Feature Stories

  • Hooray for Walk-a-thon!

    The 2018 Annual Strides for Success Walk-a-thon was a day full of fun, exercise, and camaraderie. Students started the day with a movie, allowing the sun to come out, and then it was followed by rotations of games, Walk-a-thon, freeze pops, and magic. Smiles were seen all over the school.

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  • SVMS Welcomes New Students

    Save the Date for our NEW 6th, 7th & 8th Grader Information Night Thursday, May 10th. There are two sessions available, either 5:30 or 6:15. The Faculty & Staff at Sun Valley Middle School welcomes all NEW rising 6th, 7th & 8th graders and their parents to our information night for the 2018-2019 school year.

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  • Poetry Slam

    April is recognized as National Poetry Month and in way of celebration, SVMS held its annual Poetry Slam on Thursday, August 12th. Over 30 students in grades 6th, 7th, and 8th shared their original poems in front of an audience of parents, teachers, and fellow students.

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  • The Valley Expo

    A huge thanks to all who supported the inaugural Valley Expo on Wednesday, March 7th. This was an opportunity to showcase the many different activities and clubs that supplement the academic work that goes on within the classrooms of Sun Valley Middle School.

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  • SVMS Band Students are Superior!

    Congratulations to the Sun Valley Middle School 8th Grade Band for earning a Superior Rating in Grade III Music at the South Central District Concert Band Music Performance Adjudication.

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  • SVMS Students Shine

    Congratulations to the following students for participating in the Union County Honor Band Clinic this weekend at Porter Ridge High School: Felicity Alamos, Mary Brenna Burgess, Abigail Duke, Katja Haarstick, James Merritt, Atish Pillai, Jordan Riggins, Jenny Taldo, and Draven Wright.

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  • MIT Promotes STEM

    Students from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) visited with girls from SVMS to share information and opportunities about STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) careers.

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  • In Memory of Breanna Rae Ringersen:

    SVMS presents the first annual Breanna Rae Ringersen Scholarship that will be awarded to a 2018 SVHS graduate who is in pursuit of a career in the field of Criminal Justice. Applications will be available on the SVHS website soon. Congratulations Mr. and Mrs. Ringersen!

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  • Sun Valley Middle students lead through reading

    Every Friday morning, Sun Valley Middle (SVMS) student Bryan Tran walks to Sun Valley Elementary with a picture book in his hand. He, along with 79 of his peers, were selected to participate in the school’s Leading with Reading program – a new reading buddy initiative that pairs seventh and eighth grade students with first graders.

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  • SVMS Spreads Holiday Cheer

    SVMS always opens its heart to others and this holiday season was no exception. SVMS and the PTO reached out to families, children, and animals in just the few weeks between Thanksgiving and Winter Break. The efforts of all who contributed touched many lives during this giving season is appreciated.

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  • Wolf Makes Students Howl

    It may be hard to believe but on Thursday, December 14th, 400 sixth graders were laughing hysterically at the Seven Ages of Man speech in Shakespeare’s As You Like It. This was the result of the talent of Allan Wolf, author, poet, and performer and the interpretive skills of their fellow sixth graders. Allan Wolf came to SVMS courtesy of the Union County Community Arts Council.

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  • Computer Science Week

    Last week, SVMS students participated in the Computer Science Education Week. Students had a variety of opportunities to experience computer programming. Ms. Grise-Haney, in addition to her regular classes of computer coding, offered students the opportunity to create apps. She met with students in the morning before school to develop apps. One of Ms. Grise-Haney’s students, Kristofer Perez-Allen created a game app and won movie tickets. Click here to play his app.

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  • Business Executive Shadows Ms. Merritt

    SVMS was fortunate to have a special visitor this week. Mr. Trent Turner from Charlotte Pipe and Foundry served as Principal of the Day. He began his day by appearing on the morning news. Ms. Merritt interviewed him so that the students would know who he is when he was walking around the building but just as importantly, Ms. Merritt asked him questions about the company he works for.

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  • SVMS Salutes our Veterans

    Every November, America takes a day to recognize the service of the men and women who have sacrificed in our country’s service. SVMS spent some time on Thursday, November 9th showing its gratitude to the members of the staff who have served in our military.

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  • Teacher of the Year - Debra Dixon

    Every year SVMS staff members nominate and then vote on the teacher who will represent SVMS’ Teacher of the Year. It’s a rewarding but difficult process because the teachers who are fantastic and selecting one is a gargantuan task. And this year’s process resulted in the selection of Mrs. Debra Dixon, a phenomenal educator who has worn a variety of hats in her 30 years in education.

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  • SVMS Student Shines Online

    UCVirtual is proud to announce that Justin Jenkins, an 8th grader at Sun Valley Middle School, is the UCVirtual Student of the Six Weeks! Justin was nominated by his Honors Leadership Exploration teacher, Ms. Nicole Shroyer.

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  • Global Pen Pals Reach Across the Sea

    Students of Jenna Hoosier, 6th Grade English Language Arts teacher will be corresponding with students from Jamaica. St. Jago Primary School is located in the town of Harmons, Jamaica. In addition to student pen pals, Ms. Hoosier and Principal Merritt also plan to exchange letters with their counterpoints at the Jamaican school.

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  • SVMS Lauds Leadership

    Leadership is a quality that is often hard to define but invaluable to possess. The Sun Valley Cluster is committed to promoting leadership skills among its students. Sun Valley Middle School is excited to be a part of the leadership focus. In addition to encouraging leadership through their work in the classroom, within clubs, and sports, SVMS has adopted Sean Covey’s 7 Habits of Effective Teens as a framework for eliciting leadership qualities.

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  • SVMS Dedicated to Digital Citizenship

    As chromebooks get distributed this week know that SVMS is committed to providing students with the information to help them navigate the sometimes confusing environment that is the World Wide Web. SVMS became a Common Sense Media Digital Citizenship Certified School last year.

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  • Ready, Set, Go

    The floors have been waxed, The desks put in place, The Open Houses attended, It’s been a madcap race.

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  • Required Summer Reading

    SVMS is committed to curbing the summer slide. SVMS promotes summer reading. All rising 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students must read one book off the summer reading list (see Quick Link above). They will take a quiz on the chosen book upon returning to school in August. The list provides information about the book’s genre, a short description, the number of pages, and the reading level. Students who will be enrolled in English I must read Animal Farm by George Orwell. That is the only book required of English I students.

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  • Spring Art Showcase

    Every spring, the Union County Community Arts Council hosts a juried art show that highlights some of the best work of Union County students. Art teachers in elementary, middle, and high schools select the best work of their students in their classes. There are nine different areas in which work can be submitted. This is an opportunity for family members, teachers, and community members.

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  • High School Musical, Jr. Bopped to the Top

    When the movie High School Musical was first released in 2006, it became an overnight sensation, spawning two other installments in the trilogy. So when Mrs. Krest and Mrs. Morgan (SVMS’s Drama and Chorus teachers) announced that the spring musical was going to be High School Musical, Jr., many of the school’s young thespians were excited to participate in such a beloved show.

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  • Science Olympiad Scores Again!

    Sun Valley Middle School brought home some bling once again from the North Carolina Science Olympiad State Tournament in Raleigh on April 21st and April 22nd. The students and teachers have been preparing for months, having earned a spot at the competition by their great performance at the regionals in Laurinburg in February.

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  • Robotics Rules the Day

    On Saturday, April 23rd, the SVMS Robotics Club traveled to the SPCC Tyson Center to compete in the VEX IQ Robotics Challenge. Students have been meeting throughout the year to practice for this competition.

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  • Spring Brings Music!

    On Friday, April 21st, six 8th graders traveled to Greensboro to participate in Middle School All-State Chorus. Holly Brehaut, Brianna Glock, Katie Mundy, Samantha Pelles, Ben Seaford and Lexi Sedotto were selected by chorus director, Kimberly Morgan to take part in this wonderful experience.

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  • 7th Graders Enjoy Charleston

    Voted one of the top cities to live anywhere in the world, is it any wonder that the 7th grade students of Sun Valley Middle school returned from a three day trip to Charleston with stories of how incredible their trip was? Filled with so much rich history, Charleston opened its arms and its stories to the kids and chaperons of Sun Valley Middle school for three days filled with carriage tours, a visit to Boone Hall, an old slave plantation, a day aboard the Yorktown, a decommissioned World War II aircraft carrier, and an ecotour to a nearby barrier island. As one student commented, “Being in Charleston was like stepping back in time 200 years!”

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  • They're Poets and They Know It

    Some SVMS students recently joined the likes of Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost, Langston Hughes and others by sharing their poetry with the public at the annual Poetry Slam. Students were invited to compose original poems to submit. Language Arts teachers then selected those students to compete at the Poetry Slam on Thursday, April 6th. Students had to prepare an original poem of approximately 60 seconds in length. All of the participants exhibited great courage by performing in front of a packed house of students, staff, and families. The event was kicked off with a spoken word piece composed and performed by Lynn Phanor, 8th grade Math teacher. After her spirited opening, the Open Mic club, under the leadership of Michelle Belk, 7th grade Math Resource teacher, performed “How Far I Will Go” by Lin-Manuel Miranda. The club includes Kirsten Love, Kaitlyn Bennett, and Kinsley Osborne.

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  • Walk-a-thon vs. Weather - Walk-a-thon Wins!

    It wasn’t supposed to happen. Everyone said it couldn’t go on. Contingency plans were made. But then, Friday morning dawned with only a slight drizzle and the forecast looked more promising. So the decision was made - the 5th Annual Strides for Success Walk-a-thon was on! The Walk-a-thon started with everyone watching the movie “Earth to Echo”. It’s a live-action science fiction adventure movie about 3 teens who discover an alien creature. Not only did this provide an entertaining start to the day but it also gave the sun a chance to dry the ground and shake off its early morning doldrums so that when the movie was finished, the weather was spring-like and warm.

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  • Chamber Day

    Saturday, April 1st a few Sun Valley Middle School musicians attended Chamber Day at Charlotte Christian School. Chamber Day is hosted by the Quintessence Wind Quintet and provides an opportunity for middle school musicians to perform in small chamber groups while receiving musical coaching by a member of the Quintet.

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  • Sun Valley Middle School PTO Spring Fundraiser

    Sun Valley Middle School (SVMS) PTO is ready to kick off our biggest fundraiser of the year, our 5th Annual Stride for Success Walk-a-Thon! The purpose of this fundraiser is to help raise funds for our school, including new walking track behind the school! This year our Walk-a-Thon goal is $30,000. The 5th Annual Stride for Success Walk-a-Thon challenges all students to bring in a donation of at least $25. Participation in all Fun Day activities requires a minimum donation of $20.

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  • A Global Invitation

    Parents and Students and Community Members - SVMS Proudly Presents “A Walk Through Our World” on Tuesday, March 21st from 4-7pm. Roam our halls and see a representation of what we are learning as the Grade Level Homerooms create and display a Global Door.

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  • Hidden Figures Reflection

    Before we went to see the movie “Hidden Figures,” some of the issues we thought it would portray were segregation in the 1960’s, or, possibly a mystery movie, or a space mission gone awry where the lead character would come in and save the day. As the movie began, one of the first things we noticed was how much racism existed. For example, the three African American ladies were having car trouble and stopped on the side of the road. A police officer came by and at first was skeptical of their credentials. We think his skepticism stemmed from the fact that not only were they black, they were women and at that time, it was not commonly known for African American women to be working at NASA.

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  • What is Super Tracker?

    SuperTracker is a website by the United States Department of Agriculture. SuperTracker allows you to track what you eat, how much physical exercise you should get, and gives tips to live a healthy lifestyle. The main feature of this website is the Food-A-Pedia, which allows you to look up foods that you’ve eaten for that day and track how much of each food group you ate in that day. It also gives you limits on what you should eat and how much of it. In our Science class, we had to make an account and fill in our height and weight to give us limitations to what we could consume. Each day we would track what we had eaten for breakfast and lunch and sometimes dinner from the night before.

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  • Science Olympiad from a Student Perspective

    Science Olympiad is a program for hard working students who have a passion for exploring. Recently, The Science Olympiad Program competed against several different schools in an invitational competition. I am involved in Science Olympiad and competed in the event. Though we did not place in my first event, we won first in my second. The event was held at CPCC Central Campus in South Charlotte, which in my opinion, is a very nice building.

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  • MIT Students Share Success

    On Friday, girls at SVMS attended an assembly sponsored by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Women’s Initiative. The presenters were two students at the university who are majoring in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM) disciplines. Rida is a graduate student who is getting a Ph.D. in Urban Information Systems. Originally from Pakistan, Rida wants to use technology to make life better. Anjali, who is from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, is an undergraduate in MIT’s Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences. Anjali wants to be a neuroscientist studying why people think the way they do, why they do the things they do.

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  • Principal Takes Pulse

    At the end of the first semester is always a great time to reflect on the past semester and to look forward to the next semester. This is true not only for students but also for staff and Ms. Merritt thought it would be appropriate to survey the most veteran of SVMS students and take the pulse of the school by asking a few simple questions: how are you, are there any challenges or concerns that you may have about our school, what's your proudest moment, and who is your advocate?

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  • SVMS Gets Real

    “I am SO ready to be an adult!” As middle school teachers, we hear these words a lot… usually when our students believe they are still being treated like children. To help our students better understand the implications behind these words, the 7th grade social studies students of Sun Valley Middle School got a small taste of what being an adult really means. As a part of their studies on the Global Economy, students are asked to consider the role their personal financial planning plays in the decisions governments must make to handle scarce resources. To begin this project students were asked to create three slides, each one a reflection of the different standards of living found in many countries around the world. The slides included pictures of the type of homes, cars, and other items one might find at each standard. Next, the students researched different careers that help contribute to the different standards of living.

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  • PBIS Receives Recognition

    Families whose students attend SVMS have undoubtedly heard their students talking about tickets and maybe have pulled a ticket or two out of pants pockets. The tickets are awarded to students based on positive behavior and they are an integral part of the school’s PBIS program but they aren’t the only part. PBIS stands for Positive Behavioral Interventions and Support and it is a nationally-recognized program that seeks to steer students into prosocial behavior using positive incentives and moves to address unwanted behavior in a positive, non-punitive manner.

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  • The Stock Exchange Comes to SVMS

    Sun Valley Middle School was honored to have Mr. Vincent Princiotta speak to the 8th grade Exploring Business Marketing and Entrepreneurship class recently. “Mr. P” as he is fondly known by the students spent over 15 years on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange working as an institutional wire clerk and floor broker. Mr. P. gave a brief history of the exchange which has been in existence since 1792, when 24 stockbrokers drafted and signed what is known as the Buttonwood agreement, so named for the tree under which it was signed at 68 Wall St. in New York City. The exchange trading floor has occupied the same space at the corner of Wall and Broad streets since the late 1800’s.

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  • SVMS Packs the Barrel for Ghana

    In the months of November and December, the Sun Valley Middle School Fellowship of Christian Athletes sponsored a drive for school supplies and shoes for students at the New Jerusalem International School in Tema New Town, Ghana. Our own, Mrs. Lartey, sixth grade Social Studies teacher, has a connection with the ministry and she regularly travels there to serve the students. Every year, the FCA searches for opportunities to serve others, as service is a large focus of being a Christian. As a student athlete, they are used to others supporting them, so it is a great lesson and experience to be able to do something that impacts other students.

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  • Sun Valley Middle School students give dream performance in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

    A small group of Sun Valley Middle school students received a standing ovation Friday, Jan. 13 following a touching performance about the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. “I’m so proud of them,” said their teacher, Amelia Polk. “They gave it all they had, and they learned a lot about Dr. King, things they didn’t know.” The play began with a moving reenactment of a young Dr. King who became angry when asked to move to the back of the bus, as was the law at the time. Eighth grader Jordan Johnson’s passionate portrayal of Dr. King had many in the audience wiping their eyes. At the end of the play, Jordan recited a portion of Dr. King’s well-known speech, “I Have a Dream.”

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  • Bark! The Animals Herald the Holiday

    This December, the SVMS Animal Care Club members looked to take care of those who are often neglected at this time of year and organized a Pet Supply Drive. The donations were given to the Richmond County Animal Shelter and the Union County Humane Society. SVMS students benefitted from a visit from members of the Sun Valley High School Green Club. Led by a former SVMS student, the older students shared how they have partnered with the Richmond County Animal Shelter. SVMS students decided to work towards collecting items for both that organization and the Union County Humane Society.

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  • Peace on Earth

    On Monday, December 14h, the 7th and 8th grade Chorus of SVMS enchanted a packed audience of students, staff, and family members with their Winter Concert selections. Under the direction of Kim Morgan, chorus director, the different groups of singers shared music from the theme “Christmas around the World”. The whole ensemble started with “Is It Far to Bethlehem?”. The 8th grade choir followed that with a Kentucky folk hymn entitled “Bright Morning Stars”. Next came the 8th grade Musical Theater group with the traditional song “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”. The beauty of the season was conjured up by the next piece, “Celebrate the Feast of Lights” sung by the 7th grade choir. Next the All-County Choir took the audience halfway around the world with a traditional Zambian song “Bonse Aba”. Next the whole ensemble had fun sharing a Christmas Quodlibet, which is a composition that incorporates several different melodies.

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  • SVMS Eighth Graders Learn about "You, Inc."

    Recently on November 21, 2016, Mrs. Campbell was pleased to have Mr. Frank Rhodarmer, Vice President and Senior Trust Officer from Fifth Third Wealth Management, speak with Eighth Graders, Exploring Business, Marketing and Entrepreneurship class. Mr. Rhodarmer informed students that they already have their own business . . . as everyone looked at each other in confusion, he asked them if they would like to know the name of their business. He said it is called “You, Inc.”

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  • SVMS Readies for Hearth of Hope

    After Thanksgiving, as a community service outreach, PTO and Sun Valley Middle are partnering with Union County Dept. of Social Services Christmas Bureau by collecting donations. The Christmas Bureau was established in 1983 to assist families in need throughout the holiday season and has served the residents of Union County by providing food, clothing, toiletries, shoes, and gifts.

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  • 6th Graders See Classic Tales

    On Wednesday, November 16, SVMS sixth graders traveled to Ovens Auditorium in Charlotte to see Encore! performed by Chamber Theatre Productions. Encore! is a collection of timeless stories by classic authors. Students saw “The Raven” and “The Tell Tale Heart” by Edgar Allen Poe, “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” by Washington Irving, “The Monkey’s Paw” by W.W. Jacobs, “The Necklace” by Guy de Maupassant, and “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County” by Mark Twain. Many of the stories were dark, but had important life lessons about being honest and being especially careful about what you wish for. All of the plays had twists that kept you guessing what would happen next and hanging on the edge of your seat.

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  • November Global Business

    Sun Valley Middle was excited to have Heather Rowell, a Sun Valley alumnus, and local business owner speak to our Eighth Grade, Exploring Business, Marketing and Entrepreneurship class, Wednesday, November 09, 2016. Mrs. Rowell focused on Ten Top Characteristics or Skills that she believes, based upon her business experiences, students need to be successful.

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  • SVMS FCA Reaches Out

    The Fellowship of Christian Athletes is beginning their Service Project this week. They will be filling a shipping barrel full of backpacks and school supplies for students in Ghana throughout the months of November and December.

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  • Spanish I Students Travel

    The Levine Museum of the New South has hosted the exhibition ¡NUEVOlution! Latinos and the New South for the past year. Ms. Carrazco recently took her Spanish I students to view the display. Daniel Burnett, 8th grader, wrote the following account: The field trip to the museum was very informative and brought to light many of the things that we do not know about or do not like to think about. It showed me how difficult it was for an immigrant to become a citizen of the United States of America. I barely passed the citizenship test and I am already a U.S. citizen.

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  • SVMS Welcomes "New Kid"

    What is it like to leave your country and move to a new land that has a different language and culture? That was the situation examined in the Children's’ Theater production of “New Kid” that was presented this past week to sixth graders at SVMS. “New Kid” is the story of a boy, Nick, who moves from his country of Homeland to the United States and soon confronts difficulties. The students in the audience were able to share Nick’s frustrations because Nick’s words in the play are in English but the English of the American characters is heard as gibberish. Although much of the dialogue is incomprehensible, the actors communicate the themes of isolation, friendship, bullying, and prejudice.

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  • SVMS Supports Families with Heifer International

    SVMS wishes to thank all who contributed the Heifer International campaign. With the efforts of Sun Valley families, SVMS was able to raise $1400 for this worthwhile agency. These funds will be used to help end hunger and poverty. With the funds, SVMS gave two knitter baskets, two hope baskets, and two gardener gift baskets. Each of the Knitter’s Baskets include four animals - a llama, an alpaca, a sheep, and an Angora rabbit. The recipients are given instructions on the proper care and feeding of the animals. From this gift basket, families are able to get milk from the llama and sheep and use the wool to help keep them warm. Families are also able to supplement their income from the sale of clothing and blankets made from the wool.

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  • Teacher of the Year Cathy Hess-Grove Pays It Forward

    English teacher Mrs. Cyndy Betts has had a positive influence on thousands of students lives without ever teaching them or even meeting them. But she taught and touched one student, Cathy Hess-Grove, who, in turn, has touched thousands of young lives who have passed through the doors of SVMS. Mrs. Hess-Grove was recently recognized for her work by being selected as Teacher of the Year by her peers.

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  • SVMS Samples Assorted Cuisines

    One of the favorite ways of experiencing another culture is to taste its food. This past week, thanks to the work of Mrs. Valerie Davis and her talented staff, students and staff at SVMS were privileged to sample the flavors of five different countries.

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  • Digital Decision-making

    Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat. How are parents able to keep their children safe in the complex social media world? (Click HERE to see popular social media sites for teenagers) It’s a new and sometimes confusing world that parents have to navigate and SVMS wants to provide information to help. This past week, Suzanne McMahan (Instructional Technology Facilitator) and Maureen Donohue (Media Coordinator) spent time with all of the 6th graders discussing digital citizenship, along with Chromebook care through their Language Arts classes.

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  • SVMS Opens its Heart to People around the World

    With its first Global Awareness fundraising project of the year, SVMS is collecting money for Heifer International. Heifer International is an organization that provides live animals to people living in poverty. Heifer International’s mission is to give a hand up, not a handout. The animals made possible by donations to the SVMS site will allow the recipients to not only feed their family, but also eventually offer help to neighboring families. SVMS’s goal is to raise $2000. With that level of contributions, SVMS would be able to donate animals that will continue to give, through eggs or milk, a stove for clean cooking, agricultural products that will provide sustainable living for a family and/or provide building materials for a safe home. Students can bring in money to their homerooms between now and September 30th.

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  • Students Study Solutions with a Silly Substance

    Eighth graders in Mrs. Ollis’ science class were recently introduced to the properties of solutions by making Goofy Putty. This lesson demonstrated to the students in her class important principles like the nature of scientific inquiry and the properties of matter but the students mainly saw it as fun.

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  • SVMS Staff and Students Remember September 11th

    For adults, the events of September 11, 2001 are permanently seared in our memories. But for SVMS students, who were born after the tragedy, that day is more removed. The teachers and staff at SVMS wanted the day to be more meaningful for the students so on Friday, September 11th, all of the students and staff planted flags in honor of the victims, their families, and the brave men and women who responded to the call.

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  • Spartan Spirit Soars!

    While the temperature outside hovered in the mid-90s, the spirit inside the SVMS gym was feverishly high as the students and staff celebrated the school’s scholars and athletes. The festivities started in the 7th and 8th grade pep rallies with the presentation of Honor certificates and cards to students who earned A and A/B honor roll during 6th term of the 2015-16 academic year at SVMS. Almost 450 students achieved that distinction.

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  • They’re Ready!

    Rising 6th grade students and their families came to SVMS for View of the Valley. Students met their teachers, walked their schedules and learned a little bit about what to expect when they start middle school. The veteran 7th and 8th graders and parents returned on Friday to meet their new teachers and visit their new classrooms.

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  • SVMS Works to Secure Students' Safety

    The U.S. Department of Education’s guidelines for school security recommends limiting school access points and implementing a visitor control system. In response, we have implemented a visitor control and tracking system called the Complete Campus Security System (CCSS). This system includes custom software (by The Ident-A-Kid National Child Safety Program) residing on a PC kiosk in our front office. This easy-to-use system scans each visitor’s driver’s license, does an automatic sexual offender check, takes a photo and prints him or her a visitor pass. This system is already being utilized at Sun Valley Elementary and Sun Valley High School.

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  • SchoolShelf Provides Resources for SVMS Students, Staff, and Families

    It is often said that it takes a village to raise a child but sometimes we’re not sure how to best help the students in our lives. SVMS wants to help fill that void with a new resource available to students, families, and staff. SchoolShelf is a collection of helpful resources on a variety of topics of concern to middle schoolers and those who care about them. Woodburn Press has been providing brochures to schools for years but now that information is available in an online format. At SVMS, this information is found under the Quick Links tab on the SVMS website. Organized by the categories of Academic Success, Student Success, College and Career, and Parent Involvement. Many of the resources are also written in Spanish. Topics include “Making Speeches”, “Memorization Strategies”, “Parents and Bullying”, and “College Timeline”.

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  • Sun Valley Middle School Incoming 6th Graders and Families

    Welcome to Sun Valley Middle School! This is Principal Merritt with some important updates and information. We are planning a great start to your middle school experience and I want you to be well-informed of what’s to come. You will receive two letters in August from me. The first one will be mailed on August 10th with welcome information and Open House dates. The 2nd mailing will go out on Wednesday, August 17th. The second mailing will have your class schedule in it and your bus schedule. You will also have a copy of the uniform dress code in that mailing. Mark your calendars, we will have a PTO Gently Used Uniform Sale and Spirit Wear Sale on Saturday, August 13th from 8:00-12:00 in our school cafeteria. Also in the 2nd mailing there will be the Health and Reproductive class permission form. Students should turn that in to their assigned PE teacher on their first day of PE. You will not need to dress out for PE the first week of school.

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  • "A book is like a garden, carried in the pocket." — Chinese Proverb

    Summer is a time of vacations, swimming pools, hammocks, and lazy days. However, children who are too lazy during the summer can suffer from “summer slide”. Summer slide is the phenomenon in which students who do not read and engage in intellectually stimulating activities during the summer actually return to school in August having forgot some of what they learned the previous year. Some students find themselves out of practice with reading. SVMS is committed to curbing the summer slide. SVMS promotes summer reading. All rising 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students must read one book off the summer reading list. They will take a quiz on the chosen book upon returning to school in August. The list provides information about the book’s genre, a short description, the number of pages, and the reading level. Students who will be enrolled in English I must read Animal Farm by George Orwell. That is the only book required of English I students.

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  • Merritt EOG prep

    Ms. Merritt challenged SVMS students on Tuesday to do their best on the End of Grade tests on the morning announcements. But it would be an understatement to say that her pep talk was not the traditional one most of the students had seen before. After students saw a short clip from “Rocky” the classic boxing movie starring Sylvester Stallone, Ms. Merritt appeared dressed as a fighter. She hit on the themes of perseverance, being prepared for the challenge, and coming out fighting, all while bobbing and weaving with her boxing gloves on. Mr. Rape and Mr. Gundersen also played their parts as challenges that could defeat the efforts of Ms. Merritt turned into knocking them out cold.

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  • Ms. Nailor’s 8th Grade Geometry Project

    Whoever said that math is boring hasn’t spent time in Mrs. Nailor’s 8th grade class. She recently challenged them to make unique cities using geometry. This project involved many aspects of the 8th grade curriculum. The students had to create a city using Special Angle Pairs and Nets. Special Angle Pairs are angles that are given certain names based on their relative position or based off the sum of their respective measures. Nets are 2-dimensional patterns of 3-dimensional shapes that you can cut and fold to create solids.

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  • SVMS Artists Recognized

    SVMS had some special guests recently when Dena Sabinske, Parks & Recreation Director of Stallings and Susan Didier, Indian Trails Community Development Specialist and Events Coordinator stopped by the morning broadcast to share some good news. Several SVMS students were honored for their posters that were entered in the Arbor Day contest. Ms. O’Malley and Mr. Michiels, art teachers at SVMS, worked with the students on their posters. Five students were selected to show their work to the mayor of Stallings at their Arbor Day Festival.

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  • A Simply Awesome Trip

    Nicknamed the Gardens of Stone, Arlington National Cemetery is the final resting place for many of our nation’s military heroes and other great American leaders. It was at this site that the Seventh Grade students of Sun Valley Middle School paid their respects to such leaders as John F. Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, and even those whose names remain unknown but their acts of courage never forgotten.

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  • What Is This Dragon Project?

    The Dragon Project is a unit that encompasses multiple literary, informational, technology, speaking and listening skills, writing objectives and 21st Century skills into a multi-media learning experience where students present their dragons, a Google site that includes tabs for a Biographical Profile, Photo Gallery, Work Experience, Social Media and Resources/Citations. In addition, students verbally share a written piece (Journal/Blog/Poem/Current Event/Fictional Story) with their classmates to project a sense of life with their dragon. The project also requires students to shift point of view from that of the dragon rider (the candidate who earns the honor of “impressing” a dragon) to that of the dragon itself who has an active life on Social Media via Instagram, Facebook or Twitter.

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  • It's National Teacher Appreciation Week!

    “It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.” Albert Einstein 2016 marks the 31st anniversary of the first National Teachers Week declared by the National PTA. In celebration, students around the country will write cards, bring candy, and draw pictures for their teachers. It is all in recognition of a special relationship between a young person and an adult who has made it their career to share knowledge, skills, and sometimes, laughter. In recognition of this special week, here is some interesting facts about teachers and the education profession: There are approximately 3 million public school teachers in the United States. From colonial times and into the early decades of the 19th century, most teachers were men. Pew Research has consistently shown that people say that after the military, teachers contribute the most to society.

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  • Future Scientists in the Making

    This past week at SVMS, the American Red Cross conducted its semi-annual blood drive. Through the efforts of volunteers, donors provided enough blood to save 67 lives. Mrs. Burroughs used that as a springboard to discuss blood typing in her 7th grade science class on Friday. Students had a chance to do a blood typing/genetics lab by using simulated blood to verify the blood types of four unknown specimens. This past week at SVMS, the American Red Cross conducted its semi-annual blood drive. Through the efforts of volunteers, donors provided enough blood to save 67 lives. Mrs. Burroughs used that as a springboard to discuss blood typing in her 7th grade science class on Friday. Students had a chance to do a blood typing/genetics lab by using simulated blood to verify the blood types of four unknown specimens. They then used their knowledge of genetic Punnett squares to see which specimen was the father of the child specimen. Punnett squares is a diagram used by biologists to determine the probability of an offspring having a particular genotype. Future Medical Technologists in the making!

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  • Around and Around They Go!

    The 7th grade Science Department held their annual roller coaster project last week to enhance their unit on physical science. Each team of students built a roller coaster made of only cardstock and tape. The goal is to have a marble travel the longest time without stopping. Certain other requirements must also be met. The roller coaster must have a loop, a certain number of turns, and a funnel.

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  • 6th Graders Learn That What You See Isn't Always What You Get

    Mr. Jeff Bassett from Discovery Place came recently to share a presentation on Light and Optic Illusions with sixth graders. He used a presentation to review the previously learning vocabulary and concepts of light such as refraction, reflection, and absorption.

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  • Walk-a-thon Was a Huge Success!

    The 4th Annual Strides for Success Walk-a-thon is over but the matching funds are still coming in. So far the walk-a-thon has raised almost $31,000! This fantastic outcome is the culmination of many people’s efforts and contributions. The SVMS PTO President Kathy Heintel and her army of tireless volunteers worked months bringing this celebration to fruition. It was a beautiful March day during which the students enjoyed the weather and games. Students enjoyed playing four-square, soccer, dodge ball, basketball, and other activities. They also walked the high school track, spending time with their friends while listening to tunes played by SVHS students.

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  • Vive La France!

    Seventh grade students recently had the opportunity to relive the French Revolution by taking part in the Tennis Court Oath. The Tennis Court Oath took place during the earliest days of the French Revolution. In 1789, fearing revolution, Louis XVI, locked the doors to meeting rooms of the Estates-General. Members of the Third Estate (non-nobility and non-clergy) then decided to meet at a nearby tennis court and refused to be dissolved. Eventually members of the First Estate (the clergy) and the Second Estate (the nobility) joined them and took an oath to rewrite France’s constitution creating equality for all the people. The seeds of the French Revolution were planted.

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  • Exchange Students Visit SVMS

    On the day of the Global Walk, SVMS students were also treated to classroom visits from students from different parts of the world. Exchange students from high schools in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools and Sun Valley High School shared the day with 6th and 8th graders in rounds of presentations about their native countries. The 6th graders met students from Germany and Serbia, while the 8th graders met students from Germany, China, and South Korea, along with an American student who was an exchange student in Japan.

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  • Around the World in One Day

    As an International School, SVMS celebrates global understanding. Recently, the students and teachers were tasked with looking at specific countries to find out more about the culture of places new to them. Each homeroom was given a country to research and use its findings to decorate the classroom door. It was a lively contest, with classes using lights, cultural artifacts, and creativity to express the cultural character of their assigned country. In the end, three winners from each grade level were selected as winners. Students in 6th and 8th grades were also challenged to create a project that informed about an assigned country. Students made posters, travel brochures, electronic slideshows, scrapbooks, and three-dimensional representations in their quest to educate each other about our global neighbors. Then Social Studies teachers chose select projects to be put on display in the SVMS media center. Three students from each grade level were recognized for outstanding work.

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  • Sun Valley Middle School PTO Fundraiser

    Sun Valley Middle School (SVMS) PTO is ready to kick off our biggest fundraiser of the year, our 4thAnnual Stride for Success Walk-a-Thon! The purpose of this fundraiser is to help raise funds for our school, including new science tables. This year our Walk-a-Thon goal is $30,000. The 4th Annual Stride for Success Walk-a-Thon challenges all students to bring in a donation of at least $25. Participation in all Fun Day activities requires a minimum donation of $20. On Friday, March 18th during school hours, we will celebrate our 4th Annual Stride For Success Walka- Thon Fun Day. Participants in the Fun Day (those who bring in a minimum donation of $20) will not only enjoy a leisurely walk around the Sun Valley High School track, they will also experience a day filled with entertainment, games, free refreshments, and more. AND every participant will enjoy a full dress down day!

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  • SVMS Students Follow Teacher to China

    While China is almost 8,000 miles away from here, on Wednesday, March 2nd, it got a little closer for SVMS sixth graders. Mrs. Kriska, 6th grade math teacher, shared with the students her experiences as a teacher during the summer in China. The first thing she explained that although we might think that to get to China, the plane would fly west. In fact, the flight goes northwest towards the top of the globe and then comes southwest. Mrs. Kriska explained that her flight was delayed for a bit because of a smaller tsunami making travel difficult.

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  • Reading Celebrated Among Schools

    On Wednesday, March 2nd, SVMS students from Student Council and the Battle of the Books team traveled to SVES to celebrate Read Across America Day. Organized by Kevin Vickers, SVES media coordinator, SVMS students, along with Student Council members from SVHS, honored the day by reading Dr. Seuss books to the elementary school students. Pairs of middle and high school students shared their favorite books with their younger counterparts and then answered questions about middle and high-school.

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  • Wingate Choral Celebration

    Seven of Mrs. Morgan’s choir students represented SVMS at the Wingate Choral Celebration which was held on Friday & Saturday, February 5 & 6. The group left campus late afternoon & took an activity bus to Wingate University. These seven students were part of a 125 voice choir with students from fifteen other schools from around the region.

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  • SVMS Recognizes Successful Students

    SVMS loves to celebrate the hard work of our students. On Friday, February 12th, the school celebrated academic achievement, athleticism, and strong character at the Third Term Honor Roll Assembly and Winter Sports Pep Rally. Over 700 students were recognized for achieving all As or all As and Bs during the third term grading period. They receive certificates along with honor cards. In addition, each team recognizes students who have shown great character or academic improvement as Silver Spartan Certificate winners. All students who are honored also receive a goody bag provided by the PTO.

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  • SVMS Students Attend Honors Band Clinic

    On Friday, January 29th, four SVMS students traveled to Gastonia, NC for a weekend Honors-Band Clinic. Diandre Richie, Donna Han, Kennedy Kaperonis, and Lisa Ince auditioned for this opportunity, along with other students from around the state. The audition consisted of a solo piece performed by the students, playing scales, and the ability to sight-read a piece of music. Diandre, Donna, and Kennedy were selected to be members of the Concert Band and Lisa made the Symphonic Band .

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  • Articles Feature Holidays around the World

    Sometimes it may seem like there is always some holiday occurring in the United States but as Mrs. Nadata’s students found out, there are lots of holidays that Americans may not have even heard of. Mrs. Nadata incorporated the 6th grade language arts goal of learning about feature articles and holidays from around the world. With a little research, students selected a holiday on which to write an article. They were tasked with answering the five Ws (where, when, what, who, and why), and providing a catchy title to hook readers, include maps, charts, and pictures with captions. They also had to direct their readers to other sources of information on the topic and to include a works cited page.

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  • Snakes Alive! Slithers into SVMS

    Not long ago seventh graders were thrilled, frightened, entertained, and educated all at once when Ron Cromer, a specialist in herpetology, brought snakes and iguanas brought to SVMS. Mr. Cromer first introduces the students to some general information about snakes, characteristics of venomous and non-venomous snakes, and informed the students about snakes native to North Carolina. After the teaching part is completed, then Mr. Cromer starts the showing half of show-and-tell. He invites any students who are reluctant to be around these reptiles to go to any area further away. Then he brings out Tarzan, an iguana, who proceeds to grab part of a sweet potato out of some brave student’s hand. Then snakes of all sizes and colors are handed out to students who want the hand on experience. Finally, he brings out Rosie, a 15-foot, 160 pound Burmese python, who has doubled in size since last year. Actually, Mr. Cromer doesn’t bring it out - it takes about 10 students to lift and hold this monster snake.

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  • SVHS Football Coach Shares Wisdom

    SVMS recently had a special visitor to the morning announcements. Tad Baucom, SVHS Varsity Football coach, stopped by to share some words of wisdom with the students. Mr. Baucom, who has coached winning football and softball teams, gave students some sage advice to be successful students and people. Mr. Baucom talked of the necessity of having goals in life. He suggested to the students to put a note on their mirrors with their goals for the week to help keep them focused. He also encouraged the students to fill their time with positive activities- that if they don’t have time for activities that encourage them to reach their goals, they won’t have time for activities that will serve as obstacles.

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  • SVMS Students Research Civil War Leaders

    The American Civil War was a defining period in our country’s history and a deeper understanding of some of the influential people helps SVMS students appreciate some of the different perspectives on the issues of the time. Eighth grade Language Arts teachers, in conjunction with the social studies teachers, chose to help students understand this difficult and complex era by assigning a research paper on some of the important people of the time.

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  • Eighth Graders Map the Civil War

    Do you remember using a map to get somewhere? In the age of GPS and mapquest, students often have a difficult time understanding maps. In order to be able to visualize the geographical, political, and historical settings prior to and during the American Civil War, David McLaughlin, 8th grade Social Studies teacher, decided to have students make a wall size map. He felt that a wall-size map would make a good visual for the students if they ever felt confused while learning about the War.

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  • Beta Club Students Share Sense of Season

    In December, Beta Club students hosted 26 young students from a local elementary school for a holiday party. Beta students went shopping for the perfect gifts for the young children. Funds for the gifts were raised during a Jeans Day in November. The Beta Club sponsors want to thank the folks at Walmart for their assistance and patience! Students wrapped the presents and then brought in snacks. The elementary school children then came to SVMS a little nervous but the middle schoolers soon put them at ease.

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  • Gingerbread Houses Grace SVMS Media Center

    For the eleventh year in a row, the SVMS media center is scented with the aroma of gingerbread. Students threw themselves into the process and created wonderful designs. It is one of the favorite times of the year for the SVMS family. This year winners came from all of the grade levels. Third place was captured by eighth graders Lexi Rakoci and Peyton Parker. It was two sixth graders, Kyle MacLellan and Sydney Wray who garnered second place and first place went to seventh graders, Anna Bulla and Rachel Chomicki.

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  • SVMS Bands Brighten Holidays

    On Tuesday, December 8th, some sixth graders at SVMS performed on their musical instrument publicly for the first time. And the music they made was incredible. Megan Gretz, a saxophonist, introduced the musical selections of the sixth graders. They started with “Band Room Boogie” written by Michael Sweeney. This piece allows each group of instruments to be showcased before they join together for a complete rendering. Next, the sixth graders played “Band on Parade”, also by Michael Sweeney, with percussion assistance from members of the seventh grade band. They finished out their performance with “Freedom’s Road” by Paul Lavander. When they finished, family members in the audience felt rewarded for the weeks of practice.

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  • Let's Learn Computer Coding

    Last week, SVMS sixth graders joined other students from around the globe in the annual Hour of Code. Organizers estimate that over 100 million students from 180 countries will participate in the Hour of Code event this year. The Hour of Code is an event in which students engage in computer programming for an hour. Students complete the hour by using easy-to-understand tutorials that help students develop their own computer game.

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  • SVMS Tastes Around the World

    Collaboration between the SVMS Global Committee and the SVMS Child Nutrition Staff led to some tasty results during the week of November 16th - 20th. In a feast for the senses, the cafeteria tried to replicate the sounds, sights, smells, and tastes of five different countries through food, music, and decorations.

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  • SVMS Students Head to JAARS

    On November 3,4, 9, and the 17th sixth grades along with a handful of seventh and eighth graders boarded busses and and made the 30 minute trip to JAARS in Waxhaw, N.C. Despite the rain and dreary days, JAARS (Jungle Aviation and Radio Services) greeted over 500 SVMS students with bright and cheery smiles. Students were guided around the facility, where they were able to visit the Alphabet Museum, Mexico Museum, Vernacular Media Services and Aviation.

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  • Beta Club Students Remember Veterans Overseas

    At the November SVMS Beta club meeting, Mr. Ted Toms, a Union County Vietnam veteran, spoke to the members about gathering supplies and letters for our military. Local donations would go to a distribution center in Ayden, NC, NCPacks4Patriots, where they are distributed to locations worldwide, including Afghanistan, Iraq, Africa, and the Philippines. He told us of how getting a "care package" from home is a great morale booster when the troops are far away from home for long periods of time. The members interacted by asking questions and showing great interest in helping. Ted later told me that he was really impressed with their attention, their manners and their questions. They asked questions that made it obvious that they listened and he said he was honored to speak with our group.

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  • SVMS Partners with Christmas Bureau

    As a community service outreach, PTO and Sun Valley Middle are partnering with Union County Dept. of Social Services Christmas Bureau by collecting donations. The Christmas Bureau was established in 1983 to assist families in need throughout the holiday season and has served the residents of Union County by providing food, clothing, toiletries, shoes, and gifts.

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  • Speaker Motivates SVMS Students to Excel

    On Friday, November 13th, after students were recognized for being on the honor roll, all students were the audience for the inspirational message of Jacotron Potts. Mr. Potts is a motivational speaker and the founder of the ICAN Empowerment Company. ICAN is an acronym for I Change A Nation.

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  • SVMS Celebrates Honor Roll Students

    On Friday, November 13th, SVMS recognized over 800 students during the first-term honor roll assembly. Over 280 students were on the “A” honor roll while there were almost 500 students on the “AB” honor roll. In addition, fifty students were awarded the Silver Certificate. The Silver Certificate is given to those students who show academic improvement and strong character. Two hundred and forty two of those students were 6th graders, who experienced an Honor Card assembly for the first time.

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  • 6th Graders Participate in World Kindness Day

    November 13th is World Kindness Day. This day was introduced in 1998 by the World Kindness Movement. It is a global 24 hour observation of acts of kindness that many countries observe each year. SVMS 6th graders took some time to celebrate kindness by trying to earn squares on a bingo game. Students were able to earn squares by learning to say “thank you” in a different language, by smiling at ten people, by holding the door for someone, by complimenting someone, by sitting with someone they don’t know that well, etc.

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  • Teacher of the Year Danielle Nadata Represents SVMS

    In the midst of a successful career in the private sector, Danielle Nadata felt unfulfilled. Her desire to make a difference in the lives of young people led her to a career in teaching. Her dedication to improving the opportunities for her students led to her selection as the SVMS Teacher of the Year from a strong field of nominees. Mrs. Nadata’s path to the classroom was not the typical one. She went to school at night while raising her infant twin daughters. She graduated with a Masters degree in Education in 2004 but decided to postpone a full-time teaching position until her children entered school, although she had performed as a long-term substitute teacher several times. SVMS then became her second family. She says “My fellow teachers and my students are amazing to work with. I look forward to spending time with them every day”.

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  • Real-Life Applications of the Constitution

    What is a reasonable search? Why do the police read the Miranda Rights to suspects? What is the process after someone is arrested? What is it like to get blasted with a taser? These and many other questions were the topics of discussion in Mr. Cunningham’s Eighth Grade Social Studies class recently. As part of their study of the Constitution and Bill of Rights, students were treated with a visit from a special guest. Deputy Kaye, Sun Valley Middle School’s Resource Officer, spoke to the students about a variety of topics relating to the Bill of Rights. Mr. Cunningham said this about inviting Deputy Kaye to speak; “It is one thing to teach the Bill of Rights to our students. Deputy Kaye helped them see how our rights work by explaining how she would apply their rights based on her training.”

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  • SVMS Inducts Largest Beta Club Class

    On Thursday, October 29th, the sponsors of the National Junior Beta Club were pleased to induct 131 eighth grade students into the Sun Valley Middle School chapter. The National Junior Beta Club (Division II) is the middle school equivalent of the National Beta Club. The National Beta Club is the largest non-profit educational organization in the country. These distinguished students were selected because they have a 92 average G.P.A. in their core classes and physical education classes. Beta Club emphasizes developing leadership and a commitment to service to the community among its members.

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  • Pumpkins Are Not Just For Pies

    One of the most anticipated events every year at SVMS is the annual Pumpkin Decorating Contest and this year the choices were very difficult. There were 30 entrants, including staff members. There were carved pumpkins, some scary, and some funny. There were also decorated pumpkins - pumpkins that used paint or other embellishments. One pumpkin celebrated the Day of the Dead, one paid tribute to Papa Smurf, and one pumpkin was a rendition of that scary doll Chucky.

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  • Water Project Update

    Last year SVMS raised almost $5000 for the Water Project. Last week the organization sent an update about the progress made. Along with other groups, SVMS donations went to the Bridge Water Project. Partnering with the Water Project since 2007, the Bridge Water Project is based in Kenya.

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  • Pep Rally Celebrates Fall Sports

    Amid strains of “Crazy Train” and other rallying songs, the 2015-16 SVMS Pep Band made its debut, celebrating the fall sports teams that represented SVMS on the football fields, tennis and volleyball courts, and the cross-country trails. Joining the band were the football cheerleaders who flipped, tossed, clapped, and rallied all of the fans in the bleachers. With seasons coming to a close and playoffs and tournaments looming, students cheered all of the athletes who were introduced big-game style. Running through the arch created by the PTO were members of the cross-country team, the girls tennis team, the volleyball teams, and each grade-level’s football teams.

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  • SVMS Recognized As An International School

    Sun Valley Middle School was honored recently with the designation of International School in the UCPS Global School Program. Since 2009, UCPS has made globalization a priority of the school district and has managed globalization efforts through the Global Schools Program. Schools submit their efforts of bringing the world into the curriculum to the program and they are awarded points based on a rubric. SVMS was one of 15 schools receiving the highest designation of International School for earning over 85 points. Last year’s efforts included an International Festival in which families and communities were invited to see dancing from Colombia, hear Calypso music, talk to people from Italy, Germany, and Malaysia and a Global Walk during which students shared projects from all over the world and participated in an international scavenger hunt. Seventh grade students were able to talk to a student living abroad in Germany and students in 6th grade learned about the Korean alphabet and language from a native speaker and representatives from JAARS Museum of the Alphabet.

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  • SVMS To Give Up Drinks For Clean Water

    Staff and students at SVMS are taking part in a different kind of fundraiser. Instead of raising money for themselves, they are raising money for people they will likely never meet, who live in places they will likely never visit, and whose life challenges they will likely never experience. Starting Monday, September 21st for two weeks they will take part in a program known as The Water Challenge. This fundraiser benefits people in Africa who don’t have access to a sustainable water supply. The Water Challenge asks participants to forgo all non-water beverages for two weeks and divert that money from personal consumption to a donation to the work of The Water Project (www.thewaterproject.org). The premise is simple; 1+1=1 One Promise: One Band: One Life.

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