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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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Principal's Message

Set Yourself Up For Success

Dear Escalante Middle School Community, January 17th marks the official halfway point of the school year. Please keep your eye out for semester report cards the following week. I also encourage parents to have a discussion with your students this weekend about putting in their maximum efforts next week to set themselves up for success when grades are released. At the midpoint of the year, we conduct a mid-year review at Escalante to check and adjust our progress toward school goals. On the discipline side this year, we have a few successes that parents should celebrate. Our instances of cyberbullying and social media abuse has decreased dramatically this year. Although it hasn’t been eradicated, I very much appreciate the efforts made by our parents to provide limits and oversight on phones and social media sites. When we train students at EMS how to handle instances of abusive digital behavior, we encourage them to follow the following four steps. * Stop the interaction - do not respond. * Copy or screenshot the abusive behavior. * Report to a parent or school official * Block the offender from contacting you. Thank you for reviewing these guidelines with your children - our kids have done a nice job improving in this area and it’s extremely important that we stay vigilant in having ongoing conversations about appropriate behavior. Essentially, I encourage students to never post anything they wouldn’t want the parents or their principal to see because there is no such thing as privacy in the digital world. One of the other major disciplinary issues that is plaguing schools across Colorado is the prevalence and availability of marijuana and vape pens. Our discipline statistics in this area have improved slightly, but we clearly have work to do. The district recently contracted with a dog that has been trained specifically for school environments to sniff out tobacco, alcohol, and a wide variety of drugs. The dog will never work directly with students, but it does work to detect substances in lockers and backpacks in our hallways. My hope is that knowledge across our community that our furry friend will be doing random visits to our campus will serve as a deterrent to ensure that our students are making wise decisions about what they bring to school. I appreciate your help as you have preventative and proactive discussions with your children regarding illegal substances. As always, thank you for your support. Sincerely, Jeremy Voss EMS, Principal
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Principal's Message

The most important skill students learn in school is literacy

This week we launched two efforts to improve literacy at Escalante Middle School. We began our All School Read event in Crew on Wednesday. Every student in our school will read Ghost, by Jason Reynolds. Elizabeth Bird, an adolescent book reviewer, wrote: “This is the book you hand to the kids who want something real and good and honest. There are a lot of Ghosts out there in the world. Hopefully some of them will discover themselves here. Run, don’t walk, to pick this book up.” Ghost has many great themes and life lessons, couched in a very engaging story. If you would like to join us in our community read, I urge you to get a copy of the book and have some conversations with your child about its contents. Additionally, our Book Fair is opening next week in the library. Much of our funding for new books is dependent on a successful book fair. By purchasing books from our fair, you are helping get valuable resources on our library’s shelves as well as engaging books in the hands of your middle schooler. It’s a win-win scenario and thank you for your support. Undoubtedly, the most important skill students learn in school is literacy. The ability to critically read and understand text is the foundation of both professional careers and responsible citizenship. Students who are developing the habits of a reader now are creating a distinct advantage for themselves, so many thanks for your efforts to get good books in the hands of your kids. Sincerely, Jeremy Voss EMS, Principal
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News & Announcements

9-R Schools Closed on Friday, February 22nd

The following is an emergency message from Durango School District 9-R for all parents, students and staff. Due to the current weather conditions and forecasts predicting forecasting heavy snow overnight and into the morning, all 9-R schools are canceled tomorrow, Friday, February 22, 2019, at all locations. This includes all school-related events and activities. Please listen to local media and radio stations for continued updates, call our information line at (970) 375-3811 or visit our website at durangoschools.org. We will continue to keep families informed of any change in school schedules through our notification system. Again, 9-R schools are closed Friday, February 22, 2019 due to severe weather. Thank you.
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News & Announcements

9-R Schools Canceled Due to Weather

The following is an emergency message from Durango School District 9-R for all parents, students and staff. Due to the current weather conditions and forecasts predicting continued adverse weather, all 9-R schools are canceled today, Thursday, February 21, 2019, at all locations
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News & Announcements

After-School Activities Canceled Today

The following is an emergency message from Durango School District 9-R for all students, staff and parents. Due to current weather conditions, all after-school activities are canceled today, Thursday, February 14, 2019. This includes all after-school activities, Kid’s Camp and community programs. For 9-R sports teams and related activities, please check with your coach or team sponsor regarding any changes to travel, but all practices will be canceled. Please note that buses will be running this afternoon. Again, all 9-R after school activities are canceled today, Thursday, February 14, 2019. Thank you.
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News & Announcements

Escalante Celebrates Semester One Honor Roll Students

Congratulations to the students who made the Semester One Honor Roll!  We are proud of the hard work and determination these students dedicate to their studies.  These students and their parents are invited to an Awards Potluck Breakfast in the Library at 7:15 AM on the following dates.   Check out the list of amazing students (below).  Way to soar high Eagles!!! Tuesday, February 12 - 6th Grade  Wednesday, February 13 - 7th Grade Thursday, February 14 - 8th Grade
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News & Announcements

Eagle Wrestling 2019 Kicks Off

We are excited to kick off our 2019 Eagle Wrestling Season Tuesday, January 22. To practice on the first day, athletes will need proof of a valid physical, athletic clothing, clean athletic shoes, and a water bottle. Please see the attached schedule, Information Sheet, and Complete Athletic Packet for physical information. Contact Athletic Director Eva Duce with further questions.
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Mission

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

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