Port Aransas South Jetty
Thursday, May 17, 2012 7A
Taking the next step
Splish-splash!! That is the sound of frogs with enthusiasm and energy leaping into bigger ponds, not really any different than Port Aransas ISD’s ﬁfth- and eighth-graders who are preparing for their transition into middle school and high school. Think back to the ﬁrst time you rode a bicycle without the training wheels, or swam all the way across the deep end of the pool. Those feelings of exhilaration and accomplishment completely replaced any worry or fear that existed before the feat. For our middle school students, accomplishing new and difficult skills STAFF PHOTO BY DAN PARKER happens often, and sometimes leaves students (and the Brundrett Middle School Principal Gina McKeever, second from right, makes a point during adults around them) breathless a coffee held in the school library on Friday, May 11, for parents of students who will be with the speed at which these sixth graders during the upcoming 2012-12 school year. The session was held to familiarize changes happen. With every new experience, parents with the new world of middle school. Two of the parents attending were Christina students learn useful inforMeek, background, and Regina Love. mation. Sometimes the newfound knowledge convinces the student they need to have assistance a little longer, or that skinning a knee hurts, but it just provides the incentive to try harder next time. And sometimes students don’t need any speciﬁc help at all – just someone to listen as they reﬂect on what happened and what they might do next, and gather the courage to try the next scary and exhilarating challenge. For middle school students, every day provides opportunities for accomplishments in the classroom, on the athletic ﬁeld or in the band hall, with very important social interactions happening in between. Parents and teachers often have experience and wisdom
to share in many areas, eager to guide and coach as their student acquires new skills. One of the changes that our students experience in their lives – technology – is not always something we adults are able to provide as much guidance as we would like. In fact, sometimes the students seem light years ahead of the adults in understanding and using technology – with the adults relying heavily on these “technology natives” for their guidance and support. Naturally, when our young adolescents encounter a problem, we as the caring and concerned older generation might either overreact, or have no idea how to help students navigate these new and changing times. We recently had Jerry Dugan and Adela Garcia, the community educators from the South Texas Women’s Shelter, join us at Brundrett Middle School to lead a discussion on social media and cyber bullying with our sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade students. Having had the opportunity to sit in on the discussions with three of the six small groups, I was so impressed by the wisdom our students had to share with each other on the topic. When the students were asked what they wanted adults to know about social media and cyber bullying, I was quickly reminded by the na-
ture of their responses that sometimes adolescents don’t want the adults to react at all; they just want us to hear what “kids of today” are dealing with, and many times are handling wisely. That evening, Dugan returned to the BMS library to meet with parents, sharing a few statistics and some of what the students had discussed that afternoon on the topics of social media and texting. Port Aransas Police Chief Scott Burroughs also provided information for the parents as we all learn how to best help our youth learn to use this media to interact with others. The evening interactions reminded me that as much as we adults would like to prevent our children from having to deal with any challenges, “knees are going to get skinned” -- especially as they test their boundaries and independence using today’s technology. But it is how they negotiate and plan the next move, especially after a “fall,” that builds their self confidence to face new challenges ahead. So in these weeks to come, listen to the concerns these transitioning students may have. Keep reminding them they are moving into a “bigger pond” that will allow them to stretch, grow and take on new challenges. Surrounding themselves with trusted adults and friends who support their good choices will be like having “safe lily pads” to step onto if they feel they are getting into water that is too deep. Gina McKeever is principal of Brundrett Middle School.
STAFF PHOTO BY DAN PARKER
Enjoying a nice day by the pool at Cline’s Landing are H.G. Olsen Elementary School employees during a teachers appreciation lunch provided by the school’s Parent Teacher Organization on Wednesday, May 9.
In the swim
STAFF PHOTO BY DAN PARKER
Cas Ward, 11, strokes through the pool at Port Aransas Community Park on Wednesday, May 9. They were taking part in the Port Aransas Swim Team’s try-outs and registration for the summer competitive swim season.
STAFF PHOTO BY DAN PARKER
In the school library, Brundrett Middle School employees are served some tasty treats by members of the school’s student council during a teacher appreciation function on Tuesday, May 8. Parent Anne Denton sponsored the event.
PORT ARANSAS ISD MAY 21 - MAY 25 Breakfast
(Includes juice & milk)
MONDAY Assorted cereal, graham crackers TUESDAY Pancake wrap WEDNESDAY Breakfast pizza, bagel THURSDAY Breakfast on a bun FRIDAY Assorted cereal, graham crackers Lunch (Includes fruit & milk)
MONDAY Salisbury steak (Olsen Elementary and PAHS) Chicken fajita, rice, gravy, carrots, bread (BMS) TUESDAY Burrito, pinto beans, salad WEDNESDAY Chef salad, crackers, broccoli cheese soup (limited amount of soup) THURSDAY Macaroni and cheese with ham, spinach FRIDAY Hot dogs with or without chili, tater tots, vegetables
SOUTH JETTY FILE PHOTO
Marlin senior Storm Bales, a wing on the 2011-2012 Port Aransas basketball team, will play in this year’s Coastal Bend Coaches Association All-Star basketball game on Saturday, May 19, coach Joe Kocurek said. Kocurek, the Port Aransas head basketball coach, and assistant Kris Jones will coach the East All-Stars in the game. Bales is shown here in a game against Kenedy earlier this year.
Pre-k sign-up Tuesday
Pre-kindergarten pre-registration for the 2012-13 school year will be held on Tuesday, May 22, at H.G. Olsen Elementary School. Sign-up will be from 8:30 to 10 a.m. and from 1:30 to 3 p.m. at the school oﬃce at 100 S. Station St. Parents who have children who will be 4 years old on or before Sept. 1 this year may register for the half-day program. The school requires that parents present a Social Security card, an immunization record, proof of residency, parent identiﬁcation (a driver’s license or other government-issued iden-
tiﬁcation) and a certiﬁed copy of the child’s birth certiﬁcate from a vital statistics bureau. The registration process won’t be complete unless all of the required documents are presented. More information is available by contacting Kathy Forrest at the school at (361) 749-1212.
South Jetty, Gen Ex, May 17, 2012