Archived eBlasts From SEMS
Please click on the date to reference the eBlast sent to parents from SEMS. If you would like to sign up to receive the eBlasts, please click here.August8-22-2017
Good evening San Elijo Middle School Families,
This is your principal, Dr. DeBora, with a 45 second message.
Before I get to the two reminders, I just wanted to thank everybody for an amazing first day of school. It was great to see all of our students and teachers getting to know one another.
The first reminder is that tomorrow is picture day for 7th grade, so 7th grades please come ready to be photographed for our yearbook and student id. If you miss tomorrow, no worries, there will be make-up days throughout the first semester.
The second reminder is that tomorrow, and all Wednesdays, are early release days. While our start time is the same at 7:55am, our release time every Wednesday will be 1:19pm.
Have a great evening and see everyone tomorrow.
Hello SEMS Families,
This is Dr. DeBora with an important announcement.
Coming Soon! San Elijo Middle School will be ‘adopting’ a middle school in Texas that has been devastated by Hurricane Harvey. Over the next week you will learn about a special community service opportunity where one of our history teachers, Ms. McKinney, will be organizing students to coordinate efforts to collect school supplies, clothing, and money for shipping the items to Crosby Middle School, located in a suburb of Houston, Texas. Our students will also be writing letters and Skyping the students of this school once they receive our items and get back on their feet. Their principal, Mr. Dustin Bromley, anticipates school opening for them on September 7. After a few days of taking inventory, he will send us a list of supplies needed.
This project is a part of a national movement to aide students in returning to school. It is called Principals Helping Principals, and more information can be found at https://www.smore.com/1y298. We will ship the items directly to the middle school. The money we raise will go towards the shipping costs of sending these supplies directly to the school, bypassing administrative costs.
Stay tuned to our school website, as well as our PTO’s Facebook page for all of the details on how your family can help middle school students who have lost so much. Ms. McKinney is creating a list of students who will be collecting the donations before school both in the PAC and in the drop-off lane. Students will be responsible for organizing and packing the items. The school will help with the collection of any monetary donations. Students will also write letters to individual students, and Ms. McKinney will attempt to Skype with the school in the Spring.
This will be a powerful way our students connect the community service expectation with a real-world impact.
Please visit https://ca01000805.schoolwires.net/Domain/1007 for more details.
Have a good evening.
Dear San Elijo Families,
This is your principal, Dr. DeBora, with an important message. I want to make you aware of a scam that could affect our community. Someone claiming that they are from the District Office is offering home visits to discuss programs available to English Learner families. They provide a false address and ask to confirm the family’s real address.
We have seen this type of scam in the past, including families giving money to a company who promised that the District would reimburse them. Please be aware that San Marcos Unified School District has not authorized any company to discuss programs for our English Learner families. Please do not confirm your address, arrange appointments, or send money to a company claiming to be connected with the District Office.
Please let us know if you receive any suspicious phone calls.
Thank you and have a good evening,
Hello SEMS Families,
Due to a number of factors that include the construction at SEMS during our solar upgrade, our impacted population, and constraints with budgets at both the site and district level, we will need to make changes regarding how we celebrate the promotion of our eighth grade students. These changes may be permanent, so all families are being notified. One step in this process is receiving feedback from parents. Before we provide the link for feedback, we would like to present information that will be new for most families. Please plan to attend one of the initial presentations offered:
Thursday, December 14, 9:30am-11:00am
Thursday, December 14, 5:30pm- 7:00pm
As we move forward with as much transparency as possible, there will be additional emails and phone calls to inform you of the data we collect. We understand that for some parents, this is the first promotion you would be attending, so you may have questions about different aspects of this event.
Please continue to check our website under Headlines for all of the updates and information as we progress through this process, and thank you for your input.
Hello students, staff, and families,
This is Dr. DeBora. As you may have heard, school will be closed tomorrow, Friday, December 8 due to the fire and air quality. We have staff who are affected by the current fire situation, so please stay safe. We will see you on Monday, December 11.
Pick up for poinsettias from our band will continue as scheduled tomorrow afternoon and evening.
Hello SEMS families,
This is your principal, Dr. DeBora, with a quick message regarding how we celebrate our 8th graders at promotion, and the issues of size and cost associated with this recognition. As some may know, we have been providing parents with information nights, spoken to all of the students on SEMS TV, provided a survey to the students, and now I am presenting a screencast for all to watch in preparation for the same survey to go out to the community. Please go to our website at https://www.smusd.org/site/default.aspx?PageType=3&DomainID=1003&ModuleInstanceID=2704&ViewID=6446EE88-D30C-497E-9316-3F8874B3E108&RenderLoc=0&FlexDataID=69167&PageID=4931 and click on SEMS PodCast. After a time to allow families to view the presentation, we will send out the link to the survey for families to complete.
Thank you, and please email me with any questions or concerns.
Have a great evening2-22-2018Hello SEMS Families,
This is Dr. DeBora with a few pieces of important information.
First, the Promotion Feedback Survey is now up on our website. We will be collecting feedback from the community during the next week. After that time, we will present our data to the district to help make a final decision on promotion.
Next, I went on SEMS TV today to discuss the importance of our safety drills with the school. I also spoke about the possibility of a walkout in response to the tragedy in FLorida, and what the school expectations are regarding student behavior at this school. There has been a responsible group of students who have started a dialogue with me regarding alternatives to a walkout, and we will continue those discussions. All students know that if they choose to leave class at any time without permission, they will be assigned a consequence. I appreciate the ability our students have to conduct themselves rationally during our talks, and I look forward to working with them to find a suitable option so their voice can be heard in an appropriate way.
Third, we are seeking your input on the priorities to spend any supplementary money we receive next year. There is a survey is on our website titled LCAP Survey. We are asking for your top three priorities. Please look under Headlines for all of the information.
Lastly, I hope you can make it tomorrow to our Conversation With the Principal, where we will discuss our school safety procedures, our response to a possible walkout, and next steps in our promotion decision.
Please continue to check the website for all of the information, as the text of all messages are placed on thier for your reference.
Have a great evening.2-28-2018
Hello SEMS Families,
This is Dr. DeBora with a quick update on two issues.
First, an update with regards to March 14, and our plan to honor the victims of the tragedy in Florida. I will be going on SEMS TV tomorrow to outline the following for students:
1. Students presented me with the idea of wearing of the color black in remembrance of the 17 lives lost in Florida, as well as for the other lives lost at schools. This will allow students to show their solidarity without leaving class, receiving a consequence and missing instruction.
2. We will work with the teachers to provide an option for students to write supportive letters to the students and staff of Stoneman Douglas High School in class during the 17 minutes. The school would collect the letters and mail them. The address and letter from a teacher of Stoneman Douglas is attached to the reference page under the headline.
3. A designated area (currently the upper filed) for students who chose to leave class for the 17 minutes of reflection and remembrance.
4. At 10:17am, any remembrance that students plan will conclude and students will either go to their fourth period class, or go to lunch.
5. March 14 will be the only day for a remembrance.
6. There will be a consequence for students who leave their class, and that is why I appreciate the students coming up with a color to wear so students can still show their support. We will be finalizing what that consequence is within our administrative team. Currently, any students who leave class without permission is truant and assigned a Wednesday School. While the consequence for this may not be as severe, it would not be more severe. My concern if there were to be no consequence would include the increased frequency of events, and the abuse of the voice we are trying to help middle students find. The final decision on the consequence will be part of my presentation on SEMS TV later next week, and we will update our website as well.
Second is with regards to the new boundaries and where students will be attending what schools next year. The Board will have all of the specific scenarios after the meeting next Tuesday on March 6. As we plan for the 8th grade field trip on March 15th, we will wait for those decisions, and send out new permission slips to any students affected by this change.
Starting Thursday, this message and the letter from Stoneman Douglas can be found on our website under the Headlines, as well as in the Archived eBlast section.
Thank you and have a good evening.
Hello SEMS Families,
Today we conducted a lockdown drill that occurred during a passing period. Mr. Livingston prepared students earlier in the week as to the expectations if such an event would happen during a passing period or at lunch. Students were instructed to run to the nearest open door. This would include restrooms and locker rooms, regardless of gender.
All 1935 students were in a secured location within 30 seconds. They did an excellent job of finding the nearest location, and not running across campus to their next classroom, a very important factor.
During the drill, I went on the loudspeaker to explain how a real situation would take hours, asked students to familiarize themselves with the different points of entry and exit, and the difference in our two lockdowns. There is a soft lockdown when there is a event occurring off campus in the community. There is a hard lockdown when there is an event on campus. That distinction will be made in the event of a real situation. We also escorted any students in a restroom to the nearest classroom so they could hear the information.
Mr. Livingston will debrief with the school over SEMS TV, including reviewing the video from our drone.
Thank you for listening and have a good evening.
Hello SEMS Families,
This is a reminder that the Promotion Survey will close this Wednesday, March 7, 2018, at 3:00pm. We will then compile the data, meet with the district, and formulate a final decision on the specifics of the promotion ceremony.
Thank you for your time in providing feedback.
Have a great day,
Hello SEMS Families,
As promised, I spoke to the students on SEMS TV regarding the consequence for any student who chooses to leave their classroom to participate in the walk-out tomorrow. With multiple options for our middle school students, including the writing of support letters to SDHS, writing their congressmen and congresswomen, smiling and talking to 17 new people, and wearing the color black in remembrance and solidarity, we believe we have given impactful, age-appropriate options that do not disrupt the learning environment. If students still choose to walkout, they will be considered truant from class and assigned a lunch detention that will need to be served on Thursday. If the student is absent on Thursday, then the detention will be served when the student returns. Consequences for truancy are documented and cannot be excused by a parent.
I appreciate the dialogue students have had with me, as all of the suggestions for alternatives to leaving class came from students. We will continue to focus on the teaching and learning of children so they can become the leaders of this country we desperately need.
Please contact me with any questions.
Have a great week,
Hello SEMS Families,
This is your principal, Dr. DeBora, and I would like to share a final update on the March 14 walk out.
We had 218 students choose to leave class and walk to the upper field. They were calm and quiet, and they respected the process that had been agreed to through the conversations with administration. Towards the end of the 17 minutes, I made a few comments:
- I thanked all of the students for their behavior during this entire process.
- I shared with them a statistic that only one in five students will even register to vote when they turn 18 years old.
- I encouraged them to register, and shared that real change will happen in Washington when our elected officials pass laws that represent the perspectives of those they govern.
- I ended with the fact that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was once jailed for his civil disobedience, and sometimes there are consequences for your voice. We have a list of all students who participated, and we will see them tomorrow in the PAC during their lunch to serve their consequence. If they are eighth grade students, they will be on the high school field trips and we will see them on Friday in the Library.
Meanwhile, we had an amazing showing of solidarity, with hundreds of students wearing black. We also have received over 50 handwritten letters that we will send to the students of Stoneman Douglas High School.
I have read many social media perspectives of our assigning a consequence, and comparing us to other schools. As we use this moment in time to educate young adults about their civic responsibilities, we believe they need to understand the entire picture. Treating them like adults to allow their voice to be heard, but then treating them like children and pretending like there aren’t consequences for the significant level of disruption this entire event has caused the school is unrealistic. We have been as transparent as possible regarding our neutral stance to political issues, and I would urge any person with a concern to contact me directly. I am more than willing spend as much time as needed to hear all of the different perspectives, as well as share our school’s focus.
One final note, I will be sending out a communication regarding promotion by next Monday.
Thank you and have a good evening,
3-15-2018 (Sent to families with studnets in Boys and Girls Club)
Hello Parents of Boys and Girls Club Students and Families.
This is Dr. DeBora.
Let me begin this message by apologizing for not getting this message to you last night.
Yesterday afternoon there was police activity in one of the San Elijo neighborhoods. We were advised by law enforcement to secure our campus during our after school hours. This advisement was given to us after law enforcement was on the scene; however, both SEES and SEMS chose to shelter our staff and students.
Boys and Girls Club students entered the band room directly from our eating area. We remained there for approximately fifteen minutes until we heard that the situation was not a threat to anyone.
Your children did a fabulous job and I know that a few kids communicated with you from their cell phones. Any parents that did arrive to pick up their children, called the Boys and Girls Coordinator and the students were escorted through the PAC to the front doors adjacent to our parking lot and connected with their parents.
We will continue to place our students’ safety first at all times. Please communicate with me if you have any questions or concerns. Thank you, and again my apologies for the tardiness of this message.
Hello SEMS Families,
This is Dr. DeBora with a brief message regarding promotion. Earlier this year we asked for input regarding how we should recognize the promotion of eighth grade students. We would like to thank you for all of the feedback, suggestions, and ideas that were presented from both students and parents. We have collected the data, and presented the data to the district for their input. We also worked with the high schools regarding their concerns and questions.
In the end, it was decided that a ceremony at SEMS is the appropriate venue and size for the level of achievement. The promotion will be held on the last day of school, June 14, from 9:00am-10:00am on our athletic field. Due to the possibility of extreme heat, we will also be streaming the event in high-definition.
Please visit our website for the logistical information and answers to some of the most asked questions.
Thank you and have a good evening.
Good Evening –
This is your principal, Dr. DeBora, with important school information. As you may know there have been calls through the internet for students to walk-out of class on Friday, April 20th. While we worked with students to engage in the March 14 event to honor victims in the Parkland tragedy, it is my expectation that our students engage fully in their classroom activities without interruption tomorrow. Our teaching and support staff work to empower our students to think about difficult issues, make connections between others and themselves, and to build a compassionate and ethical society. We continue to believe students have a powerful voice that can effect change. However, walking out of school is not the solution.
Students are telling us they may wear orange to express support for the walk-out, and we encourage this sort of expression. Beyond that level of participation, students who choose to walk out of class or off campus will be documented as truant and appropriate consequences will be administered. It is my hope you will support us in ensuring all our students come to school tomorrow prepared to enjoy one another and learning. Superintendent Hunt is aware of this message and supportive of the school policies.
Please remember the text of these messages can be found on our website under the About Us channel.
Have a great evening.May5-16-2018
SEMS received the first verified case of pertussis yesterday. While the lab work took time to complete, the family did an excellent job of keeping the student home at the first hint of symptoms last week. The student is no longer contagious and is back at school with a clean bill of health from their doctor.
This notification is in accordance with district, county and state regulations. It is also on our website.
Please see the letter from the County Health Office below:
If you have any additional questions regarding Pertussis, you may call the County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency, Immunization Branch at (619) 692-8661 and ask to speak with a Public Health Nurse.
Thank you,5-21-2018Hello SEMS Families,
This is Dr. DeBora with six pieces of important information as we approach the end of the year activities.
First, I would like to thank everybody for their patience during our solar upgrade. Our project is now complete, and the parking lot should be back to normal.
Second, our district will be switching over to a new website platform in the very near future. This might interrupt our teacher pages, as staff will need to re-create their pages. While we will support this change, please be patient with teachers during this time, and please use the Synergy site to track your student’s progress. We will work to get the links to teachers’ classroom sites as soon as possible.
Next, last year there was some concerns over a new show on Netflix dealing with mature issues from an adolescent’s perspective. We wanted to inform our community that the second season of 13 Reasons Why is coming out this weekend. In preparation, we have placed parent resources on our website. The address is: https://www.13reasonswhytoolkit.org/parents. We encourage you to visit this site and talk with your students if you believe they have access to this show.
Fourth, we encourage all of our students to finish strong with the State testing this week. Please help us by having all of our students here and ready to go every day.
Fifth, to our 8th grade students and families, information regarding promotion and the 8th grade party is now up on our website. There will be communication in the near future regarding these events.
Lastly, as we recognize Memorial Day with no school on Monday, May 28, we want to thank all of the service men and women who help protect our country. We are eternally grateful for your service and sacrifice.
Thank you for your attention. As a reminder, a text of this phone call can be found on our website under the About Us channel.
Have a good evening.June