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EMS Remote Learning Attendance Reporting (4/8/20-4/16/20)

Students, click the link below to complete the daily attendance form 4/8/20 - 4/14/20.

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Principal's Message

Community Newsletter 3/30/2020

Dear Escalante Middle School Community, March 30, 2020 Welcome to our second week of EMS home-based learning. Because our school model has changed dramatically over the past week, we will be checking and adjusting our plans frequently. This week, we are focused on identifying the best communication strategies to interact with students and maximize their learning while schools are closed down. I certainly appreciate your patience as we identify the best ways to distribute, collect, and give feedback on student work. Below are a few updates and announcements on our current home-based instructional model. For Students Accessing Lessons Online: Teachers will be pushing out lesson plans for the week by each Wednesday at noon. We are working as a staff to build consistent communication platforms through the use of Google Classroom, team websites, YouTube, and Zoom to streamline our instructional delivery. Mail or School-Pickup of Paper Lessons: Our copy rooms will be hard at work for families who requested paper mail delivery or school pickup, and we will be distributing those items each Thursday and Friday. Our target time for school based pick-up is from 3:00 pm - 7:00 pm on Thursdays, and 8:00 am - 12:00 pm on Fridays. Last week we experienced copier breakdowns and other similar hurdles, which delayed our timeline. To save parents from taking unnecessary trips to EMS, we will text parents when the work is out and available for pickup, so please check your phone and/or emails during those time periods. If you are expecting school-based pick-up but are not receiving a text, please email your child’s Crew teacher so that they can update our records. When you pick up work from the school, please maintain social-distancing with other families and ensure that your hands are washed before accessing the materials in the pick up bin. We will sterilize the bin each to prevent the spread of germs. Submitting Work: Submitting work to be graded can be a challenge when students demonstrate evidence of their learning on paper. The most efficient method to submit paper based work is to scan it with an App such as Genius Scan, and then email it to the assigning teacher. You can view Mr. Tidwell’s video below to learn more about this. How do I change my work delivery method? If you would like to change how your child is receiving their work, please email your child’s Crew teacher, who will update our communication systems. Report Cards: We will be creating 3rd quarter report cards this week. We will mail home a copy of the report card only to families requesting paper copy service. Families who are currently receiving work online can view the third quarter report cards on Infinite Campus. We will notify families when the report cards are ready to view online. Attendance: Middle school students are receiving emails daily to notify our office that they are engaged in school. Students should complete this form once a day. Students who do not complete the form are marked absent for the day. Please ensure your student is checking their email daily to fill out the attendance form. If your household does not have access to email, please continue to leave a message at 247-9490 Ext 1 to record your student is attending home based school on a daily basis. Thank you for your partnership as we work through this unprecedented public health crisis. Sincerely, Jeremy Voss EMS, Principal
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Principal's Message

Watch for Updates on the Durangoschools.org Website

Dear EMS Community, March 13, 2020 It’s definitely been a hectic few days with a quickly shifting landscape in regard to our nation’s response to COVID-19. I encourage you to be checking in with our district’s website for details. Here is that link: https://www.durangoschools.org/ I want to make sure that we are clear in our communication on a couple of events specific to Escalante. In alignment with our district’s efforts to slow the spread of the virus, we are canceling all after-school activities, athletics, field trips, and events that invite numerous community members into our school until further notice. This means that we will not be conducting in-person student-led conferences on March 30th. One of the ways you can support our efforts is to reinforce some hygiene habits. If they can return with hand-washing skills intact it would go a long way towards keeping our school healthy. I look forward to welcoming back our students when the restrictions are lifted. Please do regularly check the district’s website in the event that the state’s guidelines for school response changes over the next weeks. Sincerely, Jeremy Voss EMS, Principal
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Principal's Message

Zero's Aren't Permitted

Dear Escalante Middle School Community, February 21, 2020 The key ingredient to being successful in middle and high school is work completion. As students transition into high school and start developing their academic transcripts, this becomes even more crucial. In order to help our Escalante students who are missing important work in one or more classes, we are implementing a “Zeros Aren’t Permitted” program, or ZAP, that will take place after school on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. Zeros Aren’t Permitted (ZAP) is a program designed to increase expectations for students who habitually, or occasionally, fail to complete and turn in assignments on time. Students who have zeros are likely to continue not handing in assignments, and therefore are at greater risk of failure. ZAP, which involves the entire staff, clearly emphasizes the belief that assignments/projects/homework are important and must be completed. When the belief is expressed and maintained that a student can and will be successful, in most cases the student will meet the level of expectations. The intention of the ZAP program is not a form of punishment rather a program to send a message that we believe in each student and failure is not an option. For this program to be effective, Escalante adheres to the following belief: assignments must be completed in a timely manner. Failure to do so will result in a student being assigned an after-school session because “Zeros Aren’t Permitted” (ZAP) and the consequence of not doing your work is doing your work. If your student is missing work, you will be notified on a Friday afternoon via email and/or a text message that your student can stay after school on the following Tuesday, Wednesday, and/or Thursday to complete missing work. Times for ZAP will be 3:35-4:30 in the library or cafeteria, and we are starting the ZAP sessions next week. Please make the appropriate arrangements for your student to be picked up promptly at 4:30 PM if your student is signed up. Your student may also volunteer to attend ZAP if they need extra time to work. We have several teachers who have volunteered to help tutor students during this time. Unfortunately, we are not able to offer bus transportation at 4:30. If you cannot pick up your child and rely on school transportation, please set a time at home for your child to complete work if you receive a Friday afternoon message notifying you of the missing work. Each morning I greet our students with the mantra of Work Hard, Be Kind. I’d also like to give families a heads up that we have launched a Kindness initiative this week. We have three students currently at Children’s Hospital in Denver for whom we are writing cards and collecting small gifts to send care packages. Please encourage your child to contribute their positive thoughts to shine some light and hope for those families and students. Thank you for your support as we strive to build a culture of hard work and kindness at our school. Sincerely, Jeremy Voss EMS, Principal
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Principal's Message

How Can I Directly Support My Student's Academic Growth?

Dear Escalante Middle School Community, One of the questions parents frequently ask teachers and administrators is how can I directly support my student’s academic growth in reading or math at home? The most important habit for children to adopt in middle school is regular reading for pleasure. Recent research from Common Sense Media states that only 27% of 13-year-old students read daily outside of school. This 27 % of students are creating a clear advantage in comprehension, vocabulary development, and background knowledge over their peers. In fact, students who read regularly over the summer actually score higher on assessments when they return to school than when they left, whereas students who don’t read experience what educators have dubbed the dreaded summer slide. Scholastic offers the following tips for parents to help their students develop a love of reading: 1. Let your child choose what to read. While you may cringe at the preferences, your child may never touch a title if it's force-fed. 2. Talk about what they read. Ask them what they think of a book and make connections with ideas or issues that are relevant to their life. 3. Subscribe to magazines that will interest them. Ask them to choose one or two titles and put the subscription in their name. 4. Read the news together. Whether it's for 15 minutes over breakfast or on weekends, establish a routine and discuss what you each read. 5. Play games that utilize reading. Word- and vocabulary-building games like Scrabble or Boggle are great, but many board games provide reading opportunities (even if it's just the instructions). Crosswords provide opportunities for learning new words and spelling practice, too. 6. Encourage your middle schooler to read to a younger sibling. Letting them take over ritual reading at bedtime once a week will ensure they read something, and they may find a sibling's enthusiasm for stories contagious. 7. Visit the library together. Try to make it an event where you share some quality one-on-one time and both choose a few books. 8. Find an outlet for your child to "publish" a book review. When finishing a book, encourage them to write it up for a family or school newspaper, magazine, or website. They could also try posting a review at a local bookseller or an online retailer. 9. Ensure they have a good reading space. They should choose where it is, but you can make sure it's well lit and inviting so they stay a while. 10. Keep up on what they’re reading. If you can, read a few pages of their books yourself so you can discuss them with them. 11. Encourage writing. Whether it's via snail-mail or e-mail, suggest they keep in touch with distant friends or relatives. Keeping a journal or chronicling a family vacation will also provide reading practice. 12. Suggest books from movies. They may enjoy getting even more detail in the book. 13. Listen to books on tape in the car. If you're heading on vacation, or even back-and-forth to school, try listening to a novel that will appeal to everyone. 14. Model reading. Your pre-teen will still follow your reading habits (though they'll never let you know it!). Let them see you reading, make comments, and share interesting passages. In addition, there are also several ways to support math at home. Because students in middle school form strong judgments about their academic ability, the most important way to support math is to talk about it positively. Statements from parents such as, “I’m not a math person” will negatively reinforce students’ math development. Considering that the Bureau of Labor Statistics expects math occupations to grow at 12.7% over this decade, it is extremely important that none of our students close the door to those opportunities with choices in adolescence. The National Council for Teaching Mathematics offers the following tips for parents on how to show how math is meaningful and build important middle school math concepts. 1. Read schedules, such as the television guide and bus transportation schedules for information. 2. Discuss charts, tables, and graphs from the newspaper and magazines. Ask your child to explain the data. For example, in a graph that shows what children like to do before bedtime (watch television, play games on the computer, read, etc.), you might ask such questions as “More than half of children like to do what activity before bedtime?” 3. Look at a map with your child to figure out how long a trip will take and what time you should leave in order to arrive on time. Calculate the gasoline mileage, and estimate the total cost of gasoline for long trips. 4. Give your child a budget and the responsibility for purchasing clothing or other items. Encourage your child to compare prices and note the savings for items that are on sale. For example, how much would be saved by purchasing the shoes that are 30 percent off? Many thanks for your continued support as we partner together to make the most out of these middle years! Sincerely, Jeremy Voss EMS, Principal
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Principal's Message

Parents Invited to Share Their Career Path at the Annual EMS Career Fair Feb. 28

Dear Escalante Middle School Community, One of the most important mindsets for students to develop in middle school is the idea that “School has value and purpose for me.” Students who have a strong belief in this statement tend to have increased motivation and perseverance in the classroom. One of our efforts to cultivate this mindset is our Career Fair, which we are hosting on February 28th. At our Career Fair, we have dozens of professionals from the community speak to students about how education played a role in their career pathway and what is great about their job. We are currently building our volunteer base and are looking for a wide array of careers. If you are interested in sharing your career story with our students, please reach out to Counselor Ian Lennox @ ilennox@durangoschools.org or 970.247.9490 Ext 2862, on how to volunteer. Over the course of the year, I have also asked several high school teachers and students about what skills they need to be prepared for high school. The answer is rarely academic skills related. Instead, students and teachers often cite organization, time management, and task completion as the most critical skills for success as freshmen in high school. History Day, which all students in our school are currently working on, is a great assignment for students to practice these high school readiness skills. Our social studies teachers have done a lot of work preparing organizational tools for students to create their historical inquiry. Given the scope of the assignment, students will have homework and need to independently read to learn, organize their notes, and finally produce a product. You can support your student by creating time, space, and expectations around meeting History Day deadlines over the next few weeks. Thanks for all you do in support of our students. Sincerely, Jeremy Voss EMS, Principal
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News & Announcements

District Weekly Update - 4.8.2020

Good morning parents, this is our weekly communication about our district’s distance learning model. We are trying to limit our district-wide communication to once a week to limit the communication you receive about your child’s schooling.
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News & Announcements

District Weekly Update - 4.1.2020

Hello 9-R families and members of our Durango community. Thank you for your work with your children to keep them engaged in learning during these unusual times. While we have started distance learning, we recognize that our families are in different places. First and foremost, please know that our intent is not to overwhelm our families, but to provide enough academic engagement to meet the varying needs of students across our community. We know this is a stressful time for all of us. If you are finding the work to be overwhelming, communicate with your child’s teacher or your school leaders. Our goal is to keep our children engaged in learning, but we also want to ensure that we partner with families during these trying times.
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News & Announcements

Stay-at-Home Order - What it means for school families

As we all know things change quickly and many families are asking about the governor’s stay at home order and public health order (attached). We wanted to provide some clarity. Please know that education is considered essential. Additionally, the order states that traveling for the purpose of “...receiving materials for distance learning, for receiving meals, and any other related services from educational institutions…” is an approved purpose.
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News & Announcements

Update on Remote Learning for Special Education Families

We hope that this finds you all well. We understand that you likely are working through a number of challenges at this time. We want to communicate with you about your child’s special education services during changes in school closures and distance learning situations. During this unexpected and unprecedented time, our partnership between home and school becomes increasingly crucial when it comes to our children. That will include staying in close communication in the coming days and weeks.
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Empowering students to apply the habits of work, learning, and scholarship to become productive and caring citizens.

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