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Principal's Message

1/07/2022 Community News from EMS

Dear Escalante Middle School Community, Happy New Year to all in our school community! Our students returned from break clearly ready to learn - I have been very impressed with their behaviors and academic mindset throughout the week. Unfortunately, they have returned to an environment in which COVID is once again having major impacts on our school community. One of the most important things you can do to support our school to keep everyone healthy is to make sure your child understands the importance of wearing a mask properly. With the recent rapid increase of positive cases across the country, the CDC and the Colorado Department of Public Health has once again changed our COVID protocols. Here are the main changes: SEE BELOW FOR LINK TO ENTIRE NEWSLETTER
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Principal's Message

EMS Community Newsletter 12/10/2021

Dear Escalante Middle School Community, Last week I had a great opportunity to listen in on a discussion of local business executives, college administrators, and community leaders who were given one question - what are the dispositions and character attributes that young people need entering the workforce today? PLEASE CLICK READ MORE for the entire newsletter
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Principal's Message

EMS Community Newsletter 11/12/21

Dear Escalante Middle School Community, One of our main goals at EMS is to ensure that students who leave our doors are prepared for high school. Ensuring students are academically prepared for the jump to 9th grade is certainly a large part of this preparation, but preparing students socially and emotionally is also of utmost importance. There are three conversations that I hope parents can have with their kids all throughout the middle years. The first is about the importance of kindness. PLEASE READ MORE for the entire newsletter.
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Principal's Message

11/05/21 Community Newsletter

Escalante Middle School has been selected to administer the Healthy Kids Colorado Survey (HKCS) on Thursday, November 18th. This survey is optional, and families can opt-out their students. Aside from students who have opted out, the survey will be given to all EMS students and will provide schools, local youth-serving organizations, and state public health officials important and current information about the issues confronting our students as they grow into young adults. Data generated from this survey will be used to develop more effective programs that aim to address student needs, help youth-serving organizations identify and apply for grants, and to help district and school leaders provide safer and healthier learning environments for all students. Using the hyperlink above, students and parents can learn more about the survey, how Colorado communities benefit from HKCS data, how student confidentiality is assured, what topics are covered, and more. Topics covered in the survey are wide-ranging and include questions about gender identity, racial/ethnic identity, educational background, safety, violence-related behaviors, depression, suicide, drug/alcohol/nicotine use, and diet. Parents may view additional information and access an Opt-out letter by visiting this LINK. The direct link to the survey our students will take can be found here. Parents can also email Tami Jantz at tjantz@durangoschools.org requesting that we opt out your students. Please note that Opt-out letters or email notifications must be returned to the EMS office by November 15th. PLEASE READ MORE FOR THE COMPLETE NEWSLETTER
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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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News & Announcements

Eagle Wrestling Information

Our Eagle wrestling season kicks off Tuesday, January 25th after school and will run through Saturday, March 12th. Tri Meets will generally be on Tuesdays and/or Thursdays. Practice will take place on Mondays, Wednesdays, and some Fridays. Keep in mind, the bigger tournaments will take place on Saturdays. To be eligible to participate, students need to complete the registration checklist attached and come with clean gym shoes that you don’t wear outside, athletic clothing, and a water bottle.

Eagle Girls Basketball 2021/22 Season News

The Eagles girls' basketball season kicks off Monday, December 13th, and runs through Saturday, February 12, 2022. Games will generally be Tuesdays and Thursdays, practice Mondays, Wednesdays, and some Fridays with a final Saturday tournament for A and B teams. Teams will have both after-school and before school practices. Eagle girls basketball is open to all 7th and 8th-grade students at EMS. To be eligible to participate, students need to complete the attached registration checklist. Please direct any questions to head coach Duce at educe@durangoschools.org

January Covid-19 Update

As we navigate the latest surge in COVID-19, we encourage 9-R families and staff to continue to support efforts to keep one another safe and healthy.

2022-23 Academic Calendar Survey

The Durango School District 9-R seeks community feedback and input as a final Academic Calendar for the 2021/22 school year is adopted. In this survey, two calendars are presented. Please submit your response by January 19, 2022.

Business Development Survey - Bond to Business Initiative

Our community supported the 4A Bond ballot initiative, infusing the Durango School District 9-R with $90M in funding for capital projects and improvements. Part of the promise to the community included engagement and support of local businesses and vendors in the bond projects.


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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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