The Firebird Flash

February 19, 2021

NEWSLETTER HIGHLIGHTS

  • Principal's Update
  • Updated Cohort Schedule
  • Don't forget to watch: EmpowerFZ Info from Zone Superintendent, Sue Holmes
  • FMS Trip to Greece Information
  • Yearbook Sales - Only a few remain!
  • Health Update from Nurse Nelda
  • Parents as Guest Teachers in D49
  • PTSA News
  • Purchase Firebird Gear


Don't forget to start each day on the FMS E-Learning Page!

FMS E-Learning Page

Remember to start each day here. All of our bell schedules and individual team information is updated on our landing pages daily.

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Updates from the Principal


Greetings Firebird Nation Families -


It's Friday! I hope everyone had a great week! I have to say that it has been awesome to see our Firebird Athletes back in the building for our Intramural Program. I appreciate all of Mrs. Forehand's and our Coaches' efforts to bring this program to life for our students. The students have been eager for some athletic competition and are doing a great job following all of the safety requirements so that we can maintain these programs. We also appreciate the support of all of our parents in accommodating all of the different practice times and pick up/drop times during the different cohort days. Thank you to everyone for supporting Firebird Athletics! We look forward to seeing additional sports resuming soon...Go Firebirds!


We are excited to recognize several more staff members in the Falcon Zone at this year's National Conference through the Modern Teacher Organization. I was so honored last year to be recognized as the Change Management Principal of the Year from this organization, so I know how exciting it is for all of these individuals to be recognized for their efforts! I am even more excited that two of these finalists are from Falcon Middle School! We wish all of them the best at the virtual conference on Monday, when the awards are presented!


  • Cori Owen - Modern Teacher Resilience and Innovation Award Finalist - FMS 6th Grade Math Teacher
  • KayLee Parson - Modern Teacher Resilience and Innovation Award Finalist - FMS Art Teacher
  • Melissa Ardolf - Personalized Learning Classroom of the Year Award Finalist - FESoT PE Teacher
  • Sue Holmes - Change Management District Leader of the Year Finalist - Falcon Zone Leader


Please extend congratulations to all of these honorees! They are making outstanding efforts towards transforming teaching and learning for students in this new age of learning overall. This work, our EmpowerFZ focus as a zone, is so critical to meeting our students' learning needs. I have been so impressed with the Falcon Middle School staff for all of their work to modernize and personalize learning for students. They are working so hard to take risks and try new instructional techniques that will best support students in their future. Way to go staff!


If you have not watched Sue Holmes video already, please make sure to do so. It provides an overview of our EmpowerFZ work and the vision behind what we are working to accomplish. I will include the video again below. Be watching for additional video updates soon as we work to ensure the entire Falcon Zone community is informed with these awesome efforts. We are truly creating something special that will have a strong impact on our students, their learning, and meeting their needs for the future.


We are still awaiting additional information related to our 100% return to learn. County conditions have remained stable. District leadership continues to evaluate data from the Health Department and is considering all factors when making this decision. As soon as we learn about a timeline, we will make sure to communicate further with you. I have updated the Cohort Schedule up until Spring Break so that you know which cohorts will be in-person at FMS on specific days.



Thanks again for your continued support of Firebird Nation! It is an honor to work together with all of you! I hope you all have a great weekend!



Sincerely,


Brian Smith

Executive Principal

Falcon Middle School

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Updated Cohort Schedule

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Please watch this Important Message from our Zone Superintendent, Sue Holmes.

Empower FZ video final 50
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Athletics Fees

Intramural sports have started! The cost for each intramural sport is $20. If your student is participating in multiple sports, your statement will reflect each of those fees.

All athletic fees are now posted to the participants' accounts. Fees for Basketball and 7th/8th Grade Fitness Camps are due Monday, February 22nd. All others are due April 5th.

If students still owe athletic fees from previous years, they must also be paid in order to participate.

Payments can be made in-person at FMS in the form of cash or check, made out to Falcon Middle School. To pay your student’s fees online, log into your Parent Portal account on your computer, not through the phone app. The web address is: https://d49.powerschool.com

Once you are logged in, click on “Fees and Transportation Services” in the lower left corner. A new window will open and you will be able to view and pay the fees.

If you need assistance with your Parent Portal account – or if you need a Parent Portal account created – please contact our front office at fms@d49.org.

If you have any questions or concerns about your student’s fees, please feel free to contact Tina Amos at kamos@d49.org.

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Dear Families,


I’m following up on my previous post from our newsletter about an FMS trip to Greece. There are only a few spots left on this trip and we don’t want you to miss out on the chance to travel with us. We’re hosting an informational meeting next, make sure to check out this link: https://bit.ly/2MCofGX to find out more details.


I’ve already received a number of questions about the opportunity. All questions will be answered at the meeting, so be sure to register for the meeting here. (In order to join the meeting you’ll have to register so that you can get the virtual meeting link)

Looking forward to seeing you all there!


Mrs. McNeil and Ms. Cook

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Yearbook Sales are Zooming By...

Attention Parents, Students and Involved Community:


Our yearbook printer has provided us with a limited number of extra yearbooks to sell on a first come, first served basis. Don’t let your student be left out!

You can purchase these books online at www.jostensyearbooks.com or through the link below while quantities last or whichever comes first.


Please note: receiving this email does not guarantee a yearbook being available. These copies are limited and will only be available while supplies last.

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Health Update from Nurse Nelda

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Hello FMS Parents,


Thank you for your patience and understanding as we navigate through this school year. I know it has not been easy on us, but let’s keep pushing on! We are doing our very best to detect any illnesses early to help prevent class quarantines and school closures.


I want to explain some of our processes related to illnesses and absences so you can be prepared and answer questions that you may already have.


  • State and county public health departments require public schools to provide guidance and directions to families and individuals experiencing symptoms or diagnosis of any illness.

  • If your child has any symptoms while at school, you will be notified to pick them up as soon as possible and monitor symptoms at home.

    • This includes: checking for fever with a thermometer, keeping in mind that if medication is given for symptoms, a fever might not be detected.

  • If your child has any symptoms of any illness, please keep them home and contact the school to provide information about the symptoms and when they began.

    • If any Major COVID symptom(s) last longer than 24 hours, or if Minor COVID symptoms last longer than 48 hours, please notify the school.

    • The person having symptoms will most likely need to have a COVID-19 PCR test done as soon as possible to be cleared to return to school. Test site information can be found here: https://www.elpasocountyhealth.org/covid-19-testing-information

  • Please notify the school if any household member is having symptoms of any illness, being tested for COVID-19, or has tested positive for COVID-19.

    • If anyone in the home is being tested or tests positive, keep your child home and notify the school.

    • Notify the school if there are siblings at other D49 schools.

    • We might ask if the person having symptoms has already had COVID-19 or if they are fully vaccinated. This will help determine the return to school date.

  • It can take up to 4 days or longer to get test results, which is why we ask you to have the test done as soon as possible after that first 24-48 hours.

    • Please provide test results to the school as soon as you receive them so there is no delay in communication to those involved or home on quarantine.

  • If results are not back by the 4th day your child was last at school with symptoms, classmates and all staff that were considered close contacts of your child will have to quarantine until results are known to be negative.

    • This includes anyone at school that was considered a close contact to your child in the 48 hours prior to when symptoms started. This is why it is very important to keep your child home for any symptoms until we see how things go.

  • If quarantine is required, the school will notify you when everyone is cleared to return to school.

    • Quarantine means to stay home and monitor for symptoms, only going out of the house if medically necessary.

    • Your child’s return date must be confirmed by the school, whether ill or part of a quarantine, before they come back to school.

  • If you choose not to have your child tested for COVID-19, you will have to keep them home for a full 10 day isolation as the cause of the symptoms lasting longer than 24-48 hours has not been proven to not be COVID-19.

  • Confidentiality and privacy are mandated in schools. We are not able share test results or names of involved students or staff with you. We will certainly provide you with the same privacy if your child has any health issues or symptoms.


Thank you and please don’t hesitate to contact the school with any questions.

Please Be Safe and Stay Well!


Nelda Dettwiler, BSN, RN

School Nurse for Bennett Ranch Elementary School and Falcon Middle School

(February 2021)

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Parents Step Into Starring Roles on D49 Campuses...

Starting today, you can help us build a robust team of guest teachers:


The enormous challenge we face as educators during the COVID-19 pandemic is the disruption caused by precautionary quarantines that force our teachers and support teams to stay home. Simply put, if we do not have the staff to teach in person, we have to shut our doors and resume remote learning, a pattern that is unsustainable as we strive to deliver top-notch education at D49.


Don't be discouraged, because you can help!


Using a special provisional license from the Colorado Department of Education, we are inviting our parents, and any members of the extended D49 Family to join our team as guest teachers through the D49 Parent Star Program. Click the "What's Next?" button below for additional opportunities.


If you are someone who likes working with kids, and have a flexible schedule, stepping in as a guest teacher in D49 is a great way to support our schools. It has never been easier to earn some extra cash while stepping in to star as a guest teacher.

Contact Us Today for More Information

719-495-1115 or email Tiffany Copple at tcopple@d49.org

I'm Ready to Be a Parent Star: What's Next?

Learn more about what it takes to join the team!

Check out the D49 website - https://www.d49.org/parentstar

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PTSA News

Mark your calendars now! PTSA will meet March 8 at 6:00 p.m. COVID has put a damper on our normal activities, but there are still a few things we can do. Consider joining us to learn more or contact DeDe Bolke, bolke74@yahoo.com, for more information.


Consider supporting our efforts by joining PTSA! Dues are $8 - cash or check can be sent to the FMS office or sign up online: https://falconmsptsa.memberhub.store/store/items/100167 Join by March 7th and be entered in a drawing for Buy One Get One discount cards!

Looking for Firebird Gear?

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Falcon Middle School

Executive Principal: Brian Smith


6th Grade Assistant Principal: Tim Scheck

7th Grade Assistant Principal: Kava Lientz

8th Grade Assistant Principal/Athletic Director: Elena Forehand


6th Grade Counselor: Carrie Clay

7th Grade Counselor: Amber Villani

8th Grade Counselor: Lisa Murdock


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FMS Office Hours

Monday-Thursday: 7:15am-3:30pm

Friday: 7:15am-2:00pm