Smithfield Middle School

News from Mr. Pekurney

Christmas Providers

This is a great time of year for the Raider Nation to give back to those less fortunate. SMS is collecting can goods/nonperishable items to give to local families and organizations during the holiday season. Students and parents can place their donated items in the boxes located in the front lobby. We would love to see those boxes completely filled up by December 4, 2014.
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Come join the Raider Nation in the upcoming Run Run Rudolph Family 5K benefitting the NRH Animal Adoption and Rescue Center and the “I Can Play Too” NRH Parks & Recreation Scholarship fund.



New this year, participants at your school are able to enter in Promo Code “SMS” to receive a $5 off per registration group discount. Discount registration is available through November 30, 2014.


The campus with the most registrants will receive a voucher for a private pool party at the NRH Centre for up to 100 guests.

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Statewide changes to math K-8

By now, most of you are aware of the new mathematics standards, the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS), being implemented grades K-8 during the 2014-2015 school year. These changes were brought about due to a 2012 decision by the State Board of Education to revise these standards in grades K-8. Detailed below are the major changes for middle school mathematics TEKS:


· Thirty-nine percent of the 7th and 8th grade math TEKS are completely new to the curriculum. In addition to new concepts, some topics that were previously taught in middle school have moved, mainly into earlier grades.


· Materials, taught previously in higher grades, have moved into the current 7th and 8th grade standards. This translates into increased subject matter and rigor throughout our entire math department.


· During the 2014-15 school year, students in 6th grade will feel the impact of the changes with 55% of the standards being new to that grade. Our 6th grade students are now being exposed to material that had been previously taught in the upper grades.


These changes mean that our teachers will need to cover not only the new standards assigned to their individual grade levels, but they will also have to fill in the gaps of the TEKS that were missed due to this realignment.


As we come to the close of the 2nd six weeks grading period, our teachers will continue the hard work of identifying potential gaps in learning due to the shifting TEKS. They will also continue to offer additional support to help our students as they face the challenges of math during this year of transition.

Tips for success:


· Complete all assignments on time. Since math tends to build upon itself, it is important that our students stay caught up with the material, so that they will be ready to move on to the next skill.


· Most of our teachers hold tutorials both before and after school every day of the week. If your child’s teacher is not available for tutorials, we will find a teacher to offer them support. (Many of our teachers have met students up here at school on Saturday mornings.)


· Students can retake any exam in which they scored below a 70% mark. There should be no excuse for any SMS student to have a test average (which is 50% of their overall grade) below a 70. Tests must be made up in a timely manner.


· Stay the course. While students may experience times when the concept/skill is just not registering with them. If they stick with it, fill in those gaps, and work hard, success will come to them in the end.


Please let us know if we can be of any assistance to your student.

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Take advantage of our redo policy!

The majority of our students have quickly learned to take advantage of BISD's test retake policy. Policy states that any student who makes below a 70 on a test can come in for an opportunity to relearn the material, retake the test (in a timely manner), and replace that grade with a higher one. Some students are still not taking advantage of this policy. Low test grades paired with late/incomplete work are the two main reasons that students fail their classes. In fact, almost 100% of the students who failed this term had either missing work and/or failed to retake their test. Is your child taking advantage of this policy? If not, please talk to them about how they can benefit from this policy.
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Early Dismissal Days-Winter Break

Thursday, December 18 all students dismissed at 12:40

Friday, December 19, all students dismissed at 12:40


Wednesday, December 17-Regular Bell Schedule: This will be the last day for 1st period. Progress reports go out during 6th period.


Thursday, December 18...................................................... Friday, December 19

Period 2....................................... 8:40-9:24.............................................Period 6

Period 3....................................... 9:28-10:14...........................................Period 7

Period 4....................................... 10:18-11:02........................................Period 8


Period 5 .......................................11:06-11:34 1st lunch........................Period 5

.......................................................11:38-12:06 2nd lunch.............................................

.......................................................12:10-12:40 3rd lunch.............................................


School resumes on Monday, January 5, 2015.


SMS is not giving semester exams this year. However, please be aware that our students might have regular tests in some of their classes on these days. All exams will be counted as a regular test grade and not scored as 1/7th of a student's overall grade as was done in years past.