Principal's Welcome 2017-2018

Dear Parents, Guardians, Staff, and Students:

It is my sincere pleasure, as Principal of Sarasota Middle School, to welcome you to Sarasota Middle School.  We are always excited to welcome students back to our classrooms and fill our school with their chatter, laughter, energy, and enthusiasm for learning.  We strive to help every student, parent, and guest feel welcome and connected as part of the proud Panther Family.  

As we embark on the 2017-2018 school year, please know that we will focus on individual students to help them grow in his or her academic journey.  We are once again extremely proud to celebrate the SMS students' and staffs' efforts in earning an "A" grade.  I could not be more pleased with this demonstration of continued excellence in achievement!  We believe and are preparing for even greater success for SMS and her students in 2017-2018. 

At Sarasota Middle School, and across the District in 2017/18 we will engage students in a new and exciting College and Career Readiness curriculum.  SMS students will be challenged in our state-of-the-art Classrooms of Tomorrow.  Students will have the opportunity to work with cutting edge technologies and engage in real-world problem solving.  SMS staff will support learners in Florida Standards mastery through i-Ready, an instructional support program, High Effect size learning strategies (Dr. John Hattie); and our student learners will be challenged as they engage in critical thinking and collaborative discussions as teachers lead classrooms with the Gradual Release of Responsibility (Fisher & Frey).

Panther families, we know the Middle School years are a very special time.  Students will find that they have many new opportunities and many heightened responsibilities.  We are excited to support the middle level learner in gaining independence, personal growth, friendships, a sense of civic responsibility, participation in the arts, clubs, athletics, and of course growing academically through rigorous, in-depth coursework.  Our teaching staff is set-up in teams and are specially equipped to educate and support you the families and the unique needs of our middle school learners.

Parents and Guardians-there are many ways you can support your child at SMS.  You may easily help your child by simply monitoring academic progress, assignments, and attendance through our Student-Parent Portal.  More information on this program may be found through the Parent link on the District website, on our website, or by stopping in our front office for personalized assistance.  We will be delighted to help you in setting-up your account.  Parents, you are encouraged and invited to be involved at SMS as a parent volunteer; you may register or renew your volunteer credentials at SMS during our regular office hours.  Additionally, we hope all of you, our parents and guardians, will regularly check the SMS website, as well as your teachers' website or Blackboard LEARN account.  Links will be accessible through our school 'website menu' drop down to Staff Directory.

Our school is stronger because of parent support and we ask you become involved in our amazing PTSO.  For more information about working with the SMS PTSO, please contact President Gina Holbrook, or check out the PTSO link on the SMS website through the website menu.  Lastly, we strongly encourage you to download the Sarasota County School's app found in the PlayStore and the App Store.  This new app will provide links to the Student-Parent portal, MySchoolBucks cafeteria lunch payment system, Media Center accounts, lunch menus, Sarasota County School News, and more!

As the principal of this incredible institution, I am so proud of the long tradition we have of serving students through our highly dedicated and talented staff members.  The 2017-2018 school year promises to continue this tradition of excellence and brings to us many new teachers and support staff members.  We are very excited about each and every one of our new teachers and I look forward to introducing them to you through our website and at other back-to-school events.  

I am excited to welcome you as you stop in our front office over the next few weeks.  We will host our first PTSO meeting on Wednesday morning at 9:15 in the SMS Media Center.  Please mark your calendar and join us for a "Panthers, Parents, PTSO, and Pastries" Informational PTSO meeting.  Staff will be on hand to answer questions you may have and PTSO are excited to welcome new members!  There are so many ways you can volunteer!  Mark your calendar as well for our annual Open House on August 31st!

You may note some new faces in our front office and I ask you to help me in welcoming a number of new SMS support team members.  It is my tremendous pleasure to introduce to you:

Mr. Brian Tippman, our new Assistant Principal; Mrs. Sarah Martin, front desk receptionsist/Health room; RN Betsy Magill, Health office; Mrs. Paulette Stearns, Registrar; Mrs. Katie Poppa, Master Scheduler; Mrs. Molly Kitson, College and Career Advisor; Mrs. Debbie Schultz, Behavior Interventionist; and Mrs. Garen Shafer, Guidance Counselor.

I am incredibly honored to serve the Sarasota Middle School Community and feel humbled to be able to work with your children each day.  I am beyond excited for the year ahead and I hope you know that our support staff and I welcome you, your questions, ideas, and ongoing support!  I wish you all a truly wonderful 2017-2018 school year!

Yours in Education, 

Mrs. Janel Dorn

Proud Panther Principal






5/24/2018 - Last Day of School for Students

5/24/2018 - Plato West 8th Grade Promotion Ceremony

5/24/2018 - Plato East 8th Grade Promotion Ceremony

5/28/2018 - Memorial Day - No School

5/29/2018 - Last day of 196 day staff

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