HMS September News

Go Hawks

Benjamin Howard, Principal: 892-9502
Orin Wear, Assistant Principal:
Shelley Ax, Administrative Assistant:
Amanda Nicoll, Office Secretary:
Tanya Boehm, Safety Resource Officer:
Johanna Burger, School Nurse:
KB Holbrook, School Counselor: 892-9506
Kathy Aldeman, Registrar: 892-9505

Principal Howard's Monthly Message

Greetings Houston Middle School Community,

The 2018-2019 school year got off to a wonderful start! It didn't take long for students and staff alike to get busy in the day-to-day operations of our school. It's been great visiting with students and seeing our classrooms and hallways filled with activity. As the school year continues, I will send out monthly HMS News so our parents, guardians, and community can keep informed about all that is happening during the month. September promises to be a busy month. Please take a few minutes to read our monthly newsletter for September. There are lots of great things happening at HMS. I hope everyone has a splendid September!

-Mr. Howard

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Upcoming Dates & Events in September

No School for Students

There is no school for students on Friday, August 31st (Fair Day) or Monday, September 3th (Labor Day).

Parent's Right to Know

Each year, districts and schools are required to provide information to parents as well as opportunities for them to be involved in the educational decisions that affect their children. Parents have the right to inquire about the professional qualifications of their child’s teacher and paraprofessionals that work with the child. This information is explained to parents in the attached Right to Know letter. Distribution of this letter is a requirement under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act detailed under section 1111(h)(6)(A).

The link below will take you to the Parent Right to Know letter:

On September 2, 1962 - Soviet Russia agreed to send arms to Cuba, leading to the October Missile Crisis after the shipments were discovered by the U.S.

HMS Open House Survey

At HMS, we're always looking for way to improve our activities and be more responsive to our community. If you attended our August 14, 2018 Open House held at Houston Middle School AND did not fill out a paper survey during the event, please take a few minutes to complete our Open House survey. Thanks!

i-Parent & HERO Behavior Tracking

HMS will send out weekly reminders via texts and email for parents and guardians to remember to check iParent for their student's grades and to check HERO for their student's behavior tracking.

HMS uses a an online program called HERO to track both positive and negative behavior at school. Positive behavior is rewarded by students earning Hawk Points. Students can redeem his or her Hawk Points for Hawk Gear. If parents or guardians would like to receive notifications about their child/student's behavior, please access the link below to create an account:

You must have your students ID number to register. If you get an error message please contact the office at 892-9500 for a parent/guardian access key.

After School Tutoring

HMS will offer after school tutoring (funded by Title I) Monday thru Thursday of each week, beginning on Monday, September 17th from 2:15 PM - 4:00 PM. Please contact Ms. Young @ 892-9533 for questions. Permission slips to participate are located at the front office.

Pastries for Parents

The first Wednesday of each month, starting in September, Houston Middle School will host Pastries for Parents. Pastries for Parents is a time for parents and guardians to visit our school and enjoy pastries and coffee with their child. It's also a great time to visit with our teachers as well. Our first Pastries for Parents will be on Wednesday, September 5th. Please join us from 7:00 AM to 8:00 AM for a chance to visit our school!

Fall Dance

HMS will host its first dance of the school year on Wednesday, September 12th from 2:15 PM - 4:00 PM. The Fall Dance is sponsored HMS Battle of The Books and HMS Lego Robotics. The cost to enter the dance is $5.00. If there are any questions regarding the dance, please call the school @ 892-9500. Please make sure to pick students on time at 4:00 PM after the dance.

Student Government

Houston Middle School will begin student government nominations, campaigns, speeches, and elections during the following week:

Week of 9/04/17 - 9/07/17: Election Packets & Student Nominations

Week of 9/10/18: Student Government Campaigns
Thursday, 9/13/17: Student Government speeches in gym @ 8:00 AM

Friday, 9/14/17: Student Government Elections during Hawk Talk

7th & 8th Grade Basketball

7th & 8th Grade Boys & Girls basketball begins in September. Please note the following important dates:

  • sign up to participate online by September 21st
  • tryouts are on September 27th and September 28th
  • practices starts September 27th

Parent/Guardians - please sign up for HMS sports/activities using iPlay and pay fees through SchoolCash Online. Both can be accessed on the MSBSD website.

Go Hawks!

Cheerleading (all grades)

Cheerleading for all grade levels begin in September. Please note the following important dates:
  • sign up to participate online by September 21st
  • tryouts are on September 27th and September 28th
  • practices starts September 27th

Parent/Guardians - please sign up for HMS sports/activities using iPlay and pay fees through SchoolCash Online. Both can be accessed on the MSBSD website.

Go Hawks!

Fire Extinguisher Training @ HMS

On Friday, September 7th, The Houston Fire Department will be showing our Consumer Science classes the proper way to use a fire extinguisher. It's important that our students know how to put a fire out in the event something is ignited in the kitchen or house. Thanks HFD!

Mid-Quarter Grades

Mid-Quarter grades will be sent home with students on Thursday, September 20th. Parents/Guardians can also view mid-quarter grades in iParent.

Picture Re-Take

Houston Middle School will have school picture re-takes on Thursday, September 20th.

Fun Friday

HMS will host Fun Friday on Friday, September 28th. Teachers host different fun activities during the last hour of the day for students with no D's, F's, or incomplete grades. Students who need to make up assignments will be assigned to a study hall.

More From HMS...

Growth Mindset

“In a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work—brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment."

- Carol Dweck

Images can be a powerful way to convey a message. Images of growth mindset are no different. Please discuss the following questions with Hawk Talk classes:

The Iceberg Illusion

  • Why is an iceberg an effective image to compare growth mindset and success to?
  • When you think about what people see and what they don't see, why are things like dedication and persistence sometimes hard to see?
  • How can disappoint help someone be successful?
  • Do agree or disagree with this statement: Failure should be on the the topside of the image of what people can see.
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Growth Mindset Video

There is exciting brain research happening everyday that is beginning to unwrap the mysteries of how people learn and also myth-bust long held beliefs about learning. Understanding growth mindset is a critical piece to new research. Watch the video below to learn more about Growth Mindset. Think about what defines good practice and how the right kind of practice is proving people cam learn almost anything the want to.
On September 16, 1620 - The Mayflower ship departed from England, bound for America with 102 passengers and a small crew. The ship weathered dangerous Atlantic storms and reached Provincetown, Massachusetts on November 21st. The Pilgrims disembarked at Plymouth on December 26th.

Battle of The Books

Battle of the Books is in full swing! If your son or daughter would still like to participate in BOB please see Mr. Ames. If we have enough interest, Mr. Ames will set up a schedule for after school meetings. Parents will need to pick up students after BOB meetings. If you need a book list, please see Mr. Ames' website. HMS will receive copies of the books in about a month, but for now, please take your child to the public library and get started. Thanks!

Middle School Social & Emotional Awareness

Friendships are an enduring part of a person's life. Friendships can range from brief acquaintances to life-long relationships. No matter where your friendships land on that spectrum, it's important that you surround yourself with good, well-intended people. Watch the video to begin thinking about how to choose friends that will add to the good things in your life.
On September 3, 1783 - The Treaty of Paris was signed by John Adams, Ben Franklin and John Jay, formally ending the American Revolutionary War between Britain and the United States.

HMS Handbook Highlights

Each month, we will highlight three sections of our student handbook to better communicate behavior expectations and school norms. This month we will highlight Academic Progress, Appropriate Dress, and Public Display of Affection (PDA)

School Nurse News

It's already been a busy school year in the Nurse's Office. The following are updates and reminders:

  • CareDox is the new MSBSD Electronic Health Record Platform. It is a secure system compliant with federal HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) and FERPA (Family Education Rights and Privacy Act) regulations.
  • Please make sure you have completed your students CareDox registration so I have the information needed to help your student when they come to the nurses office. With the new health registration system you will also be getting notifications via email when you student visits the nurses office and why they visited the nurses office.
  • If you have not already done so, please go into your iParent account click on the CareDox tab and complete your student’s enrollment by providing the Health registration information required by the school district.
  • If you do not have an iParent account, please go onto the district website under the parent tab and get set up for your iParent account.
  • You can also complete the Health registration information by clicking on the link provided to you in your email from CareDox which includes an invite code form the district.

If you have questions regarding Caredox please contact them at

Free & Reduced Lunch

All Houston Middle School students will receive free breakfast and lunch as part of our Title I eligibility during the 2017-2018 school year.

Title I, Part A (Title I) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, as amended (ESEA) provides financial assistance to local educational agencies (LEAs) and schools with high numbers or high percentages of children from low-income families to help ensure that all children meet challenging state academic standards. Oct 5, 2015

Sports & Activities Fees

There is a $100 fee per athletic activity for students up to a maximum of $250 per year. Students may qualify for reduced fees based on need. Parents/Guardians who are interested in applying for reduced fees should contact the main office at 892-9500.

HMS Yearbooks

We have a limited supply of last year's HMS Yearbook and previous yearbooks for sale. If you missed buying a yearbook from the past, please contact the main office to purchase one. Past yearbooks are $10.00. Don't let HMS memories be forgotten!

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Ways to Keep Informed and Contact Houston Middle School

Houston Middle School is committed to frequent and open communication with families and community members about student performance, school expectations, current events, and activities. Some of the ways you can expect us to reach out are:
  • Facebook
  • HMS Website
  • Connect-Ed Messages
  • monthly newsletters
  • iParent
  • phone calls and emails

On September 26, 1960 - The first-ever televised presidential debate occurred between presidential candidates John F. Kennedy and Richard M. Nixon. Many who watched were inclined to say Kennedy 'won' the debate, while those who listened only to the radio thought Nixon did better. Nixon, who declined to use makeup, appeared somewhat haggard looking on TV in contrast to Kennedy.

2018 - 2019 School Calendar

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FY19 HMS Student Handbook

Link to MSBSD Policy Manual