Escalante Middle School

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Students rockclimbing
Teachers bike to work

Teachers bike to work

Picture of Escalante School Staff wearing solar eclipse glasses
Mary Dossey wins award
Students in Escalante marching band.
Front entrance to Escalante Middle School.
Student working with clay in art class.
Skyler the Fort Lewis College Mascot with the Escalante Eagle mascot.

Principal's Message

Reframing Thoughts for Teens

Dear Escalante Community, Have you ever seen the old cartoons where characters have a demon and an angel appear on their shoulders that represents their inner voices? The angel always uses positive self-talk language to inspire positive actions, while the demon voice is filled with self-dread to motivate a negative action. In reality, this comical cartoon feature plays out for all of us. All people at one time or another will have a negative thought about our self-image, and this reality is even more intense for adolescents and pre-teens. Teaching students how to manage negative self talk is often the key to avoiding the depression and anxiety that is plaguing children across the country. A recent NPR article titled, “For Teens Knee-Deep In Negativity, Reframing Thoughts Can Help,” cites psychological research which “shows that what we think can have a powerful influence on how we feel emotionally and physically, and on how we behave.” More people today are reporting feeling alone, depressed, or anxious in our society than ever before, adults and kids alike. In an age where we are supposedly more “connected” than ever due to social media platforms, it seems that social media actually tends to create feelings of isolation. I highly recommend that you read the NPR article for some tips and strategies on how to support your children and model positive self-talk habits so that they can avoid some of the trappings of our digital era. You can read the article by following this link: http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2017/09/09/549133027/for-teens-knee-deep-in-negativity-reframing-thoughts-can-help?utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=npr&utm_term=nprnews&utm_content=20170909 On another note, please be aware that the first round of progress reports are being sent home on September 20th. Several students in our school are currently missing work, which is having a very negative impact on grades. Please take some time this weekend to review the Infinite Campus Parent Portal to check on your child’s work habits. If your child does come home with unsatisfactory grades, the cause most often in middle school is a lack of organizational skills and time management (making time for studying). Organizing time is a learned skill and is a place that parents can really support their child’s education, so I encourage you to help set up those systems if your child’s grades indicate the need. If your child is expressing a lot of confusion about the content or needs additional support, feel free to contact the teacher as well to ensure we have the strong home/school relationships that are integral to middle school success. It’s hard to believe that we are approaching the halfway mark of the 1st quarter. It’s a great time to adjust habits and systems to ensure that the school year is a great one. Sincerely, Jeremy Voss, Principal Escalante Middle School
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Principal's Message

Back To School Night September 7

Dear Escalante Middle School Community, I am hopeful that all parents and students can join us for our Back-to-School Night event on September 7th. Everyone in the Escalante Middle School Community is invited to a hot dog cook out on the front lawn at 5:00 PM. At 5:30 PM, we will transition inside for a community meeting in the gymnasium to welcome you and to communicate our main priorities for the school year. Beginning at 6:00 PM, we will run a very modified schedule so that all parents can walk through each of their child’s classes, with the goal of wrapping up the evening by 7:00 PM. During the first few weeks of school, teachers spend quite a bit of time setting up classroom structures, supports, and expectations for the school year. In many ways, this is a great idea for parents as well, and something I strive to do with my own children. To develop our kids executive functioning skills, it is very important that we teach them how to manage time, plan for a day, and keep up with school work. Creating a dedicated time for homework, free-reading, and bedtime all directly correlate to higher academic achievement. One of the largest barriers to these structures for middle school students revolves around screen time. While the statistics tend to vary, most researchers agrees that the average American teen spends between five to nine hours a day viewing a screen for entertainment purposes. Fifty percent of teens report feeling addicted to their phones. A recent study from the Child Development Journal directly linked screen time and mental health. Essentially, it found that teens who view screens at night are more vulnerable to sleep-loss, anxiety, and depression. The link below gives a concise summary of the findings: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/late-night-cell-phone-screen-time-teens-mental-health-sleep/ So what are some proactive things that parents can do once we pry our children away from their screens? Strategy One: Eat Together as a Family Dr. Ann Dolin advocates for taking time to eat together as a family. She found that children in homes that regularly share meals: Do well in school (40% more likely to earn As and Bs in school) Are emotionally content and have lower levels of stress Have positive peer relationships and healthier eating habits Refrain from smoking, drinking, and doing drugs Believe their parents are proud of them Strategy Two: Read Independently for Pleasure Reading high volumes of text is the surest pathway to reading proficiency. According to Nancy Atwell, a lead educational researcher: “Every measure that looks at pleasure reading and its effects on student performance on standardized tests of reading ability—and science and math—tells us that the major predictor of academic success is the amount of time that a student spends reading. In fact, the top 5 percent of U.S. students read up to 144 times more than the kids in the bottom 5 percent.” Strategy Three: Ensure Nine Hours of Sleep a Night Sleep is essentially food for the teenage brain. When they get nine hours of sleep a night, students are much more likely to retain new information, be mentally healthy, and maintain a high grade point average. At Escalante Middle School we have been hard at work these first few weeks creating structures and routines that will create conditions for success throughout the year. As parents, we can support student learning by focusing on structures and routines at home as well. I very much look forward to greeting you at our Back-to-School Night next week as we work together to launch a successful 2017-2018 school year. Sincerely, Jeremy Voss Escalante Middle School, Principal
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Principal's Message

Welcome to the 2017/18 School Year!

​​Dear Escalante Middle School Community, I am thrilled that the first day of school is just two days away - it is always my favorite day of the year. We have a few plans and procedures on the first day to ensure that it goes smoothly for students. Our 7th and 8th grade students will report straight to their Crew classes where they will receive their detailed schedule. They will also receive their pre-ordered school supplies if you signed up for that service last year. Our 6th grade students will go straight to the gym in the morning where we will organize them into their Crews. Once in Crew, they will recieve their schedule and a tour so that they know exactly where to go during the day. Locker combinations are the main nerve-wracking, right-of-passage activity, and we will be sure to give them ample practice! Planning for the solar eclipse has been a bit more challenging them expected. The school district is sending out permission slips electronically to be signed and returned. Please take this step or write a note giving your permission if you don't have access to a printer. However, because it is the first day, getting permission for all students is quite the challenge. If you do not want your student participating in the eclipse, please contact the school through the main line and an alternate activity will be provided. On a final eclipse note, we had to make a last minute change on protective eye-wear for the event. I received an email yesterday that our original glasses were recalled. Ms. Jantz saved the day by finding an approved vendor from the American Astrological Academy (https://eclipse.aas.org/resources/solar-filters) who can overnight 550 glasses and guarenteed that they would be on my front door on Saturday. Keep your fingers crossed! Please take some time to speak with your child about the danger of looking at the sun without eyewear, even during a partial eclipse. The following link provides safety informaiton that we will be covering with our students, but it would be great if parents can review this with their children as well: https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/safety Here is to a great first day on Monday! Jeremy Voss Escalante Middle School, Principal
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Principal's Message

EL Learning at Escalante Middle School

Escalante Middle School is an Expeditionary Learning environment that takes great pride in ensuring that every student has a safe and engaging educational experience. Our pursuit of academic excellence for all students is matched by our commitment to building strong performance character skills and a passion for both visual and performing arts.
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Principal's Message

A Few Yearbooks Left!

Did you miss out on getting a 2016/17 yearbook this year? We have 8 copies left, and the district office located at 201 E. 12th Street will make them available for $25 should anybody like to purchase one.
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News & Announcements

Picture Re-Take Day September 27th

Lifetouch Studios will be at Escalante Middle School for picture retakes and to capture pictures of students who were missing on picture day (August 29). All students and staff will have their picture taken for ID purposes, but ordering is optional. Order forms are available in the office or you can order online at mylifetouch.com. Use ID CG427715Y1 This option is good through September 28. RE-TAKES will take place September 27th.
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