Getting the Most

How to Get the MOST out of Middle School

Step One: Know Your School

  • School calendars have important dates & events
  • Learn the attendance & tardy policies
  • Learn about required and elective courses offered at school
  • Schools need rules and policies to run safely; know them and follow them.
  • Where do I go for assistance?  There are teachers, counselors, administrators, office staff available to assist.

Step Two: Be in school every day

  • Good attendance will not guarantee you good grades.  You are, however, pretty much guaranteed to get bad grades if you have bad attendance.

Step Three: Know how to get good grades

  • Be organized; use a student planner or assignment notebook
  • Manage your time well
  • Take good notes
  • Know how to read a textbook
  • Study smart
  • Use test-taking strategies (teachers will help you learn these techniques)

Step four: Set Goals

  • It is important for people of all ages to have goals
  • Set short-term goals
  • Example: “Get a B on my next Social Studies test.” or ” Get all of my chores done by Friday.”
  • Set long-term goals
  • Example: “Get all A’s & B’s on my report card this quarter.”  or  “Go to college and become a lawyer.”
  • Set goals that are specific, measurable, and realistic.
  • Set both school and personal goals
  • Write the goal

Step five: Get Involved

  • Participate in school activities
  • Get involved in activities outside of school

Step six: Make Good Choices and Decisions

  • You must “own” your behavior.

Step seven: Deal with Stress, Anger, and Bullies

  • Getting enough sleep, eatting right, and getting plenty of exercise will help you deal with stress.
  • If you find yourself getting angry talk with a friend, parent, or counselor.  It may also help if you close your eyes, breathe deeply, and count to 10 or 20.  I often tell students to go “kick a rock” not hit or say something you may regret.
  • In middle school, you’ll probably run into some students who act like jerks.  You may also see a few students who are more than jerks – they are bullies.  A bully is looking for a reaction, so if you’re ever the target of a bully, ignore him/her, or give this person a look and tell them to stop; then walk away.
  • If you’re having a problem with a bully, let your friends know and also tell your parent, counselor, and/or a teacher.

Step eight: Get Along with Your Parents

  • Getting along with your parents will make your middle school years a lot easier and a lot more fun.  Talk to your parents about what’s happening in school and about what you and your friends are doing.  Communicate!  Communicate!

Step nine: Understand the Social Scene

  • Middle school students are a lot more interested and involved in social activities than elementary students.  During these years, there are parties, dances, cliques, boyfriends, girlfriends, and a lot more gossip.  Students care about what other students do and wear, and everyone is worried about how they look.
  • The middle school social scene can be exciting, crazy, and sometimes difficult to deal with.  Here are some suggestions on how to deal with it:
  • Find friends that you have things in common with and who like you for who you are.
  • Go out of your way to be friendly.
  • Don’t do something that isn’t you just to be cool.
  • Be careful what you say.

Step ten: Plan and Prepare for Your Future

  • Now is a good time to start thinking about what kind of career you might want to have.
  • Seven Career Areas: 1) Business, 2) Health Care, 3) Skilled Trades, 4) High Tech/Computers, 5) The Arts, 6) Education, 7) Human Services
Posted on March 12, 2019

Library Family Night Tech Expo!

Family Night @ the Library!



MARCH 21, 2019


6-8 PM


Expo interactive Experiences:

Gary Myers:

Circuit Playground Express is the next step towards a perfect introduction to electronics and programming.

We start our journey with Microsoft MakeCode block-based or Javascript programming. You can code on a Chromebook or any computer with a USB port.  The Circuit Express Playground has a TON of sensors, display, and input options. For this introduction, we will create some basic programs at, then we will plug them into the device to enjoy the “fruits” of our programming labors!


Friedrich Drees

Apple Swift Programming using EV3 Lego Robots Learn the Swift programming language by playing Lego on your iPad!

Swift was initiated from Apple a few years ago and is now an open-source project under Apple’s guidance. It bridges between fast coding languages like C but still supports readability and has easy to learn features like Python. Apple’s Playgrounds app makes it easy to dive into the language. To make this even more fun we will show and practice how to control a Lego EV3 robot directly from the iPad platform. As this is done from the Playgrounds app, students are able to understand basics, structures, data management and control mechanism within the Swift language.


John Miller:  

Robotics fun for everyone 1. Arduino Radar/Sonar demonstration. Students will have an opportunity to observe a sonar demonstration on a computer screen. The screen will look like a sweeping sonar/radar screen much like that used in the military or air traffic controller. It is controlled with an Arduino Uno R3 Microcontroller and uses an ultrasonic sensor.

  1. Vex pic controlled ultrasonic autonomous robot. This robot is self-moving and uses an ultrasonic sensor to move avoiding objects. Can it get out of a box by itself?
  2. Various Pic16F877-20/P Microcontroller projects. These projects show the workings and components of microcontrollers. Students can change the physical makeup of breadboards and program the microcontrollers to perform various tasks.
  3. Vex pic controlled remote-controlled camera robot. Students can remotely control a robot with a camera attached. They have to only use a TV screen to see what the robot sees as they operate the robot.
  4. Vex pic controlled claw and motion remote controlled robot. Students can use the robot to grab various objects and move them across the room and place them in various other places during a timed session.
  5. Vex pic controlled claw and motion remote controlled robot; along with Turnigy remote control. Students can use the robot to grab various objects and move them across the room and place them in various other places during a timed session. The difference with this robot is that two students are required to work together as a team to accomplish the tasks.
  6. Vex pic controlled autonomous line following robot. This robot autonomously follows a dark line. Watch how it handles different choices with its motion.
  7. Arduino Ultrasonic demonstration. Students can see how this project is constructed using a breadboard and Arduino Uno R3 Microcontroller. They can adjust the wiring and components, then reprogram the module to accomplish various tasks.
  8. Arduino Motor demonstration. Students can see how this project is constructed using a breadboard and Arduino Uno R3 Microcontroller. They can adjust the wiring and components, then reprogram the module to accomplish various tasks

Lisa and Norm Dwyer:

Fun with Web Development

CodePen is an online playground for web developers and designers. It’s a great place to find fun and amazing code samples that you can experiment with on your own. You’ll be introduced to using the three coding languages of the web; CSS 3, javascript and HTML 5. You can create your own code projects or edit others’, including animations, interactive interfaces and more. Plus, you can see the results in real time!

Joe Roberts:

Making Cool Stuff with Raspberry Pi and other mad tech skills 

Fix an iPhone

– take apart and replace screen and battery on an iPhone5.  I will be allowing students to participate directly in this.  Showing instructions from ifixit, using special tools and discussing organizational skills required.

Soldering station.

Retro Gaming Systems

– showcasing 3 different retropi assemblies.

A). A console based system kit with an RPi 3B+ that comes with wired       controllers.

B). An ultra small version of the previous console that minimal handheld version with a build-in controller, using a Raspberry Pi Zero.

C) A mobile handheld gaming system witnessed built in screen, controller and battery using a Raspberry Pi 3B+.

Raspberry Pi speaker system.  Turn any speaker into an Airplay or Bluetooth speaker.


John Tabb:

Diddy Bow!!

Think you need an expensive electric guitar to make good music? Think again! We’ll show you how you can make a simple, one string electric instrument in minutes with scraps from the garage! You’ll be playing the slide blues in no time!


Don Heide:

Ham Radio? What is it?

“Things you can do with amateur radio”:

Talk around the world without the internet or cell phones. Use your own “Internet” when the “other one” is down.

Send your voice, text, and pictures to unusual places, both near and far.

Create your own network of ham radio friends and send instant text messages without cell phones.

Meet awesome people from all over the U.S. and around the world, on-the-air and in person at ham radio events.

Talk through satellites or with astronauts on board the International Space Station.


Plus student demonstrations and fantastic door prizes including,  a Raspberry Pi, wireless headphones, robotic sphero-bot and many more!

Posted on November 19, 2018

8th Grade Ski Trip Survey

Please click this link and log in to complete a short survey about an 8th grade ski trip! The form was designed by Kalley May and Colter Petre

8th Grade Ski Trip Survey Link


Posted on September 26, 2018

October English Calendar

Posted on September 26, 2018

September Calendar

Posted on September 17, 2018

Negative and Postitive Numbers

Our first unit will focus on adding and subtracting negative numbers.

Our objectives:

I can order negative and positive numbers
I can explain and make use of absolute value
I can explain and make use of difference of opposite numbers
I can Add positive and negative Integers
I can Subtract positive and negative integers
I can Add Positive/Negative fractions&decimals
I can Subtract Positive/Negative fractions&decimals

This is the Rubric for grading this unit.  It has book pages and other assignments listed:

1. Pos Neg 4 Point Rubric

Can It Be ASN

Cookie Madness

7th Grade Integer Timeline Project

Posted on August 29, 2018

Welcome to the 2018-19 School Year

Welcome to the Helena Middle School Choir and Orchestra Programs!

This is the start of an exciting adventure for your child and his or her classmates.  I am looking forward to working with all of my students and preparing them for their concerts throughout our school year.  Since we are performing ensembles, we learn our fundamental music skills through our concert preparations.  My main goal as a music educator is to have fun while learning about music, and this is an important aspect of my classroom environment.  I look forward to seeing all of you at our first performance.  If you have any questions please email me and have a great 2018-19 school year!
Posted on June 1, 2018

From the Principal

Welcome to Helena Middle School 2018-2019

Hello! Helena Middle School Students and Parents!

Helena Middle School is a place where everyone can belong!  Our universal expectations explain our philosophy:

  • BE SAFE!

HMS students engage in a great variety of learning experiences in a safe and respectful environment.

HMS prides itself on being a community school.  Everyone in our school family will find opportunities to contribute and participate in the positive educational experiences. Our parents are crucial partners in our learning environment. Students and parents at HMS can work together with us in shaping the best educational outcomes for our students.

The Middle School years are exceptionally important for students. During this time, students hone learning skills, study habits, school behaviors, and decision-making skills in preparation for the high school. The relationships they make at HMS will be a solid foundation for success in middle school and beyond. Middle School is vital to the successful completion of high school.

Best wishes to you and your families in the upcoming year. My door is always open. I value student and parent input and involvement. At HMS, it’s all about kids. Have a great year!


Cal Boyle, Principal

Posted on January 23, 2018

6th Grade Counselor Survey

Posted on November 6, 2017


The Book Fair is coming! November 7 – November 17. Preview Books and Pre-order here!

Posted on November 6, 2017

See the movie Wonder and earn money for the HMS Library!

Wonder Tickets Click here to purchase tickets to Wonder to benefit HMS Library!

OPENS Nov. 17 Purchase tickets on Nov. 17, 18, 19 to Benefit HMS Library