SMS Newsletter

September 2021

6th Grade News

Believe it or not, the sixth grade students have learned so much in just a few weeks!! They have learned how to work their lockers, change classes, walk up and down the stairs and we will be completing some school safety drills this month. We are proud of the independence that they are gaining. Just a couple reminders….students should all be writing down their assignments in their learning log (planner), so feel free to ask them to look at it. It is a great habit of writing down things that need to be done at night.

Many have asked what advisory is all about, so let us explain. Advisory is a 30 minute period where we have announcements, and is a time for students who were absent to get make-up assignments and those who might have one or two homework questions to be helped by a teacher. It is NOT the time to get all homework done. It may also be a time a teacher pulls a student to give extra directions or help. It does go rather quickly.

If you are not one to check Tyler weekly, you may want to start getting in that habit. Teachers post grades once a week, so this is a great way to keep an eye on how your student is doing. We have talked to the students about it as they can access it as well.

All students have a g-mail e-mail account this year. They will need to access their e-mail for various classes and other school-wide messages. Please try to help them set up their account if they have not done so already with one of their classes.

Any questions, please feel free to contact us via email or calling 786-2138. We will have a great year in sixth grade! So much fun that some teachers have been here for over 20 years!!


7th Grade News

Welcome to 7th grade! We look forward to getting to know your student this year. If you haven’t already done so, please accept the invite to Google Classroom. This will allow you to receive summaries on your student in all of his/her classes. Please sit down with your student on a regular basis to look at Google Classroom. You can see the status of the work by going to the “classwork” tab on the top. Then, on the top left, click on the “View Your work.” Please keep in mind that Google Classroom will NOT show your student’s grade, so please check Tyler for grades.


Students may want to bring a refillable water bottle with them to school to stay hydrated throughout the day. Please note that only water is allowed in the classrooms. Also, please make sure that your student is bringing the necessary supplies to class each day. It is very important that students charge their Chromebooks every night to be ready for the next school day. Please reinforce the importance of wearing masks correctly while in the building. This includes covering both the mouth and the nose. We appreciate your support while we continue to navigate through this pandemic.


8th Grade News

Welcome back to school everyone! We are very excited to be back together and learning some new things. Please have your child show you around in each of their Google Classrooms. Also, the students have been told that Tyler is where their grades will be posted. They are not to rely on Google Classroom for their grade averages. Students are encouraged to check into Tyler at least once a day to keep track of their progress. Below you will find a brief synopsis of what is happening in each of their core classes.


Language Arts: The language arts students are working on reviewing key skills and concepts that will be utilized throughout the school year. The students are reading The Outsiders to help them apply the elements of literature, plot, characterization, and literary elements to their reading. Next, we will dive into the Pearson literature series entitled, My Perspectives. This program will be in sync with Google Classroom, so the students can access the literature series from their Classroom setting.


Instructional Language Arts: Instructional LA students have been working hard with beginning of the year placement tests. Students are assigned passages through readworks.org to enable students to work at their current independent levels. Students started a writing “bootcamp” stressing basic writing skills. Students are working on a variety of comprehension skills, starting with main ideas & details and cause and effect and will move into sequencing skills next. Mid September we will begin our first novel study, The Outsiders bySE Hinton.


Math: In math we are working our way through Chapter 1 on Real Numbers. We’ve already conquered writing fractions as decimals and vice versa, written large and small numbers using exponents, and simplified real number expressions by multiplying and dividing monomials. Now we will be using laws of exponents to find powers of monomials, be writing and evaluating expressions using negative exponents, writing large and small numbers using scientific notation, computing with scientific notation, finding square and cube roots, estimating roots, and comparing mathematical expressions. It is important that all students bring their calculator and math workbooks daily to class as they will be needed.


Instructional Math: In instructional math, we are starting the year by reviewing the basics: calculations, number sense, and functional math that we use in our everyday lives (in the form of the much-loved story problem). Every day, we begin our class with a Math Minute - 10 quick problems that review concepts from previous grades. In the upcoming weeks, we will begin working in our math book, starting with a unit on integers.


Science: We will be reviewing scientific method, data collection, and graphing to start off the year. After that students will begin a unit on matter and the periodic table. This will help students get ready for our chemistry unit next quarter. Welcome back everyone!


History: Our history book is available online in Google Classroom this year for easy access. We will be starting the year with a short review of map skills and geography concepts and then beginning our first unit on “The Growth of Industry”. This will include topics such as railroads, important inventions, big business, and industrial workers.


We are all in this together! We look forward to working as a team--Students, Parents, Teachers, and Administrators. We got this!

Art News

Sandwich Middle School Art

Mr. Lay - jlay@sandwich430.org

Hello everyone! I’m excited to get back to school and get into a routine with students.


If your child has had my class before, they have an idea of what to expect from me and the type of classroom I have. For those of you that I haven’t met, my name is Mr. Lay and I’ve been teaching in Sandwich since 2004, SMS since 2012. My class should not be a place where students feel stressed or anxious or feel overwhelmed. If that is ever the case please let me know. There are plenty of other things in this world that cause stress and I will try my hardest not to make my class one of those causes. Speaking of, I’m sure you are going to be bombarded with emails, so I’m going to cut this short. But please reach out to me if you have any questions, concerns, or just want to talk. My door/inbox is open to parents/guardians/students whenever they need to get in touch.


The main point of this email is to just give you a rundown of what the first week will look like for your student in Art. Art is typically a quarter long course (9 weeks). I don’t like to set a solid schedule in stone because everyone works at different paces. Some students may need more/less time on a project and I will adjust my timelines as needed. I will be in constant contact with the students both in class and online throughout the week via Google Classroom, and try to touch base with parents/guardians when needed and I promise I will not flood your inbox with a ton of lengthy emails.


The only thing they need to have is a pencil, I will supply them with everything else. I will be passing out sketchbooks and that will be their text book for my class. THEY WILL NEED TO HAVE THEIR SKETCHBOOKS WITH THEM EVERYDAY, along with their chromebooks.


I look forward to seeing the kids and getting to work. Thank you and please let me know if there’s anything I can help with during this crazy time.


Mr. Jeff Lay

Important Dates

September 3rd - Picture Day

September 6th - Labor Day - No School

September 10th - No School

September 17th - Early Dismissal 11:10 am

Welcome New SMS Staff Members!

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Employment Opportunity

Substitute Teacher, Paraprofessional (teaching assistant), Custodian, Bus Driver, Bus Aide

Want to be a sub teacher or paraprofessional in the district? If you have a Bachelor or Associates degree and would like to consider becoming a substitute in Sandwich CUSD 430, the DeKalb County Regional Office of Education (ROE) can answer all your questions and guide you through the necessary steps of becoming certified. Call the ROE at (815) 217-0460; or visit the ROE office at 2500 North Annie Glidden Road, Suite C, DeKalb, Illinois 60115

Substitute Custodian

If you are interested in becoming a substitute custodian, please contact a building principal:

SHS (815-786-2157) SMS (815-786-2138) HED (815-786-8498)

LGH (815-786-8812) PV (815-786-8811) WWW (815-786-6316)

Full Time or Substitute Bus Driver & Bus Aide

If you are interested in becoming a full time or substitute bus driver or bus aide, please call the transportation department at (815-786-8325).

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