SMS Scoop

August 27, 2018

NWEA: Ready, Set, GROW

SMS students will be taking the first round of NWEA MAP (Measure of Academic Progress) tests this week. We will take one test each day and the results will serve as a baseline for designing learning experiences and measuring student growth. These tests are not graded, but it is imperative that students give their best effort. Failure to try will give us faulty data... which will lead to making bad decisions for instruction.

NWEA tests are computer-adapted, meaning that each test is unique. They are taken on iPads. The length of the test varies as well. The BEST WAY to take the shortest test is to answer each question to the best of your ability. If you race through questions or just do a series of random guesses, the computer will keep giving you questions in order to determine your skill levels. Tests are typically 50-55 questions and they are untimed. We are allotting 80 minutes per test. Seventh and eighth graders that took tests last year will start off near the skill levels that they demonstrated last year.

We will take a reading test on Tuesday morning, a math test Wednesday morning, and a Language Usage (grammar) test on Thursday. To celebrate the end of the test week, we'll have a Wing Dance Party on Friday afternoon- 30 minutes to listen to music and dance with grade-level peers and teachers! In order to qualify for the party, you must stay ENGAGED during the test session. Engaged means that you are not answering questions too quickly. If you answer three questions in a row at a rate deemed by the computer to be too fast to fully read them, your teacher will get a computer notice. They'll tell you to slow down. If you disengage (speed) twice, you will lose your opportunity to attend the Wing Dance Party. And if you disengage multiple times, your test will not count and you'll start all over. Bottom line: do your best! Read the questions. Don't race. Show what you know!

Elective: Final Decision Week

Friday, August 31st is the last day students can change elective courses. If you want to shift into Band, Choir, or SSR, bring Miss Nass a note with parent/guardian approval this week. Band students that have not secured instruments by Friday will be reassigned to a new elective.

The next window for elective change is at the end of the first semester in December. Students wanting to add choir or band for semester 2 must audition with the teacher in December. If you have any questions, check with Miss Nass.

Drama Club

Do you love being in front of a crowd? Do you like to be the life of the party? If so, consider joining this year’s Drama Club and be a part of our fall production, Your Brain on Social Media by Ian McWerthy. We will be holding auditions on Wednesday, Aug 29 and Thursday, Aug. 30. You only need to attend ONE evening of auditions.

Come prepared to do a cold reading, some improv, and maybe some singing! Sign up to attend ONE audition day on the drama link Canvas Community page. Check your family calendar prior to signing up. You'll need to be able to attend the majority of practices which will be on Tue. and Thu. evenings (and get a ride home at 4:15), the dress rehearsal on Nov 1, and the play on Nov 2. We will need some talented art people to help with background and sets, and lighting and props. Even if you don’t want to be in the spotlight, there are other opportunities for you to be part of the action. Questions can be directed to Mrs. Z or Ms Kruth!

So You Think You Can S-P-E-L-L?

If you think you’ve got skills when it comes to spelling, we want you! On Wednesday, September 5th, any student who is interested in trying out for the SMS Spell Bowl Team is invited to take a short spelling test during HOMEROOM.

The Spell Bowl Team usually meets twice a week for seven weeks to study a list of 1,614 words on the Indiana Academic Spell Bowl Junior Division List. Our team has a history of representing SMS well at competition! Our team also has kids who are actively involved in sports and other clubs at the same time. It IS possible to participate in Spell Bowl AND another sport/club if you’re willing to put in the effort. If you think you’d like to try out for the Spell Bowl Team on September 5th, here’s what you should do:

  • Check out the link to the IASP Junior Division List.
  • Have a conversation at home—who would pick you up from practices at 4:15?
  • Be sure to check the Sept. 4th SCOOP for the EXACT tryout/testing location.
  • See your Language Arts teacher or Mrs. Cox for specific questions.


Cross is a student-led Christian group that meets for a Bible lesson and prayer each Wednesday morning at SMS. When weather allows, the group meets at the SMS flagpole at 7:45 AM. When weather is bad/cold, the group meets in the related arts hall at 7:45 AM. All students and staff are invited to join.

Today's FEATURE Program... eHallPass

All students need to update their eHallPass accounts TODAY!

We'll start using eHallPass tomorrow. Follow these steps:

1) Open the eHallPass app on your iPad. You'll see a screen view. SMS veterans will notice a new graphic interface for the app.

2) Customize the WHERE ARE YOU? section by selecting up to 10 locations from the drop-down box. Pick all of your current teachers from the list and STAR them.

3) Customize the WHERE DO YOU WANT TO GO? section by selecting up to 5 locations (the teachers you are most likely going to need to visit.) You will not need to select office, restroom, locker, water fountain, nurse, or counselor. Those locations will automatically be selected for you!

Starting Tuesday, you'll need your iPad to create passes. We'll use the system like this:

  • If you are called to the office, come right away (no pass) and bring your iPad. You'll create a pass to return to class.
  • If you want to go to the RR, locker, or water fountain, get teacher permission, select your current location and the location where you are going. Start the pass. Leave your iPad in the room. Take care of your business. Return to class and stop the pass.
  • If you are going to the MC or a classroom where there is an adult, you'll create a pass to go to the location and include the reason (such as ?, get paper, take a test, etc.), stop the pass on arrival, and then create a new pass to return.
  • We will not use eHallPass at lunch. You will use the traditional sign out process.

Coming soon! You'll be able to import a profile image. Get your best selfie ready!!

Spring 2018 ISTEP+ Scores

SMS will distribute ISTEP+ scores to families that did not pick them up at Open House. Seventh and eighth graders will be given scores during homeroom on Friday. Students will be expected to take them home and give them to parents/guardians that night. Sixth-grade scores will be mailed home this week to comply with elementary Title 1 requirements. Questions about scores can be directed to Mrs. Naugle or Mrs. Asdell.

Making A Difference Program

SMS welcomes LifeSmart Youth to teach “Making a Difference!” to all 8th-grade students, starting next Wednesday, September 5th. Students will learn the importance of respect for self and others through this abstinence-based program delivered through PE class. As students identify future hopes and dreams, they learn about how their adolescent sexual behavior choices impact those goals. Mrs. Conder welcomes professional Health Educator Doreen Fatula to bring medically accurate, fact-based information to our 8th-grade students, as part of teaching all students about health and safety. Parents can learn more about this program by visiting using the password parented18. If any 8th-grade parent/guardian does not want their child to participate, they must notify the SMS office before September 5th.

Fall Sports Pics

Alex Grace from Graceful Images will be at SMS to take fall sports pictures during practice on Tuesday. If you want to order pictures, you can do so online from the link on our SMS website OR you can use the photo flyer that was distributed by your coach. If you use the flyer, bring it with you on Tuesday (including the money!) Say cheese!

This Week...

Mon. Aug. 27: A day, CC @ Seymour, 6 VB v. Southwestern, 7/8 VB v. Imm. Lutheran

Tue. Aug. 28: B day, StuCo officers 7:15 AM, NWEA reading test, fall sports pictures, Tennis v. Silver Creek, GSoccer @ Madison

Wed. Aug. 29: A day, Cross 7:45 AM, NWEA math test, Drama auditions, BSoccer @ Charlestown

Thu. Aug. 30: B day, NWEA Lang. Usage test, Drama auditions, Tennis @ East Wash, CC @ Southwestern, Football @ Charlestown, 6 VB @ Borden, 7/8 VB @ East Wash

Fri. Aug. 31: A day, Wing Dance Parties, 7/8 ISTEP+ scores distribution in HR

Mon. Sept. 3: No school - Labor Day

Tue. Sept. 4: B day