The Merrill Minute

August 30, 2019

Thank you!

Greetings, Mustangs,

I would like to thank the entire Mustang community for coming together to ensure that our 6th, 7th, and 8th graders had a warm welcome to the 2019-2020 school year.

A special thanks to Anthony Lyne for organizing "High Fives for Young Lives" last Friday. Anthony is a young professional and community organizer committed to supporting students in pursuing their dreams. (At one point he was a 6th grader in my class!) He, along with a contingency from our community, welcomed our youth with high fives and cheers as they arrived on the 1st day. It was amazing! Thank you, Anthony!

A shout out and thank you to our PTA for their "all hands on deck" approach to last Thursday and Friday. They provided breakfast for the faculty on Thursday morning, cleaned up around the school on Thursday afternoon/evening, were at Merrill bright and early on the first day handing out school supply kits and helping students find their way to class, and topped the week off by providing popsicles for our 6th grade "Lunch on the Lawn". Thank you, PTA!

The teachers of the Mustang community engaged students from Day 1 in relationship building and inquiry based learning - they go hand in hand. As we inquire into the world around us, we strengthen our relationships with both old and new friends. Despite some hiccups with transportation, a few schedule changes, and some other bumps in the road, the Merrill teachers were in classrooms working hard to support students as they continue to grow as inquiring, knowledgeable, and caring Mustangs. Thank you, Merrill teachers!

And finally, a thank you to all of you, the Merrill families, for your patience, support, and feedback as we settle in to our regular routines, and more importantly, our work of creating a better and more peaceful world. We need you and we are thankful for your engagement with the Merrill community.

Yours in creating a better and more peaceful world,


Mustangs 2019-2020 First Day

Caring, Principled, and Reflective

Our vision for learning conditions at Merrill is centered upon a community where students feel safe, valued, and respected under consistently communicated expectations. To support a safe and engaging learning environment, we ask students to be Caring, Principled, and Reflective (CPR). Check out the video below to learn more!

Heart of Merrill

Language Acquisition at Merrill

Beginning this school year, our Spanish teachers will implement the SOMOS curriculum, which is comprehension-based, proficiency-oriented, and culture-rich. In addition, SOMOS encourages natural output, scaffolds authentic resources, and examines grammar in context.

This shift from a traditional curriculum that focuses on practice (drills) to a curriculum that allows students to experience “constant exposure to input” will allow students to grow their abilities to use a language. For more information about the curriculum, please see the SOMOS website:

Infinite Campus

Because of our shift to a proficiency-oriented curriculum, teachers will track student learning differently on Infinite Campus.

Every month, teachers will record one score for each topic to document progress in language skills. The grading topics are as follows:

  • Comprehending spoken and visual text
  • Comprehending written and visual text
  • Communicating in response to spoken, written, and visual text
  • Using language in spoken and written form

Tracking student progress on Infinite Campus will focus on student growth, not an average of scores; thus, the most recent score will reflect your student’s current level of proficiency. Since students are growing in their skills, we expect to see an increase in proficiency throughout the course; scores earlier in the semester may be lower and will rise as proficiency builds. Please note: Teachers will keep records of evidence to document growth and will share that information with families when requested.

Late Bus

There is a late bus available for students who are staying after school for athletic practices, student activities or clubs, school dances, or with a teacher. If your student is not involved in sports or an after school activity, he/she MUST ride their regular bus home or be picked up after school by 3:45. The late bus departs at 5:00 from the west turnaround and stops at the following locations listed below.

Big picture

Upcoming Dates

Labor Day - No School

Monday, September 2

School Picture Day

Friday, September 6

No School - Professional Development

Friday, September 27

Fall Conferences:

October 31 from 8:15 AM - 3:15 PM

November 4 from 4:00 PM -7:30 PM