District Headlines & Features
Welcome to Totem Middle School, home of the Thunderbirds!
I want to thank all our families, scholars, and community partners for their dedication and commitment to scholar achievement while we were engaging in academics remotely. During this unprecedented time, the Totem community was able to come together and bridge school to home learning, ensuring scholars were still working toward proficiency of grade level standards. While there are still unanswered questions regarding what school will look like in the Fall, using guidance from the State and the DOH, we are planning for a safe return that prioritizes learning. What we know is that we will begin the year with a hybrid model (some face to face instruction and some remote instruction). At this time, FWPS is exploring several hybrid models that provides a combination of face to face instruction and remote learning. We have received input from parents and guardians, scholar and staff. The early results reveal the Pre-K-12 two day face-to-face and 3-day remote model is the most desired option. Please stay tuned for more information to come in the coming weeks.Health and safety are a priority. As we prepare for our Fall Re-opening, we are using the guidance from the Department of Health and OSPI. Our district is hard at work developing health and safety protocols with social distancing guidelines, arranging schedules that minimize contact, considering bus transportation and engaging in deep cleaning protocols to minimize the spread of germs. As part of ensuring a safe learning environment, students will be required to wear face masks. Please take the time this summer to both reinforce and practice the wearing of face masks. We will continue to place health and safety as a priority as we look toward the Fall. In order to ensure scholars return in the fall ready for the next grade level, FWPS is providing essential summer learning for all scholars. Engaging in learning throughout the summer months will support your scholar in being prepared for when we return to school. We ask that you set aside 90 minutes a day if your child is in grade K-5 and 110 minutes a day for grade 6-12. A daily schedule and free online resources have been posted to the FWPS website at https://www.fwps.org/summerlearning. We will also be mailing home learning packets to all scholars who were in K-11th grade last year. Packets should be arriving in your mailbox the week of July 6. We are also excited to share a new experience geared toward our youngest of learners. Tune into FW Channel 21 Monday-Friday from July 6-August 7 each day between 9-5 to see amazing 20-minute reading and math lessons. There will even be math lessons taught in Spanish each hour. These lessons will give the opportunity for your child to learn and grow throughout the month and will be posted to our FWPS YouTube channel as well. Totem Middle School is your community school. A scholar’s success is dependent upon a strong cooperative relationship formed between parents, school staff, and community partnerships. In order to build and maintain this relationship, communication is an essential component. I believe seeking out your input, ensuring your voice is heard and honored to meet all the needs of your scholar. We invite you to become involved in our community. There are many ways to become involved in our community- joining our School Leadership Team, joining our PTSA, joining us for an afterschool event, or attending monthly Principal Coffee Chats (to name a few).Totem is committed to providing your scholar a safe environment, free from harassment, intimidation, or bullying. In addition to continuing our commitment to fostering a safe and nurturing environment using Positive Behavior Intervention Supports and Restorative Practices, teachers will be teaching social/emotional skills with a new curriculum called Second Step. Additionally, scholars will receive instruction on how to identify, report, and refuse bullying behaviors.I am excited for the new school year to begin! All of us at Totem Middle School feel privileged to be a part of your scholar’s education and life journey. We take this responsibility seriously and are dedicated to being here for all your needs. Please do not hesitate to contact me at any time throughout the year- my door is always open!
In Partnership, Shana Watkins, Principal
Goal 2 -The Whole Child: Thriving, Confident, Responsible Individuals
Goal 4 -Content Area Competency: Mastery of All Subjects
Every student scholar will be empowered and prepared to develop personal responsibility in order to be positive, productive members of society
Every student scholar will receive equitable opportunity for success, and will meet or exceed standards of performance in all subjects by the end of each grade
Talk to your scholar about their school day. It is typical for adolescent students to say things are just “fine” and provide little detail. Continue asking them how things are going. Ask them to give you a “glow” and “grow” every day.
Ask your scholar to lead the family through a Restorative Circle, a common practice here at Totem Middle School. They will be excited to teach the family continued ways to communicate.
Scholars benefit greatly when family members are visible and engaged at school. Consider being present in the classroom, visiting during lunches, chaperoning a field trip, joining PTA, and/or attending evening functions.
Have your scholar read at least 20 minutes a day at home – in any language! English Language Arts (ELA) classes are 60 minutes plus an additional 30 minutes of reading high-interest books at their own Independent Reading Level. Research shows that when students read every day they significantly build a robust vocabulary and critical thinking skills.
Register with ParentVUE so that you can see live updated information on your scholar’s grades. When parents are informed, our partnership strengthens as we can proactively address concerns together. Please reach out if you need any assistance.