Weekly Communication

Important Links

Phone: 515.987.3222    Attendance Line: 515.987.2785
Dates to note: http://blogs.waukeeschools.org/dbarry/dates-to-note
Weekly announcements: http://blogs.waukeeschools.org/dbarry/weekly-communication/ 
South MS webpage: https://southmiddle.waukeeschools.org/
Email: dbarry@waukeeschools.org
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WaukeeSMS
School Supplies & Handbook

2019-20 Weekly Parent Communication from South MS

Sep 30, 2019

Good beautiful morning! This morning, the sign-up window for our upcoming student-parent conferences opens. You can find all the information on our blog (click here). If you’ve done the online registration before, here is the quick link and password:

CLICK here for the registration link 
The password is smswarriors
Sign up under your child’s Advisory teacher

CONNECT:

  • If you haven’t responded to your 6th grader child’s science teacher’s field trip form already emailed to you regarding the upcoming field trip, please do so ASAP. Our teachers need every parent to fill out the form for their upcoming trip to Brenton Arboretum (Oct 16-18). Thank you!
  • If your child(ren) are in need of a winter coat, please contact counselor Haylie Steffensmeier at 515.987.3222 or email her: hsteffensmeier@waukeeschools.org
  • South MS’s Autism support group, Puzzle Pieces, will get underway in October. If you would like more information for your student, please email kmckibban@waukeeschools.org The group plans to meet during Advisory on Friday mornings.
  • Our AEA has a CONNECTion networking and support opportunity for parents and caregivers of children with special needs. Click here for more information.

LEAD:

  • For our fall Parent-Student conferences, we are looking to families and our community to support our teacher meals during the two evenings. Please click here to sign up to help!
  • We are in the middle of our annual community winter warmth drive. Students started to bring items in last week and we will continue this week. We are collecting new and in-good-condition items your family is willing to share with others: Click here for more information.
  • This month, South Middle School Library invites students to decorate a paper pumpkin like their favorite book. Download the template (click here) and view examples (click here). Turn them in to the library so they can be displayed!

EXPLORE:

  • Magic Club (no experience necessary) and basketball are two of our latest “adds” to our growing after school activities opportunities. Check them out on our activities page here: http://blogs.waukeeschools.org/dbarry/activities 
  • Last spring we started a conversation with a group of South MS parents to discuss equity, inclusion, cultural differences and valuing perspectives. Our group has grow to become a team of parents, educators and community members from multiple school communities across our Waukee district. Once a quarter, we do some learning, some sharing, some challenging, some thinking…with the plan to put into as much of our learning and selves into action. Our last meeting included a conversation with the author of Raising White Kids: Bringing Up Children In a Racially Unjust America. A connected article is linked here as an example of how we challenge and extend our own thinking. If you are interested in joining the conversation, let me know. 

Enjoy the gorgeous week! 

Sep 30, 2019

Good morning. Welcome (almost) to October! We had a fun homecoming week and now it is back to normalcy, or as close as you can get to that in a middle school. 🙂  It was fun to see so many families at our SMS Tailgate on Friday. Hope all of you enjoyed the homecoming weekend. 

CONNECT!

  • Thank you to the many parents who donated items for our Homecoming Party last Friday or came in to volunteer. We had over 400 students stay and it was a blast.
  • Picture packets went home last week. If you didn’t order pictures but now want them, information as to how to order online went home with your child as well. Picture retakes will be later this month but a date has not been set yet.

LEAD!

  • Parent-Student-Teacher conferences will be held October 22 and 24. This is a great opportunity to hear more about what and how your child is doing in each of his/her classes. Sign-up begins next week.  
  • If you did not make it to our SmartDevices SmarterParents workshop but were curious what presentations and resources were shared, check out all the information by clicking here.

EXPLORE!

  • Want to come and investigate some finance topics? 6th graders will be looking at different financial literacy topics throughout this semester, and we’d love to have parents come to investigate financial topics more. On October 10, come for games, conversations, and investigations into different financial topics.  Please fill out this registration form to RSVP and let us know what topics you want to explore.  Contact Crystal Bobier at cbobier@waukeeschools.org with any questions.
  • This year’s 6th grade play is Once Upon a Pine: The Adventures of Pinocchio. We are looking for students who are interested in either cast (performing) or crew (working behind the scenes). Students who may be interested in participating as either cast or crew may attend an informational meeting on either October 14th or October 15th from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. in Mrs. McGrath’s room, room 620. Students only need to attend one of the informational meetings. More info can be found at https://bit.ly/2n9VnbN. Can’t make the meeting? E-mail Mrs. Snicker at csnicker@waukeeschools.org.  
  • We have quite a few other before and after school activities so check them out on our blog here: http://blogs.waukeeschools.org/dbarry/activities-2/ 

The beginning of October (Oct 3) brings me to my annual not-school-related task of gathering suggestions for: “How to celebrate our anniversary?” Each of the last few year’s I’ve asked SMS parents for ideas as to how/where to celebrate my wife, Jen and my anniversary (21st this year!). You’ve never disappointed me (great movie, restaurant & activity suggestions!) so I’m at it again. 😉 If you have ideas, let me know! Thank you in advance and have a wonderful week…I’ll let you know how it goes for me! 

Sep 23, 2019

Good evening and happy Homecoming Week! It is a fun and busy week coming at South MS so let’s get to the information: 

HOMECOMING SPECIAL: CONNECT, EXPLORE & LEAD:

  • Homecoming Party: Any student may stay after school on Friday, September 27th and attend the party. The cost is $5 and tickets will be sold before school (cash or check) each morning this week. Students will get a snack, drink and be able to play games, dance and sing. Students need to be picked up at 4:45p. Proceeds go toward our annual spring volunteer event in which we engage all of our 7th graders each year. Parents will get an email Thursday with more details as to how and where to pick students up.
  • We still need some supplies and adult volunteers for our Homecoming Party so please consider helping out. Click here to see how you can help. If you can only help later (i.e. 4:00-4:45p), just email Sam Kuehl to let her know as we’d still love to have the help. It is a blast so come join us! 
  • Homecoming Family Tailgate is on Friday at Centennial Park at 5:30p and is for all South MS families. For only $10 you can feed your entire family! Pay online (click for RevTrack) or RSVP (click here) and pay the night of the event (cash or check). The deadline is Tuesday afternoon so we can be sure to order enough food. Families are welcome (but you don’t have to!) to bring dessert or an appetizer…please make it a finger food as we will not be doing plates and silverware. Rain location is the South MS commons. 
  • Homecoming dress up days are here. We are celebrating Homecoming this whole week (Sep 23-27) with fun dress up days!
    • Monday – Pajama Day
    • Tuesday – Tropical Tuesday
    • Wednesday – Meme Day
    • Thursday- Dynamic Duo or Group Day (dress alike)
    • Friday – Warrior Spirit Day (wear purple, Warrior or South MS attire)
      • Students can color their hair but we ask this is done at home. All face painting should be done at home as well and we ask that face painting be limited to a “W” or lines and not a student’s entire face since they are at school all day. 🙂 

Make it a fun, spirit filled week for you and your own! Go Warriors!

Sep 16, 2019

Good evening! Whether you are a Cyclone or Hawkeye or neither, I hope you had an enjoyable weekend. We find ourselves in the middle of September already with Homecoming week just around the corner (next week). A few details about Homecoming activities and other items to note are below:

CONNECT:

  • Homecoming Party: Any student may stay after school on Friday, September 27th and attend our annual Homecoming party. The cost is $5 and tickets will be sold before school next week. Students will get a snack, drink and be able to play games, dance and sing. Students need to be picked up at 4:45p. This event has always been a big hit with our students, staff and parents!
  • Parents: we need your help with our upcoming Homecoming party for our students! See how you can help and sign up to help by clicking here
  • Attention ALL SMS Families! Make it a night by joining us for a South MS Homecoming Family Tailgate before the Waukee Warriors football game. We will host our 2nd Annual South MS Tailgate on Friday, September 27th at Centennial Park from 5:30-7:00p. It is only $10 per family and you can pay online here or RSVP here and pay when come that night. It should be a lot of fun and great way to CONNECT with other SMS families and staff.

EXPLORE:

  • There are a number of returning and new before and after school activities and clubs that include: trading card game Magic: The Gathering (MTG); chess club, math counts, HyperStream, a theme running club and several more. Check them out and sign up for one or more on our activities blog: http://blogs.waukeeschools.org/dbarry/activities 

LEAD:

  • We have had a few questions from parents about lunch and the amount of money being spent each day by their child. If you choose that your child(ren) should NOT purchase a la carte (extra) items and/or you want to set up limits, do so in SchoolCafe at www.SchoolCafe.com. Our nutrition staff cannot remove items from students plates unless limits are in place by parents. Questions, call 515.987.3222 and ask for our nutrition department.
  • We are in need of adult volunteers to read with students and listen to students read in 6th grade between 11:45a-12:20p. Volunteers could come 1 or more days a week. Please contact Andrea Harbaugh if interested – aharbaugh@waukeeschools.org

Make it a great week for you and everyone you meet. 

Sep 9, 2019

Good evening! Hope you and your family enjoyed a wonderful weekend. It was great to see many of you at our Walk In My Shoes event last Thursday night. If you did not complete the survey emailed out on Friday, please do so now [click here]. Whether you attended or not, please complete the survey as we want the feedback to make our parent/guardian events even better. Thank you in advance! Now for you weekly items:

CONNECT:

  • Attention all SMS families! Fun! Food! Connecting! We will host our 2nd Annual South MS Tailgate on Friday, September 27th at Centennial Park. It is only $10 per family and you can pay online here or RSVP here and pay when come that night. It should be a lot of fun and great way to CONNECT with other SMS families and staff.
  • Teachers post the BIG ROCKS on a shared document linked on our blog, Weekly Planning Document (click here). Students write/enter these in their planners each Monday. Check it out online AND ask your child as to how they keep track of their upcoming week assignments and activities. 

EXPLORE:

  • There are a number of after/before school activities beginning this week. To read about them, check out our Daily Announcements on our blog: http://blogs.waukeeschools.org/dbarry/daily-announcements/ 
  • MAP Assessment begin this week. These math and reading assessments are online and taken in the fall and spring. Students take both assessments within their language arts class time on a two specific days. The schedule can be found here. Please schedule appointments around your child’s scheduled MAP time as make-ups require us to pull students from class. Thank you!
  • Waukee CSD is hosting a series of parent workshops with the first one being SmartDevices SmarterParentsTo learn more and RSVP, check out our Waukee website: click here

LEAD:

  • We will start Junior Silver Cord at SMS again this fall. Click this link for more information as to how your child can get involved. info   
  • We are still looking for parent, guardian, grandparent or community volunteers with instrumental music skills that might be willing to work with students one-on-one during our Band Basics class, 2nd period on “B” days. These students are working hard to develop the skills they need to play in the band at SMS. If you have skills on clarinet, saxophone, trumpet or low brass, please email Janice Cunningham jcunningham@waukeeschools.org, or Josh Deutmeyer jdeutmeyer@waukeeschools.org

Make it a great week for you and people you meet! 

Sep 2, 2019

Happy Labor Day! I hope your family enjoyed the long weekend. Cyclone, Hawkeye and even Panther fans got to enjoy some good football this weekend. Our Duck-family was not so pleased. 🙁 This past week’s full week of school at SMS was a fun one as students and staff got off to a great start. We hope as many of you parents/guardians as possible come this Thursday evening to meet your child’s teachers, walk your child’s schedule and learn a little bit more about what a day-in-the-life is like for your child. Learn more and sign up on our blog: http://blogs.waukeeschools.org/dbarry/parentnight 

CONNECT:

  • We will host our 2nd Annual South MS Tailgate on Friday, September 27th at Centennial Park. It is only $10 per family and you can pay online here or RSVP here and pay when come that night. It should be a lot of fun and great way to CONNECT with other SMS families and staff.
  • Schedule change requests can be submitted through our blog until the end of this week but reminder that changes are not automatic. If a change cannot be made, you will be contacted http://blogs.waukeeschools.org/dbarry/schedule-change-request/
  • High School Dance Team plans to sell Homecoming t-shirts this year from 7:35am – 8:00am at South Middle School starting tomorrow and will sell through September 20th, or until we run out of t-shirts. The cost is $10 and they accept cash or checks made payable to Waukee Dance Team. https://tinyurl.com/WaukeeHC2019

EXPLORE:

  • Picture Day is this Wednesday, Sep 4th! To order online, click here. Picture packets were sent home with students last week. 
  • Mrs. Snicker will be leading an after school activity this fall: Young Writers’ Club. It starts Thursday, Sept 12 and you can sign your child up online here. This is limited so it will be first come first serve sign up.
  • MAP Assessment begin next week. These math and reading assessments are online and taken in the fall and spring. Students take both assessments within their language arts class time on a two specific days. The schedule can be found here. Please schedule appointments around your child’s scheduled MAP time as make-ups require us to pull students from class. Thank you!
  • Is your child looking for a little more art in thier life? Join us on Thursday mornings at 7:15 to create some exciting projects! Each month is a new project to enjoy with like-minded people. Space is limited so sign up soon!! Parents can sign up on Mrs. Ludwig’s website mrsludwigart.weebly.com

LEAD:

  • If you are picking up your child anytime during the day, please have them stop in the office to pick up a pass so they can meet you in the office later that day. This helps reduce the disruptions of the classroom to call students out.
  • We will start Junior Silver Cord at SMS again this fall. Click this link for more information as to how your child can get involved. info   
  • We are looking for parent, guardian, grandparent or community volunteers with instrumental music skills that might be willing to work with students one-on-one during our Band Basics class, 2nd period on “B” days. These students are working hard to develop the skills they need to play in the band at SMS. If you have skills on clarinet, saxophone, trumpet or low brass, please email Janice Cunningham jcunningham@waukeeschools.org, or Josh Deutmeyer jdeutmeyer@waukeeschools.org
  • We have parent willing to lead an after school basketball group for students but is looking for a couple other parents to assist. If you are interested, contact me and I will connect you with the parent leading this group: dbarry@waukeeschools.org.

If you are still reading this…remember 2 things: have your child SMILE on Wednesday and you should be at South MS at 3:30p or 5:45p on Thursday with your walking shoes on! Make it a great week

Aug 26, 2019

Friday was a successful start to our school year with many smiles, some lost students (we did get them to the right place!) and lots of high fives! As of tomorrow, we have enrolled 51 new-to-the-district students to bring our student enrollment at SMS to just under 850 students. As we get into the routine this week, we look forward to getting to know our new and returning students even more as we know how important positive relationships are to learning! Now for you upcoming week items to note:

CONNECT:

  • Our 1st Parent Night is approaching! It is Thursday, Sept 5th and is a great night for you to meet all of your child’s teachers, learn a bit about what your child will be doing this semester and meet parents of other students in your child’s classroom. Visit our blog to learn more and for the link to SIGN UP TODAYhttp://blogs.waukeeschools.org/dbarry/parentnight
  • We are still in need of a few items for our Teacher Meal during Parent Night #1. Please consider helping provide our staff a meal between parent sessions that evening. Select an item by clicking here.
  • We will host our 2nd Annual South MS Tailgate on Friday, September 27th at Centennial Park. It is only $10 per family and you can pay online here or RSVP here and pay when come that night. It should be a lot of fun and great way to CONNECT with other SMS families and staff. 

EXPLORE:

  • Waukee CSD is hosting a series of parent workshops with the first one being SmartDevices SmarterParentsTo learn more and RSVP, check out our Waukee website: click here
  • Picture Day is next Wednesday, Sept 4th! To order online, click here. Picture packets will be sent home with students this week. 
  • Mrs. Snicker will be leading an after school activity this fall: Young Writers’ Club. It starts Thursday, Sept 12 and you can sign your child up online here. This is limited so it will be first come first serve sign up.
  • What else is coming up soon? Check out our dates to note page on our blog.http://blogs.waukeeschools.org/dbarry/dates-to-note 

LEAD:

  • Attention 7th graders: two leadership Advisory classes are looking for addtional 7th grade leaders to join them. Apply for one or both this week! For S.W.A.T. (Tech Leaders) click here and for Yearbook Leaders click here. Our 6th grade leadership positions will be available in mid-September so look for that information later.

On Friday, KCCI will be doing a live broadcast outside of South MS before school as part of a story for an upcoming parent event, SmartDevices SmarterParents that will be broadcast that evening. Just wanted to share this with you in case you come to drop off your child and see the reporter/camera in front of South. All is okay! 🙂 

Aug 21, 2019 – OPEN HOUSE EDITION

Open House is tonight from 5:00-7:00 pm. This is an opportunity for students and families to come in, meet their teachers, drop off supplies, walk their new schedules, locate and practice opening their lockers, and generally familiarize themselves with the building. A few items to note regarding Open House:

  • If you were here for the 6th grade/New to Waukee walk through yesterday, please bring the copy of your student’s scheduleincluding the locker number and combination. You will need this to find your student’s classrooms.
  • If you are unable to access your student’s schedule or would like a hard copy of it, please proceed to the commons. We have some energetic 7th grade leaders handing out schedules.
  • Begin Open House by finding your child’s color team pod (click here); once that’s done, feel free to walk your schedule.
  • If you ordered a prepackaged supply pack, you can pick these up in your advisory teacher’s classroom (building map here).
  • The SMS 7th grade Ambassador group will be spread throughout the building to help; they will be wearing bright pink t-shirts. They are looking forward to helping parents and students around the building!
  • If your child’s locker is too high to reach, we will be taking care of switching lockers the first day of school, within their Advisory classroom the first day of school – we will not make locker changes tonight
  • Take a Family Photo! We will have a Waukee backdrop in the atrium area and encourage each family to take a quick family picture. Post it with the #SMSWaukee hashtag or email to tbroderick@waukeeschools.org so we can share it on our Happy Boards.
  • In addition to our Open House opportunity, we will be running our 1st Parent Night on Thursday, September 5th. This has been a popular event for our parents in the past. If you haven’t signed up already, please do so today! Click here for more info and a link to sign up.
  • hope to do a Facebook Live post around 4pm if you have any questions you can ask online!

…and that’s it for your Open House information! We cannot wait to see all of you this evening as begin our partnership with your family.  

Aug 19, 2019

This is the week you (parents!) have been waiting for since mid July! 🙂 School starts this Friday & we cannot wait to get the school year going at South. It is a busy week for our staff including Open House Wednesday night between 5-7p. Here is your information for the week:

CONNECT:

  • If your family is NEW to Waukee this fall, please fill out this Google (click here) form so we can get to know you better. We can also provide you a personalized tour with one of our students (choosing a time is part of the form). 
  • On Tuesday, from 4-6p, new to Waukee students and 6th graders can visit South MS to practice opening your lockers & walk your schedule. We ask you to wait to bring supplies until Open House
  • Schedule change requests can be submitted through our blog but reminder that (1) changes are not automatic & (2) due to the number of requests, changes will be reflected on your child’s schedule prior to Friday. If a change cannot be made, you will be contacted. Blog link: http://blogs.waukeeschools.org/dbarry/schedule-change-request/

LEAD:

  • Parents can be AWESOME Leaders by following our drop off & pick up procedures correctly & with a smile! Study up on those safety procedures here: http://blogs.waukeeschools.org/dbarry/traffic/
  • We are in need of parent volunteers to help with School Picture Day at SMS. We are looking for 5-6 parent volunteers to help students find their “name tag indicators” during school picture day (Wednesday, September 4th) as we call students into the gym to take their photos. Volunteers will also help guide students to the first camera available. Please click here to sign-up if you are interested

EXPLORE:

  • When is Open House? When is and how do I sign up for the first parent night? What other dates do I need to know? Check out our dates to note blog page here: http://blogs.waukeeschools.org/dbarry/dates-to-note/ 
  • Students daily schedules are found on our blog here. http://blogs.waukeeschools.org/dbarry/daily-bell-schedule/
  • On August 20, bus Information will be shared with families via email from Durham Transportation (515-987-2788).
  • If you ordered your child(ren)’s school supplies through the PTO, the supply box was  delivered to your child’s Advisory classroom and you will have them at Open House. If you are getting your supplies on your own, find our school supply list online here.
  • Looking for something to get your student back in the reading mode this week? Have them (and you) read our student handbook. Click here.

Hope to see all of you Wednesday night at our Open House and each of your children on Friday! Enjoy your week. 

Aug 12, 2019

Guess what? Tomorrow schedules released! Please note the majority of our office staff at SMS will be at a workshop out of the building all day today & tomorrow and unavailable to take phone calls. If you have enrollment questions, contact enrollment services (enrollment@waukeeschools.org) or wait until Wednesday to call or stop in to get assistance. Here are your items for the week:

CONNECT:

  • Students will be able to access their schedules tomorrow (Tuesday, August 13th) after 10am through PowerSchool IF…
    • You have registered your child, and
    • you have paid your fees or completed the fee waiver form.
    • If you get an error message tomorrow when logging in to PowerSchool, you have not completed one or both of the steps above (please note it takes 24-48 business hours from completing registration to accessing your child’s schedule online).
  • What color team is my child on? When you access your child’s schedule, click here to see which team.
  • Schedule changes – as schedules come out, please utilize the following form to request any schedule changes such as band/choir or Spanish/German: http://blogs.waukeeschools.org/dbarry/schedule-change-request  When requesting to drop or add an elective, please know that other classes may be affected. Example would be a math or elective class might change periods if you request to add/drop choir. I’m also going to plug the “students don’t need a study hall” as I always encourage every student to try band/choir. At this level, daily study hall is not a necessity for 90% of our students. 🙂 If you have any specific questions regarding scheduling, feel free to reach out to Mr. Young, assistant principal, or the appropriate counselor.
  • Bus routes will be shared with families via email the week prior to school.
  • We are still looking for a few more families to host a lunch for a small group of teachers this Friday. If interested, click here

LEAD:

  • A bit sad but expected 🙂 Box Tops for Education is moving to digital. Download the app online and be sure to select South Middle School as your school of choice: https://www.boxtops4education.com/

EXPLORE:

Enjoy your week and we cannot wait to see you next week!

Aug 5, 2019

As we roll into August, Mr. Young and I are putting the final touches on summer planning in order prepare for 90+ staff members and 800+ students to return to our classrooms, hallways and pods soon. This is the first week you will begin to receive a weekly update from me each Sunday evening or Monday morning with the “good-to-know” items for the upcoming week(s). This hopefully allows you to keep connected to our work, our events and our mission. 

As I begin my 6th year at South MS and 10th year in the Waukee district, I want you all to know my goals each and every day this year include: working our hardest to be collaborative partners with your family; caring deeply for our students and your children; and keeping our WHY at the center of what we do in order for us to collectively move toward our school’s vision and purpose shared aloud each day at South MS:

At South Middle School…
We CONNECT with our hearts.
We EXPLORE with our minds.
We LEAD to positively change our world.

Thank you for holding me accountable to these goals and our vision! My door, phone or email box is always “open” for you to share concerns, celebrations, ideas and feedback. Thank you in advance for your help and partnership! It is my pleasure to serve our school and community and I hope that is evident in all I do.

Now for your updates for the week. Sorry this first one is a bit longer than most!

CONNECT:

  • Students will be able to access their schedules next Tuesday, August 13th through PowerSchool IF…
    • You have registered your child, and
    • you have paid your fees or completed the fee waiver form.
    • On the 13th, if you get an error message next week when logging in to PowerSchool, you have not completed one or both of the steps above (please note it takes 24-48 business hours from completing registration to accessing your child’s schedule online). For help, contact the school (515.987.3222) or District Office enrollment services (515.987.2706).
  • Open House (link here) will be from 5:00-7:00 pm, Wednesday, August 21st. This will be a time for students to drop off their supplies and to walk their schedules.
  • New to Waukee? So far, we have over 30 new to Waukee students joining us from as far away as Virginia, Utah and California and as close as West Des Moines and Waukee MS. Welcome! You will need to get your access ID and password for PowerSchool in order to access your child(ren)’s schedule. Please talk to one of our secretaries (Michele or Teresa) and they can help you navigate PowerSchool. Call 515.987.3222 or stop in to South to begin. Also complete please our New to Waukee survey form: click here.
  • School Supplies – If you ordered your child(ren)’s school supplies through the PTO, the supply box will be delivered to your child’s Advisory classroom before Open House. If you are getting your supplies on your own, find our school supply list online here.
  • Bus routes will be shared with families via email the week prior to school.

LEAD:

  • We have a few before and after school clubs, groups and activities which you can find on our blog here: We are constantly looking for more activities for our students to CONNECT with others and EXPLORE their passions. If you have an idea, contact me and I can share with you how we might be able to get your idea started here at South!
  • Every 6th and 7th grader will get a planner this year. This is a change as we did not get every 7th grader planners last year. If a student wants to use their own planner, that is fine but we will still provide all students with a school one. 
  • Begin to study drop-off and pick-up procedures found on our blog. If everyone follows the procedures online, it really goes quite well! Really. It does. A quiz will be given to parents on the first day so study up!

EXPLORE:

  • Find our upcoming dates to get on your calendar on our blog here. This includes a special time for 6th graders and New to Waukee students to come into the building to practice their lockers and walk their schedule. 
  • It may or may not affect you but worth sharing with all: Waukee High School has slightly adjusted their school day start/end time. The new times are: Regular Day 8:10am – 3:10pm; Early Dismissal 8:10am – 1:10pm

Okay, too many words from me. Enjoy your week and we look forward to seeing you and your family soon! 

May 27, 2019

Wow. This Thursday brings us to our last day of school. Lots of fun and engaging activities for our students planned this week and you can find that information below under “Explore.” I want to thank you all being a supportive group of parents this year. For those with your youngest/only child being in 7th grade, I wish you the best of luck as your child and family move forward in your journey here in Waukee. For families moving or changing school districts this coming fall, best of luck in all you do. It was great serving each of you! For our 6th grade parents and parents who have a future-South middle schooler, have a great summer and I will “see you soon.” 

CONNECT:

  • Repeat announcement: Parents wishing to join our summer book club should check out this opportunity: click hereThe books have been ordered so if you join now, you’ll need to choose the “purchase books on my own” option.
  • Whether your child is in 6th or 7th grade, if you know your child will not be in Waukee next year, please email today: skramer@waukeeschools.org
  • Thank you to our SMS neighbor, Johnson Orthodontics, for offering to host a celebration tomorrow for our students at the end of the year. Read more about it here

LEAD:

  • Thank you to Drew’s Crew for donating 13 instruments to our South MS band program! The support they have given us this year has allowed numerous students to join our band and band basics programs and many would not have been able to experience band without this support. 

EXPLORE:

  • We have a number of brave students who have volunteered to participate in the talent show on Wednesday. To make this a special event for our student body, this is a student/teacher ONLY event. If a student participating wants to share their performance with you, a teacher can record the performance on your child’s phone or device. Thank you for your understanding.
  • On Thursday, our students will be with their color teams from 1:00p until dismissal (2:58p). If you are picking your child up early, it might be easiest for you to pick them up at 1:00p as tracking down students between 1:00-2:58p will be challenging. 
  • June 18 is the last day parents can view student’s current year grades/standards in PowerSchool. Please get logged on prior to that date to see your child’s 2018-19 standards/grades.
  • The World Language Department will be offering a free 3 day Summer German Soccer Camp that is being sponsored by the German Government. It will include learning German and Soccer combined with 2 Professional German Trainers. We only have about 20 spots for this special offer. To sign up, please go to this link on Revtrak – Rev Trak German Soccer Sign up Link https://waukee.revtrak.net/WS-Redirect/?wsresource=eventDetail.html%3fid%3d1053405
  • A celebration of creative problem-solving and empowerment, YHA Team Elektra all-girls leadership program is being offered at South MS this year through our Community Education program. To learning more and sign up, visit RevTrak at https://waukee.revtrak.net/RW-Community-Ed/.

I want to thank each of you for making this another successful year. Success is not always defined by everything going right. Every day of school presented our 800+ students and nearly 100 staff members with exciting learning opportunities, engaging projects, amazing presentations, fun assemblies, activities that connected us to each other and “Wow!” student performances in the classroom, on the stage and in our community; but we also encountered frustrating failures, poor choices that resulted in tears and consequences, along with disappointing peer situations, not getting the leadership role, the part nor the grade and shared sadness for and with students and staff who struggled with family losses, illnesses and frustrations. I tell students (and parents) all the time, “I don’t expect perfection. I expect us to learn from our mistakes and try our best to limit or avoid the BIG mistakes.” As a FAMILY at South Middle School we celebrated together, we learned together from our set-backs, failures and mistakes and we grew stronger because of all of our experiences. Thank you parents, guardians, students and staff for a successful year of learning and growing stronger together!

May 20, 2019

As we come to the end of the school year, we excited to share with you a wonderful summer CONNECT and EXPLORE opportunity for our parents! A team of teachers have put together a summer book club with a purpose to increase access to culturally relevant books and promote a love of reading in our schools and communities. Take a couple minutes to read about the book club here. We hope many of our parents, teachers, Waukee staff and community members able to join the book club and conversation  this summer so sign up today! Deadline is this Wednesday if you choose the option of us buying the books for you. If you get the books on your own, join anytime before June 10th. 

CONNECT:

  • Attention 6th grade families:  Interested in saving time and money on school supply shopping for next school year?   Order your school supplies for 7th grade now, and they’ll be waiting for you at SMS Open House in August. The School ID for SMS is WAU023. All 6th grade students received a handout with school supply order information.  Order your supplies by June 16th!
  • Thank you to our SMS neighbor, Johnson Orthodontics, for offering to host a celebration for our students at the end of the year. Read more about it here

LEAD:

  • 7th Graders: If you’re interested in being an ambassador at Timberline next year, please visit Mrs. Reeves’s Timberline blog and read the information on the Timberline Ambassadors tab. All applications are due Monday, May 20th at 8:00a.
  • AMOS (A Mid-Iowa Organizing Strategy), a central Iowa non-profit community
    organization made up of 30+ diverse member organizations who represent
    thousands of community members and works to implement identified community
    needs, is working to see that the mental health needs of OUR children do not
    continue to go unanswered. This organization is bringing their message and work to the suburbs and need our support and community input. Please consider attending a forum on June 6 from 6.30 to 8:00p to learn more. Click here to learn more.

EXPLORE:

  • June 18 is the last day parents can view student’s current year grades/standards in PowerSchool.
  • If you missed the Washington D.C. trip parent meeting, information can be found here. Deadline for signing up is approaching. Click hereThis is not a school sponsored trip.
  • The World Language Department will be offering a free 3 day Summer German Soccer Camp that is being sponsored by the German Government. It will include learning German and Soccer combined with 2 Professional German Trainers. We only have about 20 spots for this special offer. To sign up, please go to this link on Revtrak – Rev Trak German Soccer: Sign up Link

May 13, 2019

This week brings us our last early out for professional development of the school year. Our staff will be engaged in reviewing our building behavior and academic goals along with reflecting upon many other parts of our school year. If you have reflections to share, I would love to pass them along to staff as we celebrate our successes and determine how we can grow and do even better for our students, our parents and ourselves in 2019-20. Just drop me an email. Here are your big tickets items to know this week:

CONNECT

  • Gentle 🙂 reminder to consider parking in the parking lot at dismissal to wait for your child instead of waiting in line. If more parents would do this each day, the line would not extend out onto south-bound LA Grant. Thanks for considering this option. 
  • We are still in need parent/grandparent/guardian volunteers for our annual Meals from the Heartland event at South MS on May 24th. Ask your boss for a couple hours out of work to engage in community service with our 7th graders! Click here to sign up.
  • Attention 6th grade families:  Interested in saving time and money on school supply shopping for next school year?   Order your school supplies for 7th grade now, and they’ll be waiting for you at SMS Open House in August. The School ID for SMS is WAU023. All 6th grade students received a handout with school supply order information.  Order your supplies by June 16th!
  • Excited to share that our sister-school, Waukee Middle, has named Susan Anderson as their new principal. She is a fantastic choice to lead WMS and I look forward to collaborating with her in the years to come. Current WMS principal, Adam Shockey will be Timberline’s new principal and he has already visited 7th graders at SMS last week in order to begin developing relationships with our students. As always in Waukee, changes is a constant. 🙂 

LEAD

  • 7th Graders: If you’re interested in being an ambassador at Timberline next year, please visit Mrs. Reeves’s Timberline blog and read the information on the Timberline Ambassadors tab. All applications are due May 20th at 8 a.m.
  • Students have lots of leadership opportunities as South. There are four advisories that work on various leadership activities throughout the year – Ambassadors, SWAT, Art Leaders, and Yearbook. Our 6th graders can apply for 1 or all of the leadership opportunities and will be notified of their placement later in May. You can learn more information (CLICK HERE) and students can find the application on our blog: http://blogs.waukeeschools.org/dbarry/activities-2/

EXPLORE

  • The World Language Department will be offering a free 3 day Summer German Soccer Camp that is being sponsored by the German Government. It will include learning German and Soccer combined with 2 Professional German Trainers. We only have about 20 spots for this special offer. To sign up, please go to this link on RevtrakL sign up here.
  • Community Ed has several upcoming opportunities for 6th & 7th grade students. For more specific opportunities for 6th and 7th grade, please visit this link: 6th and 7th grade camps. Information, how to register, and the summer catalog are at Waukee Community Education.

Just 13 days left until summer! We hope to make each day matter. Hope you do the same. Enjoy your week…its looks like it will be a fantastic one. 

May 5, 2019

We continually try to EXPLORE best practices at South MS for our classrooms and building (both practices we are doing and practices we are not) in order to serve our students and families best. After much conversation, research, observation of our students and brainstorming, we are going to have students begin leaving their cell phones, air pods and e-watches in their lockers during the academic day starting tomorrow (Monday). We shared the WHY with students last Friday in a short message and I also talked to a number of students after school about how the change is not a drastic one as students will still have access before school, at passing if they need to check a message, during lunch and when teachers allow students to bring a device to class for an activity (i.e. Kahoot!, Google Classroom) or to research (we have lots of school tech to use as well). For parents, I have provided a number of resources below we used during our EXPLORE time. We want to end the school year by helping our students with a number of things: decrease distractions, reduce students’ FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) and reduce possible stress and anxiety we believe our students are feeling just to name a few. Thanks for continuing the discussions about healthy balance and supporting our decision. Feed back is always welcome! 

CONNECT:

  • We need parent/grandparent/guardian volunteers for our annual Meals from the Heartland event at South MS. If you have the time or have a work place that encourages you to volunteer in the community, have we got an opportunity for you! Sign up by clicking here
  • STARTS THIS WEEK!! Help South Middle School Ambassadors support the Waukee Community Closet. Students are asked to donate packages of NEW socks and lightly used tennis shoes and hoodies. The 6th and 7th grade teams with the most donations will earn tech lunch for a week! All items may be dropped off in the atrium May 6-9.Contact Megan FerchenLauren Crawford, or Sam Kuehl with questions.
  • This week is Teacher Appreciate Week so please take a moment sometime this week to (1) thank one of your teachers from the past who helped shape you; (2) email or send a note into school to thank a teacher or two; and/or (3) share a special school moment with your own children and encourage your child to consider being an educator of others when they grow up! Thank you to the many parents who donated items for our teachers this week. So appreciated. 

LEAD:

  • Students have lots of leadership opportunities as South. There are four advisories that work on various leadership activities throughout the year – Ambassadors, SWAT, Art Leaders, and Yearbook. Our 6th graders can apply for 1 or all of the leadership opportunities beginning this week and will be notified of their placement later in May. You can learn more information CLICK HERE and students can find the application on our blog: http://blogs.waukeeschools.org/dbarry/activities-2/

EXPLORE:

  • Who’s got talent?!? The annual SMS student talent show is coming up! If you’re interested in performing for your peers, please sign up for an audition in the atrium starting Friday, May 3. Sign ups will be available BEFORE school. Auditions will take place May 13 & 14 at 7:30 and 3:00. All types of talent are encouraged to participate – juggle, sing, dance, play an instrument, perform a magic act, tell jokes. Whatever your talent is, we want to see it! Contact Dr. Ferchen (6th grade) or Mrs. Campbell (7th grade) for more information.
  • Current 6th grade students will have a chance to travel to Washington DC during March 2020. Students should be receiving a packet with information on the trip as well as information on a parent meeting taking place on May 7th at Waukee Middle School. Please contact Jennifer Retzlaff jretzlaff@waukeeschoools.org for more information. This opportunity is not a school sponsored trip.

Just 18 days left of school. Wow! We look forward to finishing strong. Enjoy your week.

April 29, 2019

CONNECT:

  • Congrats! Mrs. McGrath, Ms. Smith and our 7th grade musical students did an amazing job this past weekend! Next up: 6th and 7th grade choir students take the stage Tuesday night. #Wow!
  • Help South Middle School Ambassadors support the Waukee Community Closet. The Waukee Community Closet has supported our community as our community continues to grow and grow (learn more here). Students are asked to donate packages of NEW socks and lightly used tennis shoes and hoodies. The 6th and 7th grade teams with the most donations will earn tech lunch for a week! All items may be dropped off in the atrium starting next week, May 6-9. Contact Megan Ferchen, Lauren Crawford, or Sam Kuehl with questions.
  • We need parent/grandparent/guardian volunteers for our annual Meals from the Heartland event at South MS on Friday, May 24th. If you have the time or have a work place that encourages you to volunteer in the community, have we got an opportunity for you! Sign up by clicking here.

LEAD:

  • Beginning tomorrow (Monday), our students will take the new state assessment, ISASP. All parents should click here and read the quick updates. 
  • Students have a number of leadership opportunities at South. As 7th graders, there are four advisories that work on various leadership activities throughout the year – Ambassadors, SWAT, Art Leaders, and Yearbook. Our 6th graders can apply for 1 or all of the leadership opportunities we have available. Applications are due ___ and students will be notified of their placement later in May. Students will learn more about these opportunities in Advisory soon (click here) and students can find the application on our blog: http://blogs.waukeeschools.org/dbarry/activities-2/

EXPLORE:

  • The Waukee APEX cordially invites families and staff to visit the Waukee APEX Showcase on Thursday, May 9, 2019, from 6-8 PM at the Waukee Innovation and Learning Center. The APEX student associates teamed with business partners to plan interactive displays perfect for all ages to share their project work from the semester in a fun way. Colleges from across the state and local businesses and clubs will be setting up information tables as well. This night is free and open to the public. Learn more here.
  • Shared with me and worth passing along: The Compassion Experience will be coming to Des Moines. This free event features an interactive journey through the true stories of children living in developing countries. Click here for more information
  • Current 6th grade students will have a chance to travel to Washington DC during March 2020. Students should be receiving a packet with information on the trip as well as information on a parent meeting taking place on May 7th at Waukee Middle School. Please contact Jennifer Retzlaff for more information. This opportunity is not a school sponsored trip.

April 22, 2019

I hope this finds you winding down from a beautiful spring weekend and getting ready for the week ahead. The warmer weather has been great as we started up our Move Time again at the end of each lunch and students (and staff!) are getting outside for some social and play time each day. 

CONNECT:

  • You are amazing. So many of you have volunteered to help us out during teacher/staff appreciation week (May 6-10). We have a few more needs/spots available. Please sign up today and THANK YOU!! Click here.
  • The next 10 days are HUGE for our students involved in the Fine Arts! Band concerts, Fine Arts Showcase, the 7th grade musical and Choir concerts all in a matter of 7 school days. Wow! Bring it on. It is going to ROCK! Find times, and links on our Dates to Note blog page: http://blogs.waukeeschools.org/dbarry/dates-to-note/

LEAD:

  • Next week, our students will take the new state assessment, ISASP. All parents should click here and read the quick updates. Questions, let us know! 
  • Please note: On Monday April, 29 students will be taking the math portion of the ISASP assessment. Students should begin making plans to have a calculator for their ISASP math test. A basic calculator is fine. NO graphing calculators or cell phones. If you need to purchase your own calculator the dollar store has several options. If you need assistance obtaining a calculator, please have your child speak with their advisory teacher.

EXPLORE:

  • I’ve had a few questions over the past few weeks about boundaries. The district continues to move forward with plans for the 2nd high school with the next major step being determining the secondary feeder system. Stay informed on our district webpage: https://2ndhs.waukeeschools.org
  • Repeat: Not an assessment, but a state requirement is for all students in Iowa to take the Conditions for Learning. Click here for more info.

Enjoy the week…70’s for most of the week! Love it! 

April 8, 2019

Wow. What a difference warm weather makes! When we get some consistent warm weather and our field to the south of our school dries out, we will start up our movement schedule again. This is when we extend out lunch by 7-8 minutes and our students (and some staff) get to go outside and play each day at the end of lunch for 10-15 minutes. It is a great way to get some sunshine, exercise and social time! We hope to start it soon. Now for you weekly info:

CONNECT:

  • Thank you to everyone who came out to our  Open Gym night this past week. Hope you can join us if we do it again sometime!
  • SMS is proud to present the 7th Grade musical: Willy Wonka Jr. Performances are April 26th at 7:00pm and April 27th at 1:00pm. at the Waukee Theater Arts Center at Prairieview School. Tickets are available now from SeatYourself. Please be sure to select the SMS (South Middle School) shows when purchasing.
  • Please consider helping us recognizing our teachers and associates during Teacher Appreciation week during the first week of May. Please check out how you can help by clicking here. Thank you in advance for your generosity! 
  • Attention 6th Grade Parents: a reminder that students entering the 7th grade are required to have 2 additional immunizations before they can start school in August. They need to have a meningococcal immunization and a Tdap immunization. Please contact your healthcare provider or Nurse Jenny at jbestul@waukeeschools.org if any questions.

LEAD:

  • MAP Assessment continues this week. Find the schedule here: http://blogs.waukeeschools.org/dbarry/dates-to-note/
  • Students will be taking our new state assessment April 29, 30 and May 2. In addition to not scheduling any appointments those mornings, we ask all parents read our memo regarding the new assessment. Click here

EXPLORE:

  •  Our band concert and Art Fair and Fine Arts Celebration is set for Tuesday, April 23. Come for one and stay for the other. Learn more about our Art Fair by clicking here.
  • Learn the latest news and information about our media center in this month’s Between the Lines Library memo by clicking here.
  • Community Ed has several upcoming opportunities for 6th & 7th grade students. For more specific opportunities for 6th and 7th grade, please visit this link: 6th and 7th grade camps. Information, how to register, and a sneak peek at the summer catalog are at Waukee Community Education.

This week, I will leave you a link that I’ve had a few parents share with me in the last week or so: 14 Apps Parents Should be Aware of: click here. Please check it out! Always appreciate when parents run across a good article, quote or advice and share it. Together we learn more. Make it a great week.

April 1, 2019

Growing up, each of my family members often spent the week prior to April 1st (and sometimes longer), planning out how we were going to trick, fool or prank each other on April Fool’s day. As we got older, the tricks became more elaborate and sometimes not as funny if you were on the receiving end. 🙁 Having April Fool’s Day on a Monday in a middle school might make some people nervous but I am guessing it will make it just another interesting and entertaining day at South MS. 🙂 If you’re looking for family friendly pranks for home, try this link or this link. If you get a good video or picture, use hashtag #SMSWaukee to share it with us. Hope you enjoy…and survive a Monday Fool’s Day in your house. Now for your weekly tidbits from SMS:

CONNECT:

  • South MS is hosting a family open gym night THIS Thursday, April 4, 6:00-8:00p. Come for part of all of the fun. We will provide FREE pizza so please RSVP here.  More information can be found here.
  • For you planners, our office is asking for parent and community help in positively recognizing our teachers and associates during Teacher Appreciation week during the first week of May. Please check out how you can help by clicking here. Thank you in advance for your generosity! 
  • Parents of incoming 6th graders (current 5th graders) to South MS should have received information from me via email about our upcoming Parent Orientation Night. You can find the information on our blog here.

LEAD:

  • Do you have a pile of Box Tops for Education at home? Please send them to the front desk at SMS! We collect Box Tops all year long and keep progressing toward our goal of exceeding $2000 collected through this promotion!

EXPLORE:

  • MAP Assessment begins on Monday. During language arts class time, students will be taking a math and reading assessment on the computer. This assessment is administered each fall and spring. Scores will be sent home in May. It is important you child is at school the day their class takes the assessment. The schedule is on our blog (click here). Look for your child’s language arts teacher’s name.
  • Speaking of assessments, students will be taking our state ISASP assessment April 29, 30 and May 2. In addition to not scheduling any appointments those mornings, we ask all parents read our memo regarding the new assessment (Click here). 
  • Not an assessment, but a state requirement is for all students in Iowa to take the Conditions for Learning survey with their science or social studies teacher in May. Find more information in this memo (click here). 

I will leave you with a Mark Twain quote this week that probably describes me a lot more than many of you (…and my wife would agree!): April 1. This is the day upon which we are reminded of what we are on the other three hundred and sixty-four.

He who laughs, lasts…especially on Monday,
Doug

March 25, 2019

Welcome back from Spring Break! We hope your child is rested and ready to head back to South. Wednesday brings us to the end of our 3rd quarter and we find ourselves beginning the last quarter of the school year. Here are your SMS items as we start the week.

CONNECT:

  • South MS will host a family open gym night on Thursday, April 4, 6:00-7:30p. This will be a great night to play all sorts of games, meet up with your child’s friends and meet new South MS families. We will provide FREE pizza so please RSVP here.  More information can be found here.
  • Ready to SPRING into a new book? Click the picture below to see the new books in the South Middle School Library! We can’t wait to see you soon!
    https://youtu.be/jNAbp2h5Yvk

EXPLORE

  • A good one to share: Great parenting website shared with me last week (and it’s not JUST for mom’s!): https://coolmomtech.com/2019/03/risky-social-apps-for-kids/ 
  • April will include our spring assessments. It is extremely important our students are present during testing days. On our blog’s Dates to Note, please check out the MAP (Measures of Academic Progress) dates for your child and our the dates for our new state assessment, ISASP (Iowa Statewide Assessment of Student Progress). Yes, another fun educational acronym! http://blogs.waukeeschools.org/dbarry/dates-to-note/
  • Not an assessment, but a state requirement the past two years for all students in Iowa is the Conditions for Learning survey. This is an important survey for students to share how they feel about the culture and climate of our school and teachers. Parents can read more about the survey here and to view the results from last spring, click here.

I am excited to help support our students and teachers to a strong finish. Thank you for your support in making this happen as well! 

March 11, 2019

After this week, students will be on spring break next week (March 18-22) and return on Monday, March 25. When we return, we begin our last quarter of the year on Wednesday, March 27. We also hope spring break actually brings us some SPRING like weather too! Here are a few items to note

CONNECT:

  • Get this on your calendar! South MS will host a family open gym night on Thursday, April 4, 6:00-7:30p. This will be a great night to play all sorts of games, meet up with your child’s friends and their parents and make new connections. More information to come.
  • Attention 6th Grade Parents: a reminder that students entering the 7th grade are required to have 2 additional immunizations before they can start school in August. They need to have a meningococcal immunization and a Tdap immunization. Please contact your healthcare provider or Nurse Jenny at jbestul@waukeeschools.org if any questions.

LEAD:

  • Do you have a pile of Box Tops for Education at home? Please send them to the front desk at SMS! We collect Box Tops all year long and keep progressing toward our goal of exceeding $2000 collected through this promotion!
  • The district is inviting the public, including you as parents, on March 12 from 7-8 p.m. and March 13 from 6-7 p.m. to the Waukee District Office, conference room 102, 560 SE University Avenue, to provide valuable input into determining the qualities of the next superintendent. 

EXPLORE:

  • REPEAT: Another after school opportunity, 3-D Printing Club, will be starting in March. Find more information and sign up online by clicking here

We hope you and your family enjoy a wonderful spring break!

MARCH 4, 2019

On March 3rd, I should not have tell you to share with your children, “Wear hat, gloves and a coat tomorrow!” but with warnings of dangerous wind-chills (-20), please dress accordingly and be safe as you leave the house in the morning. Looking for reasons to celebrate the elongated winter, I’m running a parent, student and staff contest entitled “The LAST of the Snow.” Find more details and each of your family enter your guess online by clicking here. Here are you items for the week:

CONNECT:

  • Our nutrition staff would like everyone to join them this week to celebrate National School Breakfast Week and get an entry card each time you eat a reimbursable breakfast to enter into a drawing to win cool prizes. Start your engines to win awesome prizes!

LEAD

  • Two things to talk about at home. In an effort to raise your own awareness, we wanted to pass along this information related to the MOMO challenge. Connected to the MOMO conversation has been how pre-teens and teens have had safety, privacy and sexting concerns with the use of WhatsApp (info here and here)

EXPLORE

  • April will include our spring assessments. It is extremely important our students are present during testing days. On our blog’s Dates to Note, please check out the MAP (Measures of Academic Progress) dates for your child and our the dates for our new state assessment, ISASP (Iowa Statewide Assessment of Student Progress). Yes, another fun educational acronym! 
  • The South MS Math Counts team placed 8th out of 36 middle school teams at this past week’s state event, while a group of former SMS students (Timberline 8th graders) took 4th! Two SMS students, Yatharth and Caleb, finished in the top 10 out of 362 mathletes! Congrats to our students and coaches on an outstanding season.
  • Another after school opportunity, 3-D Printing Club, will be starting in March. Find more information and sign up online here: https://waukee.revtrak.net/tek9.asp?pg=ws_redirect&Extra_params=newurl~eventDetail.html%3Fid%3D1030594

Despite the cold week ahead, find a way to warm someone’s heart with a random act of kindness or just a smile. 

Febrary 25, 2019

This week brings us to the end of February but to the end of our cold winter quite yet! Students will be engaged in our monthly grade level assemblies early in the week and we will have the opportunity to gather all of our students on Friday to watch and listen to our 7th grade show choir and jazz band who have both had very successful seasons this year! Just another example of how students who work hard, pursue passions and explore new adventures can do amazing things. Now for your weekly update; 

CONNECT:

  • Thank you to everyone who came out to our last Parent Night of the school year. If you were unable to make it, please do not hesitate to reach out to your child’s teachers to check in and log into PowerSchool to view your child’s progress.

LEAD

  • Thank you to all the parents who provided food for our teacher meal during Parent Night. Your generosity and willingness to help out is so appreciated.

EXPLORE

  • 7th grade musical tryouts are this week. Information on Mrs. McGrath’s blog: http://blogs.waukeeschools.org/amcgrath/7th-grade-musical/
  • 2019 Iowa Junior Thespian Festival – Kids of the Future: An Exploration of Theatre will be on March 30th, 2019 at the Prairieview Theater Arts Center. The 2019 Iowa Junior Thespian Festival is a great chance for middle school students to participate in theatre activities and learn from some outstanding theatre artists. Waukee Middle School students are invited to join us for an exciting day that will be filled with performances, workshops, and time to meet students from across the state of Iowa. The workshop will be held at the PV Theatre Arts Center and will run from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm. The fee for the day is $30 and covers the workshops, a Thespian t-shirt and a pizza lunch. Information will be available through Mrs. McGrath at amcgrath@waukeeschools.org. Spots need to be reserved by Friday, March 1st.

Febrary 18, 2019

We survived Valentine’s Day week at South MS and our Interest Groups got off to a great start on Thursday. Students will meet with this new group each Thursday for the next 9 weeks. This sessions group ideas came from students/staff and include topics such as: gymnastics, card games, food tasting, Random Acts of Kindness, walking club, coding, nail salon, Gross Science, nap time (yes, nap time!), Star Wars, Memes and many more! It is one more way we try to encourage new CONNECTions at SMS.

CONNECT:

  • Our 3rd Parent Night is this Wednesday and Thursday. If you have not signed up yet, visit our blog for the link to sign up and watch a video as to what to expect during this evening of learning about how your child is progressing in their classes. See you later this week!  http://blogs.waukeeschools.org/dbarry/parentnight/ 
  • South Middle School Yearbooks must be pre-purchased this year through RevTrak for $20. Login to RevTrak, click on School Payments, click on South Middle School, click on South Middle School Yearbook. Yearbooks will be delivered to students on the last day of school as an end-of-year activity. Payment history can be checked within RevTrak through the My Account, My Settings. Many families purchased yearbooks during registration in July or Aug 2018. Need help? Email Mrs. Ghelf at jghelf@waukeeschools.org or call the front desk at 515-987-3222.
  • Want to CONNECT with other Waukee parents and support our students at the same time? The Waukee Foundation Annual Auction is this coming Saturday and is a great way to do just that. Purchase tickets here: https://e.givesmart.com/events/c8D/  

LEAD:

  • Thank you to the 11 parents, 1 grandparent and 24 students who helped out with our lunch waste audit on Friday! We hope to have some good suggestions about next steps soon.

EXPLORE:

  • Mrs. Reinhold is having a book fair during parent night week this week! It will run from Feb.18th to the 21st. Please stop in the library when you’re in the building that week and check it out! Your students can come to the library to purchase books before and after school that week as well.
  • SMS Library Newsletter can be found here: https://www.smore.com/q0drw
  • All SMS 7th graders are invited to participate in the 7th Grade Musical – Willy Wonka, Jr. Performances are April 26th and 27th at the Waukee Theatre Arts Center. More detailed information is available on Mrs. McGrath’s blog under the “7th Grade Musical” tab or by clicking this link. Crew interest meetings will be held on Feb. 18th after school or Feb. 19th before school. Actors should choose either Monday Feb. 25th or Tuesday Feb. 26th to audition after school. Audition materials are available on Google classroom with code “gndgrq.” Both actors and crew members should complete a permission form prior to their meeting or audition. Let Mrs. McGrath know if you have questions!

Just a reminder, we have NO school this Friday, February 22, so enjoy your 3 day weekend.

He who laughs, lasts,
Doug Barry, Principal

Febrary 11, 2019

Valentine’s Day week at a middle school is always a fun week! Add to that more snowy weather, our show choir performing on Friday and the start of Interest Groups during Advisory on Thursday; and we are sure to have an exciting week. Even though Punxsutawney Phil promised an early spring, it seems he may have been pulling our leg. Here is hope for a great week for everyone and a bit of some spring-like weather soon! 

CONNECT:

  • Our 3rd Parent Night is fast approaching. If you have not signed up yet, visit our blog for the link and watch a video as to what to expect during this evening of learning about how your child is progressing in their classes. http://blogs.waukeeschools.org/dbarry/parentnight/ 
  • South Middle School Yearbooks must be pre-purchased this year through RevTrak for $20. Login to RevTrak, click on School Payments, click on South Middle School, click on South Middle School Yearbook. Yearbooks will be delivered to students on the last day of school as an end-of-year activity. Payment history can be checked within RevTrak through the My Account, My Settings. Many families purchased yearbooks during registration in July or Aug 2018. Need help? Email Mrs. Ghelf at jghelf@waukeeschools.org or call the front desk at 515-987-3222.
  • Want to CONNECT with other Waukee parents and support our students at the same time? The Waukee Foundation Annual Auction is a great way to do just that. See the details below. 

LEAD:

  • The Waukee Community Closet is in need of volunteers. Please consider grabbing a colleague, friend or family member and signing up to help., The Closet is 99% volunteer run. They couldn’t do it without help!! Juniors & seniors in high school can volunteer for everything. Freshman and sophomore can volunteer for donations and organizing times. Link to sign up is here

EXPLORE:

  • Mrs. Reinhold is having a book fair during parent night week! It will run from Feb.18th to the 21st. Please stop in the library when you’re in the building that week and check it out! Your students can come to the library to purchase books before and after school that week as well.
  • Lost and found items continue to pile up so check out our SWAT’s slide show highlighting some of the items: http://blogs.waukeeschools.org/dbarry/daily-announcements/

It’s the event everyone is talking about… the 2019 Foundation’s Annual Auction fundraiser! Tickets are on sale now for the February 23rd “New York State of Mind” themed event! Enjoy a casual night out with both live and silent auctions, food, drinks, games, fun, and entertainment. This is the largest fundraiser supporting the teachers and students of the Waukee School District and you won’t want to miss it!

Come for the cause. Stay for the FUN! Howl at the Moon dueling piano band will be the entertainment this year! They bring a first class dueling piano performance that is sure to have everyone singing, dancing, and of course… howling at the moon!

What: Waukee Schools Foundation Annual Auction Event
When: February 23, 2019
Where: Ron Pearson Center, 5820 Westown Pkwy, WDM
Who: YOU and your friends and neighbors!

Why? It’s for the KIDS! Proceeds from this event go directly to support classroom grants for innovative technology and additional learning tools to keep students engaged, professional development grants allowing teaching staff to attend workshops and seminars to keep our educators inspired and up-to-date, and scholarships for our graduating seniors.

This was a sold out event last year! Get your tickets today! www.givelove19.givesmart.com

February 3, 2019

Is it half-time yet? I thought sending this week’s parent message out during the Super Bowl would increase the exposure to my message…like the products in these commercials. Isn’t that how this works? Well, whether your team is winning or losing right now (or not even playing like my Eagles), the weekly SMS update is for the entire team to read. So put down the nachos and grab a soda to enjoy the exciting half-time message-show from my office at South MS…

CONNECT

  • Beginning tomorrow morning, parents can sign up for a conference time for our February 21 and 22 Parent Night #3. You will get an email in the morning with the direct link or can go to our blog for information and the link: http://blogs.waukeeschools.org/dbarry/parentnight/ 
  • National School Counseling is this week! There are some many amazing ways our counselors impact students, staff, families and our community. Please take time this week to send a note/email to your child’s counselor to show your appreciation: Ms. Dopheide, Mrs. Baugh, and Mrs. Steffensmeier.
  • South Middle School is sending some love to Liz Schultz, a former 6th Gold student who is bravely battling leukemia. Liz currently lives in Virginia and we want to CONNECT with her and show support by sending her socks that she can wear while she’s in the hospital. Join us in showing support and bring any NEW soft or silly socks to a gold pod teacher before next Friday, February 8th.

LEAD

  • We have had a number of parents express interest in our upcoming Equity Conversations which is very exciting. If you missed reading about it last week, here is the link here for more information. Still looking for a few more parents who represent our diverse populations at South. Please email or call me if interested. 

EXPLORE

  • Our 6th grade SWAT (tech leaders) Advisory created a e-lost-and-found slide show so parents can look for items that may not have come home from the comforts of your phone or home computer. Visit our blog to view (it will be updated every 2 weeks): http://blogs.waukeeschools.org/dbarry/daily-announcements/

That is it for this week from South. Enjoy the second half of the game! 

January 28, 2019

It looks to be a cold week ahead of us but the light (or warmth) at the end of the tunnel is a chance to see the temp in the 40’s by Saturday! Until then, please be sure your child wears appropriate winter clothing this week as the temps reach near record lows. We want all our students to be safe! Here are a few updates from South to warm you up as we start the week… 🙂 

CONNECT!

  • Our last Parent Night will be February 21 and 22. Next Monday, the window opens for parents to sign up for a time. To learn about the night focused on student learning, visit my blog and watch the video.
  • Mark your calendar and grab some friends and come out to show your support for the Waukee Schools Foundation’s Annual Auction Fundraiser (February 23, 2019)!
  • If your family was affected by the recent Federal Government shutdown, please reach out to our counselors; Mrs. Baugh (6th), Mrs. Steffensmeier (7th), and Mrs. Dopheide (Student Services) to let us know how SMS can best support your student and connect your family with area supports and assistance.

LEAD!

  • I had mentioned last week that am looking for parents and community members who would be willing and able to be a part of a school team with me to discuss ways we can strengthen and maintain an inclusive community at South MS. Please read the article I posted and call or email me this week if you’re interested. 

EXPLORE!

  • On Tuesday and Wednesday, our 7th grade students in health class will be engaging in a lesson with our counselor, a principal and our School Resource Officer regarding appropriate, healthy and respectful use of technology (computers, cell phones, social media and more). Ask your child what they talked about with us.
  • Ran across this parenting article on Twitter that is worth a share: The ‘Overparenting’ Crisis in School and at Home. As always, I’m interested to hear your thoughts and feedback.

Stay warm this week and be safe! 

January 21, 2019

I hope you enjoyed your weekend and Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. This quote came across my email yesterday and connected with the holiday we celebrated and to my goal work and learning this year:

Dr. King gave the “I have a dream” speech, not the “I have a plan” speech. It’s our dreams that change the course of history. ~ Simon Sinek

The professional goal I have been working on this year has been to strengthen our knowledge and skills needed to be a threat to the existence of inequity within our spheres of influence and to provide a space and voice to everyone of our stakeholders in order to assess our current reality and identify or address inequities within our school, district and community. After having some great 1:on:1 conversations with some parents and students 1st semester, I would like to CONNECT with more families by expanding the conversation to small groups of parents and community members. If you are interested in being a part of this school & community conversation, please reach out to me (email or call) so I can involve you in the learning, collaborating and work (dreaming!). I look forward to hearing your dreams for our students and our school community. Now for the rest of our updates:

CONNECT!

  • Our band students perform their Pops Concert tonight with 6th grade taking the floor at 6:00pm and 7th grade at 7:30pm. Students will get a sneak peak this morning during an all school assembly. 
  • The Foundation’s Annual Auction Event is February 23. This is always an informal, entertaining and fun time when you come with your significant other, colleagues or a group of friends. To find more information, click here. The Foundation supports our teachers and students in 3 primary areas: (1) Classroom Grants for innovative technology and additional learning tools to keep students engaged. (2) Professional Development Grants allowing teaching staff to attend workshops and seminars to keep our educators inspired and up-to-date. (3) Scholarships for our graduating seniors.
  • Look for information and conference sign-up next week as our next Parent Night is Feb 20 (1:30-3:30p) and 21 (3:30-7:30p).

LEAD!

EXPLORE!

  • Due to some technical difficulties and the shorten day last week, 7th grade students will meet with 8th grade counselor and Mrs. Steffensmeier today to register for Timberline classes. 
  • Next Monday 7th grade students in health class will be engaging in a lesson with our counselor, a principal and our School Resource Officer regarding appropriate, healthy and respectful use of technology (computers, cell phones, social media and more). Be sure to ask you child Monday night what they learned.

I hope you consider being a part of our school community conversation. I believe that together, we can move toward making big dreams a reality. Thank you and have a wonderful week.

January 14, 2019

Students come back to South this morning as we kick off our 2nd semester which means some elective classes change and a new beginning for teachers and students alike. The 2nd half of the year will provide all of us with more time to continue to explore our passions, connect with others and grow as learners and leaders! Here are your items for the week of January 15:

CONNECT!

  • Students should check out (link here) and print their new schedule at home or have it on their phone.
  • Do you have an activity, sport, passion or hobby you’d love to share with our students? We’d love to offer more before and after school activities for our students through our Community Education program. Connect with me if you have an idea you’d like to explore!

LEAD!

  • Parent help is needed for our Chess Club on Tuesday mornings. Contact me if you are willing and able to help 1 day a month or every week. 
  • Please consider helping with our February 21 teacher meal during our winter conferences. Go to this link to sign up: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/20f094bafac22a6fd0-parent1

EXPLORE!

  • Attention Families of 7th graders: BLUE registration sheets were passed out in your student’s social studies class last week. Some families may have already received one at registration night. All registrations sheets are DUE BACK to your student’s social studies teacher today, Tuesday, January 15. Mrs. Reed, 8th grade counselor, and Mrs. Steffensmeier, 7th grade counselor, will be helping your student register for 8th grade classes this Friday, January 18.
  • If you didn’t make it to the 8th grade orientation at Timberline or had a question about something you heard, all the information has been added online; click here.  
  • Not school next Monday. This information and other important dates such as our February conferences are found on blog here: http://blogs.waukeeschools.org/dbarry/dates-to-note/

We look forward to finishing the 2nd half of the school year strong. 

January 7, 2019

We have an exciting week coming up at South MS! Orientation for 7th grade students transitioning to 8th grade is this evening at Timberline (more info bottom of this page). Our 7th grade Show Choir kicks off their performance season on Thursday (see below). The end of this week brings us to the close of our 1st semester and, interesting enough, our 100th new to South/Waukee student this school year joins us this morning. Wow. That is amazing! Here is other information you need to know for the upcoming week:

CONNECT!

  • Come check out our SMS Spark show choir Thursday night. Students and Mrs. Ghelf have been working very hard the past few months and our South MS choir kicks off the Waukee preview night at 6:00pm. Our Dates to Note blog page has the full schedule.
  • Waukee Community Schools Foundation’s Annual Auction Event is February 23, 2019; 6:00-11:00pm; at the Ron Pearson Center. It is always much fun and a great way to connect with other Waukee parents. More info found online.

LEAD!

  • We realize students may bring technology (cell phones, iPad, Apple watches) to school and want to remind parents that (1) although some students may tell you otherwise, 🙂 those items are not needed in class; and (2) we are not responsible for lost or damaged items. If students do bring items to school, please remind them how to use and store them responsibly. Thank you!
  • Speaking of technology, later this week, 7th grade students in health class will be engaging in a lesson with our counselor, a principal and our School Resource Officer regarding appropriate, healthy and respectful use of technology (computers, cell phones, social media and more). Ask your child on Friday what they talked about with us. Second semester health students will be doing the same lesson later this month. 

EXPLORE!

  • Our 2nd semester begins next Tuesday (1/15). If your child is adding or dropping an elective, the request needs to be in by Friday. The request form can be found online here.
  • If you didn’t make it to the 8th grade orientation at Timberline or had a question about something you heard, all the information has been added online here: https://timberline.waukeeschools.org/students/8th-grade-course-guide-registration/ 

Thanks for a great 1st semester at South MS. We look forward to finishing the 2nd half of the school year strong. 

January 2, 2019

Happy New Year! Welcome to 2019 and the return of school on Wednesday. If you haven’t selected your ONE Word for 2019, please consider doing so and sharing it with me. Find the information and link on my blog here. Now for a few items for this short week:

CONNECT!

  • Waukee Community Schools Foundation’s Annual Auction Event is February 23, 2019; 6:00-11:00pm; at the Ron Pearson Center. It is always much fun and a great way to connect with other Waukee parents. More info found online.
  • Please note that we do not have before or after school supervision at the cross-walks if the temperature/windchill is below zero. Plan accordingly.

LEAD!

  • Always looking for more before or after school activities for our students. If you have ideas for 2nd semester clubs or activities, please share them with me (call, email or stop in). We have a couple successful clubs being lead by parents now and always are open to more opportunities for our students! 

EXPLORE!

  • Our 2nd semester begins on Tuesday, January 15 (no school on January 14) and students will switch some of their elective classes. It would be a good idea to review their 2nd-semester schedule prior to then. Students can get their login information in the office from Mrs. Kramer if they do not know it. If you request any elective class changes (link here), the changes will be found on your child’s schedule within PowerSchool prior to January 14.
  • Timberline’s 8th grade orientation is January 7th. Find more information on our blog: http://blogs.waukeeschools.org/dbarry/dates-to-note/

I hope you and your family had a wonderful break and are ready to finish the semester strong! Enjoy your short week.

December 17, 2018

This week brings us to the last school week of the 2018 year! At this time in the year, I reflect upon my past year and begin to plan what I need to do better or be more intentional about during the upcoming year. As part of this thinking, I have been choosing ONE Word for the year to create that positive vision for myself and those around me. Like I’ve done in the past, I invite you to join me in selecting your ONE Word. Find on my blog what word I chose and a link for you to submit your ONE Word for 2019. I look forward to supporting each of you following through on your ONE Word you choose to help you be your best self and I hope you’ll do the same for me. Now for your last update for the 2018 year: 

CONNECT!

  • If your child is looking to change their 2nd semester schedule (i.e. add chorus), the link is live now. Students should request changes prior to the 2nd semester beginning.
  • Our last day of school prior to the new year is this Friday, December 21st. If your child/family is leaving for break prior to December 21st, please notify Sheila Kramer, our attendance secretary, so she can mark accordingly and not bug you on your break.
  • Classes resume on Wednesday, January 2nd. 

LEAD!

  • To celebrate the last week of 2018 at school, students and staff are encouraged to engage in our dress up days this week. They include: Pajama Monday, Tacky Tuesday, Sports Team Wednesday, Holiday Character Thursday and Ugly Sweater Friday

EXPLORE!

  • The new 3D printer had a test run over the weekend and it is awesome! If you’re on Twitter, check out the video from Mr. K. If not, I’ve included a picture below. Thanks again to all the parents and community members who supported our mini-fundraiser. Look for information to come in a future weekly memo about a 3D Printing club Mr. K will be running after school sometime 2nd semester.  

May you and your family have a wonderful winter break and a very happy New Year. 

December 10, 2018

Wow. With your help, we raised just over $2600 for our 3-D Printer for our students at South MS. This will not only allow us to get the 3-D Printer but the accessories we need to get our students going as soon as it arrives! We plan on students showing it off later in the year during an evening event to celebrate the fine arts. Thank you for your support! #WaukeeGivesLove

CONNECT!

  • The Waukee Community Schools Foundation’s Annual Auction Event will be on February 23, 2019, 6:00-11:00pm at the Ron Pearson Center. This is always a fun night of socializing, food, music and great auction items. Get the event on your calendar now. Look for more information coming soon.
  • Our 2nd semester begins mid January. If your child is looking to change their schedule (i.e. add chorus), the link is live now. Students should request changes prior to the 2nd semester beginning. http://blogs.waukeeschools.org/dbarry/schedule-change-request/ 
  • Our last day of school prior to the new year is Friday, December 21st. If your child/family is leaving for break prior to December 21st, please notify Sheila Kramer, our attendance secretary so she can mark accordingly and not bug you on your break. 🙂 

LEAD!

  • The last week before break, students and staff are encouraged to join us in engaging in some fun dress up days. Monday is PJs. Tuesday is Tacky Tuesday. Wednesday is Sports Team Day. Thursday is Holiday Character Day. Friday is, of course, Ugly Sweater Day. 

Make it a great week for you, your child and all those you come in contact with each day.

December 3, 2018

Thank you to the families, organizations, students and staff members who have contributed so far to our 3-D printer mini-fundraiser blitz the past 4 days. Over $500 was brought in on Thursday and Friday and there is still time left! You can donate online until 7:00 am tomorrow morning. Click here to donate via RevTrack. We appreciate your generosity as we try to reach our goal of $2000. A couple parents have companies that match donations which is awesome! We are happy to fill out the paperwork at South to make that happen. 

CONNECT!

  • On our Daily Announcement tab, parents and students have access to the same weekly planning document students and teachers use each Monday during Advisory.
    Teachers include the “Big Rocks” for the week (i.e. assessments, project due dates, etc.) on this document so students can enter it on their planners or electronic calendars
    before the week starts. Students are also asked to complete the planner within their
    classes throughout the week to add additional items such as homework or reminders.
    Check it out and ask your child to see their planner or calendar each week!
  • We have 3 full weeks of school remaining this month prior to winter break. If your family is leaving early for break, please contact our attendance secretary and let your child’s teachers know via email.

LEAD!

  • SMS collects Box Tops for Education and Mrs. Broderick runs contests each month! Please send your Box Tops to school with your student — the collection box is on the counter at the front desk. Every clip counts!

EXPLORE!

  • Wednesday is an early out for teacher professional development. Our teachers are engaging in individualized learning around topics, concepts, ideas and strategies that will impact our students, classrooms and buildings. Ask your child’s teacher what their Student Impact Project is and they will be happy to share.

Make it a great week for you and those you come into contact with each day!

November 26, 2018

I hope your family enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving Break. Seeing some “no school” cancellations due to snow/weather Sunday evening was a rude awakening that winter is here! We still haven’t received that inch of snow on my driveway to announce a winner of our annual “first snow” contest so stay tuned there.  

CONNECT!

  • Our 2nd Parent Advisory Committee meeting of the school year is set for Tuesday night at 7pm in our school library. We have 15 regular PAC members but the meeting is always open to any parent who would like to attend. RSVP to me if you can make it. The agenda for the upcoming meeting and previous meeting minutes are found on our blog here: http://blogs.waukeeschools.org/dbarry/smspac/ 
  • This year, all students in 7th grade Engineering class are designing keychains using Autodesk Inventor that can be printed out in 3D using our 3D printer.  We are saving up at South to buy a new 3D printer that will allow for better quality printing, faster print times and cheaper printing for students/families. Whether your child is in Engineering class right now, next semester or next year, we are asking for small donations (tax deductible!) this week to be used toward the new 3D printer. Look for the email on Wednesday with information about our 3D-Printer-mini-fundraiser-blitz!

LEAD and EXPLORE!

  • South MS will be hosting the Waukee FIRST LEGO League Regional Qualifier this Saturday, December 1st. Whether your child is involved or not, volunteering to help at the event is a great way to support kids who are excited about STEM and get a glimpse of what it is all about. We will be hosting teams from around the state so much help is needed! If interested, please contact Jenn Ghelf.

Despite the cold weather, I hope you have a warm and positive week! Make it that way for others you meet. 🙂 

November 12, 2018

We have a full week of school this week followed by a short two-day week prior to Thanksgiving. It seems like the 2nd quarter is already flying by us both in the classroom and with a number of our activities such as show choir, math counts, Lego Robotics, jazz band and the 6th grade play in full swing! Here are you items for the upcoming weeks:

CONNECT!

  • Join us for our 2nd Annual Friendsgiving event Monday night. It’s a great opportunity to connect with other SMS families and staff members. We’ll provide the paper products, lemonade, water, and fun. You just need to come at 6:00pm and bring your family and a dish to share. Please RSVP here so we can be prepared for everyone. 

LEAD!

  • Our annual Food Drive (click here) continues this week. The Winter Warmth Drive was a great success! Our families and students collected over 630 items. Thank you for your generosity! #WaukeeGivesLove

With it being a short week, there will not be a parent message next Monday morning (I bet you’re all sad, eh?) unless something important comes up prior to November 26. Whether you are traveling for Thanksgiving break or staying at home, we wish you and your family a safe and restful time.

November 5, 2018

Next Monday, November 12, we encourage all South MS families to join us for our 2nd Annual Friendsgiving potluck in our commons. Come at 6:00pm with your families favorite dish, side dish or dessert and stay to eat with other South families, staff and their families. This is casual potluck where we want to CONNECT staff, families and our community through food, fellowship and fun. This was a nice community event last fall that we want to continue to grow! Now for your other weekly updates:

CONNECT!

  • Band apparel is now available through RevTrak for band students and parents. Under Instrumental Music Boosters there are two selections—Band apparel and High School Band apparel. Choose appropriately. In each selection, option 4-6 have 3 color options. Choose the size of short sleeve, long sleeve, or sweatshirt and then the color option will pop up. Orders must completed by November 8th. Delivery will be sent to the listed school the first week of December. If you have any questions please send them to WaukeeWarriorWorld@gmail.com.

LEAD!

  • Winter Warmth Drive (click here) and our annual Food Drive (click here) continue this week. It is great to see our students and families engage in supporting our local community and engage in some Advisory competition!
  • Does your company match donations to schools? Company such as Wells Fargo have a great matching program where employees can pick a school, donate and the company matches all or some of it. From Wells Fargo, we have received well over $3000 which supports an increase in technology available to our students at South! We just discovered Wellmark has the Blues Care Program where Waukee is an approved school to donate and receive a work match. This is a tax-deductible donation so please consider donating to South MS through these matching programs or inquire within your company to see if you can do the same. 
  • Do you have a pile of Box Tops for Education at home?  Please send them to the front desk at SMS! Mrs. Broderick runs raffles and includes any students who turn in box tops to her.

EXPLORE!

  • Tuesday is the next Boundary Committee meeting (6p @ the WILC). This is the last scheduled committee meeting before the committee makes a recommendation to the school board on Nov 26. Come listen in and/or learn more online: https://2ndhs.waukeeschools.org/boundaries/
  • With colder weather approaching, reminding your children to EXPLORE wearing warm weather clothing. 🙂 Whether walking, riding the bus or getting dropped off, it’s always a good idea to be prepared for the cold!

The first full week of November brings us to the end (for a short time) of political campaign ads on television/radio and this Tuesday gives us the wonderful opportunity to go to the polls to engage in the democratic process! No matter who you vote for, we hope every elected candidate supports our WHY at South MS of CONNECTING with our hearts; EXPLORING with our minds and LEADING to positively change our world.

October 29, 2018

Thank you to everyone who came to our Parent Night last week and to the many of you who provided food, drinks or volunteered your time for our teacher meals! We appreciate you partnership and feel lucky to have such engaged and supportive families at South MS.  Just a few items for your Halloween week:

CONNECT!

  • It would be great if each SMS parent took 5 minutes to complete our Annual Parent Survey. Click here to get started.
  • If you didn’t get a chance to stop in last week but have questions for your child’s teachers about progress in class, check out PowerSchool and/or contact his/her teacher(s) to ask. 

LEAD!

  • Please consider partaking in one or both opportunities for our families to support our community. Students should bring items to their Advisory classroom in the morning: 
    • Winter Warmth Drive begins tomorrow. Information here.
    • Annual Food Drive begins November 1. Find the list for South MS and our feeder elementary buildings on our “Dates to Note” tab. South MS students are encouraged to bring: vegetable oil, syrup, jelly & jam, sugar, mayonnaise, flour.

EXPLORE!

  • With Beggar’s Night and Halloween taking place this week, we want to wish everyone a safe and enjoyable celebration. We do not partake in any dress-up days or times at school but feel free to post your ghoulish family pictures on our Facebook page if you want to share.

Thanks again for helping us have a great first quarter to our school year! We look forward to jumping into quarter 2 and November this week. Enjoy each day and make a positive impact on everyone you meet. 

October 22, 2018 – Part II

I typically try to limit my emails out to families to one time a week (with 3 children of my own in the district, I completely understand email-overload!), but had a few items that were timely to get out before next Monday. Thanks for checking them out:

  • We still need some parent support for our teacher meals this week. If you cannot help but work for a company, business or organization that wants to help, you can sign up for them too. Click here to see what our needs are. THANK YOU!
  • Employee Family Resources is hosting a town hall Wednesday night to discuss the Opioid Crisis, what parents should know and other resources for families. It looks to be an informative event for parents. More info: Click here <– UPDATED LINK!
  • I forgot to include the information about our upcoming Winter Warmth Drive which begins next Monday. This was shared with students today. Find that information here.
  • If you or your children are in need of resources (food, supplies, tutoring) or you are willing to provide support to our South MS community, please complete the survey here. As we approach the winter months, it is nice to know how we can help and who we can turn to when help is needed.

Appreciate you putting up with my double-email Monday. 🙂 

 

October 22, 2018

Wow! Where did the first quarter go? Looking forward to a fun week as we celebrate the end of our first quarter and hosting great opportunity for our students to share their learning and progress with each of you during Parent Night (Tuesday or Thursday). We hope to see many of you this week and look forward to beginning our 2nd quarter of the year next Monday. Now for the rest of your weekly update:

CONNECT!

  • You can still sign up for a conference time for the upcoming Parent Night (Tuesday and Thursday this week)! Read more about the night and find the link to sign up on our blog: http://blogs.waukeeschools.org/dbarry/parentnight
  • Thank you to the many parents who are helping with our teacher meals this week. Drop your items off on Tuesday or Thursday. To remember what you chose or to see how you can still help, click here.
  • Picture retakes will be this Wednesday (Oct 24) morning. Click here for the LifeTouch link (ID:BN108513Q0).
  • Our annual Food Drive begins next week. South Middle School is responsible for Oils & Condiments which includes vegetable oil, syrup, jelly & jam, sugar, mayonnaise, flour. Students can bring items in to their Advisory classroom starting November 1st. For more information, check out our blog: http://blogs.waukeeschools.org/dbarry/dates-to-note/
  • Please talk to your child about their lunch purchases. We have seen a number of students purchasing and sharing a number of extras and want parents to be aware you can track purchases online here: https://www.schoolcafe.com/WCSDNutrition 

EXPLORE!

  • Students start Interest Groups on Thursday. They will find out their group by Wednesday so ask about it at home.
  • NO SCHOOL on Friday. It is a teacher work day. 

LEAD!

  • Look for an email later this week with our Annual Parent Survey. Your feedback is vital in improving our services to you and our school community. Thank you in advance for helping us be better at what we do!

Make it a great week for you and those you meet. 

October 15, 2018

Later this month, our students will begin to engage in Interest Groups each Thursday during Advisory time. This is a chance for students to come together around something they want to explore or something they enjoy AND connect with students they may not have met yet this year. Later this week, our students will learn about Interest Groups and select their top 3 choices. We are excited to provide this opportunity to our students once again this year and hope they share their experiences with you at home as well! 

Now for the rest of your weekly update:

CONNECT!

  • Sign up for a conference time for the upcoming Parent Night (Oct 23/25) soon! Read more about the night and find the link to sign up on our blog: http://blogs.waukeeschools.org/dbarry/parentnight
  • Picture retakes will be the morning of Oct 24. Click here for the LifeTouch link (ID:BN108513Q0).

LEAD!

  • The Waukee Foundation is bringing back the Harlem Wizards Tuesday night, October 15, to help raise funds for the the foundation that supports our students and teachers. Get your tickets online here.

EXPLORE!

  • The dusting of snow Sunday reminded me to get our annual contest out to parents, students and staff. Provide your guess for our annual First Snow contest soon! Click here.

Make it a great one for you and all those you come in contact with week!

October 8, 2018

Beginning this morning, parents may sign up for a conference time. This would be for our October 23 or 25 Parent Night #2, Students Celebrate Learning. We are excited to have your child share their learning with you and for you to be able to engage with your child’s teachers and classroom. To learn more about the night and find the link to sign up, visit our parent blog here: http://blogs.waukeeschools.org/dbarry/parentnight/

Now for the rest of your weekly update:

CONNECT!

  • Picture retakes will be the morning of Oct 24. Click here for the LifeTouch link (ID:BN108513Q0).

LEAD!

  • We’d love for you to consider helping with our teacher meals during Parent Night #2.  If you’re interested in helping out, see how by clicking here. Thank you in advance!
  • The Waukee Foundation is bringing back the Harlem Wizards on October 15 to help raise funds for the the foundation that supports our students and teachers. Get your tickets online here.

EXPLORE!

  • Chess Group-It is finally here and it starts this Tuesday! Our Chess Club will run each Tuesday morning at 7:15am in the library. No cost! Please sign your child up here
  • You should have received an email about a Public Forum Tuesday night around the work the boundary committee has been doing up to this point. Information can be found here: https://2ndhs.waukeeschools.org/category/news-updates/ 
  • All of our 6th graders will take the Iowa Youth Survey this Thursday or Friday during $mart Skills class. The required letter we need to send to all parents; including the survey’s purpose, background and more can be read by clicking here.

Make it a great week for you and all those you come in contact with each day!

In our ongoing effort to keep our students and staff safe, we will be showing a short video to our students in advisory on Friday detailing the options students have should an internal threat occur. This video was produced by the Waukee Police Department, and we are appreciative of the ongoing partnership with all of our local law enforcement agencies. The video your students will watch is linked below; to best prepare yourself to have these important conversations with your student, you are encouraged to watch this video. If you do not want your student to watch this video, please let us know.

October 1, 2018

This month we will emphasize with our students around the importance of family, respect and unity which includes our themes of Give Love, Choose Kind and stomping out bullying. It begins this week with our students and teachers discussing the results of our most recent student survey and ideas to make everyone at South feel respected. One way you can assist us is by looking through your photos and sending pictures of your child(ren) and/or your family engaging in kindness. It could be simple acts in your home (helping a younger sibling or grandparent) or community, volunteering, community service…whatever you see as giving love, choosing kind and being respectful to others. Please email them to our counselor, Haylie Steffensmeier, this week! We are excited to use these within an upcoming presentation to students later this month. 

CONNECT!

  • Thank you to the many parents who donated items for our Homecoming Party last Friday or came in to volunteer. We had 100’s of students stay and it was a blast.
  • Picture packets are coming home Monday! Retakes will be the morning of Oct 24. Click here for the LifeTouch link (ID:BN108513Q0)

LEAD!

  • We are need of a parent or parents to sponsor our chess club at South MS. Whether you’re an expert, novice or just want to help, please let me know this week. 
  • Parent-Student-Teacher conferences will be held October 23 and 25. Sign-up begins next Monday. We are hoping to provide our teachers meals those evenings so if you’re interested in helping out, see how by clicking here

EXPLORE!

  • All of our 6th graders will take the Iowa Youth Survey on October 11 and 12. The required letter we need to send to all parents; including the survey’s purpose, background and more can be read by clicking here.
  • Oktoberfest 2018! Please come & help the WCSD German students and teachers celebrate Oktoberfest on Oktober 4th from 6-8 pm at Waukee High School.  There will be a presentation on the history of Oktoberfest in the WHS auditorium from 6-6:30 and there will be dancing, activities and lots of good things to eat in the WHS Commons from 6-8.  Hope to see you there! Danke!
  • Always find the most recent before/after school activities on our blog here: http://blogs.waukeeschools.org/dbarry/activities-2/ 

Have a great week and thanks for spreading kind and love wherever you go this month!

September 24, 2018

This week we celebrate Homecoming which includes our annual student homecoming party for students and a family tailgate on Friday! Find the information below and we hope to see many of you at one or both of these events.

WARRIORS CONNECT!

  • Homecoming dress up days for students and staff can be found on the blog here.
  • Any student may stay after school on Friday, September 28th and attend out annual Homecoming party. The cost is $5 and tickets will be sold before school THIS WEEK. Students will get a snack, drink and be able to play games, dance and sing. Students need a ride at 4:45p. This event has always been a big hit with our students, staff and parents! 
  • Parents: we need your help with our upcoming Homecoming party for our students! We still have a few spots available so see how you can help; sign up on line here.  
  • Make it a night by joining us for a South MS Homecoming Family Tailgate before the Waukee Warriors football game on Friday, September 28th. RSVP here by tomorrow if you haven’t done so already. 

LEAD:

  • Still in need… 🙂 We are need of a parent or parents to sponsor our chess club at South MS. Whether you’re an expert, novice or just want to help, please let me know.
  • The Waukee Foundation is bringing back the Harlem Wizards on October 15 to help raise funds for the the foundation that supports our students and teachers. Get your tickets online here.
  • Opportunity for us to win $1000 or even $25,000 that we would use toward technology for our students. Get your family, relatives and neighbors to vote often during the contest. Bookmark this link and visit as often as you remember: http://www.unitypoint.org/imaginetheamazing 

EXPLORE:

  • We will start the FIRST LEGO League season on September 25 from 3:00-5:00 pm in Room 129. Please click the Community Ed Link here to join our team.
  • Anyone students interested in Math Counts should meet in Mrs. Kuehl’s room in the 7 gold pod on Wednesday, September 26th at 7:00 am for the first meeting. They will discuss the upcoming season, have a breakfast treat, and begin preparing our math brains.

Cannot believe next week brings us to October which happens to be one of my favorite months! If you’re still reading, 😉 a bit of perspective for those of you who have been with me as parents at Maple Grove and South MS for the past 8, going on 9 years. On October 3, my wife, Jen, and I will celebrate our 20th year anniversary, so for those of you who have about had enough of me after 8 years, just think how my wife feels. 🙂 Poor you. Poor Jen, eh? Enjoy your week and make it a great one for you and all those you meet. 

September 17, 2018

During the week of September 24, we are excited to celebrate Homecoming as a district and will do some fun activities as a building as well. In addition to dress up days for students and staff (find them here), we cannot wait to have our annual student homecoming party and are adding a new family tailgate this year! Find the information below and we hope to see many of you at one or both of these events. Here are your items for the next two weeks:

CONNECT:

  • Any student may stay after school on Friday, September 28th and attend out annual Homecoming party. The cost is $5 and tickets will be sold before school the week of the party. Students will get a snack, drink and be able to play games, dance and sing. Students need a ride at 4:45p. This event has always been a big hit with our students, staff and parents! 
  • Parents: we need your help with our upcoming Homecoming party for our students! See how you can help and sign up on line here.  
  • Make it a night by joining us for a South MS Homecoming Family Tailgate before the Waukee Warriors football game on Friday, September 28th. It is $5 for an individual or $10 for your entire family; you get a burger or hot dog plus chips and a drink. A slight change to make things easier for our families as there are now 3 ways to RSVP:
    1. RSVP online and pay when you come to the tailgate. Click here.
    2. RSVP when you pay on RevTrack. Click here.
    3. RSVP by sending in $10 with your child. Dr. Ferchen will be in the gym before school to collect money. 
  • South MS’s Autism support group, Puzzle Pieces, will get underway in October. If you would like more information for your student, please email Mrs. McKibban. The group plans to meet during Advisory on Friday mornings.

LEAD:

  • We are need of a parent or parents to sponsor our chess club at South MS. Whether you’re an expert, novice or just want to help, please let me know.
  • Opportunity for us to win $1000 or even $25,000 that we would use toward technology for our students. Get your family, relatives and neighbors to vote often during the contest. Bookmark this link and visit as often as you remember: http://www.unitypoint.org/imaginetheamazing 

EXPLORE:

  • We are looking for SMS community members to help out with SMS’s first ever Career Month Exposé. During the month of November, students will have the opportunity to learn about various careers and job fields through videos, guest speakers, and a few lucky students will get the chance to job shadow. If you are interested in donating a small piece of time, please fill out this form. Students were surveyed and provided several different areas of interest. Look here for what our students want to learn more about! If you have any questions, please contact hsteffensmeier@waukeeschools.org
  • Does your child love Disney? Check out this new after school activity (click here).
  • We will start the FIRST LEGO League season on September 25 from 3:00-5:00 pm in Room 129. Please click the Community Ed Link here to join our team.
  • Students will continue the fall MAP (Measures of Academic Progress) assessments on Monday. During their language arts class time, each student will use the computer to take a math and reading assessment. A schedule for when your child takes the assessment can be found here

Make it a great week for you and people you meet! 

September 10, 2018

At South Middle School…
we CONNECT with our hearts;
we EXPLORE with our minds; and
we LEAD to positively change our World.

Last week, in Advisory, our students discussed the above South MS Mission and Vision. Through staff, student and parent conversations and feedback over a year ago, we identified this collective “WHY” and our goal is to continually strive to move toward meeting this purpose each and every day. Last year’s Mrs. Stickfort’s Advisory created a video to share our mission and vision (https://youtu.be/Il58BMwyQf8) and it is worth sharing with all of you as well. Enjoy.

CONNECT:

  • Teachers post the BIG ROCKS on a shared document (click here) and students write/enter on planner each Monday. Check it out online AND ask your child as to how they keep track of their upcoming week assignments and activities. 
  • Homecoming t-shirts are being sold before school, 7:35am – 8:00am, at South Middle School until they run out of t-shirts. The cost is $10 and they will accept cash or checks made payable to Waukee Dance Team.
  • Come join us for our 1st ever South MS Family Tailgate party before the Waukee Warriors football game on Friday, September 28th. Only $10 per family to eat! Eat. Play games. Meet new families! More info found here.

LEAD:

  • A few Warrior Water Bottles are still available (click here).  
  • We are need of a parent or parents to sponsor our chess club at South MS. Whether you’re an expert, novice or just want to help, please let me know. Call 515.987.3222 or email me.  

EXPLORE:

  • New after school activity: Basketball and Ping Pong! Register links on our Activities blog: http://blogs.waukeeschools.org/dbarry/activities-2/ 
  • Beginning this coming week, we are implementing 9th Hour for our students. I’ve written a short blog to explaining the purpose and process. Click here.
  • Students will begin the fall MAP (Measures of Academic Progress) assessments on Monday. During their language arts class time, each student will use the computer to take a math and reading assessment. A schedule for when your child takes the assessment can be found here
  • This Tuesday evening, 6pm @ the APEX building, the Waukee Boundary Committee starts up their meetings again. With only 2-3 remaining before decisions about school boundaries, it is a good time for all parents to be aware of the conversation. You may follow along online or in person. Only committee members are involved in the activities and recommendations but it is open for anyone to attend. More info, click here.

Enjoy the beautiful week ahead of us! 

September 3, 2018

We had a wonderful first full week of school last week and it was fun to see so many parents at our Walk In My Child’s Shoes night. Hopefully your family is enjoying the long weekend despite the rain and storms. 🙂 Grab a cup of coffee and check out what is coming up this week/month at South MS

Connect:

  • Thank you to families who provided our teachers a meal Thursday night. We are so lucky to have such a supportive community!
  • School Pictures are Wednesday! Your child should have brought home a picture packet pamphlet last week. You can also go online: https://lifetouch.com/  Picture day ID is: BN108513Q0
  • If you didn’t complete the Building Community survey last week, please do so today: click here 
  • Help us help students make CONNECTions at school! For more information as to how you can get involved, check out my latest blog post by clicking here.
  • Speaking of student connections, a number of awesome after school activities begin this week. Check them out and sign up on our Activities blog page here today!
  • Homecoming t-shirts will be sold before school, 7:35am – 8:00am, at South Middle School starting the day after Labor Day, Sept 4th – Sept 26, or until they run out of t-shirts. The cost is $10 and they will accept cash or checks made payable to Waukee Dance Team.

LEAD

  • This Wednesday during Advisory, our students will learn and connect with our school’s mission and vision. Watch last year’s winning Advisory video that summarizes the kind of school we want to be at South MS. Have a conversation at home as to how your child can be a leader in making this our everyday reality. 
  • Warrior Water Bottles are still available! Pay $10 in the office or you can also buy one online (click here) and have it delivered to your child’s Advisory teacher. 

EXPLORE

  • Our first early out for teacher professional development is this Wednesday. Students are dismissed at 12:58pm. 
  • From your own computer, parents can check out the “Happy Boards Display” students see in the commons. Pictures, announcements and more are located here for our students. Click here to see our story!

Enjoy your Memorial Day and we look forward to another great week at South MS! 

August 27, 2018

We had a great start to the school year last week and look forward to a full week of school. This Thursday’s Parent/Curriculum Night is a fantastic opportunity for parents to meet the teachers, learn a little bit about the curriculum and get to know what your child does during his or her day. Link to RSVP is our our blog (click here). Now for you “nice-to-know’s” for the week:

Connect:

  • Thank you to families who have signed up already for our teacher meal Thursday night. We still have opportunities to help out. Click here. 
  • A rapidly changing school district provides great opportunity to build community, support, and give back. We want to include as many students and families as possible in building community. Fill out this survey (click here) to let us know what you need, could provide or both! 

LEAD

  • We are looking for a few parents to be a part of our Parent Advisory Committee. The PAC meets 3 times during the year to provide perspective, give input and be the South MS voice in your neighborhood. Email me if interested.
  • Warrior Water Bottles are still available! Students can buy them before school this coming week from our Ambassadors or parents can buy one at Parent Night on August 30th for $10 (cash or make checks payable to South Middle School). You can also buy one online (click here) and have it delivered to your child’s Advisory teacher. If you purchased one online already, they will be delivered tomorrow. We will use the proceeds to continue to better our school grounds.
  • You rocked the pick-up and drop-off during the first 2 days. Now you can help our neighbors across LA Grant. If you are taking a right turn out of South MS in the morning, take turns to allow those across the street to take a left turn (north). That is the only exit they have out of their development. Thank you for #ChoosingKind!

EXPLORE

  • We continue to add to our before and after school offerings so check out our activities page. Coming soon: A Cappella and a small Strings group!! 
  • From your own computer, parents can check out the “Happy Boards Display” students see in the commons. Pictures, announcements and more are located here for our students. Click here to see our story!

Make it a great week for you and those around you. We hope to see many of your Thursday night! 

August 20, 2018

Open House will be on August 21st from 5:00-7:00 pm. This is an opportunity for students and families to come in, meet their teachers, drop off supplies, walk their new schedules, locate and practice opening their lockers, and generally familiarize themselves with the building. A few items to note regarding Open House:

  • Please bring a copy of your student’s scheduleincluding the locker number and combination. You will need this to find your student’s classrooms.
  • If you are unable to access your student’s schedule, please proceed to the computer lab (rm 330) to log in to Power School and print a copy.
  • Begin Open House by finding and first meeting your advisory teacher; once that’s done, feel free to walk your schedule.
  • If you ordered a prepackaged supply pack, you can pick these up in your advisory teacher’s classroom (building map here).
  • The SMS 7th grade Ambassador group will be spread throughout the building to help; they will be wearing bright yellow Ambassador t-shirts. They are looking forward to helping parents and students around the building!
  • If your child’s locker is too high to reach, we will be taking care of switching lockers the first day of school within their Advisory classroom. You should put supplies in the assigned locker and we will take care of moving materials/lockers after school starts.
  • Take a Family Photo! We will have a free photo booth in the commons area and encourage each family to take a quick family picture. Take one and leave one to share with us.
  • In addition to our Open House opportunity, we will be running our 1st Parent Night on Thursday, August 30th. This has been a popular event for our parents in the past. If you haven’t signed up already, please do so today! Click here for more info and a link to sign up.

…and that’s it for your Open House information! We cannot wait to see all of you Tuesday evening as begin our partnership with your family.  

August 13, 2018

SMS Families,

It is the morning your child has been waiting for since the end of May. No, not the first day of school but rather the day class schedules become available on PowerSchool. A few things to know:

  • The link to access PowerSchool is below the video on our website located here: http://www.waukeeschools.org/students-and-parents/powerschool/
  • If you are new to Waukee or have not created your single sign on, there are directions on the website to create it.
  • If you do not have your access code and password, please talk to one of our secretaries (Teresa or Sheila) and they can help you navigate PowerSchool. Cll 515.987.3222.
  • Download the PowerSchool App here. The district code needed is found on the same webpage.
  • If you’d like to request a change to your schedule, we are asking you to complete the electronic form. No emails or phone calls. Also, please read the directions on the form and note that requests to change color teams will not be granted. http://blogs.waukeeschools.org/dbarry/schedule-change-request/
  • Trying to figure out what “color team” your child is on this year? The easiest way to find the team is to go to our staff page and look for your child’s science teacher. http://www.waukeeschools.org/school/south-middle-school/staff/ 
  • Do you have other questions right now? Quite a few of them can be answered on our FAQ page on my blog.
  • Please note that coming Wednesday morning, South will be hosting a Culture and Diversity Workshop (You can still come! RSVP here.) and our office will be closed. 

Open House is August 21st, 5:00-7:00pm, and I will be sending more details about Open House next Sunday. For our 6th graders and new to Waukee/South, you received information last week about an open building time this coming Thursday. We look forward to seeing many of you then and all of you at Open House next week! Enjoy your last full week of summer, gang.

He who laughs, lasts
Doug Barry, Principal

 

August 10, 2018 – NEW TO SOUTH FAMILY MEMO

New to South MS Families! 

First, welcome to South Middle School and we are glad you’ve joined our community. We are excited to serve you and your family this coming school year. As of this afternoon, we have nearly 60 new families coming to SMS from as close as to us as Waukee MS (& north elementary feeder schools), West Des Moines and Johnston; to as far away as Connecticut, Florida, Arizona, Idaho and Ecuador!  We have less than 2 weeks to the start of the year and I wanted to share a few items with you to help put your child (or you!) at ease about the transition to South Middle School (if you’re a 6th grade parent, you might have received a similar message earlier today. 🙂

  • Schedules come out Monday morning and can be accessed on PowerSchool if you have registered and paid your fees. If you do not have your school access code, you will need to call or stop in to get this (515.987.3222). If you want to know your child’s color team, check who they have for social studies or science and then look on our staff contact page (click here).
  • We have two opportunities to check out the building and practice lockers:
    • Thursday, August 16, 4-6p, is for 6th graders and any 6th or 7th grade new-to-Waukee students. This is an opportunity to walk their schedule and practice lockers. No teachers will be present but we will have student ambassadors available to give tours. We do ask students not to bring their supplies to this event unless you cannot make it to Open House. 
    • Tuesday, August 21, 5-7p, is our annual Open House night. Students may bring supplies, meet their teachers and practice their lockers. Parking is available on the east and west sides of the building along with some of the neighborhood streets on each side. We will also have a photo booth available that evening so squeeze the family in the booth and take a photo strip for your family and leave a photo strip for our SMS Family to keep!

We look forward to beginning to make CONNECTions with many of you next week! If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to call, email or stop in to visit. 

August 6, 2018

It has been a busy summer at South MS and we putting the final touches on summer work as we prepare for 90+ staff members and 800+ students to return to our classrooms, hallways and pods soon. Starting this week, you’ll receive a weekly update from me each Sunday evening or Monday morning with the “good-to-know” items for the upcoming week(s) to keep you connected to our work, our events and our mission. As we approach the start of the school year, I want you all to know we will work our hardest to be collaborative partners with your family as we continue move toward our school’s vision and purpose shared aloud each day at South MS:

At South Middle School…
We CONNECT with our hearts.
We EXPLORE with our minds.
We LEAD to positively change our world.

CONNECT

  • FREE Ice Cream Socials this week throughout the Waukee district. Click here to read more.
  • Schedules – You can access them one week from tomorrow (Aug 13) IF
    • You have registered your child, and
    • you have paid your fees or completed the fee waiver form.
    • If you get an error message next week when logging in to PowerSchool, you have not completed one or both of the steps above (please note it takes 24-48 business hours from completing registration to accessing your child’s schedule online).
    • One of our 7th grade teachers who will be on maternity leave this fall proactively sent out her message to parents a bit early. 🙂 We want those parents and all parents to know we are still in the process of making changes to students’ schedules as we may move a number of students to different color teams due to (a) the enrollment of new students and (2) as we find out about families moving away from Waukee. No schedule or team placement is final until next Monday, August 13. Including those who received the email last week.
  • New to Waukee? So far, we have over 30 new to Waukee students joining us from as far away as Maryland, Florida and California and as close as West Des Moines. You will need to get your access ID and password for PowerSchool. Please talk to one of our secretaries (Sheila or Teresa) and they can help you navigate PowerSchool. Call 515.987.3222 or stop in to South to begin. Also complete our New to Waukee survey form.
  • School Supplies – If you ordered your child(ren)’s school supplies through the PTO, the supply box will be delivered to your child’s Advisory classroom before Open House. If you are getting your supplies on your own, find our school supply list online.
  • Bus routes will be shared with families via email the week prior to school.

EXPLORE

LEAD

Make it a great week for you and those around you!

2017-18 Weekly Parent Communication from South MS

MAY 28, 2018

This week brings us to the close of the 2017-18 school year. Just a few remaining items and thoughts to share with you…

CONNECT

  • This Thursday afternoon each 6th and 7th grade team will be doing various activities here at SMS and around the community the afternoon. If you need to pick up your student early on the last day we ask that you do that by noon, prior to their teams possibly leaving school grounds or wait until normal dismissal time.
  • We have a few South Middle School Yearbooks left to purchase. If you want one, please send $20 cash or check payable to “South Middle School” to the front desk. Can’t remember if you ordered on RevTrak? Check your payment history by clicking on the My Account tab. Yearbooks will be delivered to students on the last day of school as an end-of-year activity.

EXPLORE

  • Thank you and best of luck to each and everyone of our 7th graders! I’m very proud of you and look forward to attending your graduation 5 years from now. Parents, if your 7th grader is your youngest, I want to say “good bye” and “thank you” for the years I’ve been given to work and get to know your child and family.
  • If your student has medication in the health office (e.g. Tylenol or ibuprofen), please remind him/her to pick it up at the end of the school day this week. Unclaimed medication will be discarded. Other types of medication may need to be picked up by a parent/guardian. Please call with questions.

LEAD…I hope we created, inspired or got out of the way of a few leaders this year.

  • I want to thank each of you for making this another successful year. Success is not always defined by everything going right. Every day of school presented our 800+ students and nearly 100 staff members with exciting learning opportunities, engaging projects, amazing presentations, fun assemblies, activities that connected us to each other and “Wow!” student performances in the classroom, on the stage and in our community; but we also encountered frustrating failures, poor choices that resulted in tears and consequences, along with disappointing peer situations and shared sadness for and with students and staff who struggled with family losses, illnesses and frustrations. I tell students (and parents) all the time, “I don’t expect perfection. I expect us to learn from our mistakes and try our best to limit or avoid the BIG mistakes.” As a FAMILY at South Middle School we celebrated together, we learned together from our set-backs/mistakes and we grew stronger because of both experiences. Thank you parents, guardians, students and staff for a successful year of learning and growing stronger together!

Enjoy your summer! If you need anything, Clay and I will be around so email, call or just stop in anytime. I’ll even throw on a pot of coffee for you. Make it a great week and a great summer for you, your child and all those you come in contact with each day.

May 21, 2018

We have our last full week of school this week. Wow! A few things to note as we close out a great year with these last two weeks of school:

CONNECT

  • It has been fun watching our students connect with each other and our staff during May Movement time on Tuesdays and Thursdays. If you don’t know what May Movement is, ask your child about this after lunch “move” time we started this month.
  • Is your child missing a winter coat, shoes or a sweatshirt? Have them check out the lost and found this week. After school is out, all remaining items are donated.
  • Have some Boxtops sitting around your house? Get them to Mrs. Broderick in the office this week to have a chance to win some great prizes.
  • School supply online orders for next year are openClick here. 

EXPLORE

  • 6th Grade Parents: Your child will soon be a 7th grader at South Middle and specific immunizations are required by the state of Iowa for entrance into this grade level. Nurse Jenny has mailed reminder to parents of students that are missing the Tdap and/or the meningococcal vaccination. Please ensure that your child has received these vaccinations before the start of the 2018-2019 school year. Students without the required immunizations may be excluded from school next fall. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact Nurse Jenny at school.

LEAD

  • So many awesome projects shared with peers and parents last week during our Change the World Fair! This week, 6th grade students are hosting Color Awareness Days as part of 6th grade students’ Change the World projects. Click here.

Whether you’re traveling over the Memorial Day weekend or sticking around home, we hope you enjoy the long weekend with family and/or friends! No school on Monday, May 28th and Thursday, May 31st is the last day of school for students.

May 14, 2018

So proud of our 7th graders involved in our music programs as they wrapped up a great fine arts career at South MS this past week with a successful choir program in conjunction with our 1st annual art show! As our students move on to Timberline next fall, I encourage each of them to stay or get involved in one or more activity (music, drama, sports, art, robotics, etc.) as it is a key factor in being a healthy, well-rounded and connected student! Now for your weekly updates:

CONNECT:

  • IMPORTANT!! If your child will not be returning to South MS for 7th grade or to Timberline for 8th grade, please contact the South MS office ASAP.
  • As students clear their library accounts, they will be able to enter a drawing to win the chance to attend a fun event before school (7:40-8:20) the week of the 21st. Mrs. Reinhold has planned the following fun library events: Sean Gabrielson playing live music, a visit from Webster the therapy duck who wears a diaper (as seen on KCCI), Master Bishop’s Tae Kwon Do Demonstration, and WHS basketball players doing a Q&A/shoot around. There will be 120 winners total so turn those books into the library!
  • School supply online orders for next year are open! Click here. 

LEAD:

  • 6th graders interested in taking on leadership roles next year during Advisory should check out the Activities tab on the parent blog. Applications are due May 18.
  • 7th graders interested in being an Ambassador next year at Timberline can apply now as well. Go to Mrs. Reeves’ blog.
  • As part of our 6th grade students’ Change the World projects in communications class, several Donation Drives are taking place THIS weekCheck out these opportunities to support local organizations.
  • In addition the student Donation Drives, consider helping Drew’s Crew as they plan to support some summer programming across our district (info here). Items can be dropped off at South MS anytime this week.
  • Turn in your Box Tops: Still time to win a prize, next drawing will be Wednesday, May 30

EXPLORE

  • 7th Graders interested in playing 8th Grade football next fall will have an informational meeting on Tuesday, May 15th at 7:40 AM in the SMALL GYM. If your child cannot make the meeting, they can still sign up in the office.
  • Drama Troupe will meet on Monday from 3-4 in the Drama Room. All 6th and 7th grade students are welcome.

Make it a great week!

MAY 7, 2018

What a great week ahead of us! This week brings us the first full week of May, Teacher Appreciation week and is capped off by Mother’s Day on Sunday (I’ve already started prepping your kids this past week by reminding them this day was coming). Take time this week to drop an email, a phone call or note to your child’s teacher; or even better yet, to a former teacher of your own to let them know she/he is appreciated. They love to hear they are making a difference, especially this time of year. 🙂

CONNECT:

  • We have one Parent Coffee remaining this school year. This is an open conversation for parents to make connections with each other and to talk about any parent or school topic of interest. Sign up here.
  • Does your family celebrate Ramadan? Contact Mrs. Huisman (jhuisman@waukeeschools.org) if you have not heard from her already as she is collaborating with our staff and students to support our students during the school day this Ramadan holiday.

LEAD:

  • Any 6th graders interested in taking on leadership roles next year during Advisory should check out the Activities tab on the parent blog. Students will be able to apply for Ambassadors, Art Leaders, Yearbook Leaders, Culture & Diversity Leaders or SWAT (tech leaders). Applications are due May 18.
  • Any 7th graders interested in being an Ambassador next year at Timberline can apply now as well. Go to Mrs. Reeves’ blog.
  • As part of our 6th grade students’ Change the World projects in communications class, several Donation Drives are taking place next weekCheck out these opportunities to support local organizations.

EXPLORE:

  • This Tuesday evening is our rescheduled vocal concert at South MS. In addition, we are very excited for parents to check out our 1st annual Student Art Exhibit! This exhibit will be hosted by Mrs. Ludwig and take place in the main hallway and library.
    • 6th grade choir parents can view the art exhibit before your child’s concert: 5:15-6:00pm.
    • 7th grade choir parents can view the art exhibit after your child’s concert: 7:45-8:15pm.
    • If your child is not in choir, please stop by anytime between 6:00-8:00pm.
  • 6th Grade Parents: specific immunizations are required by the state of Iowa for entrance into 7th grade level. Nurse Jenny has sent reminder e-mails to parents of students that are missing the Tdap and/or the meningococcal vaccination and will send another reminder before the end of the semester. Please ensure that your child has received these vaccinations before the start of the 2018-2019 school year. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact Nurse Jenny at school.

Thank you for taking time this week to thank a current or former teacher. Along with being kind to everyone you meet, be extra kind to your own mother and all of the mothers you meet. Happy Mother’s Day to each of you!

APRIL 30, 2018

Ran across this article (Why Social Media is Not Smart for Middle School Kids) over the weekend and thought it was worth sharing. Some good ideas for any of us parents who question our rules we have put in place for and guidance of our tweens and teens. It is never to late to say “no” or “not so much!” I did share a myth-buster fact with incoming 6th grade parents last week…students do not need a cell phone at South MS nor a social media account. Many thought otherwise! If you have ideas, articles or questions, please share!

CONNECT:

  • The Waukee Diversity Potluck is Tuesday night, May 1st!!!  Families are invited to attend WHS International Club’s Diversity Potluck on Tuesday, May 1st in the Prairieview School Commons.  Doors open at 6 pm and eating begins at 6:30 p.m.  Please bring a cultural dish to share with others. Place settings and drinks will be provided. There will be entertainment and activities for children and a chance for you to get to know other families in our school district.  We encourage you to wear traditional clothing. Hope to see you there!

LEAD:

  • Our ambassadors spent a day last week connecting with elementary students in our feeder buildings and volunteering at the Waukee Clothing Closet and Goodwill. Thank you to their leadership this year and to Mrs. Crawford, Dr. Ferchen, Mrs. Kuehl and Mrs. Beals for modeling good leadership as their Advisory leaders.
  • Any 6th graders interested in taking on leadership roles next year during Advisory should look this Friday on the parent blog (Activities tab). Students will be able to apply for Ambassadors, Art Leaders, Yearbook or SWAT (tech leaders). We are excited to continue to expand leadership opportunities for our students!

EXPLORE:

  • This Thursday evening, our vocal music students will perform their last concert in the high school auditorium. Cannot wait to hear them share their hard work and talents with us.

Make it a fabulous week for you and everyone you meet.

APRIL 23, 2018

Could spring have finally sprung? It was great to see people outside walking and playing on Sunday and we hope the sunshine and warm weather continues to brighten the spirits as we finish out April and roll into May. As with many of our weeks at South MS, this one looks as fun-filled and busy one:

CONNECT:

  • Our final band concert of the year is Tuesday night. Our 6th Grade kicks off at 6:00p and 7th Grade will go at 7:30p. Students and band teachers have been working extremely hard to prepare for the last school performance of the year so hope you can join us.
  • We are looking for parent volunteers to lead a Walking Club from 7:30-7:55am. This group of students would be walking outside around the building grounds each morning the weather permits with the focus of exercise, socializing and activity! Please click this link to sign up today!
  • Our first Parent Coffee Talk is this Thursday at 7:00am at South MS. We will be meeting in the office conference room. Bring your own mug and the coffee is on me! Learn more and sign up here.
  • The Waukee Diversity Potluck on May 1st!!!  Families are invited to attend WHS International Club’s Diversity Potluck on Tuesday, May 1st in the Prairieview School Commons.  Doors open at 6 pm and eating begins at 6:30 p.m.  Please bring a cultural dish to share with others. Place settings and drinks will be provided. There will be entertainment and activities for children and a chance for you to get to know other families in our school district.  We encourage you to wear traditional clothing. Hope to see you there!

LEAD:

  • Lead by our Ambassadors, 7th grade students packed roughly 26,000 meals for Meals from the Heartland last Wednesday! What a fantastic way to give back to our community and world.
  • Congrats to our two South MS Quiz Bowl teams for a great performance this past weekend. Competing against 8th graders, one of our South MS teams took 2nd out of 18 teams in the Iowa MS Quiz Bowl Championship! Congrats to Coach McKibban and all students involved.

EXPLORE:

  • This Thursday evening, we will host our 6th Grade Parent Orientation for incoming 6th grade families. If you have a 5th grader or know of anyone with a 5th coming to South next fall, please send this link to them so they have the details: http://blogs.waukeeschools.org/dbarry/sms1718/ 
  • If you child is interested in attending the Washington D.C. trip next school year, an information meeting is coming up this Thursday. Click here for more info. For questions, please contact Niky JoniakPlease note this is not a school sponsored event.

Make it a great week for you, your family and everyone you meet!

APRIL 16, 2018

Alright. Alright. Alright. We get it. Winter has enjoyed itself this year and just wants to hang on a little bit longer. It does help delay spring/summer fever but it doesn’t help with the “get-the-kids-outside-because-I’m-going-crazy” parenting vibe. Here is hoping to quick snow melt and sunshine days ahead this week.

CONNECT:

  • Teacher appreciation week is approaching and we need your help! Sign up online here. We appreciate your help in honoring our teachers.
  • The Waukee Police Fundraiser will continue through April 30th with the goal of $650 to purchase a police bike/helmet plus more helmets for the community. Advisories in the leading the way are: Ms. Schaeufele ($81), Mrs. Thorson ($41), Dr. Ferchen ($27) and Mrs. Crawford ($25).

LEAD:

  • This Wednesday, our 7th grade ambassadors will be leading all of our 7th grade students in helping pack meals at South MS for Meals from the Heartland. Students will learn about this local program (video here) and engage in giving back to our world through this great community service project!
  • If your child volunteers at the ARL, we would love for them to wear their shirt to school this Tuesday so Ms. Taha and her SWAT students can get a picture. If your child volunteers any other locations and has a shirt or clothing to represent that organization, please bring it to school on Tuesday as well. We want to highlight how students are volunteering in our community.

EXPLORE:

  • Our 7th grade students rocked it on stage during their musical performances! Congrats to all of the students involved along with Mrs. McGrath and Ms. Smith. Our students NEVER cease to amaze me with their hard work and talents!
  • 6th Grade Parents: Your child will soon be a 7th grader at South Middle and specific immunizations are required by the state of Iowa for entrance into this grade level. Nurse Jenny has sent reminder e-mails to parents of students that are missing the Tdap and/or the meningococcal vaccination and will send another reminder before the end of the semester. Please ensure that your child has received these vaccinations before the start of the 2018-2019 school year. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact Nurse Jenny at school.

With the weather outside lately being frightful, be sure to find a way to make other’s interaction with you delightful. Smile. Laugh. Choose kind this week.

APRIL 9, 2018

To quote one of my favorite movie characters from the 90’s, Ham Porter, this weather “is killing me, Smalls!” I hear the light at the end of the tunnel is near as 70’s are in the foreseeable future so I got that goin’ for me, which is nice (bonus for naming that movie!). Enough of my childhood movie quotes; here is info for the upcoming week at South MS:

CONNECT:

  • Spring MAP assessments wrap up this week. Parents may view the schedule online here (look for your child’s language arts teacher’s name). Iowa Assessment and MAP scores get sent home with students in late May.
  • The 7th grade musical, Schoolhouse Rock Live, Jr. is this week! Find your tickets online at SeatYourself. Tickets are $6. Break a leg, Mrs. McGrath, Ms. Smith and all of our 7th grade students!

LEAD:

  • Waukee Police Fundraiser information was shared with students at our end of March assembly with the goal to purchase a police bike/helmet plus more helmets for the community ($650 goal). Student leader, Wrye shared that if everyone brings in only $1.00 we will meet and exceed our goal providing more helmets for bike riders in the Waukee School District.
  • Our sock drive to benefit the Waukee Community Closet continues. We are collecting new, unopened packages of socks in the hallway by the office before school.

EXPLORE:

  • Parenting 11, 12 and 13 years olds is hard. They are faced with challenges and issues that are difficult to supervise and stay on top of as they grow up. I wrote a short blog article, Houston, we have a problem? and will be starting a Parent Coffee Talk as a support and conversation group for all of us. This group will cover whatever topics parents bring to the table, including parenting frustrations, strategies and ideas along with current topics related to South MS. Sign up here.

Be sure to shut off the wireless, have your children turn in their handhelds and get them outside later this week to enjoy the beautiful SPRING weather!

APRIL 2, 2018

Last week, several officers from our Waukee Police Department joined our students in our March Madness Finals assemblies by joining an Advisory team during knock-out. Like many great ideas at South MS connected to our mission and vision, this idea came from a student who wanted to create an opportunity for our student to CONNECT with our local police department in a fun way. It was a success and we appreciate the time and energy the Waukee police give to our students, schools and community! Now for the rest of the week’s school updates:

CONNECT:

  • Spring MAP assessments continue this week. Parents may view the schedule online here (look for your child’s language arts teacher’s name).
  • Tickets for the 7th grade musical, Schoolhouse Rock Live, Jr. are on sale online starting at 3 p.m. at SeatYourself. Tickets are $6 and can also be purchased from the box office on performance nights. Show times are Thursday, April 12th at 6:30 p.m. and Friday, April 13th at 8:00 p.m. at the TAC.

EXPLORE

  • The Waukee Film Festival is quickly approaching!  Students interested in participating need to register by April 6th. The final film submission deadline is April 20th.  Information can be found at http://www.waukeefilmfest.org/ or by contacting Ms. Schaefer.

LEAD

  • Just wanted you to be aware of message we shared with our students on Friday. Thanks for taking the time to read it as well. Click here.

May you and your family enjoy a wonderful week!

MARCH 26, 2018

I have lived in the midwest for most of my 40+ years but still get surprised by our daily and sometimes hourly changing weather. Not that I want our students to begin getting spring/summer fever, but some sun and warmth would make us all smile a bit longer each day, eh? Hopefully, here are a few things that will make you smile this week at SMS:

CONNECT:

  • Spring MAP assessments begin today and continue over the next two weeks!  All students take their reading and math assessments with their language arts teacher. If you have questions, contact your child’s language arts or math teacher. Parents may view the schedule online here (look for your child’s language arts teacher’s name).
  • If you haven’t completed the school and community involvement survey from our counselors, please do so this week. Each family take it once: click here.
  • Are you ready to Schoolhouse Rock?!! Tickets for the 7th grade musical, Schoolhouse Rock Live, Jr. are on sale online starting at 3 p.m. at SeatYourself. Tickets are $6 and can also be purchased from the box office on performance nights. Show times are Thursday, April 12th at 6:30 p.m. and Friday, April 13th at 8:00 p.m. at the TAC. Please contact Ashley McGrath at amcgrath@waukeeschools.org, or call 987-3222, ext. 2407 for accessible seating. https://search.seatyourself.biz/webstore/accounts/waukeetheatrearts/buy-tix?d=0

LEAD:

  • We are looking for some parent volunteers on April 18th as our 7th graders engage in Meals from the Heartland at SMS. If interested, please check out the information and sign up here
  • Still time to donate items to our SMS JR Silver Cord interest group as they are collecting COLORFUL old t-shirts and toiletry items for their first project. HELP MAKE IT A SUCCESS!  Specific details can be found here.

EXPLORE:

  • Any 6th or 7th grader may sign up for ultimate frisbee which begins in April. Also, boys’ 7th grade basketball starts this Thursday. Read more information about both groups and find the links to sign up here: http://blogs.waukeeschools.org/dbarry/activities-2/
  • SMS’s Spring Boy’s Group will begin the first week of April. Both 6th and 7th grade male students are encouraged to participate. Sessions range from building positive relationships to self-confidence and developing leadership skills. To sign your son up, please click here. If you have questions, please connect with your son’s counselor. Participation is limited, thank you!

Finally, no matter the weather, bring an attitude with you everywhere you go that makes everyone smile! Make it a great week for you and everyone you encounter.

MARCH 20, 2018

I hope this finds you and your family coming off a good week away from school AND your child(ren) are ready to get back after it Monday morning! It is hard to believe that we only have 11 weeks left in our school year and I know, from experience, it will go by very quickly! Here are your items for the week:

CONNECT:

  • A rapidly changing school district provides great opportunity to build community, support, and give back. We want to include as many students and families as possible in building community at South MS. We ask that each family complete this survey from our counselors (click here) as we hope one of the included options fits you and your family to support our community and/or be supported by our community!
  • Nutrition would like to let you know that new menus will go into effect starting March 19Cycle Menus for all schools are located here. Find your school, match the colors and discover your favorite meal!

LEAD:

  • We are looking for some parent volunteers on April 18th as our 7th graders engage in Meals from the Heartland at SMS. If interested, please check out the information and sign up here
  • The SMS JR Silver Cord interest group is collecting COLORFUL old t-shirts and toiletry items for their first project. HELP MAKE IT A SUCCESS! Please send items with your student after spring break. Representatives will be around to collect items during advisory beginning March 19. If you would like to donate any small gift cards, snacks, or trinkets to use as raffle items, please bring those directly to Mrs. Steffensmeier in the office. Specific details can be found here.

EXPLORE:

  • 7th grade boys interested in playing pick-up basketball should sign up for our open gym after school activity beginning Thursday, March 29th. There is no cost but we are limiting it to 40 boys so sign up soon (click here).
  • SMS’s Spring Boy’s Group will begin the first week of April. Both 6th and 7th grade male students are encouraged to participate. Sessions range from building positive relationships to self-confidence and developing leadership skills. To sign your son up, please click here. If you have questions, please connect with your son’s counselor. Participation is limited, thank you!

Finally, just a reminder we do have an early out this Wednesday for professional development. Make it a great week for you and everyone you meet!

March 6, 2018

Last Friday morning, I was filled with pride as I watched and listened to our 7th grade jazz band and show choir perform during our all-school assembly. We were also able to recognize 100’s of our students who have been involved in Art Club, robotics, math counts, video game club, 6th grade play, honor choirs, science bowl, 6th grade newspaper, chess club and the 7th grade musical. All of these students and adult sponsors (and you parents!) get up early, stay late and work hard in order to reach amazing milestones this year and are a testament of how hard work, great collaboration and a bit of fun pay off! I’m lucky to work at SMS!

Here is your weekly update and news to know:

CONNECT:

  • As part of our building’s mission and vision, we will be hosting another family event, A Sweet Night Outthis coming Thursday night from 6:00-7:30pm at South MS to allow families to CONNECT and engage with each other. Join us for games, gym time, and other get to know you activities. Show up at 6:00pm and stay as long as you can. Please RSVP (click here) and bring a dessert or sweet treat to share! We will have day care available for younger siblings.
  • A reminder that following this week of school, Waukee will be on Spring Break and we will not have school March 12-16. Like many of you, I am hoping our Iowa weather cooperates so our students can enjoy being outside the majority of the week. 🙂
  • I will be in the office during the early part of Spring Break. If you have a need, email might be the easiest way to reach me.

EXPLORE:

  • South Middle School Yearbooks are available to pre-purchase on RevTrak for $20 through School Payments. Yearbooks will be delivered to students during the last week of school as part of end-of-year activities. Can’t remember if you already purchased one? You can now check payment history within RevTrak through the My Account link!

LEAD:

  • The Waukee Community Closet assists students and families in need within our school district by providing free high quality clothing (pre-worn as well as new). Currently, the Closet is in need of all sizes of children’s clothing, sizes 0-16.  If you have children’s clothing to donate, please check out Facebook.com/waukeecommunitycloset for the hours of donation.
  • If you ordered a Choose Kind t-shirt, it will be delivered to Advisory classrooms. Our hope is before spring break!! Thank you for the donations and t-shirt orders as the proceeds will go toward our buddy bench.

Make it a great week for you and those you come in contact with this week!

FEBRUARY 26, 2018

Thank you to all of our families who came to Parent Night and/or donated items for our staff meal! I enjoy seeing our students leading and sharing their learning along with getting an opportunity to visit with a number of families myself. If you have any additional questions about your child’s academic progress or behavior (College & Career Readiness Skills), please contact your child’s teacher(s) to set up a time to talk in person or over the phone. Your partnership through the end of the school year is vital in helping your child be as successful as possible! Here are your items for the week that introduces us to the month of March: 🙂

CONNECT:

  • The Waukee Community Closet assists students and families in need within our school district by providing free high quality clothing (pre-worn as well as new). Currently, the Closet is in need of all sizes of children’s clothing, sizes 0-16.  If you have children’s clothing to donate, please check out Facebook.com/waukeecommunitycloset for the hours of donation.
  • As part of our district’s theme this year, #GiveLove, our students and staff sent out over 800 #GiveLove post cards to people and organizations in our community, state and country. I’m very proud to work and learn at a school where it is important to care about others!
  • We are VERY EXCITED to have South MS host the Show Choirpalooza Thursday night. The concert is open to the public, admission is free-will donation and it starts at 7:00 pm. The concert will include (in order of appearance): Spirit or Millenium (WHS JV or Varsity); SPARK (SMS 7th); En Fuego (TL 8th); Inferno (TL 9th); 9th Degree (PV/TL combined jazz groups).

EXPLORE: 

LEAD: 

  • You have until Tuesday to order your Choose Kind t-shirts! ONLY $5 per shirt and $1 goes toward our Buddy Bench(es) we will be putting in our outside commons area. T-shirts will be delivered to your child in Advisory. Click here to purchase or to donate toward the cause.
  • Speaking of Choose Kind, I wrote a blog article about why I feel it is more important than ever to choose to be kind and give love as often as you can! Check it out if you have time: http://blogs.waukeeschools.org/dbarry/  I’d like to hear your feedback and thoughts.
  • Barnes and Noble’s My Favorite Teacher Contest closes on Friday so nominate your child’s favorite teacher soon!

Enjoy your week and make sure to impact others in a positive way!

FEBRUARY 19, 2018

This Wednesday and Thursday are our last scheduled Parent Nights of the school year (still time to sign up for a time!). We hope you are able to come with your child to hear and see his/her progress at this point in the year, ask questions of your child and the teacher and celebrate with your child. With 3 months left in the school year, we also encourage you to check PowerSchool regularly, communicate with your child’s teachers and schedule time to meet with a teacher or the team as needed. We need and appreciate the partnership between school and home!

CONNECT:

  • When given the choice between being right or being kind, choose kind.” You’ve most likely heard of the book Wonder.  It’s a story about a little boy, Auggie, who teaches us about the importance of being kind. Nuline Productions believes it’s important for us all to CHOOSE KIND and has partnered with SMS to support this mission.  South Middle School is raising money for at least two buddy benches. These benches will be put in our courtyard to foster friendship and spread the message of inclusion and kindness.  For every $5 shirt purchased, Nuline will donate $1 to the cost of a bench.  If families are interested in donating additional funds, that option is available online. Please feel free to share this opportunity with family, friends and neighbors as well. Complete all orders by Tuesday, February 27th.  T-shirts will be delivered to your child in Advisory. https://waukee.revtrak.net/school-payments-5/South-Middle-School/t-shirt-fundraiser/#/v/-t-shirt-sales
  • A fun night out for adults is coming up AND your attendance supports our Waukee Foundation which benefits our students and teachers. Check out the event information here: http://www.waukeeschoolsfoundation.org/

EXPLORE:

  • We have had some conversations with parents and students this past week about the tragic events that took place in  Florida last week. Our counselors are always available to talk with parents and/or students and have posted a resource for parents to use at home as well.  http://blogs.waukeeschools.org/nbaugh/parent-resources/
  • On Saturday, March 24th, Waukee will be hosting the Iowa Jr. Thespian Festival. This is an opportunity for students to participate in theatre events while learning from theatre artists and connecting with other middle school students. Registration is $30 and must be completed before Thursday, February 22nd. Interested students should see Mrs. McGrath or send an e-mail to amcgrath@waukeeschools.org.
  • 6th Grade Newspaper staff have released their mid-year newspaper. Check it out online here: https://www.ebookconversion.com/sms-newspaper/

LEAD:

  • Congrats to the SMS show choir and jazz band for putting on amazing performances in Indianola last week. On Thursday, March 1, South MS will host a end of show choir season celebration of music with the annual 2018 Show Choirpalooza taking place in our gym that evening. Come join the fun!

May you make this a great week for you, your family and everyone you come in contact with each day.

FEBRUARY 12, 2018

If your Monday routine is to wake up, grab a cup of coffee and read my Monday morning message to you, I am sorry I did not meet your expectations yesterday! 😉 Hopefully you have your Tuesday morning coffee in hand and are ready to catch up with the SMS news of the week:

CONNECT:

  • Our last Parent Night is February 21 or 22. If you have not signed up for you and your child’s conference time yet, please do so soon.  CLICK here to select a time and your password is smswarriors. To learn more about the night, check out our blog: http://blogs.waukeeschools.org/dbarry/parentnight/ 
  • Attention 6th grade families: Students in sixth grade will be received a registration form for next year’s courses on Monday (Feb 12) in their core classes.  Those registration forms need to be filled out and turned into your student’s teacher by Wednesday, Feb 22.  Students will be using those sheets to register in the computer lab on March 1st.  If you have any questions regarding next year’s registration, please contact Haylie Steffensmeier, 6th grade counselor or Clay Young, assistant principal.
  • A second session of Interest groups begins on Thursday. Students were able to choose from over 20 different topics, interests and activities and will be paired up with another teacher from their grade level along with students from across the grade as well. These run every Thursday for the next 8-10 weeks during Advisory time. Ask your child Thursday afternoon about their new Interest Group!

LEAD:

  • Lead by two of our 6th graders, Saina and Tasha, our students donated over $500 to a great local charity, The Dale Swift Fund. Thank you for your generosity, South MS!

EXPLORE:

  • 7th Musical Info: Auditions for the 7th Grade Musical Schoolhouse Rock, Live Jr. will be held on Monday, February 19th OR Tuesday, February 20th at 3:10 p.m. in the choir room. Students must complete the audition permission form (linked here) before auditions. More information can be found on Mrs. McGrath’s blog under the “7th Grade Musical” tab.
  • Interested in joining the Waukee Track Club?  This club runs March-July and is open for 3rd-12th grade students.  Information and registration can be found in Waukee Backpack (Camps and Clinics) or on Facebook and Twitter (@WaukeeTrackClub).

Wishing you and your loved ones a very Happy Valentine’s Day tomorrow and a great rest of the week. Be sure to #GiveLove to everyone you meet.

February 5, 2018

I’m sending this out BEFORE the Super Bowl as I know many you will want something to do during commercials or at half-time. Plus, as a life-long Eagles fan (#FlyEaglesFly), I figure that if we happen to lose tonight, I’ll be too sad to put together the weekly parent message tomorrow morning AND if we win, I’d hate to come across as gloating since there are many Patriot and Viking fans out in South MS land. So, take a break at half-time in order to get caught up on your South MS happenings for the week of February 5th:

CONNECT:

  • Congrats to 6th grade play cast members and our directors, Mrs. McGrath and Mrs. Snicker. The play was AMAZING and your hard work and collaboration showed during your 3 shows last week.
  • SMS students will be taking IA Assessments this week (Tues, Wed, Thurs). Get plenty of rest and a healthy breakfast. Please avoid making appointments for your child in the mornings.
  • Parent Night #3 is right around the corner (February 21st and 22nd). The link to register for your conference time opens Monday morning. Visit our blog for information and the link to sign up for your time with us: http://blogs.waukeeschools.org/dbarry/parentnight/
  • Two ways to #GiveLove begin this week. Students can give to a great cause, Chewing Gum for Cancer and buy a few special candy-heart grams as part of our annual Valentine’s Candy sales. Check out our blog for more information: http://blogs.waukeeschools.org/dbarry/

LEAD:

  • Junior Silver Cord kicked off a week ago! Click here to learn more about how your child can get involved in this new program and support our community at the same time.
  • We are in need of some donations for our teachers’ meal during Parent Night on February 22nd. If you feel so inclined to provide snacks or drinks, please sign up online here. Thank you in advance for your generosity!

EXPLORE:

  • WCSD Board of Education is having a special election on February 6, 2018. On the ballot is the bond referendum to support the construction of the second high school and improvements for the current high school. For details, please visit the 2nd High School website.
  • Orientation for next year’s Timberline 8th grade students will be held on Monday, February 12th in the Timberline School Commons. Two sessions, scheduled according to student last name. If you are unable to attend during your scheduled session, you are welcome to attend the other session.
    • Last name A-K: 6:30 PM
    • Last name L-Z: 7:15 PM

Thank you for taking the time each week to inform yourself and your child as to what is going on at South MS. As you can tell, it is a happening place for students, staff and parents…which is one reason I love being a part of our South family! Enjoy your week and make it a good one for you and those you meet. Go Eagles!

JANUARY 29, 2018

Wow! January blew by us quickly and we find ourselves a couple weeks into our 2nd semester already. We have a number of important events and happenings over the next two weeks. Here is what you need to know:

CONNECT:

  • 6th Grade Play is this week and due to popular demand, an additional performance was added and times adjusted so there will now be 6:00p and 7:30p shows on Thursday, February 1st. Parents should have received an email from Mrs. McGrath with the details. If you have questions, let Mrs. McGrath know at amcgrath@waukeeschools.org.
  • SMS students will be taking IA Assessments the mornings of February 6-8Please avoid making appointments for your child in the mornings.

LEAD:

  • We are very excited to let parents know of a new program we kicked off last week: Jr. Silver Cord! Students received information in Advisory and Mrs. Steffensmeier hosted an optional informational meeting Friday morning. To learn more and/or begin recording volunteer hours, visit our Jr. Silver Cord site: https://sites.google.com/waukeeschools.org/smsjuniorsilvercord 
  • The next Box Tops for Education submission date is coming up soon! Please send your Box Tops to SMS with your student by February 15th — the collection box is on the counter at the front desk. Every clip counts and students can earn a prize!

EXPLORE:

  • e-Club sign up! We will start a new before school group in February: Entrepreneur Club. We will limit the group to the first 20 students who sign up. We are also looking for parent volunteers, speakers and more. Check out the information here: https://goo.gl/u8WZKZ
  • Waukee Knights of Columbus is hosting a spelling bee that is open to any 4th, 5th, 6th, or 7th grader. It is completely free and kids have the chance to earn medals and move on to the regional and state competitions. The spelling bee will be held at St. Boniface Church in Waukee on February 11th at 1 PM with registration starting at 12:30p. The registration packet link is here.  Word list and rules available at: http://iowakofc.org/page/spelling-bee
  • The Boundary Committee begins their journey with their first meeting tomorrow, Tuesday, January 30, at the Waukee Innovation & Learning Center (WILC). Meetings will start at 6:00 pm and are open to anyone. For more information about our 2nd high school and boundaries, visit: https://2ndhs.waukeeschools.org/boundaries/ 

Enjoy your week! Find a way to make it a great one for yourself and each person you come in contact with each day.

JANUARY 22, 2018

We had a great start to the our second semester last week and hope to keep it rolling this week. The highlight for the upcoming week is our 6th and 7th grade bands are excited to perform their Pops Concert for our students Tuesday morning and then for our parents and community Tuesday evening. Hope to see you there! Here is the rest of your information for the week:

CONNECT:

  • If you would like to receive a text message alert when the school district has a delayed start or cancelation, your cell phone number must be listed in PowerSchool and you must “opt-in” by texting YES to 67587. For detailed instructions, check out this link to the district website.
  • A great night out for adults is coming up AND your attendance supports our Waukee Foundation Auction Event which supports our students and teachers. Check out the event information here: http://www.waukeeschoolsfoundation.org/
  • SMS students will be taking IA Assessments the mornings of February 6-8. Please avoid making appointments for your child in the mornings.

LEAD:

  • Do you have a staff member at South MS you or your child would like to recognize? So far this year, Mrs. Borzo, Mrs. McGrath and Mr. Dolhman have earned your nominations. Submit your nomination for World Class Warrior for February (click here).
  • The next Box Tops for Education submission date is coming up soon! Please send your Box Tops to SMS with your student by February 15th — the collection box is on the counter at the front desk. Every clip counts and students can earn a prize!

EXPLORE:

  • The Boundary Committee begins their journey with their first meeting next Tuesday (Jan 30)  night  at the Waukee Innovation & Learning Center (WILC). Meetings will start at 6:00 pm and are open to anyone. For more information about our 2nd high school and boundaries, visit: https://2ndhs.waukeeschools.org/boundaries/ 
  • WCSD Board of Education is having a special election on February 6, 2018. On the ballot is the bond referendum to support the construction of the second high school and improvements for the current high school. For details, please visit the 2nd High School website.

Glad we are enjoying some “warm” weather and avoiding the foot of snow the NW Iowa schools are getting! Make it a great week.

JANUARY 15, 2018

Eagles

No school for students today. We are ready to finish the 1st semester tomorrow (Tuesday) and excited to kick off the 2nd semester on Wednesday. Weather pending, we have 8 weeks until our Spring Break starting March 10. That will be plenty of time to explore, connect with others and grow as learners and leaders! Here are your items for the week of January 15:

CONNECT:

  • Do you have an activity, sport, passion or hobby you’d love to share with our students? We’d love to offer more before and after school activities for our students through our Community Education program. Connect with me if you have an idea you’d like to explore!
  • Students will be taking Iowa Assessments February 6-8. Students should be to school no later than 8:00am and avoid any appointments these three mornings. Otherwise, we have to pull students from other classes to make up the assessment. Thank you!

EXPLORE:

  • Reminder to students to checkout their 2nd semester schedule on Power School today! Link here.
  • Parent drop-off reminder!!! In the AM, please pull all the way to the white sign before stopping and letting your child out. Trust me, students will be able to walk a bit further without harm or freezing and it helps keep the traffic moving more smoothly for everyone. Students may exit the vehicles anywhere between the two white signs
    (see yellow lines on this map).

LEAD:

  • Congrats to our SMS Spark Show Choir, Jazz Band and FIRST Lego League team for their successful weekends. Way to represent South MS and Waukee! If you have a picture for any of these events, post them on our Facebook page or email them to me so we can share it at school!

Enjoy your day and we look forward to finishing the 1st semester strong tomorrow!

JANUARY 8, 2018

Happy New Year! No one emailed me over the last few weeks to tell me you missed my weekly emails so I’m guessing you were just too busy over break to do so. 😉 We had a wonderful start back last week and the students all agreed that doing 3 school days was a great way to ease into the 2018 school year. Here are your items for the week of January 8:

CONNECT:

  • There is still time to register for Strengthening Families workshop. I’ve mentioned before that it is a great workshop for families that I engaged in with my own family a few years ago. Learn more by clicking here.
  • Our 3 year streak of teachers winning the “First Snow” contest is over! Congratulations to SMS parent, Iliana Henriquez, for being this year’s winner. I will be reaching out to you with your prize soon!
  • Want to know what is going on at South MS? Always find our latest “date to note” on our blog.
  • Our 2nd semester begins on Tuesday, January 16 (no school on January 15) and students will switch some of their elective classes. It would be a good idea to review their 2nd-semester schedule this week and weekend. Students can get their login information in the office from Mrs. Kramer if they do not know it. If you request any elective class changes (link here), the changes will be found on your child’s schedule within PowerSchool prior to January 16.
  • Please note that we do not have before or after school supervision at the cross-walks if the temperature/windchill is below zero. Plan accordingly.

EXPLORE:

  • Good luck to the following SMS groups who will engage in performances and competitions this coming month:
    • Spark Show Choir performs this Thursday (6:30p) and Friday (4:15p) at Waukee’s Starstruck.
    • SMS’ Artificial Intelligence Engineers will be at the FIRST Lego League state championship in Ames this Saturday.
    • Jazz band performs at the West Des Moines (Indian Hills) competition Saturday.
    • Pops band concert at SMS is January 23rd for our 6th grade (6:00p) and 7th grade (7:30p).

LEAD:

  • We will be starting a student entrepreneur club second semester and I would love to have 1-2 more parents involved. Please call or email me if you’re interested in helping out with this unique student group at South MS.
  • Over 150 students, parents and staff members have submitted their One Word for 2018. Check out some of their word choices and/or submit your own One Word to drive your 2018 by clicking here.

As we finish the semester this week, I want to thank you for an amazing first semester at South Middle School! We would not be able to connect, explore and lead without you as our partners! I look forward to finishing the year strong. Enjoy your week.

 

DECEMBER 18, 2017

We’ve reached the last week of school for our calendar year! A few quick hits and then my annual challenge to all students, parents and staff members to choose your ONE WORD for yourself to lead you into 2018.

  • Dress up days are this week. Find the list on our daily announcement page here.
  • The First Snow contest closes Monday evening. Get your guess in soon! Click here.
  • NO SCHOOL on Friday! If your family is leaving on winter break earlier than Friday, please notify our attendance secretary at 515.987.2785 or smsattendance@waukeeschools.org.
  • Classes resume Wednesday, January 3rd. Enjoy your break with your family and friends!

CHOOSING YOUR ONE WORD: For the 4th year at South, I am encouraging every staff member, student and parent to choose your ONE WORD to drive your actions, vision and mission for this coming year. By each of us choosing that ONE WORD and then sharing this word with each other, my hope is that this action supports a collective positive vision for our students, staff and building. As the new year begins, I would love to get as many staff, parents and students involved in this by having you select your ONE WORD for the year and submit it here.

My ONE WORD for the year is VISION. For school, I chose vision as my reminder to truly live the vision parents and staff helped create for South this past fall (Connect. Explore. Lead.). I want to focus on building positive relationships one at a time so I can CONNECT with my heart with individual students, staff and families. I want to always be open to student, staff and parent ideas by encouraging them to EXPLORE innovative ideas and activities which allows SMS to be on the cutting edge. I want to LEAD with positivity and support our students leaders who truly can change our community and world which is the key to our mission and vision here at South.

For home, I chose VISION as my wife and I work hard (isn’t parenting stressful!!) to raise 3 boys to be strong, service-oriented and caring young men in a world that sometimes is challenging, scary and cruel. I want to stick to the VISION of what each of them can become in this world and help support and guide them in moving toward their own VISION.

Best of luck in selecting your ONE WORD for 2018. I wish you and your family a relaxing, joy-filled winter break and a happy New Years. All of us here at South MS look forward to a fantastic second half to our school year beginning January 3rd!

Living our VISION,
Doug Barry, Principal

2018: VISION
2017: Moment
2016: Joy
2015: Focus

December 11

It is our last full week prior to winter break. Much to accomplish over the next 9 school days plus we will have some fun dress up days the week prior to break. See below for details!

CONNECT:

  • On Thursday, December 21 (our final day before students go to break), our students will be participating in some team activities for part of the afternoon. Dismissal time will remain 2:58 pm, but we will be running a revised schedule during the day.
  • If your family is leaving early for break, please contact our attendance secretary and let your child’s teacher know via email.
  • Planning ahead, our dress up days will be next week; Dec 18-21 and include:
    • Monday – Pajama day
    • Tuesday – Teacher/Student Switch Day (Students should dress like teachers)
    • Wednesday – Character Day
    • Thursday – Ugly Sweater Day
    • Friday – No School!

EXPLORE:

  • Winter will be here someday…maybe soon? Take a shot at our annual First Day of Snow contest. This is open to any students, staff or parents. The past 3 years, a staff member has won so it is time to step up, parents and students! Enter your guess here.
  • Students looking to add/change an elective course for 2nd semester (Jan 15, 2018) will be able to submit a request beginning next week. Any changes must be done via this online form.

LEAD:

  • Looking for end-of-the-year places to donate to? We have not done a fundraiser the past three years but have had parents ask us if we take donations. Any money donated is a tax write-off and we are putting any donations into a fund to use to update technology for our students (laptops and iPads). Over the past two years, we have added 3 mobile laptop/iPad carts and increased the number of iPads for student use through our building budget, Wells Fargo matching funds and general parent donations. Make checks payable to Waukee – South Middle School.

Make it a great week for you and those around you!

December 4

Hope you and your family enjoyed some outdoors these past few days as it looks like an Iowa winter is arriving this week…minus the snow at this point. 🙂 Three weeks until winter break so another busy week at South MS!

CONNECT:

  • Follow SMS on Twitter and Instagram at @WaukeeSMS!
  • SMS students will be taking IA Assessments the mornings of February 6-8. We wanted to pass this information along early, so if you’re making appointments for your student, you can avoid these mornings. More information regarding these assessments will be coming home as we get closer.
  • We want our SMS families to join our district in the Give Love Challenge. Share your story and/or follow other stories at the hashtag: #WaukeeGivesLove.

LEAD:

  • SMS collects Box Tops for Education and Mrs. Broderick runs contests each month!  Please send your Box Tops to school with your student — the collection box is on the counter at the front desk.  Every clip counts!

Make it a great week for you and those you come into contact with each day!

NOVEMBER 27

I hope this finds you excited to start the week tomorrow after enjoying a restful Thanksgiving break! Our calendar flips to December this week (wow!) and we only have 19 days of school before winter break arrives. With much to do before then, we are anxious to get the students back in the building and classrooms this morning.

CONNECT:

  • Have an old calendar? With 2017 close to an end, Mrs. Reinhold (library) would take any old calendars you are done with (the picture/design part will be cut up and used for student bookmarks). Thank you!
  • On our Daily Announcement tab, parents and students have access to the same weekly planning document students and teachers use each Monday during Advisory. Teachers include the “Big Rocks” for the week (i.e. assessments, project due dates, etc.) on this document so students can enter it on their planners or electronic calendars before the week starts. Students are also asked to complete the planner within their classes throughout the week to add additional items such as homework or reminders. Check it out and ask your child to see their planner or calendar each week!
  • if you have any books ranging in age (toddler to middle school) level that could be donated, we are going to bring gently used books to our community as part of our outreach connected to one of our Student Impact Projects. If you have any books you would like to donate please bring them to Ms. Keller’s or Mrs. Wetzel’s pod (6th Silver) by December 10th or to your child’s Advisory teacher with a note, “Books for Mrs. Wetzel/Ms. Keller.” Thank you for your consideration!

LEAD:

  • Do you or your child want to nominate a South MS staff member (teacher, nutrition, office, associates, custodian, etc) as this month’s World Class WarriorClick this link to nominate! Last month’s World Class Warrior recipient was 6th grade teacher, Mrs. Borzo.

EXPLORE

Make it a great week for each person you meet!

NOVEMBER 13

Good morning and “Brrrr!” Just a quick reminder that we will not have school November 22-24. If you are traveling over these days, please do so carefully! If your family plans have your child missing Monday and/or Tuesday next week, please let Mrs. Kramer, our attendance secretary, know in advance.

CONNECT

  • We really enjoyed our First Annual SMS Friendsgiving last Thursday and loved having a number of you join us. We hope to continue to provide events at South MS to CONNECT with our families and for families to CONNECT with each other.
  • Follow SMS on Twitter at @WaukeeSMS or on Facebook for extra information, pictures and fun!
  • A reminder that our annual Waukee Food Drive will wrap up this week on November 17th. All food donations should be brought to your student’s advisory teacher or neatly stacked in the northwest corner of the commons. Thank you for your generosity in donating! The winter months are quickly approaching! If your family needs some assistance (food, clothing, gifts) during this season, please reach out to your student’s counselor (Mrs. Steffensmeier – 6th grade and Mrs. Baugh – 7th grade) for application information.

LEAD

  • Did you know SMS collects Box Tops for Education?  Please send your Box Tops to school with your student — the collection box is on the counter at the front desk. Every clip counts and Mrs. Broderick has drawings for prizes each month for those who donate Box Tops!
  • HELP!! HELP!! SMS will be hosting a FIRST LEGO League Regional Qualifier event and FIRST LEGO League, Jr. Expo this coming Saturday, November 18 for nearly 20 teams from across the state. We are in need of volunteers to help support this event with jobs ranging from low stress (greeting teams and volunteers) to more complex (listening to teams present their projects). Please note…if your high school age child wants to earn Silvercord hours, they may need to be accompanied by an adult. Contact Jenn Ghelf for more information.

EXPLORE

  • The 6th grade play begins soon! Click here to find out how your child can get involved on the stage or behind the scenes.

There will not be a parent message next Monday morning (ahh…sad, I know!) unless something important comes up prior to Monday, November 27. Whether you are traveling for Thanksgiving break or staying at home, we wish you and your family a safe and restful time.

He who laughs, lasts,
Doug Barry, Principal

Nov 6, 2017

I’m getting my weekly message out a bit early this week to get one last “call for help!” for a parent leadership opportunity happening tomorrow (Monday) morning. See the “LEAD” section below.

CONNECT

  • We hope many of you can join us for our First Annual SMS Friendsgiving potluck this coming Thursday beginning at 6:00pm. Whether you’re new to Waukee or been here your whole life, this is a great opportunity to connect with our SMS community, meet new families and share a meal and conversation together. Please RSVP here: http://tinyurl.com/smsfriends
  • The Annual Waukee Food Drive continues through Nov 17th. Monetary donations are accepted via RevTrak  South MS staff and families are asked to bring the food items listed here.
  • Thank you to our families for providing nearly 10 large boxes of winter gear for families who might need it during the upcoming winter! #yourock

LEAD

  • We are interested in starting an Entrepreneurs’ Club for students at South MS and are looking for parents to help with the club. Parents with ideas, experiences or who are just interested in getting in at the ground level on this opportunity should attend our planning meeting THIS Monday, Nov 6 @ 7am (in the SMS office or via conference call/Google Hangout). Email me to RSVP.
  • SMS will be hosting a FIRST LEGO League Regional Qualifier event and FIRST LEGO League, Jr. Expo on Saturday, November 18 for nearly 30 teams from across the state. We are in need of volunteers to help support this event with jobs ranging from low stress (greeting teams and volunteers) to more complex (listening to teams present their projects). If your high school age child wants to earn Silvercord hours, they may need to be accompanied by an adult. Contact Jenn Ghelf for more information.

EXPLORE

  • We are again offering a unique opportunity for your daughter to be a part of a small middle school girls’ group focused on pre-teen and teenage topics and learning. Click here to learn more.
  • SIGN UP SOON! Another after school opportunity begins this week: Sentence Drawing Group in which students will be able to engage in some fun writing and reading activities and learning; such as some friendly competitions in sentence diagramming. Sign up here.
  • The 6th grade play begins soon! Click here to find out how your child can get involved on the stage or behind the scenes.

Again…lots of great things going on at South MS and many ways for our students and families to CONNECT, LEAD and EXPLORE. Make it a fantastic week for you and those around you.

OCT 30, 2017

Happy Halloween or Beggar’s Night or Here-Comes-the-Sugar-Rush…or whatever you might call it in your home! If your child is partaking in some fun tonight and/or tomorrow night, we hope they keep safe and are respectful as they venture out into the cold and spooky night. Much to share this week and I’m trying something new by organizing our information by our vision themes. Enjoy

CONNECT

  • Thank you for attending our Parent Night conferences. We had nearly 75% of our parents partake and we appreciate your partnership, support and focus on continued learning for our students.
  • Annual parent survey: We have had 100 responses so far and with nearly 750 families in our building, I’d love a few 100 more of you provide your feedback by taking the 3-5 minute survey [click here to start].
  • Winter warmth drive continues this week! Help keep our community members in need warm this winter! Information found here.
  • Annual Waukee Food Drive begins Wednesday and runs through Nov 17th. Monetary donations are also accepted via RevTrak The food bank can buy food in bulk and stretch the dollar much further. Information found here.

LEAD

  • We are interested in starting an Entrepreneurs’ Club for students at South MS and are looking for parents to help with the club. Parents with ideas, experiences or who are just interested in getting in at the ground level on this opportunity should attend our planning meeting on Monday, Nov 6 @ 7am (in the SMS office or via conference call/Google Hangout). Email me to RSVP.

EXPLORE

  • Our art teach, Mrs. Ludwig is starting a before school Art Club for SMS students and it begins this week! Click here to learn more about this great opportunity and sign your child up to explore the arts and connect with other students.
  • We are again offering a unique opportunity for your daughter to be a part of a small middle school girls’ group focused on pre-teen and teenage topics and learning. Click here to learn more.
  • Look for another after school club coming soon: Sentence Drawing Group in which students will be able to engage in some fun writing and reading competitions and learning such as some friendly competitions in sentence diagramming

Wow…lots of things happening around South! One final thing to note…no costumes this week. We will leave the costumes to the evenings around town. 🙂 Make it a great week for you and those around you.

OCT 23, 2017

The last week of October is upon us and it also brings us to the end of our 1st quarter at South MS. Our students and teachers are excited to share some of their experiences and progress up to this point so we look forward to seeing you at Parent Night on either Tuesday or Thursday! Here are you items for the week:

  • Need to sign up for a conference time and/or want to learn more about how to check your child’s progress in PowerSchool? Visit here: http://blogs.waukeeschools.org/dbarry/
  • If you are logging in to check your child’s progress in PowerSchool, do not use Internet Explorer. You will not be able to see all the information.
  • Picture retakes are Wednesday. Students who were absent or those wanting retakes will partake. If you are doing retakes, your child must bring the first packet with them.
  • No school for students this Friday. It is a teacher work-day for our secondary (6th-12th grade) teachers.
  • The Waukee School District’s annual  Winter Warmth Drive [click here] begins today and runs through November 3rd.
  • Need some Warrior gear? South MS shirt orders end this Wednesday – click here! Football play-off shirt must be ordered by 10am today – click here.
  • We are super-excited to host our hopefully 1st Annual SMS Friendsgiving potluck in our South MS commons on Thursday, November 9th. We want to bring together students, parents, teachers, associates, nutrition staff and anyone who is connected to our South MS community for a night of food, friendship and fellowship! Sign up here: www.tinyurl.com/smsfriends

We cannot wait to see you and your child this week at our Parent Night. Make it a great week for you and those around you.

OCT 16, 2017

We hope you enjoyed a wonderful weekend. It looks like amazing weather this week and we have lots of opportunities over the next two weeks for you to engage with us at South so hope to see you soon.

  • Tonight is the Waukee Warriors vs Harlem Wizards fundraiser game. Come cheer on the SMS Dream Math-Trio and the entire Waukee team. For tickets, click here.
  • Next week is our Parent Night #2! This is an important event for each of our families to attend. If you haven’t signed up for you and your child’s time, please sign up today. Start here: http://blogs.waukeeschools.org/dbarry/
  • South MS t-shirts are available with our new vision logo! Here’s the link for the shirts’ web store. It will be open until October 25 so purchase your new South t-shirt today.
  • The Waukee School District’s annual  Winter Warmth Drive will run October 23rd-November 3rd this year.
  • Last opportunity to take our Engagement Survey for parents – click here. We appreciate your input!
  • Picture retake day is Wednesday, October 25th. Two groups of students will have their pictures taken on this day:
    • Students that were absent on the original picture day.
    • Students wishing to have their pictures retaken. In order for pictures to be retaken, your student must have their original picture packet in hand to give to the photographer. 

This week, I have a challenge for all of you: be the reason someone feels loved! Would love to here how you and/or your child made this happen. Tweet at me (@djbarry98 or @WaukeeSMS) or drop me an email as to how you made this happen.

He who laughs, lasts,
Doug Barry, Principal

OCT 9, 2017

Registration for Parent Night #2: Students Celebrate Learning opens today. For details on how to sign-up and what this evening will look like for you and your student, visit this link: Parent Night #2. To go directly to registering for a time online, click this link: Parent Night #2 registration (password: smswarriors). We look forward to seeing you and your child Oct 24 or 26!

  • South MS t-Shirts are available with our new vision logo! Here’s the link for the shirts’ web store. It will be open until October 25 so purchase your new South t-shirt today.
  • Speaking of our new SMS Vision, students within Advisory classrooms created, directed and starred in skits, songs and raps to represent one of our core vision values: CONNECT, EXPLORE and LEAD. Sit down with your family at home and watch their creative thinking come alive [click here]. The student selected winning videos are highlighted in gray.
  • We will be starting our Adult Learning opportunities soon. You received an email from me about it last Wednesday. Here is the link to sign up.
  • Let’s “pumpkin spice” it up in the SMS library! Teachers, parents, students (anyone at SMS interested), decorate a pumpkin that represents a book (any book you think might be fun to use on your pumpkin) and bring it to the library.  We will display the pumpkins in the library from now until October 26th. Any pumpkins not picked up by the 26th will be disposed of. Contact Kelly Reinhold at kreinhold@waukeeschools.org with questions.
  • The Waukee School District’s annual  Winter Warmth Drive will run October 23rd-November 3rd this year. South MS students and families are encouraged to participate in this great community event.

Enjoy the beautiful day and make it a great week for yourself and those around you.

OCT 2, 2017

We had a TON of students stay for our Homecoming Party after school this past Friday and had a TON of fun! I’m not sure if they were tired Friday night, but I sure was. 🙂 Thank you to all the parents who volunteered to help and who provided snacks. It was greatly appreciated. Items for the first week of October include:

  • 7th Grade will attend the high school production of Peter & the Starcatcher tomorrow (Monday). The schedule changes are below. Please note that students will NOT be able to be picked up or dropped off at South MS or the TAC performance center between 11:30a-2:30p. Please plan accordingly.
    • 10:35a – All 7th eat lunch
    • 11:05a – 7th graders go to 4th period
    • 11:15a – Begin loading buses with 4th period teacher
    • 11:45-2:15p – Peter & the Starcatcher Performance
    • 2:25 – Arrive back at SMS, 7th graders go to 8th period
  • Parent Night #2: Students Celebrate Learning will be October 24 and 26. For details related to what this evening will look like for you and your student, visit this link: Parent Night #2. The window to sign up will begin next Monday, October 9th.
  • Substitute Associates Needed! Come join the Waukee Community School District as a substitute associate. Flexible hours. Pay is $12/hr. Gain great classroom skills and understand what is happening in our classrooms! To apply or view open positions, click here. Questions: contact Amelia Clark @ 515-987-5161 ext, 4529
  • Note from the Waukee Public Library: There will be no teen programs after school on the October 4th early dismissal due to some minor renovations.
  • Because I like to share good parenting readsif you are still reading this message, I wanted to take the time to share a blog post with you that hit home with me this morning as I read it with my coffee. The author, Ali Locker, works for Waukee CSD as part of our school improvement team and her story and words are great ones for any parent…whether your child is 5, 11 or 18 years old. Her message is something I not only want for my own 3 boys but for each of your children as well. Hope you take the time to read it this week: Table for 3 (a journey to becoming whole again)

Make it a great one. I hope you and your family are able to engage in “big, important work” this week.

SEPT 25, 2017

The start of fall last Thursday felt more like the middle of summer. But with some cooler weather coming this week, a few leaves beginning to drop and all of us getting to celebrate Homecoming in Waukee this week, it will feel much more like fall by the end of the week. Here are your Warrior-week items to note:

  • Homecoming dress up days are here. We are celebrating Homecoming this whole week (Sept. 25th-29th) with fun dress up days!
    • Monday – Pajama Day
    • Tuesday – Beach Day
    • Wednesday – USA Day
    • Thursday- Go together/Group Day (dress alike)
    • Friday – Spirit Day (wear purple, Warrior or South MS attire)
  • The Homecoming Party is this Friday right after school. Students can buy a ticket for $2. Students love this event, but we need your help to make it successful. If you’ve already signed up, thank you! There are a variety of items or activities for which you can sign up. We are especially in need of volunteers to help supervise the games & activities. Sign up here!
  • Chess club is starting soon! Find out more information and register by clicking here.
  • Help our school earn cash this school year! Every Box Top is worth 10 cents, and they add up fast! Next week is National Box Tops for Education Week. Our school goal is $2000 to reach by 12/17, We currently have $761.80 in Box Top’s. Students may turn in collected Box Tops to the front office. Thank you!
  • The Harlem Wizards versus the Waukee Warriors is Oct 16. Check out the South MS All-Star Math team of Ms. Stuber, Mr. Withers and Mr. Garland along with myself and a dozen other Warriors from elementary, middle and high school take the court! This is a great fundraiser for our Waukee Foundation which provides scholarships for students and funding for classroom projects and learning. Find out more information on our Waukee website here.

Make it a fun, spirit filled week for you and your own! Go Warriors!

SEPT 19, 2017

SMS Families,

I’ve always been a numbers person and I noted that Friday officially marked the 10% point in our school year! Over the first 18 days, we have seen students CONNECT with their hearts through Advisory activities and making new friends. When I visit classrooms, I’ve observed students being able to EXPLORE with their minds through collaborative projects, self portraits and hands on inquiry activities and labs. Finally, our students raised nearly $500 last week for Texas & Florida hurricane victims which is a great example of how they choose to LEAD to positively change our world.  …and we still have 90% of the year left. This is going to be an amazing year!

  • Speaking of the student lead fundraiser, Monday morning is the last day to bring in any loose change. This friendly metro competition between Johnston, Urbandale, West Des Moines, Dowling and Waukee is a great way to unite to show support of others. I’ll announce district totals laters this month.
  • Attention 6th grade students: students may apply to be a part of one of our three Leadership Advisories by applying online before September 27. Check out the information at the top of our announcement page. http://blogs.waukeeschools.org/dbarry/daily-announcements/
  • The “Most-Attended-Fun-Spirit-filled Event of the Year” is our Homecoming Party at South MS on Friday, September 29, and we need YOUR help!! Come join the fun by volunteering to help or provide treats for our students. Check out the opportunities by clicking here. Students will be able to stay after school that Friday to dance, sing, play and hang out. Information about how students can join in on the fun will come your way next Monday.
  • Homecoming Week begins next Monday, September 25. We will celebrate together through dress up days all week for our students and staff:
    • Monday – Pajama Day
    • Tuesday – Beach Day
    • Wednesday – USA Day
    • Thursday- Go together/Group Day (dress alike)
    • Friday – Spirit Day: GO WARRIORS!

Make a difference this week!

SEPT 12, 2017

SMS Families,

Hope this finds you coming off an enjoyable weekend. As we begin the week, just a reminder to parents and students that our MAP reading assessments begin this week during students’ language arts. Math assessments will follow and also take place during language arts time to allow for the longer assessment time needed. This assessment is just one of a number of ways we measure student progress and get feedback on students’ achievement. You can find the schedule by clicking here.

  • We are utilizing a new method to broadcast our announcements, highlight our updates on social media and to share our story at SMS. To see what’s being presented on our TVs at school, bookmark this link:  happyboards.net/uqonpKkMGoRQnC36G
  • Spare some change? In support of those impacted by hurricanes Harvey and Irma, the Dowling, Johnston, West Des Moines, Urbandale, and Waukee School Districts are coming together to have a friendly competition to raise funds, which will then be donated to The Red Cross. We will be collecting change from this Tuesday, September 12-Friday, September 15 in the atrium each morning in support of this cause. The corresponding flyer has been attached for you to reference: Hurricane Support. You will notice the flyer states “Harvey;” this planning was in the process as Hurricane Irma developed and moved into Florida. The raised funds will support those impacted by both. Thank you for your generosity!
  • Looking for some entertainment for the whole family? The Harlem Wizards are coming to Waukee October 16th to challenge an all-star* Warrior team including a few of us from South MS! Click here for more details.
  • Please see the included link regarding the Waukee Invitational Mile for students in grades 3-7. It is always fun for me to cheer on students outside of school and this is a great event for our 6th and 7th graders who want to show their South MS spirit and help our high school cross country team at the same time.
  • A great program, Strengthening Families, that I attended with my own family is being offered again. This is for parents of youth between the ages of 10-14 years old. Learn how to build healthy and thriving family relationships while assisting youth to become responsible young adults during those sometimes challenging teen years by attending this seven week program for parents and their youth. Please check out more information and sign up by clicking here: Strengthening Families Program. Free food and daycare to boot!

Make it a great week!

He who laughs, lasts,
Doug Barry, Principal

* Using “all-star” might be a stretch but the Waukee team will have fun!

 

SEPT 5, 2017

SMS Families,

Hope this finds you coming off an enjoyable Labor Day holiday weekend. Lots of items this week so I’ll just jump right in to the updates for you:

  • Thank you to all the families that made it out for our first Parent Night. Hopefully you found this night meaningful, and if you have any questions as a result of this evening or if you have questions because you weren’t able to make it, we encourage you to reach out directly to your teachers. This partnership is an important one to build, especially as we’ll move into more of a regular pattern of school days.
  • SMILE! School pictures are this Wednesday, Sept 6. You can find the link to the order form and code to order online on our blog page here: http://blogs.waukeeschools.org/dbarry/dates-to-note/
  • All SMS students will be taking a writing assessment in their language arts class sometime this week. The purpose of this assessment is to help identify strengths and weaknesses in students’ writing with the data being used to drive teacher writing instruction this year. We are very excited to deepen our focus on improved writing here at South!
  • MAP Assessments will take place beginning September 11. Students will take both the reading and math assessments within their language arts block with their language arts teacher. You can find the schedule by clicking here.
  • Homecoming T-shirt will be sold in the SMS atrium beginning this morning through September 19. Price is $10, cash or check made out to the Waukee Dance Team. The shirt can be found here.
  • Our after school activities are underway and one activity, Ultimate Frisbee, has extended sign-ups one more week! Students who join, may stay after school to attend the activity. This is a great way to play with friends, meet new friends and get some exercise! Sign up through our Community Education (link located here); Fee $15
  • Wednesday is an early out with students being dismissed at 12:58pm. Our teachers will begin digging into their thinking and collaboration around our professional development focus again this year, The Student Impact Project. More to come!
  • Friday is spirit day! In celebration of the annual Iowa Hawkeyes versus Iowa State Cyclones, we encourage all students to wear their favorite college’s gear to school. So whether you root for the Ducks, the Huskers, the Panthers or Bulldogs, come Friday supporting your team!

Have a great short week!

AUG 28, 2017

SMS Families,

We had a successful start to our school year last week! As of Friday, we enrolled our 43rd new-to-the-district student to bring our student enrollment to just under 800 students. Staff and students enjoyed getting back in to the swing of things with a mix of team builders, assemblies and get to know you activities mixed throughout the three days. As we get into the routine this week, we look forward to getting to know our new and returning students even more as we know how important positive relationships are to learning! Now for you upcoming week items to note:

  • Speaking of positive relationships, this Thursday, August 31st, is our first Parent Night of the school year where you’ll have the opportunity to live a day-in-the-life of your middle schooler! For more details, visit this link: Parent Night #1.
    • We offer two sessions for Parent Night; you only need to attend one. If you have not yet done so, use the following link to sign up for your session by Tuesday, August 29th so we have a count for the night and are able to make plans accordingly: Click here to sign up for SMS Parent Night.
    • Parents who sign up will receive more detailed information Tuesday evening.
    • Just as a reminder, this is a parent only event. Thank you!
  • As the year gets going, look for more detailed daily announcements on our blog. We will not send these announcements out so it is a browse-as-you-need-information site: http://blogs.waukeeschools.org/dbarry/daily-announcements/
  • If you need to report a student absence, please call our 24-hour attendance line phone number (515.987.2785) or email smsattendance@waukeeschools.org. Please call this number or email address with medical appointments as well.

We hope to see many of you Thursday night at our Parent Night event. As I’ve said a few times to parents already, it was our most popular night for parents the past two years so we look forward to having your experience it with us this week!

He who laughs, lasts
Doug Barry, Principal

AUG 21, 2017

SMS Families,

It is finally here! No, not the eclipse today (although that is going to be pretty cool too!), but rather the week school begins. Our staff has been collaborating, planning and getting ourselves ready for Wednesday and we cannot wait for your students to arrive. We hope to see many of you tonight at Open House and all of our students bright and early Wednesday morning. Here are your updates for the week:

  • Information I emailed out to families last Thursday about Open House can be found on our blog herehttp://blogs.waukeeschools.org/dbarry/sms1718/ 
  • The first day, we will run a modified schedule with only two lunches but beginning Thursday, we will use our regular schedule with three lunches by color teams. Our most used schedules can be found on our blog: http://blogs.waukeeschools.org/dbarry/daily-bell-schedule/
  • Daily schedule: Students can be dropped off and enter the building anytime after 7:30am with the first bell ringing at 7:55am. The end of the school day is 2:58pm. 
  • Please review our start and end of day procedures on our traffic flow
    blog page found here: http://blogs.waukeeschools.org/dbarry/traffic/  Biggest drop-off tip? Pull all the way past the main door to the end of the yellow paint AND students can exit their vehicles from this point all the way back near the choir room door. This helps speed up the drop off process!
  • Our counselors have been working through schedule change requests so please check Power School (link here) if you made a request and want to see if it was granted. Print any new schedules prior to coming to Open House tonight.
  • Schedule your Parent Night #1 time slot today! This must attend and most popular parent event is Thursday, August 31st. Find more information and the link to the online sign-up form (under the heading, PARENT NIGHT #1 – WALK IN MY CHILD’S SHOES) here: http://blogs.waukeeschools.org/dbarry/parentnight/ 

May you have a great last couple days of summer! See you all soon.

He who laughs, lasts
Doug Barry, Principal

AUG 14, 2017

SMS Families,

It is the morning your child has been waiting for since the end of May. No, not the first day of school but rather the day class schedules become available on PowerSchool. 🙂 A few things to know:

  • The link to access PowerSchool is below the video on our website located here: http://www.waukeeschools.org/students-and-parents/powerschool/
  • If you are new to Waukee or have not created your single sign on, there are directions on the website to create it.
  • If you do not have your access code and password, please talk to one of our secretaries (Teresa or Sheila) and they can help you navigate PowerSchool. Cll 515.987.3222.
  • Download the PowerSchool App here. The district code needed is found on the same webpage.
  • If you’d like to request a change to your schedule, we are asking you to complete the electronic form. No emails or phone calls. Also, please read the directions on the form and note that requests to change color teams will not be granted. http://blogs.waukeeschools.org/dbarry/schedule-change-request/
  • Trying to figure out what “color team” your child is on this year? The easiest way to find the team is to go to our staff page and look for your child’s science teacher. http://www.waukeeschools.org/school/south-middle-school/staff/ 
  • Do you have other questions right now? Quite a few of them can be answered on our FAQ page on my blog.
  • Please note that coming Wednesday morning, there will be no staff in the office from 7:30a until 1:00p as our secretaries will be joining our teachers in a The Stories of South experience.

Open House is one week from today and I will be sending more details about Open House next Sunday. For our 6th graders, you received information last week about an open building time this coming Wednesday. We look forward to seeing many of you then and all of you at Open House next week! Enjoy your last full week of summer, gang.

He who laughs, lasts
Doug Barry, Principal

 

Aug 7, 2017

SMS Families,

A parent asked me this weekend if I’m ready for school start. I am at the point in my summer where the joy I take in the quietness of not having 800 students and 100 adults around me every day has worn off and I’m excited to have the daily buzz of energy return to South. Now…don’t drop your child off quite yet, but have them start practicing going to bed at a decent hour and getting up early the next couple weeks! Here are your need-to-know items at this point…

  • Schedules – You can access them one week from today (Aug 14) if
    • You have registered your child, and
    • you have paid your fees or completed the fee waiver form.
    • If you get an error message next week when logging in to PowerSchool, you have not completed one or both of the steps above (please note it takes 24-48 business hours from completing registration to accessing your child’s schedule online).
  • New to Waukee? You will need to get your access ID and password for PowerSchool. Please talk to one of our secretaries (Sheila or Teresa) and they can help you navigate PowerSchool. Call 515.987.3222 or stop in to South to begin. Also complete our New to Waukee survey form.
  • School Supplies – If you ordered your child(ren)’s school supplies through the PTO, the supply box will be delivered to your child’s Advisory classroom before Open House. If you are getting your supplies on your own, find our school supply list online.
  • Bus routes will be shared with families via email the week prior to school.
  • Begin to study drop-off and pick-up procedures found on our blog. If everyone follows the procedures online, it really goes quite well! Quiz will be given to parents on the first day so study up!
  • Would you be willing to help us provide dinner for our teachers on Aug 31st during our first parent night? Please consider helping by signing up on our Sign Up Genius website.

Enjoy your week and we look forward to students coming back to school beginning August 23rd!

He who laughs, lasts
Doug Barry, Principal

July 2017

SMS Families,

We are going to try something different the first day we have all our teachers back at South MS and we NEED YOUR HELP!! Please watch this short video and complete the survey. We hope to have a little fun, building relationships and begin to get to know The Stories of South along the way.

Don’t delay…
Click here to sign up!

Other items to note…

  • It is important to complete your registration soon. For each student, one parent/guardian email received a registration link. If you haven’t completed your online registration, you will get a reminder this week to that same email address. In order to access your child’s schedule on August 14, registration will need to be completed.
  • Are you moving but haven’t registered your child in their new school district? Email our attendance secretary, Sheila (skramer@waukeeschools.org) with the school district, city, state and date of your move.
  • Did your family just move to Waukee this past spring or summer or will your child be new to the South feeder system (i.e. coming from Shuler, Grant Ragan, Waukee Elem, Walnut Hills or Waukee MS)? Make sure to complete the survey (http://tinyurl.com/SMSNewFamily) as we would like to get to know your child and offer a guided tour of our building during Open House night to new families if you’d like that opportunity.
  • Find important upcoming dates on our school blog on the “Dates to Note” tab: http://blogs.waukeeschools.org/dbarry/dates-to-note/

Early August will bring the start of the weekly Monday morning message from me. Always look for a building/parent update each Monday morning in your inbox. It goes well with a cup (or 2) or coffee. Yesterday brought us T-minus one month! Are you excited? 🙂 We are! We cannot wait to get our halls filled with the sounds of students and staff.

JUNE 2017

SMS Families,

I hope you and your family are enjoying a wonderful end to your June! We continue to plug along here at SMS in attempt to get ready for you and your child this coming fall. The July 4th holiday always makes me think about being at the halfway point in our summer (“Argh!!!” or “Yeah!!” …depending on your view). The mid-way point also brings about that time of year I begin to update parents on what’s coming up so here you go…your first “SMS Parent Update” for the 2017-18 school year. Lucky you and enjoy!

  • It is the LAST WEEK to log in to PowerSchool to see your child’s progress report indicators from this past school year, 2016-17. Starting July 3, PowerSchool will be unavailable for parents/students for a couple weeks.
  • Our spring and summer have been VERY busy hiring new staff and this coming year will provide many new faces in our hallways and classrooms. We continue to update our staff list and you can find those on our “SMS 2017-18” tab.
  • Do you want to get involved at South MS? Fill out our parent volunteer survey today!
  • Do you have a question that you cannot find the answer for on our webpage or blog? See if it is on our FAQ tab.
  • You might have already started thinking about gathering up school supplies for the upcoming school year:
    • If you are thinking about ordering your supplies online through our PTO, Friday, July 14th is the last day to order. The direct link for SMS is found here. If you want to order for a younger sibling who attends one of our feeder elementary buildings, enter the code at this link (SMS – WAU023BVE – BRO174; EE – EAS184; MGE – MAP025; WDE – WOO174). When you order online, the box of supplies arrives at South MS and is delivered to your child’s homeroom or Advisory teacher prior to Open House.
    • If you are going to shop or piece together your child’s supplies on your own, find the school supply list on our webpage under Resources & Quicklinks.
  • Our district office will be sending out annual registration information the week of July 17. Please be on a lookout for this email and complete the registration for all your children as soon as you receive this information and link.
  • Schedules for students on Power School will not be final until August 14. We will not take schedule change requests until that date and requests are not taken for specific teachers or color teams.
  • If this is your first year at South Middle School, please know our staff contacts/blog links and ‘static’ information can be found on school district website (here). For daily announcements, weekly updates, dates to note and other information, we use my blog: http://blogs.waukeeschools.org/dbarry. On the blog you will find:
    • Important dates to note
    • Daily announcements
    • Weekly parent updates (also emailed out each Monday AM)
    • School activities & clubs
    • …and much more so check it out!
  • New to Waukee this year or transferring from Waukee MS as a 7th grader? We want to know more about you and your family so please fill out the survey found here.

I look forward to serving you this coming school year. Enjoy your 4th of July week and if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to let me know!

He who laughs, lasts

Doug Barry, SMS Principal
Phone: 515.987.3222
Email: dbarry@waukeeschools.org

 

2016-17 End of Year Communication from South MS

MAY 22, 2017

Your final* weekly SMS Parent Communication of the year from me to you…

If you don’t watch the video :-), here is your week’s NEED TO KNOW information…

  • Each day this week is a full day of school (8:00a – 2:58p)! We are running some different schedules internally Wednesday through Friday to engage students/staff in some fun opportunities but no early outs this week.
  • Is your child leaving for summer break early? Be sure to email Mrs. Kramer and let your child’s teachers know. Yearbooks won’t be passed out until Friday so students leaving early should talk to their Advisory teacher if you bought one.
  • 6th Grade Groups from Communications Class will be presenting their ideas during our Change the World fairs on Wednesday and Thursday. Mrs. Bobier has communicated those times with parents and students as 1/2 of our 6th grade will go on Wednesday and the other 1/2 on Thursday. This is open to parents and community members (2:15-2:55p) each of those 2 days in the library and commons. RSVP here!
  • A number of those student groups created opportunities for all of our students to engage in helping others. As a family, look through the this list found here and pick 1-2 your family could support this week. Tuesday through Thursday, those students will be setting up donation containers outside the office and in the hallway toward the gym. You or your child can drop off any donated items in those boxes before school (7:40-8:00am).
  • All students will also have a chance to dunk Mr. Young, Mr. Block, a few other staff members or myself Thursday afternoon! Before school Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, in the atrium, students can buy 1 throw for $2 or 3 throws for $5. All proceeds will be donated to Drew’s Crew which is a local non-profit organization with a mission to facilitate access to enrichment activities for local youth in need.
  • SMS is welcoming back graduating Seniors Tuesday afternoon. Know of a senior who went to South? We’d love to see them and tell them “Congrats!” Pass along the invite to them here.
  • PLEASE NOTE…on Friday, students will be with their color teams in various locations around the school, neighborhood park or Centennial Park the last couple hours of the day. It will be extremely hard to call them to the office during that time so please talk to your child. If you’re planning on picking up early on Friday, we’d recommend you pick up at 1pm or you’ll have to wait until dismissal.

We look forward to a great last week of 2016-17 school year! Thanks for all you’ve done to support your child and South MS this year.

He who laughs, lasts
Mr. Barry

* There will be year end summary sent out to parents in June (assessment data, growth toward goals, etc.)

 

 

 

Prior Communication

  • Archived “Monday Updates” to parents (2018-19)
  • Archived “Monday Updates” to parents (2017-18)
  • Archived “Monday Updates” to parents (2016-17)
  • Archived “Monday Updates” to parents (2015-16)
  • Archived “Mr. Barry blog posts” (2018-19)
  • Archived “Mr. Barry blog posts” (2017-18)
  • Archived “Mr. Barry blog posts” (Part I & Part II from 2016-17)
  • Archived “Mr. Barry blog posts” (Part I & Part II from 2015-16)