South Middle School is excited to begin another school year with good news. We have been part of the Making Middle Grades Work initiative and have seen many positive changes growing from this program. Last year, SMS was designated a School to Watch and we proudly earned an ‘A’ from the ESEA.
We are not stopping there or resting on our laurels. There is much hard work to be done to stay on top and to accomplish more. This year we are continuing our partnership with Winthrop University's Richard W. Riley College of Education to improve teacher effectiveness and student achievement.
South Middle is one of the six Professional Development Schools to be a part of the NetSCOPE grant. As part of the grant, the schools will work with Winthrop faculty on five goals:
• improving student academic achievement
• improving professional learning for school-university faculty and teacher candidates
• strengthening the pre-baccalaureate education of teacher candidates
• increasing support for new teachers
• implementing ongoing, accessible school leadership programs
Dr. Kelly Costner, Winthrop professor, will continue to be a part of our staff and will work closely with our staff and our Winthrop interns. This partnership will benefit our students, our teachers, and our community through professional development opportunities aimed at helping us meet the diverse needs of our students.
The SMS Parent Teacher Organization is a vital part of our community outreach. Donna Reeves is the PTO president. Our School Improvement Council, led by parent Jennifer Page, will play a major role this year in assisting our school in ways to improve student achievement and student and teacher rewards and recognition. We encourage each of you to join one or both of these school organizations. Continue to watch for announcements detailing special programs sponsored by the PTO and SIC.
I hope that over this school year, you will be encouraged by your child's academic progress, supportive of our faculty's Professional Development Programs and become actively involved in our educational community. Please know that you are always welcome at South Middle School. I look forward to seeing you very soon.