Welcome to the Falcon Nation

Mission Statement

We believe that all students can reach their full potential and achieve their dreams.  Sierra is dedicated to preparing tomorrow's leaders for a dynamic, global society through the diligent efforts of our committed students. parents, staff and community members.

School Supply Lists

6th Grade:
1- 3 ring notebook binder; 4 inches
200 sheets- loose leaf paper
3- Composition notebooks
24- Pencils
2- blue or black ink pens
1 box- colored pencils
1 large eraser
2- highlighters
2- sheet protectors
1- USB
2- Kleenex boxes
5- Notebook dividers
1- heavy duty backpack
PE Supplies
1- PE lock
1- PE plain white t-shirt
1- PE pair of shorts/sweats

7th Grade:
1 three ring notebook binder; 3 inches
200 sheets – loose leaf paper
24 pk - #2 pencils
Blue, Black, red pens (replace throughout
the year)
1 box colored pencils
1 large eraser
2 highlighters any color
1 USB 4GB or higher
1 package of 8 dividers with tabs
1 box Kleenex
1 pencil pouch with eyelets to put in 3 ring
1 package of binder hole reinforcers for
notebook paper
PE Supplies
1 – lock
1 – plain white Tshirt
1 – pair of shorts/sweats

8th Grade:
1 3” three-ring binder
2 packages of 300 sheets of lined paper
(recommend reinforced paper)
24 #2 pencils
10-12 blue, black and red pens
1 large eraser
1 package of dividers with tabs
2 pocket folders with prongs
1 USB flash drive, 4GB or higher
1 Box of Kleenex
1 pencil pouch
2 spiral notebooks (Science class)
1 package of binder hole reinforcers for
notebook paper

AVID Update

July 5 - 8 our 2016 AVID site team travels to Denver for AVID training.
2016 Site Team members :
Dan Gomez, Shelly Valdez,
Julie Wojtko, Jennifer Hicks,
Craig Beeman, Jason Day,
Alison Padilla. & Jake Gustin
We look forward to the great ideas and strategies they will bring back and share with us.

Where are we with AVID Schoolwide in Year 3?

Instruction: Majority of teachers are utilizing AVID strategies on a weekly basis & utilizing planners, binders & the Cornell note taking method to increase academic performance.
Systems: Our AVID elective, PLCs, AVID site team meetings & college awareness field trips & lessons are a few systems in place to help support AVID.
Leadership: In August of 2017 all 3 Administrators and 12 staff members will have attended AVID summer institute . Former & current site team members will continue to support the staff in implementing AVID strategies.

Culture : Many have shifted to the growth mindset & belief that all students can be successful . Many promote college readiness & are working to-wards preparing students for the workforce or college.

2017 goals will focus on strengthening these 4 areas.


Principal Garza's Newsletter

“A good teacher can inspire hope, ignite the imagination, and in-still a love of learning.”
                                                 Brad Henry

Spotlight on Rick Romero

Rick Romero, best known for his role as Special Education Lead, wears many hats. Rick has been in education for 30 years taking on roles as coach, teacher, principal, superintendent and more. During his 4 years at Sierra as the Special Education Lead, he has supported the administration team and both the AES facilitators and Special Education Teachers with writing IEPs, monitoring dead-lines, acting as LEA, intervening with parents, and ensuring each special education child is placed appropriately and receiving the appropriate services. What you probably didn’t know is that he holds the same contract as teachers (91/2 month) yet he put in many countless hours this summer on many different things. As Student Council sponsor, he organized a field trip for Sierra students to attend the NM Association of Student Councils Summer Leader-ship conference. The experience was unforgettable for the students that participated. Rick also served on a few interview committees to fill open positions, worked with Central Office staff and parents to ensure IEPs were up to date and finalized and perfected his skills as Sierra’s Web Master. If you haven’t yet checked out Sierra’s Web page, go to lcps.k12.nm.us click on schools, Sierra Middle School and there you will find a link to the school’s website. I would like to thank Rick for his hard work, support, and willingness to go above and beyond to help make Sierra the best Middle School in town. As principal, I feel confident in our success knowing I have the expertise and commitment of staff members like Rick. When you see him in the halls or at events give him a well-deserved pat on the back and a thank you.

Professional Development

Week of August 8 - 12 Ms. Valdez is working hard organizing the professional development days for staff. In addition to the learning sessions and work time in each teacher's room, the administration will also have brief OPTIONAL meetings with teachers and teams to get input during the first four teachers/staff work days, and the first week of school. Faculty and Staff input is necessary on these topics: Calendar /Events, Reward Activities input and the Sunshine Committee.  And on other topics that will arise throughout the school year.

Five Keys to Effective Teaching

A recent Edutopia article, by editor Rebecca Alber highlights five classroom practices identified by John Hattie in Visible Learning for Teachers (Routledge, 2011) that make the biggest difference to student learning. The article elaborates on each of these key points.  If you are interested you can read more at


Principal Garza has listed the following 5 points and connected them to what the Teachers and Support Staff will integrate as part of their daily instruction throughout this school year.

 Clarity of Purpose - The Golden Circle - WHY are we teaching what we are teaching? Posting & referencing the objectives so the students know the purpose.

 Classroom Discussion - Engagement - Creating lessons that get the students involved in the listening, speaking, reading and writing across the curriculum.

 Feedback - grading, blogs, planner comments, student conferencing, progress reports, verbal & written comments are all ways to give students feedback so that they can make the appropriate adjustments.

 Formative Assessments - Exit tickets, quick checks for understanding, quizzes & CFAs will be a goal this year. Starting the year with benchmarks of where the students are and moni-toring growth through data analysis will be our focus.

 Metacognitive Strategies - Costa’s Levels of Questioning, Cornell note taking & making, & reflecting on their learning. Uti-lizing AVID strategies that provide opportunities for students to understand the way they learn.

Teachers will be encouraged to think of how they can incorporate these key concepts in their class so that their teaching is effective and student learning is maximized.

Construction Progress

As we inch closer to the start of school you may be wondering if the new gym and front office area will be complete. Bleachers are installed and the falcon logo is currently being painted on the center court. After all the paint and finishing touches are complete, inspections still need to occur and a certificate of occupancy granted before students and staff can utilize the new facilities. Unfortunately, the gym and front office will not be ready for the start of the school year. Here are some estimated dates of completion.
8/9 & 8/10 Parking lot paving will take place over two days allowing staff to park on one side while the other is being paved. Carpeting of the front office and office hallway.
8/12 Gym -Available for staff to move in.
8/17 Tentative date for student use of gym
8/19 Front office
9/1/16 Weight room and fitness room
Dec 2016 - Music Wing
New Roof on entire building is scheduled to start in the fall

Recommended Reading: Fellow teacher Anita Martos recommends that all teachers read this article. It brings to our attention the need to understand that some students have suffered traumatic experiences that impact their learning and behavior. Often times a simple act of kindness can go a long way in helping these students be successful. Read this article and then make the effort to do a small act of kindness for a student, colleague or family member in hope that your kindness makes a difference in their lives. Copy and paste this website to your browser.


Recent Announcements

  • Check Frequently for important Falcon Messages
  • Falcon University for Parents Wednesday, August 31st beginning at 6:00 PM Sierra will be hosting a session for parents as part of their Falcon University Parent Education Workshops. Mr. Ackerman will speak on ...
    Posted Aug 22, 2016, 12:35 PM by Richard Romero
  • 7th & 8th Grade Open House Tuesday, August 23rd beginning at 6:00pm.  Parents should report their child's 1st Period Teacher.
    Posted Aug 22, 2016, 11:57 AM by Richard Romero
  • Book Fair Book Fair Volunteers needed August 22 - 26 from 11: 00 - 1:00 Call Heather Doolittle at 527-9640 ext 4605 if interested in helping. 
    Posted Aug 18, 2016, 8:55 AM by Richard Romero
  • Athletic Physicals Required for Participation Eighth Graders interested in participating in Fall Sports - Girls Volleyball or Boys Football, Winter Sports - Girls and Boys Basketball, and Track in the Spring Sports - Girls and Boys Track, MUST ...
    Posted Aug 10, 2016, 6:33 PM by Richard Romero
  • School Advisory Council (SAC) Sierra will be holding elections for our School Advisory Council (SAC). The SAC meets quarterly with the school principal to provide assistance with school based decision making, and to help ...
    Posted Aug 8, 2016, 4:47 AM by Richard Romero
Showing posts 1 - 5 of 5. View more »

Calendar of Events

  • Tuesday, August 23rd - 7th & 8th Grade Open House
  • Tuesday, August 30th - Picture Day (All Day)
  • Tuesday, August 30th - 4PM Cheer Clinic
  • Wednesday, August 31st - Character Counts Assembly (Sch. Day)
  • Wednesday, August 31st - 6PM - Falcon University for Parents - Parenting the Snapchat Generation.
  • Wednesday, August 31st - 4PM Cheer Clinic
  • Monday, September 5th - Labor Day Holiday (No School)

(Click on link above for school calendar)

Sierra Middle School Building Improvements

Sierra Middle School Gets a Facelift
New Construction of Gymnasium, PE Facilities & Entry, Main Office Reconfiguration and changes to main parking lot are on schedule to be completed by first day of classes for the Fall Semester.