•  August 1, 2019

     Dear Phoenix Families,

     Welcome back to another great year on the Phoenix Team! Eighth grade marks the last year of middle school with many exciting events ahead, but it can also be very challenging!  This next school year will go by very quickly, so to ensure high school readiness, we ask all families to continue to encourage our students to become independent, self-advocating learners. This letter is meant to give you all of the information you need to have a great start!

     We would like to remind all families that personal hand-held devices, such as cellular phones, iPods, iPads, etc. are not allowed in school during school hours. If found with students, these devices will be brought to the office for parent pick-up. If parents need to contact students during the school day, please call the front office. We appreciate all of the support we have received from families regarding this.

     The following list of supplies is what we believe will help our students begin the year organized and prepared. If you have any questions or difficulties obtaining any of these supplies, please email one of the team teachers:

    • 2-3 binders (students can use one binder for multiple subjects)
    • 16 Dividers (four for each class)
    • Loose leaf paper!!
    • Pencils!!
    • Calculator- please see note below regarding calculators
    • Three 1-subject spiral notebook with three holes-  PLEASE BE SURE THESE FIT IN BINDER RINGS
    • Box of Kleenex- donate to homeroom
    • Assignment Notebook

      In the past, parents have inquired about the need for graphing calculators and/or scientific calculators. The math classroom has a limited number of scientific and graphing calculators; however, they are not required for either the 8th grade or Algebra.  In addition, we encourage students in 8th grade to have a scientific calculator for math and science as the material is more complex. If your student is in the algebra class and he/she is responsible enough to take care of a graphing calculator, they are used extensively in the high school and are a worthwhile investment. 

    This year we are implementing a flexible snack time during the first part of our second block (9:40-10:10).  After researching the power of healthy snacking throughout the day, we have revisited the idea of snack in the classroom. The research focuses on HEALTHY food choices to fuel the brain and the body. Students can bring in their own snacks; there will also be snacks available on team. And as a reminder, a healthy breakfast is also imperative to fostering strong learning in our students! 

    Please help us in welcoming the newest member of the Phoenix Team.  Jim Van Duyn will be joining us as our new Special Educator. Jim comes to EMS, most recently, from the Junction with many years of experience working with an array of individual students’ needs.  He will provide strong support for our team. Karen Day will be continuing to work with the Phoenix Team in the role of Interventionist. She will continue to co-teach with Karen Nee in multiple math classes, as well as work with small groups during our Intervention Block. 

    Don’t forget the Ice Cream Social is August 26th from 5:00-6:00 pm. Homeroom and locker assignments will be given out on the first day of school, August 28th.

     As stated earlier, eighth grade can be challenging, but on the Phoenix Team we are in the business of taking care of each other. We ended seventh grade strong and positive. We now look forward to another great school year with this fabulous group of students! If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to email one of the team teachers.


    Enjoy the rest of the summer,


    Mrs. Nee (knee@ewsd.org)

    Mr. Shepley (hshepley@ewsd.org)

    Mrs. Baker (sbaker@ewsd.org)

    Mr. Van Duyn (jvanduyn@ewsd.org)