Cougars ROAR: TEMS Community News

Issue I: September 23, 2022

Principal's Message

Greetings TEMS Families-

Welcome to the first issue of the Cougars R.O.A.R. Community News for the 2022-23 school year. This monthly newsletter will be sent to families to help share important TEMS information. In addition to highlighting upcoming events, the community news will offer updates from faculty and students. This newsletter will supplement the middle school communications, not replace them. These will always be emailed through School Messenger and then linked to the TEMS website.

I want to take this opportunity to compliment the TEMS community on such an incredible start. I continue to be grateful to be part of this school family, and am excited to share exciting things that we are bringing back in the coming months to offer students a middle school experience worth celebrating.

Happy fall TEMS, have a great month!

Important Dates

Please click here to see a month-at-a-glance for October. You can also reference the school event's calendar that can be found on the school's website.

Cougars ROAR: Introducing our NEW Schoolwide Behavior Expectations

By now I hope you have heard a little bit about the new schoolwide behavior expectations. The acronym R.O.A.R. represents attributes that we hope all of our community will work towards.

  • We demonstrate RESPECT when we consider the needs of others and treat others the way we hope to be treated.
  • We demonstrate OWNERSHIP when we are responsible for our actions, our learning, and personal growth.
  • We demonstrate ACCEPTANCE when we acknowledge and celebrate the great diversity in our community and consider how we talk across differences to learn and grow.
  • We demonstrate RESILIENCE when we try- and try again- even when (especially when) things are hard.

As partners in your children's growth and development I hope that you can also help to promote these attributes to maintain a safe school environment. Please review the R.O.A.R Matrix to read more about what this looks like in schools. This was developed with input from staff, families, and students and we welcome ongoing feedback and support.

School Counseling Information

School counselors have been, and will continue to visit each team to ensure that each student can identify their school counselor, as well as how/when to access them. School counselors have a variety of duties, but much of their work centers around working closely with students and families regarding academic achievement/advisement, career/future planning, and social/emotional health. School counselor assignments are located here. Please contact your student’s school counselor if you feel they can be of any assistance.

TEMS Walk-A-Thon

The annual walk-a-thon is the primary fundraising event hosted by the TEMS PTO. The funds raised by this event allow the PTO to sponsor events and provide resources for teachers, students, and families at TEMS. This year, we will be hosting the event on Thursday, October 20th, with a rain date of the 21st. Look out for more important information about registering your child, collecting donations, and participating in the day's events.

TEMS Parent- Teacher Organization Spirit Wear

Thanks to everyone that joined this year's first PTO meeting last night. Click here if you would like to order TEMS spirit wear.

Join us for our next meeting on October 27th. This meeting will be held virtually.

Student STAR Scores: Benchmark Assessments for Content Literacy and Mathematics

STAR assessments are computer adaptive assessments administered three times a year to each student. Students complete 34 questions in math and 34 in literacy. Starting this year, your child's STAR achievement percentile scores will be shared with their families using School Messenger's Secure Document Delivery. You can expect to see your child's scores by September 30th. Here are a few important things to consider:

  • Star Assessments are short tests that provide teachers with personalized learning data for each student.
  • Star Assessment reports do not include student's specific response to questions.
  • Star tests are computer adaptive, which means they adjust in difficulty to each answer students provide. This helps teachers get the best data to help students in the shortest amount of testing time
  • We are sharing a student’s Percentile Rank (PR). A Percentile Rank ranges from 1–99 and compares student performance to other students in the same grade nationwide. For example, a student with a percentile rank score of 37 performed as well as or better than 37 percent of other students in the same grade nationally.
  • The scores are used to help plan instruction and to match resources to learners.
  • Class placement, access to enrichment or intervention, or other individual student decisions are NEVER made based on one score on assessment. We ALWAYS consider a student’s performance across multiple measures over time.
  • The purpose of sharing scores is to communicate a student's achievement and growth throughout the academic year.

TETV Morning News

The daily TETV Morning News serve as our primary vehicle for communicating important information to students each day. This is where students can learn about upcoming events, tryouts, clubs and activities, and current events. In addition to playing during homeroom each day you can access the daily news on our school website.

Athletic News

Our fall sports are up and running. Students can listen to TE TV News for information about schedules for soccer, field hockey and cross country or visit the TEMS athletics webpage. Come support our TEMS athletes.

Stay Engaged: News from Our Family Engagement Specialist

Ms. Katherine Mills joined the TEMS family this summer and is already beginning to work with families and students to ensure that each of our children have access to high-quality educational experiences. She plays a key role in developing community partnerships and connecting resources to families. This month Ms. Mills shares resources that support stduenst located in South Windsor and in Hartford.

You can contact Ms. Mills by calling 860.648.5030 Ext.293 or emailing

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Tech Tip for Families: News from Our Technology Content Coach

Mrs. Debbie Matchett is our school's Technology Content Coach. She supports educators, students, and families in navigating technological tools that can enrich educational experiences. This month Mrs. Matchett offers important information about GoGuardian:

South Windsor Public Schools utilizes GoGuardian software to help schools easily manage their student devices, better understand their students, and keep them safer online during the school day. Parents/Guardians have the ability to download and use the GoGuardian Parent App. This App provides Parents and Guardians with the ability to pause their students' internet, block specific websites, and schedule internet availability outside of the school day on the district managed device. Click Here to learn more.

Teaching and Learning: News from Our Instructional Coaching Team

Mrs. Alison Fetta and Mr. Kent Besocke are instructional coaches that support faculty and staff in providing instruction that meets the needs of our diverse learners at TEMS. This month they are offering a few important tips to engage student's curiosity:

As a parent how can I encourage my child to be curious? One way is to remember that it is the question and not the answer that engages students. So, what can I do as a parent? Ask your child open-ended questions that inspire them to search for their own answers because open-ended questions cannot be answered with a yes or a no or a shrug of the shoulders. The following phrases can help generate curiosity:

  • What would happen if …

  • What would it be like to …

  • Why did …

  • How do we know that …

  • What did you think when …

Job Opportunities in the South Windsor Public Schools

The South Windsor Public Schools has openings for caring, dedicated paraprofessionals in many of our schools. We need your help to find individuals interested in working in our amazing district with wonderful students, staff, parents, and community!

We have part-time and full-time positions, offer room for advancement, provide dedicated professional development time to continue to build skills, and have an excellent benefit package. Whether you are interested in assisting students in academics, behavior and social skill development, classroom support, or being part of our amazing specialty programs, we have opportunities for you!

Paraprofessionals are an essential part of our schools. If you are someone who believes in the power of a high-quality education, who champions equity and inclusion, and who is ready to be part of an exceptional team working to prepare students to achieve their own personal excellence in a complex global society, then we hope you’ll consider joining the South Windsor Public Schools. Please talk to your friends, neighbors, and relatives who may be looking for a new job opportunity as well! We invite applicants to join a team of exemplary teachers, administrators, and support staff working to shape an exciting time in the South Windsor community.

For more information, please contact any of our school principals or Special Education Supervisors Kim Sokale at or Eve Hurley at Please visit our website for more information about these positions: