July 25, 2011
Dear Johnston Middle School Community,
As the new incoming principal of Johnston Middle School, I could not be more honored than to recognize so many of the amazing accomplishments of the 2010-2011 Johnston Greyhounds! I am so proud to be your new principal and look forward to continuing the traditions and successes of the school! I know that with your continued support and efforts Greyhounds will reach even higher levels of success!
The 2010-2011 school year was an amazing year for students, staff and families of Johnston Middle School. After the exciting 50th year accomplishments everyone wondered, what next and where could we possibly go from here? As always the families, students and staff went above and beyond to accomplish truly remarkable feats and deeds. Our students once again posted hearty gains on the TAKS test. Once again 94% of our students met the standard for TAKS reading school-wide, and 89% met the standard for math school-wide. 96% of our eighth grade students met the standard for social studies and 97% of our seventh grade students met the standard for writing. In only the fourth year science has counted in the accountability system, 88% of our 8th graders met the standard, one of the higher scores in all of HISD. Of the 25 academic categories used by the Texas Education Agency (TEA) to assign accountability ratings, our students performed at the Exemplary level in 18 areas with the other 7 areas being Recognized. The number of Johnston Middle School students performing significantly above the minimum standard level on TAKS in the 2010-2011 school year also showed the hard work of students, the excellence in learning taking place and the outstanding efforts of our teaching staff. The number of Greyhounds achieving commended status increased in many of our tested areas with noteworthy growth in Reading school-wide, 6th Grade Mathematics, and Mathematics school-wide to name a few! Additionally, once again a majority of Johnston Middle School students scored above the average on the Stanford test in comparison to their peers across the country! All of this shows just how amazing Johnston Middle School really is and that learning is our primary purpose! Other highlights from the 2010-2011 school year include:
- JMS earned a TEA preliminary rating of Recognized.
- JMS received the Blue Ribbon Award, the highest honor that can be bestowed upon an American school.
- Johnston Middle School continues its status as an International Spanish Academy, a prestigious designation given out by the Kingdom of Spain.
- Johnston MS families in August will be hosting students from Chiba, Japan and showing the students all that the Houston area and Johnston have to offer
- JMS was designated a " NO Place for Hate" school for the tenth consecutive year by the Anti-Defamation League
- The Advanced Orchestra received UIL Superior ratings for the 26th consecutive year, and the JMS Intermediate orchestra earned straight Superior ratings as well
- The Advanced Orchestra is one of 6 finalist being considered by the Texas Music Educators Association as a candidate for Texas Middle School Honor Orchestra
- National Orchestra Honors Project names JMS a National winner
- 20 JMS Choir students advanced to the Region 23 Honor Choirs which represents most of the Houston area including Katy, 11% of the total choir were JMS Greyhounds
- Varsity Tenor-Bass and Varsity Mixed Choirs received Sweepstakes at UIL Concert and Sight-Reading evaluations with our Non-Varsity Treble and Varsity Treble choirs receiving Excellent recognitions
- JMS Choir students also brought home 85 "Superior" medals from Solo and Ensemble competition with 8 Outstanding Musician Awards
- Our 8th cohort of students took the Spanish Advanced Placement (AP) exam. We expect these 28 students to receive high school and college credit when the results are posted later in July
- Artwork of Jordyn Williams was recognized by HISD by being selected as the Holiday Greeting Card for the district
- Johnston Middle School Broadcast Journalism students competed at JEA/NSPA High School Journalism competition winning Gold, Silver and Bronze recognitions, the only Texas Middle School to win awards
- JMS Broadcast Journalism also took honors at the American Association of School Librarians Student Video Contest being the Overall Middle School winner
- The Broadcast Journalism students also won Superior and Excellent recognitions at the National Middle School Competition
- Our Piano students brought home 58 Superior ratings and 4 Excellent ratings
- The JMS Advanced Production Company won 1st place at One Act Play District finals
- Rob Brown, 7th grader, won BEST ACTOR at both Zone and District One Act Play evaluations and competitions
- 10 JMS Theatre 8th grade students were accepted into the HSPVA Theatre Department for Fall 2011
- JMS Greyhound student Elizabeth Martinsen, with her performance of "Mail and Jail," advanced to the National History Fair in Washington D.C. where she won!!high school
- JMS Band dominated HISD All City Band with 30 of our students making the band
- Johnston's Name That Book contest team placed 2nd in the district competition having read more than 3 million pages
- 87 seventh grade students qualified to take the Duke TIP evaluation with 9 students qualifying for State Recognition, 1 qualifying for Grand Recognition, 7 qualifying for Academy for Summer Studies and 3 qualified for Center for Summer Studies
- Johnston Middle School hosted Shannon Walker Day honoring NASA and our school's connection to science and NASA
- KickStart students earned belts in the fall and spring belt ceremonies. 3 JMS students qualified for the state and summer tournaments with Uyiosa Elegon winning the State Championship in Kata, also representing JMS were Samaya Allen and Jamere Crawford
- JMS students performed very well at the KickStart Summer Tournament with six 1st Place awards, four 2nd Place awards and four 3rd Place awards, all students that participated in the summer tournament won medals which is truly outstanding
- The JMS Girl's UIL Soccer team tied for 1st place in their zone
Please note that I have enclosed a 2011-2012 bell schedule. Note that the dismissal time remains at 3:47. Our early dismissal calendar has changed and is also included in the following pages. I want to take this opportunity to remind all returning Johnston Middle School students to complete the assigned book you were to read and the assignment that came with the book! It is vitally important that all students, whether new or returning, engage in reading and math over the summer break. We want our students to return in August ready to go for the 2011-2012 school year!
Many students were asking me about the dress code for the 2011-2012 school year when I was visiting campus the last two days before the break. I want to thank all of you for your welcoming reception and courteousness. The Dress Code for the 2011-2012 school year will remain the same. Please see the attachment for more information. Please note that all outer shirts MUST be purchased from the PTO. On Fridays, students will be allowed to wear club shirts or a shirt purchased from the PTO.
Due to the renovation of classrooms and the bond work occurring during the summer and ongoing into the fall semester, we will be adjusting to quite a few new routines and some new obstacles for students and staff. One major change is the distinct possibility our new student lockers will not be installed prior to the first 6 weeks of school. With this reality staring us in the face, we have had to make the following adjustments:
- There will be no7th or 8th grade orientations in August.
- No lockers to issue
- No IDs made before start of school
- No textbooks to issue
- Students will be REQUIRED to CARRY a MESH backpack during the school day
- No lockers, students have to carry materials for the day
- Smaller than regular backpacks and will be sold at school
- Crowded hallways require the need for a small backpack
- The mesh duffle backpack being sold at JMS will be inexpensive, around $7 - $10, more details coming soon
- We will have approximately 20 classes meeting in Temporary Buildings at the start of the school year
- Mesh backpacks will be available at Johnston for purchase
I know that many of you will be surprised by those last two items, but due to the construction and major building renovations, many of the things to which we have become accustomed are changing, at least for a part of the school year. In discussing with the administrative team, teachers and PTO members, the solutions above seemed the best alternatives for the start of the school year. I know you will join me in being patient during the final stages of our renovation and helping everyone, students, parents, faculty and community members adjust to all of the changes.
Once again let me say how honored I am to be a Johnston Greyhound! I look forward to meeting with you soon and being a part of the community of Johnston.
On behalf of all of us at Johnston Middle School, I want to wish all of you a happy, safe and restful summer!
Wenden Sanders, Principal
Johnston Middle School