Smithsburg Middle School

August 20, 2006

68 N. Main St.

Principal: Deidre Shumaker

Phone: 301-766-8353

Fax: 301-824-5147

Web site:

Start time: 8:45 a.m.

Dismissal: 3:30 p.m.

Grades: 6-8

Date of construction: 1976

Age of building: 30 years


Size of building: 108,975 square feet

State-rated capacity: 847

Projected 2006-07 enrollment: 674

From the principal

Q. What are the biggest challenges this year?

A. The biggest challenge we will face at Smithsburg Middle is student achievement. While many of our students are meeting the state standards for proficiency, we still have some students who have not yet reached that mark. We need to find alternative ways of providing instruction so those students will be able to grasp the material and move to grade-level performance in reading and math.

Q. What are your goals for the school year?

A. Our goals are to have 90 percent of our students meet the proficiency standard on Maryland State Tests; to decrease the number of student referrals for disciplinary reasons by 10 percent; and to maintain our school attendance at 96.6 percent or better.

Q. What will help ensure a successful school year?

A. Students need to come to school ready to learn. This might mean bringing needed materials every day. It might mean taking prescribed medications consistently so students feel well and can do their best. It might mean getting to school on time every day so instruction and learning are not interrupted and connections for learning can be made.

Q. What message would you like to send as the school year begins?

A. The most important message for parents is to be involved in their children's learning. Parents can check for homework each night and make sure all materials for the next day are in the backpack and ready to go. We hope they will communicate with teachers when they have questions or concerns so small issues don't become big ones. If parents have time, they can be active in the PTSA, which is looking for people interested in serving as officers. Our PTSA has been an active force at SMS in supporting students and learning, and we hope to see it continue to be strong.

Q. What special projects will occur during the school year?

A. We have no special projects going on this year. We want to concentrate on doing the best job we can to help students learn so they can meet the high expectations established by the county and state, and be successful as they further their education in high school and beyond.

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