July 10, 2015
Dear Santa Maria Parent and Student:
Welcome to Santa Maria’s 2015-2016 school year. I hope you are having an enjoyable and relaxing summer. I am happy to be back at school, and I have to say that I am excited by the amazing possibilities of the coming school year. I want to take a moment to offer a special welcome to new Santa Maria Middle School families. I promise this will be an amazing and successful year for every Santa Maria student.
The Santa Maria Staff is committed to working collaboratively with you and with one another to provide results oriented instruction that focuses on the success and achievement of every student. We are counting on each and every parent to partner with us to continue our work to raise the challenge bar and close the achievement gap. Our shared mission is focused on the work we do together to encourage the social, emotional, and academic growth of all our students. Nothing motivates a child more than when learning is valued by schools, families, and community in partnership. The theme for this school year for all staff and students is perseverance. When faced with a task, pleasant or not, begin immediately and persist until the task is complete. It means to stop procrastinating with tasks that need to be done.
Here are some important dates and information for the beginning of the year. Our Open House will be on Thursday, July 30, 2015 at 5 p.m. in the cafeteria. This event will give you a chance to meet the team of teachers that will be working with your student. Also, our first day of school is Monday, August 3, 2015. This year we will continue with Breakfast in the Classroom. Students will be going to class earlier in the morning, eat breakfast in the class, and start class promptly at 8:40 a.m. Breakfast will not be served after 8:50 a.m.
We have some expectations/reminders for every Santa Maria Middle School student to ensure he/she has a successful year:
Students will receive a registration packet the first day of school. Parents will need to complete a registration packet for each student attending Santa Maria MS and return it by August 14th. While the forms may seem quite lengthy, it is necessary for us to collect the information for state reporting purposes. One of the forms asks to attach proof of your physical address. Please provide us with a copy or original. If you need your original back, we can make the copies for you. If you are not able to provide us with proof of address, please call the school to provide you with more information. The office phone number is 623.707.1100.
Please make sure that your student is coming dressed in proper uniform. Please do not allow your child to wear to school any clothing that does not comply with the uniform policy or your student will be asked to change. See attached Uniform Requirements.
If your student is a 6th grader (11 years old), your student will need to have their immunization records updated before starting school on August 3rd. Please bring proof of updated immunization records to the school before August 3rd. Student will NOT be able to attend school if the school does not have the updated records.
Dismissal is at 3:30 (M, T, W, F) and on Thursday, students are dismissed at 2:15 p.m. Our school gates open at 8:00 a.m. Please do not drop off your student before 8:00 am. We are unable to provide supervision for the students before then.
We have a big problem with students disposing of their gum on the floor. Please talk to your children about not bringing gum to school.
If you are allowing your student to stay for an after-school activity, such as a dance or field trip, please make sure that you have made prior arrangements to pick them up at the time indicated. Please don’t wait until your student gives you a call when the activity has finished to pick him or her up.
Students will be checking out books from the library. Your student is responsible for returning the books in good condition. If the book is lost, damaged, or stolen, there will be a charge for the cost of the book.
Tryouts for fall sports will begin August 17th. Fall sports include coed cross-country, boys’ soccer, girls’ soccer and girls’ volleyball. All participants must have a current sports physical on file to be eligible for tryouts. Thursday, August 13th, Physical Health Assessments will provide Sports Physicals at SMMS. The cost is $25.00. No personal checks will be accepted. You may also see your local health care provider.
No phones or electronics are allowed at school. We will not be able to take time out of the learning time to investigate lost or stolen equipment.
Transportation is one of the areas that could be challenging for our students. Due to bus driver shortages and traffic, students may be picked up and dropped off late.
Transportation for the students is a privilege not a right. Please make sure your student is on his/her best behavior when riding the bus and while waiting for the bus. Students will be disciplined if behavior is not appropriate. This includes, but not limited to, suspension of bus privileges.
We realize that picking up your students after school can be hectic with all the traffic. Please use your judgment when parking and/or waiting for your students. Please help us to be good neighbors. The traffic flow around the school is counter-clockwise; the passenger door always opens to the curb for safety reasons. Make sure to park legally; be aware of blocking driveways. If there is any kind of conflict between drivers, we will ask the Phoenix Police to assist us in solving the issue. There is no parking or drop off in any of the fire lanes (red lines) in front of the school with the exception of school buses and school district transportation. Any other vehicles must park in assigned parking.
Please do not send your students with cupcakes or balloons to school. These items create a distraction on campus and unnecessary management for our teachers. Students will not be able to get on the bus with those items.
School lunches will be available the first day of school. Free and reduced fee lunches will be available to those students who qualify during the school year. Each student (even those who qualified last year) will be required to complete a new meal application for this school year in order to maintain this benefit. If you do not complete an application, your student will be charged for their lunch meals.
We will provide IDs to our students in a couple of weeks after school starts. Students will be required to wear their ID at all times for any school function and have it readily available upon staff request. If the ID is lost or damaged, replacement IDs must be purchased for $5 in the office.
|Below is a SUGGESTED list of materials the students will need: |
*6 spiral notebooks
*2 packages of loose leaf paper (paper torn from spiral notebooks will NOT be accepted)
*#2 Pencils (w/ supply of lead if needed)
*Erasers, glue sticks
*Highlighters (variety of colors including green, pink, and yellow)
*1 ½ inch binder
*Blue and Black ink pens
*8 pocket folders
*Thin tip dry erase marker
We also accept DONATIONS: Box of tissue, bottle of hand sanitizer, dry erase markers, highlighters, etc.
It's going to be a great year! I look forward to meeting and working with all of you in the coming school year. Go Bulldogs!
Desiree Castillo, Ed. D.