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    chorus

    Stuart Middle School   2019-2020    

    Emily Vitale, Director    vitalee@martin.k12.fl.us


    Dear Parents and Families,

    My name is Emily Vitale, and I will be your child’s choir director for this 2019/2020 school year. I am
    so happy that your child will be participating in the Stuart Middle School choral program this year, and I am
    looking forward to meeting and working with you and your child.
    By way of introduction, I would like to tell you a little about myself. I grew up in Stuart, where I
    graduated from the Jubilate choir program at Jensen Beach High School. After that, I obtained a degree in
    Music Education from Stetson University. This is my second year teaching at SMS! Some of my hobbies
    include singing in classical and jazz styles, playing the piano, reading, spending time with my parents and six
    siblings, and swimming at Stuart’s beautiful beaches. My favorite musical artists include Johannes Brahms,
    Simon and Garfunkel, Ella Fitzgerald, Billy Joel, and the Carpenters. My favorite books are The Chronicles of
    Narnia by C.S. Lewis, and my favorite movie is The Sound of Music.
    Please read the SMS Chorus Handbook, which I have uploaded to Google Classroom. The code
    to join the Bella Coro (advanced) classroom is ld1v4vp, the code for Beginning Chorus is q7u615, and
    the code for Mixed Chorus is ov4dou. The deadline to join your Google Classroom is Monday, August
    19th. In the handbook, you will find important information about participation in the SMS choral
    program, including required materials, rules and procedures, rewards and consequences, grading
    policy, concert attire, chorus dues, and parent involvement. I would like to invite the parents and
    families of the SMS choir students to an informational meeting on Thursday, August 22nd at 5:30pm
    in the choir room when we will go over the handbook in detail. Chorus dues this year are $50 per
    student. Please see the handbook for details about dues. Please read the handbook in its entirety, sign
    the contract (your child has received a paper copy of the contract from me), and return the contract
    and $50 dues to me by Thursday, August 29th.
    Your interest and involvement in the Stuart Middle Choral Program are greatly appreciated. By
    choosing music education, you have chosen the path toward discipline, responsibility, creativity, and
    teamwork. A choral experience allows students to foster their love of music and to express themselves in an
    authentic, fulfilling, and personal way. With the help of parental support and student adherence to the
    attached guidelines, I hope to make participation in this choral program a joyful and meaningful experience
    for all.
    If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me any time at
    vitalee@martin.k12.fl.us .

    Sincerely,
    Emily Vitale



    Required Materials
    Please purchase these materials by Monday, August 19 th , and have them in class every day.
    1. Plain black folder with 2 pockets (not a binder)
    2. Composition Journal or Spiral Notebook (not shared between multiple classes)
    3. Pencils
    4. Water bottle



    SMS Choral Program Respect Agreement


    On the first day of school, the students and I brainstormed criteria for a classroom respect
    agreement, which is outlined below.
    In order to reach our goals listed below,
    1. To become a close-knit choir family
    2. To improve our vocal technique
    we, the members of the SMS chorus classroom, agree to follow all classroom procedures and
    to respect each other, our teacher, and our classroom by meeting the following expectations.
    1. I will raise my hand for permission to talk.
    2. I will dispose of food, drink (besides water), AND GUM before entering the choir
    room.
    3. I will sing with feet flat on the floor, back straight, and music up.



    SMS Choral Program Rewards

    Students who honor the respect agreement will be rewarded with ROAR cards. These cards
    can be used in the normal way by being exchanged for PBIS rewards, or they can be placed
    into a special container in the choir room. Every two weeks in each period, I will draw a
    card out of the container, and the winners will receive a snack or candy bar of their
    choosing!

    SMS Choral Program Consequences

    When students fail to honor the respect agreement or to follow classroom
    procedures, they will first receive a verbal warning from me. The second time, they will
    receive a respect agreement infraction form (shown below), which will either result in a
    meeting with me after class or a signature from a parent/call home/parent meeting,
    depending on the behavior. If the behavior is recurring, the student will receive an OSB
    (Observed Student Behavior) form. For serious offenses, the student will receive a referral.



    CLASSROOM RESPECT AGREEMENT REMINDER


    Name: _______________________
    With a parent or guardian, please review the following classroom respect agreement
    expectations that were not met today, have your guardian sign the form, and return it to
    me.
    ❏ I will raise my hand for permission to talk.
    ❏ I will dispose of food, drink (besides water), AND GUM before entering the
    classroom.
    ❏ I will sing with feet flat on the floor, back straight, and music up.
    ❏ I will put away my materials and pack up at my seat.
    ❏ I will be prepared with music and pencil each day.
    ❏ I will be silent when the bell rings and be seated two minutes after the bell.
    ❏ I will treat my teacher, peers, and classroom with respect.
    ❏ Other: ________________
    Parent Signature: ______________ Date: ___________

     



    SMS Choral Program Procedures


    Entering the Room/Preparing for Rehearsal


    1. Enter the room using an “inside” voice and place your backpack (with your
    powered-off cell phone inside) under the whiteboard on the wall opposite from
    where you came in.
    2. Get your music folder, pencil, notebook, and water bottle out of your backpack.
    3. At this time, you may post (positive comments only) on the student board if you
    wish.
    4. Turn in any assignments and/or paperwork to your class period’s assigned box.
    5. Check the piano for new music or handouts. If there is something to collect, pick up a
    copy, and place it in your folder.
    6. When the bell rings, that is your cue to be silent, even if you are not yet in your seat.
    7. Sit in your assigned seat no later than two minutes after the bell , bringing with you
    ONLY your music folder, pencil, notebook, and water bottle.
    8. Remain seated and in your notebook, quietly start working on the bell work
    projected on the overhead.


    Going to the Bathroom


    1. Hold up your index finger to signal that you need to use the bathroom.
    2. Once I give approval, quietly leave your seat, and go to the bathroom.
    3. Sign out and in on the sheet by the door.
    Coming late
    1. Enter the room through the side door , and place your tardy slip in the designated
    bin on the brown shelf.
    2. Quietly place your backpack and phone at the back of the room, get out your
    materials, and take your seat.


    Ending Rehearsal


    1. I will end rehearsal approximately four minutes before the bell.
    2. Once I have dismissed you, grab your backpack, and return to your seat.
    3. Pack up at your seat, and remain seated until the bell rings.
    4. Make sure chairs are straight and all trash is picked up and thrown away.
    5. One person at a time may post on the board during this time.


    Turning in Money


    1. Place money (cash or check made out to Stuart Middle School) in an envelope.
    (Envelopes are available for students in classroom).
    2. Write your name (first and last), the date, the amount, and what it is for on the
    envelope.
    3. Seal the envelope.
    4. Give the envelope to me.


    Returning after an Absence


    1. If a student has been absent, ask the teacher before class begins if any important
    information, forms, or assignments were given out.
    2. If the student was absent and a form or assignment was given out, the student must
    submit the form/assignment by the due date stated. If the due date has already
    passed, the student has twice the amount of time they were absent to turn in the
    form/assignment. For example, if you were absent for two days, you have four days
    to turn in the assignment.


    Coming to class sick


    1. If you are unable to sing during rehearsal due to illness, please bring in a signed note
    from a parent or guardian.
    2. Even though you are not singing, still follow along in your music and mouth the
    words.

     



    Concert/Activity Schedule


    Monday Aug. 19 Materials and Google Classroom Due In class
    Thursday Aug. 22 Parent Meeting 5:30pm @ SMS Choir room
    Thursday Aug. 29 Handbook Contract and Fee Due In class
    Thursday Sep. 12 Cheesecake Fundraiser Kickoff In class
    Saturday Sep. 14 Allstate Test 1 10:30am @ Anderson MS
    Friday/Sat. Oct. 4-5 IRSC Honor Choir (Bella Coro) @ IRSC
    Monday Oct. 14 After-School Rehearsal 4-5:15pm @ Chorus Room
    Tuesday Oct. 15 Assisted Living Performance 6:40-7:30pm
    @ Allegro Senior Living
    TBD Nov. TBD Chorus Pictures In Class
    Wednesday Dec. 4 Rotary Club Performance (BC) During School
    Monday Dec. 16 Winter Concert Rehearsal 4-6pm @ Cafeteria
    Tuesday Dec. 17 Winter Concert (Call time 6:15pm) 7-8:15pm @ Cafeteria
    TBD Mar. TBD Recruit at Elementary Schools TBD
    Mon./Tues. Mar. 9-10 Music Performance Assessment (MPA) @ Fort Pierce Central HS
    Tuesday Mar. 24 Music in our Schools Rehearsal (BC) 4:45-6pm @ Hidden Oaks MS
    Thursday Mar. 26 Music in our Schools Rehearsal (BC) 9am-1pm @ MCHS gym
    Music in our Schools Concert (BC) 7pm @ MCHS Gym
    Wednesday Apr. 22 Spring Concert Rehearsal 4-6pm @ Cafeteria
    Thursday Apr. 23 Spring Concert (Call time 6:15pm) 7-8:15pm @ Cafeteria
    Tuesday Apr. 28 Arts and Conversation (BC) TBD @ Treasure Coast Mall
    Wednesday Apr. 29 Disney Sings Workshop TBD @ Disney World
    Thursday May 14 (TBD) 6th Grade Preview Night (BC) 6-6:45pm @ Cafeteria
    Thursday May 21 Band/Choir Awards Banquet 6:30-8:30pm @ Cafeteria
    Tuesday May 26 (TBD) Moving Up Ceremony 6:30-6:50pm @ SMS Gym

    *This calendar is subject to change.
    *Bolded events are mandatory for all members. Italicized events are optional. Other events are
    mandatory for select members only. Members will be notified well in advance of which events they are
    required to attend.


    Grading Policy


    Daily Work 20%
    Each student will receive points for daily work based on the rubric found below.
    Students can earn up to 20 points a day. Each day’s points are added at the end of the week
    for a weekly grade out of 100 points. Active participation in the rehearsal is essential to the
    success of the choir. As an ensemble, we share the responsibility of music making. If one
    person misses rehearsal or fails to participate fully, the whole ensemble suffers.


    Daily Work Rubric


    Score Descriptions:
    20
    Always follows classroom rules, procedures, and expectations
    Always actively participating (singing, standing, answering questions, looking
    attentive)
    Singing posture exceeds expectations
    15
    Often follows classroom rules, procedures, and expectations
    Often participates
    Singing posture meets expectations
    10
    Seldom follows classroom rules, procedures, and expectations
    Seldom participates
    Singing posture needs improvement
    0
    Never follows classroom rules, procedures, and expectations
    Never participates
    Singing posture is inadequate


    Performances/Events 50%


    Students are required to attend all performances for their ensemble (besides
    optional ones) listed on the Concert/Activity Schedule. Students will be notified well
    in advance of which performances they are required to attend. Concerts are the
    “tests” for this class, where students show what they have learned over the course of
    the semester. If you have a conflict with a scheduled performance, I must be notified
    by a parent or guardian in writing at least two weeks in advance. If the conflict is
    approved, the student will be given an alternate assignment to complete, which must
    be turned in the next school day after the missed performance. If the two-weeks
    notice is not given (besides in the case of a medical emergency), the student will
    receive zero credit for that performance.


    Performance Suspension: The director reserves the right to suspend any student from
    participating in a given performance due to excessive absences, behavior issues, or failure
    to learn the music. The student will be given an alternate assignment to complete, which
    must be turned in the next school day after the missed performance.


    Assignments/Quizzes 30%


    Students will complete various assignments and quizzes throughout the year for a
    grade. This includes, for example, bell-work checks and music theory vocab quizzes.


    Extra Credit Opportunities


    Students can earn extra credit by attending additional musical concerts. Concerts that will
    be accepted for extra credit may include SMS band concerts, band or choir concerts at other
    schools, and professional choir concerts. To earn extra credit you must turn in a copy of the
    concert’s program and write 2 – 3 sentences about the concert. For each concert, I will
    drop your lowest participation grade. * If there is ever any question as to what concert would
    count as extra credit, talk to me in person or email me.


    Concert Attire


    Bella Coro
    - Dress: Rented from SMS choral program
    - Shoes: Black flats (all black, closed toe, closed back, 0-1 inch heel)
    - Jewelry/Accessories: None except small stud earrings
    - Hair: Neat and away from the face
    1st and 2nd Year Chorus
    - Choir polo: Rented from SMS choral program
    - Black dress pants
    - Shoes: Black flats or dress shoes (all black, closed toe, closed back, 0-1 inch heel)
    - Jewelry/Accessories: None except small stud earrings
    - Hair: Neat and away from the face


    SMS Chorus Program Dues


    Chorus dues this year will be $50 per student. Dues will be collected in the form of a check
    made out to Stuart Middle School or cash by Thursday, August 29th. This fee covers the
    cost of the following in addition to other program expenses:
    - Uniform rental (Bella Coro)
    - Choir Polo
    - Music
    - Awards
    - Professional Development Conference Expenses
    - ACDA, FMEA, FVA, and NAFME Membership Dues
    - Copies
    - Busses
    *Please speak to me if you are having financial difficulties at this time. Accommodations will
    be made so that any child can participate in choir.
    *There are several different performance opportunities available outside of the class
    requirements, including Solo & Ensemble, All State, Disney Trip, and IRSC Honor Choir. For
    these additional performance opportunities, there may be additional fees.


    Parent Involvement


    The SMS choral program needs parent volunteers! If you are interested in chaperoning,
    assisting with fundraising, or other volunteer opportunities, please visit the Martin County
    School District website, click on “Departments,” then “Volunteer,” and then fill out the E270
    form. I strongly encourage you to choose the “Level 2” background check, which costs $20
    dollars online. This allows you to assist at off-campus events. Thank you so much for your
    involvement and support!
    Handbook Contract
    Please sign this form and bring it to class by Thursday, August 29 th .
    Student Name: __________________________________ Grade: _____________________
    Parent/Guardian Name(s): __________________________________
    Parent/Guardian Email Address: _______________________________________________
    Parent/Guardian Phone Number: ___________________________________________
    Please list student’s music experience (if any): ____________________________________
    __________________________________________________________________________
    I have read and understood all of the information in the Stuart Middle Chorus Handbook,
    and I agree to adhere to its terms.

    Reminder: Students are required to attend all performances for their ensemble
    (besides optional ones) listed on the Concert/Activity Schedule. Students will be
    notified well in advance of which performances they are required to attend. Concerts
    are the “tests” for this class, where students show what they have learned over the
    course of the semester. If you have a conflict with a scheduled performance, I must
    be notified by a parent or guardian in writing at least two weeks in advance. If the
    conflict is approved, the student will be given an alternate assignment to complete,
    which must be turned in the next school day after the missed performance. If the
    two-weeks notice is not given (besides in the case of a medical emergency), the
    student will receive zero credit for that performance.
    __________________________ _________________
    Student Signature Date
    __________________________ __________________
    Parent Signature Date