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Mission

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

Principal's Message

Welcome Back

Dear Escalante Middle School Community, We had a great first week of school at EMS. We have a few new programs and goals this year as we strive to improve every child’s education. When we set goals and action plans, we work to ensure that we get better in three main areas. They are: Mastery of Knowledge and Skills:. This year we are honed in on crafting assessments that will demand that all students complete complex work that is aligned to standards. In addition, we are striving to ensure that all students apply reading and writing skills across content areas. Finally, we will work very hard to connect their learning to big concepts that are meaningful beyond the walls of the classroom. What can parents do to help? Because we have named improving student reading and writing among our highest priorities, my sincere hope is that all students develop a home routine that includes reading for pleasure at least twenty minutes daily. Regular visits to the library and taking time to discuss books at the dinner table can do wonders to boost your child’s literacy skills. In addition, emphasizing the importance of education routinely and connecting how education pays off in the workplace can improve student engagement at school. High Quality Work: When we create units of study, at times during the year we will take an interdisciplinary approach where teachers craft a series of lessons that become an Expedition. This means that students will take a deep dive into a specific topic and look at it through the lens of a scientist, a historian, a mathematician, and do a whole lot of reading and writing about that topic in the process. When we design these learning experiences, we stress the importance of craftsmanship, which often requires multiple revisions of work products so that they become high quality. In addition, we want to provide authenticity to their learning experience. It is our philosophy that students should connect academics with real world issues, controversies, and local people and places. Parents can help by being an active audience during events such as Student-Led Conferences, Community Celebrations of Learning, as well as providing your perspective on topics your child is studying. Character: While a strong academic education is essential, the most important thing we will pass on to our students is the power of kindness and the ability to collaborate with others. To reinforce these ideas, students will complete many tasks in small groups, work on collaborative skills in Crew, and participate in restorative practices when discipline issues arise. Parents can support our work in this area by incorporating some language of restorative practices into disciplinary situations. When students makes mistakes at EMS, we will work through the following questions: What happened? Who has been affected? How? What needs to be done to put things right? What do we need to do to move forward? If your child is experiencing conflict or bullying at school, it is vital that you reach out to us so that we can intervene immediately. Middle school is a time of rapid development and it takes a community of caring adults to guide young adolescents through the middle years. We very much look forward to working with you this year to create the best possible educational experience for your child. Our Back-to-School event is on Tuesday, September 4th from 5:00 to 7:00 PM. Please mark your calendars and join us for hot dogs, an introduction to each of your child’s teachers, and a warm welcome from me! Looking forward to a great year, Jeremy Voss EMS, Principal
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Principal's Message

Year End Celebration of Learning

My best metaphor for wrapping up a school year is running the last mile of a marathon. There is an intense push for a strong finish, a need for perseverance, and a growing sense of pride in knowing that you gave it your best over an extended period of time. I’m very proud of our school for not simply sliding into summer; instead we have added a challenge that will keep us pushing educationally all the way to the end. On May 31st, we are hosting a Celebration of Learning Event for the entire Durango community. To make it a success, we need parents and community members to attend as every student has a role to play and will need an audience to present their work.
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Principal's Message

Escalante Middle School - Simply Amazing

Dear Escalante Middle School Community, It’s amazing to think that roughly seven-eighths of the school year has passed. As we enter into this time of the year, much of my focus turns to reflecting on our progress this year, setting goals for next year, and making sure that we are poised for 2018-2019.. Over this year, we have a few items to really celebrate. We are launching our first all-community Celebration of Learning event on May 31st. All parents and community members are invited that afternoon/evening. Our students will be showcasing hundreds of artifacts and doing authentic demonstrations of learning in a variety of formats to showcase the amazing work products generated over the year. Please hold this date in your calendars as our students prepare for the event. We were able to launch a full-fledged agriculture program that is quickly growing. By the end of the year, our greenhouse class hopes to produce up to 90 heads of lettuce a week through hydroponics and lessons learned about chemistry. If we are successful, expect to see a produce stand out at parent pickup! Our woodshop just acquired a laser engraver/cutter so that we can better prepare students for careers that intersect technology with manufacturing. I am excited to see professional grade work generated in Woods! Looking into next year, there is great cause for excitement as well. If you haven’t registered your child yet, please follow this link to do so: https://www.durangoschools.org/apps/pages/index.jsp?uREC_ID=581106&type=d&pREC_ID=1072957 Next year, we have quite a bit to look forward to. Because our enrollment is growing rapidly, we have been in hiring mode over the last few weeks for next school year. I am very enthusiastic about the quality of our teaching candidates. I am very confident that our teaching staff will be exceptional for 2018-2019 and build on our successes this year. With a growing staff, we will also be able to offer more exploratory classes, academic sections, and a richer educational experience. Thank you for your support. The great vibes our teachers, students and parents put out in the community has played a large factor in our growing student numbers, and I look forward to maximizing this opportunity for continued school improvement. Sincerely, Jeremy Voss Escalante Middle School, Principal
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Principal's Message

Safe school culture

Dear Escalante Middle School Community, Since the recent school shooting in Florida, it feels like our entire country is searching for answers to ensure that we never experience that gut wrenching feeling that it can happen again. Political commentary offering a wide range of solutions dominates news headlines and social media feeds. Many students across the country are actively protesting, demanding that their hallways are kept safe. Sadly, since the Parkland shooting there have also been dozens of threats made to schools across the country. These threats are spread quickly across snapchat, and it is not uncommon for a student to read a threat on their snapchat account that was made in a different time zone. As a result, the specter of school violence is at the front of parents, students and educators collective consciousness. At Escalante, we have a full-time security guard and a school resource officer dedicated to ensuring we have a secure campus. In addition, our new door entry system allows us to keep all doors locked at all times. Perhaps the most important security measure that we have is our students themselves. It is important that every student understands very clearly that if they notice something that is not safe, they need to report it to a teacher, a parent, or the office staff. As noise about threats made in distant schools reaches our students social media feeds, they have been very quick to relate those posts to me so that I can refer them to law enforcement. I have great appreciation for these reports. If your child has a Snapchat account, please be aware that a great deal of discourse about gun violence is being passed from feed to feed across schools. While it is often not credible information, they still need to report anything that could put students at risk. I urge parents to increase supervision or suspend your child’s social media accounts as well. It is a time when increased communication with parents is very important for our kids right now, and I cringe at the thought that social media may be the main source of information for any child right now. On a much more traditional and comfortable topic, we will be printing progress reports and sending them home with students Tuesday. Please review your students grades with them and help them set some action plans for when quarterly grades are printed before Spring Break. Thank you for helping us guide our school community to ensure our students have the safe and warm school culture that they each deserve. Sincerely, Jeremy Voss EMS, Principal
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Principal's Message

Education has purpose and value to my life

Dear Escalante Middle School Community, How do we authentically engage middle school students in their education? This is the most researched topic in middle school literature, and can often feel like a search for the proverbial Holy Grail for teachers and parents. While research does offer some clear suggestions, on a national scale, the statistics are pretty grim when you look at the educational systems success. Take a look at the following graphic: Most students start elementary school and are engaged from the get-go, and that number slips significantly over time as students progress through school. So what can we do do ensure that our students don’t follow this national trend? Students who maintain strong engagement levels share common attitudes toward school that we can learn from. For starters, students who are engaged in middle school agree with the following statement: Education has purpose and value to my life. These students are able to take a long-term view and connect education to future aspirations. They link success in middle school to attaining a high school degree, and even more importantly, understand that they will need to continue their education after graduation. It is extremely important for all students to know that most jobs require advanced learning beyond a high school diploma. Attending a traditional college, technical school, trade school, mechanics classes, or joining the military are all examples of post-high school options. Middle school is the perfect time to discuss these choices with students, and the adults in their lives need to emphasize the point that effort in middle school and high school sets them up well to pursue these options. Teachers at Escalante employ several strategies to build the belief that school has value with our students. In Crew, our students begin their Individual Career Academic Plan (ICAP) that they will continue to develop through high school. Additionally, we very rarely teach directly out of textbooks and aspire to craft lessons that have clear connections to real world issues. My hope is that every student at our school embraces the notion that school will have a meaningful impact on their futures - and there is no better time than middle school to make these discussions routine. Sincerely, Jeremy Voss Escalante Middle School
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News & Announcements

Parent Drop Off - VS - Bus Lane at EMS

Parents/guardians who drop students off or pick them up at Escalante Middle School are asked to NOT use the driveway to the parking lot, but instead, enter the PURPLE CURB PARENT CIRCLE. In an effort to keep children safe at all times, please do not use the parking lot or bus lanes for pick-up or drop-off purposes. We have seen many near misses when our bus drivers are attempting to navigate around additional vehicles obstructing the bus lanes as they continue through and exit our parking lot. It is extremely dangerous for students to cross the parking lot. More so, other cars dropping students off along the curb in the parking lot are obstructing bus lanes. For the safety of all and efficient transportation protocols, please use the purple parent circle to drop students off or pick them up at Escalante. Thank you for your help in this matter.
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News & Announcements

Eagle Football 2018 Season Information

The Escalante Eagle 2018 Football Season is under way! Practice prior to the first day of school: Aug. 6-8 (7:00 - 11:30 AM), Aug. 9 & 10 (7:00 - 9:30 AM), and Aug. 13-16 (3:30 - 5:45 PM). Athletes, start at anytime with the above dates. Please see the attached schedule and Athletic Packet for more information. Come support your Eagles! *ALL students must have a sports physical and $30 activity fee prior to participating. Contact Coach Bastin for more information.
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News & Announcements

Eagle Volleyball 2018 Season Information

The 2018 Escalante Eagle Volleyball season begins with registration on August 14 at 3:30 PM in the gym, with practice to follow. Please see the attached schedule and Athlete Packet. *ALL student athletes must have a sports physical and $30 activity fee prior to participation. See Athletic Packet attaches. Contact Coach Duce if you have any questions.
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