May/June 2018

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As the end of the year approaches our days are filling up:

Important Dates

May
State Testing ~ on the following days we will have periods 1-6 (no focus) :
8th, 9th & 10th~ English
14th, 15th, 16th, 17th & 18th~ Math
22nd, 23rd & 24th~ Science 8th grade ONLY
8th grade Geometry Students Only ~ on High School late arrival days, come to school, and head into the library. Mrs.Rhodes or Mr. Hanson will give you the test on the following days: 29th, 30th & 31st .

25th ~ No School~ snow makeup day
28th ~ No School~ Happy Memorial Day
31st ~ Spring Music Program @ 7pm

June
13th~ All Library books due
14th~ Teachers collect all classroom books
15th~ Collect PE locks, Fines posted by end of day
19th~ Hockey tournament, Field day, Yearbooks distributed, All school Free Root Beer Floats (provided by PTSO)
21st~ Last day of school, half day release @ 11:25

 

Just a reminder that if your student has medication in the Nurse's office it will need to be picked up by a parent/guardian on or before the last day of school. Any medications that remain thereafter will be disposed of on the last day of school, June 21st. Nurse Kristine will be in her office until 2:00 P.M. If you have any questions, please call: 360-802-7497.

Our lost and found is overflowing! Please have your student take a look or you can swing in and look through it during school hours. The Lost and Found is located next to Mr. Davidson's office . Everything will be donated to the local clothing bank after June 21st.

Root Beer Floats
Thank you PTSO for this fun event, May 11, during lunch.

School Yearbook
Will be handed out to students during 1st period Focus on Tuesday, June 19th. All fines must be cleared.

It's time to be looking for those missing Library books. All books are due back to the library on Wednesday, June 13th. If you have any materials lying around the house with a Thunder Mountain barcode, please return them by that date. Thank you for your cooperation!

Thank you PTSO for taking such great care of us this year! This year 8 grants were given to our teachers totaling $2,471.15. See list of all grants.

  1. Dawn Hoyer - $300.00 for 7th grade Science, Microscope lenses.
  2. Dan Rogel - $300.00 for Flight Simulation Club, Drones and parts.
  3. Melanie Hanson - $121.15 for 8th grade English. "Holocaust Center for Humanity" guest speaker.
  4. Mark Hanson - $250.00 for Battle of the Books.
  5. Thunder Mountain Middle School - $600.00 contribution towards wrestling mats.
  6. Lisa Horton - $300.00 for Robotics and Dance, T-Shirts.
  7. Regina Chynoweth - $300.00 for ILC, Field trips.
  8. Rose Leggett - $300 for 8th grade History, "Living Civil War History" presentation.

Details from the Dean

Mr. Davidson A parent was discussing with me the pitfalls of trying to monitor their child's social media usage. Having a 6th and 8th grader myself, I commiserate in this difficulty. Part of this difficulty was keeping up with the ever-changing Apps that inundate the market. This put me on a mission to find the Apps that are putting our children in danger. I included a few Apps from my research below for you to ponder, and discuss with your students.

Dangerous Apps that parents need to know their teens may be using...
Technology, especially if you are a little behind the times, can be very deceptive. Your kids may be downloading Apps that you think are innocent and just a simple way for them to keep in contact with their friends, but unfortunately, this is not always the case.

To keep your children safe, it is best that you monitor their phone. Look through their apps, texts and pictures. They may feel that you are invading their privacy, but let us be honest... You are paying the phone bill, so you can do whatever you want! So, as you monitor your kid's phone, keep an eye out for these apps you may not be aware of:

  • Calculator% (Calculator App lock) - Looks like a calculator, but is more of a secret photo vault. Hides your most private photos and videos in plain sight, disguised as a humble calculator. Students can also write and store private notes and securely surf the internet with a private browser. Other Apps include Secret Calculator Vault, Calculator + Photo Lock Vault.
  • Omegle - Free online chat site, with video chat added in 2009. When you use Omegle you do not identify yourself through the service - chat participants are only identified as "You" and "Stranger". You do not have to register for the App. However, you can connect Omegle to your Facebook account to find chat partners with similar interests. When choosing this feature, an Omegle Facebook App will receive your Facebook "likes" and try to match you with a stranger with similar likes. This is not okay for children. There is a high risk of sexual predators and you do not want your kids giving out their personal information, much less even talking to strangers.
  • SnapChat - Popular amongst teens, which allows users to send photos that will disappear after 10 seconds. Once the recipient opens the picture, the timer starts. Then it is gone. From both the sender's phone and the recipient's home. However, the recipient can take a screenshot of the photo and have it to share with others. This App enables kids to feel more comfortable "sexting" with peers.
  • Whisper - Meeting App that encourages users to post secrets and meet new people. You post anonymously, but it displays the area you are posting from. You can search for users posting within a mile from you. A quick look at the App and you can see that online relationships are forming constantly on this App, but you never know the person behind the computer or phone. One man in Washington was convicted of raping a 12-year-old girl he met on this App.
  • Hot or Not - A game where you upload pictures and strangers rate your profile. The goal is to lead to a hook up. The aim of the game is to rate people in your area and let them rate you in return.
  • Burn Book - People post anonymous rumors through audio messages, tests, and photos. The gossip App is named after the book in the teen movie Mean Girls. Users can download the App free, search for school "communities" within 10 miles, and share text, photo, and audio messages with other community members.
  • Wishbone - Allows users to compare kids against each other and rate them on a scale.
  • Yubo, formerly called Yellow - Designed to allow teens to flirt with each other in a Tinder-like atmosphere. Similar to adult dating Apps. This App encourages kids to swap texts and photos with nearby strangers. Users are able to ‘'swipe' other users that they are interested in and swap selfies with each other. Kids have traded naked pictures via this photo-based dating App.
  • Ask.fm - A question and answer type of App. This App has been linked to the most severe forms of bullying/cyberbullying, as it allows users to ask and answer questions anonymously. This App came under fire following the deaths of two teenagers who killed themselves after they were bullied on the site.
  • KiK Messenger - A private messenger app that includes content that would be filtered on a home computer. Those under 18 for a number of reasons covet this App. The App allows kids to send private messages that their parents cannot see. There is very little you can do to verify the identity of someone on Kik, which obviously poses the risk of sexual predators chatting with your child. This is an easy tool for sexting.
  • Instagram - Photo-sharing app where many teens are creating fake profiles. Allows users to use more than one account. I have witnessed fake accounts kids have created to hide unsavory content from their parents. Kids also like to text using Instagram because messages are deleted once a user leaves a conversation. Kids have been known to call it a "finsta" which means "fake Instagram" account.
  • Yik Yak - One of the most dangerous. It allows users to post text-only Yaks of up to 200 characters. The messages can be viewed by the 500 Yakkers who are closest to the person who wrote the Yak, as determined by GPS tracking. Users are exposed to - and contributing -sexually explicit content, abusive language and personal attacks so severe that schools are starting to block the App on their Wi-Fi. Although the posts are anonymous, kids start revealing personal information, as they get more comfortable with other users.
  • Poof - This App allows users to make Apps disappear on their phone with one touch. Kids can hide every app they do not want you to see on their phone. All they have to do is open the App and select the ones they do not want you to see. Very scary! The good news about this App is it is no longer available, which is not uncommon for these types of Apps. However, if it was downloaded before it was deleted from the App store, your child may still have it. Keep in mind that Apps like this are created and then terminated quickly by Android and Apple stores, but there are similar ones being created constantly. Some other names include: Hidden Apps, App Lock and Hide It Pro.
  • Down - This application, which used to be called "Bang with Friends", is connected to Facebook. Users can categorize their Facebook friends in one of two ways: they can indicate whether a friend is someone they would like to hang with or someone they are "down" to hook up with. The slogan for the App: "The anonymous, simple, fun way to find friends who are down for the night. If that alone does not scare you, I do not know what will!

I know it is overwhelming to keep up with your kids and their online habits. Just remember to check their phones often, and even more importantly have real life conversations with them. Discuss the dangers of the Apps and make sure they understand the need to keep personal information private. Please note: You can turn location services, or GPS, off on cell phones by going in to the device settings. This will keep the Apps and photos from posting the exact location or whereabouts of the phone user.

Kristin Peaks, Senior Digital & Social Media specialist

*Here are a couple other social media sites that students have used, and at times abused in terms of TMMS students trying to hide information from parents: Facebook, and Twitter. An interesting way students have found they can hide information from parents is to make accounts with different user names. While investigating a bully/harassment case via social media I came across one of our students posting unsavory content using KiK, Instagram, and Ask.FM, under alias names. Content I came across in a few investigations included possible drug usage, bullying, harassment, and sexting. My intent with this article was to inform and ask that you help your student navigate the increasingly socialized internet landscape.
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