Welcome Back South Middle School!

Dear South Middle School Families,

This is your official “Welcome Back to School” letter from South Middle School. It has been a busy summer full of change and excitement. In addition to 14 new staff members to SMS, we will be welcoming in 340+ sixth graders and nearly 50 new-to-Waukee students! Even through all the changes, our goal will remain the same and that is to serve each child keeping the following definition of student achievement in mind each day:

Student achievement occurs when a student shows initiative to grow academically, socially, and behaviorally in regards to applying content knowledge and 21st century skills to the real world.

Our South Middle School team is anxious to meet students and families at our Open House on August 11 from 6:00-8:00 p.m. You and your child are welcome to join us at your convenience. During this time, you will have the opportunity to meet teachers, greet friends, drop off school supplies, find your child’s locker, practice locker combinations, walk his/her schedule, ask questions, etc. In order to get to know our families better, we would appreciate having your child give his/her Advisory teacher a family photo. These photos will be used in a school-wide effort to get to know our learners. If you do not have an available photo, our Ambassadors will be available to take family photos for this purpose that evening. If you would prefer to have your student bring a family photo on the first day of school, please do so.

We are also excited to announce we will be hosting a “mall-type” photo booth and encourage as many of our families as possible to stop by the booth to take a family picture. One strip of pictures is yours to take home to celebrate the start of a new year and one we would like you to leave with us in our “guest book” to allow us to get to know our families and to share with visitors throughout the year.

After you complete your registration, please remember you will need to log into the PowerSchool Public Portal at https://ps.waukeeschools.org/public to view your child’s schedule and locker combination. The portal will be open on August 1, 2014. Up until August 7, please feel free to contact Mr. Young at cyoung@waukeeschools.org with any scheduling questions.  In addition, please print or write down your child’s schedule and locker combination for Open House and for his/her first day of school. Some students also prefer to print copies for his/her planner and locker.

After August 7, please direct scheduling questions to:

Once you know your child’s team, please have your child navigate to the South Middle School Home Page https://www.waukeeschools.org/school/south-middle-school/ and click on the video created by your child’s team (each grade level is divided into 2 teams—Gold and Purple), along with the electives’ team video. Videos will be updated by August 1st. We hope you get to know our teams as we know they are excited to meet your child & you!

Communicating learning is important! Please visit our school’s webpage for current topics, events and opportunities. Beyond the front page of our website and a weekly Monday morning SMS communication email, you will be able to access color team pages to provide you with current events and grade-level information relevant to your child. If you navigate to the South Middle School front page, you can click on each staff member’s name (under “Staff” to the left) to find individual teacher blog pages and learn more about current learning targets, information, and resources relevant to each course. We value your communication, so please do not hesitate to contact us by email, phone or stop in to visit. Our team looks forward to partnering with you!

Also, on our school’s blog page, you can click on “Parent Involvement” under Resources and Quick Links where you can sign up to volunteer in our building and participate on our school’s PAC (Parent Advisory Committee). PAC will serve as a parent team focused on shared learning that supports student achievement. Over the past two years, a number of parents have engaged in learning focused on topics such as Carol Dweck’s Mindset work, 21st Century skills necessary for success in a global economy and Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

Finally (you were hoping I’d finally use that word, weren’t you?), please see the “Mark your calendar” dates below and you can find upcoming need-to-know dates on my blog anytime as well (https://blogs.waukeeschools.org/dbarry). If you have any questions prior to the school year, please feel free to contact us at 515-987-3222 or dbarry@waukeeschools.org or cyoung@waukeeschools.org. We are looking forward to seeing you soon!


Doug Barry, South Middle School Principal
Clay Young, South Middle School Assistant Principal

Mark your calendar…

  • August 1 View Class Schedules in PowerSchool (https://ps.waukeeschools.org/public)
  • August 11 5:30-6:00 p.m. prior to Open House – Optional Tours for families new to Waukee who have not toured yet.
  • August 11 6:00-8:00 p.m. Open House for all 6th-8th graders
  • August 12  2:00-3:00 p.m. – Optional time for 6th grade students only to visit their color team pod area and practice opening lockers.
  • August 13 8:05 a.m.– 2:55 p.m. First Day of School
    • Students may enter the building at 7:35 a.m. All students eating breakfast will report to the Commons. All 8th grade students will report to the Commons until they are dismissed at 7:55 to their classrooms. 7th grade students will report to the main gym, while 6th grade students will report to the secondary gym.
  • August 26 Magazine Fundraising Begins
    • Thank you for all of your support last year! Funds from past years supported technology purchases, along with tables for our atrium area! Our goal is to continue to add technology to support student learning!
  • August 27 1:05 p.m. Early Dismissal (Professional Development)
    • Our team is committed to continuous improvement and will continue our important work with implementing standards-based instruction and assessment. During professional development, we will continue to focus on topics such as strategies to differentiate learning in the classroom, use of ongoing assessments for instructional decision-making, reading comprehension strategies across content areas, 21st Century Skills for Success in a Global World, and the implementation of Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS).
  • September 1 No school – Labor Day
  • September 10 School Pictures (AM)
  • September 10 1:05 p.m. Early Dismissal (Professional Development)


560 Southeast University Avenue
Waukee, Iowa 50263
Phone 515.987.5161
Fax 515.987.2701