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Principal's Corner

Welcome to the 2018 - 2019 School Year!

Welcome to Dwight D. Eisenhower Middle School and the 2018 - 2019 school year!  We have had a smooth start to the new school year. Both students and teachers are adjusting to new schedules and getting to know each other.

For the past couple of years, you have seen and heard me speak about social-emotional learning and the need to balance our academic programs with the teaching and modeling of the “soft skills” - leadership, communication, teamwork, problem solving, social and emotional intelligence, and cultural competence.  Historically, traditional education has focused on core academic subjects and skills; yet educational research tells us more and more that we need to teach CHILDREN - the whole child. When I spend time training new teachers, I often tell them, “You were not hired to teach 4th grade or science. You were hired to teach CHILDREN". And, over the years, I am proud to say that we, as the educators of DDE Middle School, have come to embrace the concept of teaching the whole child.  However, we still have work to do. So, the staff of DDE Middle School has formed a partnership with me to embrace the theme of EMPATHY for the 2018 - 2019 school year. That means our lessons in advisory class, our assembly programs, our community service projects and more will start at the point of empathy. We have kicked off the school year by defining empathy and starting conversations of empathy in our advisory classes. Empathy is more than “feeling sorry for someone” or “being kind to another”.  Empathy starts with seeing things through another’s point of view. And, let’s be honest here, based on the multitude of verbal attacks and criticism and downright misinformation that is shared across social media, there is a great need to learn to pause and use empathy to evaluate all circumstances. I am hoping that in the coming months and throughout this school year, you will join with us in teaching, modeling and promoting empathy with our students and ourselves. After all, what good is it and how much does it really matter to earn straight As in academics if you can’t even feel compassion and empathy for another human being?  What good is it for a student who earns Principal’s List or honor roll, but ignores the classmate sitting alone in the cafeteria? Please understand that I am in no way diminishing academics, I am simply trying to find balance in all of it. I am confident that when you visit DDE Middle School, you will see that academics remain a high priority for all of us educators.

In our academics programs, we will continue with several recently established and new initiatives such as 1:1 Chromebook designation for all students, Advisory classes and targeted intervenion groups for all students, the use of research-based supplemental programs to support the core curriculum  (Ex. Study Island, Newsela, Renaissance Learning, etc.), access to enrichment classes for all students and several after school clubs, extra curriculuar activities and sports.  

Please continue to use OnCourse Connect to stay current on your child's academic progress and to monitor your child's attendance and discipline record.  Also, please make sure to stay connected to your child's teachers through email.  We look forward to working with you this year to provide the best educational experience for your child.