West Ridge Reflections

November 16, 2017

West Ridge Middle School


Veterans Day Assembly





Today's topic is bullying. I absolutely hate that word. It conjures up in my mind my own middle school years. I have always been "plump" (my preferred description!) and as such middle school was an absolute nightmare for me. I honestly believe that is why I dedicated myself to working with young adolescents. I don't want anyone else to have to feel that way.


Why are we talking about bullying? Because unfortunately, middle school is the prime time when bullying fully blossoms. Kids are trying out different personas, figuring out their place in the pecking order. And don't kid yourself - people are not just victims, or just bullies, or just bystanders. All of us flow in and out of those roles at any given time. More so in middle school due to the constant physiological changes that are occurring during these years. So we need to be very careful not to label anyone as always a bully or always a victim. This is not an either/or...but more of a fluid movement due to situational circumstances.


So, what do we do about it? Here at school we are focusing lessons on bullying. We are talking about what students should do when they see someone else being bullied and ways to handle it when someone is hurting them emotionally. We are also taking a different approach to this and right after Thanksgiving we are going to roll out a campaign about kindness and the impact kindness has on all those around us. (More about that in December!)


What can you do as parents? Please listen to your kids. Do more than ask generic questions such as "how was your day?" Ask specific questions that will elicit direct responses that require more than a "fine" or "good" response. Ask: Tell me about two kids from your Science class today (or history or...). What's the biggest difference between this year and last year? Is there anyone in your class that kids tease?


Listen carefully when they answer you. Woven into their responses will be hints as to what they are dealing with at school. If they are witnessing bullying, then talk to them about what they can do to help and what they feel comfortable doing. If they are uncomfortable standing up, then talk to them about reporting it to the counselors or the assistant principals or using our Quick Report system. If they are being bullied, please report it. We are here to ensure your child feels safe at school. Not talking about it and not reporting it does no one any good. I assure you, it rarely gets better on its own.


Another way to bring up this difficult topic is to use moral dilemma situations with your kids. While you are having dinner, or driving to and from practices, etc, use the time to throw out a scenario and have that discussion with your child on how to handle different situations that may arise while in middle school and high school. I often refer to this website because it is free and great for this age group! The dilemmas run the gamut, from cheating to different bullying situations, and give you a chance to reinforce your family expectations and values with your kids.


So, this is some pretty heavy stuff, but I promise you, it is so worthwhile having these discussions with your kids. They need your guidance during this turbulent time in their lives now more than ever before.


For our next blast, we are going to talk about social media - sounds like fun, right??


Have a wonderful Thanksgiving break with your families!



Special THANK YOU to our Veterans Day planners and presenters!

Elizabeth Compton, Orchestra Director

Susan Glover, Band Director

Andrea Snouffer, Choir Director

Chris Rue, Student Council Sponsor

Carly Barnett, Student Council President

Ani Subramanian, Winner Patriot's Pen Essay Contest

Guest Speaker, Lt. Col. Pete Phillips




Believe it or not, the countdown to Thanksgiving break is on!


But first comes PIE DAY on November 21st!


REMEMBER… if you signed up to BAKE or BRING a pie, pies will be collected between 7:30-8:30 AM in front of the school or in the office.  Volunteers will be available help take pies from cars.

Thank you so much for your support!!


Thank you to EVERYONE who participated in the Halloween Candy Buy Back Program


The amazing and generous Bee Cave Orthodontics collected unopened candy at WRMS for a whole week.  The total amount collected was 124.2 pounds of candy!!!  Not only will Bee Cave Orthodontics ship the collected candy to U.S. troops overseas and first responders as part of Operation Gratitude care packages, but they are also donating $1/lb. to WRMS for every pound of candy collected.  That's $124 for WRMS! 


As to whether or not WRMS beat Lake Travis Middle School…welllllll...LTMS collected 730 pounds of candy!  Yes, you read that right.  WOW!!  So, even though it is a loss for WRMS, it is a win for Operation Gratitude! All of this is for a great cause!   


Thank you again, WRMS families, for sending in your candy, your support of Operation Gratitude -  and a huge THANK YOU to Bee Cave Orthodontics for their support of WRMS and Operation Gratitude!!! 


The WRMS Wildcat Club is thankful for YOU!


We want to take a moment to thank ALL of the wonderful people we work with each and every day to help support a fun learning environment for all of our children.   


WRMS Teachers & Staff, thank you for encouraging and guiding our children!


Thank you to our Amazing Volunteers that we are so lucky to work with!


Thank you to our Wildcat Families for supporting the programs and projects that the Wildcat Club takes on each year!


We are so grateful for ALL you do and we look forward to working with you through the rest of this school year.


It's a great day to be a Wildcat, and remember…there is always, always, ALWAYS something to be thankful for!

  ~ Aimee Cunningham & Suzanne Newhouse



It's a great day to be a Wildcat!
Aimee Cunningham & Suzanne Newhouse
WRMS Wildcat Club Co-Presidents

Don't Want to Miss a Thing This Year at WRMS?
Join the Wildcat Club on Facebook!


ADOPT-A-FAMILY Coming Soon!!!





Shop for a Good Cause


PG Raffle

Wildcat Socks


Everything You Want to Know about Drugs, Alcohol & Teens: A Panel Discussion


Thursday, November 16th



Image: Dan Siegel, author, Unlocking the Adolescent Brain

Join parents throughout Austin for Everything You Want to Know about Drugs, Alcohol & Teens: A Panel Discussion.


Austin is known for its party culture—our teens face unique challenges. Come hear about substance abuse prevention, education and communication strategies, and get "street-wise" to what you need to know about raising a teen in Austin, TX. Gain a better understanding of the teen brain and how substances affect brain development. Receive tools, tips and gain knowledge from a panel of psychotherapists, counselors and substance abuse educators who will share how to support your teen in making wise choices and tapping their innate strength and resiliency.


When: Thursday, Nov. 16, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Location: The Headwaters School Studio, 8th and Rio Grande
Cost: Free and open to all Austin parents of teens 14-19

Make sure and tell your friends about our WELLBbeings group: talks & community for parents of teens. They can visit our website at www.WELLbeingsATX.org, join our mailing list or hop onto our Facebook Community Page.


We look forward to seeing you Nov. 16!


Warmly, Renee Trudeau (volunteer) and the WELLbeings Team
Wellbeingsatx@reneetrudeau.com www.WELLbeingsatx.org


Eanes ISD voters overwhelmingly passed the proposed tax ratification, or Penny Swap & Drop proposition by 89 percent in the November 7 election. The TRE approval lowers the overall Eanes ISD tax rate by more than a penny to $1.20 and adds an estimated $3 million of non-recapturable funds to the district's operating budget.

Social Emotional Learning (SEL) focus highlights self-awareness and self-management. Educating teens about the mindfulness research and the benefits of mindfulness is a way to support teens in developing their own mindful practice. Building autonomy, competence, and connection with our kids develops self-reliant, competent and resilient adults.

Download a printable handout on the Penny Swap & Drop/TRE





Thursday - November 16, 2017
All day
Friday - November 17, 2017
9:00 AM - 10:00 AM
Saturday - November 18, 2017
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday - November 20, 2017
4:00 PM - 6:00 PM
4:15 PM - 8:00 PM
5:15 PM - 8:00 PM
Tuesday - November 21, 2017
All day
8:00 AM - 8:30 AM
Wednesday - November 22, 2017
All day

9201 Scenic Bluff Drive, Austin, Texas 78733


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