FMS Leadership Updates

  • Threatening Statement: Not Credible - Investigated at FMS

    Posted by David Nancarrow on 2/6/2020

    Februrary 6, 2020

    Dear Falcon Middle School Families,

    FMS administrators are investigating and addressing threatening statements made by a student at FMS during school Thursday.

    Thursday morning we learned a student made a threatening statement during an interaction during breakfast with other students. School leaders immediately contacted the students involved and began a thorough investigation. After speaking with the students, FMS administrators in collaboration with our SRO, along with the D49 safety and security team determined there was no credible threat, or danger to the school.

    Even as administrators investigate and address this situation, we understand a discussion may continue outside of school. Given the seriousness of any threatening report, we want to reassure all of our families that there is no credible threat to the safety of students, staff, guests, or the Falcon Middle School campus. As always, we will continue to monitor the situation, and administrators will assign appropriate consequences for the students involved.

    The safety of students, families and staff on our campuses is non-negotiable. We consider comments like the ones described unacceptable, and take them very seriously. We encourage all of our students and families to stay alert and report any suspicious activity. We thank you for your trust, understanding and support in this matter. We will remain proactive to ensure a safe learning environment awaits every District 49 learner.

    Sincerely,

    David Nancarrow
    Director of Communications

    Brian Smith
    Executive Principal, Firebird Nation Campus

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  • Smoke Alarm Activated at BRES Monday Morning

    Posted by David Nancarrow on 1/27/2020

    January 27, 2020

    Greetings Bennett Ranch Elementary and Falcon Middle School Families,

    At approximately 8:10 Monday morning a smoke alarm sounded in the BRES kitchen. BRES administrators immediately evacuated the school, which included all BRES students and sixth-grade students from Falcon Middle School. All students moved quickly and safely to their evacuation points outside while our partners at the Falcon Fire Department dispatched a crew to BRES.

    FFD searched the building, and after speaking with staff, discovered when the kitchen staff turned on the oven first thing Monday morning, residual cleaning products in the oven created a puff of smoke that triggered the alarm. Fire crews conducted a precautionary search and gave the all clear to return to normal activities at 8:25 a.m., approximately 15 minutes after the initial alarm. The BRES staff will continue to ventilate the kitchen and dining area Monday morning.

    D49 thanks our partners at the Falcon Fire Department and encourages all of our staff, students and families to stay alert for anything unusual. D49 will remain proactive and partner with first responders to ensure a safe learning environment awaits every District 49 learner.

    Sincerely,

    David Nancarrow
    Director of Communications

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  • BRES/FMS Lockdown Drill: Tuesday, Oct. 1. 2019

    Posted by Samantha Dosen on 10/1/2019

    BRES/FMS Lockdown Drill: Tuesday, Oct. 1. 2019

     

    Good morning Bennett Ranch Elementary School and Falcon Middle School families,

     

    District 49's safety and security team selected BRES and FMS for a lockdown drill on Tuesday, October 1.

     

    This drill started at approximately 9:40 a.m. as part of ongoing efforts to continuously strengthen our safety procedures. Drills like this help your school maintain a safe atmosphere and remain prepared in case of an emergency. In the event of an actual emergency, you would be notified via a phone message, text, and/or email.

     

    Please take this opportunity to review and update the emergency contact information you have registered in parent portal.

     

    Please contact Dave Watson, District 49 safety and security director, with any questions.

     

    Sincerely,

    David Nancarrow

    Director of Communications  

     

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  • FMS evacuated Tuesday, September 17

    Posted by David Nancarrow on 9/17/2019

    September 17, 2019

    Dear Falcon Middle School Families,

     

    At approximately 12:55 p.m. today a small amount of pepper spray was released in an FMS classroom. FMS students and staff immediately, and safely evacuated the building while administrators notified our partners at the Falcon Fire Department to assist with ventilation of the school building.

     

    Our partners at the FFD searched the area and cleared the building for re-entry at 1:30 p.m., approximately 35 minutes after the initial evacuation. Students and staff continued their day without further disruption.

     

    FMS administrators are working with the School Resource Officer to determine the source of the pepper spray and why it was released in the classroom setting. Discharging pepper spray on school property is considered a disruption of the school environment.

     

    As always we appreciate your trust and understanding. The safety of our students is our top priority, and we will remain proactive to ensure students, staff, and visitors experience a safe environment at FMS.

     

    Sincerely,

    David Nancarrow
    Director of Communications

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  • Smoke Detector Malfunction Causes Disruption

    Posted by David Nancarrow on 8/2/2019

    August 2, 2019

     

    Hello Firebird Nation Families -

     

    Happy Friday! We wanted to let you know a fire alarm at FMS sounded at 8:14 a.m. this morning. As we always do whenever a fire alarm sounds, we immediately moved students and staff to safety. We determined there was no active fire, and the alarm sounded because of a malfunctioning smoke detector.

     

    It took about 25 minutes to fully reset the alarm system, and we are working to correct the malfunctioning smoke detector. Teachers and their classes remained on the softball field and did an outstanding job of following our procedures by remaining in their orderly lines. Ultimately, all students returned to class at 8:40 a.m. and we resumed our normal assembly schedule for the day.

     

    We thank you for your trust and understanding. If you have any additional questions, please do not hesitate to contact the Falcon Middle School Office at 495-5232.

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  • Letter from the Principal

    Posted by Brian Smith on 6/6/2019
    Greetings Firebird Nation Families - 
     
    The 18-19 school year is in the books! We appreciate everyone’s collaboration through the year to provide opportunities and support for our students. Overall, it was a challenging year at FMS and we have begun our planning efforts to put new systems in place to elevate what we do in the coming school year. One of our biggest areas for growth is with our communication. We know that we fell short in some areas related to our communication with you as parents and community, and this will be a major focus for the 19-20 school year. We will continue our practice with the daily emails from our teams of teachers, but we will now also add a weekly electronic newsletter that will come through our email system to keep parents informed of all that is taking place at FMS. These updates from administration, counselors, and other departments will keep parents up to date with all that we are doing. This information will also be updated to our website so that the events and calendar features are used to their fullest. As the newsletters begin next year, please let us know if there are things you would like included so that we can improve the information we provide. In partnering with our PTSA, we will be having a “Pie with the Principal” night once a quarter. This will be an opportunity to come and socialize with the administration, talk about any questions or concerns, and/or celebrate positive things taking place at FMS. We want to enhance our overall school community and provide opportunities where all of us are networking together to improve Firebird Nation.
     
    Over the past year, we have noticed a strong need for social emotional learning for our students. Our community is growing and student interactions are different today with all of the new communication tools and methods. We want to help our students learn better ways to communicate and socially interact with others that promotes strong positive relationships. Falcon Middle School was fortunate to receive a grant from the Colorado Attorney General’s office to incorporate the Sources of Strength program next year. We will have staff and students trained as leaders in this program to help promote school and community wide efforts centered on positive interactions and healthy social skills. We will also be changing out IE (homeroom) period to be called “Advisory” next year and moving the time to the middle of the school day for each grade level. During Advisory, each teacher will have a group of about 20 students to work with over the course of the year to build positive relationships, enhance social skills, and build a strong community. The Advisory class will participate in Sources of Strength conversations multiple times a week, while also using the time for academic intervention. We look forward to seeing the positive impacts of this program on our school culture and helping all of our Firebirds develop stronger positive relationships with each other.
     
    In promoting positive communication with our students, we want to encourage effective face to face conversations. We also want to ensure that our students are focused on learning and their academic growth during the school day. For these efforts, we see the need to tighten up our electronic devices policy. We appreciate our PTSA and School Accountability Committee feedback in working to enhance what we do in this area. Next year, we will be closely following District 49 Board of Education Policy JICJ - Student Use of Cell Phones and Other Personal Technology Devices. Basically, personal technology devices must be put away and not be out during the school day. It will be the student’s responsibility to ensure the devices are powered off or put in silent mode throughout the day. Devices will be confiscated and brought to the office if in violation of this policy. We will call home on the first offense and if a second offense occurs, parents will need to come to the office to pick up the device.
     
    We will also be improving our expectations related to dress code. Our student handbook is being updated to ensure these expectations are clear for both students and parents. We are working to ensure it is closely aligned with District 49 Board of Education Policy JICA - Student Dress Code. At the beginning of the year, students and parents will be notified when a copy of the student handbook is posted on our website. We are working to have our broadcasting students, in collaboration with administration, develop a video presentation that all classrooms will be able to view at the beginning of the year that overviews the dress code and other expectations for our students. This video will also be posted on our website for parents to view.
     
    Finally, we want to enhance what we do for our check in days at the beginning of the year. In this new digital era, we have learned that many of the things we typically completed during check in can now be accomplished online to save our parents and families time and frustration. We will be mailing a postcard in July with information related to the first couple days of school and to let you know that the check in process may begin online.  Students and parents will be able to access their schedule online. We will also have links on our back to school page for updating health information, completing athletic participation forms, purchasing a yearbook, adding funds to your lunch account, and paying fees. We have also moved our fall picture date to the 3rd week of school in order that we ensure all students get their pictures taken and receive their student ID. Once students receive their student ID, they will then need it to attend any events at FMS. (This will not include the back to school dance since students will not yet have their IDs…but all events after that time will require an ID.)
     
    Thank you again for all of your support throughout the past year. We hope that all of our families enjoy their summer break with the much needed time for rest and relaxation. We look forward to the 2019-2020 school year and taking Firebird Nation to a whole new level of excellence! See you in August! (Our offices will reopen beginning July 15th.)
     
    Your Proud Firebird Nation Executive Principal,
     
    Brian Smith
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  • Lockdown Drill at FMS Tuesday, Dec. 18

    Posted by David Nancarrow on 12/18/2018
    Good afternoon Falcon Middle School family,
     
    District 49's safety and security team selected FMS for a lockdown drill on Tuesday, Dec. 18.
     
    This drill started at approximately 12:30 p.m. as part of ongoing efforts to continuously strengthen our safety procedures. Drills like this help your school maintain a safe atmosphere and remain prepared in case of an emergency. In the event of an actual emergency, you would be notified via a phone message, text, and/or email.
     
    Please take this opportunity to review and update the emergency contact information you have registered in parent portal.
     
    Please contact Dave Watson, District 49 safety and security director, with any questions.
     
    Sincerely,
     
    David Nancarrow
    Director of Communications 
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  • Lockdown Drill at FMS Thursday, May 3

    Posted by David Nancarrow on 5/3/2018

    Good afternoon Falcon Middle School family,

     

    District 49's safety and security team selected Falcon Middle School for a lockdown drill Thursday, May 3.

     

    This drill started at approximately 1:30 p.m. as part of ongoing efforts to continuously strengthen our safety procedures. Drills like this help your school maintain a safe atmosphere and remain prepared in case of an emergency. In the event of an actual emergency, you would be notified via a phone message, text, and/or email, like this one.

     

    Please take this opportunity to review and update the emergency contact information you have registered in parent portal.

     

    Please contact Dave Watson, District 49 safety and security director, with any questions.

     

    Sincerely,

     

    David Nancarrow

    Director of Communications

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  • Suspicious Book found at FMS Update

    Posted by Samantha Dosen on 1/23/2018

    January 26, 2018 Update: 

    To District 49 parents and parents of Falcon Middle School students:

     

    We are staying on top of a suspicious incident reported at FMS on Monday. A thorough investigation by the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office determined there was no threat to students, staff or guests. Nevertheless, we are aware there are concerns about social media posts related to this incident. Our director of security just spoke to a Sergeant from the Sheriff’s Office who, after looking into these posts closely, believe they are rumors and not a credible threat. School will be in session as normal Monday morning. Students can expect to see an increased security presence which will be in place out of an abundance of caution.

     

    We thank you for your trust, understanding and support in this matter. The safety of students, families and staff on our campuses is a non-negotiable; we’ll continue to be pro-active and partner with local law enforcement to ensure a safe learning environment awaits every District 49 learner every time they arrive at school.

     

    D49 thanks our law enforcement partners and encourages all of our students and families to stay alert and report any suspicious activity.  


    Sincerely,

    David Nancarrow
    Director of Communications


     
     
    January 23, 2018 Update
    Good Afternoon Firebird Nation Families - 
     
    I wanted to send this email out to everyone as I know there are questions and concerns related to the communication received last evening, Jan., 22 referencing the suspicious book. I commend the responsibility of all of our Firebird Nation families, students, and staff in working to keep our school safe. I also appreciate the collaboration with our District 49 Safety team and the El Paso County Sheriff’s office to ensure all protocols are followed to evaluate any situation, no matter how big or small, to ensure our students and community are safe. I have been in communication with these departments again this morning and they have assured us that there is no credible threat towards Falcon Middle School or any individuals at Falcon Middle School. 
     
    At FMS and in D49 we are committed to safety and transparency about potential threats; that is why we share the information we can about investigations and threat assessments. However, we are also committed to student privacy, so we never share the disciplinary consequences that may be imposed by the school or from an external agency. The first priority of a threat assessment investigation is to ensure safe conditions. Assigning disciplinary consequences is a separate and confidential process after the threat investigation. In this matter, as in almost any incident we report publicly, school leaders assign additional actions and consequences that we may not and do not report publicly. 
     
    I also hold a high expectation for keeping parents informed with situations impacting their children. Whenever a student is involved in a situation, we contact their parents to let them know what is going on and work to partner with them on next steps. It takes a team to work together and best support the needs of our students.
     
    I am always open to hearing feedback, questions, and concerns that you have. I thank you for your trust and for holding us to the highest standards for safety and transparency.
     
    Sincerely,
     
     
    Brian Smith
    Executive Principal
    Firebird Nation Campus
    Falcon Middle School

    Dear parents of Falcon Middle School students,

     

    On Monday, Jan. 22 alert students at Falcon Middle School turned in a book they found in the commons area. The book was labeled with a student’s name and included content suggestive of a plan to harm other students.

     

    FMS leadership immediately notified our district security team about the serious nature of the discovery. Administrators interviewed the student, and collaborated with the School Resource Officer from the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office to conduct an interview with the student and the student’s parents. Upon completing a thorough investigation and threat assessment, the SRO’s determined that this isolated incident poses no ongoing threat to students, staff or guests. The student was released under parent supervision. 

     

    District 49 commends the responsibility demonstrated by the students who discovered the notebook and reported it to school leadership. The timely report activated the security measures the district relies on to maintain safety for our students and staff. D49 thanks our law enforcement partners, and encourages all of our students and families to stay alert and report any suspicious activity.

     

    Sincerely,

    David Nancarrow
    Director of Communications
    District 49

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  • Concerning Social Media Post

    Posted by Matthew Meister on 11/16/2017 4:45:00 PM

    Dear Firebird Nation Families,

    You or your child may be aware of a concerning SnapChat post that was made by a FMS student this afternoon, Nov. 16.

    We became aware of the the post by another student who immediately informed FMS staff after observing the post. The reporting student also shared a second post, which stated that the first post was a joke.

    Immediately, District 49 safety and security team members and an El Paso County Sheriff Deputy assigned as a school resource officer began an investigation.

    It was determined that the photo in the original post was not of the FMS student. It was a photograph obtained from the internet. The investigation also revealed that the student who made this post is on family travel out of state for the Thanksgiving holiday. After conversations with the student’s guardians, we have concluded that there was and is no credible threat to Falcon Middle School.

    As you know, safety of students, staff and visitors is our number one priority and any potential threat is taken seriously. It is also a primary goal to provide clear and transparent communication to our families and staff. Because we know you or your child may have found the original social media post concerning, we wanted to communicate that we are aware of the post and have conducted a thorough investigation.

    The reporting student deserves kudos for bringing the social media post to our attention. We appreciate your continued support in helping to maintain the safety of our campus at FMS.

    Please contact Dave Watson, safety and security director at dwatson@d49.org, or Brian Smith, FMS principal, if you have any questions.

    Sincerely,

    Matt Meister
    Director of Communications
    District 49

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