Southside MS-Home of the Panthers!

Newsletter - January 2020

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Craig Standish, Principal

Kim Conner, Assistant Principal/Athletic Director

John Morse, Assistant Principal

Chad Clevenger, Student Assistance Coordinator

A Message From Mr. Standish

Is it too early too mention Spring? So far (as I write) we have had very few problems with weather. I hope this continues so our students are able to stay in a routine. Of course, all weather related delays or closing will be conveyed through our School Messenger call system so you are up to date.

Positives: One avenue of motivating students is to infuse many positive incentives throughout the week. Students at Southside Middle School have the opportunity to earn SWAGGER coins for positive behaviors. You may recognize the word SWAGGER as it is common at Southside. It stands for Students Who Achieve Good Grades Earn Respect. The coins earned by students may be used in the cafeteria to buy extras, at the concession stand during athletic events, or to help get in to an athletic event. Each coin is worth $1.00 to students. Also, students may use these coins in our SWAGGER store or Pay to Play some mornings to buy their way to the gym for activities for 30 minutes. Again, this is just one way to help motivate our students and recognize good behavior.

In addition to SWAGGER coins, students are also recognized through Good Character Referrals. Staff write these good referrals when they catch a student going above and beyond academically or behaviorally. When a student earns a good character referral their name is announced and they receive a prize from the office along with the referral. We also let students know we offer trip incentives for students with no referrals to the office. These include Pacers' games, Tin Cap games, Indianapolis Indians' games, and a trip to Cincinnati. Hopefully you have heard your student talk about many of these positive opportunities.

With that said, we want to continue to offer these incentives whenever possible. If you have ideas to help motivate students please let us know. We always appreciate the support and feedback from our community.

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A huge thank you to the Navient Foundation for their support of our food pantry!

21st Century Scholars

Earning the 21st Century Scholarship provides students up to four years of undergraduate tuition at any participating public college or university in Indiana. If you attend a private college, the state will award an amount comparable to that of a four-year public college. If you attend a participating proprietary (for-profit) school, the state will award a tuition scholarship equal to that of Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana.

Many 7th and 8th grade students recieved information regarding this program before fall break. Please fill out paperwork that was sent home and return to school ASAP to register.

Parents/Guardians may also register their student at

8th grade students MUST enroll by the spring of 2020 to be eligible.

Nurse's Corner


How do I know if it is the flu?

Some flu symptoms include:

  • Fever & chills

  • Cough

  • Muscle or body aches

  • Sore throat

  • Fatigue

  • Headaches

  • Stuffy or runny nose

How do I avoid getting the flu?

  • Wash your hands.

  • Avoid touching your mouth, nose or eyes.

  • Avoid contact with those who have the flu.

  • Disinfect surfaces that are frequently touched to kill the germs spread to them.

  • Get good sleep to keep your immune system up to fight off any germs.

  • Eat nutritious foods that are immune boosters to aid in the fighting of germs as well.

How do I avoid giving the flu to anyone else:

  • Cover your mouth and nose when you cough and sneeze, preferably with a tissue or use your elbow.

  • Clean your hands.

  • Stay home.

Is there medicine I can take for a flu?

There are anti-viral drugs that can be prescribed by your primary care provider that can help lessen the symptoms and shorten the time you are ill. They can also help reduce the risk of further complications like ear infections and respiratory complications. These drugs must be prescribed and taken within two days of getting sick in order to be the most helpful.

Are there any over-the-counter medications I can take?

There are medications that can help ease some of the side effects. A decongestant can help ease symptoms of nasal or sinus congestion. If the flu has given you a high fever or body aches, you can take Advil, Tylenol, or Aleve – but be cautious so as not to overdose, and make sure to check with your physician before taking. For a sore throat, you can gargle salt water, or use cough drops to help coat your throat. If you have coughing, there are a lot of over-the-counter cough medicines with different mixture of antihistamines, decongestants, etc., so it’s best to discuss with your doctor which mixture would be the most beneficial to you.

News from the Student Assistance Office

Continue to encourage your student to be at school and to be on time!

Research shows that missing 10 percent of the school, or about 18 days in most school districts, negatively affects a student’s academic performance. That’s just two days a month and that’s known as chronic absence.

Students who arrive at school on time and are ready to go in each one of their classes have better academic performance.

Second Step

Southside is using the Second Step program with our students to help navigate the various transitions in their lives.

Want to learn more about how to help your student? is a free website for parents and their teens created by the makers of the Second Step Program, is a great resource for middle school families. It provides expert advice and practical tools for dealing with real parent-teen issues.

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