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    Dec. 2017 Newsletter
    Posted on 12/10/2017

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    Inside this issue:
     Principal Letter • News & Info • Important Dates


    Principal Letter

    Dear Mercer Families,

    At Mercer, we refer to the A, B, C success indicators often. Attendance, Behavior, and Coursework grades are indicators we measure that often reflect the success of our students.

    In November, we passed the 1st quarter of our school year. Almost all of our students were able to celebrate their hard work at our Fall ABC & Tardy Dance & Activity. I would like to take a moment to share with you the outstanding Coursework accomplishments of our students. In the graph below you can see the % of Mercer students earning a 2.7 G.P.A or better from first quarter.


    Quarter 1 Academic Distrinction pie chart

    We are now in the second quarter of the school year and will begin to prepare our students for our first semester Student Led Conferences, which will occur February 12-16. Please see page 4 of this newsletter for more information about our Student Led Conferences.

    Congratulations to all of our students for their 1st quarter accomplishments. Before Winter Break, most students will be bringing home well-deserved academic certificates for their hard work.

    Go Mustangs! 


    Mr. Carter


    News & Info


    Mercer Goals for Independent Reading

    As we approach Winter Break we would like to remind students and families of our Mercer Reading Goals and encourage students to continue reading, even when not in school.

    Research is clear that increasing reading volume affects achievement in reading. As we prepare students for high school, college, and life, developing into strong readers is a critical skill. 


    Mercer Goals for Independent Reading


    Goal 1

    Goal 2

    Goal 3

    Goal 4



    Provide 20-30 minutes of daily independent reading in class.

    Match students to books they can read and enjoy.

    Meet regularly with students to compliment strengths, coach into skills, and set goals for growth.

    Keep records to track and monitor student progress.



    Read a lot!

    (Class and home)

    Read books that you love!

    (near your level)

    Practice reading skills!

    (learned in class)

    Keep track of your thinking!

    (and growth)



    Provide 20-30 minutes of daily independent reading at home.

    Encourage and help students to find and read books they can read and enjoy.

    Ask students to talk about what they are thinking about and noticing about what they are reading.

    Ask students to show you an example of their thinking from their reading notebooks or post-its.

    Here's How You Can Help Support Independent Reading at Home

    Great Questions
    to Ask Your Child about Reading:

    Great Answers
    to Hear From Your Child about Reading:

    • “What time are you going to do your reading tonight?”
    • “What are you enjoying about your book?”
    • “Would you like a new book?”
    • “Show me an example of something you wrote about your reading in class.”
    • “Give me an example of something you are learning in reading class.”
    • 20-30 minutes in a quiet environment.
    • Enjoys the book they reading (Interesting, not too hard/too easy).
    • Visit the library or bookstore.
    • Can show you writing about reading from their post-it notes or reading notebook.
    • Can give you an example of what they are learning in reading class.

    About Characters:

    • “What kind of person is (Character)?”
    • “How is (character) changing?”
    • “How does (character 1) affect (character 2)?
    • Identifies character traits.
    • Can talk about the relationships between characters.
    •  Identifies a change in character’s thoughts, feelings, traits, or actions.
    • Compares present traits to past traits.

    About Themes:

    • “What do you think the (object) symbolizes?”
    • “What has (character) learned in this book?”
    • “What ideas about life are brought up in this book?”
    • Has an idea of what an object or symbol means and can explain why.
    • Can identify lessons that can be learned from the book.
    • Can identify social issues in the book similar to those in real life.

    About Conflict and Setting:

    • “What problems is (character) experiencing right now?”
    • “What is the setting and why is it important?”
    • “Why is this moment/scene important?”
    • Can talk about more than one problem in the story.
    • Can describe where and when the story takes place and how it affects the characters.
    • Can make connections between causes and effects to understand why the scene matters in the story.


    Message from PTSA

    Please join us Wednesday, December 13 in the Mercer Library from 6:30-8pm. Hope to see you here! 

    Student Led Conferences: Feb. 12-16

    Part of preparing students for success in high school and beyond is making sure our students demonstrate understanding and ownership of their learning. In February, our students will be spending time reflecting on their semester 1 progress and sharing their successes and areas for growth during our student led conference week.


    Top 5 pieces of information to know about our upcoming conferences:

    1. Conferences are student led. This means conferences will be held with, families, at home following a process we are preparing and teaching our students.

    2. We are using the Schoology technology platform to share academic and behavior information with you. Students are currently using Schoology to prepare their academic portfolio for semester

    3. Conferences will count as part of your student’s grade for Social Studies class. The conference process connects to many important learning standards expected of middle school students as they progress toward college and career readiness. For example, students will be: developing questions and planning inquiries, evaluating sources and using evidence, and communicating conclusions and taking informed action.

    4. Families are expected to complete and return an Exit Ticket to his/her Social Studies teacher at the conclusion of your student led conference.

    5. There is no school, Friday, February 16 so that our staff can meet with invited families and students.


    More information about Student Led Conferences will be sent home in January.

    Winter Sports

    Winter sports begin soon and consist of girls and boys basketball. In order to try out, students must have turned in their athletic registration packet and current sports physical. No exceptions!

    Athletic packets have been available to students daily on the athletics bulletin board and announcement have been made daily to students, both in the morning and at lunch.


    Basketball Try-Outs:  Boys: Dec. 5 & 7, 4:00-5:15pm, Mercer gym
    Girls: Dec. 12 & 14 from 4:00-5:15pm, Mercer gym

    Both boys and girls basketball will practice every Tuesday and Thursday. Games will begin after winter break in January and scheduled for Saturdays. 

    Seattle Police Department Public Safety Survey

    The Seattle Police Department is conducting a survey in order to solicit feedback from those who live and/or work in Seattle to increase public safety and security in our neighborhoods. Click here to take the survey.

    Important Dates


    7: Latino Culture Night (5:30-7:00 pm)
    13: PTSA Meeting (6:30 pm)
    15: 1-hour early dismissal (2:45 pm)
    15: Mid-quarter progress reports
    18-Jan. 1: Winter Break


    2: Return from Winter Break
    10: PTSA Meeting (6:30 pm)
    15: Dr. King Holiday - No School
    25: Winter Concert (7:00 pm, auditorium)
    30: End of Semester
    30: Expert Expo (6:00 pm, cafeteria)
    31: Day Between Semesters - No School