Middle School Update 11/15

Wow, a lot has happened in the last month from field trips to power outages, Spirit Days and mural painting as well as Goodwill Donations, and the first Middle School Dance. The students are busy!

Dance of the Decades!

On Friday, November 8th, students had their first dance with the theme “Decades”. Student council did a great job planning and organizing the dance with Kim’s help. They created and produced professional style posters showing pop culture that represented several decades. The commons was also decorated with lights and thanks for Julia’s dad, Donald, we had a rocking DJ. In addition to dancing, students challenged each other to the classic game of Twister, and of course spilled outside for a little two square. It was a lot of fun! Thank you student council, Kim, Donald, and all the chaperones who make it a great night!

8th Grade Goodwill Fundraiser = SUCCESS!

Thank you to the 8th grade families and students who organized and planned the Goodwill Fundraiser last weekend, and thank you to all who donated. It was a huge success! As a community, we were able to fill three trucks and then some. A special appreciate goes out to Chris, for her tireless hours organizing and working at the donation trucks as well as all the other parents and students who participated. Cool action!

8th Grade High School Informational Visits

In the last month we had visits from six local (or fairly local) independent high schools: Santa Catalina, Kirby, Stevenson, Mount Madonna, York, and Monte Vista. Many of our students took ownership of preparing for their high school decision and came to these lunch meetings with great questions to learn about the various programs.

Mark your calendars, Santa Cruz High is scheduled to present to 8th graders on March 12th.

6th / 7th Field Trip to Natural Bridges with LiMPETS and Save Our Shores

On October 25th, 6th and 7th graders worked as citizen scientists with LiMPETS and Save Our Shores. LiMPETS (Longterm Monitoring Program and Experiential Training for Students) is an organization that has been working with students to help students understand the beach / ocean ecosystem. Save Our Shores is an organization that provides education and beach clean up materials to our community.

During the field trip, middle schoolers first worked with LiMPETS to collect Pacific Mole Crabs. Because they have a wide range, and are abundant, LiMPETS uses the Pacific Mole Crab to indicate beach health. LiMPETS has large data sets from many years of sampling and our students have now contributed to those data sets for two years in a row! Students used proper protocol to catch, measure, and determine the gender of the mole crabs then released them back to the sand.

With Save Our Shores, students spread out along the beach and picked up trash. They categorized the trash and determined that a high percentage was either plastic or cigarette butts. They also noticed that their was a lot of trash near the picnic area at Natural Bridges. In all the picked up 6.5 pounds of trash that was mostly tiny pieces of debris.

MS Students Paint the Mural

What an amazing gift the mural is to our school and a wonderful way to connect and have fun with our community. Below are a few pictures of when the middle school students contributed to the mural during their elective time. Thank you all who help paint it – especially Emily and Dave.

Looking Ahead


11/18-11/22 Make Up ERBS

11/26 Grandfirend’s Day

11/27 – 11/29 Thanksgiving Break


12/9 Theatre Elective Play – The Outsiders (1:00-3:00 for students)

Evening play for families time to be determined.

12/23-1/3 Winter Break


1/6 First Day back from Winter Break

1/16 Parent Education: Grades 5-8 Sex Ed and Parenting

1/17 No School – Inservice

1/20 No School – MLK Day

1/27–>1/30 Superstar Health Education for grades 5th -8th


Google Classroom

To see a list of your student’s homework assignments, you may log on to each teacher’s Google Classroom on any device using your student’s email account credentials. If you need assistance with the Google Classroom, please email me at allison.birkhead@gatewaysc.org.


To check your student’s progress in each class, you can go to the school online grade book, Blackbaud. Please use your login and password that you received from the Gateway to access Blackbaud. If you need assistance, please email me at allison.birkhead@gatewaysc.org or Jeremy at jeremy.king@gatewaysc.org.

Who to Contact

Absences – sickness – please contact the student’s advisor.

General Academic Questions – the student’s advisor

Specific Academic Questions– the student’s teacher

General Question about Policies or Events – Alli

School Issue – Hannah or Alli