SMUSD Shout Out!

October 2022

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A Note From Our Superintendent

Hello Saddle Mountain community!

It is hard to believe but the 1st quarter of the 2022-2023 school year is already over. With the turn of the calendar to October, cooler temperatures are hopefully on their way. We have Parent/Teacher conferences this week. I recommend taking advantage of the opportunity to meet with your child's teacher(s) this week to gain insight into your child's academic, social, and behavioral progress. Parent/Teacher conferences are an excellent way to strengthen and build the partnership between parent and teacher. I have included some tips for parents to help you have an effective Parent/Teacher conference. They can be found below.

Before the conference

  • Ask your child how she feels about school.
  • Ask your child if there is anything that he wants you to talk about with his teacher.
  • Tell your child that you and the teacher are meeting to help him or her.
  • Make a list of topics that you want to talk about with the teacher.
  • Prepare a list of questions such as:
1. What are my child's strongest and weakest subjects?

2. Does my child hand homework in on time

3. Does my child participate in class?

4. Does my child seem happy at school?

5. What can I do at home to help?

During the conference

  • Be on time (or early) for the meeting.
  • Ask your questions but be sure to allow the teacher time to complete his or her presentation.
  • End the meeting on time. Other parents will probably have a conference after yours.
  • Relax and be yourself.
  • Stay calm during the conference.
  • Ask the most important questions first.
  • If your child receives special services such as English classes, ask about your child's progress in those classes.
  • Ask for explanations of anything you don't understand
  • Ask your child's teacher for ways that you can help your child at home.
  • Thank the teacher.

After the conference

  • Talk about the conference with your child.
  • Talk about the positive points, and be direct about problems.
  • Tell your child about any plans you and the teacher created.
  • Keep in touch with the teacher during the school year.

Dr. Mike Winters

SMUSD Superintendent

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It's National Principals Month!

Celebrated every October, National Principals Month is an opportunity for district leaders, elected officials, parents, students, teachers, staff, school leaders and communities to celebrate and honor our incredible principals for their visionary leadership and tireless pursuit of success for each student. National Principals Month is a collaboration between the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP), and American Federation of School Administrators (AFSA). Additional information about National Principals Month can be found at

“The responsibilities of school leaders have expanded significantly in recent years well beyond the traditional role. The importance of school leadership has grown considerably, too. Our Leaders We Need Now report identified all of the new demands being made of school principals, the changing needs of their students and staff and how these leaders can meet all of these ever evolving challenges,” said NAESP Executive Director Dr. L. Earl Franks, CAE. “During the month of October, we look forward to recognizing the great work of principals and to celebrating and appreciating them for all that they do as leaders every day.”

Pictured below are (from top) Tartesso Principal Nicole Scales, Winters' Well Elementary Principal Jason Bourne, (bottom) Tonopah Valley High School Principal Edgar Garcia, Desert Sunset Elementary Principal Tammy Doerksen, and Ruth Fisher Middle School Principal Matt Dobesh
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October is Bullying Prevention Month

National Bullying Prevention Month (NBPM) is an important time to elevate the conversation about addressing and preventing bullying of K-12 children and youth. PACER founded NBPM in 2006 as a week-long event; it became a month-long one in 2010.

Bullying is the aggressive use of power, targeting another person or group of people with repeated, unwanted words or action, hurting them emotionally or physically. Bullying impacts the education, health, and safety of K-12 youth.

“The negative effects of bullying can last a lifetime,” said Julie Hertzog, director of PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center. “Calling out bullying behavior and supporting those who are bullied can make a big difference for those who experience bullying.”

What you need to know:

  • Bullying is a common form of violence for youth. One in five students report they have been bullied; chances are, is happening to a young person you know and care about. And the issue affects not only the youth who are bullied, but those who witness it say the behavior impacts them as well. Witnesses to bullying report feeling less safe, helpless to stop it, and intimidated. Plus, youth who bully are at a greater risk for adverse physical or emotional health or issues with the legal system.
  • Laws and policies govern bullying prevention and intervention. Every state has bullying prevention legislation and most schools have bullying prevention policies.
  • Bullying can happen anywhere. It not just a school issue; bullying can happen wherever youth come together: youth groups, athletic and academic competitions, neighborhoods, and online.
  • Ignoring bullying will not make it go away. Silence and inaction are not acceptable responses to bullying. Everyone needs to be empowered with options for responding to bullying situations.
  • A unified message helps amplify the conversation. It is important to reinforce the message that all students deserve to feel safe and supported, and to promote acting with kindness, acceptance, and inclusion.
  • Everyone’s actions matter: we all have a role to play in bullying prevention. It’s vital for adults to know how to respond, to be there for those involved in bullying situations, to hold youth accountable for bullying behavior, and to support and educate youth about how to advocate for themselves and for others. Learn more at:

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What We Believe


Educate all students to become responsible, college-and-career-ready community members.


Everyone learns, every day.


SMUSD has a commitment to…

· Accountability

· Being trustworthy

· Caring

· Taking initiative

· Being respectful

· Believing all children are capable of success. No exceptions.