Dear Parents, Family, and Friends
Welcome to the 2016-17 school year! I think you will find El Segundo Middle School to be a place where students are empowered to make positive changes in the world. We certainly saw the power our students exhibited in changing their communities and the world at large in our 8th grade Community Project presentations in May of last year. We pride ourselves in teaching students to problem-solve, use creativity, and demonstrate their understanding of vast subject matter so they may achieve these ends. While middle school is often a time of transition for most students, imposing never-before seen challenges, we aim to develop those learning skills and attributes to help students not only persevere, but continually seek new learning opportunities.
We have engaged with several research-based programs and partnerships to help us pursue this end. First and foremost, the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme (MYP) drives all of our learning and teaching. The program continues to evolve as teachers develop new units of inquiry and reflect on past learning experiences. The structure allows us to expose students to Spanish and the Arts in every year of the program, in addition to PE and core subjects.
We have partnered with Loyola Marymount University's Math Leadership Core to hone our staff expertise in implementing the most effective and research-validated math practices. In addition, we continually see positive results in developing financial literacy through our partnership with Junior Achievement (Finance Park), and students and parents report our Challenge Days to be highly efficacious in increasing students intercultural respect and understanding. This year, a Kiwanis grant has allowed us to add the "Where Everyone Belongs" program, linking 8th grade WEB "leaders" with 6th grade students so all feel safe and welcome.
ESMS knows that providing a safe environment is the first step to enable students to engage in deep thinking and problem-solving. Our Individualized Technology Initiative puts high quality learning tools in the hands of every student to further facilitate this end. ESMS additionally employs a part-time Instructional Technology Coach to assist teachers along a continuous cycle of learning in order to create rich learning opportunities for students.
As always, ESMS relies heavily on the support from the district, families, and the business community, without whom, none of these partnerships would be possible. We realize how fortunate we are to have such strong parent support and involvement, and recognize that parents are the biggest drivers in student success. We hope to continue these partnerships.
I don't forget how fortunate I am to be a part of this school, district and community, and thank you in return for all of your continuing support. Here's to a great 2016-17!
Jack Plotkin, Ed.D.