About Us » Principal's Message

Principal's Message

I have the honor of being the Big Bear Middle School principal and working with the best

students, staff, parents and community. “T.E.A.M.” is the school motto where “Together

Everyone Achieves More.” Collaboration with community, parents and all staff is valued

and many partnerships have been created to enhance the learning experience of all

students. Maintaining a positive environment has been a focus of our staff.

We are currently in the second year of PBIS (Positive Behavior Intervention Support)

implementation which has resulted in a more effective social and educational setting.

Our PBIS slogan is Big Bear Middle School ROCKS! R.O.C.K.S. stands for Respect,

Opportunity, Citizenship, Kindness and Safety. Recent years have yielded an increase

in ADA (Average Daily Attendance), reduced suspension rates and a culture of “cool to

be kind” with help from programs such as the research-based PBIS and “Safe School

Ambassadors” program. Currently, our Safe School Ambassador program is “In the

Spotlight” on the CDE web-site for “access” to leadership development. “Access” is one

of the “Twelve Recommendations” for closing the achievement gap in middle schools.

We promote having students be part of the solution, not part of the problem and teach

the necessary skills for their success.

Numerous incentives to encourage good behavior through positive reinforcement are

offered. These incentives include: school wide recognition and awards, certificates of

achievement, MERIT points and privileges, lunch field trip, Cub Paws, name on the

“Wall of Fame” or “Kindness Tree” and other awards. The goal of the discipline program

is to change the behavior with increased responsibility and citizenship. Students are

often asked to take ownership of their behavior and determine a consequence that will

best facilitate behavior change.

The staff is committed to implementing a rigorous, real-world, balanced, standards-

based curriculum to ensure each child’s success and create life-long learners. High

expectations and the 4 C’s (Critical thinking, Creativity, Collaboration and

Communication) will be observed in classroom visitations. The fifth C (Climate/Culture)

will be recognized as the warm feeling as one walks the campus and is greeted by

friendly students and staff. Efforts to close the achievement gap have continued with

the implementation of a highly successful “STEM for ALL” program that will give all

students the necessary 21st Century skills for college, career and life readiness.

Monthly STEM/Career Symposiums offer students exposure to a variety of careers,

elective classes each have a STEaM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and

Math) focus and interdisciplinary units are taught school-wide. STEM Academies offer

a high level STEM focus. Field trips and “place-based learning” have been funded for a

real world experience, to thoroughly engage students in the learning process and foster

responsible citizens.

The dedicated teachers and staff work hard to provide a plethora of extra-curricular

opportunities for our students in a collaborative effort with community and parents.

Weekly enrichment opportunities, intervention, school clubs, activities and sports are

some of the offerings provided with this collaborative effort. The Positive School

Climate committee with representation from all stakeholders continues to be a positive

“think tank” of creative “solution seekers” in an effort to make Big Bear Middle School a

destination school.

We welcome you to join us to be part of our T.E.A.M. and support our efforts because

we believe that Big Bear Middle School ROCKS!


Shelley Bassham