Principal's Message



Welcome to Otto Shortell Middle School, “Where Middle School Counts”, for the 2019-2020 school year!

The middle years are a time for growth, challenges, and new experiences. A new school year also signifies an exciting time for all: an opportunity for a fresh start, a chance to see new faces, occasions to create new friendships or rekindle old ones, and experience busier schedules filled with choices. Every year at OSMS, we encourage our students to be risk takers, to be self-advocates, and to build relationships with their peers and staff. Our goal is to challenge each child academically, help them grow emotionally and socially, and guide them into become independent thinkers. Students are encouraged to display good behavior and respond respectfully to everyone in our school while making good choices that will result in positive outcomes. I am proud to be the principal of such a fine school with such dedicated teachers and staff members. However, the best part is that together with the community and parental involvement, we are moving students toward their individual goals and preparing them for an ever-changing future.

Middle school is a time of change. The workloads and social interactions are greater than those at the elementary level. The school building itself is larger with more classrooms, and there are more students. There are multiple teachers and multiple lockers for each student. These are just a few of the many changes that occur during the middle years. However, the good news is that all of us here at OSMS have been through these changes many times and are able to assist students and parents during this wonderful journey. We are continually asked by parents about how to support the students during this period of three years in order that their children will be successful. Here are a few suggestions for parents and students that could make the overall experience more enjoyable and prosperous:


  • Talk with your child about the school day and what is going on in each of his/her classes. For example, “What was the most interesting thing you talked about in English class today?” or “Tell me about the project you did in technology this week.”


  • Check the parent portal for grades and homework assignments incomplete or complete.


  • Follow along with the electronic agendas or the school issued agenda.


  • Stay in contact with your child’s teachers and staff members for a strong home/school connection.



  • Use the electronic or school paper agenda for writing down important information.


  • Set a time and quiet place to do school work at home each night.


  • Check your grades and assignments on parent portal.


  • Plan ahead and always be prepared.


  • Attend school regularly and get work when you are out.


  • Get involved in school activities!


The school’s success depends on the partnership between students, staff, parents, teachers, administrators, and community members. Active parent participation is vital to a rewarding experience by all. With our efforts, we can make great strides toward helping our young people reach their potential and become respected citizens of our community. We can expect increased independence and acceptable models of behavior with a collaborative effort spanning in and out of school. Together we can foster a safe environment that produces students with strong, compassionate character capable of competing with the best of the best in a diverse world.


If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me at school or composing an email. I look forward to a very exciting 2019- 2020 school year and working with your children and you to make this the best year ever! Always remember, “We are Otto Shortell Middle School, Where Middle School Counts!”

Educationally yours,

Todd Widrick


Otto Shortell Middle School





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