Sierra Middle School

February News 2016

A note from the principal

Hello Sierra Families,

We are looking forward to another wonderful year at Sierra Middle School! Registration for 2016-2017 will soon be underway. Here are important upcoming dates that you should know:

  • During the week of February 22nd, counselors will be visiting all of our current seventh grade classrooms to speak directly with students about registration. Packets will be sent home at this time. Information will also be posted to our website.

  • Registration will open on Friday, February 26th at 4pm and close at midnight on March 6th.

We have been working hard this year to improve student opportunities and experiences. Within the course information packet, you will notice a number of new electives, including broadcast journalism (student news), computer programming, 2D/3D art, and more! As we get closer to the new school year, more information will be shared about other improvements that are in the works at Sierra, such as a new bell schedule with built-in time for enrichment and intervention, and an exciting one-to-one computer initiative. Be on the lookout for future parent information sessions!


Kathryn Teel


Sierra Middle School

How to reach a counselor

Need to speak with a Counselor, School Psychologist or School Social Worker? Please call to schedule an appointment. Contact information can be found on the Counseling page of the Sierra website. The Counseling Office is occupied with student meetings throughout the day, so walk in appointments are very difficult to accommodate. Please call to schedule a time to speak with your student's counselor to ensure you receive the attention you deserve. If you have an urgent safety concern in person, please go to the Main Office and contact an Administrator. Thank you!

Congratulations to 7th grade girls basketball team!

They took 3rd place in the district tournament!

Way to go girls and their fearless leader Ms. McVoy!!

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Box Tops at Sierra

Last year we collected almost 6,000 box tops and earned over $595.00 for our school. We need your box tops. Please turn them in by February 8th. Remember, the class that brings in the most box tops wins a nice breakfast from NJHS. Bring them in and help Sierra with this easy fundraiser!!

A note from the counseling office:

Parents, please help your students understand the difference between normal conflict and bullying. Resolving conflicts between peers is a normal and necessary life skill. In the Counseling Office, we often empower students with the necessary skills to resolve conflict so they feel capable of handling conflict in the future. You can help too! If your child is having a conflict, please help teach him/her how to:

  • Ignore unwanted behaviors
  • Address the person in a non-accusatory manner by using I-statements (I feel frustrated when we are not getting along. Can we talk about how to fix this?)
  • Take responsibility - In every conflict, each party has a responsibility, large or small. If we take responsibility for our part, it is easier for the other person to also take responsibility.

These are just a few tips for resolving conflicts. Please help your student learn this important life skill.

Bullying on the other hand, is defined as:

Any written or verbal expression, physical act or electronic act, gesture or pattern thereof that is intended to coerce, intimidate, or cause any physical, mental, or emotional harm to any student. Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior that involves a real or perceived power imbalance.

If you feel your child is the victim of bullying, please contact school administration or your student's counselor and encourage your student to involve adults at school.

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Candy Grams at Sierra!!

Valentine’s Day is around the corner. This year students at Sierra can send candy grams to their friends and teachers. Lollipops will be sold before school the week of February 8-11. So, come on down to the school store before school next week to send a candy gram to someone special. A candy gram is a lollipop you can send to your friends or teachers, with your choice of flavor and nice message. Candy grams are $1.00.

Reaching your child's teacher

If you need to meet with a teacher please make an appointment with that person via email!! Please allow 24 hours for that teacher to get back with you once you contact them. Thank you!!!

Don't forget!! Conferences are next week!

Mark your calendar. Winter conferences are on Thursday, February 11 from 3:30 PM to 7:00 PM. Hope to see you there!

A note about assessments

Please remember that per HB 15-1323 you have the right excuse your child from State Mandated Testing. Assessments included are PARCC and CMAS. If you have questions on whether this is something you should consider feel free to contact Chris Stairs at

PARCC and CMAS Testing will occur during the month of April. An internal building schedule will be communicated prior to winter break.

For more information regarding State Mandated Testing, please review our State Mandated Testing Website.

Congratulations Spelling Bee Finalists!!

Liam Schulz (Falcon) and Andrew Garcia (Snowmass) will represent Sierra Middle School at the district spelling at Castle Rock Middle School. Great job Liam and Andrew!!

Dates to Remember

February 8: Turn in your Box Tops!

February 9: National History Day Presentations from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM

February 11: Winter Conferences from 3:30 to 7:00 PM

February 12: Teacher work day (No School for Students)

February 15: Presidents Day (No School)

February 17: Thespian Club Performance at 8:15 AM

February 22: SAC meeting

February 22: Counselors to meet with 7th grade students about registration

February 26 - March 6: Registration is open for the 2016-17 school year

Battle of the Books!

It’s time to get your Battle of the Books team registered. If you have any questions or need a team to join, stop by the LMC and speak with Mrs. Meurer.

Parking Lot Safety

We realize that our parking lot can be a little hectic both at drop-off and during pick-up. Thank you for helping us to keep the flow of traffic “moving right along!” With the help of our amazing security guards, Nancy Root and Jay Molina, (and of course all of you) know that we are doing our best to keep everyone moving. We would like to share with you a few these guidelines we feel will keep the flow of traffic moving as well keep everyone safe.

  • If you arrive prior to 2:35, you must pull into a parking space and not in the firelane in front of the school.

  • Try to help your child be prepared to exit the automobile in the morning.

  • Do not leave your car unattended if it is not in a parking spot.

  • Student pick up and drop off is not permitted on East Pine Lane or North Dixon Drive.

Thank you for keeping all of our SMS students safe during these busy times of the day.

Congratulations to our GeoBee Winners!!

Sierra Middle School's third place in the GeoBee was won by Zoe Torres of Wolf Creek!

Second place was taken by Sasha Tucker of Gryphon!

After an impressive performance, first place was won by Liam Gallagher of Vail/Osprey!

Congratulations to all of these excellent geographers!

Is your child interested in a Leadership Opportunity?? Check out Young RYLA

The entire focus of Young RYLA is to provide foundational leadership skills to youth.

What is Young RYLA?

RYLA stands for Rotary Youth Leadership Awards. For over 25 years, Rotary has sponsored this 5-day leadership conference and is for students entering 8th grade in the fall.

When and where is it?

Young RYLA conference will be held at Ponderosa Retreat &Conference Center in Larkspur, CO and will be held in late July (Young RYLA Camp 1 will be from Sunday, July 24 - Friday, July 29, 2016. Young RYLA Camp 2 will be from Sunday, July 31 - Friday, August 5, 2016)

Who is eligible?

  • Any Young RYLA student entering 8th grade in the fall.
  • The ideal candidate has either demonstrated leadership ability in school, church or community activities or is a responsible and enthusiastic follower and has leadership potential.
  • A young person who is honest, responsible and shows the ability to make good decisions.
  • A young person who is recommended by a teacher, counselor or Rotarian.

The objectives of Young RYLA are:

  • To encourage and assist youth leaders and potential leaders in methods of responsible and effective leadership by providing them with training experience.
  • To encourage continued and stronger leadership of youth by youth.
  • To publicly recognize the outstanding qualities on many young people who are rendering service to their schools and communities as leaders

What does it cost?

As an award for excellence, a local Rotary Club pays the conference fee of $450, and over 100 volunteers donate a week of their time, so there is no cost to the student.

How can students apply?

The student completes an application online at, gets their parent’s signature, and also gets the signature of a counselor, teacher or Rotarian. Online application period opens on February 15th and closes April 30th. They will then be interviewed for possible selection by the local Rotary club. They MUST contact the local Rotary club to ensure they are scheduled for an interview!

Each Rotary club interviews and selects the winning students by May 15. Every Rotary club establishes its own schedule prior to May 15, so contact them early to be sure to fit into their schedule.

A note from the attendance secretary

If your child will be absent or tardy, please call the attendance line first thing in the morning. Leave your child's first and last name, spelling the last name. Notify us of the day(s) your child will be absent as well as the reason. If your child is out due to illness, please specify what symptoms your child has. This allows us to monitor illnesses in our school. Please do not call the Attendance Line and leave a message if you need to take your child out of school early, call the main office @ 303-387-3800. You can also send your child with a note for an early release. Click HERE for DCSD Attendance Policy.

Cyber Tip of the Month: Blendr

Ever heard of Blendr? Blendr is a "flirting" app that is used to meet new people. Sounds innocent enough until you realize they use GPS to locate you in "real time." You can send messages, photos, videos... and rate the "hotness" of other users? This app is not appropriate for our middle school students. There are no real authentication requirements so sexual predators can contact minors and minors can easily meet adults. Please talk to your child and watch their behaviors online especially when you see an app that you are not familiar with. It is always better to be proactive than reactive!
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A great resource to check out!

Between Baby Dolls and Boyfriends:

How to Successfully Navigate Your Daughter’s Tween Years

a book written by Debi Smith-Racanelli and Kendall Racanelli

Finally! A fascinating, informative and delightfully readable book to help guide parents through the often uncertain “tween years” when your daughter’s moods and attitude begin to change, BFFs come and go, mean girls abound, influences are introduced and multiply, social media hits their smartphones and sometimes bullies hit their friends. All of this and much more compete for attention in the all-important three or four years before your daughter becomes a teenager. While addressing the issues that the tween years bring, Between Baby Dolls and Boyfriends encourages parents to strengthen the relationship with their tween daughter, which serves not only to tackle the topics at hand, but to fortify her for the teenage years that are just around the corner. What the title promises, this book delivers. You will find the information, encouragement, and support that you need to enjoy the tween years with your daughter. Debi Smith-Racanelli’s timely book provides the perfect blend of wit and wisdom, education and experience. She shares her insight as a psychologist and parenting expert, as well as sharing personal stories as she raises her own tween daughter – who has an important role in the book, providing her perspective at the end of each chapter. Readers of Between Baby Dolls and Boyfriends can expect to learn how to stay connected to their daughters during the tween years, how to navigate issues such as friends, bullies, social media, cultural influences, and much more. She also realizes that the best expert on raising your daughter is you! This is one of those books where you will get to the end and feel like you’ve known Debi and her daughter for years! This book is available on
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Watching the weather

As you know the weather in Colorado is a bit unpredictable at times so it is important for families to be aware of the DCSD Weather Closure Policy.

School delays and closures will be announced on the DCSD website or you can call the district weather hotline at 303-387-SNOW.

Dropping items off to school for your child

If you are dropping off something for your student, please put your child’s name on it and leave it on the Drop Off Table located in the main office. Students can pick up item(s) between class periods.