Updates and info about life at the Raider Nation

End of first grading period is September 29, 2017.

Football, volleyball, concerts, cooler weather, and the first report card all signal the coming of fall. Our students have done a wonderful job getting back into the routine of school and handling the busy schedules that they often keep during this time of year.

As the academic rigor increases, there may be a time or two that our students will struggle. We encourage all parents to help their child navigate these hard times by urging their children to talk directly with their teachers themselves.

Helpful hints to improve academic performance:

1. Turn in all work on time and make up all tests that are below passing. Over 90% of students who fail, do so due to their failure to complete/turn in school work and their failure to correct low tests scores.

2. Develop good study skills.

3. Go to tutorials as often as possible.

4. Find a system of organization that works for your child.

5. Check Skyward grade book system on a daily basis and sign up for automated notifications.


Our once every three years fundraiser will officially come to an end on Saturday, September 30. We have currently raised $14,655, which is about $5,000 short of our goal. Many thanks to the 250 people who have donated thus far. If you would like to donate there is still time. Every amount helps.

Click on the link below to see how you can support Smithfield Middle School's fundraising efforts.

SMS has adopted a school in the Houston area-SHIRT DONATIONS NEEDED.

AC Blunt Middle School in Aransas Pass, Texas was severely impacted by hurricane Harvey. Principal Derick King, a Smithfield Middle School alumnus, said that tons of donations have come in but he requested our help with one particular item.-solid color polo shirts. Solid color, short sleeved, 3 button polo style shirts were a normal part of the AC Blunt dress code. Many students at AC Blunt do not have the ability to replace what was lost during the hurricane. Mr. King felt that if the polo shirts could be taken care of by Smithfield Middle School, that would lighten the community burden and bring some sense of normalcy to their school day. Please help by dropping your donations off at the front office.

What: Solid color, short sleeve, 3 button, polo style shirts.

Sizes: Mostly Youth Large-Adult Large

Where do I bring my donations?-Front office or the box in the main lobby

When: September 20th-October 2nd

Attendance Matters

Research shows that there is a direct correlation between a student's attendance rate and his/her overall academic success. Points to remember about attendance:

-All students must have a 90% attendance rate in ALL class periods in order to receive credit for the class.

-A student who has at least six (6) unexcused absences will be required to provide a note from a physician, court or the equivalent to be excused.

-School funding is tied directly to student attendance.

How much does attendance REALLY matter? Check out the link below to find out. Great data that will really make you think twice.



This has, by far, been the smoothest opening we’ve had in the four years I’ve been here at Smithfield Middle School. We’re three weeks deep into the school year, and we’ve already fallen back into the rhythm of another great school year. Part of the smooth transition can be attributed to the systems we have in place here to assist our incoming 6th graders get adjusted to middle school. Also, the familiarity our returning 7th graders have with our campus and the leadership exhibited by our experienced 8th graders has been exceptional. Pre-teens and teens are hardly the most predictable creatures, and having well established systems and routines on our campus help bring some order to the chaos that is the adolescent and pre-adolescent brain.

Our kids are faced with a multitude of challenges on a daily basis between school, family, social relationships, and extracurricular activities. Having a consistent and predictable routine for them to fall back on as they tackle these challenges can be a huge help. Some questions to consider when planning out some day to day consistency for your student include:

· How much sleep are they getting? Research shows that this age group needs at least 8-10 hours daily.

· Is my teen eating and is it a balanced diet? Food is the fuel for the race car of the adolescent body. Try to make sure that they’re getting food that is nutritionally beneficial; garbage in, garbage out.

· Is my teen getting exercise? This is a need that can easily be met through extracurricular. Help your child find an activity that they love and that is active in order to help them meet their exercise needs.

· Does my teen have some down time? As parents, we can get caught up in having every single minute of our teen’s day filled. Teens need time to unwind and unplug from the world, just like adults, in order to recharge their batteries. There is some truth to the old axiom, “sometimes, less is more”.

In addition to the bullets above, keep in mind that the routine you choose for your family is going to be as unique as your family. There is not a, “one size fits all”, system that will work for every family. There is no "perfect". Consider the questions above and apply them to your unique living situation. In creating a more predictable and consistent routine for your child, you’re giving them stability to fall back on when life happens.

Thank You,

Boyd Shannon, Student Assistant Counselor


The #1 reason that students fail to be successful in their academic pursuit is their failure to complete/turn in their school work. The faculty and staff at SMS take student apathy very seriously and have set up a system to combat this particular problem. We do not believe that a student should be "given" a grade of zero. However, we do believe that a student can "earn" a grade of zero. Our goal is to make it harder to "earn" a zero than to "earn" a 100. Here is how the system works:

-When a student fails to turn in work, or turns in incomplete/unsatisfactory work, the teacher can put them on our Zero/Incomplete list.

-Any student who is on the list will be given additional time to complete/redo the missing assignment during lunch. Of course students are allowed to eat lunch. It is during this time that a staff member will come by and check with the students to see if they know what they are missing; what obstacles are preventing them from successfully completing the assignments; and how we can assist them.

-Once a student completes and turns in the missing/incomplete assignments to the teacher, and the teacher checks the work, the student will be cleared off the list for that assignment. (usually within 24 hours.)

-If a student is still on the list by noon on Friday, that student will be assigned an additional opportunity to successfully complete the assignment from 3:50-7:00 pm at Friday Night School. If at the end of Friday Night School, the assignment is still not completed, then the entire process will start again on Monday.

E-mails should go out every Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday informing parents that their child has one or more missing assignments.

Please know, that during their three years here at SMS, almost every child forgets a paper at home; takes a shortcut on an assignment; has a mental lapse and forgets to do an assignment; decides to hang out with friends instead of do their homework, etc. I will be the first to admit that as the school principal, I sometimes fail to meet my required deadlines. Yes, I said it! On occasion, I myself deserve to be put on the zero/incomplete list. (And I am almost 50 years old.) It is OK. I am still a good person, and so are the kids who occasionally get on the list. They are teens, and they will make mistakes.

The system is designed to assist those kids who simply forgot, motivate those kids who need a little extra get up and go, and allow us to check our own systems.

So here are the stats:

2011-12 (Before Zero Program-First Progress Report of the year)

37% of 6th graders failing 1 class

43% of 7th graders failing 1 class

38% of 8th graders failing 1 class

36% of all students failing 1 class

2017-18 (First Progress Report of this school year)

11.1% of 6th graders failing 1 class (25.9% decrease in failures)

14.1% of 7th graders failing 1 class (28.9% decrease in failures)

7.2% of 8th graders failing 1 class (30.8% decrease in failures)

12.5% of all students failing 1 class (23.5% decrease in overall failures)

Big image


Federal law requires public schools to offer additional support for students who demonstrate gaps in their learning/understanding. The SMS RtI program (Response to Intervention) started this week, and students began to receive additional support in math and or reading. The program is designed to provide students help in improving their skills in math and reading through district approved resources and working in small groups with an interventionist. Students are selected to the RtI program based on the following areas:

- STAAR results

- Universal screeners (periodic assessments)

- District created assessments

- Classroom teacher observations

- Daily work/test grades

Every student receives instruction in their assigned math/reading class even if they are receiving RtI services. Students in the RtI program will receive additional support and services, depending on the tier where a student is placed. Students are placed on a tier due to their level of understanding/mastery in math and reading. The explanation of the tiers are:

Tier 1- Students receive instruction with their classroom teacher, and their progress is monitored by the universal screener.

Tier 2- Students receive additional support in the classroom/RtI program through district approved resources based on data that shows some gaps in the student’s learning.

Tier 3- Students receive more intensive intervention in the classroom/RtI program through district approved resources as well as with an interventionist. Intervention is based on data that shows significant gaps in the student’s learning.

The program is designed to offer students support and monitor their progress on the universal screeners and Compass Learning. When a student shows consistent progress on their assessments, students may be moved from a higher tier to a lower, less intensive tier. Students will continue on the designated tier until data indicates progress has been made. Students will be charting their progress with an online form that you can access with the student’s login information. Please talk to your child about their data and review it with them. This is a great conversation to have with them on their current state in their understanding. Over the last four years of tracking data from SMS’s RtI program, students show significant progress on their state and local assessments. A more detailed parent letter explaining the RtI program can be found on our webpage under the “Our School” tab.

Questions and Answers:

Q: How does my child attend tutorials?

A: Every teacher will offer tutorials either in the morning or in the afternoon. Actually, most of our teachers offer both morning and afternoon tutorials. Times vary teacher by teacher but on average morning tutorials start around 8:00. All a student needs to do is open the front doors to the school and walk to the classroom-it is that simple. No appointment needed, no pass needed, just come on in.

Q: My child has always made straight A's and now they have a few B's and even a C. Is this normal or should I be concerned?

A: The start of the school year is sometimes tough for this age group. It is perfectly normal for our 6th grade students to experience a few grades that may be lower than what they have had in the past. As more and more concepts are introduced to your child, odds are they will come across something they struggle with. If your child is concerned or needs assistance, encourage them to talk to their teachers.

Q: I just need to run into the building and ask the teacher/coach a quick question, do I really need to check into the office and get a badge?

A: Yes, students safety is always the number one priority here at SMS. It is important that we have every adult who enters our building accounted for at all times. Additionally, our teachers are usually busy assisting students through morning and afternoon tutorials. It is important to us that we protect that additional instructional time.

Q: I need to drop something off to the front office but I am wearing my bathrobe, bunny slippers, and my hair is in curlers. Should I come inside anyway, even if it embarrasses my child?

A: OH YES!!!! We highly encourage and support this kind of parental involvement. We have children too. It might even make the daily video announcements.


The upcoming days will be important to mark on your family calendar: THIS INCLUDES PICTURE DAY INFO!

Friday, September 22-Students 1/2 day-All students dismissed at 12:40

Monday, September 25-PICTURE DAY Click here for more information

Friday, September 29- 4:30-6:30 Activity Night

Friday, October 6-Student Holiday

Tuesday, October 9-Student Holiday

Friday, November 10-Student 1/2 day-All students dismissed at 12:40