Sullivan Middle School- Falcon News Blog

Spring Picture Day

Spring Picture Day is Wednesday. Students are permitted to “dress down” if they are purchasing pictures. You can find the dress down guidelines below. An information flyer is also below.

Dress Down Guidelines-1


Media Center

Our media center has been a busy place! We love to read at Sullivan. Here are our stats for the past two months.

March 2014 Library Statistics from Samantha McManus

Time to Show What We Know!

This is a reminder of our upcoming PASS testing dates in March and May. We encourage you to talk to your child(ren) about the importance of PASS testing. This is an opportunity for them to show what they know! Their scores help determine their courses for next year and make up the 100% of our school grade. It is important that all students try their very best each day of PASS!

2012 Data

2012 Data

Writing – March 18 and 19
ELA, Math, Science and S.S. – May 6,7,8,9

–7th grade students take all 5 subject areas
–6th and 8th grade take Writing, ELA, Math and either science or social studies

More information on the different areas of PASS can be found here:





Social Studies

SMS Media Center – What a Busy Place!

Our media center is a busy place! Check out some of the stats from January and February.

February 2014 Library Statistics from Samantha McManus

Book Giving Day!

Thank you to everyone who donated a book to our “Book Giving” day book drive. We will be donating over 300 books to the Pilgrim’s Inn. One of the IB Learner Profile Qualities is “Caring” and I think this shows our caring nature!

One of my favorite parts of this drive is there was nothing in return for the students. Just the good feeling you get from helping others!

Thank you to Elevation church for helping with this drive as well.


Want to learn more about this unique iniative? You can do so by visiting the link below!

What We Are Reading….

Click the link below to see what some of the Sullivan faculty and staff members are reading. We show a weekly video like this (with up to date info) on our students news program each Friday!

Feb 21, 2014

News and Notes – Feb. 16

Wow, what a crazy winter season weather wise! We hope you had fun in the snow and are ready to get back to school. We have a very busy few weeks as we head toward the midway point of the third nine weeks!

PASS Testing
The writing portion of the PASS test will take place on March 18 and 19.

The ELA, Math, Science and Social Studies portions will take place from May 6-9.
Please reinforce our message to students regarding PASS testing. This is an opportunity for students to show what they know as well as to help us determine which courses students should take next year (including high school classes).

Sullivan Health Fair
The first annual Sullivan Health Fair will take place on Wednesday Feb. 19th from 5-7pm in our school gymnasium. This is a free event and everyone is invited. Door prizes will be given throughout the evening (by random drawing) and students can earn a jeans day for attending and visiting all vendor booths. There will be over 20 local vendors set up for the fair. We hope to see you there!

Sullivan Hall of Fame
Did you know that a former Sullivan Falcon, Lauren Cholewinski has been in two Olympic games?

Do you know of former Sullivan students who are making an impact in their profession?

We are in the process of creating a Sullivan Hall of Fame to commemorate our former Falcons. Nominations can come from all types of professions- teachers, doctors, researchers, lawyers, etc……anyone that is making a positive impact in the world.

Please contact me at [email protected] if you know of someone (or yourself) who went to Sullivan and is making an impact!

School of Choice Open House
Do you know of families zoned to other schools that might be interested in attending Sullivan? Our School of Choice open house will take place on Tuesday, Feb. 25 from 6:00-7:30. Please help us spread the word!

Free Tutoring
Did you know we offer free math tutoring daily? It is open to all students. Call the school at 981-1450 for more information.

Did you know you can receive live homework help from the York County Library? You do not have to go in person; it is all done over the internet. They offer services in almost all classes from elementary school to college level courses! This service is live and interactive with the tutor. Check it out by clicking here.

Chess Club to Move Days
Chess club meetings will be moved to Thursdays. They meet in F227 with Mr. Salisbury from 4:00-5:10.

Baseball Tryouts
Students interested in playing baseball should meet at Sullivan on Monday, February 17th at 12 noon. We will finish around 3 pm.
To participate, you must have a sports physical on file or have it with you on Monday.

To anyone and everyone looking for a fun and serious team to be part of, track practice will officially begin on Tuesday, February 18. Bring running shoes, workout clothes, and a friend or 5. Our goal this year will be to sweep conference as an underdog, and we need your help! It doesn’t matter if you’re not athletic or fast, everyone gets to do an event and not all events are running. See you on the track on Tuesday. Bonus! You will get to meet some professional athletes during the season. Don’t miss this opportunity.

Job Shadowing Day for 8th Grade
Job Shadowing Day for 8th graders is February 24th. Permission forms are due to Mrs. Seabold by Thursday, February 20th. Students need to have signed permission from the employer they will shadow. This is a great opportunity not to be missed!

District Honors Choir
Please plan to attend the Sixth Annual Rock Hill School District Three Middle School Honors Choir Concert
Friday, February 28, 2014 7:00 p.m.
Calvary Baptist Church, Worship Center

Hear select students from all five Rock Hill Middle Schools and York Middle School.

No Admission Charge – click here for flyer.

Teacher’s Choice Art Show
The opening reception of the annual Teacher’s Choice Art Show will take place on March 6 at 6 p.m. The show is at the Center for the Arts on Main Street and includes all schools in our district. Students from Sullivan who have work in the show are: Kiara Abanto, Davis Johnson, Madison Sinclair, Emma Gilleland, Mia Collins, Mia Marion, Zoe Johanson, Jessie Stover, Esmerelda Sanchez, Ellen Kettlewell. Congratulations to these students and art teacher Ms. Barnette!

Work will be on display from February 21-March 16.

Car Pool Pick Up Area
We will be making several changes to our car pool pick up area in the afternoon. You must have at least three students in the car pool daily in order to qualify to use the parking lot by the tennis courts. This is for the afternoon only. Signs will be installed, but you can only use the back row of the lot that runs parallel to the tennis courts and the back row that runs parallel to the softball field.

No vehicles are permitted to park along curbs, etc…One of the parking spots in the areas above must be used. Everyone must fill out a new application (except those who already completed the new application). You can click here to find the new application. Completed applications, with all signatures, should be submitted to Mrs. Baker in the front office. Thank you for your assistance as we work to make it a safer process for all involved.

French and Spanish Class Students
Please remember you can use “Duolingo” to practice their for class.

Books-Giving Day
Mrs. McLean’s Literacy Club would love donations of gently used books (infant through adult) to donate to Pilgrim’s Inn for International Book Giving Day.

Team 6-2 ELA News
On Team 6-2 in ELA, students created vision boards which included goals for 2014 they would like to accomplish. They had to put together a collage of pictures that represent their goals. Parents may view their student’s vision board on their iPads.

Computer Science News
Sullivan’s Computer Science Academy class had the pleasure to welcome a guest speaker, Ben Visser, with Social Design House of Rock Hill. Mr. Visser spoke to the class about the ability to utilize computer science as a means of creativity. Students were amazed at some of Mr. Visser’s design, in particular the website, and were able to connect their coding ability to his.

Mr. Visser encouraged the students to continue to explore HTML, a language used to program webpages, and javaScript. Students were proud that they were able to understand the code Mr. Visser used on his sites. It was a great experience to have Mr. Visser as a guest speaker. He provided an opportunity to show the students that what they learned in Computer Science class, was actually used in real life to create awesome projects dealing with design.

Blind Date with a Book
The library’s “Blind Date with a Book” has been a big hit. Students have had fun checking out books wrapped in newspaper and discovering their new treasure. Blind dates with books help the students discover new books they might not have been interested in by just looking at the cover.
Students who have read 3 or more of this year’s Junior Book Award nominees will be invited to a book voting party next Friday, February 21st. Students need to report the titles they’ve read to Mrs. McManus through the Falcons Read Edmodo group by Tuesday to participate.

Sullivan Music
The Sullivan Middle School 7th/8th Grade Band will perform at the SCBDA Concert Festival on March 26th. The performance will be at Nation Ford High School at 1:00pm. This is a free performance and we would would love to have some Falcon supporters there!

Ensembles from the band, chorus, and orchestra will perform at the Carowinds Music Festival on April 4th. Parents should receive information this coming week with details!

The 8th Grade Music Department Spring Trip to Orlando is coming up this May! There will be an information meeting on March 17th at 6:00pm in the chorus room. This meeting is for anyone wanting to get more information about the trip regardless of if you are signed up or not. There are still slots available! Contact your child’s director for information.

Lastly, the Sullivan Music Department will kick off their spring fundraiser this week! Music students will be selling candles and snacks to help raise support for our wonderful music programs. Thank you for your support!
Pennies for Patients
The Pennies for Patients fundraising campaign begins this week. The Falcon Time which raises the largest amount of money will be served a pasta lunch provided by the Olive Garden. All money raised is donated to the South Carolina Leukemia and Lymphoma Cancer Society. The Campaign is sponsored by the SMS Junior Civitans.

Public Education in the U.S.
Did you know the high school graduation rate it the highest it has ever been in our nation’s history? For more interesting facts on public education check out our blog.

U.S. Public Education Remains Strong

While some people believe in the popular myth that U.S. education is lagging far behind other nations, there is a tremendous amount of data that simply refutes this common belief.

Did you know the U.S. graduation rate is at the HIGHEST level ever in our nation’s history? Yep, that is right! The graduation rate for the nation is 80% and that shows we have plenty of work to do. However, it is also important to note it has never been higher in our nation.

Another indicator of our strong public schools is that the U.S. leads all other nations (by a huge margin) in Patents in Force. We have almost 600,000 more than the next country and then almost 3 times the amount of the third country. Take a look at the widget on the front page (right side) more info on patents!

Previously we looked at Nobel Prize winners and saw that the U.S. holds a large lead in this area as well!

None of this is to say that our educational system is perfect. We all know we have work to do. However, it is important that we look at the facts when we hear many people disparage U.S. public education.

News and Notes from the Nest

Report Cards
Report cards will be sent home with students on Tuesday. Please take some time to review your child’s grades. This is a great time to set goals with your child for the remainder of the year. Goals are more powerful when written down and when a plan to reach the goal is created. Rather than just saying a goal is to make all “A’s and B’s”, it is much more powerful if you talk about and write down the steps needed to reach the goal.

Almost time for High School?
Wow, it is just about time for our 8th grade students to register for their 9th grade courses. Students will be completing an IGP (Individual Graduation Plan) on February 5th. They should have brought home information regarding your appointment this past week. We hope you can attend this important event for our 8th grade students.

Free Tutoring
Did you know we offer free math tutoring daily? It is open to all students. You can see the schedule below.


Did you know you can receive live homework help from the York County Library? You do not have to go in person; it is all done over the internet. They offer services in almost all classes from elementary school to college level courses! This service is live and interactive with the tutor. Check it out by clicking here.

7th Grade College and Career Fair
Our 7th grade career fair is Friday, January 31st. We expect over 40 businesses and schools to be in attendance. 7th grade students are encouraged to dress professionally on Friday.

Car Pool Pick Up Area
We will be making several small changes to our car-pool pick up area in the afternoon. The details are being worked out. The school police officer and administration do not feel 100% comfortable with the current arrangement. More information will be distributed soon regarding the changes.

Falcon Flight Club
Many students will be joining the Flight Club due to their outstanding academic performance during the 2nd nine weeks. There are two levels of the flight club – Silver and Blue. Both groups are eligible for several incentives. Some of the prizes for Blue Card holders include a jean day, Popsicle or other treat at lunch, skip to the front of the lunch line on Friday’s and more! Silver card holders get those and a few more prizes. Random drawings for prizes to local businesses are held for each group as well! Great job students! We love to reward our kids for a job well done and encourage others to meet these high academic standards in the future.

Students who earn a Blue or Silver card are permitted to wear jeans on January 29th.

PTO News
The faculty and staff would like to thank all of the parents who provided yummy cookies for the holiday cookie exchange. We feel so lucky that you took the time to bring us those delicious treats. Thank you!

Our teachers will soon be able to apply for PTO Mini-Grants. This if funded by the PTO and provides teachers with essential supplies for their classrooms. Thank you PTO!

Hour of Code
Sullivan participated in the Hour of Code event in December. This is a national event geared towards getting kids excited about careers in Computer Science.

Did you know there is a vast shortage of workers in the US for the careers available in Computer Science? We want to make sure our kids are aware of this exciting career field. All of our students “coded” for at least one hour to get a feel for this exciting career field.

We had several visitors that day and members from the media as well!

From the Falcon Blog

Herald Article

WRHI Article

Principal Receives State Honor
Congratulations to Michael Waiksnis, principal, on his selection by the S. C. Assn. of School Administrators (SCASA) as the S.C. Middle Level Principal of the Year.

The “surprise” announcement was made Wednesday (12/11) at 1:15 by Molly Spearman, director of SCASA. He will represent South Carolina at the National Principal of the Year competition in Washington, D.C.

While he is excited with the honor, Waiksnis said he “gives the credit to the hard working faculty and staff and our wonderful students and community”.

Falcon Baseball
Sullivan is excited to become the first middle school in Rock Hill to have a baseball team. We will play middle school teams from Fort Mill, Clover and York. With this new addition, we are the only middle school in Rock Hill to have soccer and baseball. We feel it is important to give our kids as many opportunities as possible to become more connected to their school. These two programs are 100% self-funded so we thank you for your continued financial support!

Free Winthrop Basketball
All elementary school students, staff, family and friends can attend Winthrop basketball games on February 8 for FREE by bringing a needed item for donation to Back the Pack, the district’s weekend food program for students in need. Items to donate include individually packaged breakfast bars, sandwich crackers, fruit cups, pudding cups, raisins, nuts, beef jerky, bottled water, tuna, cereal, etc. Basketball games on Feb. 8 include the Winthrop women vs. UNC-Asheville at 1 pm and the Winthrop men vs. Campbell at 4 pm.

Visiting Chinese Students
A group of 23 Chinese students will spend January 29 at Sullivan. We hosted a similar group of students from China last year and look forward to meeting our new friends next week! Their visit is being sponsored by the Chinese Culture and Education Center located at USC-Spartanburg.

Selected Upcoming Dates
Thursday, January 30 – Jean day for those who returned signed form indicating parents took the Advanc-Ed survey (Form is due Monday, Jan. 27 to your child’s Falcon Time teacher)

Friday, January 31 – 7th grade college and career fair

Wednesday, Feb 5 – IGP’s for 8th grade students and families

Wednesday, Feb 12 – late start day – Students should report to school two hours later than normal.

Thursday, Feb 13 – SOC open house 6:00-7:30 at Sullivan for those who are not zoned for Sullivan and wish to attend next year. This is for future school of choice families. If you are already here you do not need to attend this.

Monday, February 17 – No School
Thursday, February 20 – Progress Report Day

What a Great Community!

We are really feeling the support and appreciation of our wonderful community this week! Our entire faculty and staff feel delighted to serve our community. We wish you a wonderful winter break!

Thank you to SouthPaw ( for donating 15 SMS sweatshirts for our students.

Thank you to the teachers, staff, parents and PTO for “adopting” an angel from the SMS angel tree and helping out more than a few of our students.

Thank you again to Dr. Winslow and Glenda from Rock Hill Chiropractic and Cheer for Children for donating almost 900 books for our students to take home! Wow!

Thank you to the wonderful parents of our school who donated cookies and other baked goodies for our annual cookie exchange.

Thank you to the PTO for helping out with our holiday luncheon for staff.

Thank you to QT gas and convenience store for providing doughnuts and other goodies for our teachers this morning!