Principal’s Page2019-08-29T08:45:13-08:00

Principal’s Page

Straub Professional Skills Rubric

Dear Straub Families,

We have recently completed our first 6-week grading period for the 2019-20 school year, and we are off to an amazing start! We continue to refine our instructional practices to provide options for every student through our systematic approach using AVID school wide with Writing, Inquiry, Collaboration, Organization, and Reading (WICOR) strategies. In doing so, we are providing a consistent and viable method for students to gain important knowledge and proficiency as they relate to 21st- century skills toward college and/or career goals.

With this vision in mind, it is my pleasure to inform you that Straub Middle School will be part of a pilot program to use a new Salem-Keizer School District Professional Skills Rubric designed to provide feedback to students and parents. The familiar practice of using letter grades (A, B, C, D, F) for academics on six-week progress reports and semester report cards will not change, but we will begin using a numerical scale (1-4) instead of the letter notation (O, S, N, U) you experienced during our first grading period for Work Habits and Citizenship.

We have attached the Professional Skills Rubric to this letter as a resource for you, and we will start an informational campaign with students immediately. As part of any pilot program, we welcome your feedback to help our school and district to refine the rubric process.

We are excited for this opportunity to provide direct and specific feedback to our students as they continue to develop a vision for their future and prepare for college and/or career. We look forward to continuing to build positive working relationships with you to best support the unique needs of each Straub student.


Denny McCarthy

Principal, Straub Middle School

November 4, 2019|

A note from the Principal…

The SKSD MS Mission:  We will foster the academic, social, and emotional growth in every student ensuring all students are on-track for HS graduation and college & career readiness.

In order to better provide students with opportunities for intervention or enrichment while still participating in elective classes, the middle schools in Salem-Keizer have moved to a 7 period day. This work is based on our Middle School Beliefs and Values:

  • All students must have equal access to grade level core classes.
  • Collaboration is important for staff and students.
  • Interventions must be built into the school day.
  • All students need access to PE or an elective.
  • There must be equal access to courses across all schools.
  • Rigor is valued: All students can achieve at high levels.
  • It is important to educate the whole-child.
  • Relationships are critical.
  • Mobility should not impact a student’s education.

Research outlines key factors we can look at during the middle school years to help us identify those students who are at risk of not graduating on time. They are: poor attendance, even mild off-task behavior as early as the 6th grade, F and D’s in core classes (especially in math and/or language arts), very low test scores.

High School Readiness:  MS at-risk indicators

It is vital for the success of our students that we address this during the middle school years.  “This research shows that, under current conditions, the level of academic achievement that students attain by eighth grade has a larger impact on their college and career readiness by the time they graduate from high school than anything that happens academically in high school.”   (The Forgotten Middle: Ensuring that All Students Are on Target for College and Career Readiness before High School,  Research from ACT 2008)  Therefore, we must design a system that provides support for ANY student who is not on the path to graduation.

Students who will benefit from intervention will be identified using a combination of grades, attendance rates, test scores, and teacher recommendations. Interventions classes at Straub Middle School will include classes for math intervention, reading intervention, English as a Second Language, and language arts intervention. There may also be intervention classes designed for students who need additional support to improve attendance or behavior.

Our goal at Straub is to ensure that each and every student is ready to not only attend West Salem High School, but ready to access all of the great things West has to offer….  We want to provide the support student’s students need, when they need it and only for as long as they need it.  Thank you for partnering with us to support your child and all of the students at Straub…

March 17, 2017|