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Oskaloosa Middle School

Dear Oskaloosa Middle School Families and Community Members,

Thank you for taking the time to visit our school’s website. I hope each of you has had an enjoyable summer and that you had an opportunity to spend some quality time with your family and friends in anticipation of another school year. I am deeply honored to be serving the Oskaloosa Community School District as your new building principal and will do everything I can to make your child’s learning and social experiences with us positive and meaningful.

I believe each of our students deserves a world-class education and that by educating the “whole” child socially, emotionally, and academically, they will grow and develop into fine young citizens that will be ready to do their part to advance our society. By partnering together with parents/guardians and community stakeholders, I am confident our work together will not only benefit our students in our building, but will have a lasting, positive impact in our community as well. We have a talented and loyal staff ready to do whatever it takes to help our students succeed both in and out of the classroom.  

Our caring and devoted staff has been hard at work in planning and preparing for this school year. Our office secretaries are registering new families, ordering materials and updating student files.  Our diligent custodians and maintenance staff have spent the entire summer thoroughly cleaning and prepping the building. I am very proud of the work each of these departments has put forth in anticipation of this school year, and it is our hope that you can see the degree of professionalism our staff carry with them to give our students the best learning conditions possible to maximize their potential.

We have some wonderful additions to our staff this school year. Nicole Stewart will be joining the 6th grade team, instructing Language Arts/Writing and Social Studies. Bart Elliott comes to our Physical Education department with significant experience and know-how. Megan Baker will be taking on Special Education needs in our building, while Rebecca Bock will be splitting time between the high school and middle school as our new librarian. Tyler Coleman will be joining the music department as our new Orchestra Director. Steve Kaisand will be taking on a new role in the building as an Instructional Coach and Ann Roberts will be serving the building as a behavior interventionist. Tauni Biddle will be taking on an 8th Grade math position. Last, but certainly not least, Clint Gingerich will be assuming the role of Associate Principal in our building. I have the utmost confidence in each of these individuals, as I do in all of our teachers and staff, that they will do what is best for our students and model what it means to be safe, caring, responsible, and respectful.

I am happy to report that numerous maintenance and construction projects have taken place this summer. First, our entryway and south parking lot have been redone in order to provide a smoother driving, drop off, and parking experience for our parents, community members, and staff. To create an even safer and nourishing learning environment, bollards and a new camera system have been installed in our building as well. In an effort to promote the aesthetic value and quality of the middle school and encourage a sense of “Indian Pride”, we have replaced a great deal of flooring throughout many classrooms and have repainted many rooms throughout the building, while adding some encouraging, motivational signage throughout our hallways and commons to support a sense of belonging and belief in each of our students.

A great deal of time, effort, and thought has gone into the creation of the master schedule for the 2019-20 school year. Time has been allocated so that each student will have an advisory period each day in order to enhance his/her social and emotional learning skills. We will be introducing Passion-Based Learning in our classrooms to build positive relationships with our students and expose them to areas of interest they have and want to pursue further. Academic and behavior learning supports and opportunities will be offered to students at the end of the day during what is referred to as “WIN (What I Need) Time”. Through these opportunities, in addition to quality, explicit instruction throughout the day, we will reach the “whole” child socially, emotionally, and academically.

The process of student placement for the coming school year was also given careful consideration in order to assure that class sizes were balanced academically and socially. Class lists were constructed to provide an equitable amount of students at each grade level. Moving students is difficult without causing imbalances and inequities. Thank you so much for understanding our position on this, knowing what difficulty exists in trying to place all students with a preferred best friend or teacher.

This is going to be a fantastic year at OMS! We are very eager to see your child and make a positive impact on their life, both in and out of the classroom. Thank you for entrusting us with your child and giving us the opportunity to maximize his/her academic, social, and emotional potential. Your support is greatly appreciated as always. Please know that we encourage you to visit us and take an active part in your child’s educational journey here. Again, it is an honor and a privilege to serve as your principal. On behalf of our faculty and staff, we would like to WELCOME you to Oskaloosa Middle School.

Yours Truly in Education,


Mark T. Scholes, Principal
Oskaloosa Middle School