Principal's Message

 

Welcome to the Principal’s Page on the Saranac Lake Middle School Website. The students in middle school are why I fell in love with education and they are the reason I chose this profession as a career. The Middle School years are a time of great change for students, parents, and all those associated with them. Children are going through a period of transition unlike any other in human development. While we tend to focus on the unprecedented growth and physical development we can actually see, this is just one facet of the changes middle schoolers are experiencing. Middle schoolers will change socially, emotionally, academically, and physically. Part of our role as educators at the middle school is to help students understand and cope with these changes in a mature and appropriate fashion. These are life skills that students need to learn, and they do not come intrinsically. Like all development, students will go through this process at different times and different paces. Like all change, this can be a stressful and difficult transition for students.

The adults in our students’ lives share the responsibility of teaching our students that this is normal. We need to teach students to embrace these changes and support each other as they venture down this path together. Some will grow faster, some will do better academically, some will adapt much quicker to new social norms, and some will be much better at keeping things in emotional perspective. Again, this will happen at different times for different students. At the middle school, we embrace these differences and foster the development of these attributes for all students. Providing an environment that is accepting and supportive of these changes ultimately leads to higher academic achievement for each individual student.

I feel strongly that the keys to success in school are embodied in a few basic life skills that everyone is capable of. To be successful, students need to show up regularly and on time, they need to work hard, and they need to bring a positive attitude. Equipped with these three skills, students can achieve and find success in all life’s challenges. We reinforce these skills daily through Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) and our behavior matrix. We use the acronym “RAP” to create a common language. RAP represents the values of Respect, Accountability, and Positive attitude. I look forward to working with your children and helping them grow as individuals. Please feel free to contact my office at any time with questions, concerns, or suggestions you may have.

 

 

Bruce VanWeelden

Principal

Saranac Lake Middle School


Quote:

"The things that make me different are the things that make me.”

A.A. Milne -author of Winnie-the-Pooh

 

“Wake up every morning with the thought that something WONDERFUL is about to happen” – Author Unknown


The Four Agreements 

SchoolCenter Picture

Be impeccable with your word

Do not take anything personally

Do not make assumptions

Always do your best