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Athletics FAQ

The extracurricular philosophy at West Middle School is to build a program with a commitment to excellence in all phases of the student’s education. The achievement of excellence will be based on the research of traits of successful people (Habits of Mind). We, as a staff, believe that by expecting and cultivating these traits, our students will develop skills which can used during their time in middle school; in high school; and in life after high school. The traits being taught include:

1.     Listening, truly listening – A person truly listening listens from many perspectives; welcomes feedback (both positive and negative); and communicates accurately
2.     Making a plan – A person making a plan thinks before acting; envisions consequences for an action (both positive and negative); and is willing to take educated risks
3.     Continuously seeking to improve – A person continuously seeking improvement reflects on their work and effort; analyzes information from many perspectives; never quits; and always seeks improvement
4.     Being a flexible thinker – A flexible thinker asks questions; seeks alternative solutions; and is curious
5.     Being a good teammate –A good teammate portrays a positive self-image; supports, respects, helps and the team; places the goals of the team ahead of their own goals

Benchmark examples of the traits include:
·       All eyes and ears will be on the coach while he/she is speaking (Listening, truly listening)
·       Attendance on time to every practice and game (Make a plan)
·       Keeping all school issued equipment in good condition and returning the gear at the end of the season (Make a plan)
·       A full effort to improve their skills in practices and games (Continuously seeking to improve)
·       Respect for coaches, teammates, opponents, and officials (Be a good teammate)
·       Exhibiting good sportsmanship at all times. (Be a good teammate)
·       Displaying hard work, a good attitude, good grades, citizenship and sportsmanship (Be a good teammate)
·       Accepting victory and defeat with equal grace
·       Supporting the team, all players, if not playing, will be on the bench while a game is being played (Be a good teammate)
·       No usage of a cell phone or an electronic device while a game is being played (Be a good teammate)
·       No food on the bench while a game is being played (Be a good teammate)
·       All players will ride the bus to and from out of town games (Be a good teammate)
·       All players will wear a school issued uniform to participate (Be a good teammate)

Additionally, athletic participation is viewed as a privilege for the student, rather than a right of the student and as such participating in and commitment to an activity should be taken seriously. Therefore, a student who chooses to participate in an activity shall be expected to exemplify a higher standard of behavior than a student who is not part of extra-curricular activities. Student athletes will be expected to be role models of stellar citizenship. A student who does not meet this expectation; whose actions or conduct create a negative image of the school and community, may be declared ineligible to participate by the principal or athletic director.

What can you expect from the coaches/staff of West Middle School:
·       We will be role models of the traits we are trying to teach
·       We will teach that the spirit of competition creates greater growth than does the concept of win at all costs
·       We will provide opportunities to show initiative, leadership and good judgement
·       We will work hard to teach your child the skills and traits which will help them be successful in the 21st century
·       We will communicate with you if your child is in danger of not participating because of bad choices
·       We will notify you of any injury which takes place under our watch
·       We will be fair, we want your child to succeed

If you or your child, at anytime, do not agree with the decisions of the coach, please call (263-0411) or email (mark.olmstead@mcsdonline.org) to set up an appropriate time to address the concerns. Before, during or immediately after a game is not an appropriate time to discuss concerns.

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act, but a habit.”
Aristotle

“What you are as a person is far more important than what you are as a basketball player”
John Wooden

Non- discrimination statement
Student athletes and the student’s parent/guardian need to be aware that sport activities involve risk of injury. When an athlete practices, plays or participates in any sport, the activity can be dangerous. The student may risk serious and permanent injury affecting his/her well being. The Independent School District of Muscatine is not liable, nor responsible, for any medical, dental, or hospital bills occurring as a result of injuries sustained by a student while participating in a school activity. Instructions given by the coach regarding playing techniques, training and team rules must be followed.
Frequently asked Questions

What activities are available to my child?
Band, chorus and orchestra are year- long activities and are open to all middle school students. 7th and 8th grade students may be involved in a number of school sponsored sport teams. A student may play volleyball, girls’ or boys’ cross country, or football from late August through mid-October. Wrestling and girls’ basketball compete in November and December. Boys’ basketball is played in January and February. Boys’ and girls’ swimming participate in February. Girls’ and boys’ track runs in March and April.  Additionally, WMS will present a play in which all middle school students are welcomed to be involved.

What does my child need to do to participate?
In order to participate in any sport/activity the following must be completed prior to the first day of practice:
·       A physical screening form completed by a physician, a chiropractor or a registered nurse and turned into the attendance office. The screening is good for one calendar year.
·       A parent permission form completed and turned into the attendance office
·       An insurance waiver form completed and turned into the attendance office
·       A concussion fact sheet and form completed and turned into the attendance office
WMS has forms available in the attendance office or online (www.muscatine.k12.ia.us/wms/activities-athletics/athletic-forms) which fulfills all aforementioned requirements.

Is there a schedule of when my child plays?
The best place to find your child’s game schedule is on the West Middle School Calendar.

(www.muscatine.k12.ia.us/wms/activities-athlethics/schedules).

Where can I find directions to events my child plays out of town?
On the West Middle School webpage (www.muscatine.k12.ia.us/wms/activities-athlethics/directions-to-evnts) you may find list with the street address of each school where WMS participates. Additionally, the page is set up to link to Google Maps, simply type in your address, click “Get Directions” and driving directions will be provided from your location to the school you are trying to find.

What if my child has never played the sport/activity?
Skill level is not important. The goals of the Muscatine Community School District athletic program are to:
·       Realize the value of participation without over emphasizing the importance of winning and;
·       Develop and improve positive citizenship traits among the program’s participants.
West Middle School will accommodate and improve the wide range of abilities of the players who choose to participate.

When do practices start?
Football – Sign-up and informational meeting TBD, first practice Aug. 24
Volleyball – Sign-up and informational meeting TBD, first practice Aug. 24
Cross Country – Sign-up and informational meeting TBD, first practice Aug. 24
Wrestling – Sign-up and informational meeting TBD, first practice TBD
Girls’ Basketball – Sign-up and informational meeting TBD, first practice TBD
Boys’ Basketball – Sign-up and informational meeting TBD, first practice TBD
Swimming – Sign-up and informational meeting TBD, first practice TBD
Track – Sign-up and informational meeting TBD, first practice TBD

How often and when are practices?
Practice is the foundation to improvement. In a team sport/activity each player needs to realize their role in contributing to the team success. Most practices are after school (3:30 to about 5:15) at West Middle School.  Football and Cross country practices are held at WMS after school (bus service is provided from CMS to WMS). Swim practices are held in the mornings at MHS (bus service is provided from MHS to West). You are welcome to attend and watch practice any time.

Will there be practice/games if school is cancelled?
If school is cancelled or let out early because of inclement weather there will be no practices, games, or after-school activities that night.

What do I need to purchase for my child to participate in middle school activities?
Most equipment needed to participate in the activity will be provided by West Middle School. Participants are encouraged to have a good pair of tennis shoes and a water bottle. Football does require a mouthpiece, however, the first mouthpiece will be provided by the school. For swimming, goggles and a swimsuit (a one piece swimsuit for the girls and the boys may not wear cut-offs) are required. Please call the athletic office (263-0411 ask for Mrs. Hartman) prior to purchasing any ‘required’ athletic gear.

Does my child need to be at school to play in the game after school?
A student must be at school by 12:00, and remain in attendance for the remainder of the day, to participate in a competition taking place after school that night. Individual exceptions may be approved (such as a doctor appointment) if arranged in advance.

Will my child be penalized for missing a practice/ game for a doctor appointment?
Your student will not be penalized for an excused absence. Good communication is a vital aspect of a successful program. Please inform the coach/school as soon as you know your child will be absent.

Will low grades effect my child’s participation in extra-curricular activities?
A low grade in a class may influence participation. Grades will be checked weekly throughout the season. If your child is failing a class, they will have a week to raise the grade to a passing level.  If a passing grade is not achieved, your child will be ineligible for games that week.

Will transportation be provided for games played at Central Middle School?
Students will need to arrange for their own transportation to games hosted at CMS. Busing will be provided for 8th grade football games and all track meets at MHS.

Will the bus stop for food after an out of town event?
The bus will not stop for food after most events. Most events will finish around 6:00pm and our goal will be to get the students back home as quickly as possible.

Can my child wear the school uniform to school?
School issued clothing should only be worn during practice or on game/performance day. Your child may wear school issued clothing on game days but should refrain from wearing school issued clothing on non-game days. Any damaged, lost or stolen items will be the financial responsibility of the student-participant.

Is there anything else I need to know?
Student athletes and the student’s parent/guardian need to be aware that sport activities involve risk of injury. When an athlete practices, plays or participates in any sport, the activity can be dangerous. The student may risk serious and permanent injury affecting his/her well being. The Independent School District of Muscatine is not liable, nor responsible, for any medical, dental, or hospital bills occurring as a result of injuries sustained by a student while participating in a school activity. Instructions given by the coach regarding playing techniques, training and team rules must be followed.

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