Volume 5 Issue 5
➡️ Principal's Update ⬅️
Today is the end of third quarter. For 8th graders, it is their final quarter before high school. I came to Holden Middle School as the new principal at a time where they also came to the middle school as new 6th graders. What a journey.
As HMS sixth graders, schools across the nation closed down in March due to a pandemic. As HMS seventh graders, students did not use lockers nor eat in the lunch room. Teachers, not students, rotated from class to class, and students missed most freedoms that we are accustomed to. As HMS eighth graders, students experienced mask fatigue, and the pandemic’s learning gap presented extra learning challenges.
So enough about the challenges. Why do I still feel good about Holden Middle School, and why do I still feel good about those 8th graders who soon be going to high school?
Students and Parents- We have awesome students. Holden students are generally good natured and parents are generally supportive. Even though middle school is a tough age, I feel our student issues and discipline are lower than what I’ve typically seen at other schools. The adults are in charge and the bulk of students are respectful. My wife is a teacher in another district and I have friends in other districts. Our challenges are significantly less than other districts. No matter what obstacles we’ve faced, the journey has been accompanied by good people. Holden School District is the place to be.
Teachers and Staff- I’ve been in education a long time, and HMS staff is caring and passionate about students. Whether 6th, 7th, or 8th grade teachers; support staff; elective teachers, SPED teachers, or core area teachers- HMS staff demonstrates daily how dedicated they are to our students. Parents should feel good that this group of staff members is guiding their children on a daily basis.
Schedule- Our schedule meets the needs of students who are transitioning from children to young adults. We have an advisory class that has a curriculum focused on student development. Signs of Suicide, Kindness Week, Bully Prevention, Career Development, Digitial Citizenship, Red Ribbon Week, Citizenship, Character Development are a few examples. We also have a literacy class that helps instill a life-long habit of reading. Students at HMS read A LOT. Studies generally support- the more you read, the smarter you are. We also have Soar time where students build their skills in reading and math. Our curriculum meets students where they are at and pushes their skills. It’s an effective way to narrow the learning gap and ensure students are giving extra attention to two critical areas of academic development. I just mentioned aspects that are above and beyond their regular core area and elective classes. I look at those extra scheduled classes as a bonus for students.
So…Pandemic! We got you! Our students are more resilient and battle tested than any group I can remember. Beyond academic development, we will also continue to focus on students’ social, mental, and emotional development. With one quarter left, I’m already excited for the next school year. Bring it on!