Stuart Middle School 2019-2020
Emily Vitale, Director firstname.lastname@example.org
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
If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me any time at
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)
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
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
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
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
❏ I will raise my hand for permission to talk.
❏ I will dispose of food, drink (besides water), AND GUM before entering the
❏ 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
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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
Always follows classroom rules, procedures, and expectations
Always actively participating (singing, standing, answering questions, looking
Singing posture exceeds expectations
Often follows classroom rules, procedures, and expectations
Singing posture meets expectations
Seldom follows classroom rules, procedures, and expectations
Singing posture needs improvement
Never follows classroom rules, procedures, and expectations
Singing posture is inadequate
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.
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.
- 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
- Professional Development Conference Expenses
- ACDA, FMEA, FVA, and NAFME Membership Dues
*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.
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!
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