SYRINGA SNAPSHOT

February 19, 2021

Quarterly Newsletter

We are excited to share out all the great things that are happening at SMS. Please take a look below!

Check Out The Building Updates At Syringa

Recording #59

Standard Based Grading

Please watch the video below. Mr. Freeman, a SMS teacher and parent, gives his perspective on why making the switch to standards based grading will be beneficial.
Standard Based Grading

Building Character Through Social & Emotional Support

We are excited to have shared Social Emotional Learning lessons (SEL) with students this year. Our counselors prepare a lesson each week and then students are required to log into their advisory class each Wednesday to participate. Lessons have ranged from Coping Skills and Kindness to College/Career and Veterans Day awareness. The lessons can be viewed on our website, and we encourage parents to review the information. Students can revisit what they have learned as well. It is never a bad thing to have some extra kindness in the world!

Syringa Welcomes 5th Grade Students

Recently, staff members from Syringa Middle School were able to connect with 5th grade students scheduled to attend SMS next year. We were able to meet and greet students while discussing different opportunities they will have when attending sixth grade at Syringa.


We look forward to meeting and developing a relationship with the 5th grade students and their families as we welcome them to Syringa Middle School.


Please take a look at the photos and videos below highlighting our visits.

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STEM at SMS

STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) job fields are fast growing and pay higher average wages than non-STEM careers. Students who study STEM subjects also develop problem solving, communication, and creativity skills that will help them to be successful in whichever career they choose in the future. Syringa Middle School works hard to provide a variety of STEM-related activities for our students in grades 6-8. Below are a few highlights of how our students are succeeding within the STEM fields.


  • Syringa Middle School celebrated Hour of Code in December with students taking a day off from their normal science curriculum to learn the problem solving and creative skills of computer coding using the code.org website.

  • Syringa Middle School hosted a Virtual Table-Top Science Fair last spring where students could plan and carry out a science experiment of their choice in their own homes and then show off their learning on the Syringa FB page.

  • Syringa had a group of 7th and 8th grade students compete virtually in the Idaho regional Future City Engineering competition with teams from all over the Treasure Valley. Students proposed and demonstrated real life solutions to the environmental and organizational issue of living on the moon in the future.

  • Syringa’s Science and Math Bowl team competed virtually against other valley schools in a virtual competition to show off their knowledge of earth, life, and physical science as well as math topics in a quiz bowl style format.

  • This June, Syringa students will travel to Tampa, Florida to study the water ecology of fresh and salt-water areas. Swimming with endangered manatees, dissecting sharks, kayaking in mangrove swamps, and doing water quality testing helps our kids understand the impact that humans can have on our planet’s water systems.

  • Caldwell Middle Schools will continue our long-standing partnership with the College of Idaho this summer, allowing 7th and 8th grade students to work with C of I professors in the areas of microbiology, math, and environmental chemistry. The Math and Science Summer Institute (MASSI) is scheduled to take place in June.


Some of our STEM activities have been temporarily suspended due to current physical distancing practices, but we hope to resume these activities next year (VEX robotics, Middle School STEM Fair Family Night, NNU Science Extravaganza, BSU Aerospace Day. 8th grade Yellowstone trip)


STEM is an important part of our students’ futures and we are proud of the fact that we are able to make it an important part of their middle school experience here at Syringa!


-Dr. Melyssa Ferro, Science Teacher/STEM Coordinator/Digital Integration Specialist, CSD

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Developing Young Writers

This year at Syringa, teachers and students are working hard to broaden all students’ writing ability. We are focusing on developing students’ confidence in responding to any style of prompt. For example, during first semester, we focused heavily on narrative writing. Students read a variety of narratives before tackling the task of writing their own personal narratives. Depending on their grade, students got to write about a difficult choice they made, a lesson they have learned in life, or a special memory that stands out. The process was hugely successful, and we look forward to continuing our writing journey during second semester, where we will focus on argument writing and research. As usual, we will complete a CWA in February, where students will get to show how well they can write a convincing argumentative paragraph. We are proud of the progress our Syringa authors have made!
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Thank you for checking us out. If you are ever interested in being a part of our Parent Advisory Committee (PAC), please reach out to to the school via email at sswan@caldwellschools.org.


Go Cougs!