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 November 6, 2017


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

Posted on November 6, 2017

Earn Money for the HMS Library with Filmraiser

Purchase Wonder Tickets and earn money for the HMS Library


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

Posted on September 19, 2017

Welcome to 6th Grade Computer Applications

Welcome to 6th grade Computer Applications.  This course is an A/B day class which will teach students how to become technology literate.  Below is a list of technology concepts will be covering this year:

  • Keyboarding Skills
  • Word-processing,  Spreadsheets, and Presentation Software (Microsoft Office, Office 365)
  • Coding (Tynker)
  • Internet Safety
  • E-mail

We will also be covering three units of Health towards the end of the year.  The following units we will be learning are:

  • Your Health and Wellness
  • Mental and Emotional Wellness
  • Growth and Development

I look forward to having your child in my class and expect a great 2017-2018 school year.  Please feel free to contact me either by phone or e-mail if you have any concerns or questions.

Posted on May 17, 2017


About two weeks ago 8th graders from HMS participated in another Health Community Service night revolving around nutrition. Students spent their time serving dinner and cleaning up afterwards at God’s Love (our local homeless shelter).

In class students dissected labels realizing that not all food (even though it may taste good) is healthy. They researched ingredients that they didn’t know as well as looked at foods that can be healing or foods that could be harmful to the body. But this night was to also remember that not everyone has food. Not everyone (even peers) has access to healthy food or let alone a safe place to stay.

As students served dinner the residents of the shelter were appreciative and amazed that 8th graders would spend their time there. The students did the dishes as well as swept and mopped the floors. Students learned that compassion and kindness are what’s important and that we can share our time, talents and food with any and every one. Joy comes through giving as one can live a generous life esteeming others higher than themselves.

Just as we choose to have healing food or harmful food, we can make the same choice to be healing to others instead of harmful. We can choose to build others up instead of judge, disregard or look the other way at the beggar on the sidewalk, at the resident at the shelter, at the person across the serving line or at the peer in our class.  Thanks to Dave, Tim and Juan for allowing us to come and be a part of the great things that are going on at God’s Love.


So proud of our HMS Bobcats who cared for others on this night. Big shout outs to: Ericka Geddes, Ethan Clampitt, Natalie Christensen, Stacye Penland, Elijah Scheinz, Keira Sumner, Alex Salazar, Maggie McCarvel, Shyanne Christensen and Corbyn Bromlie.


May we all make it a habit to serve instead of be served in our fast-paced me-American society.


Life=not what you gain but what GIVE. KeepSmilin


“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only LIGHT can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only LOVE can do that.”


Martin Luther King, Jr.

Posted on March 10, 2017


Last Tuesday night nine 8th graders from HMS participated in a Service Night working alongside the Friendship Center. Students toured the facility which has locks on all doors and silent alarms throughout. Cameras and spiked walls provide protection to those needing shelter from abusers. The Friendship Center is a totally free non-profit in our community providing aid for usually women and children but men are not exempt from abusive relationships needing help as well.

Students got to tour the rooms noting how gorgeous the facility is. The Friendship Center is recently undergoing upgrades in flooring and is always looking to make victims feel at home. Every piece of furniture is donated to the facility and when residents move out to start their lives over they can take furniture with them. One of the coolest things that the kids remembered is that there are quilts on each bed and kids blankets sewn by members of our Helena community that are given to victims and many hold onto these quilts and blankets as they symbolize the first day of life being safer or when peace started to return.

The students packed packets given to Helena Police Officers and Sherriff deputies who in turn respond to calls of domestic disputes and say, “You don’t have to put up with this. There’s a safe place you can go. I’ll take you there so you can sleep in peace.” The packet includes how to charge criminals and create orders of protection and education materials on a person’s rights so that justice can be served.

Students also sorted donations of children’s/women’s clothes and furniture items for future residents in need. The students won’t get to see the impact of what they accomplished that night but they took two hours of their time to stop evil. They took two hours of their time to help others. They took two hours of their time to use good to change the world. We couldn’t have accomplished anything without Abbie and Reannan who take care of everything that goes on at the Friendship Center and allowed us to come. Big thanks to them for all they do daily.

We can overcome evil with GOOD. We can make an impact in our community and we can change the world with one act of kindness at a time. Consider each interaction today and everyday we’re graced with to give love to others and esteem others higher than ourselves.

Big shout outs to: Stacye Joiner-Penland, Elijah Scheinz, Jazz Baglin, Natalie Christensen, ShyAnne Christensen, Corbyn Bromlie, Ethan Clampitt, Austin Newman, and Cameryn Fehnrich.

Life=not what you gain but what you GIVE. KeepSmilin



“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only LIGHT can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only LOVE can do that.”


Martin Luther King, Jr.

Brad Knox

Health and Physical Educator

Helena Middle School

1025 N Rodney St

Helena, MT 59601


Posted on February 24, 2017


Last Thursday night nine 8th graders from HMS participated in a Community Experience Night partnering with Helena Industries Peer to Peer Group. It was their annual Valentine’s Dance and our students helped setup decorations and snacks as well as danced the night away. Students realized that we sometimes judge others based off of appearances and stereotype others before we get to know them. We limit what others are capable of when we don’t think that they can achieve or accomplish the same things as we can.

The night was a blast as students danced with different people of different ages but they soon found out that some people have the same interests even though their ages are different. Students started the chicken dance before the dance started and others joined in. Many of the partners were amazing dancers and even participated in a dance battle. One woman brought hand-made valentines and gave them to each person in attendance. It was beautiful.

It’s one of the best times when a dance has people in attendance who don’t care what you look like, don’t care what you dance like but just want to have fun and dance. Students could be fancy free and have a good time and not worry about what others thought, they could just be themselves. Life is so much more enjoyable when we can be ourselves and everyone enjoys you for being that way too.

Be HOPE as appearances can be deceiving and we can step out and block for someone. Some circles may put down other races, economic status, genders, disabilities or sexual preferences but we are all human. We aren’t to judge as each person is unique and our differences can be our strengths. Overcome evil with good.

Special thanks to Paul Kindt and Shannon Alexander of Helena Industries for planning this event and allowing us to participate. As well as thanks to Stonehouse for providing the music.

Big Shout outs to: Natalie Christensen, Ericka Geddes (who showed up 3 hours early and did almost everything), Stacye Penland (and her mom), Shyanne Christensen, Alex Salazar, Devon Elliot (and his grandma), Elijah Scheinz, Ethan Clampitt and Austin Newman.

Life=not what you gain but what you GIVE


“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only LIGHT can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only LOVE can do that.”


Martin Luther King, Jr.

Brad Knox

Health and Physical Educator

Helena Middle School

1025 N Rodney St

Helena, MT 59601