• Phoenix Team Mission

    We believe in developing the whole student and a strong sense of community through: encouraging personal responsibility, respecting individual voice, holding students to high academic and behavioral expectations, and valuing teamwork and communication.


    Greetings Phoenix Families,

    Welcome to 7th grade and the Phoenix Team!  We are very excited to get this school year up and running!  This letter is intended to give you the information you will need to help you begin the year as smoothly as possible.  We look forward to a great start and a productive year.

    The Phoenix Team consists of three core teachers: Mr. Shepley (science), Mrs. Nee (math), and Mrs. Baker (language arts), as well as our special educator, Mrs. Day.  Collectively, we teach social studies. We hope you will join in welcoming Mr. Shepley to Essex Middle School, as this is his first year in our district! He will bring great energy and fresh ideas to the EWSD community. Since this team will be together for two years, we will strive to begin seventh grade by building a lasting community based on respect and relationships.  As a team, we incorporate the ideals of Developmental Designs into all aspects of our teaching. For more information about what Developmental Designs is all about, check out their website www.originsonline.org/developmental-designs.

    To ensure that we begin our year on a positive note, we would like to make all students and families aware that hand-held devices, such as cell phones and IPods, will not be permitted at school per our new school-wide policy.  If a student chooses to bring any of these items to school, we ask that these remain in students’ lockers until the end of the day.  If these items make their way out of lockers, they will be confiscated until we are able to discuss the issue with parents or guardians.  Any technology needs that our students have will be taken care of through the Chromebooks that each student will be assigned. Any communication that needs to happen with students and parents throughout the day can be done through the front office. Students can also access the classroom phones if needed, as well as the phone downstairs by the office. We appreciate your help and support in this manner.

    We would like to invite you to the annual Essex Middle School Ice Cream Social on Monday, August 27th from 5-6. Although not required, it’s a great time for us to meet.  Homeroom and locker assignments will be given to students on the first day of school.  

    Below is a list of suggested supplies for students to make a smooth transition into the school year:

    Assignment Book- although we post homework on-line, an assignment book is very helpful

    Pencils & loose-leaf lined paper- these items need to be replenished throughout the school year

    3   1” 3-ring binders

    3   3 hole 1 subject spiral notebooks (three separate spirals will be best)

    Dividers for binders

    3  composition notebooks

    3  2-pocket folders

    A box of tissues to donate to your homeroom teacher (you will thank us later)

    Again, we would like to welcome you to the Phoenix Team! We look forward to getting to know all of our students and families!  We will send home a weekly newsletter throughout the year to keep you up to date on all of the team’s current happenings. Please let us know if your email address changes at any time during the year. If you have any questions, please contact us through email at sbaker@ewsd.org, knee@ewsd.org, and/or hshepley@ewsd.org.


    Karen Nee, Sandra Baker, Karen Day & Henry Shepley