Panther Pause: SCC MS is roaring and off to a great start

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Pete Nusbaum is principal at St. Croix Central Middle School

I have been asked numerous times this fall about how things are going at the SCC Middle School and, "Do I miss the elementary?" Both questions are very easy for me to answer. Of course I miss all those hugs and cupcakes! The second answer is equally as easy to answer. Things are going great, and every day I get to wake up and work with kids is a great day regardless of their age.

We are truly off to a great start at SCC Middle School. Through the guidance and leadership of Mr. Langeness, Mr. Lamb and a committed group of teachers, we have fully implemented a PBIS program called ROAR: Respect, Optimism, Attitude, and Responsibility. All four areas fall into the district model of "The Panther Way." Through the guidance of school counselors Mrs. Brossmer and Mr. Jardine, SCC Middle School has also implemented a mentoring and induction program for fifth grade students called LINK: Leadership, Inspiration, Navigate/Networking, and Knowledge. The LINK program is made up of eighth grade students working with their own fifth grade team of students. They will meet once a month in an effort to help fifth grade students be more successful in all avenues of the middle school.

On top of that we have also implemented an advisory program to start the day. The goal of the advisory program is to jump start each student into a positive and successful day on a daily basis. During the students' advisory time we will be conducting grade checks, implement teach-to's for PBIS, and we will also work on our monthly character traits on Wednesdays.

As you look at this list of new programs, you will notice that much of what the students are working on might not be totally about academics. Middle school students are very unique, and they are dealing daily with crazy hormones, changing bodies, locker combinations, crushes, and unfortunately, cases of bullying. Let us not forget about the technology craze that is distracting every student and adult in this world! If we aren't helping middle school students' work through all of these distractions and issues, how on Earth can they focus on academics? It is not easy. I am hopeful that we are making a positive difference with all kids as we implement these programs. The SCC Middle School staff has shown a tremendous commitment to each and every student as they have taken on all these new things in stride and are doing a fabulous job making it work daily!

As a school community we will continue to focus on safety, academics, and citizenship. We want our students to be well-rounded and as educated as possible when their time here is done. This cannot be done in a day or by a single person. It takes a community to raise a student and our partnerships with parents and community members are all so valuable. I hope to continue to build on our partnerships to give students experiences that will help them learn and become great citizens within our communities.

Follow the SCC Middle School and me on Twitter as I will be sharing daily pictures highlighting the many great things going on at SCC: https://twitter.com/SCCMiddleSchool.

I'd like to thank you for allowing us to work with your student every day and look forward to a very busy and eventful school year. Please do not hesitate to call or come in with any questions or concerns. Big thanks to all the parents and the community for their assistance with our great start this year.