Principal News

Spanaway Middle School | September 25, 2020

Warrior Strong!

Hello Warrior Families:

It is great to see our students getting into a routine for both live Zoom classes and independent learning. We want to encourage you to look at the schedule below to ensure your child continues to work each and every day. We want to be sure all students are keeping up and are able to gain support where needed. You may notice on Wednesdays teacher are asking students to come into live Zoom small groups. Your child needs to attend this session when they are asked. This time is to provide them help and support so they can continue achieving at high levels.

Edgenuity, our online curriculum for Math, ELA, History, and Science, has been updated to include two features we are certain will help many of our students access the content more completely: text-to-speech and language translation. Students, please check with your teacher if you need help finding these tools within Edgenuity.

Please continue to read our newsletters every week. We are ensuring all important information is contained in these newsletters. We are proud of our Warriors and will continue to be here to answer any questions you may have. Do not hesitate to reach out.

Have a great week!

Shannon Leatherwood, Principal

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STAR Testing

We will be beginning STAR testing with all student for math and reading. Your child's teacher will be reviewing the requirements for this test during class. There will be videos for students/parents to ensure this assessment goes smoothly. Please keep in mind we want to know what the student knows so we are only asking the student to take this test. Please do not provide support as we need this information to help guide instruction. Thank you in advance.


Warrior Way Character Traits Community & Respect

Here at Spanaway Middle School, we follow the Warrior Way by being Safe, Respectful, and Responsible. In our commitment to ensure a safe, welcoming, inclusive, and successful learning experience, we have identified 12 important character traits we will model, teach, expect, and celebrate throughout the school year.

  • Community & Respect
  • Responsibility & Safety
  • Community Service & Kindness
  • Perseverance & Hard Work
  • Trust & Honesty
  • Self Control & Loyalty

For this first progress period, we will be woking on and celebrating Community & Respect. Check out the video below to find out what those mean, what they look, and sound like. And, thank you, Mr. Young and Ms. Chrissie Coward for helping to model both community and respect for this video!

Warrior Way: Community & Respect, September 2020


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Warriors: Are you interested in joining the 2020 - 2021 Yearbook Staff? Click here to access the application. Applications are due on Friday, October 2, and if you have any questions, please contact the SMS Yearbook Advisor, Ms. Sharon Coward, at or 253-800-5586.


iPad Coverage Payment In-Person Only Starting October 1

  • As of October 1, families will continue to initial the Hold harmless and iPad coverage election online, but will only be able to pay for coverage in person.

  • iPad Coverage and HH are filled out online to allow for a better auditing system of our Hold Harmless forms. We have records if a student leaves and comes back to school as well as changing schools. Also, this limits the amount of paperwork necessary to process to get iPads in students' hands.

  • Please contact Aubrey Terrill ( or 253-800-5482), our ASB clerk, with any questions or to make arrangements for in person payments. Visitors are still limited and all health and safety protocols will be followed at this time.


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Changes to State Immunization Rules for Schools and Child Cares Effective August 1, 2020

The State Board of Health (SBOH) has approved changes to Chapter 246-105 of the Washington Administrative Code (WAC) concerning school and child care immunization policy. These rules apply to all public and private schools and licensed child care centers in Washington State.

The update to Chapter 246-105 WAC has three major focuses:

  • It now requires medically verified immunization records for school and child care entry.
  • It clarifies conditional status in regards to school and child care immunization requirements and implementation.
  • It changes the Tdap immunization requirement to 7th through 12th grades.

There are other small changes to the rule. Read the full rule

Medically Verified Records

As of August 1, 2020, the revised rule requires medically verified immunization records for school and child care entry. Medically verified record includes one or more of the following:

  • A Certificate of Immunization Status (CIS) printed from the Immunization Information System (IIS)
  • A physical copy of the CIS form with a healthcare provider signature
  • A physical copy of the CIS with accompanying medical immunization records from a healthcare provider verified and signed by school staff
  • A CIS printed from MyIR

Please contact our health clerk, Jessica Estrada Leon (253-800-5493) or our school nurse, Pamela Snook (253-800-5468) with any questions or clarifications needed.

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Second Step Social Emotional Learning Curriculum

This will mark the second year the Bethel School District will be using the social emotional learning (SEL) curriculum for all students grade PS - 8 called Second Step. We are excited to be addressing this critical piece of adolescent growth and learning through our advisory classes each week. Please read this letter from Mrs. Leatherwood for an introduction to the Second Step program.

We will let you know what we are doing at each grade level through this newsletter, and will include some ways to engage with your student in their learning, thinking and growing. These messages and questions are also in Spanish here. If you have any questions about the curriculum, please reach out.

6th Grade: Lesson 1a: Starting Middle School

This week’s lesson will introduce your child to the Second Step Middle School Program. Your child will identify challenges they might face when starting middle school and identify resources in their school where they can get help.

Tell your child about something that made you nervous when you started middle school. Ask what makes them nervous and who they can go to for help at school.

7th Grade: Lesson 1b: Helping New Students

In this week’s lesson, your child will help brainstorm ways to support new students.

Ask your child what feelings they had when they started middle school. Did they get support from other students? Ask your child how they can support students who are new to their school.

8th Grade: Lesson 1: Welcome!

This week’s lesson will show your child how the Second Step Middle School Program can help them navigate physical, social, and emotional changes in adolescence.

Have a conversation with your child about what you felt was the most difficult part of being an adolescent. Ask your child about any changes they’ve noticed in friends and what they think about these changes.


Meet Some of the Wonderful SMS Special Services Team

Click on the picture above to access a short video about each staff member.



Spanaway Middle School would like to recognize disability history throughout the month of October! We hope to help increase awareness and understanding of the contributions that people with disabilities have on our society. We believe that recognizing disability history will increase respect for and promote acceptance of people with disabilities. By recognizing disability history, we hope to increase awareness and acceptance of people with disabilities, help students with disabilities to feel a sense of pride, reduce bullying, and help students with disabilities stay in school. Please take time to watch Mike's story:

Mike's Story: From Isolation to Independence


School meals are free this fall

The USDA waiver that allows us to offer free meals to all kids is only extended through December 31. Because of this, we are encouraging households to continue to apply for the Free and Reduced Price meal program. To apply online, go to: You can learn more and find the list of our 12 meal site locations at


Flu Shots

Free drive-through flu shots are available at a number of locations in October, including Bethel High School. Click here to see the full schedule:


ABC Day 2020 Cancelled

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we will not be able to hold our 12th annual All Bethel Community Day (ABC Day) this year. We are, however, planning to bring ABC Day back on October 2, 2021 at Bethel High School! Thank you for your understanding. We will miss seeing you. Stay safe and healthy!


Helping our neighbors in need

The outpouring of support from our community in response to the recent wildfires has been more than generous. We've received fresh veggies grown at the Kapowsin Elementary garden, donations of gift cards and more from local churches and businesses like Sound Credit Union, and pallets of goods from relief organizations like World Vision. Our Community Connections Department recently delivered the donations to families impacted by the fires, who were overwhelmed by the generosity of their neighbors.


Thank you, voters!

When Bethel voters approved a Technology Levy six years ago to give every student in the district access to a personal iPad, they weren’t thinking about a global pandemic that would one day force us out of our classrooms and into a new world of distance learning.


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We will be hosting a Meet Your Counseling Team family night on Tuesday, 9/29 at 5pm via Zoom. We’ll share information about us and how we support your students, and there will be plenty of time for your questions and suggestions! This event is for parents, guardians, and caregivers, but students are welcome to attend as well. We hope to see you there!

On Wednesdays and during independent learning times, we will be offering small support groups for students. Our first three groups will be mindfulness, anxiety, and friendship. If you think your student could benefit from one of these small groups or a future topic, please have them complete our interest form.

We will have individual meetings with students upon request via Zoom. Students can make an appointment using our request form. We are here to support students with social, emotional, and academic struggles, big or small.

The College Bound Scholarship program is an early commitment of state financial aid to eligible students who sign up in middle school. Click here for more information. 8th graders should apply as soon as possible!

We now have a SMS School Social Worker Facebook page! Follow me for up-to-date resources, information, and positivity.

If you are in need of resources such as food, clothes, parenting support and classes, mental health counseling referrals, etc - please reach out to one of us and we will offer our support or connect you to somewhere that can fulfill those needs.

Kelsey Fischer | School Social Worker | |253-800-5470| 425-390-4452

Darci Cook | School Counselor A-L | | 253-800-5478

Ashley Kaiser | School Counselor M-Z | |253-800-5477

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Attendance Matters

Families and Students: Here is a link to the Bethel School District memo regarding attendance: Link

During distance learning, parents/guardians do not need to contact our attendance office to report events such as travel or medical/dental appointments, unless the student can not attend scheduled class zoom session AND is not able to make arrangements with teachers to complete work on those days.


Technology/iPad Support

If unable to access the app on your iPad, click here to get iPad and technology support. *Bookmark this link in Safari or Chrome so you can find it on any device you are logged into.


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