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Update from Principal Mckenna

As some of you may know, I originally came to Durango 3 years ago as Principal at Needham Elementary. Before that change, I was an English Language Arts teacher for 10 years in Utah. After much thought and consideration, I have decided now is the time to return to Utah, where I will be closer to my family. I’m excited to also return to the classroom teaching junior high ELA, and to share my love of literature and writing.

Assistant Principal Trousdale and I have been working hard with our instructional leadership team to envision the future of Miller, and how we can continue to address needs and gaps to ensure the best possible learning experience for you and your student. I am excited to share with you a peek at some of these changes that are coming up.

Next year we are looking at a block schedule, where students would have an A/B schedule and would have four different classes on a rotating schedule. Crew and math will be everyday. This new block schedule means classes will be 75 minutes long, and allows for fewer transitions and lost time between classes. And this also means a longer lunch, great electives, and longer experiments or outdoor activities!

Our math focus is intended to strengthen the needed skills throughout all grade levels, as data indicates this is a need across the Miller community. The teaching staff will continue to be departmentalized with experts focusing and collaborating on their core content areas with an emphasis in complex thinking and transfer, as well as diversifying curriculum to represent more cultures and backgrounds. Students will continue to have grade level teams, so that stays the same.

We are very excited for this focus next year and look forward to your partnership in supporting your student(s) reach their fullest potential.  The Superintendent will work with the school instructional leadership team to determine the next best steps for leadership at Miller and I’m sure more information is forthcoming.

It's been an honor to serve the community of Miller Middle School and Durango. From day one, Dan Snowberger, the Board, and the staff at 9-R welcomed me and supported my vision for positive change in schools. I am a better teacher and leader from my experiences here, and will treasure my time here.

Jenny Mckenna

Principal - Miller Middle School