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The General Gist

The General Gist (Week of May 29, 2023)
Dream Big Dare To Fail - Generals

This Week’s Message
Happy Memorial Day weekend!  Living in Kitsap County, we are enveloped by the beauty of nature, and we are reminded of our freedoms.  Nearly every resident has a family member or friend who is attached to our military, and we are in close proximity to bases in Bremerton, Bangor, Tacoma, and Whidbey Island.  This weekend, we honor our veterans who paid for our freedom with their lives.  Thank you for your sacrifice.

This Week’s Events
May 30: AVID Site Team Meeting, A-234, 7 am
*May 30: Shelter-in-Place Emergency Drill, 11:05 am (3rd Period)
May 30: Volleyball Crumbl Cookies Takeover (Gig Harbor), 4-7 pm
May 30-June 13: 2023-24 ASB Officer Campaign Season
May 31: 8th Grade All-Music Extravaganza, SKHS, 6:30 pm
*May 31: New WEB Leader Training, Commons, 1st and 2nd Period
Jun. 1: Staff Meeting, Library, 7:15 am (SPBD Survey)

Jun. 1: AVID 7th and 8th Grade Elective Field Trip, St. Martin’s University (all day)

Jun. 2: Class of 2030 Visit, JSMS, 11:00 am-1:30 pm
Jun. 3: Music in the Parks 8th Grade Field Trip, All Day

Events on the Horizon (Tentative)
Jun. 5: Final Choir Concert, JSMS, 6:30 pm
Jun. 6: Guiding Coalition, Library, 3:15-4:30 pm
Jun. 8: Staff Meeting, Library, 7:15 am (Staff Agreements)
Jun. 8: Marine Science Field Trip to Seattle Aquarium (All Day)
Jun. 8: Final Band and Orchestra Concert, JSMS, 6:30 pm
Jun. 9: SKHS/Discovery/Explorer Grad Walk, JSMS, 10-10:30 am
Jun. 13: AVID Site Team Meeting, A-234, 7 am
Jun. 13: WEB Field Trip to Tacoma Rainiers Game, 9:30-3:30 pm
Jun. 14: 2023-24 ASB Officer Election, Advisory
Jun. 14: 8th Grade Class Photo, Gym, 2 pm
Jun. 14: JSMS Staff Photo, Commons, 3 pm
Jun. 15: Staff Meeting, Library, 7:15 am
Jun. 16: Early Release, 11:25 am
Jun. 16: 8th Grade Dance, Commons and Gym, 5-7 pm
Jun. 19: Juneteenth (NO SCHOOL)
Jun. 20: 8th Grade Breakfast and Celebration @ DEFY, TBA
Jun. 20: 6th and 7th Grade Celebration, 12-2:20 pm
*Jun. 21: 6th Grade Greek Olympics
Jun. 22: Student Recognition Assembly and Talent Show, Gym, 8:45-10:45 am
Jun. 22: Last Day of School, Early Release, 10:45 am

*Events added to The General Gist this week

Class of 2030 Visit

We are excited to host the Class of 2030 for this year’s incoming 6th grade visit.  This event will take place this Friday, June 2.  Our veteran and new WEB Leaders will welcome students from Manchester, Mullenix Ridge, Olalla, Orchard Heights (SOAR), and South Colby elementary schools.  Visiting students will be treated to a fun assembly, ice breaker activities, a tour, lunch, dessert, and a Fun Friday activity.  We can’t wait!


End-of-Year Music Concerts
We are excited to wrap up this school year with three opportunities to watch our students show off their musical talents…mark your calendars!  This Wednesday, May 31, you can catch our 8th graders at SKHS as they perform in the All-Music Extravaganza at 6:30 pm with students from CHMS and MWMS.  We’ll hold our final Choir concert on June 5 at 6:30 at JSMS.  On June 8, we’ll put a cap on this year with our final Band and Orchestra concert which will start at 6:30 at JSMS.  Please join us!

SKHS/Discovery/Explorer Grad Walk

This year’s annual Grad Walk will take place on Friday, June 9.  SKHS, Discovery, and Explorer graduating seniors will visit each of their respective middle schools during the school day and participate in a victory walk through hallways lined with our middle school students who pass on their congratulations and high fives.  At the conclusion of the indoor parade, we take a Class of 2023 photo and sing our traditional Sedgwick favorite song “Sweet Caroline”.  The event is inspiring for our students and a fun way to congratulate our former Sedgwick students.

End-of-Year Celebrations

Our last day of school is June 22.  We have lots of fun events planned for our students.  Here is a draft of our schedule for June 20-22.  Check back often as there are bound to be adjustments.


Brain Research
Our Guiding Coalition team members are doing a book study on John Medina’s Attack of the Teenage Brain.  Here’s an excerpt from the final chapter entitled The Power of Mindfulness:


“Researchers have been studying a specific dialect of mindfulness for many years, cheerfully turning its foundational ideas into data points as reproducible as rabbits.  The benefits appear to come from the close interaction of three components – think of it as the trinity – two of which are members in good standing of Team Executive Function.

The first component is related to boosting attentional control.  When you focus on a specific, emotionally neutral subject (something like a raisin or the tip of your nose), your brain can’t simultaneously focus on other things that bother you…

The second component of mindfulness is emotional regulation, wherein mindfulness tries to put a restraining order against your toxic, out-of-control feelings.  Formally defined, emotional regulation describes approaches people use to control how their feelings are experienced…

The final component is called altered self-awareness, a form of anti-narcissism.  The idea is that by focusing on a raisin, you’re not focusing on yourself.  By focusing on your toes, you’re not focusing on how many people have wronged you…

Should American middle and high schools adopt (mindfulness) practice…?  Remembering that teen brains are nothing like adult versions, it’s a valid question.

The answer is an enthusiastic yes, even for those kids just starting puberty…It’s easy to be distracted when your life seems caught in a perpetual spin cycle.  The rewards of removing yourself from the chaos, however, are huge.  Statistically, if you make mindfulness as much a habit as checking your text messages, you’ll see real positive behavioral changes.  These alterations can even be observed neuroanatomically.  Mindfulness does a victory lap around your life by literally changing your brain structure.”

This is our final week of Spring Sports!  Here is a link to our Spring Sports Schedules.  Be sure to click on each event to verify the level and location of each event.

After school clubs are winding down.  Please note each club’s final meeting day for this year.

Art Club meets every Wednesday until 4:00 pm in Room A-123.  Ms. Million is the advisor.  For more info, contact  Last day is May 31.

Diversity Club meets every Wednesday from 3-4 pm in Portable 4.  Ms. Steen is the advisor.  For more info, contact  Last day is May 31.

Gamers Unplugged meets every Wednesday from 3-4:30 pm in Room A-224.  Mr. Wallach is the advisor.  For more info, contact  Last day is June 7.

K-Pop Club meets every Wednesday from 3-4 pm in Room A-230.  Ms. Happold is the advisor.  For more info, contact  Last day is June 14.

Magic: The Gathering Club meets every Thursday until 4:30 in Portable 1.  Mr. Musselman is the advisor.  For more info, contact  Last day is June 15.

Photography Club meets every Friday from 3-4 pm in A-233.  Mr. Durham is the Advisor.  For more info, contact  Last day is June 9.

Pickleball Club meets every Tuesday morning from 7-8 am in the Gym.  Ms. Langhorn is the advisor.  For more info, contact  Last day is June 6.

STEAM Club meets the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of every month.  Mr. Lantz is the advisor.  For more info, contact  Last day is June 7.

Yearbook Club meets every Thursday until 4:30 in Room C-206.  Ms. Cave is the advisor.  For more info, contact  Last day is June 1.

This week, our 7th and 8th grade AVID Elective students will be going on a field trip to Saint Martin’s University on June 1.  We have visited Saint Martin’s in the past, and they do a wonderful job showing students what university life can look and feel like.  This is one way we encourage our students to continue to dream and shape their futures.


From time to time, we need to be reminded of why we do what we do.  If you find yourself wondering “What is STEAM education?” and “Why is STEAM so important?”, you should check out this webpage on Space Foundation’s website.  Space exploration has seen a recent boom, and even “real-world” scientists and engineers are preaching the importance of the role of arts in the interdisciplinary field of STEAM.

National Blue Ribbon Update
In Fall of 2018, our Guiding Coalition established three long-range goals: to become a Washington STEM Lighthouse School, an AVID Schoolwide Site of Distinction, and a National Blue Ribbon School.  We are honored to have accomplished the first two goals, and we are excited to share that we are within a stone’s throw of a National Blue Ribbon!

The National Blue Ribbon program was created in 1982 to recognize outstanding public and private schools in our nation for their overall academic excellence or their progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups.  To qualify, schools must be in the top 15% of schools in their state.  A most recent snapshot of John Sedgwick’s academic performance finds us in the top 20% of schools!  Additionally, we have been on a positive trend since setting our “Big 3” Goals in 2018, rising 42 places in the WA Middle School Rankings on SchoolDigger, an independent website which rates schools based solely upon their performance on state standardized tests.

It takes our whole Sedgwick Community to achieve a goal like this, and with your continued support, we have no doubt that we can achieve a National Blue Ribbon this spring!  For more details, take a look at our National Blue Ribbon Status Report which includes links to comparable middle schools as well as SchoolDigger’s data (on last slide).

Membership: Our PTSA is healthy because of our strong membership.  You can become a member for only $10.  To learn more about how you can be involved, visit our PTSA website.

Reflections Contest: Congratulations to JSMS 7th Grader, Cella Ritter, whose short film, Be a Light, took 3rd place at this year’s Reflections state competition!  The theme for next year’s Reflections contest is “I am hopeful because…”  If you are interested in learning more and possibly submitting an entry for next year’s contest, click on this link for details.

Attendance Matters
Did you know?  By 6th grade, absenteeism is one of three signs that a student may drop out of high school, and by 9th grade, attendance is a better predictor of graduation rates than 8th grade test scores.  Statistically-speaking, students should miss no more than 9 days of school each year to stay engaged, successful and on track to graduate. 

It may come as a surprise, but in Washington State, starting at 8 years of age, students are responsible for getting to school; parents are only required to provide an alarm clock and a bus route or transportation.  Seven unexcused absences within a 30-day period or 15 within a full year requires that schools file a court petition.  All absences should be cleared within 48 hours (via phone, email, or ParentSquare) and cannot be cleared after two weeks.  Keep in mind that excused absences may require a note from a medical professional. 

School Entry
On school days, our doors open to students at 7:30 (8:15 on late start Wednesdays).

Student Drop-Off and Pick-Up
If you plan to drop-off or pick-up your student in a personal vehicle, please follow the directional signs upon entering school property.  Here are the basics:

  1. Turn RIGHT upon entering the school.
  2. You may drop-off or pick-up your student in the roundabout OR the parking lot.
  3. If you are dropping off, picking up, or planning to park in the parking lot, USE THE THRU LANE ON THE RIGHT.
  4. If you are dropping off or picking up in the roundabout, USE THE LEFT LANE UPON ENTERING, THEN MOVE OVER TO THE CURB WHEN TURNING INTO THE ROUNDABOUT.

Most importantly, DO NOT BLOCK TRAFFIC IN THE RIGHT-HAND THRU LANE.  Instead, continue into the parking lot to drop-off or pick-up.  If you park in the lot at the end of the day, please be aware that you will be blocked in until around 2:50 pm.

Celebrations and Thanks

  • Congratulations to this week’s Caught Being a General student winners: Kaiser Zusy (6th), Noah Maupin (7th), Brayden Haarstad (8th)!
  • Thank you to our staff and parent volunteers who attended this year’s Farm Days event.  Check out these photos of our kids!
  • Thank you to everyone who attended last week’s 7th grade Energy Expo.  It’s amazing what our kids are researching and creating!
  • Congratulations to our students and staff for finishing state testing! We are looking forward to official results in the fall.
  • Congratulations to our spring sports athletes and coaches on fun and successful seasons!

Quote of the Week
"No duty is more urgent than that of returning thanks.” – Saint Ambrose

Stay Connected
We love keeping in touch with our families!  Here are some ways to stay up-to-date on important information and events throughout the year:

Links to Important Resources
JSMS Website
General Guide
Skyward Family/Student Access



Dan Novick




John Sedgwick Middle School

8995 SE Sedgwick Rd.

Port Orchard, WA  98366


Office: 360.874.6090

Fax: 360.874.6430


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