Dartmouth Middle School

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Welcome to the 2016-2017 School Year at Dartmouth!

My name is Dave Hill and I am in my 27th year as a middle school teacher. Twenty-two of them have been spent here at Dartmouth. For most of those years i have been teaching math at the 8th grade level. I have also been leading the 8th grade trip to Washington D.C. since 1998.

This year I am teaching mathematics for the Barracuda team.   The Math 8 course is designed to meet the prerequisite requirements for Integrated 1 Mathematics (IM 1) at Branham and Leigh High Schools. I will also be teaching two sections of IM 1. This class will meet the prerequisite requirements for Integrated Math 2 (IM 2)  in high school.   To qualify for IM 1 this year, students must have completed Math 7/8 in 7th grade or an equivalent course of study. They must also have received a recommendation from their teacher.

We are proud to announce that USD will enter its second year of full implementation of its new curriculum adoption,  College Preparatory Mathematics (CPM). We believe CPM offers the most engaging and challenging program for students and we are excited to see the fruit it will bear in our students and their learning this year as we, as teachers, improve our implementation skills.  You will be hearing much more in the way of details about CPM at Back to School Night on August 31, 2017.

I post each homework assignment online daily. This may be accessed by parents and students by going to my page on the DMS website (you are already here) and clicking on the course link marked "planner" on the right side of the page. Students are also required to write each day's assignment in their planner.

Grades are updated in Power School on a weekly basis (at least this is my goal). I encourage you to take advantage of this resource as you seek to help your student stay organized and up to date with their assignment responsibilities. I will ask the students to do regular grade checks to monitor their own progress. If you do the same, and then talk with your student about how things are going (encouragement is a great motivator), they will enjoy higher levels of success. Please DO NOT wait until the last week of the quarter to check grades and then expect them to make up all of the assessments in a week's time.  

Over the past twenty-seven years that I have been a middle school teacher, I have developed a very simple philosophy with respect to education. I firmly believe that for any educational effort to be successful, it is necessary to have three components in place. First, to ensure success, there must be a teacher who is passionate about, and who works very hard to perfect, the art and science of teaching. Second, the educational equation must include a student who has the desire to work hard to master the curriculum, even in the presence of periods of frustration and temporary failure (the fertile soil of learning). Perseverance is the golden ticket. Successful students have the mindset that temporary failures are the stepping stones to success and that hard work is the engine that drives the entire process. Finally, advocates at home must be actively involved in the important task of supporting their student or ensuring that necessary steps be taken to "redirect" their student should they stray from the path of their responsibilities.

With this in mind, I look forward to working with you this year as together we put the "final touches" on your student's preparation for high school (and beyond).

Dave Hill
The Barracudas

hilld@unionsd.org