Monday, October 24, 2016

Athletics at BMS: hidden academic and social benefits

The Fall season is coming to a close around the state. Here at BMS, we saw all of the obvious benefits of extra-curricular sports: team work, socialization, and an increased understanding of their sport. What many people don't see, however, are the additional academic and social benefits of participating in athletics.

This blog post is not being negligent in leaving out important after school clubs and organizations like Science Olympiad, Robotics, and others. However, there are obvious academic benefits to participation in those activities. It's unquestionably important for students to be active in many different arenas outside of the school building, and we are extremely proud of all students and their endeavors.

Many parents and teachers report that student-athletes see a boost in their grades during their sport seasons. This can be attributed to the fact that those students are more physically active, which has a proven correlation to academic success. Sports offer student-athletes an unexpected gain in skill when it comes to the classroom: time management. Student-athletes have to be cognizant of the time constraints that sports put on their schedule, particularly with homework. Often times, the rigorous calendar of sports will force families to carve out time to address academics. A Heather Clark article from 2015 showed "connections between sport and positive psychological and social outcomes, including self-esteem, self-regulation, general life skills, and pro-social behaviour." (Clark, 2015). 

Here at Beach Middle School, 45% of all students participate in an after-school sport. That is a staggeringly high percentage of participation for any schools district. This article could go on to talk about how Chelsea is not pay-to-play, how there are no cuts at the middle school level, and how everyone gets substantial playing time, but that's a blog post for another day. In the end, the Chelsea School District wants to see as many students participating in after school activities as possible. It's mutually beneficial for the student, the family, and the school district. 

If your student is not signed up for a sport or after-school activity, here are some resources for you to get the ball rolling (pun intended).

Beach Athletics Homepage

Beach Extra-Curricular Activities

Sports Physical Form

As always, thank you for reading and Go Bulldogs!

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Teamwork Between Home and School

I am often asked about the difficulties of working in schools, whether it's from a teacher perspective or an administrative point-of-view. People mostly just want to hear juicy stories about angry parents, troubled students, or teachers that should be avoided. They are always disappointed to hear that those stories are few and far between.

The main reason is that the three groups I mentioned (parents, students, and teachers) all have the same desired outcome: student success. I have yet to meet a teacher that does not want all of their students to experience academic, social, or emotional success. I doubt I ever will. I have also never met a parent that does not want what is best for their child. There have been a lot of students that say, "I don't care if I do well in school", but the reality is that every student wants to feel successful.

For this reason, we often see great collaboration here at Beach between our stakeholders. In the five weeks that this school has been open, many parents have come through the doors wanting to better understand their child's academic plan. Those parents have been met by teachers that are willing to share, but also receive feedback on how they can better service students. Students have reached out to teachers and support staff so they can improve their learning outcomes and meet expectations.

The shared vision and goal of academic, social, and emotional success of all children is why I don't have dramatic or juicy stories to share with curious people. Only when the stakeholders here at Beach come together with an understanding that we all want the same thing for students can we achieve collaboration, empathy, creativity, and problem solving.

If you are a parent that is interested in learning more about what is happening here at Beach Middle School, please continue reading blog, first and foremost, but also consider following us on twitter and Facebook!