FAQs

FAQs

General Questions

 

How can I get involved?

AMS has a wide variety of ways for parents to get involved. One of the best ways to get “plugged in” to what is going on and coming up is by joining the PTSA. Other opportunities include the School Improvement Council (SIC), fundraisers, test monitoring, clubs and sports, and helping in the office.

 

Does AMS have lockers?

Yes, all students are assigned a locker on their grade level’s hallway.

 

What courses are available at AMS for students to earn a high school credit?

AMS offers Algebra I, English I Honors, Geometry, Spanish I, and Keyboarding/Business Computer Applications.  AMS also offers high school credit in fine arts classes such as vocal, piano, art, orchestra, band, theater, and dance.

 

What is GATE? How do students qualify for GATE?

GATE stands for Gifted and Talented Education. According to the SCDE, Gifted and talented students are those who are identified in grades 1-12 as demonstrating high performance ability or potential in academic and/or artistic areas. These students require an educational program beyond that normally provided by the general school program in order to achieve their potential. Identification is a multistep process, which consists of screening and referral, assessment of eligibility, and placement. Please call the Gifted and Fine Arts Center at 821-3960 for information on the process.

 

What is ACE?

ACE stands for Academic Core Enrichment.  ACE teachers help students with standards/concepts that students are having trouble with in their core ELA and Math class.  The core and ACE teachers collaborate to find the topics that students need the most. The majority of students will have an ACE class scheduled for ELA and math unless a student takes special courses (ie. Math180, Read180, Geometry, English I or other courses that may not allow for ACE to fit in the schedule). The ACE teachers work with the

 

What is the House System?

Students are assigned to a House as soon as they enroll at AMS. Each student is then assigned a den leader in their house.  They will be in this den and house throughout the years they are in middle school.  Dens meet every Wednesday.  Twice a month, students will meet with their den and do teambuilding activities or seasonal lessons.  Once a month, the students will meet as a whole house in the gym to build comradery within the house.  The last Wednesday of each month, all of the houses will meet in the gym to compete against one another for house points. 

 

Teachers will hand students collect House Cards throughout the year when they see students practicing respect, responsibility, and safety.  Students can then use these cards to buy things from the school store or other incentives.  Students are also able to turn them into their house and gain points for their specific Houses.  Teachers and students can earn other house points by going to school events or donating to the many different philanthropy events. Use this link to see more about the House System: http://www.edlinesites.net/pages/Alston_Middle_School/School_Info/PBIS.

 

What is Tiger Pride?

Tiger Pride is how we demonstrate following school expectations and teach our students to be responsible citizens. Pride stands for Practicing Respect, Responsibility, and Safety In Different Environments. When students demonstrate Tiger Pride, they can earn Tiger Pride cards that can be used to “purchase” entrance into special events such as a student vs. faculty basketball game. We also have the Snack Store that students can use their Tiger Pride cards for at lunch. Another incentive that students can earn at AMS is to become a member of the Gold Club.

 

How do I make a parent/teacher conference?

Please call the front office to schedule a parent/teacher conference.

 

Can I pick up course work for my child when he/she will be out sick?

Yes, but there is a 24 hour turnaround time to allow for teachers to gather the materials.

 

Why can’t my child miss more than 10 days?

Students are expected to attend school on time each of the school year’s 180 days. Students may not miss more than five (5) days in a ninety (90) day course or ten (10) days in an one-hundred-eighty (180) day course regardless of whether or not the absences are excused or unexcused. After 10 days, an appeal must be made. Within three days after returning to school, students must submit a written excuse to the attendance office explaining the absence, signed by parent(s) or guardian, and accompanied, if applicable, by a doctor’s statement. If students do not do so, the absence will be considered unlawful. If a student has 5 or more unlawful absences, he/she and the parent(s) must attend a PCIC (Pre-Court Intervention Conference). The excuse should contain the following information: date excuse was written, reason for the absence, date of the absence, telephone number where parent or guardian can be reached, signature of parent, guardian, and/or doctor.

 

  


Sports and Arts 

Does AMS offer middle school sports?

Yes, we offer football, basketball, volleyball, baseball, wrestling, and softball. All sports are only available to students in 7th and 8th grades as per the South Carolina High School League rules.

 

What is an “art core” and how long does it last?

At AMS, each student selects an art core that they stay in for the three years they attend Alston. The cores that are provided at AMS are dance, band, vocal music, piano, visual arts, classic guitar, orchestra, and theater arts. High school credit is also available to 8th graders in dance, band, vocal, piano, visual arts, orchestra, and theater.

 

Can my child take Spanish in 6th or 7th grade and earn high school credit?

Only students in the 8th grade Spanish I course are eligible for high school credit. The grade will transfer to their high school transcript.

  


Technology 

How do I get into parent portal?

Parents are given confidential access ID and password at fact and fees in the beginning of the school year or when your child is enrolled at AMS.  If you have misplaced your ID and password, parents are asked to come to the school with identification to pick up a new copy since the ID is confidential.  Parents are then able to create an account using the confidential ID and password using the parent portal website https://ps.ddtwo.org/public/.  If you have questions, please Lara Hayes at lhayes@dorchester2.k12.sc.us. 

 

What is the cell phone policy at AMS?

AMS follows the DD2 board policy for cell phones which states that no student may possess a paging device/cell phone while on school property during the instructional day.

Elementary/Middle School:

First offense - The device will be returned to parent/legal guardian.

All other offenses - There will be a fine of $25.00 or the device will be retained for the remainder of the school year.