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Letter from the Principal:

September 16, 2016

Dear Armstrong Apache Families,

It is with a tremendous sense of honor that I announce to you some very special news related to the Texas Education Association school rankings.

This week all schools in Texas received their annual accountability ratings from the Texas Education Association, and Armstrong Middle School has earned a Distinction in every possible area on our state rating!

Approximately 400 campuses in the state earned this recognition in the entire state of over 8,000 schools.

Distinction designations are awarded to campuses based on student achievement, student progress, closing performance gaps amongst students, and postsecondary readiness. Up to seven Distinctions can be earned:

  • · Academic Achievement in English Language Arts/Reading
  • · Academic Achievement in Mathematics
  • · Academic Achievement in Science
  • · Academic Achievement in Social Studies
  • · Top 25%: Student Progress
  • · Top 25%: Closing Performance Gaps
  • · Postsecondary Readiness

“Earning one or more campus distinctions is noteworthy and should be a source of pride in the community,” said Commissioner of Education Mike Morath. “Earning all possible distinctions is a significant accomplishment and should signal to parents that there is extraordinary work taking place on that campus.”

Armstrong Middle School is one of only two middle schools in Plano ISD to earn all possible Distinctions. The other middle school was Rice Middle School.

To learn more about accountability ratings for 2016, please visit

None of this would have been possible without the tremendous dedication and hard work of a committed and passionate teaching staff and a hardworking and resilient student body. Together students and teachers gave it their all each and every day. In addition, parents assisted us in achieving this goal. Without the support of our parents and community members, this would not have been possible. It is because of the standard of excellence envisioned by our unified community that we have accomplished this level of performance.

Finally, I would like to acknowledge the work of the administrative team who supported the teachers, staff, and the students in their efforts to continuously improve our practices and raise our standards. Assistant Principal Mary Hardin, Assistant Principal Lucia Marinez, and former Armstrong Principal Steve Ewing are all owed tremendous thanks for their work in making this possible. They believed and continue to believe as I do that our students are deserving of the best education we have to offer and that all students are capable of achieving success.

Congratulations to our entire Armstrong community for this wonderful honor! I am proud to be a member of this school community, and I look forward to being with you all as we celebrate this milestone and look ahead to our future success.


Melissa Blank


TEA State Accountability Overview

PTA News

Welcome back Apache families! Our website is now updated and ready for a new school year-- 2016-2017! You can start updating your information, sign up for volunteer opportunities, sync the AMS PTA Google Calendar with your personal mobile device, purchase spirit wear/8th grade shirt, download the walk to the park permission form/pay for a ticket if you have a 6th grader, and of course, pay for PTA membership. As a PTA Member you are NOT required to attend meetings or volunteer.

Thank you so much for supporting our PTA! Go Apaches!


Important Dates:

  • 9/20 - Progress Reports go home
  • 9/23 - Social 4-6pm $5
  • 9/26 -9/27 - Auditions for musical production of The Wizard of Oz @ 3:45 room 121
  • 9/27 - 6th Grade BAND Recital - Gym
  • 9/30 - Talent Show 4-5:30pm

Coming Soon: 6th Grade WALK TO THE PARK

Each year, AMS PTA sponsors Walk to the Park for 6th graders. This year it will be held on Wednesday, October 12, 2016 which is the night of two 8th grade football games. The activity includes a walk from Armstrong to Bob Woodruff Park for dinner, then a bus ride to and from the football game at Kimbrough Stadium.

All 6th grade students at AMS are welcome to participate. The price is $6, which includes dinner (2 hot dogs, bag of chips, a cookie and a drink), admission to both games, and bus transportation to and from the games. Payments: Cash (Preferred) or Make Checks Payable to AMS PTA or pay online at

**All forms must be returned to the front office no later than Friday, October 7th by 4:00pm. ** (Students can drop their permission slip WITH PAYMENT ATTACHED in the PTA drop box in the front office.)


While not all students are in the AVID class, we are an AVID campus. AVID stands for Advancement Via Individual Determination. As a campus, we promote a college readiness culture through a variety of strategies. Academically, teachers focus their methods around the AVID model of Writing, Inquiry, Collaboration, Organization, and Reading throughout the year.

You may have heard from your students that we are currently promoting ORGANIZATION strategies. We are taking time every couple of days to help students work towards a goal they set for the 9 weeks. They are writing action steps and sharing with an accountability partner every week to support them in reaching their goal. Additionally, your students are writing in their agenda daily and should be checking off assignments as they complete them. Students are also working on maintaining an organized binder. Every student is expected to keep their work for all classes in their binder. Binders should have dividers for each class, an agenda, and pencil pouch for their supplies. The Organization Station is open during lunch on Mondays and Wednesdays for students who need help staying organized.


The Title I program is designed to provide supplemental support to students who have been identified as scoring at or below the 25th percentile on district diagnostics and are at risk of not being successful on state assessments. All students who fail the state assessment and attend a Title I school, qualify for services. Additional staff positions and teaching resources are funded with the Title I federal grant money. This allows identified students to receive the additional help needed to close their achievement gap.

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Annual PESH Cheer Clinic

Saturday, Oct. 8th, 9am-1pm

3000 Los Rios Boulevard

Plano, TX


Saturday, October 8 (9:00am) – Check-in

9:30am-12:30pm (12:15pm Participant Exhibition)


Plano East Gym

*Bleachers available for parent viewing


Pre-K through 8th Grade


Shorts, t-shirt, tennis shoes, and your hair pulled back

Learn cheerleading and dance skills for the Varsity and JV PESH Cheerleaders!

PERFORMANCE at the end of the clinic!

NO experience necessary!

$30 if registered before 9-30-16 (See form attachment in eNews)

$35 after 9-30-16 or AT THE DOOR

INCLUDES: Clinic t-shirt, pom-poms, snack, drink and keepsake picture with Mascot and Cheerleaders!

Event Expectations for Armstrong Students

The following are expectations for any student attending School Events and Activities:

1. All School Rules are in effect while on campus at Armstrong or any other campus.

2. Students must remain in the designated area of the event.

3. Students must be picked up on time. Any student that is not picked up on time after an event is subject to being restricted from future events.

4. Students must comply with all directions and instructions given by the staff and administration on duty.

5. Students may cheer and encourage their team or classmates with appropriate audience behavior.

* Any student that does not comply with these expectations will not be allowed to attend future events and parents will be notified.

Plano ISD Stadium Rules

The following rules are in effect at Plano ISD stadiums

1. Spectators may not enter the stadium with backpacks or duffle bags. Staff and security personnel, at their sole discretion, may determine what constitutes a prohibited backpack or duffle bag.
2. Bags, purses and packages carried by spectators will be opened and inspected by security personnel or staff prior to entry into the stadium.
3. Alcoholic beverages, outside food or drink items, tobacco products and weapons are prohibited.
4. Spectators are prohibited from bringing footballs or other balls into the stadium.
5. Persons in possession of prohibited items or who refuse inspection of bags and/or packages will not be permitted to enter the stadium. Persons who violate these stadium rules may be ejected without refund.
6. Body painting, other than on the face area, is not allowed.
7. Masks and other face coverings are prohibited.
8. All signs must be positive, appropriate, promote the participants and not be unduly distracting or block the view of others.
9. Patrons who leave the stadium will be required to purchase a ticket to re-enter.
10. Only authorized personnel will be admitted onto the field.
11. Air horns are prohibited per UIL rules.
12. Animals, other than service animals, are not allowed in the stadium.
13. Powder or throwing of powder is prohibited.