Fri Jan 14th, 2022
Tags: Bobcat Bulletin, Building Accountability Committee (BAC), Character Counts assemblies, Dayna Talamante-Montoya, Ignacio Middle School, Ignacio School District, ignacio Superintendent Chris deKay, Knowledge Bowl
BOBCAT BULLETIN | Ignacio Middle School
Happy New Year! I find myself reflecting on the blessings I have had throughout my life. Growing up in Ignacio has really provided me with rich experiences that have molded me and given me so many different perspectives. I am thankful for all of the teachers I had in my life. There were several that helped guide me through those early years. Teachers like my Dad who taught me to work hard and no dream is too big, to Mrs. Walker, who taught me to try new things and supported me when they were challenging. My friends who taught me the value of meaningful friendships and the power of peer support. Why is any of this important? Being an administrator at the middle school, I have tapped into those experiences to help me be better for our students, families, staff and community. This is my life passion. Working with students, helping them and guiding them to adulthood. Middle school is rough. Many who read this and the words middle school popout, have a reaction, either negative or the “thank goodness I made it through”. Most people think about middle school as that awkward time when things didn’t make sense, was starting to make sense, or were just overwhelmed by growing up. It is a challenging time. I have worked with middle school students since 1997. I am at that point in my life where the parents I call now, were former students. It is such an awesome experience.
At the middle school we are trying to provide students a “normal” school experience. We have implemented a monthly “Pep Assembly” to encourage community within our students and staff, and instill some fun and memories. At this time we also recognize our student athletes. We have had students compete in Volleyball (won the league title), football, boys basketball, and currently girls basketball is underway with our first home game. We have assemblies to acknowledge student hard work through our honor roll breakfast and our Character Counts assemblies. Just like raising kids, acknowledging accomplishments is crucial to student development.
The middle school works on a quarter schedule. All core classes are yearlong, but our specials rotate every nine weeks. We are so pleased to be able to offer students specials such as band, art, woodshop/CTE, Southwest Studies, Financial Literacy, STEM, life skills, and creative arts. We also support students with courses to help build academic skills with our Reading Rocks and Math Attack classes.
In terms of our academic coursework, we provide all students tutoring on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. This time allows students to have time with licensed tutors in math, language arts and science. Tutoring runs from after school until 5:45 and the activity bus runs to take kids to their drop off points out of town.
For our specials classes, we have had students put on a little play in creative arts, learn to manage money in Financial Literacy, use pixl art and tinkercad to create pictures in 3D, Southwest Studies learning about the different cultures and their contributions to this area, Codes and Computers to learn more about technology, and learning about thought processes and responses in the Brain class, and band learning to play instruments. Mr. Moraga has had two concerts this year for students to showcase their talents. In our CTE program students are given exposure to the varied opportunities woodworking can provide them, and in art they are learning to apply colors, shading and perspective. Having diverse coursework like this allows us to meet the diverse needs or interests of students. Our specials courses are set up on a rotation, and many classes cannot be retaken, the exception being Reading Rocks and Math Attack. We will also be providing students an opportunity to take a PSAT class during the 3rd quarter. This class will help students learn how to take the college preparatory test and students will actually take the PSAT test this spring.
Another program that I would like to introduce is a group called a Building Accountability Committee (BAC) that meets for members to weigh in on how a school spends its money, programming and strategies to improve. The BAC is a great opportunity for parents, community members and staff to work together to improve our school. BAC meets monthly through May.
We have also partnered with Ignacio Youth Services who provide structured activities for middle and high school students. Activities that range from hiking, to cooking to dancing; all interests are represented. Another extra-curricular opportunity for students is our Knowledge Bowl activity. Students compete against other teams in the area, often times traveling to Nucla or Telluride. Our Knowledge Bowl A team had a first place finish, which was a huge celebration. Knowledge Bowl is open to any student and is sponsored by Mr. Chopra.
Please keep an eye out for our next newsletter and follow us on Facebook. As always if you have any questions or would like more information, contact the middle school-970-563-0600.