Banks Trail Middle School

Together, Building A Tradition of Excellence

December 4, 2015

New Banks Trail Mission Statement and Beliefs

Timberwolf Families,

For the last 3 months, teachers, students, parents, PTO, and School Improvement Council members have been assisting with the AdvancED accreditation process for our school. This year all schools in the Fort Mill School District will be going through accreditation. This is a very lengthy process where all stakeholders look at what we do well and what areas we need to work improve. Through this process, we discovered the need to evaluate our mission statement as a school to determine if it still fits what we believe about Banks Trail. After wading through the results of over 1000 surveys, asking questions, etc., we determined that the need to tweak our Mission and Belief statements. Below is a draft of our new Mission statement and beliefs. If you have any feedback you would like to provide, please email me at

Thanks and remember, "It’s a Great Day to be a Timberwolf!"

Michael Pratt

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Half Day Dismissal Change

On December 2, 2015, our district administration had the opportunity to meet with principals and the transportation department to discuss concerns with our current half-day dismissal schedule. Transportation experienced heavy, lunch-time traffic during our last half-day (Nov 25th) and found it difficult to complete each school-level bus route in a timely manner. Additionally, end-of-semester exams at the high school level are uniquely structured on half-days and require some scheduling enhancements.

With those concerns in mind, dismissal times for ALL SCHOOLS have been amended effective, December 3, 2015.

The new schedule (noted below) will be applied to the remaining half-days of Dec 22, 2015 and May 25, 2016:

Normal Start Time (Unchanged)

NEW Dismissal Time

All Middle Schools 11:45

2015/2016 Academic Calendar PDF

The 2015/2016 Academic Calendar PDF, reflecting the new dismissal times, has been updated on the website. If you would like to bookmark or print out a new copy, click here.

Parents we need your help

We have noticed a growing number of students who are reporting late to school. The instructional day begins promptly at 8:10. This means students need to be dropped off, take care of locker issues, and be in their seats by the time the bell rings at 8:10.

Our school policy has always been that students who are late need to be signed in by an adult. Beginning Monday, December 7, 2015, any students who will not make it to class before the 8:10 bell rings will need to be signed in at the main office. We have a large white sign that indicates when students are tardy, so if you see this sign in the drop off lane, please come and sign your child in to school.

Thank you for your help with this concern.

Counselors' Corner

FMSD 7th Grade Career Fair

Friday November 13th, students from all over the district participated in the annual FMSD 7th Grade Career Fair in the BTMS Gymnasium. Students prepared for the event by taking a Career Cluster Inventory Test on They learned about the various careers clusters that would most interest them and were able to narrow down their list of presenters to talk with at the career fair.

Over 50 companies attended the career fair, answering student questions, such as "what is the salary range of your job?" and "what high school classes would be beneficial in preparing for your job?". During the career fair, the presenters had very nice things to say about our students. Our students were polite, respectful, professional, and engaged! The career fair was a huge success. Thanks to all who helped put it together!

Hunger Drive

This year Banks Trail participated in a Hunger Drive in order to collect food for families in need. Each homeroom competed in a "food structure competition". Food items were brought in to homeroom classes, and students created food structures based on the theme "Dr. Seuss". The winning homerooms were: 6th grade - Mrs. Lakatos, 7th grade - Mr. Traynor, 8th grade - Mrs. Arce. The overall school-wide winner was Ms. Hermanson's homeroom. In total, we were able to collect over 1,600 pounds of food! Thanks to everyone who helped make the drive successful and fun.

Related Arts Roundup

8th Grade Cupcake Challenge

The 8th grade students had a blast using their creativity and baking skills for the Cupcake Challenge in Family and Consumer Sciences class. Many faculty and staff also enjoyed this "tasty" experience while judging.

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December Terrific Timberwolves and Leaders of the Pack

Banks Trail students continued to demonstrate qualities that show why BTMS is the best. The hard work and dedication these individuals have demonstrated over the last month did not go unnoticed. It is an honor to recognize our Leaders of the Pack and Terrific Timberwolves.

For the month of December we would like to congratulate the following Leaders of the Pack:

· Elliot C.

· Peyton S.

· Jaclyn S.

· Gerardo B.

· Lauren S.

· Zach A.

· Sydney I.

· Jehyah M.

The December Terrific Timberwolves Students of the Month are:

6th Grade - Nathan S.

7th Grade - Skyler D.

8th Grade - Holly K.

Related Arts - Jenna B.

As Leaders of the Pack and Terrific Timberwolves, these students truly demonstrate our Mantra of "We are the Trail."






December Teacher of the Month

Ms. Kugler

Mrs. Kugler is a 7th grade science teacher. Ms. Kugler is a great coworker and teacher. She inspires each of us on our hall and in our lives to stay focused and fit and that helps us all be better teachers. One of the best qualities in a great teacher is one who inspires and helps others around her be better teachers.

Ms. Kugler also is a great teacher for her students. She is always presenting the information in ways that inspire thinking and creativity in learning through science. She teaches in a way that goes above and beyond the standards in order to enrich her students learning.

Ms. Poeppelman

Ms. Poeppelman is an 8th grade Math and Science teacher here on the Trail. Words cannot describe how much Ms. Poeppelman does for her students and co-workers day in and day out. From the moment she gets to school before the sun rises (nearly every morning) until she leaves, she is going above and beyond for her kids. She has made science extremely fun by incorporating hands-on labs (which are always outside!) and by posting fun/nerdy scientific facts to her teacher instagram. Additionally, she tutors students starting at 7:30 many mornings and frequently gives up her lunch to work with her kids. She will do anything to help them succeed. We are blessed to have such a dedicated individual as a teacher here at BTMS!

Kids Cook Program

On November 21, six Timberwolves participated in the first ever Kids Cook Challenge presented by the American Heart Association. We were excited to offer the "Kids Cook With Heart" culinary program that will provide key skills for middle school students to grow into healthy adults. We asked one of the participants to tell us about this program in her own words and this is what she said.

Kids Cook is an organization to help kids learn healthy eating habits and ways to cook. On November 21 six students from BTMS participated in the Kids Cook Competition at the Art Institute in Charlotte, NC.

We started off the competition with a little quiz show on nutrition and food safety. After the quiz show three teams were divided into two big kitchens. First, we washed our hands, then we put on our aprons and our chef hats. Each person in our team had their own job to prepare the meal, Chicken Fajitas. I cut and helped cook the chicken. After the cooking was done, we presented our dish to the judges.

Our team did not win, but we had fun which is what matters. This experience gave me a new liking to cooking and nutrition. I would definitely do it again.

Thanks Kara for giving us an insider’s view of Kids Cook. The BTMS Timber Chefs were made up of:

Jordan S. - Grade 8

Sean P. - Grade 8

Sydney S. - Grade 7

Kara G. - Grade 7

Ryan M. - Grade 6

Geoffrey O. - Grade 6

Madison T. Grade 6

Julie B. Grade 6

Thanks to Ms. Bauer and the American Heart Association for letting our students have this fascinating opportunity.

Upcoming Events

12-7 Basketball Boys @ Clover Girls Home games begin at 5:00 PM

12-8 York County Band Auditions @ FMMS

12-9 Holiday Fair @ BTMS Media Center

12-9 Chorus Concerts 8th grade 10:00 Am; 7th grade 12:45 PM and 6th grade 2:35 all performances are in the Chorus room.

12-10 Basketball Girls @ Oakridge Boys home games begin at 5:00

12-11 Honors Theater Arts Field Trip

12-14 Basketball Boys @ Gold Hill Girls home games begin at 5:00 PM

12-15 Band and Chorus concert 7:00 PM in the BTMS Gym

12-16 PTO Staff Luncheon

12-17 Basketball Girls @ Springfield boys home games begin at 5:00

12-18 7th & 8th grade Krispy Kreme Fundraiser during morning drop off

12-21 Dodge ball Tournament

12-22 Half Day for Students - Dismissal 11:45 AM

12-23-January 4 Winter Holiday

1-4 Teacher Workday

1-5 Students return to school- Welcome 2016

At the Trail: Teamwork, Responsibility, Ambition, Integrity, Leadership

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