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Academic Information--Frequently Asked Questions

What classes will my child take at EMS? Your child's schedule will vary depending upon his/her needs and abilities. We do offer High Ability (Honors) classes for grades seven and eight. In addition, eighth grade students have the option of taking Algebra I. Students with special needs may also elect to take a resource period instead of an elective course. Student placement in either High Ability or Direct Services classes is based upon the following factors: teacher recommendation, previous grades, NWEA test scores, and parental input.


Grade Level

Required Courses

Elective Courses

Sixth Grade

A full year of:  English, science, social studies, reading, and mathematics. 

A semester of:  P.E. and health.

Nine weeks rotation of: Character Education, Industrial Technology, Art, and Keyboarding

Band, chorus, or Guided Study

Seventh Grade

A full year of:  English, science, social studies, and mathematics. 

A semester of:  P.E. and health.

Nine weeks rotation of: Music, Industrial Technology, Art, and Keyboarding

Band, chorus, or Guided Study

Eighth Grade

A full year of: English, science, social studies, and mathematics.
A semester of: P.E. and health.
Nine weeks rotation of:  Music, Industrial Technology, Art, and Career Exploration

Band, chorus, or Guided Study

How can the counselor help my child? My role as a school counselor is to support the efforts of teachers, administrators, and parents in ensuring that students have a positive school experience at Edinburgh Middle School. My responsibilities vary depending on the individual student and their situation, and may include, but are not limited to (1) helping students develop skills necessary for school success, i.e. organization, time management, study skills, social skills, etc; (2) consulting with teachers, administrators, and parents in order to identify strategies and resources for improving student behavior and/or academic performance; and (3) providing a safe place for students to share their feelings, fears, and concerns that may affect their ability to learn.


How can I find out how my child is doing in his/her classes? Edinburgh Middle School (EMS) encourages parents to stay involved with their child’s education through regular communication with both their child and school personnel. There are a number of ways that parents can obtain updates about their student’s academic performance, including: 

  • Ask your child regularly how things are going at school. Periodically ask to see returned work to check for test or homework scores.
  • Take note of the dates that midterm grade reports and end-of-grading period report cards are issued to students, and ask your child to show you their report card.
  • Contact individual teachers via phone or e-mail. If you are concerned about your child’s progress in a particular class, don’t hesitate to contact the teacher to obtain specific information about your child’s strengths and areas of need in that class. Teachers can be reached by calling the main EMS number (812-526-3418) or via e-mail. Teacher e-mail addresses are available on the EMS website. Please note that it is most difficult to reach teachers via phone during the school day, as they are in class teaching.
  • You can also check your child’s grades any time on ParentConnect.  This can be accessed from the home page of this website.


How do I know what my child has to do for homework each day? There are a few ways that you can gain information about what your child needs to accomplish each night for homework. First, ask your child to show you his/her agenda (assignment notebook). Each student is expected to write their assignments for each class in their agenda on a daily or weekly basis depending on the class. In most cases, teachers write the assignments on an agenda board in their classroom. 


My child is struggling with his/her schoolwork, what can I do? There are a number of resources available to parents who are concerned about their child’s academic progress. Some or all of these steps can be taken in an effort to help students improve their academic performance.
If your child is struggling in a particular class or subject, contact the teacher to identify both strengths and weaknesses and to obtain suggestions for helping your child in that subject area.
If your child is struggling in a number of courses it may be helpful to set up a team meeting with all of your child's teachers to allow teachers to share both strengths and weaknesses, identify any troubling patterns, and to work together as a team to generate ideas for helping your child. If a team meeting is desired, please contact me so one can be scheduled for you.  Most teachers are more than willing to offer tutoring or individual help if asked, as long as it is scheduled in advance.  Please contact the individual teachers for more information.

My child says that other students are teasing/bullying him/her. What can the counselor do to help my child in this situation?  The most important thing to realize about bullying is that Mr. Betts or I need to know that it is happening to your child before we can do anything to help. If your child comes home and reports that he/she is being bullied, either encourage him/her to tell us or call and report the situation yourself. Once we know what is happening we can take steps to help remedy the situation. The steps we take include but are not limited to:

Helping your child develop appropriate responses to bullying.
Speaking with and warning those students who are accused of bullying.
Maintaining contact about the situation and recommending disciplinary action when appropriate.

My child is having difficulty with a particular teacher. Can you assign him to a different teacher? If your child is having difficulty with a particular teacher, your first step should always be to contact that teacher to get his/her perspective about what is going on. The teacher may be able to give you insight into why your child is experiencing difficulty, and he/she may have suggestions for helping to remedy the situation. Your next step should be to contact your child’s counselor. I may be able to work with your child to identify the problem and help them develop strategies for coping with or improving the situation. Your final step would be to contact Mr. Betts to share your concern.


How can I get my child homework help in the evening?  Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology 's Homework Hotline is a free tutoring service for Indiana middle and high school students. Any student in grades 6-12 who need math or science homework help can call. Tutors answer calls between 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. (EST) Sunday through Thursday, from September through May. Questions can also be submitted via the Homework Hotline website--www.AskRose.org.
Before calling the Homework Hotline, students should have the following items handy: Homework Assignment, Textbook (if available), Paper, Pencil or Pen, and a Calculator (if needed). Students will be asked to provide their first name and the name of their school when they call.


What if I have questions that are not included in this list? Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions about how to improve your child's school experience. I will always work to answer your questions and/or help you get connected with the appropriate resources.

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