SMS Scoop

December 17, 2018

Merry Christmas to All

This is the final 2018 issue of the SMS Scoop and it's time to share our annual Christmas wish. As we close the calendar year, we hope your hearts are open to peace and joy throughout the holiday season. We encourage you to lift people up with your social media posts and put your phones down during family gatherings. Pull family members in with hugs and help neighbors out (shoveling, babysitting, etc.) as much as you can. And if you start to feel overwhelmed about what you did or didn't get under the tree, remember that the story below is the true reason for the season.


Luke 2: 2-14 (King James Version)


2 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.

2 (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)

3 And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.

4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)

5 To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

6 And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.

7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.


Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


Miss Nass and Mr. Smith

The Gift of Music

The SMS Bands and Choirs will be performing holiday concerts this week. The events are free and open to the public!


6-7-8 Band Mon. Dec. 17th at 7:00 PM @ SMS

6-7-8/SHS Choir Tue. Dec. 18th at 7:00 PM @ SHS McClain Hall

Art Club Fundraiser!

Need to do some last minute Christmas shopping? The Art Club will be selling handmade Christmas ornaments and cards for one dollar each. The money from the fundraiser will be used to fund more Art Club projects. For those who want to get something special for a friend, family member, or teacher; please stop by December 19th through the 21st in the main hallway in the mornings!

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Silent Night for iPads

SMS iPads will experience a silent night or two during break. We're collecting them on Thursday during homeroom. Students should bring them with a full charge on that day. Students should also turn in their iPad covers, even if they are cracked or broken. Chargers will not be collected. They can be left at home. iPads will be updated during break and returned to students in homeroom first thing in the morning on January 8th.

Climate Survey, part 1

Thanks to all students, parents, and staff that participated in our climate surveys earlier this month. Most of our students and staff participated and a good number of parents also participated (N= 564 students, 44 staffers, and 102 parents). Results from these surveys will be shared in the next several issues of the Scoop.


Feelings of safety are extremely important for any learning environment. Results on the question of feeling safe are consistently positive. Staff members report the highest degree of feelings of safety (strongly agree 80%, agree 20%). Students also report feeling safe with a different proportion (strongly agree 39%, agree 45%). Parents report that their kids feel safe (strongly agree 53%, agree 37%). Ten percent of parents and students were unsure about their feelings of safety. Five percent of our responding students did not feel safe. Of those students, some reported concerns about potential intruders and a few reported concerns about peers.


The most valuable safety plan components were similar across the respondent pools. Students found intruder drills, safety cameras, and campus officers as the best security features. Parents top features are security cameras, intruder drills, and staff radios. Staff members felt very strongly about the presence of the campus officer rating it much higher than any other safety feature.


Overall, SMS is viewed to be a safe place by nearly all respondents. We'll look at other survey results in upcoming Scoop issues.

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Close Reading Signpost #2: Numbers and Stats

In a recent issue of the Scoop, we looked at the importance of noticing Extreme and Absolute Words when reading non-fiction. These words often convey important information from the author. When a student tells a parent "everybody is going" the word everybody is absolute. Really, is everybody going? Or is this word a way for the student to sway the parent to their side?


Last week, SMS teachers learned about two more Close Reading signposts. Mrs. Shuler taught teachers about the importance of noticing and thinking about Numbers and Stats. We need to pay attention to numbers whether in numeral (1/2 or 33) or word (half or thirty-three) format. When we read a number in an article, we need to stop and think about what that number actually means. Why was it used? Is the number precise (730) or vague (many)?


To improve your skill in reading non-fiction material, be on the lookout for numbers. Mark them with a # (hashtag, also called a number sign or a pound sign). Make a drawing to depict what the number means or think of how you might draw that number.


Understanding the use of numbers in non-fiction articles, books, tweets, and blogs will help us all be better readers and will improve learning. PRACTICE NOW: Reread the Climate Survey article. How many numbers (words or numerals) are in the article. Pick an example and sketch a pictograph to show what the number means.


Numbers and statistics matter. Be on the lookout for them and think closely about what they mean!

This Week...

Mon. Dec. 17: A day, Bot Warrior League Event, Builders Club Christmas Party, Band Concert 7 PM

Tue. Dec. 18: B day, Student Council Committees 7:15 AM, Archery, Science Olympiad, Winterguard, Bot Warrior League finals, Choir Concert 7 PM, 7/8 BB @ North Harrison

Wed. Dec. 19: A day, Cross, Cheer Christmas party

Thu. Dec. 20: B day, Student Council Holiday Party 7:15 AM, SADD Bash, FACS Holiday Party, Science Olympiad, Winterguard

Fri. Dec. 21: A day, Last Day of Semester 1

Mon. Dec. 24 to Mon. Jan. 7: Winter Break

Tue. Jan. 8: B day, School resumes, Semester 2 begins