Switzerland Point Middle School
Raider Rap November 19, 2023
- · November 20: Drill Day
- · November 21: Drill Day
- · November 22-24: Thanksgiving Break
Practice BEST Writing Assessment
In February, students will be taking a practice B.E.S.T. Writing assessment. This practice will include testing conditions and writing prompts similar to the state assessment. This will help us to give targeted feedback to students before the official administration of the Writing assessment during the first week in April.
The assessment is computer-based, and students will need to be able to type their response into the testing platform. Furthermore, students will be reading 2-4 passages that they must use to complete the writing prompt. This means that students need to practice reading stamina and typing with a keyboard. Sixth graders will take the practice assessment on February 20th. Seventh graders will take the practice assessment on February 22nd. Eighth graders will take the practice assessment on February 23rd. If you have any questions, reach out to Ms. Benetsky (Kylie.Benetsky@stjohns.k12.fl.us).
Save the Date! Progress monitoring 2 (PM2) dates for FAST testing have been announced (see below):
6th grade FAST ELA Progress Monitor 2 (PM2): December 11th
7th grade FAST ELA Progress Monitor 2 (PM2): December 12th
8th grade FAST ELA Progress Monitor 2 (PM2): December 14th
6th grade FAST Math Progress Monitor 2 (PM2): December 15th (with flipped bell schedule)
7th grade FAST Math Progress Monitor 2 (PM2): December 18th (with flipped bell schedule)
8th grade FAST Math Progress Monitor 2 (PM2): December 19th (with flipped bell schedule)
Make-up testing will be in January.
7th-grade students in Advanced Math will take the 8th-grade Math FAST assessment for both PM2 and PM3 since this aligns best with the standards taught in the 7th-grade advanced course. These students will still test on the 7th-grade FAST Math PM2 date (December 18).
Congratulations to Students with Perfect Scores
Congratulations to our extraordinary Raiders from the 2022-2023 school year! These students earned a PERFECT score last year on their End of Course Algebra or Civics exam, Science, ELA, or Math exam! Your dedication and hard work toward excellence is inspiring, and we are so proud of you! In addition, congratulations to our current sixth graders who scored a perfect score last year on their FAST ELA or Math test or the Statewide Science Assessment while in 5th grade! We are so proud of your accomplishments and can’t wait to see the great things that you will achieve! Way to go, Raiders!
Welcome to SPMS!
Welcome Mr. Gallagher!
- Please join the PTSO in welcoming Logan Lowery, SJCSD Director of Policy and Government Relations, to discuss all that is going on with the policies affecting your students, schools, staff and YOU! Please RSVP here! If we do not reach at least 25 people, the chat will be rescheduled for a future date. See you there!
Rethink Energy is a non-profit organization that tries to focus on renewable energy.
Every year, they go through a process to choose the Energy Innovator Awards who they consider a champion on the use of renewable energy.
There are two areas for the Awards. The Adult and the Youth. Nicole received the Youth Innovator Award because of her innovative use of energy in her projects.
The one we focused on is her Sustainable Food Production solution which uses modern food production methods such as aquaponics, hydroponics, microgreens and sprouting and integrated with green technologies such as solar power generators and water collection though condensation using the Peltier devices. This allows the solution to avoid any chemical product runoffs to our precious rivers and oceans which can affect their biodiversity and, on top of that, it uses only 10% of the water required by a normal food production system. With the use of renewable energy, she creates a solution that is totally sustainable and installed anywhere including deserts, jungles, and even in suburbs or downtowns.
Nicole is replicating this solution to other locations such as the Philippines (Tagaytay City Special Education Center for students with special needs), the USA (American Horse School at the Lakota Indian Reservation in Allen, SD), and in Brazil (the Guarani Indian Reservation in Nova Laranjeiras, Brazil) to make sure it can be implemented anywhere. Negotiations are under way at the Uru-Eu-Wau-Wau Indian Reservation in the Amazon and even locally in Jacksonville, FL (Eat Your Yard JAX farm).
With all these achievements and some additional ones, she received this year the Rethink Energy Youth Innovator Award and I am attaching to this note here some additional photos of the event.
Character Counts! Pillar of the month
In the month of November, we celebrate the pillar of Citizenship. We look for students who:
- Does her/his share to make her/his school and community better
- Gets involved in community affairs
- Stays informed; votes
- Is a good neighbor
- Obeys laws and rules
- Respects authority
- Protects the environment
This month, we are focusing on the Character Counts Pillar of Citizenship. Our district believes that every child has the potential to be a good citizen, and we will do all that we can to promote this pillar, but we need your help! Below is a list of ideas to work through with your family!
What can you do at home?
•Minimize waste. Recycle and conserve.
•Reinforce the importance of school rules and that they must be followed.
•Reinforce the importance of sportsmanship.
•Reuse boxes and shopping bags.
•Notice nature around you. Watch a sunrise or sunset. Look for animals. Appreciate the flowers and trees around you.
•Plant a garden with your children. Allow them to help with the yard work and gardening.
•Plant a seed or tree and watch it grow.
•Turn the water off while you are brushing your teeth or doing the dishes.
•Grow your own herbs or vegetables.
•Participate in a beach clean-up day or plan your own for your family for an hour. If not the beach, use your neighborhood park.
•Carpool or walk instead of using a car.
•Encourage your children to watch shows on nature, science, or animals to broaden their knowledge and appreciation.
•As a family, research and select a charity to donate to. Encourage your children to donate a portion of their allowance. Plan to participate as a family to help at the local shelter, senior center, food kitchen, or for an elderly neighbor.
•Have discussions about current events so that your children can become aware of what the important issues are and how politicians or community officials are handling them. Have your children see you reading the newspaper, watching the news, and getting involved in community services.
•Observe and follow traffic rules.
•Show and explain to your children how the election process works and how to utilize resources to stay informed of the issues before you vote.
•Model citizenship behaviors and notice when your children are being good citizens in order to reinforce those desired behaviors.
Please read the ILC newsletter for literacy information and to learn about this issue's featured teachers.
The countdown is ON to the best week of the year – BOOK FAIR WEEK!! The Scholastic Book Fair will be returning to the Swiss Point library from December 1st through December 8th! Please visit our book fair homepage at https://www.scholastic.com/bf/switzerlandpointmiddle to preview the fair and set up an eWallet if needed. eWallets let students shop the fair directly – no cash or credit card necessary! However, we do still accept cash, check, card, or Apple/Samsung pay. Please note that the materials available for purchase at the Book Fair were not selected by the St. Johns County School District. We encourage parents to review their child’s wish list and have a conversation about what they are allowed to purchase at the book fair before sending money to make any purchases. Purchases can also be made online – all orders ship directly to your home, and shipping is free for book orders over $25. Every online purchase will also benefit our school! Please email email@example.com if you have any questions regarding the book fair.
Basket Ball Try outs
Yes!! We are looking for some outstanding players to be part of the SPMS Interscholastic basketball teams. The teams will be made up of 6th, 7th and 8th graders. Yes!! 6th graders are allowed to try-out. There will be a boys’ team AND a girls’ team. The boy’s try-outs will begin on Monday, December 4, 5, 7 and TBA. The boy’s try-outs will start at 2:00pm until 4:00pm. The girl’s try-outs will also begin December 11, 12, & 14 and TBA. The girl’s try-outs will begin at 4:30pm until 6:00pm. Students must provide their own transportation. Parent pick-up will be required promptly after try-outs each day. To try-out students need to have a try-out waiver signed and returned. Waiver forms may be obtained from Coach Terrance Singleton, front office, or any PE coach. All students that are trying out for the team must show up the first day but are not guaranteed to stay all three days. If there are any questions, please contact Coach Singleton. (firstname.lastname@example.org) RAIDERS #1 BABY!!!
Milk Carton Shortage Notice
In early October, the Food and Nutrition Service Department (FNS) was notified by our dairy provider of a nationwide milk carton shortage. Whereas in the past we would serve 3-4 varieties of milk, we are currently down to 2 varieties (1% White and Skim Chocolate).
Projections have the dairy running out of chocolate containers by the first week of November. All efforts are being made to continue to have 1% White Milk available until all other varieties come back in stock around the first of the year.
FNS will continue to work with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Service to provide approved alternative beverage choices, most likely juice and water, for meals going forward.
The FNS Department will update the cafeteria and district websites with this information.
Reminders from the Deans
We are seeing a new trend of students grabbing and/or pulling on other students’ backpacks while walking in the halls. This trend is very serious and could cause multiple students to become injured when happening. Please have a conversation with your child about keeping their hands to themselves in our busy hallways, so that all students can arrive to class safely.
End-of-the-Year Reward Trips
- At the end of the year, students can attend a field trip as a reward for their behavior.
- Students who earn after-school detention, ISS, or OSS during 2nd semester, or students who commit a Level 4 offense during the entire school year, will NOT BE ELIGIBLE to participate in the grade-level reward trip. Please see Section 5, Levels of Discipline, on page 31 in our Student Code of Conduct for examples of Level 4 offenses.
- Students with 15 or more unexcused absences during the school year will NOT BE ELIGIBLE for the trip.
- For 8th-grade students, these behavior requirements also apply to the 8th-grade formal dance.
- Once a reward trip has been paid for, we will be unable to give refunds or transfer the reservation to another student’s name.
Up next, you can see your Winterguard team, along with your Raider Band, in the St. Augustine Parade on December 2, 2023 at 9:00am!
From the Stage Door:
We are pleased to announce that our audition page for the spring musical is now live on Schoology. If you are interested in participating in The Little Mermaid next spring, please check it out! Auditions are December 11th & 12th. Access code for the page: QRS3-4HJG-7XK7T
My name is Alex Emery, and I am the senior class president of Pedro Menendez High School and a chair of the Saint Augustine Youth Services' Annual Santa Run. We would be pleased for you to join us on December 9th, 2023, at the Saint Augustine Beach Pier to participate.
We strive to have as much participation as possible and hope we can count on Switzerland Point to make that happen. Also, if any parents or staff members know of companies or businesses that would be willing to sponsor, please contact (904) 829-1770 or email email@example.com.
SSYRA-Sunshine State Young Readers Award Program
The Sunshine State Young Readers Award (SSYRA) Program is a statewide reading motivational program for students in grades 3 through 8. The purpose of the SSYRA Program is to encourage students to read independently for pleasure and to read books that are on, above, and below their reading level in order to improve their reading fluency. Sunshine State books are selected for their wide appeal, literary value, varied genres, curriculum connections, and/or multicultural representation. Students can earn prizes by reading the books and taking a short verbal quiz on them in the media center! Students who read 10 or more SSYRA books are eligible to try out for the Battle of the Books team in the winter. Please see the PDF for the annotated list of this year’s books. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for any questions about our SSYRA program!
Special Message on the Marquee
SPMS National Junior Honor Society is sponsoring an opportunity to send a special birthday or congratulations message to your student via the marquee in the front of the school. Cost is $25. Complete the form here to submit your request . Requests are due the Friday prior to the event and will display the following week (Tuesday through Monday). Example: If you turn in the request on Friday, September 17th, then your message will be displayed on Tuesday, September 21st.
Grizzlies Girls Lacrosse:
Registration for the Spring Youth Recreational League (for girls in 3rd-8th grade) will open on November 1. Click for the flyer and visit the website here for all information and to register.
Creeks Boys Lacrosse:
Registration for Spring 2024 is now open. Click here for more information and to register.
SPMS athletics consists of both boys' and girls' volleyball and basketball, in addition to Winterguard.
All other middle school sports are operated by SJMSAA.
The St. Johns Middle School Athletic Association (”SJMSAA”) middle school sports program is not operated or sponsored by the St. Johns County School District. SJMSAA is an independent, private non-profit corporation that uses District middle school names and facilities under a license agreement with the District, and which is solely responsible for the operation of the SJMSAA middle school sports program and its individual teams.
Students need to register through the SJMSAA website prior to tryouts. Once a student makes a team, he/she will be provided with more information on paying and filling out the required forms
All are invited to the last meeting of 2023! The Exec Board decided to combine the Nov & Dec meeting due to this busy time of the year!
There will be one more bundt cake sale to finish out the year with the flavors of the winter holidays!
The SPMS PTSO wishes all Raider Families a wonderful holiday season!
Raider Families! All orders have been submitted to the vendor, so please allow 2-4 weeks for delivery! We will then inventory everything left and put it on the website. There are still stickers, magnets, shoe charms, and bracelets available!
Looking for ways to appreciate your SPMS Staff?
The Sunshine Cart is the PTSO mobile version of staff appreciation! We take the goodies to them so they don’t have to find some time to get to the staff lounge!
This is a great way to help the PTSO show appreciation for all that the SPMS staff does for your student(s)!
Browse the staff appreciation wishlist, pick your favorite goodie and make sure to put your student's name in the notes! They will receive 10 Raider Bucks for donating!!
Thank you for your continued support, Raider Families!! SPMS PTSO Sunshine Cart Wishlist
The PTSO would love your help stocking the Raider Store!
The Raider Store is where students can spend their hard-earned Raider Bucks. Your student earns Raider Bucks from their teachers and staff for showing good character in the classroom and the hallways. They can then spend them in the PTSO-sponsored Raider Store.
We are always looking for new and fun things to stock the store with to keep the students coming back.
Please put your student's name on the gift, and they will be credited 10 Raider Bucks for your donation.
The SPMS PTSO is a non-profit organization whose mission is to enhance the learning and work experience of the students and staff at SPMS.
Our membership includes teachers, administrators, parents, and students.
What do we do?
- Neon Bash-Fall Dance for students
- Raider Store-Rewards for students who earn Raider Bucks for academic and behavioral performance
- Grade Level Support
- Character Counts! Rewards
- Classroom grants-teacher members are eligible for up to $100 in a classroom grant to purchase items to enhance their classroom
- Staff luncheons and breakfast
- Staff Appreciation
- Annual Donation to the school for technology and other needs
How do we pay for these initiatives?
- MEMBERSHIP-this is our biggest fundraiser. By simply joining PTSO, families help us reach our goals
- Spirit Wear-PTSO sells spirit wear each fall
- Fall/Spring Fundraisers-examples include Nothing Bundt Cakes and Poppin' Box
- Business Partners-our area businesses help SPMS through our Partners in Education program
- Corporate Donation Matches, Amazon Smile, Box Tops and private donations
How do you join?
- A family membership is $25 for the school year. The membership includes parents and any siblings at SPMS.
- Membership form can be found at https://switzerland-point-middle-school-ptso.square.site/
We are excited about a wonderful and busy 2023-2024 school year and making a difference at Swiss!
If you are interested in finding out how you can help contact Dawn Evans at email@example.com
OTHER WAYS TO SUPPORT PTSO
There will be various fundraisers throughout the school year to participate in to help fund the PTSO 2023-2024 initiatives.
Box Tops – Download the Box Tops app and scan your receipts for SMPS PTSO to get Box Top credits.
Keep an eye on the PTSO website, Facebook and Instagram to stay up to date on what is coming up throughout the year!
For up to date happenings LIKE us on Facebook! https://www.facebook.com/SwissPointPTSO/
SPMS PTSO is on INSTAGRAM! Follow us at https://www.instagram.com/spmsptso/
Check the PTSO website for all the latest news! http://www.swisspointptso.com/