The General Gist

Welcome to the General Gist, a weekly communication to John Sedgwick Middle School families and community members.  The General Gist for the week beginning Monday, April 25, 2019:

Happy Monday!

During our last Unity Council meeting, we talked about the need to refamiliarize ourselves with the concept of middle school as opposed to junior high.  Why?  We’re almost two years into our transition, and the last time we had an in-depth discussion on middle schools, it was based upon theory.  Now, it’s our reality, and while some of us are eating it up, others are wondering, “What in the world did I get myself into?”  It’s one thing to understand the differences between junior high and middle school in terms of organization and support, it’s quite another to understand why they must be different.  It all starts with our clientele…


According to David Vawter, an assistant professor at Winthrop University, in his article Mining the Middle School Mind, “Middle school students are walking dichotomies. They can talk about world peace and then hit the kid next to them. They can recycle to ease global warming only to leave the cafeteria a mess. Why? Well, scientifically, it is because their brains do not work. When people look at middle school students, they can plainly see evidence of physical maturity. Some students look as if they could be in high school while other students look as if they snuck in from the elementary school. Although people can see the difference in physical maturity, they cannot see the difference in mental maturity. Between the ages of 11 and 15, the brain destroys more than 20% of all previously built connections. The brain is, essentially, pruning itself. The connections and synapses patterns are so intertwined that some of the previous skills, memories, and learning are impacted. Sometimes students just cannot access the part of the brain they want. It is possible that a connection that was present yesterday, or even a few moments ago, is either not working or is no longer in existence. The emotional brain develops differently in adolescence. One can advance the cognitive function of the brain, but the emotional brain does not necessarily advance with intelligence. The most important attribute middle school teachers and administrators can have is an understanding of preadolescents, mixed with a dose of patience. That is because middle school students do not know why their brains do not work. They lose things, they forget to turn in assignments, and they can get sidetracked walking to their next class.”

Hit the nail on the head?  Read the whole article.

State Testing:
Testing for 8th graders continues this week with the Smarter Balanced ELA Performance Task.  Our schedule is the same as last week (1, 3, 5 on Monday and Tuesday; 2, 4, 6 on Wednesday and Thursday). 

Presidential Academic Awards Celebration:
This Tuesday, April 23, we will celebrate over 360 of our students who made this year’s Honor Roll with a 3.2 GPA or higher.  That’s so many students, we will have to use the gym for the event which will run from 6:30-7:30 pm.  8th grade students will receive a certificate and a medallion.  6th and 7th grade students will receive certificates.  Cake and refreshments will also be served.

Field Trips:
We are delighted that all three grade levels have been able to schedule “class field trips” this year!  Grade level leaders, along with other teachers and paras have done a phenomenal job organizing rich and engaging experiences for our students. If you are interested in chaperoning, please complete a volunteer form and return it to the main office with a copy of your driver’s license.

STEAM:Candace Barich and Brad Lantz are excited to announce Sedgwick’s first ever Cardboard Boat Competition!  They have reserved the SKHS pool for May 29 from 4-6 pm.  Students will build boats out of cardboard and duct tape…nothing else can be used. The boats can hold 1 or 2 people maximum, and students can bring their own paddles.  Prizes will be awarded for fastest time and most aesthetically pleasing boats.  I’m sure we can arrange for a few staff members to test the “sea-worthiness” of the boats

We are happy to offer several clubs for students to pursue or grow their interests.  Below are a list of clubs that meet each week.  Please note that Art Club is now meeting every Tuesday afternoon as well as Literature Club every Wednesday afternoon  







Bible Club

Mrs. Million



Flight & Space Club

Mrs. Crabtree

2nd and 4th Tuesday

2:45 – 4:30



Ms. Benesh

2:55 – 3:55



Ms. Benesh

2:55 – 3:55


Photography Club

Mr. Durham

3:00 – 4:00


Diversity Club

Ms. Benesh

2:55 – 4:00


Art Club

Ms. Drew &

Mr. Moses
3:00 – 4:00


STEAM & Tech Club

Mrs. Barich-Tetz & Mr. Lantz

1st and 3rd Wednesdays

3:00 – 4:00





Anime Club

Ms. Chalmers

1st and 3rd Monday
2:45 - 3:45

Portable 3

Jazz Band/Choir

Mr. Schroeder



 Literature Club
Ms. Wein
3:00 - 4:15
Portable 4



  • Celebrations and Thanks:

    • Thank you to Candace Barich and our STEAM Team for continuing to raise the bar on our STEAMworks event every year!
    • Thank you to our PTSA for organizing another Sedgwick Flower Bed Beautification party this weekend!
    • Thank you to our WEB students for sponsoring Monday’s Taproot Theatre: The Social Networth assembly!
    • Thank you to Anna Munson and our ELA teachers for participating in ongoing Intervention training.
    • Congratulations to our 22 students who are headed to the State National History Day Competition!  See attached list: History Day Finalists 2019.docx ​​​​​​​


    Quote of the Week:

    “Snow and adolescence are the only problems that disappear if you ignore them long enough.” – Earl Wilson

    One Team…One Mission

    Your JSMS Admin Team

This Week’s Events:
Apr. 22-26: Counselors Visit Feeder Elementaries
Tuesday, Apr. 23: IM Spring Sports Practices Start (Flag Football and Volleyball), 2:45 pm
Tuesday, Apr. 23: EMS Team Meeting, Library, 7:30 am
Tuesday, Apr. 23: Fire Drill/Evacuation & Circle of 9 Team Activation, 1:30 pm (end of 5th period)
Tuesday, Apr. 23: Presidential Academic Awards, Gym or Commons, 6:30-7:30 pm
Wednesday, Apr. 24: Cross Country Jamboree, Hawkins Middle School, 3:30 pm
Wednesday, Apr. 24: Masonic Educator of the Year Awards Night, Masonic Lodge, 6 pm
*Thursday, Apr. 25: SKEA/Nuts & Bolts, Library, 7:15 am
Friday, Apr. 26: JV Football Jamboree, SKHS, 4-6 pm (CANCELLED)
Saturday, Apr. 27: Varsity Football Jamboree, SKHS, 11 am-1 pm

Events on the Horizon (Tentative):
Apr. 30: Volleyball @ Ridgetop, 3:30 pm
Apr. 30: IM Volleyball vs. CH and MW, 3:15 pm
Apr. 30: IM Football @ CH, 3:15 pm
May 1: Varsity Football @ CH, 3:30 pm
May 1: Cross Country vs. CH and MW @ Jackson Park, 3:30 pm
May 2: JV Football @ Mountain View, 3:30 pm
May 2: Volleyball vs. CK, 3:30 pm
May 3: Spring Pictures, 8th Grade Panoramic, Spring Sports Pictures
May 6-10: PTSA Staff Appreciation Week
May 10: Spring Dance, Commons and Gym, 3-5 pm
May 7: IM Football vs. MW, 3:15 pm
May 7: Volleyball vs. Curtis, 3:30 pm
May 8: Varsity Football vs. CK, 3:30 pm
*May 9: Unity Council, Library, 7-8 am
May 9: IM Football vs. CH, 3:15 pm
May 9: JV Football @ CH, 3:30 pm
May 9: Volleyball @ MW, 3:30 pm
May 9: IM Volleyball @ CH, 3:15 pm
*May 14: Guiding Coalition, Library, 3:15-5 pm
May 16: STEAM Team Meeting, A135, 7:15-7:45 am
May 16: IM Football @ MW, 3:15 pm
May 17: AVID Site Team Meeting, Conference Room, 7:15 am
May 21: F.A.R.M. Days, Kitsap County Fairgrounds, 9 am – 12:30 pm
May 27-June 5: ASB Campaigns
*May 29: Carboard Boat Competition, SKHS Pool, 4-6 pm
*May 30: 8th Grade Field Trip, Galaxy Theater, TBA
*June 3-5: Spirit Squad Tryouts, Gym, 2:50-5pm
June 6: ASB Speeches and Elections, 6th Period Classes (PM Assembly Schedule)
June 6: WEB Field Trip, T Mobile Field, All Day
June 7: AVID Site Team Meeting, Conference Room, 7:15 am
June 7: 5th Grade Visit
June 14: 8th Grade Dance
June 17: 8th Grade Wild Waves, 6th & 7th Grade Carnival
June 18: Talent Show and Recognition Assembly, Gym, 8:10 am
June 18: Last Day of School

*New events added to this week’s message. 

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