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Principal’s Message Dear Parents and Guardians: As we enter the final quarter, it is especially important that we continue to encourage and motivate our students. This can be a particularly stressful this time of year with exams looming, but it is important to realize that our students are well prepared and have worked hard this year. I continue to be impressed with the level of participation in our after-school programming every Tuesday and Thursday, which gives students an opportunity to apply learning. We will continue to expand on our STEAM Vision by launching an Aquaponics and AgriFood program as a 7th grade elective offering next year. This will give us another means to engage deeper with the community and provide a tangible opportunity for our students to apply science concepts. If you have ideas or ways in which you can help with this program, please connect directly with me. Our safety team here has met several times in the past few weeks and we continue to look at ways to improve our protocols to ensure that all students are safe and secure here in our school. We are also working with our district on capital projects related to cameras, door locks and fencing. I will speak about our approach at the March SAC meeting to include any recent legislation. As always, I welcome your questions, comments and concerns. Finally, we also have established our Mindset book study in the community. We meet at Grower’s Alliance Café on the first Wednesday of each month from 5:00 – 6:00pm and thus far it has been rewarding. We as teachers and administrators learn from these sessions, and we welcome your participation at any time. Our next meeting will take place on Wednesday, April 4 at 5:00 p.m. Thank you as always for your support. 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 At Sebastian Middle School, all students will achieve personal success in their learning and become responsible and productive citizens. Mission In order to prepare our students to live in and contribute to a changing world, Sebastian will provide a balanced, varied school curriculum designed to meet the academic, cultural and social needs of individuals from the diverse backgrounds of our community.

MARCH 2018 Volume 2

Issue 2 Sebastian Sentinel March 2018 Published Four Times Per Year 2955 Lewis Speedway St. Augustine, FL 32084 Issue 2

*Please watch for our next newsletter in August 2018, and bi-monthly electronic news updates.


Guidance Corner

“Opening the Doors of Communication with Your Student” Angela Fusco, School Counselor, Mental Health Counselor Intern Adapted from UC Davis Tips for Improving Communication Between Adolescents and Parents “How was school today?” – FINE… “What did you learn?” – NOTHING… “Tell me something good about your day.” – I got out of school… Sound familiar? We try to initiate conversations with our children but sometimes we’re left stranded on a deserted island, and they are left to their own devices, meaning, cell phones, ipads, video games, and TV. Usually right after school, your child is mentally exhausted. From bus rides to peers to the stress of academics, they need time to decompress. Simple greetings are best at this time, followed by a snack and a reminder that you will be checking in after their break. After the break, take the opportunity to have a healthy conversation. Most importantly, get rid of the distractions: phones, games, computer, work, and put them away (on silent!) while you chat. Here are some tips that I, along with other parents, have found helpful: 1. Let your child know their value and their worth. 2. Drop expectations and accept the conversation as it is (e.g., maybe they do not open up as you wish or the conversation takes an interesting turn, but accept that it is happening as it is and look for improvement moving forward). 3. Respectful listening without judgement (sometimes they just want you to listen without it becoming a teachable moment). 4. Reflect back and validate how they are feeling (e.g., “That must have hurt when she didn’t sit with you on the bus”). 5. Stay CALM. Resist the urge to emotionally react (e.g., “YOU DID WHAT?!?!?”). 6. Share your own personal stories of middle school and your youth (they find it hilarious). 7. Try writing to one another in a journal if the talking isn’t comfortable yet.


8. Try creating conversation games (e.g. “Would you rather…” game, quote jar, etc.). 9. Speak on their level (watch their YouTube channels, see who they are following on Instagram). 10. Use “I” messages (e.g., ”I love it when you help me clean up after dinner” vs. “YOU NEVER HELP!”). 11. Use the word HOW versus WHY in questions; How elicits thoughts and feelings, whereas why elicits judgement. 12. Try going somewhere like the beach, a park, or a restaurant to chat. 13. Boys like to move when they talk so try walking, playing games, or riding in the car. 14. Don’t pry… 15. Validate – don’t always try and solve the problem (i.e. “Feel it” vs. “Fix it”). 16. Do things together that they initiate (video games, TV shows/ movies, sports activities). 17. Use mealtime as a way to check in – try the no phone challenge as a family. 18. Teens fear consequences for speaking up, so consider putting the consequence out there before you talk because they may not share. Try this: “Are you worried I will take your phone away if you share with me what is going on?” 19. What is their opinion on things? For example try opening up a conversation about the positives and negatives of social media. 20. Try the miracle question “If you were granted a wish that would help you out in anyway, what would that wish be?” Overall, let your child know you want to be there for them. Share why this is so important to you (based on your own experiences and the different world they live in versus when we grew up). Learn from their world and their culture – explore their social media accounts and set up rules together. Notice behavior as well, “You seem upset, what can I do to help?” Finally, if you listen to the Ted Radio Hour on Apple PodCasts, check out their recent one entitled “Nudge”!



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Spring Testing Calendar

Please note the following dates that your student will be taking state-wide FSA and/or EOC exams and District Final Exams. On testing days, exams will be administered promptly at 8:00 a.m. Parents should ensure that your students arrive to school on time, well-rested, and having eaten a nutritious breakfast. Remember, proteins like nuts, eggs, and even bacon are brain food! Thank you for your help! 4/16-17 FSA Language Arts 6th grade 4/19-20 FSA Language Arts 7th grade 4/23-24 FSA Language Arts 8th grade 4/26-27 FSA Math 6th grade 4/30-5/1 FSA Math 7th grade 5/3 NGSSS Science 8th grade 5/3-4 Biology EOC 8th grade 5/7-8 FSA Math 8th grade 5/7-8 Algebra/Geometry EOC 7th/8th 5/10 Civics EOC 7th grade 5/16 Period 1 Final Exam All grades 5/17 Periods 2/3 Final Exams All grades 5/18 Periods 4/5 Final Exams All grades 5/21 Periods 6/7 Final Exams All grades 5/22-24 Final Exam Make-Ups All grades Note: 7th and 8th grade students taking Algebra/Geometry EOC exams do NOT take FSA Math. Volunteer test proctors are needed for many of these exam dates, especially May 3, 4, 7, and 8, from 7:45—10:15 a.m. Please email If you are able to help on one or more of those dates. Thank you in advance for your valuable gift of time!

Teacher and Staff Appreciation Week: May 7 – 11, 2018

For their dedication, creativity, patience, sense of humor, enthusiasm and love, one week is truly never enough to thank our teachers and staff for all they do for our children! Yet we will try. We invite parents to help by donating the following: • 10-minute mini-massages throughout the week! Are you a massage therapist? Or know someone who would be willing to donate a few hours during the week? Let us know so we can get a schedule together for the week! • Gift Certificates or Gift Items that will used as prizes in a drawing that week. Although we may not be able to afford to buy a special gift for every member of the SMS staff, we can give them each a CHANCE to win a fabulous prize! Please bring donations to the Front Office by end of day on Tuesday, May 8. • Desserts for a luncheon on Wednesday, May 9. Please bring your favorite dessert to the Front Office by 11:00 a.m. • Breakfast goodies for a Coffee Cart that will provide room service breakfast to all teachers and staff on Friday, May 11. Please bring donations to the Front Office by 8:00 a.m.

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Special Recognitions

Kudos to the following individuals who have been recognized for their exemplary work at SMS during the 2017-18 academic year: •

Teacher of the Year – Chassity Johnson

Rookie Teacher of the Year – Rachel Mathis

Employee of the Year – Heather Dempsey

Adult Volunteer of the Year – Kathy Weed

Senior Volunteer of the Year – Dorothy Barrett

Youth Volunteer of the Year – Maile Many

Parents, please let the sponsor advertisers know you appreciate them!

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4 Pictured here are members of the St. Augustine Strongs Home Team with this year’s Wiz Kids!

PTO Board Elections for 2018-19

Qty: 1 Paper Print Our “Strong Squad” Cheerleaders pictured left to right included: Ms. Fusco, Ms. Allen, Ms. Lydigsen, Ms. Hensley, Ms. Cody, Ms. Johnson, Ms. Solana, Ms. Marimpietri, and Ms. Willey. Go Team!

PTO News and Notes

Home Team Players


Sebastian Middle School Business Partners 2017-2018

Harlem Wizards vs. St. Augustine Strongs With the support of our feeder elementaries—Crookshank, Ketterlinus, and R.B. Hunt, our event with the Harlem Wizards in January was another great success, bringing in a net profit of $4,000 for SMS. Our grateful thanks to all the teachers and staff from each of the 4 schools who played on this year’s team or served on the “Strong Squad” as our home team cheerleaders! Jay Barbour Jarrod Branco Jessica Brower Steve Cacchio McKinley Carden Marilee Churchill Tina Cullar Kate Ducote Theresa Esguerra Amanda Garman Larry Goodenough Heather Hagy Kevin Hayes Renee Hobbs Marquez Jackson Wayne King Seth Knolhoff Cheyenne Lightsey Chad Razey Mike Sharman Robin Streit Ryan Velsor Cedric Wolfe

With many parents “graduating” from SMS this year, we will have open spots on our Board in the coming year. Please join us for our final PTO Meeting of this year on Tuesday, April 24, 6:00 – 7:00 p.m. in the SMS Multipurpose Room, to learn how you can make a difference at your child’s middle school! Parents of rising 6th graders are welcome to attend as well!

Sebastian Sebastian Crookshank RB Hunt Ketterlinus Sebastian Sebastian Sebastian Sebastian RB Hunt Sebastian Sebastian Sebastian Crookshank Crookshank Sebastian Sebastian Sebastian Sebastian RB Hunt RB Hunt Crookshank Sebastian


P R I N C I P A L’ S P A R T N E R S


Sunshine Realty DANIEL S. LANG (904) 501-6867

Sheila Brown ACCOUNTING Tax

B LUE PA R T NER S Mark Gilbert Attorney at Law



Dr. Douglas Johnson Oral & Facial Surgeon


Dr Townsend & Associates

R ED PA R T NER S Bruster’s Real Ice Cream Canan Law Chick-fil-A Computer Doctors Homestar Financial Corporation, Allison Barlow Landmark Real Estate Solutions of North Flordia Old City Hammocks

Comprehensive Counseling Services

Picolata Produce Farms Ripple Effect Ecotours Salt Life Restaurant Signs Now Southeast Sports & Play The Sports Corner St. Augustine Realty, Amy Gibbs Tijuana Flats Restaurant


Soaring Eagle Athletics Congratulations to our two SOARING EAGLES! Just LOOK AT THOSE SMILES! This quarter we recognize SMS Basketball Players: • Zyriah – A 7th grade student at SMS, she is a soaring athlete with an amazing smile. She outworks her opponents every day at practice and looks to bring home the St. Johns Middle School Basketball Championship next season! • Bradley – An 8th grade student at SMS, he is an amazing student of character in his classes. As the leading scorer in Boys Basketball this season, Bradley can’t wait to continue his great basketball career in high school next year!

LOOKING AHEAD: Upcoming Athletics Girls Softball Schedule 4/2 – Pacetti Bay@Treaty Park 4/5 – Swiss Point@Treaty Park 4/9 – Gamble Rogers@Treaty Park 4/10 – Landrum@Treaty Park 4/19 – Valley Ridge@Davis Park Game locations: Treaty Park, 1595 Wildwood Drive, St. Augustine Davis Park, 210 Davis Park Road, Ponte Vedra

Zyriah Garden

Bradley Persson

Tennis Also organized and coached by the SJMSAA, our SMS Girls and Boys Tennis teams compete at 4:00 p.m. There is no cost to attend matches. Join us for exciting singles and doubles action! 4/5 – Murray@Marsh Creek 4/12 – Cathedral Parish School (CPS)@Marsh Creek 4/19 – Pacetti Bay@Palencia 4/26 – Murray@Marsh Creek 5/10 – Championships (time and location TBD) Match locations: Marsh Creek Country Club, 169 Marshside Drive, St. Augustine Palencia, 625 Palencia Club Drive, St. Augustine

Baseball and Softball Organized and coached by the nonprofit St. Johns Middle School Athletic Association (SJMSAA), the SMS Baseball and Softball seasons have begun! All games begin at 3:45 p.m. and there is no cost to attend. Please come out and cheer your Eagles to victory this season! Boys Baseball Schedule 4/3 – Swiss Point@Kehoe 4/5 – Patriot Oaks@Mills 4/10 – Liberty Pines@Waler 4/12 – Gamble Rogers@Waler 4/17 – Valley Ridge@Waler 4/19 – Fruit Cove@Waler 4/26 – Pacetti Bay@Waler Game locations: Kehoe Field, 777 Greenbriar Road, Fruit Cove Mills Field, 1805 Racetrack Road, St. Johns Waler Field, 1300 Duval Street, St. Augustine (adjacent to Solomon Calhoun Center)

PHYSICAL FORMS for 2018-19 Sports at SMS All athletes are required to have a current medical physical on file with Sebastian Middle School in order to participate in ANY scholastic sports team event. This includes open gym practices and try-outs. Please understand that this is a precaution put in place to keep our children as safe as possible. Physical forms are valid for one year from the date completed; therefore they are best completed in the summer months. Thank you for your cooperation!

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6 Social Studies Hits the Road

After spending the year studying civics, our 7th grade students had a chance to see our state government in action on February 12 during a day-long trip to Tallahassee. Students visited the Museum of Florida History, the Florida Supreme Court, the Old and New State Capitol buildings, and enjoyed a guided tour of the campus of Florida State University.

The SMS Social Studies department took students out of the classroom and into our state and national capitals in January and February to learn first-hand about our systems of government. From January 21-26, our 8th grade students (who have spent the year studying American history) visited Washington, DC and Gettysburg, PA in a whirlwind tour which included many of the Smithsonian Museums, the National Archives, Ford’s Theater, Arlington Cemetery, the U.S. Capitol Building, the Holocaust Museum, and many memorials and monuments.

8th Grade students and chaperones in front of the White House.

A collaborative team of faculty from across our core and elective disciplines hosted Sebastian’s first STEAM Career Day on February 21, from 8-11am. Students were introduced to over 20 careers that relate to STEAM. Our goal was to instill an appreciation for the many different pathways available to the variety careers offered in STEAM-related fields of work. Many thanks to the following professionals and organizations for spending their morning inspiring our students: • Pete Arnold—AIA Solar Contracting • Olivier Berdoyes—Non-Destructive Aquatic Testing • Officer Dee Brown—St. Augustine Police Department • Aubrey Cannata—Behavioral Health Specialist • Julie Dickover—Crisp Ellert Art Museum, Flagler College • Bruce Hallett—Matanzas GeoSciences, Inc. • Susan Johnson—Quality Assurance, Next Science • Peter Kenney—Purple Olive Restaurant • Michael LeGrand—Photographer

7th grade students and teachers visiting FSU’s Doak Campbell Stadium.

• Chuck Meide—Maritime Archaeologist, St. Aug. Lighthouse • Annie Otto—Ecologist • Tim Pugh—SLR Racing, NASCAR • Heath Rauschenberger— Florida Fish & Wildlife • Jennifer Ray-Hampton—St. Johns County Fire Rescue • Mark Rusinack—Creative Director, Florida Blue • Jack Schmidt—Veterinarian, St. Augustine Animal Clinic • Steve Sipprell—Pilot, Allegiant Airlines • Cam Thompson—USA Boxing • Lisa Urban—Leonard’s Studios • Amanda Warford Videll—FBI Jacksonville If you have experience in a STEAM-related field and are willing to share it with our students, we would love to invite you to our school! Please contact Susan Connor, Volunteer Coordinator, at susan. to help us connect you with a teacher, class or future career event.

Attention Rising 6th Graders! FREE Summer Camp at SMS!

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Sebastian Middle School

Susan Connor •


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

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

School Calendar 2018 Mar 26-30

Spring Break

Apr 2

Classes Resume

Apr 4

Growth Mindset Parent Discussion Group, Growers Alliance Café, 322 Anastasia Blvd, 5:00-6:00pm

Apr 10

Spirit Night at Sonny’s BBQ, 5:00-8:00pm

Apr 24

SAC Meeting, 5:15pm; PTO Meeting, 6:00pm

Apr 26

Communication Cornerstone Parent Meeting, 1:00-2:00pm

Apr 27

8th Grade Dance with MMS, 7:00-9:00pm@SAHS

May 2

Growth Mindset Parent Discussion Group, Growers Alliance Café, 322 Anastasia Blvd, 5:00-6:00pm

May 7

Rising 6th Grade Student Field Trip to SMS (9:30-11:00am) and Parent Curriculum Night (5:30-7:00pm)

May 7-11

Teacher/Staff Appreciation Week

May 11

8th Grade GradVenture at Universal Orlando, 2:30pm – 2:30am

May 22

8th Grade Graduation Ceremony, 5:30pm

May 24

Last Day of School for Students

June 11-14 Summer STEAM Camp for Rising 6th Graders Aug 10

First Day of School for Students


Sebastian Middle School Newsletter  

March 2018

Sebastian Middle School Newsletter  

March 2018