Falcon Middle School Check-In Days

July 20 & 25, 2022

Updates & Additional Information!

2022-23 School Year Launch

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Join us at Falcon Middle School anytime on Wednesday, July 20th from 7am - 12pm or Monday July 25th from 10am - 5pm.


Students and parents will be able to complete various tasks to get ready for the 22-23 school year. We look forward to seeing you at FMS on one of these days!


This newsletter contains information related to all of the items that will be available to complete on these Check-In days. Please review the information contained below carefully, download and complete any forms, and bring these completed with you to expedite the process when you come to FMS.



Information Contained in this Special Edition:


  • Mark your Calendars
  • Welcome Back from our Executive Principal
  • 22-23 Student Schedules
  • Chromebooks - Available for Check out at Check-In!
  • Locker Information
  • Health Information
  • School Supplies Information
  • Lunch Accounts
  • School Pictures
  • Student ID's
  • PBIS Rewards
  • Updating Contact and Emergency Information
  • PTSA
  • Purchase your Firebird Gear
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Mark your Calendars:


  • CHECK-IN DAYS: Wednesday, July 20th from 7am - 12pm or Monday, July 25th from 10am-5pm


  • Monday, August 1st: 6th Grade Students First Day at FMS 7:50am - 3:00pm


  • Monday, August 1st: Brand New 7th & 8th Grade Students 8:00am - 10:00am


  • Monday, August 1st: 6th Grade Parents & New 7th/8th Grade Parents Reception 8:00am - 9:30am (Optional opportunity available for any interested parents)


  • Tuesday, August 2nd: First Official Day for ALL Students


  • BACK TO SCHOOL NIGHT: Wednesday, August 10th (3:30-5:45pm - Food Trucks available if you would like to purchase dinner), 5:45-7:00pm - Presentation and Class Period Rotations to visit all of your child's classes.


  • Athletics Parent Information Meeting: Wednesday, August 10th - 7:10pm in the FMS Commons (after Back to School Night)


Click here for the 2022-2023 District 49 School Calendar

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Welcome Back Firebird Nation!


Greetings Firebird Nation Families -


The 22-23 School Year is here! I hope everyone has enjoyed their summer and continues to do so over these next couple of weeks! The first days of school will arrive soon and we wanted to send this special edition newsletter to help everyone get ready for the big days!


I want to extend a special welcome to all of our new 6th grade students, as well as families that are new to Firebird Nation overall! Falcon Middle School is a special place. Our staff is truly the Finest Middle School Staff in the United States of America. We work hard to build strong positive relationships with our students and support them through their middle school years as we ready them for high school. I also want to welcome back all of our returning 7th and 8th grade students! You have worked hard over the past couple of years, especially through the challenges with the pandemic, and we look forward to continuing to work together as one Firebird Nation Family. Firebirds look out for each other and support each other as we support all of our students in this educational adventure together.


We are committed to working with YOU! At FMS, we want to know how to best support our students, our families, and school community. If you ever have any questions, concerns, or positives to share, then we want to hear from you! Each grade level has a grade level administrator and counselor that work together to lead their grade level. This team follows their group of students beginning in 6th grade all of the way up through 8th grade. So, they really get to know their class of students. Please do not hesitate to reach out to any of us if we can help in any way. It takes an entire school community to communicate and work together as we help our students navigate these middle school years. Below, I have included contact information for each of our administrators and counselors so that you can reach out to us if you have any questions.


Please make sure to read through this special edition newsletter very carefully. We have lots of details included for our Check-In days and other information that will help you and your student(s) start the year strong. We look forward to seeing all of our 6th grade students and students brand new to FMS on August 1st. We will then see all students (including all 7th and 8th grade students) on August 2nd! I hope everyone continues to enjoy their last few weeks of summer break as you get ready for another awesome year at Firebird Nation! Let's continue to RISE Together!



Sincerely,


Brian Smith

Executive Principal

Falcon Middle School

bsmith@d49.org

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Pick Up your 22-23 Class Schedule

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Schedules will be available for pick up at the Check-In days from your grade level counselor. You will also be able to download or view a copy through your PowerSchool Student Portal or Parent Portal beginning July 26, 2022 as well. Schedules will not be finalized until the Check-In days begin, so anything that is viewed through the portal prior to these dates is likely incorrect. Counselors spend a great deal of time their first few days back looking over each student's schedule to ensure they are scheduled in classes that will best meet their academic needs.


Please remember that students are all assigned a grade level team. This year, we will again have 2 teams at each grade level (Red and Gold). Teams are assigned randomly. For our incoming 6th grade students, we work to jumble all students from all four of our elementary feeder schools onto these teams to help students meet many new people. It is our goal that we bring all four schools together as one new Firebird class of 6th grade students. For 8th Grade, you will notice that we have two different bell schedules above. This is partially due to our 8th grade class being our largest class and needing additional space in the commons for lunch.


In all grades, teams have a Reading, Writing, Math, Science, and Social Studies teacher that all share the same group of students. Teams work to plan interdisciplinary units and develop common classroom policies to help students get used to expectations. Due to our limitations toward balancing class sizes and meeting student needs, we are not able to accommodate team switches at this time. Remember that everyone in the grade level shares common Explore classes, so these classes are composed of students from both teams. This helps students to be able to meet lots of new people, while also having some time to see friends from past years as well.


Explore classes are classes like Art, Music, PE, Spanish, etc. In 6th grade and during the first two quarters of 7th grade, our counselors work to help students take all of the different offerings so that they can see what classes they like. Band is an exception to this as this class is a full year long class in all three grade levels. After students have an opportunity to experience all of the different offerings in 6th and the first part of 7th grades, they will then be able to choose which Explore classes they would like to take for an entire semester. Counselors work with students during the later part of 7th grade and all of 8th grade to determine which specialized explore classes would best enrich their future academic study.


For Advisory, students will be assigned a class with a teacher for the entire year. This year, every grade level's advisory will take place during 1st period. This class serves as a "homeroom" and focuses their time on relationship building and social-emotional aspects of middle school. Students participate in activities geared towards developing resilience, solving problems, and supporting others.


If you have any questions about your schedule, please talk with your grade level counselor.

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Chromebooks

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Chromebooks will be Available during Check-In

Students will again have a Chromebook checked out to them this year. We will be allowing families to check these out during our Check-In Days this year! We are very lucky to be 1 to 1 with our technology so that students regularly have access to a device.


Each classroom has a landing page and Schoology site set up to access class materials. Our plan is to leverage the technology and use where best appropriate, while also conducting projects and tasks within the classroom to enhance the overall learning experience.


A user agreement will be available at the student fee station for families to sign and return. We must have the agreement returned, along with indication of if you would like the device protection or not, so that we can check a chromebook out to your student. If electing the device protection, the $30 fee must be paid at that time. Payment can be made in the form of cash or check (made out to Falcon Middle School) only.

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Lockers

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All Students will be assigned a locker for their use during the 22-23 school year.


Our student population in the Falcon area continues to grow and as we have additional students, we want to ensure each student has their own place to store their belongings during the day. We will ask students to put all of their belongings in their locker during lunch time so that they do not have to manage this while at recess or when interacting with friends during lunch. There will also be some of the classes where teachers may ask students to keep their belongings in their locker to help save space in the classroom.


Remember that having a locker is a responsibility and a privilege. It is the student's responsibility to take care of their locker and use it appropriately. Lockers can be taken away for misuse. Each grade level administrator supervises the lockers for their grade level. Our Teams will also work with students on the appropriate times that students should be using their lockers.


Please complete the online form through the button below to review the student handbook, which also contains the locker agreement. During the Check-In Days, we will look for this form submission and assign you a locker at that time so that you can see where it is and practice your combination! Students are also allowed to put items in their lockers and decorate the inside during Check-In Days as well. We just want to make sure and remind students that all lockers must be left in their original condition at the end of the year.

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Health Office Information

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Please print and bring the Annual Health Information Form for 22-23 with you during your Check-In. We will have additional blank copies available at the health table as well if needed. It is important for our Health Office Team to have the most up-to-date information for your students.


During Check-In, you can also turn in updated vaccination records, check in medications, and talk with members of our Health Office Team.

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School Supplies

School Supply lists will be given out by teachers by the end of the first day of school for all students, which is Tuesday, August 2nd. We have several new teachers joining the Firebird Nation Staff this year and we want to ensure that we give you an accurate list once. In the past, when we gave out lists in advance, it frustrated families when additional supplies were needed after meeting new teachers; we don't want that to happen.


Also, please know, that with having 1 to 1 chromebook computers, many assignments are submitted electronically, which also helps to minimize the supplies requested.

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Lunch Accounts

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The Federal Student Lunch program is changing back to pre-pandemic processes. Students will need to pay for breakfast and lunch beginning in the 22-23 school year. Families may also apply for free-and reduced lunch status through our district's nutrition services department. We will have a station during our check in days for families to be able to put money on their child's lunch account if they would like.


D49 Nutrition Services Meal Prices for the 2022-2023 School Year:


Elementary breakfast - $2.50 Elementary lunch - $4.00


Secondary breakfast - $2.75 Secondary lunch - $4.35


For Meal Charging Policy: School Meal Payments

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School Pictures - Yearbook Photos

Please Note: All Pictures MUST be taken in school appropriate attire in accordance with the FMS Dress Code.

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Yearbook and Student ID Photos will be taken during Check-In days. Parents also have the ability to purchase picture packages of these pictures from our partners at Inter-State Studios. The flyer with information related to these packages is included below. There is also a code number contained on the flyer that you can use on the linked form to order pictures online.


If you are not able to attend one of the Check-In days, then we will have a retake photo opportunity on September 22nd. It is highly important that all students have their picture taken on either the Check-In days or on retake day so that the picture is included in the yearbook and for students to receive their Student ID.

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You may leave "Teacher Name" blank at this time

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PTSA (Parent, Teacher, Student Association)

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We want everyone to get involved! PTSA is a great way to help out the Firebird Nation Community. Would you like to volunteer at the school? Would you like to help out at athletic or special events? Want to help problem solve issues that arise or create new programs at the school? If you answered yes to any of the questions and/or you just want to know what all is happening at FMS...then PTSA is for you! Our Principal really values the partnership with our PTSA and wants to continue to network with this group to continue to improve FMS. We hope you will join this important community group at our school.


We will have a station at check in available for you to purchase a new special membership package! You will be able to get both your PTSA Membership and a Firebird t-shirt or sweatshirt for 1 low price! Stop by and see us during check in!


PTSA is also looking for officers (president, vice president, secretary, treasurer) for this school year. Please consider getting involved and strengthening the partnership with Firebird Nation. For more information, please contact Karen Hobson at hobsonk@elpasotel.net.
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Looking for Firebird Gear?

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Falcon Middle School

Executive Principal: Brian Smith


6th Grade Assistant Principal: Joy Kovanda

7th Grade Assistant Principal/Athletic Director: Elena Forehand

8th Grade Assistant Principal: Tim Scheck


6th Grade Counselor: Amber Villani

7th Grade Counselor: Lisa Murdock

8th Grade Counselor: Carrie Clay


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FMS Summer Office Hours (July 18-27)

8:00am-2:00pm


Normal FMS Office Hours (starting July 28)

7:15am-3:30pm