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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Thanks for the Excellent PD, Andrea and Kate!

  I just attended a great workshop by our two CFSD district instructional coaches.  We are so very lucky to have such high quality professional development in our district.  Thanks to both of you for always modeling research-based instruction that puts kids first.  Andrea Davidson and Kate Salter . . . you are the best! Thanks to my Esperero teachers who were in attendance and working hard on their lessons for next year!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Why I will miss our 8th graders . . .

Call me sentimental but I feel a need to express my appreciation for our 8th grade students who were promoted this past Tuesday. Reasons Why I'll Miss You, 8th Graders: When Jessica Cox demonstrated how she brushed her hair and got dressed every morning without arms and challenged members of our student audience to do the same, so many of you accepted the challenge. The comments and enthusiasm you shared about Jessica inspire me to find exemplary individuals to share their life's journey with you. You are a hard working group of scholarly students with a wide variety of interests. Among your classmates are artists, scientists, champion spellers, musicians, budding entrepreneurs, champion swimmers, dancers, actors, equestrians, poets, composers of original music, athletes who engage in a variety of sports, and students who understand that giving back to the community helps make life meaningful. Thanks to all of you who took time to share your accomplishments with me. Many of you are too shy to come forward and I am grateful to your proud teachers and parents who share your many successes with me. Many of you have come forward and shared your challenges with me and our staff. We have great admiration for the grace and courage many of you haven shown when faced with struggles. Please know that we believe in you. Aim for the stars; they are within your reach. You possess a great sense of humor and, at the same time, seriousness of purpose. I will never forget the 8th graders who helped me with announcements. Lots of hilarity and light-hearted fun are always great ways to start the day. From the rap you wrote to Support World Bicycle Relief to the way you practiced the sports announcements at home in front of your parents (yes, your moms told me), you all showed commitment to excellence. In closing, I want to offer my continued help in the future. If you ever need anyone to put in a good word for you, you have an ally in the principal's office here at ECMS. Nevertheless, I will miss you all so very much. I am so happy for you and your families. Being promoted from middle school is a big step. Four short years from now, you will attend college. You will be ready; our skillful and dedicated high school staff will help you to continue to work towards your dreams. It will be a marvelous journey. Devotedly, M. Setliff

Friday, May 25, 2012

I want to thank this year's FFO for all their undying support. Thanks to Trish McCabe and Cynthia Nocon, our wonderful co-presidents who devoted so much of their time to helping us. Thanks to the incomparable Jan Gutbub. We are so fortunate to have great parent support. This has been a record year for FFO grants for the classroom. I' d like to thank to Anita, Lalita, Kris and Cathie. Thanks to Amy, Ellie, and Derrick Jobst for the lovely Mexican lunch. Hope that everyone has a great summer. I will blog semi-regularly. I will be in the building most of June. Both Ms. Castro and I are going to China to visit schools. We will be leaving June 18 and returning on the 27th. Thanks to all of our ECMS community for making my first year as principal a fabulous experience. Love you all!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Live Streaming Esperero Promotion


Parents and Guardians,

In an effort to make our 8th grade promotion high-tech, family and friends will be able to watch a live stream of the 8th grade promotion.

We will have an option for family and friends to view the live stream in our library the night of promotion. This option would work best for extended family members and/or family and friends with young children.

Additionally, family and friends that will not be in Tucson on the evening of promotion can watch the live stream of the ceremony from the comforts of their own homes.  We will provide a password to make this as private as possible. 

Please watch our email blasts for further instructions.


Saturday, May 12, 2012

Stranger Danger

Since the April abduction of Tucson's Isabel Celis and the even more recent crimes against three children in a neighborhood adjacent to Sabino Canyon, parents have called to express their concern for student safety.  I want to address these concerns in my blog today. I want to assure parents that we continue to put student safety first at Esperero Canyon Middle School and in CFSD.

To summarize the events of early last week: on Tuesday, May 8, a van with a Washington state license plate was seen near Ocotillo Drive and Webster Street.  It was reported that the van had been chasing a boy on his bike.  That evening, the local news reported that the Pima County Sheriff's office had determined that no abduction had taken place.  Investigators located the driver of the van and interviewed that person.  They determined that there may have been criminal activity going on but not an abduction. Deputies are still trying to identify the boy on the bicycle.

I want to commend the actions of the Pima County Sheriff's Office this past Tuesday morning when law enforcement was responding to the abduction report.  At around 8:30 am, a PCSO detective came to our school in order to make sure that all students were safe and accounted for. Those absent students who had not been called in sick by parents and who could not be reached by phone received a welfare check by a deputy.  It took us a very short time to do these checks as Ms. Joni Brennan-Hazlett, our attendance clerk, is vigilant about accounting for students.  She spends her mornings every day making sure that all students are present or accounted for.  

We very much appreciate the professionalism of the Pima County Sheriff's office.  Dean Castro and I work with PCSO deputies throughout the school year. These men and women are passionate about protecting our children.  We are grateful to have them close by in light of these recent events.     

A parent suggested that we post all future stranger danger alerts on Facebook.  We will do this. Great idea!  Thank you, K (you know who you are)!  If you observe something suspicious, call 911 immediately.  Please inform us, too!  But call 911 first.  

Have you thought about having a conversation about safety with your kids but just don't know how to begin or what to say?  The FBI has an amazing website and some suggestions about helping kids during a stranger danger event.  The article is a great springboard for a conversation at home about safety. It gets the point across without scaring kids.  Here's the link:

Please call me at 209-8100 or email me with any concerns or suggestions regarding student safety.