Principal Page

 

Fellow Bobcats and Parents/Guardians:


District and School Website

The Saco School Department website is a useful tool to learn more about both the district and SMS.  Information on both the district site as well as the middle school site will be added throughout the remainder of the summer and into the school year.  To access the middle school site, you can look under the heading of “schools.”  I have also included the link here: http://middle.sacoschools.org/


The district and school sites provide a great deal of relevant information and will be one manner in which the Saco Middle School administration and staff communicate with our families.  If you have any questions about the site or are looking for specific information, please contact anyone in the main office or a school administrator.


Start Times/Daily Schedule

Saco Middle School begins at 8:30.  The homeroom period begins at 8:30 and the regular academic day a few minutes later.  The day concludes at 3:00.  When students arrive, they will be asked to go to one of two locations:

  • Cafeteria for breakfast and to sit with friends, or

  • Library for a quiet space to read and/or complete assignments prior to the start of the day.


At 8:15, all students will be released to their team areas.  From there they will be released to homerooms (their advisory location) for announcements and attendance and then to their first class.


Reminder: Each Wednesday is an early release.  Students will be dismissed at 2:00 PM, so SMS staff can participate in scheduled professional development activities.


Student Handbook

The purpose of our handbook is to inform parents and students of the various programs at and general expectations and processes of Saco Middle School.  The handbook is a comprehensive document that every student and parent/guardian should read in order to obtain an understanding of our academic and behavioral expectations.  Although all of the information contained in the document is important, I would suggest that everyone carefully reads the following sections as some of the expectations and processes are different from what students and parents have experienced in the past:


  • Section I: Introduction

  • Section IV: Attendance

  • Section VI: Grade Calculations and Habits of Work

  • Section VIII: Conduct and Discipline


You can access the handbook on the middle school website under the Parents/Students Tab.  The Table of Contents provides the headings and subheadings for each section of the document with an embedded link for easier access to the information.  If you have any questions or want clarity around a school procedure, please contact the main office or a school administrator.


School Culture and Climate

A major focus last year was to enhance our overall school climate by establishing a culture of everyone working to the best of his/her abilities; of a singular purpose toward providing meaningful, engaging learning experience to all students; of rich collaborative conversations; and of high expectations for academic achievement and positive behavior.  Our culture––the norms, attitudes, and expectations––that we have for each other––staff to staff, staff to student, and student to student––will directly affect how safe, productive and stimulating our climate will become.  We will continue to build our school community through monthly grade-level community meetings, our trimester recognition assemblies, and other spirit events.


A strong school culture impacts everyone.  Students feel safe, valued, and encouraged to dream big and challenge themselves.  A strong school culture greatly improves academic achievement.   Students feel connected to the school and staff and are better able to successfully navigate the day-to-day challenges they encounter.  For staff, a strong culture creates unity, meaning we can share our success and struggles, engage in conversations around improving our school, and feel that we are moving forward together.


Student Support

Along with building an overall positive climate in our building, we are also committed to focusing on individual student well-being. SMS will be launching an advisory program this year. Advisory provides each student a one-to-one relationship with an adult at Saco Middle School, as well as a consistent and ongoing small-scale peer community. Your student's advisor is also your primary contact person at SMS for academic and social/emotional concerns. We will provide more information on the program at the open house.


We also have a student support team that includes schools counselors and social workers to best support students. Please see contact information below.


Janice Johnston- school counselor (6th/7th grade)

jjohnston@sacoschools.org


Grading and Reporting

The purpose of the Saco Middle School grading and reporting system is to fairly and accurately reflect student learning.  The system supports student access to more challenging content and support to achieve proficient-to-high levels of performance.  Our frameworks are aligned to state and national academic goals and identify the essential skills and understandings that ALL students must be able to demonstrate.

Our system is designed to do the following:

·      Measure and accurately reflect student proficiency;

·      Use high quality feedback to support the learning process and encourage student success;

·      Separately assess academic achievement and learner behaviors;

·      Use a common lens to accurately, consistently, and fairly score the quality of student work;

·      Provide opportunities for students to engage in relearning and reassessment;

·      Provide detail of student’s strengths and areas of weakness in order to personalize learning         

      experiences; and

·      Provide meaningful achievement information to students, parents, and high schools.


Student progress and reporting to students and families will occur on a regular and timely basis. The following are highlights of our grading and reporting practices:


  • Assignments and grades will be entered on a regular basis.  

  • Assignments will be listed as either a formative, interim, or summative.  Each assessment type has a different weight to indicate its relative importance as evidence of mastery.  This will be explained in more detail later in this document.

  • Course grades are determined by an average of the assignments with summatives having a 70% weight and interims having a 30% weight.  

  • Different from the traditional system of the past where each trimester represents fixed learning and then all three trimesters are averaged together for a final grade, grade reporting going forward will be dynamic.  Grades are not “closed” every 12 weeks.  Grades are open to reflect a student’s new understanding and demonstration of learning until June.  

  • A progress report will be sent via email every 6 weeks.

  • At the end of a 12-week trimester, student grades will be evaluated and both academic and habits of work recognitions will be determined.

 

Parent/Community Engagement

  • Principal’s Coffee - A morning and evening time will be established for a monthly opportunity for parents and community members to engage in conversations about school with the school administration.  Conversations will range from discussions about “good happenings” at SMS, to sharing of data, to talking about our direction.  An agenda will be posted on the Principal’s Page and sent electronically a week prior to the meeting.  The first meeting will be in the Fall.

  • Principal’s Page - The page will be used to inform parents and community members of the teaching and learning happening at SMS; to share information on the many initiatives of SMS; to share readings, interesting videos, and other informative writings, such as blog posts; and to educate people on proficiency-based education and project-based education.  As important as it is for the community to be kept abreast of what is happening in our school through the administrative office, I believe it is equally important that the community hears from students and staff.  Therefore, I intend to have staff and students contribute their thoughts.  I intend to consistently post items in order to maintain strong communication and transparency.

  • Facebook & Twitter - This will be used to share recent posting to the Principal’s Page, upcoming events, co-curricular news, etc.  Please find us and like our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/sacomiddleschool/  You can follow our Twitter feed at, @Principal_SMS

  • Parent-Teacher Organization - Research shows that parent/community engagement is paramount for student achievement.  Too often schools create policies and programs and then attempt to sell the idea to parents instead of working with parents to develop and implement the policy or program. Real change will take place when the school and its various stakeholders partner around initiatives and work collaboratively to make a difference.  If you have an interest in partnering with the school as part of our PTO, please contact the main office either by phone or email.  We will have an initial meeting later in September.


Thank you for your ongoing support of SMS and being a part of our school community.  We wish the very best over the remainder of the summer break.  


Sincerely,



Brian Campbell, Principal Thomas Partridge, Assistant Principal


Brian Campbell


Mr. Brian Campbell

40 Buxton Road
Saco, Maine 04072
bcampbell@sacoschools.org
207-282-4181






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