child’s teacher!  This school year will be rewarding, challenging, and like others, will have a significant impact on your child’s development.  My goal is to encourage a positive environment in which all children can succeed in meeting the curricular objectives outlined by the State of California and the San Marcos Unified School District.  Through cooperation, effort, and hard work, I am confident this goal will be achieved.

ATTENDANCE:  Fifth grade is such an exciting year, as the official transition begins into secondary school.  It is a year filled with exciting new learning and amazing growth. It is crucial that your child is here promptly at 8:45 every day.  Tardies and unexcused absences decrease the quality of your child’s education and work ethic.

LUNCH:  Because fifth grade has the last lunch of the day (12:35 p.m.), please be sure that your child leaves home each morning with a healthy snack to keep his/her energy up.  Cheese and crackers, peanut butter and apples, and granola bars are better choices than chips or soft drinks. Similarly, there is a district-wide policy regarding foods containing sugar (even birthday treats) that will be coming home to you.  Basically, there are no food items allowed for birthday celebrations.


8:45 School Begins
11:10-11:30 Recess (Please pack a healthy snack for your child)
12:35-1:20 Lunch/Recess
3:10 Dismissal (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday)
2:10 Dismissal (Wednesday)

PE:  Our PE days this year will be Monday and Thursday afternoons. Children should wear comfortable athletic shoes and socks. Students are also welcome to bring  water bottles to stay hydrated. Please label these with their first and last name in Sharpie to identify.

HOMEWORK:  There will be regular nightly homework assigned Monday through Thursday evenings.  I try to limit this to 20 minutes of reading, a 5-10 minute written response to their reading, math worksheet, and spelling activity.  At times, there are projects, papers, and activities going on in addition to this basic framework. Homework is kept track of in the student’s homework planner (provided by the school), beginning the very first evening.  Because homework is primarily assigned to reinforce and review concepts already introduced in class, students should be able to work on it fairly independently.  As part of a team, each member (child, parent, and teacher) has his/her responsibilities when it comes to homework.

DISCIPLINE:  My goal is to create a positive classroom environment where everyone is respected and has the opportunity to be successful.  I achieve this with a progressive discipline program that provides both positive and negative consequences for the student’s behavior. Students who choose to follow classroom rules are rewarded with Martin Money, table points, and group incentives.  Those who choose to break rules have progressive consequences such as verbal warnings, loss of Martin Money, behavior sheets, 10 minutes in another classroom, and so forth. I will go into detail about these steps when I see you Thursday evening. I feel very strongly about disciplining children in a manner that preserves mutual respect, allows them to maintain their dignity, and promotes positive behavior choices in the future.

VOLUNTEERS:  Volunteers are needed for many of our classroom functions.  If you are interested in regular participation of one of these duties, please sign up at Back to School Night or contact me.  Activities include Room Parent, Copy Parent(s), At-Home Grading/Prep Parent, Art Instructor Assistant, Science Garden Instructor Assistant, Art Docent (for Open House and Silver Graphic projects), Class Historian/Yearbook, etc.  I will also have opportunities throughout the year for you to come in to help out with classroom events.

I will go into more detail regarding our classroom, schedule, curriculum, and the "nuts and bolts" of 5th grade at Back to School Night on Thursday, August 23rd. (Back to School Night is an evening for parents only.)  I look forward to an amazing year and working with your child this year!


Michelle Martin