Zionsville Middle School

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Principal's Welcome-A Message from Mr. Conner

Greetings!
 
On behalf of the Zionsville Middle School staff, I would like to welcome you to our school. It has been
my privilege and honor to serve as the ZMS principal for the past 18 years, during which time I have
come to truly appreciate what a special place it is.
 
When considering the contributing factors of this extraordinary environment, the community that it
serves leaps first to mind. Zionsville is a place where education is a priority, and this fact is evident every
day. It is apparent in our exceptionally active and supportive PTO, in the way that our students come to
school with their homework done and ready to learn, and in the incredible parent attendance at ZMS
outreach events such as Open House and Spring Fling, athletic contests, and our music concerts. Parent
involvement can even be witnessed in the parking lot before school. Our voluminous traffic is seen by
some as a nuisance, but I prefer to look at it as evidence that ZMS parents are connected with and
supportive of their children in ways that parents in many other communities are not. Yes, it is safe to
say that ZMS thrives because of parental involvement.
 
Zionsville Middle School’s 1,150 students have the opportunity to interact with an accomplished
certified staff. 55% of this talented group of 65 educators possesses an advanced degree, but more
importantly, it is a group of professionals that likes to be with and inspire children. ZMS teachers are a
forward leaning bunch, always in search of innovations, and eager to collaborate with one another in an
effort to share those innovations from one classroom to the next. Our school is frequently visited by
other schools as an exemplar for technology use, strategies to work with different grade configurations,
and our academic program. While many schools are just now contemplating the integration of
technology into students’ academic experience, our instructors have been working in a 1:1 environment
for 9 years now. Our school’s E‐Days became a model for schools across the state, and even influenced
the state’s approach to snow day make‐ups. All of this is true because of a group of professionals who
are dedicated to make tomorrow’s school day even better than the one before it.
 
Our structure varies for each grade level in order to provide an age‐appropriate experience for our
students in grades 5‐8. In grades 5 and 6, where we strive to ease the transition from elementary
school, our students spend three periods with one teacher in their humanities class, where they learn
their language arts and social studies curricula in integrated fashion. In addition, our 5th grade students
have the same teacher for science and math, so over 70 percent of their day takes place in two
classrooms. This gradual release of responsibility (and real estate) makes our school feel smaller for our
youngest students. Though we do not team in grades 5 and 6, our 7th and 8th grades are teamed in
science, language arts and social studies, which means though three teachers have a common set of
students – a structure that provides additional support for and knowledge about our students. One final
piece of the puzzle that provides support for our students is the fact that our guidance counselors loop
with their students, creating a four‐year relationship beneficial to students and parents alike.
 
Finally, the curricular offerings at ZMS are second to none. Our students in all grades may choose from
band, choir or orchestra – courses that meet every day throughout the school year (7th and 8th graders
may also choose art as a year‐long course). Our 7th and 8th graders may choose from Chinese, French or
Spanish for their foreign language offering, and they may earn high school credit for their second level
course. Exploratory areas for all grade levels include art, physical education/health and Project Lead the
Way. High Ability courses exist in all core academic areas, and in each grade level there are two courses
above grade level standard. Ours students leave ZMS with a wide‐variety of experiences, and
exceptionally well‐prepared for their high school program.
 
Whether you are the parent of a returning ZMS student, of an incoming 5th grader, or your family is
considering a move to Zionsville, the staff at Zionsville Middle School stands ready and eager to work
with you and your child(ren) to provide a first class education and a positive environment in which to
learn and grow.
 
Welcome to ZMS!