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Principal's Message

EMS Community News 10/15/21

Dear Escalante Middle School Community, On October 25th, we will be hosting parents for our Student-Led Conferences (SLCs). If you haven’t participated in an SLC before, I want to give you a heads up that it is quite different from traditional parent-teacher conferences. In middle school, SLCs are led by the Crew teachers. Over the past few weeks, we have worked in Crew to prepare students to be the lead voice in their conference. Students have been reflecting on their academic efforts and their positive contributions to our school culture. At their conference, they will be sharing artifacts from classrooms, their report card reflection, and their goals. Crew teachers will be at the SLC to help guide your child’s reflection on the 1st quarter of the school year. At times, parents would like to meet with specific teachers after the student-led conference. Keep in mind that almost all teachers are Crew leaders at EMS, so they likely will not be available on the 25th. I do encourage parents to reach out to teachers through email if there are specific needs that surface during the SLC so that parents who would like more direct contact with one of their child’s teachers can arrange it in the coming days. One of the main reasons EMS switched to Student-Led Conferences is that student reflection on their academic progress is one of the most important strategies to improve or reinforce their learning habits. Additionally, traditional conferences typically engage around 50% of families. After switching to Student-Led Conferences, we are typically above 90% and have hit 100% of families engaged. On another note, our launch on one-to-one Chromebooks has been a great success this year; however, it hasn’t been without struggles. We currently have about 40 students a day who forget their computer at home and request a loaner replacement for the day. We do not have 40 extra computers available, so students who aren’t coming prepared sometimes don’t have the tools they need for the day’s lesson. Parents can really help us out by ensuring that their kids come to school with a charged computer. On a positive note, I’d just like to express how delighted I am with our student body in general this year. While there will always be a degree of conflict in a school with 535 11-14 year-olds, I am constantly inspired by the frequent acts of kindness and compassion I observe from your kids daily. When I hold the door open for our students, my heart is always warmed by how many students say, “Thanks, Mr. Voss,” and whenever I ask for a helping hand with a task our kids are quick to pitch in. Thank you parents for raising such wonderful young people! Sincerely, Jeremy Voss
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Principal's Message

9/17/2021 Community News

Dear EMS Community, We have found that we are much more efficient conducting health screens for our entire student body than taking the time to sort through the online screener to determine which students filled it out online before school. There is no need for any Escalante parents to fill out the online screening tool before school starts for your middle school children. However, it is extremely helpful when parents keep students home when they have symptoms. When your student’s symptoms begin to improve or are resolved, they can return to school if they have a negative molecular COVID test, which you can get for free at Fort Lewis College or the Fairgrounds. We can also test them here at school. The frustrating thing about COVID is that symptoms vary greatly from case to case. For some students, symptoms may just be a sore throat or stuffy nose, while others may have a fever or a cough. The bottom line is that we want to keep our school open, and our best mitigating practice is to keep students home when they are ill. So far, our school year is off to a great success. The school culture feels fantastic in our hallways, our classrooms are focused, and I can’t put into words how glad I am that all of our programs are up and running. Thank you for your continued support. Principal Jeremy Voss FOR THE REST OF THE NEWSLETTER CLICK THE LINK BELOW
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Principal's Message

EMS Community Newsletter August 6, 2021

Students are encouraged to bring water in a refillable container each day~ Dear Escalante Families, We are excited to begin our school year with a regular schedule of classes and athletic events. EMS will host our check-in and orientation celebrations the week before school starts to give tours, complete paperwork, and welcome families back from summer. We will welcome in-coming 6th-grade families on the afternoon of August 17, 7th graders on the 18th, and 8th graders on the 19th. The week of August 9th you will receive an email including what team your student is assigned to so you will know which time slot to attend (see left). Please contact the office at 247-9490 if you do not receive the email. Thank you for your support and I look forward to seeing you soon! Jeremy Voss EMS, Principal
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Principal's Message

Looking forward to next school year!

The EMS Office will be closed for the summer June 10 - August 2, 2021. If you need assistance within those dates, please call the District Office at 247-5411. Dear Escalante Middle School Community, Thank you for all of your support over the past school year. While public health guidance for schools during the 2021-2022 school year has yet to be released, we are firmly expecting to return to a five-day week and a full schedule where kids can rotate classes and mix much more freely. We also are expecting a return to our regular athletics schedule both at the middle and the high school levels. Please keep an eye out for emails over the coming months as we prep for the next school year. At EMS, we will be hosting our check-in and orientation celebrations the week before school starts to give tours and team assignments, complete paperwork, and welcome families back from summer. We will welcome in-coming 6th graders on the afternoon of August 17, 7th graders on the 18th, and 8th graders on the 19th. Have a wonderful summer - I look forward to seeing you in August! Jeremy Voss EMS, Principal
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Principal's Message

EMS Community Newsletter 3/12/2021

Dear Escalante Middle School Community, March 12, 2021 With Spring Break right around the corner, we have a few announcements to share with our community. When looking at the national picture, we are in a pretty good place at EMS when looking through the COVID lens. Since we opened, we have had to place 4 cohorts into quarantine, two activities, and two bus routes. While these quarantines certainly are disruptive, it is encouraging that even in our largest spike to date at EMS, we still have twenty-one of twenty-four cohorts remaining in in-person instruction. After spring break, we will start our football and volleyball programs for our student-athletes. In order to begin practicing, students need to submit a current physical form from either their doctor’s office or an Urgent Care. Please be aware that if your child does participate in an after-school activity, there is a greater potential for exposure to COVID and possible quarantine situations. However, after discussing the decision to continue with extracurricular activities with our parent accountability group, it is clear that these programs are valued by our families and students, and that we should continue our efforts to return to normalcy under the guidance of our public health advisors. As the weather warms and vaccination efforts in our community become more widespread, the prevailing thought is that we will return to the Blue category on the COVID dial. If we do not have a large surge of cases after Spring Break, I anticipate that we will return to school five days a week in a matter of weeks after the break. I will certainly share out more concrete information when it’s available. As we move into April, we will also begin our CMAS testing cycle. Coupled with i-Ready results, these assessments will give us valuable insight into the impact of the COVID pandemic and inform adjustments we can make to meet the needs of students. Students currently enrolled in the Remote program will have their assessments proctored at school. If your child is in Remote, please keep an eye out for information about those logistics. Another rite of Spring to look forward to is preparing our 8th-grade students for their high school transition. As we approach the end of the year, it is essential that we build their skills and academic mindsets. The high school will also have access to our students’ assessment information, so it is important that we stress the importance of giving their best effort over the 4th quarter. On a final note, we are attempting to support students who are struggling with grades due to missing work by keeping them after school for tutoring in our modified ZAP program. It is a trickier proposition to organize as we need to retain our cohort system, but we will email and text notices to families requesting that your child stays after school. If you get a notice, please reach out to Administrative Assistant Tami Jantz if you do not want your child involved in the program. Her email is tjantz@durangoschools.org. Here’s to a safe and cheerful spring break. Jeremy Voss EMS, Principal
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News & Announcements

Colorado Academic Standards

Durango School District 9-R uses the Colorado Academic Standards as a foundation of our guaranteed and viable curriculum. The Colorado Academic Standards are the outcomes we promise to every student.

Eagle Boys Basketball Information

Our Eagle boys' basketball season kicks off Monday, October 11th after school and will run through Saturday, December 11th. Games will generally be on Tuesdays and Thursdays (See schedule below). Practice schedules will be uploaded below (athletes will receive information at the first practice). Eagle Basketball is open to all 7th and 8th-grade boys currently enrolled at EMS. To be eligible to participate, students need to complete the registration checklist (see below) and come with clean court shoes, athletic clothing, and a water bottle. Contact Coach Bastin for more information at dbastin@durangoschools.org

Fall Fundraiser Runs Through October 27, 2021

Escalante Middle School is excited to kick off our Fall Fundraiser on October 14, 2021, and WE NEED YOUR HELP! Students will receive the fundraising packet this week so please check your student’s backpack when he/she gets home. PLEASE READ MORE.

Student Achievement Data

We continually monitor our student and system results to ensure that we are on track to realize this mission. At 9-R, we believe every student deserves to have a solid academic foundation that opens the window of opportunity for any career in which they are interested. They also deserve to have experiences that help them understand their talents, interests, and possible future career options.

This is How We Roll - Driving a 9-R School Bus is About the Kids

Steve Lee has been driving buses and trucks for a long time. What initially drew him to drive a school bus for the Durango School District 9-R was the hours and benefits. The shifts are typically two hours in the morning and three in the afternoon, which also happens to be enough to earn full benefits, and give him time to run his business during the day.


Board of Education Regular Meeting

Where: This meeting will be streamed only, with no in-person audience. Public participants will participate via Zoom.
Time: 5:30 PM – 8 PM
Oct 26
Show Calendar


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

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