SMS Middle Ground

Connecting Home and School : September 2017

Mid-Term Progress Reports

We've reached the halfway mark of our first quarter which means it's time to check

academic progress! Go to your Harmony Family Access account to see your child's current grades. If you have any difficulty accessing your account, call our office!

Don't forget that you can directly email a teacher by clicking the blue teacher name (as shown in the example below), and you can get full grade details by clicking on the small chart icon at the far right of each grade line (red arrow). If you have any questions about your child's progress, please check with your child and/or contact the classroom teacher!

The first grading period ends on Friday, October 6th. Fall break is October 9-13. Report cards will be available after break. We will hold conferences the week after break as well. We'll share details as soon as they are finalized!

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NWEA: A new adventure begins!

SMS is embarking on a new benchmark assessment path this week. We are going to implement the NWEA MAP program (acronym support: NWEA = Northwest Evaluation Association, MAP = Measure of Academic Progress.)

Students will take computer-adjusted tests in Math, Reading, and Language Conventions resulting in a RIT score for each area. The RIT score (acronym support: RIT = Rasch Unit) will inform us of each student's level of performance. This score also informs us what specific skills each student needs to develop next in the continuum of learning. The continuum stretches from grade 2 to grade 12 and will allow us to further customize the learning opportunities for students. Students will share results with parents during our fall conference event.

The most critical aspect of this program is accuracy of results- and accuracy rides on the back of student effort. Please encourage your kids to do their best on each test. We'll take Language Conventions Tuesday, Math Wednesday, and Reading Thursday. We'll need fully charged iPads and fully charged students (eat breakfast!) And we'll celebrate the end of the fall testing session on Friday with a motivational assembly (Bob Mortimer and the Lasting Hope Band) for all students in the morning and a wing social in the afternoon for all students that stay engaged during each testing session.

Guidance Notes: Raising Healthy Kids

Online Safety and Social Networks

Many of us as adults connect online to friends and family through sites like Facebook or Instagram. Social networks such as these allow us to connect, share, and be entertained. However, there are many risks that youth are vulnerable to as they learn to navigate the online world.

Our children are not new to online communication. They can meet and share with others through computers, tablets, smart phones, and even video games. As parents, we need to model, teach, and monitor this access. Which also means we need to educate ourselves as adults on how kids use social networks.

Know the risks. Kids can be naive about privacy and safety, especially online. They have a hard time understanding that the person they are talking with may not be who or what they think. They often post too much personal information, many times without realizing. Sharing where they are going or not using privacy settings are common pitfalls. They also have difficulty seeing the long-term implications of what they say or share. Just because you delete something does not mean it has not already been shared or can be retrieved by a future employer. And it is much easier to be mean online that to say things face-to-face. We need to help them understand that cyberbullying hurts and can spread quickly.

Talk with your child about his/her social media access. Know what accounts your kids have and follow them online. Set limits on internet use. Share your safety concerns and jointly review “friends” lists. Encourage your kids to only "friend" people they know firsthand in real life. Share the message that kids should never meet a person face-to-face that you only know online. And tell your kids to report to an adult any cyberbullying and offensive or sexual posts or messages. Remember that kids are reluctant to share when they think they will get in trouble. This is a challenge to navigate. Encourage your kids to open up even if their own choices may disappoint you or break family rules. Overall safety is much more important than getting grounded from the phone for a month!!

What's new at SMS?


Our new drop off/pick up system seems to be working well! Be prepared for student exit or entry when you are in one of the five marked positions along the curb. Thank you for not stopping your car in the crosswalk area.


We're striving for efficiency in responding to phone calls so we've instituted an automated answering system. Thanks for following the prompts to more quickly access the help you need!


We've instituted a new office access plan. Patron interactions will begin at the foyer counter using the pass-through window. Our reception work station is manned by Mrs. Walsh. When she is away from the desk, Mrs. Manns will provide service at the counter. The bell system is still available if both administrative assistants are out of your line of sight!

Upcoming Events

SCSD2 Late Start Day- Wednesday, September 20

All district schools will operate on a two-hour delay schedule to allow teachers to collaborate on our benchmark testing results and set plans for instruction. Class will start at 10:05 that day. Buses will run normal routes two hours late. The building will be open at 7:00 AM for any parent that needs to drop a student off early due to a work commitment.

SMS Picture Day- Tuesday, September 26 (8-11 AM)

Order forms will be distributed Monday, September 18th. You can order using the form or online at the Lifetouch link on the SMS webpage September 18th to September 27th.

SCSD2 Fall Break- Monday through Friday, October 9-13.

Enjoy this week off with your family!

SMS Dodgeball Tourney- Tuesday, October 17

We have a ton of fun and raise some funds for our athletic uniform replacement account. Watch for more info in upcoming Scoops. All kids are invited to join teams and compete OR just show up and watch/cheer/eat! Parents are invited, too!

SMS Dance- Friday, November 3 6:30-9 PM

Sixth, seventh, and eighth graders will boogie down under the watchful eye of parent and staff chaperones. Watch upcoming Scoops for more information about this fun event!

SMS Fall Play- Friday, November 17 7:00 PM

Drama club tryouts start soon. Mark this event on your calendar now if you are a devotee of the arts!