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News From the Principal's Desk

Whether you are an athletic team, a company, division of a company, a school building, grade level team/department, or front office group, ALL teams have a culture.An essential question to ask is, “Did the culture form intentionally, on purpose, and with skill, or was the culture permitted to form in a haphazard fashion?”  A culture that is healthy and strong did not happen on accident.  When culture is not a primary consideration of leadership the strongest personalities in the company or team tend to shape the culture.  This means it reflects personal positions instead of a set of shared beliefs, behaviors, and outcomes by everyone in the team or organization. 

Our LIGHT building culture is done with the intention of creating the right environment for leadership, integrity, generosity, honesty, and teamwork to grow among our staff members and students.  Last Friday, we ended spirit week with our first LIGHT activity day, which had each House within the school (Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, and Blue) make squares for a banner to represent the LIGHT theme to them personally and join with the others corporately.  Students were enthused and engaged throughout the afternoon and our next step is to figure out how to display the banners here at school.

Making banners, getting together in the gym, having the band play the school fight song, and competing against the other houses in an obstacle course is great fun and Friday was a capstone experience to our week.  However, the real work of building a school culture and shining our LIGHT comes away from the loud noise, when students are faced with the choice of doing the right thing when nobody else is looking because it IS the right thing to do.  Whether it is standing up for a friend, choosing to not tease another student, or helping another student in class, we want everyone to be the best version of themselves each day. This is not always easy in a middle school when you consider all the social, emotional, and physical changes students undergo at this age, but it is an integral part of what we are trying to do and appreciate your support in this journey.  We want our MMS culture to reflect the shared beliefs, behaviors, and outcomes that naturally occur when LIGHT is important – this is our continual push here at school. 

Keep speaking with your children about the importance of strong character choices at school, downtown on Friday afternoons, at ball games, and through social media – leadership, integrity, generosity, honesty, and teamwork are great qualities that make our world a brighter place.  Thank you!

Student Feedback on Our LIGHT Day

We like to get feedback from our students on things here at school.  This helps us know what resonates with students and helps us plan things in which they will be more engaged.  Prior to the pep rally this past Friday we had the students do a short reflection about the LIGHT Day activities and the House banners.  Here are some things they had to say about how the day helped students understand leadership and teamwork: 

  • Made me work with more people. It also helped me include people. I was a fifth grader last year and now I have to be even more of a leader to the new 5th graders.
  • The drawing taught you how to listen to instructions. It also taught you to be a leader. The tying of quilts showed unity somewhat well.
  • It didn’t.
  •  I learned how to communicate with new people better. I worked with a new person in the drawing activity. I will put this new knowledge forward when working with new people.
  • Putting the squares together was teamwork, making the squares was integrity, and getting to know each other was honesty.
  • They helped me learn teamwork by working together. I was having a little trouble with the writing and drawing. But I enjoyed working with a team on the knots and it was good teamwork.
  • Fun and enjoyable. More fun things. Also, recess.
  • In the squares activity I had lots of fun being creative and brainstorming ideas. In the second activity I met new people and both of those activities helped me feel closer to the people in my house. The last activity was fun too. All these activities help me get to know the people in my house so I can work with them better.
  • It was okay. It was a little bit of a let down from last year but it was okay.
  • It helped me understand teamwork because I had to work with newer people. Working with newer students and recent arrivals from fifth grade helped me develop closer bonds with the people in my house color. Also, being an eighth grader I had to show leadership by being a decent example. 

As we continue to have LIGHT day activities we want to keep students thinking about the five character traits we believe make our school culture stronger.  Our middle school will never be perfect because it is made up of imperfect people, but if we keep trying to work together for the good of all and provide a leadership example that protects the dignity of each person we hope we can make a positive difference one day at a time. 

PTO Magazine Sale Continues

Thanks to those of you who have supported our PTO fundraiser by buying magazine subscriptions and/or selling some to family and friends.  The magazine sale is THE fundraiser for our PTO and the money they have gets funneled back into good things for our students. Field trips, team building activities, and socials are primary ways students benefit from the magazine sale.  The sale concludes on September 25th with the second “turn-in” day at the school – please keep selling subscriptions and support the PTO – thank you!

Middle School Musical Auditioning Soon!

This year our middle school musical moved a little later in the year.  We will be holding auditions on Monday, October 15th and Wednesday, October 17th for High School Musical, Junior!  The show will be directed by Mrs. Tina Gutierrez and assisted by Mrs. Kristin Anderson.  We are excited for the opportunity for your children to audition for the show.  Please stay tuned for more details. 

Dates to Note:

  • Friday, September 21st – No School – teacher in-service day.  Please note the middle school office will also be closed this Friday so all staff may be in the in-service meeting.
  • Friday, September 28th – No 8th grade foreign language or honors algebra 2 on this day – all 8th graders report to the middle school at 8:00 a.m.  The high school has their “day of service.” 
  • Wednesday, October 10th – Joint PTO meeting with the high school at 9:15 a.m. in the MHS cafeteria. 
  • Friday, October 12th – The first quarter ends. 

For other important community announcements impacting our students don’t forget to click on this link Student Opportunities to find out more about club sports, youth and community sports, and other activities available to our middle school students.  Rec basketball information is on the site right now – so please click on the link!

Also don’t forget to log onto Schoology on a regular basis to check on your child’s progress.  Pleas email a teacher or contact the office (561-5555) if you have any questions.  We want to partner with you to help each child be as successful as possible.  Have a great week!

Thank you,

Tom





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