Buccaneer Newsletter

December 7th- December 11th

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Generosity: WEEK 2

Happy Sunday Buccaneers!

We are celebrating Inclusive Schools and Computer Science Education Week. Inclusive Schools Week is an annual event sponsored by the Inclusive Schools Network (ISN). This celebration acknowledges the progress that schools have made in providing a supportive and quality education to a diverse student population, including students who are, "marginalized due to disability, gender, socio-economic status, cultural heritage, language preference, and other factors." We, at Southwest Middle, continue to discuss what areas need improvement or need to be done in order to ensure that we successfully educate all students.

We are also celebrating computer science education week. Southwest Middle continues to forge the path for all of our students to access STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) through our quarterly challenges. We also provide students the opportunity to take computer science courses through computer science essentials A and B. These courses engage students with programing and coding with the hope that they continue into the Computer Science Principles classes at the High School. This year, Southwest High School added several AP Computer Science courses and many ninth graders are taking advantage of this pathway. Many will continue into the engineering pathway offered at SOH.

This year the theme for Computer Science Education Week is Computer Science for Social Justice. "The concept of social justice refers to human rights, centered around improving the lives of groups historically marginalized based on race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, age, religion and disability." Organizations, companies, educational agencies, and our higher level educational platforms understand that if we do no provide our students access to rigorous computer science and STEM courses, underrepresented students have limited opportunities and aspirations to develop computing knowledge. My husband majored in computer science and is currently teaching computer science principles and Java at the high school level. Students who get the change to program and show interest in these fields may get the opportunity to get into several universities. There are many scholarships for students interested in these majors.

As a mother of a student who is studying both engineering and computer science, I have seen first hand the need for minority students to enroll in these programs; there are not enough minority or female students in these fields. I am proud that our school promotes STEAM and computer science. Please join us as we celebrate and conduct our second STEAM challenge on December 18th!

Finally, I want to acknowledge that for some of our students of different faiths or for those who are non-religious, these weeks can feel uncomfortable. "Acknowledging the season without excluding our students is a yearly challenge for our school and our teachers, as well as for the families of the students" (Steven M. Freeman, ADL). We are an all-inclusive school and we are doing everything we can to celebrate and recognize as many views as possible. If there is a tradition or a celebration that you would like for us to recognize, please let us know. We also understand that many might not want to participate in our season competitions. Please know that we are here for every student.

May these last weeks of this Fall semester be amazing!!! Give your best Buccaneers!!!! You can do this!!!

Ms. Julissa Gracias

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Upcoming Events

  • December 15th - 17th: Finals

  • December 18th: 2nd STEAM Challenge

  • December 14th - 18th: Spirit Week

  • December 18th- Last day of the semester

  • December 21st - January 12th- Winter Break

  • January 13th- Second Semester Starts

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Week at a Glance

Monday, December 7th

Tuesday, December 8th

  • Word of the Month: Generosity
  • Inclusive Schools and Computer Science Education Week
  • Friendship Day
  • Periods: Advisory- 2-4-6
  • SOM Staff will NOT be available to help outside the library, we apologize for the inconvenience
  • Food Distribution from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm
  • Climate and Culture Committee Meeting @ 3:00 pm
  • Math Tutoring (3:30 pm - 4:30 PM)


  • HYPE Virtual After School Program (2:30 pm - 5:30 pm) https://bit.ly/southwestmiddlehype
  • ART Club Meeting @ 2:30 pm

Wednesday, December 9th

Thursday, December 10th

Friday, December 11th

  • Word of the Month: Generosity
  • Inclusive Schools and Computer Science Education Week
  • We are SOM Day
  • Periods: 1-2-3-4-5-6
  • Teachers meet in PLCs from 1:30 pm to 3:00 pm
  • HYPE Virtual After School Program (2:30 pm - 5:30 pm) https://bit.ly/southwestmiddlehype

Schedule for the week of December 14th - December 18th

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