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Principal's Message

EMS Community Newsletter 9/08/2023

Hello Escalante Families!

We are off to a great start to the year here with a new and enthusiastic admin team. My name is Emily Moreland, and I am thrilled to be joining Escalante as your new principal. Also new to the team is Assistant Principal Eva Duce, who has been working previously at Escalante as our Athletic Director and PE Teacher for the past 11 years. David Tanaka has served as the school's Assistant Principal for the past 4 years and is excited to be back again in this role for year 5. Our goals for Escalante this year focus on three things - increasing student achievement for ALL Escalante students by differentiating our instruction and assessment practices, improving our school culture through a re-commitment to Crew, and improving our feedback to students to help them produce high-quality work. Escalante is a school that prides itself in its warm, welcoming environment, and our staff is already busy connecting with students and building relationships. We are excited for the year of learning and collaboration ahead, and we invite you to reach out if you ever have ideas, questions, or concerns. A warm "ka-kaw!" to all of our new and returning Escalante families!

Emily Moreland
Principal - Escalante Middle School
Cell: 970-946-1478

CLICK the link below to read the entire newsletter!
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Principal's Message

Getting Ready for the 2023/24 School Year!

We all love summer break, but EMS is excited to enter the 2023/24 school year! Counselors are busy building schedules and will have those completed in August. We invite families to EMS for Check-In night by grade level, then by team. The times are listed below and you should expect an email the week of August 7th describing which team your student is on. Please see below for the 2023/24 School Supply List and Football or Volleyball Information. Contact the office beginning August 1 if you need help purchasing supplies. 970-247-9490

EMS Check-In Nights:

6th Grade - August 15, 2023
Ocelots 5:00 - 5:45 PM
Falcons 6:00 - 6:45 PM

7th Grade - August 16, 2023
White Tigers 5:00 - 5:45 PM
Timberwolves 6:00 - 6:45 PM

8th Grade - August 17, 2023
Taz 5:00 - 5:45 PM
Panthers 6:00 - 6:45 PM
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Principal's Message

EMS Celebration of Learning 5/23/2023 from 3:45 - 6:00 PM

Dear EMS Community,
Our Celebration of Learning Event will take place on May 23 from 3:45 to 6:00 PM. Our goal is to have all students showcase at least one piece of work or be involved in a performance on that day. Parents and community members can come anytime between 4:00 and 6:00 PM to celebrate a year of learning with us and enjoy our student’s displays and performances. The school will be running transportation after school on the 23rd; however, in the past, the vast majority of our students stay at school and meet parents at the event.
We will be distributing summer workbooks to prepare for next year’s instruction to parents for your child at the Celebration of Learning event as well. If you are not able to attend, we will send the workbooks home with students on the 24th. If a workbook does not make it home with your child, as backpack mail can be unreliable in middle school, we do have some extras in the office you can pick up before June 8. The EMS office will be closed after the 8th.
On the 24 and 25th, students will be turning in their Chromebooks and chargers during Crew. Please ensure all school materials and technology return to EMS before our last day on the 25th.
I look forward to closing out the school year in style next week. I have enjoyed the last eight years as principal at Escalante and have grown so much professionally during my tenure. I look forward to celebrating the year’s learning with you on the 23rd as a closing salvo before I move into the next stage of my career.
Many thanks,
Jeremy Voss
EMS, Principal
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Principal's Message

EMS 3/3/2023

Dear Escalante Middle School Community,

While I certainly appreciate all of the snowfall this winter, we do need to make up student contact time as a result of the many snow days. Our school board will soon be reviewing the following recommendations based on community and staff surveys.
1. Make April 24 a student day
2. Cancel early release from April 10 to the end of the year,(cancel more if we have a delay)
3. Add 8 minutes to each school day starting March 6 (if 7 snow days)
4. Make May 26 a student day (if 8 snow days)
5. Add days to the calendar (if 9 snow days and beyond)
6. Also amend next year’s calendar to add 5 make-up days at end of the year, if needed

You can see the survey data and information about snow days by following this link. We will certainly share out when the board makes its final decision.

Last week, I gave a survey to our 7th-grade class that really illuminates what it is like to be in middle school. Students were given three questions, and they could write up to three responses for each of the following questions.

See the link below to read the entire newsletter in English and Spanish. En el siguiente enlace podrá leer el boletín completo en inglés y español.
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Principal's Message

EMS 1/13/2023 Community News

Dear Escalante Middle School Community,

In September I had the opportunity to attend a national education conference in Houston to learn about new trends, opportunities, and technologies impacting the educational landscape nationally. The closing conference honed in on technology, specifically artificial intelligence and predictive analytics known as GPT-3 software that was on the horizon.

If you aren’t aware yet of what GPT-3 is, I’m sure you will be soon. It is a fascinating Google Search if you’d like to investigate on your own, or you can read more about it in Willemena Kwapo’s EdWeek article titled “This Technology Can Write Student Essays: Is There Any Educational Benefit?”
The bottom line is that GPT-3 software creates original text and does the thinking and writing for the consumer. Here is an excerpt from Kwapo’s article:

“I then directed it to “write an analysis essay about Romeo and Juliet.” It returned a simple four-paragraph essay about the story. The essay is clear and concise, and it does read like something a human—possibly a student—would produce. It returned a complete paragraph that consisted of no glaring errors.”

The implications of this software are pretty massive. A recent Atlantic article asked the question. “Is the College Essay Dead?” and schools will need to adjust very soon as a growing number of students are already using GPT-3.

While GPT-3 is just now starting to impact how we assign and evaluate student work, we have yet to fully understand the ramifications on learning. However, there are other aspects of technology advances that we know are having excessively damaging results. It is absolutely essential that we talk to our kids again and again about two important messages.

Never send an image to anyone else under any circumstances that show you naked or partially naked.
If you take a photo or video of someone being harassed, picked on, or embarrassed, do not forward it around on social media. This is textbook cyberbullying and causes the victim of the event to relive the trauma again and again. Moreover, please talk to your child about the character flaws inherent in the person who snapped that photo and video instead of helping out. We need to train and teach our kids to be upstanders and stand up for people, rather than documenters intent on producing content for YouTube, Snapchat, and Tik Tok that embarrasses others at best or causes them to relive their trauma again and again at worst.

Thank you for your support and efforts to help our kids navigate new technologies that are being produced so rapidly. Through proactive conversations, I am sure that we can raise a generation of kids who will still do the right thing, even when it’s the hard thing.

Jeremy Voss
EMS, Principal

See below for link to read the whole newsletter
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News & Announcements

Sign Up Today For Your School’s Green Team

As a commitment to the district’s sustainability goals, we’re launching a new program to promote and implement the Durango School District’s sustainability plan. Staff and students are invited to join a Green Team in each school.

LEGO League Robotics Teams Forming Now

Help your 1st through 8th grade child get excited about STEM (science, technology, engineering and math), make new friends, and have a great time after school.  Our district FIRST LEGO League Robotics teams are forming now.

Fall Sports Begin at EMS

Escalante MS looks forward to our 2023 fall sports programs. EMS offers Football and Volleyball to 7th and 8th-grade students. Students must register for their respective sport and have a sports physical before they can participate. Please see the links below for information on football and volleyball. Please contact Athletic Director Will Dodd at [email protected] or call the office at 970-247-9490 if you have questions. GO EAGLES!!!

Back-to-School Countdown: Family Engagement

Families: You matter in education! Family involvement is key to students' success. Research shows that when families are engaged in their students' learning, it results in increased academic performance, better mental health, and higher satisfaction with the school experience. There are many ways you can get involved in our schools and support your student throughout the year.

Summer Bridge Final Checkpoint, August 9

Did your student complete all 120 pages of the Summer Bridge workbook? Way to go! They will be well-prepared to jump back into the beginning of the school year, beginning Tuesday, Aug. 22.

Miller Middle School Welcomes New Leadership

Miller Middle School families had a wonderful time at the Ice Cream Social & Meet the Team event on July 11. They had a chance to get to know the leadership team of new Principal Vernadette Norman (formerly with Albuquerque School District), and Assistant Principals Doug Geygan (former MMS principal) and Kalyn Knestrick (former MMS science teacher).


Show Calendar


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

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