Escalante Middle School

Skip to main content
Mobile Menu
Please Create A Marquee
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

Dear Escalante Community November 10

Here’s a fun fact to share as we head into the holiday season next week: the school district kitchens will serve one hundred and fifty-six turkeys across all of the school cafeterias. The best meal of the year at EMS will take place on Thursday. There are many things I am thankful for as we head into break. At our Veteran’s Day assembly today, our students truly showed outstanding character in both their spirit and their behavior. After we honored vets in our school community, our entire student body rose unprompted with a rousing standing ovation to celebrate those who served. They competed with enthusiasm and pride in our games, but always in the spirit of kindness. Collectively, there is no doubt in my mind that we have awesome students and parents in our community. Every morning that I walk into school under the splendor of the Purple Cliffs, I reflect on how fortunate I am to work with your kids. Thank you. In true “Debbie Downer fashion”, there are a couple of items that I feel compelled to write about that I am decidedly not thankful for. At the top of that list comes Vape pens, or electronic smoking devices that are extremely popular with students across the country right now. Our community is no exception to this trend. Vape pens are particularly troublesome because the manufacturers use candy flavors in their nicotine and THC products that appeal to students. Teens are much more likely to “vape” than smoke because they perceive the risk to be less. As a community, it is extremely important that we dispel that notion. Below is a link to an article that I recommend you review with your child to educate them about the dangers associated with Vaping.. https://www.sciencenewsforstudents.org/article/concerns-explode-over-new-health-risks-vaping Tied atop my Not-Thankful List sits social media - particularly SnapChat - because of its ability to cause harm in a community. In recent days, we have had a resurgence of incidents regarding social media abuse. As we talk with our kids about appropriate social media behavior, it is important that we emphasise to only post items that are complimentary or positive in nature. If students do encounter negative or bullying behaviors on line, they should screen-shot the abuse, block the sender from their feed, and report it immediately to a parent or trusted adult at school. I am exceedingly thankful to parents who make me aware of these incidents so that I can educate students about how to use social media. Given that teens’ brains are hardwired to be impulsive and struggle with cause and effect relationships, teaching social media responsibility is imperative for every parent and school in the country. Thank you for your help as we strive to improve our school community. We have such an exceptional group of kids here, and I am motivated to partner with families as we work to guide them through the unique dangers kids confront today. Sincerely, Jeremy Voss EMS, Principal
Read More

Principal's Message

What Lies Ahead For My Student?

Dear Escalante Middle School Community, Last week I had the opportunity to attend a conference about preparing students for postsecondary education, or education after high school. There was a time when the majority of jobs required only a high school diploma. Current statistics from the Colorado Department of Education indicate that the story is very different today. According to their research, 74% of job openings in the state today require some form of education after high school. Traditionally, we think of this as attending college or university, but it also includes technical schools, trade schools, and specific certifications that require continued study. The bottom line is that in order for our education system to consider itself successful, we need to graduate students from high school who are prepared to continue their learning after walking across that stage. The story of the statistics gets even more complex. If current trends hold, these statistics represent the path that 9th graders across the state will take. *Across Colorado, the current high school graduation rate is 78%. *44% of current 9th graders will go to some kind of college or technical school. *35% of current 9th graders will go on to a second year of college. *23% will graduate college within six years of starting. *18% of graduates will leave college with a job in their field. So what are some strategies that will help us beat these odds? The greatest predictor of whether a child will extend their education past high school is parent expectations. I highly encourage parents to discuss future goals and the type of education necessary for those jobs. In addition, discuss the types of jobs that are in high demand in Colorado. The link below will take you to the top tier jobs in the Colorado job market right now that have high demand according to Colorado labor statistics: This list is a great resource because it describes the education level necessary for that career as well as average salary that can make for great conversation starters. At school, we have incorporated much more post-secondary thinking into Crew. Middle school is the perfect time for students to start thinking about what careers may interest them, discover how many careers exist in specific fields, and learn how important education is to pave the road to an independent future. Building this foundation is one of our primary Crew goals this year. As always, thank you for your support! Sincerely, Jeremy Voss, EMS, Principal
Read More

Principal's Message

We are crew, not passengers

Dear Escalante Middle School Community, One of our slogans at Escalante is, “We are Crew, not passengers.” In a landlocked state that is hours away from the closest crew competition, the link to an obscure boating sport is somewhat strange. However, it does create a powerful metaphor that aptly guides our cultural aspirations as a school. In order for a Crew team to be effective, everyone on the boat must pull together and give a synchronized, maximum effort toward a common goal. Similarly, a classroom is most efficient when everyone in the room gives their complete effort toward the common goal of attaining an education. When one person is off-task or lazy, the entire culture of the room takes a hit, just as one lazy oarsman negatively impacts the overall performance of the team. No one should be a passenger - we all need to grab an oar and be involved. Even more dramatic are acts of harassment or bullying, which is similar to an oarsman actively trying to row the wrong way! As a principal, I spend a lot of time working with individuals to solve problems, correct mistakes, and get back on track to work toward that final destination - a great educational experience. However, I also have countless moments each day at Escalante that are filled with joy and satisfaction. Today alone I observed a math classroom engaged in an extremely difficult grapple problem based on a real world dilemma. Every student was engaged in a productive struggle to figure it out, and the teacher was actively providing feedback, encouragement, and excitement about the students’ effort. In woodshop I watched a class of 23 students working diligently to complete a variety of projects. Students would pull me aside to show me their projects with pride. They used words like craftsmanship and perseverance to describe their work ethic to build beautiful cutting boards, shelves, and tables. Those students waiting for wood glue to dry would actively find ways to help others in the class by holding vice grips or finding tools. At that moment, the class was the perfect Crew. In a science classroom I witnessed students learning volume in a lab experience. Each group member had a defined job within the lab, and when the teacher released students to work they immediately accepted roles and responsibilities to accomplish their task. On an afternoon where I have spent some time correcting instances of students rowing the other way, it really is deeply satisfying to reflect on our successes. So next time your child gets up from the table without clearing their dish, I encourage you to adopt our phrase and say, “Before you go, make sure you clean your area. We are part of the Escalante community, which means we are Crew, not passengers.” Principal Jeremy Voss
Read More

Principal's Message

Work Hard, Be Kind

Dear Escalante Community, This week I had the opportunity to speak with all of our students during grade-level community meetings. My general message to students is fairly simple: work hard and be kind. My hope for them, and my own children for that matter, is that they learn to persevere when tasks are difficult, and that they treat others with respect and friendliness. It is my firm belief that these two character skills can take a person very far. In fact, research indicates that the amount of grit a person has is a better indicator of post secondary success than raw intelligence tests. Simply put, work ethic trumps ability. I also spoke to students very candidly about some traps I see kids fall into that undermine the hard working, kind community we strive to create. The first trap is very unique to our kid’s generation: social media. 95% of all students have already witnessed an act of cyber-bullying, and many students have already been victimized. The key to ending social media abuse is in empowering the bystander. Here are the steps on how parents and students should respond when they are victimized or witnessed cyberbullying: S: Stop. Don’t Respond. C: Copy. Make copies of all messages and pictures, and save cell phone texts and messages. B: Block or filter communications. T: Tell a trusted adult, either at home or at school. Please review these guidelines with your child. Another great talking point with your child is to encourage them to never post anything they wouldn’t want their grandmother, or their principal to read. Many students have a very false sense of privacy and do not realize how quickly an inappropriate text or post can be publically forwarded and shared. We also talked openly about illegal substances, particularly marijuana. Possession and/or distribution of illegal substances is by far the leading cause of expulsion in Colorado. I made it abundantly clear that illegal substances have no place in school and that school law dictates very harsh penalties for students who violate these laws. The link below provides parents with some advice about how to talk to your child about illegal substances: http://kidshealth.org/en/parents/talk-about-drugs.html On a final note, if you have concerns about bullying or feel that your child is unsafe at school, please let us know right away and encourage your children to report to an adult at school. Parents and students can contact any teacher, counselor or administrator with concerns, and I assure you that we will follow up as soon as possible. Thank you for helping us build a strong culture at Escalante Middle School. Sincerely, Jeremy Voss EMS, Principal
Read More

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
Read More

News & Announcements

Escalante Welcomes You to Join Your Student for Thanksgiving Lunch

Please join us November 16th for roast turkey, gravy, local mashed potatoes and roasted vegetables, fresh baked dinner roll, juice, and pumpkin cake. Please sign in at the office and enjoy lunch with your student. 6th grade at 11:20 AM, 7th grade at 11:50 AM, and 8th grade at 12:15 PM. (7th/8th grade times may lag depending on attending numbers). Adults $5.00 and non-student child or student $3.00
Read More

News & Announcements

Escalante Kicks Off 2017 Fall Fundraiser to Earn a 3D Printer!

Please consider supporting Escalante's vision of purchasing a 3D Printer through our fall fundraiser. Students were given a packet Wednesday, November 1. If each student at Escalante sells only 3 items, we will make enough money to purchase the 3D Printer that will be available to all students at EMS! Our fundraiser ends November 15, 2017. Thank you for helping us make our goal! Even though 3D printers have been around for almost 30 years, the recent rise of low-cost printers has led some to proclaim the onset of a new industrial revolution. Schools and libraries all over the world are bringing these powerful tools to students in classrooms and dedicated “makerspaces” where they are accompanied by other fabrication tools. For example, China is putting 3D printers in each of its 400,000 elementary schools. In the U.S., we are adding 3D printers into schools at a good rate, particularly into CAD programs, but also into traditional art and social studies classrooms and even business programs. Even President Obama, in his 2013 State of the Union Address, highlighted 3D printing as something that could fuel new high-tech jobs in the United States. If 3D printing is starting a new industrial revolution, it is well on its way to revolutionizing teaching and learning as well. The result of bringing these tools into classrooms is a rekindling of the powerful pedagogy of hands-on learning, which was prevalent in American schools mid-twentieth century. As we will demonstrate, 3D printing leverages hands-on learning to deepen our educational approach to traditional academic subjects. There are two aspects of teaching and learning that are addressed by 3D printing—the content of a subject area, and the pedagogy, the teaching and learning method to convey that content. In this white paper, we will look how content and pedagogy are converging in today’s most promising education movements and the role that 3D printing plays in supporting these critical shifts. (eSchoolNews.com)
Read More

News & Announcements

2017 Eagle Boys Basketball begins!

Practice begins October 10th, 11th, and 12th from 3:30 - 6:00 PM and open to all 7th and 8th grade boys enrolled at Escalante. Participants will need a current sports physical to begin practice. See attachments for the game schedule and physical form. Season practice schedules will be handed out after the first week of practice detailed above.
Read More

Calendar

Show Calendar

Featured Video

Education is a journey, not a destination! Together, we can accomplish great things. What inspires you?
More Videos