What are the school colors, mascot, and vision?
This FAQ sheet is for parents and students new to GCMS. The following questions have been the most frequently asked questions from parents and students new to the GCMS school community. The answers will give you some information and, hopefully, ease your anxiety and help you get excited about GCMS. For all of our school policies and procedures, please read the Parent/Student Handbook, which your child will receive on the first day of school.
How well does Gypsum Creek perform?
Gypsum Creek Middle School's most recent School Performance Framework designates us in the "Performance" category. We have a history of recognition for high Academic Growth across multiple content areas and in several demographic contexts.
What is the school schedule?
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday & Friday Buses arrive around 8:20. Classes start at 8:40. Wednesday is a late start day. Classes start at 9:40. Students have 4 core classes and 2 specials classes of 58 minutes each. Passing time is 3 minutes. Students have a 40-minute lunch period. School is dismissed at 3:50. Buses leave at 3:55.
When will my child eat lunch?
We have three 40-minute lunch periods, one for each grade level. For lunch, students come to the cafeteria and sit at the tables of their choice. After the first week, seats do not change. Tables are dismissed to line up to get their food by a lunchroom supervisor. After they eat, students clean their space and go outside for lunch recess.
How many students attend GCMS and what are the demographics?
We anticipate 370 students at GCMS in the fall of 2023 (124 in 6th, 118 in 7th, and 129 in 8th). We are 76% Hispanic, 22% Caucasian, 2% other. We have 51% boys and 49% girls. We have 6% in our Gifted Program, 14% in Special Education, and 46% in English Language Acquisition. 54% of our students receive Free or Reduced Lunch.
Do all students pass in the hall at the same time?
Before school, 7th/8th graders and 6th graders gather in areas separate from each other. During the day, for most core classes, each grade level is in its own section of the building called pods. Most students remain in their own pods except when passing to some Specials classes. For most of the day, grades have passing times at different times. Except for supervised times before and after school, there will be little opportunity for grade levels to mix.
What is the grading policy?
At Gypsum Creek Middle School we believe in equitable grading practices that represent student learning and progress toward standards. Grades should be mathematically accurate, reflect knowledge rather than environment or behavior, support a growth mindset, and are transparent. We are in the process of continued reform of our grading practices and will be refining our work in the area throughout the year. Learn more about GCMS Grading Practices.
Who is the counselor?
We are excited to have two full time counselors, Robin Roche and Neucasha Green! The counseling program offers group sessions to teach conflict resolution, bully and victim management, social skills, anger management, human development, Individual Career and Academic Planning (ICAPs), and organizational skills. The counselors also meet with students individually as needs arise, and she works closely with parents regarding community resources and ideas for helping at home. We also benefit from having a full time, school based Hope Center Therapist who is available upon referral from our Counseling team.
Tell me about the lockers
On the first day of school, each student is assigned a locker and a combination lock. The lockers are for books, binders, Chromebooks, supplies, and personal items such as cell phones. Most students hang their coats and backpacks on nearby hooks or in empty lockers. Lockers should be organized at all times in order for everything to fit, so important papers do not get lost, and so expensive books and binders do not get damaged. Many students organize their lockers with shelves. Parents are invited to come in and help their child with the organization of the locker throughout the year. Some come in weekly. Only school locks are permitted. If a lock is lost, another lock can be borrowed from the office for $5. Combinations should not be shared. Students should not trade or switch lockers.
What is the discipline process? Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports
Our goal is to channel the actions of students in positive ways so that the best learning environment exists for all of us. We have 3 school rules:
- Use class time productively
- Respect others‚ feelings and needs
- Contribute to a safe environment.
We have implemented a system for helping students understand good choices in behavior, how to make them, and why it is important. This system focuses on helping students exhibit H.O.W.L (Hardworking, Ownership, Wisdom, Leadership) traits. Staff members routinely awards “Way to Howl” tickets when students are witnessed doing a good job at school. This can be for improved behavior in or out of the classroom, improved academic focus, or acts of kindness toward others. There are expectations which all of the staff communicate very thoroughly and when students have trouble meeting those expectations, we have them fill out a Think Sheet is for minor offenses. A Behavior Referral report is for more significant offenses or for persistent minor offenses. When Think Sheets are assigned or Behavior Referrals are given to a student, the teacher, dean of students, or principal talks with the student and assigns the consequences, and communicates with a parent/guardian. A student who receives 3 Behavior Referrals for being disruptive may be recommended for expulsion in accordance with state law. Think Sheets often result in after-school Thursday Detention.
What is the dress code?
The following guidelines are given for the health, well-being, and respect of all students:
- Footwear must be worn at all times.
- Clothes must be clean and neat and must meet reasonable standards of health and hygiene.
- Extremes are not permitted (swimwear, bare chests/stomachs, halter tops, spaghetti straps, vulgar or offensive printing, extra low pants/shirts, extra short shorts/dresses/skirts, extra loose arm holes).
- Under garments may not be purposefully visible.
- Nothing that could damage school property may be worn.
- No hats or scarves (including caps, ski hats, visors, bandanas, other head coverings) are to be worn inside.
- No clothing advocating controlled substances (e.g., marijuana or alcohol) or promiscuity (e.g. “sexy” or “foxy”) or gang affiliation (e.g. “SUR 13”, “South Side,” bandanas) or weapons is allowed.
- Bulky jackets are not to be worn in classes.
Students who wear something inappropriate will be asked to change or given a shirt or pants to wear for the day. Students who disregard this dress code three times will be issued a Behavior Referral and consequences may include wearing a uniform. This dress code applies to all school activities including evening and weekend events. This dress code also applies on dress-up days; i.e., athletic events, Continuation, performances, and other special occasions. Any student who wears, draws, cuts hair, gestures, or otherwise indicates gang symbols or gang affiliation will be suspended out of school and law enforcement will be notified.
How will I be informed of assignments and progress?
- Students are expected to write their daily assignments correctly and legibly in their planner.
- Teachers post class grades weekly on PowerSchool.
- We hold parent-teacher-student conferences in October and again in March.
- We send home ineligibility notices weekly to every student who is failing 2 or more subjects.
- Parents may call or email the teachers or schedule a time to meet with the teacher team.
- Teachers call home when concerns arise.
- Teachers and the principal congratulate students with Wolf Awards for remarkable work and kindnesses.
- We recognize Honor Roll students after each semester.
- Teachers honor students who are recognized for excellence at an Honors Day ceremony in April.
- We honor students who achieve a 3.8 grade point average at an Academic Tea ceremony in May.
- The best way to keep current about your child's grades and assignments is with the internet using a system called Power School at this address: ps.eagleschools.net/public You will receive a letter with your user name and password. If you do not receive this letter in the fall or if you lose your access information, please call the school office at 328-8980.
What sports are available?
GCMS is a member of the RML (Rocky Mountain League) which includes Eagle Valley, Berry Creek, Homestake Peak, St. Clare, Vail Mtn. School, The Vail Academy, and Summit. We also sometimes compete with other non-league schools like Glenwood, Newcastle (Riverside), Basalt, or Carbondale. Athletics are offered for 6th, 7th, and 8th graders in the sports of volleyball, football, and cross country running (beginning the first day of school), boys basketball (beginning in October), girls basketball (beginning in January), wrestling (beginning in February), and track and soccer (beginning late March). 6th graders may play Football only if there are open slots on the 7th grade team and only if they have previous experience playing organized tackle football. All athletes must have a physical to participate; forms are available in the hall or office. We host a Physicals Night in May where the Eagle Valley Medical Clinic offers physicals for $10. Other athletic activities for middle school students are offered by the Recreation District (WECMRD) at 777-8888.
What extra-curricular activities are offered?
All students are invited to participate in our non-sport before and after school programs. These programs have included Chess Club, Yearbook, Student Council, The School Musical, Dance Club, Power Hours, Youth Equity Stewardship, Hope Squad and more. Students and teachers are encouraged to work together to establish new clubs and interest groups as desired.
If my child struggles with assignments, what help is offered?
- Attendance is the first and foremost way for your student to receive needed instruction and learning experiences. It is absolutely crucial that family prioritize attendance and use scheduled school calendar breaks for vacations or school absences.
- Teachers offer before school, lunchtime, or after school help when requested.
- Study Friends, Power Hours, and Math Tutoring are after school tutorials.
- Strategic Math and Strategic Reading classes are scheduled for students during our “WIN” hour. These are specific intervention classes which utilize curriculum and skilled teachers to bring students additional, needed academic growth.
- A class called Study Skills may be scheduled for students who struggle with assignments.
- Saturday School from 7:00 to 10:00 AM is assigned to students who are missing too many assignments.
- Parents may request to bring their child to school early (7:30 AM) for extra study time in a quiet school environment.
- Parents are welcome to visit the school to help their child with organization of lockers, backpacks, binders, checking grades, and checking homework posted in the classroom.
- Teachers welcome communication via phone (328-8980) and email using firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The best way to keep current about your child's grades and assignments to help them at home is with the internet using a system called Power School at this address: https://ps.eagleschools.net/public. You will receive a letter with your user name and password. If you do not receive this letter in the fall or if you lose your access information, please call the school office at 328-8980
How do I check my child out of school when needed?
We urge you to not check your child out of school. We try to focus on student achievement, and we need your child in school to achieve our goals. If you need to check your child out of school, come to the office, sign the checkout sheet, and while you wait in the office, the office staff will call your child to the office. Please do not go to your child’s classroom directly. Excused absences are caused by illness, injury, death in the family, acts of nature, and medical appointments. Please note that for parent-directed absences of a full day or more, you must notify the office at least 5 school days in advance or the absence will be unexcused and the student will receive zeros for assignments completed during the days missed. Please use the school district calendar to plan vacations or travel during the many breaks provided. Extending those already scheduled breaks or taking your child out of school for non-emergency reasons greatly contributes to loss of learning. Students who are not proficient may not be excused for extended parent-directed absences. Students are responsible for all missed learning, assignments, and assessments.
Where can I get information about the bus?
The Transportation Department posts the bus schedules in the newspaper and on the district website at eagleschools.net. In the fall, we will have copies in the office here and posted on the front door. Students must have their Smart Tag bus pass to ride school district buses. If you have any questions about the bus schedule or Smart Tag passes, please visit the Transportation Department website.
When does the Parent-Teacher Organization (PTO) meet?
Our Parent/Teacher Organization (PTO) meets on the second Tuesday of every month at 4:30 PM in the iQuad. The School Advisory and Accountability Committee (SAAC) meets the same days at 5:30 PM. All parents, staff, and community members are invited to attend these meetings.
How can I stay informed about what is going on at GCMS?
We send home an email newsletter packed with great information and a calendar of events so PLEASE make sure your email is accurate and updated within PowerSchool. We post all the newsletters and other great information on the school web site (http://gcms.eagleschools.net), if you use Facebook, make sure to 'like' our page at https://www.facebook.com/GypsumCreekMiddleSchool. You can also just give us a call at (970)328-8980.
How will my 5th grader become familiar with GCMS?
In April, the band teacher and some band students meet with all 5th graders at GES and RHE to demonstrate instruments and discuss band. In May, the principal visits each 5th grade class to answer questions and describe what's in store. In May, the 5th grades from GES and RHE visit GCMS to sit in the 6th grade classrooms, meet the teachers, discuss 6th grade, and tour the school. In May, the principal and counselor host an evening Orientation to GCMS for parents of 5th graders. Then, just before school starts in August, we have an Open House for all students and parents. If you wish to visit the school at any time, please call the office and let us know.