Dudley Middle School
Dear Runners and Parents/ Guardians,
Welcome to the DMS Cross-Country team! We are very excited to share the experience of running and exercise with your child. As a science teacher, I can’t help but encourage people to be physically active. There is a lot of research proving that high impact running can improve cognitive function, reduce stress, and even make our brains bigger. While I won't encourage your child to have a “big head” I do hope that they will see the benefits of running in their self-esteem, thought process, school work, and sleep patterns. When it comes to the Dudley Middle School Cross-Country team, there are no limits to who runs with us. The team is open to any fifth through eighth grader who has turned in a completed DMS Athletic Packet and Injury/Concussion Reporting form.
All students are welcome to join the team regardless of their ability or experience as a runner. As the season progresses, the athletes will find running easier and more enjoyable than it was in the beginning.
Please sign up for remind.com (see attached sheet for instructions). I will be sending any updates and reminders using this system. Runners are asked to check the sign by the entrance of the front office and/or the sign located on Ms. St.Francis’ door (room 210) on a daily basis in order to confirm that practice is being held. I have attached a practice schedule as a guide. School wide announcements will be made to cancel practice. Practices end in time for the late bus, at 3:40 each day and will be held 3-4 days a week.
All races are between one and a half and two miles in distance. In the days preceding each AWAY race, a permission slip containing important details will be sent home with all the runners which must be signed and returned in order for the runner to be allowed to attend the race. For weekday races, athletes will take a bus to the race site and then have the option of taking the bus back to school, or leaving with their own parent/guardian directly from the race.
To qualify for AWAY meets, runners will need to run the home race course the day prior within 20 minutes. This is primarily for safety reasons, as runners who fall too far behind are at risk of getting lost. All runners can run the HOME meets but attendance to practice is required. Please notify Ms. St. Francis or Mrs. Howard if you can’t attend practice.
We are looking for parent volunteers to monitor runners and control traffic during these home meets. Please indicate on the attached slip if you are able to volunteer. Thank you in advance!
With such a large number of runners on the team, any inappropriate behavior will result in immediate dismissal from the team (and any other Dudley Middle School disciplinary consequences, if necessary). We are a sports team, not a social club. If you are not interested in running, please do not attend.
Rules of the Road
Parents and Guardians, it is suggested that you review the basic guidelines for running on the road with your children. The coaches do go over these several times with the runners; however, due to our open attendance policy there is a chance that your runner may have missed the information. As a team, we often run around the streets of Dudley (in the area surrounding the school’s campus). We like to stress to the runners that they should ALWAYS be aware of their surroundings, especially with so many inexperienced drivers leaving the high school at that time of day. We also explain to the runners that they are to run single file, all on the same side of the road (LEFT SIDE WHEN NO SIDEWALK IS PRESENT), at all times. Lastly, it is very important that each and every runner knows to look both ways before crossing any road. Just because the runner immediately in front of them safely crossed the street, does not mean it is safe for the next runner to cross as well! We do ask each runner to have a buddy where runners must be in vision of another runner of similar pace the whole time.
Footwear and Attire
It is highly suggested that runners attend practice wearing appropriate clothing and shoes. Throughout the warmer days of early fall, a t-shirt and shorts will do just fine. Later on in the fall, a long-sleeved shirt and/or pants (preferably not jeans) may be more appropriate on cooler days. Sneakers of some sort are a must. We do not recommend wearing basketball sneakers, or any heavier, loosely laced sneakers. Athletic sneakers are highly recommended (although not necessary) in order to prevent injury to the legs and feet. If you are having trouble obtaining proper attire and/or footwear, please see one of your coaches.
Parents/guardians, please sign the accompanying slip stating that you have read over this material and send it back to me with your son/daughter. If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 508-943-2224 x4210.
DMS Cross Country Coaches
Coach St.Francis (email@example.com)
Coach Howard (firstname.lastname@example.org)