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Principal's Message

Welcome back with Back To School BBQ Sept. 16th

Dear Escalante Middle School Community, I hope you come join us on Monday, September 16th for our Back-to-School Night community gathering. We kick off the event grilling hot dogs on the field in front of the cafeteria between 5:00 and 5:30. At 5:30, we begin the more formal part of the evening with a large community welcome in the gymnasium. Around 5:45 we will begin a “simulated” day, where parents will walk through their children’s schedules, meet teachers, and get a brief overview of each class. I encourage parents to come to this event with your kids to guide you through. If your child cannot make it, please be sure to know their schedule before arriving. It has been a wonderful start to our school year, and it’s hard to believe we are nearing the halfway point of the first quarter. We will be running a progress report to update parents on your child’s grades around the midpoint of each quarter. Grades will be sent home with students on September 24 or September 25, so please keep an eye out for the update. Backpack mail is notoriously an inefficient messenger in middle school, so if your child’s progress report did not make it home by the end of the day on the 25th, you can also access them online through the Infinite Campus Parent Portal. The link below explains how to access the IC portal: https://www.durangoschools.org/apps/pages/index.jsp?uREC_ID=512069&type=d&pREC_ID=1033562 I look forward to seeing you on Monday night for our back-to-school festivities. Sincerely, Jeremy Voss EMS, Principal
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Principal's Message

Celebration of Learning 2019

Dear Escalante Middle School Community, The last week of school can be a pretty hectic time. One of our strategies to maintain a strong academic purpose this time of year is to host our Celebration of Learning (COL) event on May 30, the eve of the last day of school. Our learning community has been hard at work to prepare, and our expectation is for every child to participate through either a performance or highlighting an artifact of their high-quality work. As a community member, we need you to make this event a success for our students, and we thank you for your active participation. We encourage you to experience as many presentations as possible during your visit. When we set up for the COL, we aspire to turn our school into a museum of high-quality work. Between 4:00 and 7:00 PM, our doors will be open to the community in celebration of our students. A free spaghetti dinner runs between 4:30 to 6:00. Drinks and desserts will be available for purchase from one of several student “businesses,” and there will be a donation jar for community members to support student-driven events such as the COL in the future. When you visit the COL, we have three specific learning targets for our guests. They are: 1. I can support the learning of Escalante students by visiting at least four presentations during the celebration. 2. I can celebrate the learning of Escalante students by providing positive feedback during presentations. 3. I can provide feedback to Escalante staff in order to support the improvement of future COL events. On a final note, please have a QR Code Reader App downloaded to your phone for your visit. A few student presentations and our feedback form use QR code readers. Thank you for supporting our school as we wrap up the year in style. Sincerely, Jeremy Voss Escalante Middle School, Principal
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Principal's Message

There is a lot of work and learning yet to do this year

Dear Escalante Middle School Community, In a couple of weeks, we will be asking students to complete a form in Crew requesting exploratory classes for next school year. Students make six choices for their classes, and we try our best to fulfill as many of their requests as possible. A major strength of our school is the broad range of choice afforded to our 7th and 8th graders to explore new things or pursue a specific area of passion. Below are some scheduling options for parents to discuss with your child: 1. Our music programs continue to rack up regional and state awards. Whether it’s Choir, Orchestra, Band, Jazz Band or Guitar class, there is a great music option for your child. 2. If your son or daughter is interested in participating in a fall sport next year, we offer fitness classes that can support their athletic pursuits. General PE and Outdoor Education are two other courses that certainly appeal to our students as well. 3. Robotics, Woodworkings, and our technology classes are designed to appeal to our students with interest in building their STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) skills. 4. Drama, Pottery, and Drawing and Painting are our most requested courses each year. 5. 8th graders who would like to get a jumpstart acquiring high school foreign language credit can take a year-long Spanish 1 class. We also offer semester classes in Spanish, French, and German to build language skills. 6. We started an Agriculture program this year that is taking off. Students can learn about forestry, fire ecology, animal science, or plant science in our Greenhouse class. 7. Many students have a support class during exploratories to build math, reading, or executive function skills as well. We use classroom and testing data to populate these courses. While we are certainly doing a lot of forward thinking, there is also a lot of work and learning yet to do this year. We have two events on the horizon that we are banking on community support. 1. Our Escalante 5K and One Mile Fun Run event is on April 26th. We will have music and food vendors on site. Entries are $10 and EMS students run free. We sent registration forms home with students, and they are also available in the office. 2. The capstone event of the year, our Celebration of Learning, takes place from 4:00 to 7:00 PM on May 30th. This year will be even bigger than last year. We will have a tent out front with information on resources in the community, a $5.00 Spaghetti Dinner will be offered, and every student is expected to participate by highlighting some high quality work that they produced over the year. On a final note, I’d like to share a success story we’ve had this year. We do run a pretty tight ship at EMS, and the cell phone policy we developed this year with parent input has led to very few cell phone discipline issues at school. As the weather warms up, we will need your support for our next area of focus - maintaining our dress code. Last year, our 8th-grade students rewrote our dress code. We are going to be reviewing it in depth with our students on Monday and Tuesday next week, and our enforcement is going to really ramp up on Wednesday. You can really help us out by ensuring that your child’s shorts are at least mid-thigh length, midriffs and underwear are covered, and bandanas are left at home. Many thanks for your support, Jeremy Voss EMS, Principal
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Principal's Message

Honed in on Academics and Improving Skills This Time of Year

Dear Escalante Middle School Community, February can be a tricky month in middle school for students. At risk of sounding a bit like Scrooge, I often wish I had the authority to ban Valentine’s Day entirely because of the drama it can bring to our students. As a staff, we are very honed in on academics and improving skills this time of year. We hope to inspire students to craft high quality History Day projects, essays, and math skills. I imagine our students are feeling that academic pressure a bit, and when we throw Valentine’s angst and the ebb and flow of typical middle social anxiety on top of it, it is no wonder that February tends to be our most intense discipline month. Because we do have some big academic deadlines on the horizon, parents can really support their kids by checking in on their History Day progress and creating time and space for them to catch up if they have fallen behind. The day before the History Day projects are due tends to be riddled with hysteria, and students become overwhelmed with the consequence of procrastination. Our social studies teachers are great about sharing timelines and resources out on Google Docs, so if you’d like to see where your child is at, I’d highly recommend that you ask your child to walk you through their progress. If you find that first crushes or Valentine’s angst is impacting your child, we don’t necessarily have a Google Classroom for that! However, here is a link to an article that gives some pretty good guidelines for how to have those conversations with a tween. https://www.familycircle.com/teen/tween-dating/ As always, thanks for all you do for our community. Jeremy Voss EMS, Principal
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Principal's Message

My Education is Important and Has Purpose to My Future Life.

Dear Escalante Middle School Community, One of the most important mindsets that we can help our students develop is the belief that, “My education is important and has a purpose to my future life.” Students who have this belief are much more likely to try hard in school. In order to support the development of this mindset in our student body, we are conducting a career fair on March 22nd. Mr. Lennox, our 6th grade counselor, is organizing the event. We need some volunteers from our community to meet with small groups of students to talk about their careers and explain how their education gave them the opportunity to work in their current setting. Please email Mr. Lennox at ilennox@durangoschools.org if you would like to be a volunteer speaker at our career fair. Also, throughout this week, Durango High School will be leading our 8th grade Crew meetings and sharing information about high school registration. Students learn about core choices, elective choices, and then register for their high school classes on Friday. Ms. Osby is coordinating with the high school, so if you have questions feel free to reach out to our counseling department. As always, thank you for your support. Jeremy Voss EMS, Principal
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News & Announcements

Leadership 9-R Session Thursday, September 18, 2019

On Thursday, September 19, we start our series of sessions called Leadership 9-R. This is an opportunity to learn more about the overall operation of the district, what is the strategic plan, how do we spend resources in support of students, and how do the various departments operate in support of our students. More importantly, it is an opportunity to provide input and feedback to ensure we are the best that we can be. This first session is being offered twice.
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News & Announcements

READ to Succeed

State Board Reprentative Joyce Rankin will be in Durango to explain the READ Act and how it can transform education for all k-3 students. She will be at Needham Elementary on September 18, 2019 from 5:30-6:30.
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News & Announcements

Back to School BBQ September 16th 5:00 - 7:00 PM

Come celebrate the new school year with us!  Hot dogs, chips, and drinks will be served from 5:00 - 5:30 PM.  Next, parents and students will attend Convocation with Mr. Voss in the Gym and then join your student to run through a mock schedule of their day and meet their teachers and other amazing staff.  CAN YOU HELP WITH SETTING UP OR SERVING FOR THE BBQ?  PLEASE CLICK THE LINK BELOW TO SIGN UP AND HELP.
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News & Announcements

Travel to Japan in 2020 with us!

Mr. Hise and Mr. Schiavone are planning an educational trip to Japan in 2020 that is open to EMS students. Please join us for an informational meeting on September 17, at 5:30 PM in Mr. Hise's room (818). On the trip we will be visiting places such as Lake Ashi, Matsumoto Castle, Kinkakuji Temple among others. Please contact John Hise at jhise2@durangoschools.org or Dominic Schiavone at dschiavone@durangoschools.org for more information.
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News & Announcements

Fall Picture Day Re-Takes October 24th

MJ Thomas will take student photos Thursday, October 24th at Escalante Middle School. ALL students will be photographed for ID and Yearbook purposes. Students can order packages of photos but are not required to do so. Information to purchase these photos to come....
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Calendar

Leadership 9-R

Where: Administration Board room
Time: 12 PM – 1:30 PM
Sep 19

Leadership 9-R

Where: Administration Board Room
Time: 4:30 PM – 6 PM
Sep 19
Show Calendar

Mission

Empowering students to apply the habits of work, learning, and scholarship to become productive and caring citizens.

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