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Principal’s Message Firstly, I want to thank all of you for being part of the Sebastian Middle School Family. It has been a busy few months as we prepare to open up our new STEAM Lab and get ready to welcome our faculty and students back to campus. As we continue to grow, we add teachers and support staff to help meet our students’ needs and I am excited with the quality of the staff we have hired to academically prepare our children. It is rewarding to see the culture develop and materialize here. We have also worked hard to set goals whilst analyzing our student data. It is clear that we need to improve in many areas and we welcome your involvement. We need for all staff to focus strongly on being creative. The goal is to find a way to reach every student on a level that will give him/her a chance to be successful in high school and beyond. This vision will be developed through writing, STEAM and using technology to get students deeper into thought and learning. We will also look to implement a strong Professional Learning Community, PLC, culture with collaboration being the focus. I encourage you to come and see the collaboration in action though our Communication Cornerstone events. This is a good time, for you as parents, to become involved and help us move forward. Dates for our parent events will be distributed during Orientation. This is an exciting time for the Sebastian Middle School Staff and we are honored to serve the children and families in our community. Looking forward to a successful year! Wayne King, Principal

Sebastian Middle School 2955 Lewis Speedway St. Augustine, FL 32084

904-547-3840 Wayne King Principal

Angela Hensley Assistant Principal

Jay Barbour

Instructional Literacy Coach

Vision Statement Sebastian Middle School will cultivate high achieving, college and career ready students who excel in a complex and changing world.

AUGUST 2017 Volume 1

Issue 3 Sebastian Sentinel August 2017 Published Four Times Per Year 2955 Lewis Speedway St. Augustine, FL 32084 Issue 3

*Please watch for our next newsletter October 16th, and by-monthly electronic news update.

2 Dean Pruit-Eagle Bucks

Sebastian Families, The Dean’s office is pleased to announce a new and improved Positive Behavior Support System at Sebastian Middle School. Our goal is to drive a positive school culture by celebrating our students who display positive behaviors and model student citizenship. Through LiveSchool, our new web based incentive reward tracking system, students will be able to earn Eagle Points and spend those points on any of our incentive activities planned throughout the school year. Every parent will have access to their child’s LiveSchool account and will be able to view all points earned in real time. Points that are earned will come with a short description of how or why the points were awarded. We want our parents to join in on the celebration by having conversations and celebrations at home that support our school cultural goals. We look forward to a fun and exciting 2017-18 school year. GO EAGLES! Kelvin Pruitt Dean of Students Sebastian Middle School (904) 547-3853


Get Ready To Study- Part 1

Throughout this year, we will share ideas that will help the student in all of us. In this newsletter we will cover basic practices that will help you obtain your educational goals now and in the future. Share them with your children, practice them as a family and reap the benefits! Studying tips not only contain reading and remembering tips, but also contain tips on taking care of yourself and creating a conducive studying environment. Keep your body and mind in top condition.

Get enough sleep Enough sleep can keep your mind fresh and sharp. Lack of sleep can make studying feel like a chore. Seven-eight hours of sleep sounds great, and a short nap is recommended(15-30 minutes).

Drink plenty of water Water is essential for our bodies and brains. Drinking water frequently can benefit your memory and help you concentrate. Make sure there is a glass of water available while studying.

Eat well Healthy diet for study Eat a healthy and balanced diet, stay away from junk food, cigarettes and alcohol, and you will always be energetic. Don`t forget fruits and vegetables. And there are some foods that you should add to your diet. Fish, nuts, whole grains, apples, cruciferous vegetables, dark chocolate, spinach, berries, legumes and onions can make you feel like a genius! Finally, eating less food more often can help you avoid dips in blood sugar, which make your brain sluggish.

Stimulate your circulatory system Proper exercises can help improve blood circulation, clear your head and alleviate stress. Moderate exercise for 20 minutes three times a week is recommended. The key is getting your heart rate up. Or you can just walk around and have a stretch when you take breaks during studying.



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3 Project Based ESE Self-Contained Learning Classes ESE Self-Contained Varying-Exceptionalities unit teachers, Mr. Carl Barber and Ms. Cathy Brewster, have been hard at work collaborating over the summer. They are planning to make this school year one of the most intriguing, captivating, and enjoyable year they and their students have ever experienced. Five of their students graduated to the ninth grade this past school year and Mr. Barber & Ms. Brewster are preparing for as many as seven new sixth grade students entering their classrooms. They have many activities planned that will capture individual interests and expand on learning through project-based training. Some of the activities they have planned are silk-screening projects, tie dyeing clothing, hatching chickens and ducks, and growing vegetables/ spices in their raised plant beds. The premise of project-based training involves having a particular project covering various disciplines to include, but not limited to, Math, Science, Social Studies and English Language Arts. They have also planned to incorporate several educational fieldtrips into the curriculum, which will enhance their classroom teachings.

SMS Music Camp

Sebastian Middle School offered an incredible music camp this summer in which Mr. Chuck Rogers and the new band and chorus director, Mr. David Rogers, had the opportunity to teach guitar, band, and string ensemble students. Due to the extended rehearsal times, they were able to work with the students on a more individual basis and give in-depth training. They are looking forward to teaching at camp again next summer.

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New Transportation Guidelines Regarding Provisional Transportation Waiver Program

Please be aware that there are changes for the upcoming school year regarding bus transportation. Due to space availability, the Transportation Department will be handling all bus transfer requests. We will no longer be able to issue temporary bus passes at the school level. Below we have highlighted pertinent points that parents/guardians should be aware of concerning St. Johns County School’s bus transportation. For more detailed information, please go to the St. Johns County web site, scroll down to the Quick Links area on the bottom left side of the home page, and click on Provisional Transportation Waiver.

Some key points:

●● “Bus Passes” are no longer authorized for use on district school buses at any time ●● The term “courtesy rider” is no longer recognized districtwide ●● The Transportation Department requires the first month of school to determine actual redistribution by eligible student riders and redistribute student loads across buses ●● Buses must have space availability for the student ●● Only parents/guardians may apply for waivers ●● Parents/guardians must submit applications with all fields completed and include a thorough explanation of need for the service ●● Parents/guardians must substantiate extenuating circumstances for the student, parent/ guardian, and/or family in order to qualify for bus change ●● Waiver applications are reviewed and approved/disapproved by a Transportation Committee based on space availability and appropriate criteria ●● Only the Transportation Department may approve waivers

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PTO News & Notes

2017-18 Business Partners in Education

(as of July 24) We are pleased to thank the following local businesses who have generously given to join SMS as Business Partners in Education for the 2017-18 school year: ●● All American Air Charitable Foundation ●● Antigua Orthodontics ●● Bailey Chiropractic ●● The Bailey Group ●● Coastal Foot and Ankle Wellness Center ●● Diane’s Natural Market ●● Extreme Window & Door Solutions ●● Flagler Hospital ●● Amy Gibbs, Realtor, St. Augustine Realty ●● Gordon Dental ●● Hotel Victor ●● Kresge, Platt & Abare ●● Dan Lang, Realtor, Sunshine Realty ●● Northeast Florida Foot & Ankle ●● Old City Hammocks ●● Purple Olive Restaurant ●● Smiles by Glenos ●● Southeast Sports & Play ●● St. Augustine Oral and Facial Surgical Center ●● Tropical Smoothie Café ●● World Golf Village IMAX If you own or work for a business that would like to become an SMS Business Partner, please contact Caroline Mason at

2017-18 PTO Officers ●● ●● ●● ●● ●●

Susan Connor, President Maria Carlson, Vice President Kathy Weed, Secretary Jenny Persson, Treasurer Caroline Mason, Business Partnership Coordinator ●● Megan Kiker and Cam Thompson, Hospitality Co-Chairs ●● Doris Flaherty, Box Tops Coordinator ●● Kishna Patel, Eagle Store Coordinator

5 Save the Dates! August 29 Kick-off SAC and PTO meetings, 5:30 and 6:00 p.m., SMS Multipurpose Room Sept. 11-22 Charleston Wrap Fundraiser (delivery of items mid-October) Sept. 21 Chick-fil-A Spirit Night, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. October 24 PTO Meeting, 6:00 p.m., SMS Multipurpose Room November 1 Box Tops deadline December 5 PTO Meeting, 6:00 p.m., SMS Multipurpose Room January 18 Harlem Wizards Event, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m., SMS Gymnasium February 26 PTO Meeting, 6:00 p.m., SMS Multipurpose Room March 8 Chick-fil-A Spirit Night, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. March 23 SMS Spring Fling, 12:30 – 2:00 p.m. April 24 PTO Meeting, 6:00 p.m., SMS Multipurpose Room May 7-11 Teacher and Staff Appreciation Week

Your PTO Contributions at Work! In 2016-17, the SMS PTO raised over $23,000 (net) to support innovations and improvements in education at SMS! Specifically, PTO funding was used for the following this past year: ØØ Provide professional development training to teachers across all disciplines and grade levels on project based learning to create a more collaborative and creative learning environment. ØØ Purchase a much-needed high quality portable sound system for use during special events in the gym, cafeteria, auditorium, and outside on the athletic fields. ØØ Bring speakers like Polly Holyoke, Sunshine State Young Reader Award winning author, and “Odd?Rod”, an African-American poet, to SMS to connect with and motivate our students. ØØ Provide stipends to teachers and staff who volunteer their time to lead an afterschool club or coach a sport. ØØ Support student incentive programs in reading, math, and positive behavior. ØØ Honor teachers and staff throughout the year with special occasion receptions and luncheons. ØØ Support for teachers and students who were most negatively impacted by Hurricane Matthew.

PTO Needs Your Help Furnishing the “Eagles Nest” Supporting Dean Pruitt’s positive behavior incentive plan, the PTO would like to renovate the “Eagles Nest” into a Game Room/Hang Out space where students can go during lunch once they’ve earned enough “Eagle Points.” We are looking for the following items to make this a fun and comfortable space for our students: ●● Video Games (Arcade Style and/or a Gaming System) ●● Pinball Machine ●● Foosball Table ●● Air Hockey Table ●● Ping Pong Table ●● Sofa and/or Comfortable Chairs ●● Bookshelves If you have any of these items to donate and/or have other suggestions to make this a great space for students, please contact us at

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We are excited to welcome everyone back to Sebastian Middle School! Please become aware of policies that may affect your student at Sebastian Middle School for this coming school year 2017-18. Sebastian Middle School supports the ideal that students must take responsibility for their classroom assignments and being prepared for class. To eliminate interruptions in the classroom, items delivered to students after the start of the school day will be processed in the following manner: ●● Lunches – Lunches that are brought into the office after the start of the day will be held in the front office area. The student’s teacher will be notified by email that the lunch is waiting for student pick up in the office. Parents are encouraged to email the teacher directly to make them aware of the food in the office. ●● Homework – Assignments brought into the office after the start of the day will be placed in the teacher’s mailbox. An email will be sent to the teacher alerting them of the work that was brought in after the beginning of the day. Parents are encouraged to email the teacher directly to make them aware of the assignment delivery in the office. ●● PE Uniforms – Students must have their uniform in order to receive a participation grade in Physical Education. PE uniforms brought to the office after the start of the day will be held in the office. An email will be sent to the PE teacher of the uniforms arrival, but it is in the student’s best interest to check in the office on the way to PE class to eliminate any chance of being tardy for attendance. Parents are encouraged to email the teacher directly to make them aware of the uniform’s delivery. ●● Band instruments – Instruments that are brought into the office after the start of the day will be held in the office. The Music Department will send students to the office at the beginning of class to retrieve their instrument. Parents are encouraged to email the teacher directly to make them aware of the instrument’s delivery.

Dismissal Parents/Guardians wishing to sign out their student before the regularly scheduled time must come into the Front Office with picture identification. Students will not be released during the last 30 minutes of the school day in order to eliminate confusion during the final moments of the instructional day. If it is necessary to retrieve your student for a scheduled appointment/meeting, please plan on being in the office before 1:30pm Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and by 12:30pm on Wednesday. As always, we appreciate your support and involvement with our vision at Sebastian Middle School. Get involved in one of our many parent/guardian groups such as PTO, SAC, and Communication Cornerstone. Please join us as we prepare for an outstanding year!

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7 Sunshine State Young Reader’s Award Program

The Sunshine State Young Reader’s Award (SSYRA) Program is a statewide reading motivation program for students in grades 3-8. The program, cosponsored by the School Library Media Services Office of the Department of Education and the Florida Association for Media in Education (FAME), began in 1983. The purpose of the SSYRA Program is to encourage students to read independently for personal satisfaction, based on interest rather than reading level. Sunshine State books are selected for their wide appeal, literary value, varied genres, curriculum connections, and/or multicultural representation. Students are encouraged to read books that are above, on, and below their tested reading level in order to improve their reading fluency. SSYRA is our main reading program at Sebastian and all students are encouraged to participate. Students can start reading the Sunshine State titles over the summer and receive their prizes when they come back to school in the fall. Before issuing prizes the Media staff will ask questions about the book to make sure it has been read in its entirety. Sebastian Students will receive prizes for reading 2, 5, 10, and 15 of the Sunshine State books. The books are available in our library, public libraries, and most bookstores. Every student who reads 10 of this year’s Sunshine State books will be invited to participate in the Sebastian Middle School Battle of the Books competition. At the Battle of the Books students will answer questions relating to the titles. The students with the highest scores will become our SMS Battle of the Books team and will represent the school at upcoming competitions.

Sunshine State Young Reader’s Award Books Grades 6-8 —2017-2018 Courage for Beginners by Karen Harrington Framed! by James Ponti The Girl in the Well is Me by Karen Rivers The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill How to (Almost) Ruin Your Summer by T. Souders It Ain’t So Awful, Falafel by Firoozeh Dumas The Mark of the Dragonfly by Jaleigh Johnson Moving Target by Christina Diaz Gonzalez The Nerdy Dozen by Jeff Miller The Nest by Kenneth Oppel Omega City by Diana Peterfreund Randoms by David Liss Shadows of Sherwood by Kekla Magoon Terror at Bottle Creek by Watt Key The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly B. Bradley

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Advertise in the Sebastian Sentinel! This is a wonderful way for your company to get community recognition and exposure, and at the same time help support your local schools!

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Sebastian Middle School

Non Profit Organization U.S. Postage Paid Permit # 2346 Orlando, FL

Sebastian Middle School 2955 Lewis Speedway St. Augustine, FL 32084

8 School Calendar 2017 Aug 10—Students report to class Aug 23—7:00pm Football vs Landrum @ Cornerstone Aug 30—5:00pm Football vs GRMS @ GRMS Sept 4—Labor Day-Student/Tch Holiday Sept 5—5:30pm Volleyball vs PBMS @ PBMS Sept 7—5:00pm Football vs Swiss Pt @ 2209 Sept 7—5:30pm Volleyball vs GRMS @ Home Sept 11—6:00pm 6th Grade Open House Sept 12—5:30pm Volleyball vs POA @ Home Sept 13—5:00pm Football vs Fruit Cove @ Plantation Grass Sept 18—6:00pm 7th & 8th Grade Open House Sept 19—5:30pm Volleyball vs FCMS @ FCMS Sept 20—5:00pm Football vs Valley Ridge @ SMS Sept 21—5:30pm Volleyball vs VRA @ VRA Sept 26—5:30pm Volleyball vs SPMS @ Home

Oct 3—5:30pm Volleyball vs LMS @ Home Oct 4—5:00pm Football vs Paceti Bay @ PBMS Oct 5—5:30pm Volleyball vs LPA @ LPA Oct 10—5:30pm Volleyball vs LPA @ SMS Oct 11—5:00pm Football vs Patriot Oakes @ Plantation Grass Oct 13—1st Quarter Ends Oct 14—Volleyball Tournament Oct 16—Teacher Planning Day-Student Holiday Oct 18—5:00pm Football vs Liberty Pines @ Plantation Grass Oct 25—5:00pm Football vs Murray @ Murray Nov 1—Football Playoffs (TBD) Nov 10—Veterans Day-Student/Teacher Holiday Nov 22-24—Thanksgiving Break-Student/Teacher Holiday Dec 21—2nd Quarter Ends Dec 22—Jan 7 Winter Break Student Holiday

Sebastian Middle School Newsletter  

August 2017

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