Weekly Roundup 22

Information from SMS: Week of January 23rd

Principal's Note

We are excited to kick off our Fundraisers this week for the Polar Plunge to support Special Olympics. We have students at our school that will be participating in Special Olympics. My own son is starting a 10 week training program to do Equestrian in the Special Olympics coming up in the Spring.


We have two fundraisers that our student council is planning. The first one is "Penny Wars" that will kick off this week and continue until Wednesday of next week. Many teachers and administrators have volunteered to take the plunge in the COLD waters at Tega Cay Beach Club on February 4th! BRRR!! Students will be voting on which 3 teachers they would like to take the plunge with the administrators. Each teacher will have a jar out at lunch. Paper money will count as positive points towards that teacher. Any coins placed in the jars will subtract money from the total amount for that teacher. We will be giving daily updates on who is in the lead! All money collected will go to the Polar Plunge and Special Olympics with some coming back to our school so we can work on the social inclusion of those with special needs and all students. We encourage our students to come out and support us as we plunge. However, we will film it and show it at school as well.


The second fundraiser is in the planning stages. We will have more information out this week. I can tell you it will happen on Friday, February 10th after school from 3:30 - 7:00. The student council wants to host a "Student Take Over" with grade level competitions, and all kinds of things those creative young adults have in their heads. They are working out all the details and will have that out to you this week. Please put February 10th on your calendar. Maybe you could use it for a little "parents afternoon out" or a "Friday afternoon nap time."


If you would like to make a donation to our school fundraiser page, there is a link below for you to donate straight to our page! We are appreciative of any amount you can contribute.


Before I begin this next part, I want you all to know I deeply believe we have an amazing group of young adults at our school. Their hearts are so big. However, they can fall to peer-pressure. We were all in middle school and we know how hard it can be. We need all staff, parents, and students on the same team to stop those that try to bring others down.


I would like to make our parents aware of a TikTok challenge that is called W Rizz. We became aware of it after it happened once or twice at school. The challenge is for a student to find another student that they typically would never be interested in and act like they like them, ask them out, ask for their phone number, and pretend like they think they are really pretty or good looking. After awhile, either in person or through email they tell them it's all a joke. Some of these are filmed and then posted on TikTok. Others are done with a group around that is laughing or encouraging it to happen. Please talk to your students about this challenge. We have a "zero tolerance" policy against this and any other form of bullying or harassment. We will include those standing around laughing and encouraging in the consequences and they will be held just as reliable as the person or persons carrying out the challenge. Also talk to your students to see if they know of anyone it has happened to that we may not know about. We are trying to empower our students to be "upstanders" and either stop it themselves or tell someone that can stop it. We need the help of our students to be able to put a halt to the unkind behaviors.


This brings me to a big point. We have to know about what is going on in order to be able to make it stop and support those that are being targeted. We have signs all around our school with the words "Say Something." If your child is continuously being harassed or bullied at school and you feel we have done nothing about it, I can promise we don't know the extent of what is going on. We have to know . We are all aware that students are scared to say something. We have to build our children up to have courage against these students that won't stop. It takes a great deal of courage, but your children are surrounded with 90ish staff members that truly care about them and are there to protect them when we know what is going on.


If you feel your child or yourself have told staff, and nothing is being done please feel free to give me a call. Being kind, treating others with respect, watching our words, and standing up against what is wrong is a big message of mine. It is something I will continue to fight for. I believe in our middle school students and I know they can meet these expectations.


EVERY student has a right to come to school and feel safe-- both physically and mentally. I have heard "Well, if we say something it's going to get worse." It may at first. It may seem worse if you allow yourself to follow what is being said on social media. Not knowing what is being said on social media is the higher road to take and will protect your own mental health. What others are saying about us is their own hurt and their own problem. It is not our burden to carry. However, if it continues and you know about it never stop informing an adult. I encourage our students to stand up and say, "No, you will not treat me like that. I will continue to go to an adult until it stops." If someone cannot stop being unkind and continues to drag it out, then they need help as well. Due to privacy reasons, we will not be able to share with you what is occurring with that other student but I can promise you we are on it. This is our FIRST responsibility as a school.


Thank you to our amazing Mustang Family for helping us to continue to have a place that all students want to be and feel safe!

This edition includes:

  • Spring Sports
  • Important Dates
  • Chat and Chew
  • Polar Plunge
  • Yearbook Recognition Reminder (Especially for 8th grade parents but can be for anyone)


**Below are reminders that have been posted weekly**

  • Sponsors from our Day of Service
  • Spirit Rock link
  • "Away for The Day"
  • Early Dismissal Procedure Reminder
  • We Need You - Can you volunteer?

Sports This Week: Our basketball seasons are slowly coming to an end. Please come out and cheer on our teams. These athletes are amazing to watch. I have been so impressed with their perseverance and sportsmanship all season. We play Gold Hill on Monday and Indian Land on Thursday!

Spring Sports

Good afternoon. I hope all are well. I'm Dr. Tolbert, SMS Athletic Director. I'm attaching several files with important information for the upcoming Spring Sports Season with SMS Athletics. There are attached files to the Weekly Roundup email that you will need to read and make sure you are aware of everything your child will need to start Spring Sports.

ALL Athletes can upload 2022-Physical-Forms dated after 4/1/2022 to BigTeams (Instruction Video) to be able to condition/tryout/participate in Athletics this coming 2022/2023 school year.

All information about Athletics is also located on the SMS Athletic Website. Looking forward to seeing your athlete competing for SMS. GO MUSTANGS!

Spring Tryouts 2023 - Begin Soon!

Baseball - 2/6/23

Track/Field - 2/6/23

Girls Soccer - 2/1/23

Boys Soccer - 2/7/23

Important Dates


  • January 23rd: Guidance Counselors will be in 8th Grade Classrooms discussing high school scheduling and IGPs. 8th Grade Parents-- Expect a package to come home with your child this evening for you to go through before your IGP meeting on February 7th.
  • January 23rd: Chat and Chew with the Principal (6pm-7pm) - See More Information Below.
  • January 25th: Academic Match (For Academic Team)
  • January 26th: 2:00 - 6th Grade Band Concert
  • January 27th: 2 Hour Early Release Day
  • February 4th: Polar Plunge
  • February 7th: 8th Graders Blitz for High School (Parents will be given a time for their child's meeting which will be held in the Media Center)
  • February 8th: Academic Match (For Academic Team)
  • February 13th: Winter Sports Ceremony Celebration
  • February 22nd: Academic Match (For Academic Team)
  • February 24th: Club Pictures for the Yearbook
  • March 24th: 7th Grade Career Day
  • April 13th - 16th: 8th Grade Band and SOL Florida Trip
  • April 21st: 7th Grade Choir to Carowinds
  • April 21st: 6th Grade Fun Event (After School): 3:30 - 5:00
  • April 26th and 27th: School Play (More information coming soon!)
  • April 28th: 8th Grade Dance 6:00 - 8:00
  • May 5th: 7th Grade Fun Event (After School): 3:30 - 5:00
  • May 10th: Spring Chorus Concert at NAFO- 6:00
  • May 22nd: Field Day
  • May 25th: 8th Grade Recognition Ceremony 9:00 AM


Important Future Dates:

Spring Break: April 3rd - 7th

8th Grade Trip to Charleston: May 4th - 5th (We will have a parent night in April. That date is TBD. It will be in the evening).

CHAT AND CHEW WITH THE PRINCIPAL (COME, TALK AND HAVE SOME LIGHT APPETIZERS)

Big picture

WEEKLY REMINDERS (Everything below is a repeat of information to refer to if you need a refresher.) to refresh yourself on.)

Big picture

EARLY DISMISSAL PROCEDURE

Class time is valued and we strive to interrupt class periods as little as possible.

  • When your child requires early dismissal, on the day of dismissal, send a signed, handwritten NOTE to school with your child that includes date and dismissal time.
  • When your child arrives at school, he/she should bring the note to Mrs. Kilyanek’s (Miss K) room and she will mark your child’s agenda with the dismissal time.
  • At dismissal time, your child will meet you in our front office - please sign your child out on the front office computer.
  • If your child must leave early and has not brought in a note, we will call your child to the office during the next class change. You are welcome to wait in our front office lobby.
  • We realize emergencies happen - if you have one and must interrupt class time, we will ask that you first speak with an administrator.
  • Students will not be dismissed after 2:40 PM. They must wait for the 3:10 dismissal bell.

"AWAY FOR THE DAY" - QTR 3 POLICY RE: CELL PHONES, APPLE WATCHES, EARBUDS, ETC.

As you already know, our school is an "Away for the Day" school, meaning no access to phones, earbuds, and smartwatches during our school day. During our first quarter, students who violated the policy received a disciplinary signature in their agenda, and their item was taken to the front office to be held until the end of the day.


Now that we are entering 2nd quarter and everyone is aware of the "Away for the Day" movement, we are changing the consequences. We know that at this point if students have a phone or other item on them during the day, it is because they have chosen to go against school policy.


The 3rd quarter consequences are:


1st Offense: After-school detention on the following Tuesday or Thursday (whichever comes first.) Also for 7 days, phone/earbuds/smartwatches must be turned in each morning to the front office. Students can claim the item at the end of the school day.


2nd Offense: After-school detention on the following Tuesday or Thursday (whichever comes first.) Also for 14 days, phone/earbuds/smartwatches must be turned in each morning to the front office. Students can claim the item at the end of the school day.


3rd Offense: After-school detention on the following Tuesday or Thursday (whichever comes first.) Also for 30 DAYS phone/earbuds/smartwatches must be turned in each morning to the front office. Students can claim the item at the end of the school day.


Offenses more than 3 will be handled on a case by case basis.


We ask for your support to teach our students that being present in the moment without distractions from these items is extremely important! I have to give our students a big shout out! We have so many less cell phone problems this school year. We know there are still some devices out there, but we hope those students will eventually learn to let go of their devices, as it is an addiction, and keep them in their lockers. Overall, the student body has been doing a fantastic job! Our teachers have also been doing a fantastic job by not allowing the use of these items in their classes.


Thank you again for your support! It takes all of us to teach important skills to our youth!

We need you!

To help ensure safety, background screens for volunteers are necessary. If you have submitted your information in prior school years, please confirm with us that you are on the approved list before completing an application again. You may email Mrs. Hall at hallj@fortmillschools.org.


Please follow the link below to submit your online application to volunteer. In order to submit a background check, you must have a social security number and driver's license. Without these documents, a full and complete background check cannot be performed. You must use your full legal name when completing the form.

https://www.fortmillschools.org/Page/161