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Encourage Healthy Choices

Dear Escalante Middle School Community,

Over the past week, I have held community meetings with each grade level to talk to students about a topic that poses a significant health risk for kids: illegal substances.

At EMS we take several steps to prevent students from bringing illegal substances onto campus. I’ve found that clear communication with students about both the health and disciplinary consequences of illegal substances is the most proactive and best possible deterrent, and it is a place that parents really can support us. I encourage you to do some reading online about the health risks of alcohol, vaping and marijuana use on the adolescent brain, and to have follow-up conversations with your kids about those negative impacts. In addition, I also share with our students that distribution of any illegal substance on campus may result in expulsion from school. Because an adolescent’s brain is undergoing significant development, kids are more likely to take risks and not consider the consequences of their actions. Therefore, it is extremely important that students are reminded of these consequences in an effort to protect them from making a costly mistake.

In addition to communication and education, our school district also utilizes a drug-detecting dog to conduct random searches of the school. Just recently, the La Plata County Sheriff’s department has added a non-bite drug dog onto their force so that we no longer need to contract with a handler outside of our community. This will both save our school district money and provide a local resource that can be a more frequent deterrent as we strive to keep our schools drug free.

In the past, the dog searched lockers and backpacks in the hallway and did not enter classrooms. I’ve learned recently it is a common procedure in area schools to also randomly empty one to two classrooms and search those rooms. Because we have not historically done this practice at Escalante, it did surprise me, a few students, parents and staff when students were asked to leave the classroom to allow for a search of the room. The dog does not conduct body searches of students. I apologize that we did not communicate this change in practice beforehand, and please feel free to contact me if you have concerns as I am currently catching up on how our district’s procedures are shifting with the new dog and handler. If there are additional changes, I will communicate that information throughout our school community.

On a much lighter and brighter note, I have been honored to collect compliments about our student body frequently over the past few weeks from community partners who seek me out to praise our students for their use of manners, genuine interest in learning, kindness, and enthusiasm. This is a wonderful school to lead, and I am extremely thankful for each of the 516 students who walk through our doors each day.

Jeremy Voss
EMS, Principal
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American Education Week!

We are getting excited to celebrate all our staff next week during American Education Week.  Next week is also Education Support Professionals Day, celebrating all our amazing support staff including custodians, cooks, bus drivers, secretaries and paraprofessionals!  You can show your appreciation as well by donating to support staff appreciation parties and dinners right from the durangoschools.org website.
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Thanksgiving Lunch at Escalante Middle School

Escalante will host Thanksgiving Lunch on Thursday, November 21 and families of students are encouraged to join their students for this meal! Lunch is served to 6th Grade at 11:20 AM, 7th Grade at 11:50 AM, and 8th Grade at 12:15 PM (times may vary depending on crowd sizes). Please check-in at the front office before heading to the cafeteria.

The Menu includes:

Roast Turkey
Local Mashed Potatoes (Mountain Roots Produce)
Local Roasted Vegetables (Fields-to-Plate & Mountain Roots Produce)
Fresh Dinner Roll
Pumpkin Cake

Students can pay for their meal through their lunch accounts. Others joining us are asked to pay via cash or check. Sorry, Debit/Credit Cards are not accepted.

Adults - $5.00
Non-student Child - $3.00 (3 yrs and older)
Students - $3.00
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Pick Up Items From the Escalante Fall Fundraiser Nov. 13th

Thank you for supporting our fundraiser by selling items! Please plan to pick up the frozen items your student sold on November 13th from 3:00 - 5:oo PM. It's important you pick the items up as we do not have freezer space to store them. For more information, contact Tami Jantz in the front office. 247-9490 X2800.
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Durango 9-R Food Services - Building New Partnerships to Deepen Community Connections

Durango School District 9-R Food Services stays true to their core value of creating a healthy food environment to support student achievement through local food partnerships. In addition to a robust farm to school program that supports local beef and agriculture, the school district works with local small businesses to provide products to students that help support healthy habits for students eating at school. Although there are multiple partners, this article will highlight just three businesses that are contributing to the community through our 2019-2020 food programming in schools.
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September Bravo! Winners

Each month, colleagues nominate colleagues who deserve an extra round of applause for their amazing work in and around the district. The following are the winners from September:
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Travel to Japan in 2020 with us!

Mr. Hise and Mr. Schiavone are planning an educational trip to Japan in 2020 that is open to EMS students. Please join us for an informational meeting on September 17, at 5:30 PM in Mr. Hise's room (818). On the trip we will be visiting places such as Lake Ashi, Matsumoto Castle, Kinkakuji Temple among others. Please contact John Hise at jhise2@durangoschools.org or Dominic Schiavone at dschiavone@durangoschools.org for more information.
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Community School Safety Forums

Durango School District 9-R is hosting two Community School Safety Forums during the month of October, which is also School Safety Month. This is a great time to review safety measures to date, learn more about our trainings and vision for school safety, learn about next steps and share your feedback.
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Hello Escalante Football Families,

Remaining Practice Schedule

Thursday, 10/03 - Practice 3:30 - 5:45 PM
Friday, 10/04 - Practice 3:30 - 5:00 PM

After practice Friday 10/04, players will take ALL practice and game uniforms with equipment for the game Saturday and RETURN all items Monday after washing uniforms. Please return pants with all pads inserted properly inside of the pants. Thank you!

A & B Place Games -vs- Pagosa
Saturday, October 5th Game @ Pagosa High School Stadium

Transportation note for Saturday: All players are required to ride the bus to the game, (district rule) so all A & B players must arrive at Escalante by 7:00 AM for a 7:15 AM bus departure to Pagosa. Players may be signed out by parents/guardians following the game for transportation home.

B Team Game starts @ 9:00 AM
A Team Game starts @ 11:00 AM

Monday, October 7th: Equipment Check-In & End of Season Celebration @ Serious Texas BBQ South

Equipment Check-In 10/07: 2:30 - 3:30 PM in Main Gym. Players will check-in ALL of their equipment at this time. Please note that players are responsible for the replacement cost of any lost or damaged equipment.

End of Season Celebration: We will hold our End of Season Celebration at Serious Texas BBQ South from 3:30 - 5:00 PM. After Equipment Check-in, we will take roll and walk via the River Walk to Serious Texas BBQ. Players are responsible for their own food and drinks at the party. Please budget at least $8.00 for food and drink. Our staff wants to thank all parents and volunteers for an outstanding season and start to this school year. An applause to all! IMPORTANT NOTE: Parents/Guardians are responsible for student/player 5:00 PM PICKUP @ Serious Texas BBQ South - Frontage Road in front of Mall.

All students must complete and turn in the Athletic & Activity Form (see below), have a sports physical, and pay the $30 activity fee prior to participating in any sports or activity at Escalante Middle School. Parent permission is included in the form.

Contact Coach Bastin (dbastin@durangoschools.org) for more information.
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