December Newsletter


A Message from the Principal

Cougar Community -

We have been very busy with making sure students are enjoying their middle school experience. This year, we started a dance club. The students just had their first performance. They were able to perform in the high school recital and they did not disappoint. I am so proud of them and look forward to their next performance. Students can still join. See Mrs. Ridge or Mrs. Baldenegro for information.

Anything but a backpack day was a huge success. These students delivered on creativity. The students had so much fun with spirit week. I can’t wait to see what the Student Council comes up with next.

Not so fun stuff…


The counselors have been meeting with students who are failing classes. I personally went into every class and spoke with all students to remind them of our expectations with their academics and behavior. Students who continue to be unsuccessful in class and or with behavior will be considered as possible candidates for the Alt School (Combs Center for Success) at the end of the semester.

Dress Code

Pajamas pants are not allowed. This is an institute for learning not Walmart. Students will be dress coded for pajamas. The number of students who wore pajamas this week is alarming. Please partner with me on this request.


I am all about having a good time as you can see in the pictures in this newsletter. However, there is a time and place for everything. We have communicated our expectations time and time again. Our grace period has passed. Students will be held accountable for their actions and decisions.


“Say it louder for the people in the back”

If your students decide to use their phone in class, they are violating the rules. (yes, even if they are talking to or texting you, the parent). Students are well aware of when and where they can use their phone. We provide numerous opportunities throughout the school day. (morning before school, during passing periods, lunch and after dismissal). I will not return the phone back to the student. It will be a parent pickup. (Please don't shoot the messenger.)

Great things are happening at CMS. I hope you share these good things.

Principal Ridge

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Winter Masquerade Dance

Our next dance will take place on Friday, December 10th from 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm.

As always, we appreciate you picking up your student on time. Teachers volunteer their time to make these dances happen so please be on time. Students are expected to stay the duration of the dance. We will not release students until the dance is over unless you come to the gym to pick your students up. Thank you in advance.

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Counseling Corner

The CMS counseling department would like to wish a “Happy December” to all of our CMS students and their families! As we finish up this semester and head into a new one, we would like to provide some helpful information and reminders:

Schedule Change Requests:

With the new semester fast approaching, we anticipate many questions regarding schedule changes. Please understand that we do the best we can to provide your child with the electives they chose but sometimes this is not possible. Typically, changes to schedules are ONLY made in the event that an error has been made (i.e. - a male student was placed in a girls PE class; a student was given FACS II class without first taking FACS I; a student has two of the same classes, etc.) However, if a schedule change is requested, it must be requested within the first five (5) days of the semester. If the change is approved, the student will receive a copy of the new schedule. Until that time, the student is expected to attend classes as they are posted on the student’s current schedule. Changing from an advanced class to a regular level class (or vice versa) will occur at the end of the grading period. The change requires the Principal’s approval and is dependent upon space being available in the requested class.

Major Clarity

In September, each student took two different surveys: one was an "interest inventory" the second was "learning styles." The scores were tallied on each and this led to certain "career clusters."

This month your students will further explore jobs within their career clusters where they will find out how much schooling is required for each job, what electives to take to hone skills for these jobs, and how much the average income is for the jobs they choose for people who live in our zip code.

Parents and students find this pretty interesting. Ask your student about it this month.

Tutoring Opportunities

Students and families… Did you know that we have many free and wonderful tutoring opportunities available to support academic needs?

Teachers are now offering before AND after school tutoring. Please see the CMS website for the tutoring schedule CMS Tutoring Schedule

In addition to teacher tutoring, students have the opportunity to attend peer tutoring offered through National Junior Honor Society (NJHS) students. Morning tutoring sessions are offered in the library 8:20-8:50 AM on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Afternoon tutoring sessions are offered in the library 4:00-5:00 PM on Mondays and Thursdays. Please contact Mrs. Overall to sign up

We are also very excited to announce that our students will have access to on-demand, high-quality academic support 24/7 through the tutoring platform titled Paper. Utilizing this platform will allow our students to get help anytime and anywhere for free!

It is our hope that students will utilize any and/or all of these tutoring opportunities to assist them in achieving their academic goals!

Mindful Schools

In November, students discussed the difference between reacting and responding to situations. They learned how to bring awareness to a situation and then how to take a pause and pay attention to their breath. By tuning into their breathing, students learned that this allows for more calm and thoughtful responses. In December, we will be providing Mindful Schools lessons on the following topics: Heartfulness - “purposefully having kind thoughts, or wishing happiness for yourself or others”; Thoughts - “bringing awareness to wandering thoughts and practicing the mindful skill of breathing to regain focus”; and Counting Breaths - “counting breath as a way to stay focused on breathing and to calm a busy mind”.

Sharing a Mindful Activity for the Holidays

In searching for a fun holiday mindfulness activity to share with our students, this is a fun activity that was located from the following counseling resource

This seems like a fun and easy holiday activity to do if you have a snow globe or even a glitter jar: The activity is titled “Settle the Snow Globe” Shake up a snow globe or glitter jar, notice how the snow or glitter falls and glides. Notice the slow, gentle movement. Feel your body settle as the snow, glitter falls.

Happy Holidays from the CMS Counseling Department!

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What's Going on in Spanish Class????

While learning a new language, culture is part of the experience. This quarter students in Spanish class learned about the popular celebration of Dia de los Muertos. Students in Spanish 1 learned about the significance of an ofrenda and about some of the items that an ofrenda typically includes. Taking the information students learned they were then able to create their own ofrenda to remember a loved one or favorite celebrity.
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Athletic Updates

Cougar Family,

Second quarter sports has been a success. Both wrestling and Softball have done a tremendous job competing and getting better and better. It has been great to see both teams practicing hard and getting better each day. We will be having the 2nd quarter sports banquet on December 15th, at 6:00 in the cafeteria. The banquet will last approximately one hour.

If your child plans on participating in volleyball or flag football during the 3rd quarter, please make sure they have the sports packet completed and turned into the front office. If you have any questions please let me know. Thanks and happy holidays!

Mr. Clark

Dean of Students

Athletic Director

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Combs Performing Arts Center News

Christmas Sing Along Spectacular presented by Combs High School Fine Arts Dept. December 1, 2021. Crafts and lobby activities begin at 5 pm, performances begin at 6 pm. FREE tickets available at

Sister's Christmas Catechism-December 4, 2021 at 7pm
Tickets at

Inspire Entertainment presents "Nutcracker" on December 10 and 11, 2021. Tickets at!

Please contact Corianna Lee at 480.882.3540, Ext 7591 for any questions.

Just a reminder about the Titan Family Portal. This is our new secure online system for convenient access and a user-friendly experience in managing meals at school.

The Titan Family Portal allows parents/guardians to:

● Submit an online application for free and reduced meals
● See menus and nutritional information
● Remotely monitor your children’s cafeteria meal accounts
● Make online payments to your children’s cafeteria accounts (Transaction fee $2.66)
● Set up automatic, recurring payments
● Set up low account balance email or text alerts

Mobile app: parents may access their account by searching for Titan Family Connect app in their phone’s app store.

Join the Combs Team

We currently have full and part time positions available. Click on the link below to see a list of open positions district wide.

J.O. Combs Unified School District #44 does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability, age or sexual orientation in admission and access to its programs, services, activities, or in any aspect of their operations and provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups. J.O. Combs Unified School District #44 also does not discriminate in its hiring or employment practices. The following employees have been designated to handle inquiries regarding the nondiscrimination policies: Compliance Officer for Title IX, Assistant Superintendent, 43371 N. Kenworthy Rd, San Tan Valley, AZ 85140 or 480-987-5300 and Compliance Officer for Section 504/ADA, Director of Student Services, 43371 N. Kenworthy Rd, San Tan Valley, AZ 85140 or 480-987-5300.

El Districto Escolar Unificado de J.O. Combs #44 no discrimina en base a su raza, color, religión, origen nacional, sexo, discapacidad, edad, o la orientación sexual para la admisión y su acceso a sus programas, servicios, actividades, o en cualquier aspecto de sus operaciones y proporciona un acceso igualitario a los Boys Scouts y otro grupos de jóvenes designados. El Districto Escolar Unificado de J.O. Combs tampoco discrimina en sus prácticas de empleo y contratación. Los siguientes empleados han sido designados para manejar las preguntas en cuanto a las pólizas de no discriminación: Funcionario de Cumplimiento de Título IX, Superintendente Asistente 43371 N. Kenworthy Rd, San Tan Valley, AZ 85140 or 480-987-5300 and Funcionario de Cumplimiento para la Sección 504/ADA, Director de Servicios Estudiantiles, 43371 N. Kenworthy Rd, San Tan Valley, AZ 85140 or 480-987-5300.