Braves Beat Oct/Nov 2021

Braves Beat

Indian River Middle School|Phone: 757-578-7030|Email:

Principal’s Place
Ms. Werts, Principal
Hello Indian River Middle School Parents!  I am please to report that our year is off to a great start, and I look forward to seeing what the students will achieve as the year progresses. Let me take this opportunity to provide some information and reminders that will help you and your student stay on the road to success!

Our theme this year is #BravesStrong, Be Limitless. Our students have limitless opportunities, we want to help them achieve their goals. One avenue for achieving goals is the AVID program. AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) is a program designed to close the opportunity gaps and improve college and career readiness for students. We are proud to be an AVID Demonstration School and will undergo revalidation for our designation in the spring. We are AVID schoolwide and all students benefit from the AVID instructional practices utilized by every teacher at IRMS.

I am excited to have all the students back in the building and have our Indian River family reunited. I want to assure you that we are committed to ensuring the safety of our students and staff. Please support the safety mitigations that are in place including wearing a mask that covers the nose and mouth, social distancing, and frequent handwashing. Please keep your student home when they are feeling sick. Chesapeake Public Schools updates the COVID dashboard daily and it may be viewed at .

If you have not done so, please activate your ParentVue account. This is a vital tool that you will need to access regularly throughout the school year.  Report cards and progress reports will only be available on ParentVue.  You can also view your students grades and assignments, report an absence, and email your student’s teachers from ParentVue.  If you need assistance, please contact the main office.  It is imperative that we have up to date contact information for you and any emergency contacts for your student.  This can all be updated on ParentVue or contact the main office for help. Check our school website regularly for important information and news.  You can also find us on social media on Instagram and Twitter.

We are in need of board members for our PTSA. If you are interested in volunteering for one of these positions please email me at   .

Please review the dress code in the student handbook.  Going forward, any student in violation of the dress code will have a consequence. If you have any questions regarding the dress code, please reach out to your grade level administrator for clarification.  In addition to the dress code policy, please review the cell phone policy. Policy states that students must keep cell phones in their lockers and turned off during the school day. This policy includes smartwatches. Any student found with their cell phone will have the phone confiscated and it will only be released to a parent. Consequences may be levied based on policy in the student handbook.

I want to thank you for your cooperation and support in helping ensure a great and successful year for all of our students. We are here to help you so if you have any questions or concerns please contact the office and we will be more than happy to assist you.

Here’s to a great year Braves!

Counselor’s Corner
Mrs. Sharpe, Counseling Director/Grade 8 Counselor
Mrs. Gleim, Grade 7 Counselor
Ms. Wells, Grade 6 Counselor

Attendance is a very important part of a successful student’s middle school academic career.  Attending school consistently helps students focus and stay on track during the school year. Regular school attendance helps students stay engaged academically as well as socially in activities, which are extremely important during adolescent years. When a student is present they develop a healthy sense of responsibility which creates opportunities to be accountable for assignments and class projects. Regular attendance in school is extremely important because student’s develop a habit of being present and productive.

Another important aspect of a successful student’s academic career is learning effective study strategies. Study skill strategies include rereading material, highlighting, attending study hall and note taking. Every school year presents new opportunities to improve the skills learned the prior year. Lastly, the role of regular attendance and effective study strategies are a student’s best weapon against poor grades and inconsistent attendance. We recommend continuing to motivate and monitor your student’s progress on a regular basis.

Technology Tips
Ms. Moon, Technology Integration Specialist

If used correctly, Google can be a powerful tool. Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your Google searches.

  1. Quotation Marks (“) – Putting quotes around search terms allows you to search exactly for that word or phrase. All results will have your terms in it.
  2. Dashes (-) – If you want to exclude a term from your search, include a dash before that word.
  3. Tilde (~) – Use tilde when you want synonyms to appear in your mouse in front of the world

Nurse’s Notes
Mrs. Hamilton, Nurse

Welcome back to campus Braves! Now that it feels like fall is here to stay, those of us who suffer from seasonal allergies need to be sure we are taking our allergy medication daily. Parents please be sure that we have current, working contact numbers for you and the emergency contacts for your student. The flu is also here so please check on your students and keep them home if they are sick. Any student who is tested for Covid must quarantine at home until results are known. Please be sure to notify me if your child is absent due to being tested or exposed by an outside source. 

Let’s all stay healthy!!!

Library Low Down
Mr. Strickland, Librarian
Mrs. Hayden, Media Secretary

We are excited to welcome Mrs. Hayden to the library staff as the Media Secretary!  The media center is fully open and we encourage students to take full advantage of the 13,000 print titles in our collection as well as the online resources that we offer through Schoology. The fall Scholastic Book Fair will be online this year and take place from Oct. 18 – Oct. 31. We look forward to working with your child to make this a successful school year!

Cafeteria Chatter

Breakfast and Lunch are provided to all students free of charge. Menus can be found at


Study Skills
Ms. Labyak, Instructional Specialist
Tips To Help Your Child Be Successful In Middle School

  • Help your student manage homework time. Set a time and a quiet place for homework. Some students work best in the afternoon following a snack and free time, while others do better after dinner.
  • Set up a homework friendly work area. Make sure students have a well lit place to complete homework. Keep supplies – paper, pencils, glue, scissors – within reach.
  • Be a motivator and a monitor. Ask about assignments, quizzes, and tests. Give encouragement, check completed homework, and make yourself available for questions and concerns.
  • Make sure students do their own work. They will not learn if they don’t think for themselves and make their own mistakes. Parents can make suggestions and help with directions, but it’s a students job to do the learning.
  • Discuss ideas and feelings about school, studies, and activities. Be realistic about what you student can and should be able to do.
  • Periodically contact teachers. Find out how your student is doing and be a full partner in your student’s education.
  • Visit the school’s website and monitor your student’s progress in ParentVue. Be aware of school activities and expectations as well as your student’s academic progress.
  • Be sure your child attends school regularly and on time. If your student is absent from school, work must be completed. Check Schoology and ParentVue for missing assignments. 
  • If there are continuing problems with schoolwork, get help. Talk about it with your student’s teacher. Some kids have trouble seeing the board and may need glasses. Others might need extra help such as tutoring. 

Praise their work and efforts. Post an aced test or artwork on the refrigerator. Mention academic achievements to relatives.

Office Space
Ms. Matos, Lead Secretary
Ms. McCoy, Secretary
Mrs. Hamilin, Data Quality Secretary
Mrs. Hasty, Bookkeeper

Office hours are Monday – Friday 7:30am – 3:30pm

Office hours are by appointment only.

Doors open for students at 7:55am – Classes begin at 8:15am – Dismissal begins at 2:53pm

  • Please note that we are unable to call your student out of class for dismissal until you have arrived at the building and someone has checked your ID. Also, we are unable to call students for dismissal after 2:40pm.
  • We are cannot accept any items to be dropped off once the school day has begun. This includes lunches, Chromebooks, and supplies.
  • You can report tardies and absences on ParentVue and also upload doctor notes.

For questions regarding enrollment, withdrawals, records, and ParentVue account resets or activation, please email Mrs. Hamilin at .

Athletic Arena
Mr, Jordan, Athletic Director

Please remember that your student must have a completed physical on file to participate in any sport. Physical forms can be found at or you can get one from the main office.

Football Games – Game times


10/27/21 – IRM @ GBM

11/3/21 – IRM @ GRM

11/8/21 – IRM @ OSM

11/10/21 – CWM @ IRM

Buy Tickets @

Basketball Try Outs – 

11/15/21 – Girls

11/29/21 – Boys

Wrestling Tryouts – 


6th Grade Team Talk
Mrs. Darden, Mrs. Macina, Mrs. Hilbert, Ms. Cuffee
Welcome to the sixth grade! We are delighted to have you back in the building and ready to learn. We started this year really strong and we are looking forward to working with your child. Students are working hard creating their interactive notebooks in each of their bells, and we kindly ask that you regularly replenish their school supplies so that they are prepared to be successful. Additionally, you can help your child succeed in class by checking their agenda nightly for homework, notes, and scheduled testing and projects. We have now entered the second half of the first quarter, so please make sure that you are checking ParentVue regularly for grades and missing assignments. If you would like to schedule a conference, please contact Ms. Macina.
Mrs. Barrett, Ms. Young, Mrs. Kitchin
Team Innovators has enjoyed getting to know the students this year.  We are extremely glad to have our students back in person.  Middle school can be an adjustment and we would like to provide some suggestions for success.  Please make sure that students have the necessary supplies for class.  We are noticing that many students already need to replenish their supplies such as glue sticks, pencils, colored pencils, and loose leaf paper.  Please check the student’s agendas each night.  They should have homework written down for all subjects or have none written to indicate that no homework was assigned.  When completing homework, we encourage students to use their interactive notebooks to assist them.  Notes are modeled and completed in class and can be a great refresher after class.  Reading and math homework are given nightly.  Students should be reading at least 20 minutes per night.  Civics and science homework is given throughout the week. Lastly, we strongly encourage students and parents to check grades in StudentVue/ ParentVue at least once a week.  Be sure to look at the entire report to see what assignments may be missing.  As always, we are here to make your child’s transition to middle school positive.  Please reach out via email or by phone if you have any questions or concerns.
Mrs. Leathrum, Mrs. Boone, Ms. Solomon, Mrs. Reed
Team Integrity would like to welcome all of our parents and students to sixth grade. We are happy to have our students back in the building and glad to see them adjusting to middle school. We would like to make a few suggestions to help all our students reach their full potential. Please be sure your child has all the necessary supplies, some of which already need to be restocked. Frequently missing supplies include scissors, colored pencils, glue, highlighters, and loose leaf paper. Please ask your child to show you their agenda each night. Students should be filling in the agenda daily in every class. Blank agendas mean they are not writing their homework down. They will have homework every night in each class. When completing homework, students should be actively referring to their interactive notebooks. Lastly, we strongly encourage you, and your child, to review grades in StudentVUE/ParentVue at least once a week to help monitor their progress. If we work together – teachers, parents, and students – we are confident your child will reach their full academic potential. Please do not hesitate to email us or call the school if you have questions or concerns.
7th Grade Team Talk
Mrs. Burch, Mrs. Shelton, Mrs. Green, Mrs. Shepard
The Believers Team would like to welcome all Believers students and their families to the 2021-2022 school year! Our students have adjusted to being back in the building and have progressed through the curriculum for each core subject.We would like to commend our student athletes and thank our many students who contribute to after school councils and clubs!Parents, please remind your students that cell phones and smartwatches are to be turned off during the school day and stored in the student’s locker.

NOW is the perfect time to check with your student to ensure they have the necessary supplies replenished. Each student should have a 4”-6” binder for core classes, subject dividers, notebook paper, spiral notebooks (Interactive Notebooks) for each core class, a pencil pouch with pens, pencils, scissors, glue, and colored pencils, and a 1” binder for electives.

We look forward to recognizing our Dare to Be Brave & Brave of the Week recipients throughout the remainder of the school year!

Mrs. Heine, Ms. Exner, Mr. Cotton, Mrs. New
Hello parents and welcome to the 7th grade Dreamers team! We are thrilled to finally be back in school full time, and the students feel the same. With that said, we know we have some challenges ahead of us. However, we are certain we will rise above them with our continued classroom instruction and focused social and emotional learning. This could not be possible without your support for us and for your students too. Parents, please help your student and us by providing them with adequate supplies, especially glue and notebooks. We are a strong team at work!
Mrs. Young,  Mrs. Barleh-Agyei, Mrs. Hughes, Mrs. Carter
The Scholars Team would like to welcome all of our parents and students to 7th Grade. We are happy to have our students back in the building and glad to see them adjusting so well.  We would like to make a few suggestions to help all our students reach their full potential.

  • Please be sure your student has all the necessary supplies, some of which already need to be restocked. Frequently missing supplies include scissors, colored pencils, and glue.
  • Please ask your child to show you their agenda each night. Students should be filling in the agenda daily in every class. Blank agendas mean they are not writing their homework down. If there is no specific homework for a class they can read or go through their notebooks and read over notes.
  • Lastly, we strongly encourage you and your student to review grades in StudentVUE/ParentVue at least once a week to help monitor their progress.

If we work together – teachers, parents, and students – we are confident your student will reach their full academic potential. Please do not hesitate to email us or call the school if you have questions or concerns.

8th Grade Team Talk
Ms. Wright, Mrs. Freeman, Mr. Harrell
Hello everyone! The students are doing a great job adjusting to the school year and getting back into the swing of things. They have mastered Schoology and are getting very comfortable with technology skills. We are very proud of them! Currently, we are working hard with the students to make sure that they are utilizing the binders and other helpful organizational skills. We could really use your help getting the students to utilize the agenda daily since it is an expectation here at Indian River. Please encourage your student to record his/her homework daily, even if it has already been completed. This is also where demerits are recorded and where you can see how often your student needs a pass to leave the classroom. If your student needs a new agenda, they can be purchased for $5 at the school store. At this point in the year, your student should have his/her binder setup for each class, with an agenda and pencil pouch inside. Please check to see if your student needs any items replaced or if they need extra assistance setting this up. Additionally, please ensure that your student has a lock for his/her locker. This is the best place for students to leave their personal belongings during the school day since they are not allowed to carry around book bags. We appreciate your support, and we are looking forward to the continuous improvement throughout the rest of the school year. If you have any questions or concerns, our contact information can be found on the school’s website.
Mrs. Holl, Mr. Wright, Mrs. Dickerson, Mrs. Bell
Team Collegiate would like to welcome all of our students to 8th Grade. We are excited to have our students back in the building and working hard to have a successful 8th grade year.   We would like to suggest that you check in with your student regarding supplies, the agenda that should be filled in everyday and also with wearing a mask correctly covering both the nose and mouth. Lastly, we strongly encourage you and your student to review grades in StudentVUE/ParentVue at least once a week to help monitor academic progress.  Please do not hesitate to email us or call the school if you have questions or concerns.
Mr. Flint, Mrs. Smith, Ms. Mcdermott, Mr. Koester
Mrs. Smith’s English classes recently finished non-fiction text features, and will start argumentative writing next week. History, led by Ms. McDermott, will be finishing Westward Expansion with a test next week; and then learn about the Industrial Revolution. Mr. Koester’s Science classes have been practicing metric conversions and how to calculate density. The density formula can be manipulated to find all 3 attributes, which aligns perfectly with Algebra’s unit on literal equations. Mr. Flint’s Pre-Algebra classes will soon be finishing up their probability unit. Students have explored the differences between independent and dependent probability, and real-life applications of probability.
Achievers Team News

Elective Teachers

The elective classes are off to a great start for the school year! Please remind your student to bring all necessary materials to their elective classes. All students should have a 1” binder, paper, pencils, agenda and green bathroom pass, and their Chromebook in each elective class every day. Some elective classes may require additional materials. If you have questions about your student’s grades or behavior in their elective classes, please reach out to the teacher.

The Music department is excited to be back making music together! Information will be coming soon regarding upcoming concerts.

The Physical Education department is proud of the student’s efforts on the fitness tests! These scores will help students to set goals to improve their muscular strength/endurance, flexibility, and cardiovascular endurance.

Explorer Team News
For the 6th graders/ 8th graders:

Remember the end of the nine weeks is approaching!  Please, check Synergy weekly for any missing assignments.  If you need help on any assignments let your teachers know.  November 1st is a teacher work day, and November 2nd is an Asynchronous day for all students.  Please be aware that your student will be home both days.  If you would like your child to receive extra support on November 2, please email me to schedule a tutoring time.  Tutoring hours will be from 9am-12pm on November 2.  

In order to help the school receive federal funding, PLEASE return Federal Impact Aid cards as soon as possible.  

Happy Sweater Weather!  

Ms. Haver

Important Reminders

  • We have a zero tolerance policy for bullying & physical violence. Any student who violates these policies will be subject to disciplinary action.
  • Follow all safety mitigations and report any possible Covid exposures to Nurse Hamilton.
  • Review dress code and cell phone policy.
  • Activate your ParentVue account and check grades regularly.
  • Update your contact information.
  • Remind your student to bring all necessary supplies to school each day including lunches, water bottles, Chromebooks, and binders.
  • Check the school website regularly.

Dates to Remember

Nov 1 – Teacher workday

Nov 2 – Virtual Student Learning Day

Nov 5 – Early Release 12:53pm

Nov 11 – Veterans Day – No School

Nov 15 – Girls Basketball Tryouts

Nov 19 – Report Cards posted in ParentVue

Nov 24 – 26 – Thanksgiving Holiday – No School

Nov 29 – Boys Basketball Tryouts & Wrestling Tryouts