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vmsa


updated 4/2015
Header1
logo revised
   Driving Directions:
Take Exit #19 off Interstate 81.
From the north, turn left at the end of the ramp onto Rt. 11
From the south, turn right at end of ramp onto Rt. 11.
Keep straight at the traffic light and stay on Rt. 58 (Jeb Stuart Hwy.)
Travel approximately 8 miles making a right turn onto Rt. 757 (Government Rd.)
                                  Damascus Middle School will be on the right.                        
SpringPic
                                        
School Safety

All visitors to DMS are required to use the front
entrance to the
building and must report to the
school
office upon entering. A video/buzzer
entrance system is used, and all visitors
must identify themselves and the reason for
their visit.
                            
                                                news              calendar                     

  at the exciting events ahead!



May 21............7th Grade Girls to River's Way
May 22............Yearbook Distribution - 6th-12:23 p.m., 7th-1:12 p.m., 8th-2:30 p.m.
May 25............Memorial Day - Schools Closed
May 26............6th Grade to Bass Pro - 8:45 a.m.
May 26............8th Grade Class Night - 6:30 p.m.
May 27............6th Grade Music Program - 12:23 p.m.
May 27............8th Grade to VHCC/Outback Steakhouse/Bristol Compressors
May 28............Awards Assembly - 6th-8:45 a.m., 7th-10:00 a.m.
May 28............Last Day of School - 2-hr. Early Dismissal
        flu1    Mount Rogers Health District Influenza Letter    flu2



Jr. Washington County Community Scholars Program Flyer

Support Our School with: 
We have collected over 1500 Box Tops. 
Thank you for your support of this program. 
Please continue to send your Box Tops
to school. 


     boxtops 

Just look for pink Box Tops on products, clip them,
tape or glue them to the collection sheet and send
to school.
For more information on the BTFE program, including a list of participating products and
our school’s progress,  click on the Box Tops
logo above.           

 FC      

Click on the logo above to register your Food
City Value Card for Damascus Middle School. 

Or, at the checkout counter, just give the DMS number                           40890.
                          
  

student spotlight

Art
                                        winners
"Damascus Middle School Students
Have Artwork Published"

Four Damascus Middle School students will have their artwork published in the 2015-2016 Washington County Schools Calendar & Handbook!  In addition to seventh-grade Maddie M., who won the cover contest, seventh-grader Kristen C. and eighth-graders Ben H. and Shawn M. received Honorable Mention for their artwork, which will be included within the calendar.  Kristen’s artwork included a variety of pictures representing the academics and athletics of the four county high schools; Ben’s artwork was of brightly colored light bulbs encouraging us to “Shine Bright;” and Shawn’s picture of a lighthouse included the slogan, “Watch us Shine!”  We look forward to seeing these in the calendar in August! 

Damascus Middle School honored our mothers on Friday, May 8 with an art show, coordinated by art teacher Ms. Jennifer Smith, and “Muffins for Mom,” sponsored by our cafeteria staff.   Through- out the weeks leading up to this event, students were encouraged to show mom how much they care by inviting her to join them at DMS for breakfast.  The cafeteria staff was pleased to welcome about 20 moms for a delicious selection of blueberry, banana, apple, chocolate chip, and peanut butter and jelly muffins!  After breakfast, moms were able to browse the art exhibit set up in the main hallway.  Hopefully, these moms received an early start to their Mother’s Day pampering!   

Muffins
"Damascus Middle School Honors
Moms for Mother's Day"




JWCCS
"Damascus Middle School Celebrates
Junior Washington County
Community Scholars
"

Forty-eight students from Damascus Middle School were recognized as Junior Washington County Community Scholars for their community service, scholarship, attendance, and citizenship on Friday, May 1 with a luncheon at Golden Corral.  These students were as follows:  Jessica B., Brady B., Carson B., Caleb C., Bryce C., Kristen C., Lukas C., Megan D., Stacy D., Will F., Claudia F., Ethan G., Montana G., Josh H., Ryland H., Kay Leigh H., Justin H., Layton H., Cody H., Laura H., Jason J., Cortlyn K., Jordan K., Audra L., Austin L., Chandler L., Abigail M., Maddie M., Nathan M., Parker N., Rebecca P., Levi P., Makenzie P., Kealey R., Dashaun R., Madison R., Seth S., Rachel S., Marissa S., Grayson S., Chase T., Eric T., Noah T., Dylan T., Hunter T., Alexis T., Drew W., and Anna-Blake W.  After a delicious lunch, guest speaker Coach Steve Wright talked with the students about the importance of both attitude and effort in whatever they set out to do in life.  Using examples from the life of Dan Gable, former three-time Iowa state champion in wrestling (among other significant wrestling and coaching accomplishments) who faced significant battles and overcame them with his attitude and effort, Coach Wright encouraged the students to establish habits today that will impact the rest of their lives.  These students have certainly taken a step toward following Wright’s advice to “do everything the best you can” with their being named as Junior Washington County Community Scholars! 

The April Students of Character at Damascus Middle School were each selected for “being a leader.”  Leadership is vital in any organization, and the following individuals demonstrate the ability to guide their peers in positive ways, both in and out of the classroom:  Logan S., Stacy D., Kaiden F., Blaize C., Abbey C., Austin B., Rachel S., Kenzie P., Hannah D., Caleb C., Jason J., and Gracie S.  Some of these students lead others in a quiet way through simply living a life others should follow, and some of these students lead others through constantly encouraging them to do the right thing.  Damascus Middle School is proud of each of these student leaders!

April
"Damascus Middle School
Recognizes Student Leaders"


chorusrocks
"Damascus Middle School
Sixth Grade Chorus Rocks"

Students in Mrs. Sue Spirup’s fifth Chorus Exploratory class explored music related to the time period they have been studying in history.  They learned that the post-World War II period was a patriotic time, with many songs like “The Star-Spangled Banner,” “My County Tis of Thee,” and “God Bless America” ringing out across the land.  As our nation entered a time of peace, people had more time for leisure activities, like seeing shows on Broadway, as we hear in “Give My Regards to Broadway,” and watching baseball games, as we celebrate in “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.”  Of course, one of the most exciting things to happen during this time was that “Rock and Roll [was] Here to Stay.”  Students, both the performers (including Austin A., Brady B., Hayley B., Lukas C., Chance G., Kendel H., Samantha J., Thomas R., Seth S., and Grayson S.) and the audience really enjoyed this performance! Saxophone and Air Guitar “players” were Seth S., Grayson S., Brady B., and Thomas R.!  


Damascus Middle School seventh-grader Maddie M. is 
the 2015-2016 School Calendar and Handbook Cover Art Contest Winner! Maddie’s artwork was selected as the winner from over 300 entries submitted.  She represented students from each county high school in her illustration of an artist, a cheerleader, a football player, a musician, a scholar, and others riding on a bright yellow school bus driven by a smiling driver.  Written on the side of the bus was “Driving our schools to success,” something each administrator, teacher, staff member, parent, and student in Washington County should strive to do each day!  With more than 11,000 copies of the Washington County School Calendar and Handbook printed to be distributed throughout the county, Maddie’s artwork will be enjoyed by a wide audience! 

Maddie
"Damascus Middle School Student
Wins County School Calendar Contest
"


Exhibit
"Damascus Middle School Artists Have Exhibit
at Damascus Branch Library"

Several Damascus Middle School artists have had their work selected to be displayed at the Damascus Public Library.  This is an exciting exhibit for the students, as the public is encouraged to vote for their favorite pieces of art!  Sixth-grade artists are as follows:  Will F., Josh H., Hunter N., Aspen P., Bethany S., Dylan T., and Joshua W.  Representing the seventh grade are the following: Liyah F., Drake G., Beth G., Layton H., and Alexis T.  Eighth-grade artists are as follows: Laken B., Ethan G., Taylor J., Taylor M., Gracie S., and Jacob W.  Damascus Middle School art teacher Ms. Jennifer Smith is very proud of these students and encourages everyone to take a trip to the Damascus Public Library to vote for your favorite! 

Damascus Middle School eighth-grader Gracie S. recently learned that she has qualified for the AQHYA (American Quarter Horse Youth Association) World Championship Show to be held in Oklahoma City during the summer!  To earn points, youth must compete successfully in horse shows throughout the year, and Gracie has been busy.  She has competed in ten horse shows in a variety of locations, including Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia, since she started showing horses less than a year ago.  Working with her horse Tiny Todd is just something Gracie loves doing, and she states, “My favorite thing about showing horses is the joy of the experience.”  Her goals for the future involve horses, and based on her current work with Tiny Todd, she will be very successful! 

Gracie2
"Damascus Middle School's Gracie S. qualifies for World Show"

GATE amish trip
"DMS GATE Students Travel to Amish Country"

Recently, Damascus Middle School students in the Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) Program traveled to Lancaster, Pennsylvania to visit Amish Country.  Throughout this school year, students have prepared for this trip by completing four units about the Amish way of life.  While in Pennsylvania, they visited an Amish dairy farm, an Amish home, and had a presentation on their way of life from an Amish family.  The students also visited the Sight & Sound Theatre, saw two productions of Amish plays, ate lots of Amish food, and played at the Spooky Nook Sports Center, which happens to be the largest indoor sports complex in North America.  This trip provided our GATE students with a valuable extension of their learning, in addition to a wonderful time!  Damascus Middle School's GATE sponsor is Mrs. Rhonda Mossholder.

Students in Mrs. Blackburn’s seventh-grade English classes at Damascus Middle School recently completed research projects about Greek mythology.  After choosing his/her topic and conducting research, each student made a shield, designed a PowerPoint, wrote a paper, or created another form of visual representation to present his/her findings.  Students learned a lot about Greek mythology from their research, including some strange and unusual facts about the relationships between gods, goddesses, and humans!  Although mythology may have started out as “all Greek to” these seventh-graders, after careful research, they each have a new understanding. Poseidon’s trident, Medusa’s slithering hair, and the Minotaur’s labyrinth are just a few of these wonderful projects on display in the library!


Greek"It's (not) All Greek to DMS Seventh Graders"


FFA
"DMS FFA Continues to Succeed"

Congratulations to the Damascus Middle School Future Farmers of America (FFA) Small Animal Care Team, composed of the following students: Megan D., Hunter T., Mary-Kate C., and Taylor M.!  On Thursday, March 26, these four competitors had to complete a written test, answer five skill questions, and identify forty different types of small animal breeds and equipment, and they placed first against teams representing E.B. Stanley and Wallace Middle Schools.  Top High Individuals were Taylor M., third high individual and Mary-Kate C., first high individual.  Then, on Friday, April 10, they competed at the area level with only three team members, due to sickness. Even with only Megan, Hunter, and Mary-Kate participating, the team placed first against teams from Carroll County Intermediate, E.B. Stanley Middle School, Floyd County Middle School, and Wallace Middle School.  In addition to their impressive team finish, Megan placed third high individual, Hunter places second high individual, and Mary-Kate placed first high individual.  Congratulations to the team and to the team's sponsor, Mrs. Mary K. Rhudy.           

    

Students in Mrs. Renee Sanders’ first core English class at Damascus Middle School recently won Achieve3000’s Read to Succeed Contest for their successful participation in TeenBiz activities during the contest period!  Throughout the year, students use TeenBiz, an online program to help develop reading comprehension, fluency, writing proficiency, and vocabulary development.  In order to win the contest, students had to not only complete the most lessons, but also score at 85% or higher on the activities.  In recognition of this accomplishment, Achieve3000 is sending Mrs. Sanders a gift card for $30 to treat her students to a celebration!  These students will not only be rewarded for their hard work with a treat but also with “remarkable reading gains!”  


Sanders 1st core
"Sixth-Grade Students win National Contest"


Bass
"Outdoor Club visits Bass Pro Shop"

The following members of the Damascus Middle School Outdoor Club, sponsored by Coach Michael Ratlifff and teacher Mr. Shannon Markham, traveled to Bass Pro Shop on Wednesday, April 1: Cole B., Brandy B., Randall B., Greg F. Josh F., Chase J., Chandler L., Kenzie P., Brandon P., Dylan R., Josh R., Joseph S., DJ T., Eric T., Noah T., Rylee T.,  and Cade W.  After a store tour where they practiced turkey calls and learned about the fish in the indoor aquarium, the students were excited to do some fishing in the outdoor pond!  Having spent some time in both club meetings and Physical Education classes learning about fly fishing with Coach Ratliff, several students used fly rods provided by a grant from the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.  Although every student enjoyed his/her time fishing, only Kenzie P. and Dylan R. had “fisherman’s luck.”  The Outdoor Club would like to express appreciation to Ms. Debbie Osborne and the Bass Pro Shop staff for such an educational and enjoyable field trip! 

Ms. Sandy Dutemple, chair of the Virginia Schools to Watch program, visited Damascus Middle School on Thursday, April 9 to present the students, faculty, and staff with a certificate re-designating Damascus Middle School as a "School to Watch." After presenting the award, Ms. Dutemple addressed the students, thanking them for “being nice, as nice gets a person a long way,” and focused on the importance of this trait in future success in life.  Dr. Brian Ratliff, superintendent of Washington County Schools, and Mr. Tom Musick, our School Board representative, also spoke about the students’ role in achieving this honor.  Mrs. Dixie Hunter, principal, and our Schools to Watch Committee, composed of Mrs. Cindy Brewer, chairperson, Mrs. Catherine Baker, Mrs. Wendy Cole, Mrs. Jane Martin, and Ms. Katherine Wright planned some special things to reward the students, including extended recess time and a cupcake and Kool-Aid after lunch.  The students also received a Yoo-hoo at the end of the day Friday to show them that “Yoo-hoo, we’re proud of you!” Damascus Middle School would like to thank the Damascus Food City for providing cupcakes, balloons, and Yoo-hoos to help us celebrate!



STW
                                            celebrate
"DMS Celebrates re-designation as a
School to Watch"




Ashley
"Celebrating Youth Art Month"

Damascus Middle School art teacher Ms. Jennifer Smith and her art students celebrated Youth Art Month with a variety of activities. Sixth-grade students created mini-masterpieces for teachers to wear with their identification badges. Seventh-graders made a photo collage focusing on the theme “Words Hurt: We are all Human,” which was on display in the main office throughout the month. Eighth-graders completed a face study activity, in which they took a photograph of a teacher, halved it, and drew the other half. These exceptionally-done portraits were displayed on the bulletin board in the school’s main hallway. Artist quotes have also been on the school announcements each day. In addition to these projects featured at DMS, select art students’ work has been on display at the Washington County School Board Office. These students are as follows: Laken B., Ashley C., Liyah F., Ethan G., Ben H., and Gracie S. Congratulations to eighth-grade student Ashley C., whose colorful watercolor painting of an eye was chosen as the middle school winner of the Washington County School Board Association Art Contest. Her art will represent Washington County in the Virginia School Boards Association Art Contest and be judged at the state level!

Members of the Damascus Middle School Student Council Association (SCA) traveled to Abingdon Manor on March 24.  Many of the residents there do not have visitors very often, so the students’ visit was truly a treat!  The SCA members made each resident a card and spent time talking with each person about his/her life and interests.  One resident provided as much entertainment for the students as they did for her, telling jokes, dancing, and singing.  One student reflected, “The residents were really sweet and seemed happy to see us.” SCA sponsors Mrs. Amy Caywood and Mrs. Lisa Blackburn scheduled this trip as a form of community outreach, and the SCA members certainly benefited as much as the residents!

SCA trip
"SCA Students Visit Abingdon Manor"



career
"Learning About Career Choices"

Throughout the month of March, students at Damascus Middle School had opportunities to learn about the career choices that are available to them.  On Thursday, March 12, Mrs. Jackie Morris, our Career Coach and Career Investigations Teacher, organized a College and Career Night for students and their families to eat delicious barbeque (prepared by In the Country and funded by the VHCC Foundation) and hear about options for their future.  During the meeting, Mr. B.K. Walker, guidance counselor, and Mr. Bo Catron, VHCC Career Coach, from Holston High School talked with the students about course offerings in high school, and Mr. Brian Johnson shared the many career paths that may be explored at the Washington County Career and Technical School.  During the following week, eighth-grade students traveled to the Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center to gain more knowledge about careers.  Finally, on Friday, March 27, students heard about a variety of professions from parents and community members on Career Day, coordinated by Mrs. Morris.  Hopefully, each DMS student will use this wealth of information to make good choices about the career he/she will pursue in the future!

Damascus Middle School recognized Digital Learning Day on Friday, March 13 with a variety of uses of technology in the building. Many students began their day by casting their vote for their favorite item on the breakfast menu using Poll Everywhere, an online survey, and the winner is…the chicken biscuit!  From podcasts, to interactive activities using the SMARTBOARD, to Google Earth, teachers presented lessons using technology.  From planning a trip in Career Investigations, to creating a brochure in AgriScience, to printing 3-dimensional items in Technology, to designing a PowerPoint presentation in Chorus, to making a cartoon using PowToons in Science, to filming a Claymation video in Art, students learned material using technology throughout the day.  Although Digital Learning Day is one day set aside to focus on the uses of technology in education, we strive to utilize technology in some way every day throughout the school year!      



DLday
"Students Participating in Digital Learning Day"
FEBSOM
"Recognizing Students Who Learn From Others"

Most successful people do not achieve their success without the assistance and/or encouragement of others.  In fact, the willingness to learn from others is a character trait that contributes to lifelong achievement.  Damascus Middle School recently recognized the following students for their choice to learn from others in their lives:  Jesse F., Alex G., Alexis H., Samantha J., Savannah M., Skyler M., Hunter N., Maggie O., Dylan R., Thomas R., Johnny R., and Jacob W.  These students consider certain people in their lives as mentors.  One student says, “My dad [is my mentor] because he is always nice” and another student looks up to Ms. Doss because from Ms. Doss she has learned “to accept other things.”  Congratulations to each of these students!


Since research shows that students perform better academically if they eat a healthy breakfast, the Damascus Middle School cafeteria staff encouraged students to “make the grade with school breakfast” during National School Breakfast Week, March 2-6.  With two new options on the breakfast line plus an opportunity to win prizes throughout the week, eating breakfast was very tempting!  Students who ate breakfast earned an “A” beside their names on the bulletin board and were put into a drawing for a six grand prizes at the end of the week.  In addition, the cafeteria ladies gave out treats like sherbet and whole-grain cookies for other activities students participated in throughout the week.  Winners of the big prizes were Elizabeth H. and Christopher R., who won Cavs sunglasses, and David A., Sierra G., Coltin P., and Daniel V., who each won a $5 gift card to McDonald’s! 


Breakf
" School Cafeteria Celebrates
National School Breakfast Week!"



Chorus4

"Sixth-Grade Chorus Exploratory Class Sings about “Hard Times!”


Students in Mrs. Sue Spirup’s fourth Chorus Exploratory class sang about “Hard Times” in their culminating performance on Tuesday, March 3!  Mrs. Spirup continues to follow the social studies curriculum with songs from or about the time period which the students are studying with Mr. Joe Preston, and the students have recently completed a unit of study about the Great Depression.  The “Worried Man Blues” was a fitting tribute to this difficult time period!  However, not all of the songs were focused on the difficulties of the 1930’s, as composers like Irving Berlin and George Gershwin used their songs to uplift the population and build a spirit of optimism.  Songs like “Blue Skies” and “Strike up the Band,” as well as the traditional blues song “Sun Gonna Shine” brought hope.  Students Austin B., Candace C., Emily C., Janie F., Cortlyn K., Jordan L., Timber N., Kenzie P., and Keegan W. gave their audience hope that the “sun [was] gonna shine” again after our two-week snow break with their peppy performance!

On Monday, March 2, Damascus Middle School began our celebration of Dr. Seuss’s birthday with a reading of his book There’s a Wocket in my Pocket by news crew member Jenna Greene on the DMS morning news show.  Students in Mrs. Blackburn’s seventh-grade English classes continued the celebration, as each student worked to complete his/her children’s book.  When the books were finished, the students traveled to Rhea Valley Elementary, where they had the opportunity to read the books to kindergarten students.  Knowing that their books would be read helped the seventh-graders write with their reader in mind.  The students were very careful in their choice of vocabulary, the number of words on each page, the illustrations, and the subject matter in order to best entertain the kindergarten readers.  It was with this same careful consideration of his reader that Dr. Seuss wrote his many wonderful children’s books, for which he is remembered each year on his birthday!



Books1

"7th Grade Students Celebrate Reading and Writing in Honor of Dr. Seuss!"




4H
"Students Awarded in 4-H Presentation Contest"

Damascus Middle School 4-H members held their annual Presentation and Public Speaking Program, during which 25 students from the sixth-eighth grades completed oral presentations or illustrated talks.  This particular 4-H program is targeted to build self-esteem, communication skills, and leadership, while giving members a chance to explore their interests and hobbies.  Ranging in topics from fishing to papercrafts to nuclear energy, the presentations definitely captured the attention of the audience members!  The following students were blue-ribbon winners in the sixth grade: David A., Sam A., Donivan A., Brady B., Stacy D., Kay Leigh H., Samantha J., Katie L., Jordan L., Cameron R., and Bethany S.  Seventh-grade blue ribbons winners were as follows: Carolyn B., Carson B., Ryland H., Justin H., Layton H., Ashley J., Levi P., Hailey R., Kealey R., and Dominick R.  Eighth-graders receiving blue ribbons were Claudia F., Jenna G., Noah T., and Drew W.  These students may represent Damascus Middle School at the Washington County 4-H Activity Day on April 11 at Abingdon High School.  

After studying the Stock Market Crash of 1929, students in Mr. Joe Preston’s social studies classes at Damascus Middle School played the stock market themselves!  To play, students were given $100,000 to invest in ten stocks which they felt would rise in price over the next six weeks.  The students who got the most return for their investment during this time were declared the winners of the game. Fourth place went to Brady B., who invested in Apple because “so many people buy the iPhone and other Apple products;” third place went to Becca B., who chose Amazon because “so many people shop there;”  and second place went to Thomas R., who put his money into Sony because “they make great game consoles.”  The top prize went to Austin A., an avid hunter who invested most of his money in Cabela’s!  Austin won a silver dollar and plans to save it.  Interestingly, only a small percentage of Damascus Middle School sixth-graders would buy stocks if they were really given $100,000, as they seem to have learned from the Crash of 1929.  One student said it well, “When the stock market crashes, you can lose all your money!”