Two students holding a banner: Innovators

We are excited to be your child’s team teachers this year!  We look forward to working closely with you to ensure that your child’s first year of middle school is a success.  You can reach us in a variety of ways.  Please allow us 24 hours to respond.  Feel free to reach us via email or phone.  You may call the school main office at (757) 578-7030  You may also choose to communicate through the ClassTAG program or by writing a note in your child’s agenda.  If using the agenda as a way of communication, please ensure that your child shows us their planner.

We look forward to a great year together.

Mrs. Barrett, Mrs. Meads, and Ms. Ohlstein

Teachers on the Team

Sandy Barrett – Math/Science

Rachel Meads – English/Science

Katelyn Ohlstein – Civics/Science

Innovators Team News

We are looking forward to some holiday activities in the coming weeks.  Specific information will be sent home soon.  Over the holiday break, please consider replenishing supplies, so that students are prepared for the New Year!  We are thankful for each and every one of our students and their families.  We hope that you have a safe and happy holiday.

In English class, students have been hard at work! We have completed lessons covering text features, organizational patterns, main idea and supporting details, and more. We have read about prehistoric crocodiles, kangaroos, and how YouTube revolutionized entertainment.  We will soon transition to fiction skills such as setting, characters, plot, conflict, and theme.

In addition to reading, we have been working on parts of speech on Writing Wednesdays.  We have studied nouns, pronouns, pronoun-antecedent agreement, verbs, and subject-verb agreement.  Future grammar lessons will include adjectives, adverbs, review of capitalization rules, proper punctuation, commonly confused words (to, too, or two) and work on sentence and paragraph structures. I see our 6th graders growing every day and cannot wait to see what the rest of the year has in store for them!

We have begun the year by refreshing some important review concepts including solving problems involving all operations in math, place value, and converting between fractions and decimals.  We have recently begun to build on previous math skills and started converting between fractions, decimals, and percents.  This can be a challenging unit but many 6th graders are rising to the challenge.

Students are responsible for keeping an organized book of knowledge (BOK).  Their BOK is filled with guided notes that are useful especially when completing nightly homework or reviewing skills taught in class.  Students receive nightly math homework.  They should be referring to their BOK and completing their homework as it has been modeled in class.  Homework is a great opportunity to apply those skills taught and practiced in class at home.  Another great strategy for success is having your child teach you the material they have learned in class.  If you have not yet signed up for ParentVue, please do so. ParentVue allows you to view your child’s grades on a regular basis

We started off the year learning about lab safety and what to do in certain scenarios when working in a lab.  Students have explored working with lab equipment such as graduated cylinders to calculate the displacement of an object and triple beam balances to measure the mass of a variety of objects.  Students are beginning to learn the scientific process.  This valuable skill will be used throughout the year when we explore different topics through hands-on lab experiments.

We are currently wrapping up our first unit on duties, responsibilities, and character traits of citizenship; the preamble to the Constitution and it’s meaning; the naturalization process; and the powers of the legislative and executive branches.

We will begin learning about political campaigns, campaign finance, etc. Please make sure your child is reviewing their notes nightly and keeping their notebooks up to date!

 Parent Information:
Please continue to check Parent Vue weekly for updated grades.  Also, please check in with your child periodically to see if they need their school supplies replenished.

Please continue to check and sign agendas daily and help your child complete homework and study. Please talk to your child and find out what types of supplies he/she needs.

Classroom Expectations

  • Be prepared for class.  This includes having the necessary materials ready at the start of each bell.
  • Raise your hand and wait to be recognized before you speak or move about in the classroom.
  • Stay on task, do quality work, and seek assistance when you need it.
  • Show respect for yourself, your teachers, and fellow classmates.
  • Leave your work area neat and clean. Return all materials to their proper places.  Please dispose of your trash/recycling in the correct manner.
  • Remain seated in class until the teacher dismisses you.
  • Conduct yourself in an orderly fashion as you enter and leave the classroom and move through the hallways and cafeteria. Horse playing is not acceptable.
  • Gum is not allowed at IRMS.  Besides school breakfast, all other food and drink should be consumed in the cafeteria.
  • Coats, backpacks, and gym bags are to be left in your locker.

Demerit System

IRMS uses a demerit system to deal with inappropriate behavior that we believe obstructs the educational process. Failure to meet the expectations listed will result in the student receiving a demerit with the following consequences:

Demerit System Procedures
1st & 2nd Demerit Notice sent home; student returns signed form to assigning teacher.
3rd Demerit Notice sent home, teacher assigning 3rd demerit will call home.
4th Demerit Assign after school detention (ASD), student returns ASD form to homeroom teacher.
5th Demerit Referral to grade level assistant principal, Mrs. Williams

*Demerits earned reset at the beginning of each quarter.

Please Note: Continuous failure to bring required materials to class and/or return signed papers after parent contact will result in disciplinary action. Students are responsible for carrying their agenda throughout the day. This will serve as their hall pass when needing to go to the bathroom, etc. If students do not have their agenda, they will still be granted permission to leave the classroom, however, lack of required materials will result in a demerit.


Merits (Rise Rewards) are given to students as a way to reinforce positive behavior.  Four merits will cancel out one demerit.  This is signed off by Mrs. Williams, the 6th grade administrator.  Students will be able to buy items from the merit store throughout the nine weeks.  Celebrations will be scheduled at the end of the nine weeks  for merits and no demerits.

Homework Policy

We believe homework is important because it reinforces what has been taught in class; prepares students for upcoming lessons; and helps students develop self-discipline, responsibility, and organizational skills. Students are required to write down their homework nightly in their agenda in all classes. Homework is due the following day, unless otherwise stated. Please expect students to have homework nightly in all four core classes. Students will not be given time during the school day to complete their homework.

Grading Policy

Assignments should be completed on time.  20% is deducted each day an assignment is turned in late.

Assessments- 40%

Tests, essays, big projects, performance tasks

Practice- 30%

Classwork, homework, small projects, participation

Quizzes/Labs- 30%

Quizzes and labs

Parent Conferences

  • Our team is available to meet with parents Tuesday and Thursday between 2 and 3:00 p.m.
  • If you would like a conference, please email or call one of the team teachers to set up a conference.

Absences and Makeup Work

Encouraging regular school attendance is one of the most powerful ways you can prepare your child for success.  Attendance is taken in every bell.

  • Indian River Middle School requires a written excuse from parent/guardian  or a doctor’s note for all absences.  Notes should include cause and date(s) of absence.
  • Students are responsible for completing any missed work.
  • If a student is absent, it is the student’s responsibility to pick up all make-up work/class notes upon return to school. Students are expected to make-up all missed work.
  • If a student is present the day before a test, please make sure they are prepared to test upon returning to school.

If your child is going to be out for a period of time due to sickness, work may be collected and put in the main office for pickup.  Please provide as much time as possible if you would like work collected for your child.  We will do our best to get it prepared.  Please remember, not all lessons and activities are able to be completed at home.