FAQs for Rising 6th Graders and their Parents

School website:  http://cms.chccs.k12.nc.us/ District website: http://www.chccs.k12.nc.us/ 

To contact Student Services Department, contact Theresa Collins, secretary, at ttate@chccs.k12.nc.us or at 919-929-7161 ext. 51100.

**Make sure to read your student’s school planner that will be given out the first week of school for a more extensive explanation of school policies!**

1.  What time does school start?  

2.  Will I get exploratory classes I want? We sure hope so!  But the schedule cannot accommodate all the requests.  Remember that these are “Exploratory” classes and that middle school is a time to try new subjects and ideas.  

3.  What if I am being bullied or someone is mean to me?  Whom do I tell?  Like many of the elementary schools, we focus on Stop! Walk and Talk!  Please always let an adult in the building know!  You can tell one of your teachers who will then tell your school counselor.  Counselors and administration work together to investigate the situation and determine next steps.  You can also directly let your let your school counselor know.  

4. Is there an overall school homework policy?  The school leadership team is in the process of making a clear school-wide homework policy for next school year which will be shared with all parents and students.

5. What are the expectations of grades for students who participate in sports?  Currently, 6th graders do not participate in school athletics, but it’s good to think ahead!  Student athletes’ grades are checked at the end of every quarter for eligibility.  All Student-Athletes must maintain a 2.0 GPA average overall AS WELL AS in core classes with no more that 1 "F" on their report card. They must also maintain 85% attendance rate. If a student does not meet these requirements, they may NOT participate on ANY team. Students who are not eligible may apply for academic probation through the Athletic Director and must be approved by the Principal.

6.  How are school academic teams chosen, and can I request a team?  Can I switch teams once I’ve been assigned one? Student teams are determined on a very careful basis to balance the teams.  Teams are generally not switched after the school year has begun unless there are exceptional circumstances. 

7.  When are teams/schedules posted?  When will students know their electives?  For students who attend the New Student Orientation in August :  They will learn which team they are on.  All students receive their entire schedule the first day of school in first period.  

For students who cannot attend:  Teams and the first period teacher will be posted on the Friday before the first day of school at 5PM on both school entrance doors (bus and car rider side).  We wait because, due to several factors, teams change right up to the last minute!  Schedule are given out in the 1st period class the first day of school. 

8. What are the names of the 6th, 7th and 8th grade teams? 6th- Strength & Adventure, 7th- Fearless & Valor 8th - Mahalo & Ohana

9. Do you stay with the same team every year while at Culbreth? No, teams change every year.  

10. Will we have maps of the school to help us know where classes are? These are on the backs of your school planner which you will receive in first period on the first day of class.  We will have maps and all our staff posted around the building the first day of school to help you get around.  

11.  What does the daily schedule look like?  Go to our website and under “Quick Links,” click “Daily Schedule.”  While the schedule will stay the same, lunch times and exploratory class times will rotate by grade level.

12.  How many minutes in between classes? On Monday, Thursday and Friday, 4 minutes.  On Tuesdays and Wednesday, 3 minutes.  This is more than enough time to get from class to class, even from electives!

13. How much time do we get to change for gym? 5 minutes, approximately.  It’s plenty of time!

14. Does Culbreth have a Student Council? Yes!  We have representatives from each grade level who are elected by their peers.  They plan many important events and are a voice for student concerns and new ideas.  

15. How are buses assigned and how will I know my bus route/number? Buses are assigned solely by the District Transportation office.  Bus routes are posted on the district website before the beginning of school.  

16.  Do students really get shoved and locked into lockers?  NO!  That is an urban myth!

17. Do you get to go on trips with Band/Orchestra? Absolutely.  

18. How are electives assigned? Counselors look at registration forms and try to accommodate students’ choices, but due to the nature of schedule for 200 plus students in each grade level, balance of classes has to be achieved.  

19. Can you bring your cell phone/smart phone to school and use it? Yes and no.  Yes, you may bring your phone to school and store it safely in your locker.  You may only use your phone outside while waiting for the 7:50AM bell to ring or once you are outside after the 3:10 dismissal bell.  You may only bring them to class with teacher permission.

20. What clubs/after school activities can 6th graders participate in? This year we have had Battle of the Books, Language for Youth, Geography Bee, Science Olympiad, Yearbook, Heart and Sole, and Dungeons and Dragons club. With the introduction of WIN, there were over 40 other club-like activities for students.  Drama productions are also open to 6th graders.

21. What is the Middle School After School (MSAS) program? Does everyone get in who applies?   MSAS provides students with time to work on homework as well as provide opportunities for enrichment activities.  Information and applications will be shared during the first weeks of school. There are only 60 spaces available.

22. If you don’t take a language in 6th grade, can you start later? Absolutely, and most students benefit from waiting a year.  6th grade world language is about exploring the language and the culture.  

23. Can a child take the bus sometimes and walk home other times? If where you live is zoned for a bus, then your child can get on and off the bus at their assigned stop whatever days you would like them to. If you give your child permission, they may also walk home from school instead of riding the bus.  If you have specific questions about bus routes, pick up locations, etc. please call the transportation department:  (919) 942-5045.

24. Will you give a brief overview of the AVID program?  See the district AVID web page (http://www.chccs.k12.nc.us/academics/academic-programs/advancement-via-individual-determination-avid/about-avid) for information about this great program.  

25.  How are the teams chosen?  Are kids from the same elementary put together?  The counseling and administrative staff begin in February working on the scheduling and the teams.  Our #1 goal is to have the teams balanced in several way, including have students from each elementary divided between teams.  We often compare the schedule to a MENSA puzzle that we will working on until and beyond the first day of school.

26.  Are electives first-come, first-serve or does it make a difference to turn in your registration early?  Everyone who turns his or her registration in by the end of the day March 2nd (the deadline) is treated equally.  

27.  What is the purpose of having two teams? Middle school is seen as the bridge between elementary and high school.  Teams of students and teachers are a main feature of the middle school concept. Teams are the core teachers (language arts, science, math, social studies and PE/health) are organized around a common group of students so that each student can receive support from this team.  The team becomes the student's’ family, so to speak.  The team of teachers, excepting PE, all have their classrooms right beside each other which also gives a sense of community.  

28.  How many days do we have PE?  Each quarter (9 weeks), students have 6 weeks of daily PE and 3 weeks of health class daily.  

29.  Should they have sneakers for just PE, and if so, do they have lockers to keep stuff in? The first is your call--if a child wishes to have a set of sneaker for PE and another for the regular day, then they absolutely can.  But if not, that’s okay too.  There is room in their lockers for an extra pair if they organize the locker well.  

30. When will a supply list be posted? Supply lists by grade level and sometime by subject will be posted by July 31st  on the school website.  

31. Are teachers available for help after school? Yes, if the time is pre-arranged with the teacher.  Teachers and teams offer lunchtime help as well.  In general, if a student wants help, our teachers are there to give it!  Also, please see question #21 for information on our Middle School After School program.