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

Are you too "plugged in"?

Dear Escalante Middle School Community, Early in the week I had a parent share a link to an excellent article about smart phones and social media. Two days later, my mother-in-law shared the same article, and a principal colleague passed on the same link today. Clearly it is resonating with many community members. The basic premise is that the invention of the smartphone, which is heralded as making us more connected, has had the opposite effect. You can read the full text of the article here: https://www.yourmodernfamily.com/scary-truth-whats-hurting-kids/ The supersonic advancement of digital technology has changed the way the world communicates, and some of those changes result in sad or tragic consequences. In the education world, I do subscribe to the belief that schools are supposed to help students master the dominant information landscape of their time. Rejecting technology puts our students at a distinct disadvantage in the global marketplace. However, it is of utmost importance that we teach our students how to use technology responsibly. There is overwhelming statistical evidence that our society in general has given over too much of their lives to a computer and a phone. A quick search yielded these two stats: The average person has five social media accounts and spends around 1 hour and 40 minutes browsing these networks every day, accounting for 28 percent of the total time spent on the internet. The Huffington Post cited research that showed young adults use their smartphones roughly twice as much as they estimate that they do. In fact, the small preliminary study found that these young adults used their phones an average of five hours a day — that's roughly one-third of their total waking hours. Nov 2, 2015 Adults and children alike often spend way too much time on their phones - I count myself among the guilty. Ironically, there is an App for that too! I have recently downloaded an App called Moment so that I can set goals and actively monitor time that I’m spending on my phone in an effort to maximize my time with our students at school and my own kids at home. I encourage you to check out this App for your kids, especially considering that young people with phones spend twice as much time as they realize “plugged in”. On a side note, this has been a fantastic week of school at EMS. Our kids clearly came back from break ready to learn. Thanks for all you do to prepare your children. Sincerely, Jeremy Voss Escalante Middle School, Principal
Read More

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

News & Announcements

Box Tops... We want you!

HOW BOX TOPS WORKS: BUY - CLIP - SEND - EARN Find Box Tops on hundreds of products! Clip Box Tops from each package. Send the Box Tops to school in a baggie and deposit in the jar on the counter by the office. Box Tops are each worth 10¢ for your school. HOW DOES CASH GET TO YOUR SCHOOL? Your school’s Box Tops Coordinator will collect all the Box Tops and send them in so your school can get cash. Checks are mailed to schools twice a year in December and April.
Read More

News & Announcements

Lost and Found

Please remind your student to check the lost and found bins in their team area, cafeteria, and the Lost & Found room in the front lobby for items that may belong to them. The bins and room are filled with unclaimed items.
Read More

News & Announcements

Student IDs Reminder

This is a friendly reminder for 9-R families that we are now using Student IDs for all students, all grade levels, for use both on route and activity buses, for City Transit services and for use in our school libraries. Students in the secondary level have IDs that are specific to their school site, while elementary-aged student IDs have the 9-R logo on it as to not designate school site. IDs for elementary students also come with a badge holder and a clip so students can clip the IDs to their bags or other belongings to prevent loss.
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