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Syringa Middle School Report Card

District Calendar

Northwest Nazarene University Professor visits Jefferson and Syringa Middle Schools promoting importance of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)

Northwest Nazarene University assistant professor Dale Hamilton visited Jefferson and Syringa Middle School students this week to share in some really interesting ways that STEM can come to life. In an effort to expose more students to career options open to them in STEM fields, Professor Hamilton shared with Caldwell's 8th grade science and engineering students some of the ways that drones are being used to help fight wildland fires.  He and his assistant talked about the growing demand for people in the field of computer science and talked with kids about the do's and don'ts of flying their own drones.  

Assistant professor of computer science Dale Hamilton and associate professor of computer science Barry Myers have been awarded a NASA EPSCoR (experimental program to stimulate competitive research) Undergraduate Research Grant to support their research on wildfire monitoring and assessment technology. The goal of the project, which has been dubbed FireMAP, is to “provide a responsive, affordable and safe tool to assist with the development of post fire recovery plans and for updating spatial fuel layers to reflect the effects of the fire on vegetation.” "NASA Grant Supports Wildfire Research by NNU Faculty and Students." Idaho Press Tribune 27 Sept. 2015.




Caldwell, December 2, 2015 -- Israel Cardenas, an 8th grade student at Syringa Middle School, has taken the first step to becoming an internationally recognized artist by winning a local competition sponsored by the Caldwell Lions Club.


Cardenas’s poster was among more than 450,000 entries submitted worldwide in the annual Lions International Peace Poster Contest. Lions Clubs International is sponsoring the program to emphasize the importance of world peace to young people everywhere. Cardenas’s poster is now at the district level competition.

Good Luck Israel!

2015 Math & Science Summer Institute (MASSI) takes place at the College of Idaho!

The purpose of the institute is to provide enrichment in mathematics and reading for students who have improved their math and reading skills in the past year, and who demonstrate the desire to continually improve.  The institute will use the science experience as the math enrichment tool.   Part of the focus of this experience will be to provide an opportunity for our middle school students to view a variety of career possibilities in the areas of science and mathematics, and to meet adults in these careers who have come from similar backgrounds as our students. 

These photos reflect the beginning of their week.

The 8th graders are working on coding.  The pictures show the using a wheel to decipher the Caesar code. 

The 7th graders are collecting data about height and length of jumps to analyze in a Phi table.

What’s Happening at Syringa!
Syringa Facebook Page

Caldwell's Habitat H2O science club hosted a clothing drive during the month of December at Syringa Middle School.  Students collected 1,272 pounds of clothing and household items to give to Saver's Thrift Store in Nampa.  Nice work students!

Syringa students competed in the National Science and Math Bowl competition at Boise State University on Saturday, January 30th.

Great work Syringa!

Syringa 6th Grade Designates Time for Christmas Crafts

Christmas Crafts started with a small team at Syringa.  Many students had no means to purchase gifts for their family so the teachers of that team created Christmas Crafts days.  Each teacher taught a craft (purchasing the supplies themselves).  Students chose one craft to make, for example, ornaments, origami, cards etc.  The following year the rest of the 6th grade staff joined in the Christmas Craft days.  The Christmas Craft days have become a Syringa Middle School tradition.  A large Thank You is given to Mr. Swan who has helped the teachers purchase the supplies needed for the crafts for several years.

6th Grade Christmas Ornaments



 Caldwell, December 2, 2015 – Idaho Power visited Syringa Middle School to present awards to art contest.


Syringa had two 8th grade Idaho Power art contest winners. Gillian Oderkirk won the “100 Years of Energy” and Jade Matis won the “Ways to Save Energy” art contests. The winning posters were among 2,100 entries submitted within the local Idaho Power territory. The territory extends from Drewsey, Oregon to Blackfoot, Idaho. See website map for specific colored service areas at

 Gillian Oderkirk and Jade Matis were honored at Syringa Middle School on Wednesday December 2, 2015 by Idaho Power representatives Andie Root and Greg Evans.

 Idaho Power sponsored this contest to bring awareness to Energy Efficiency month, which is October. It is open for any teachers in our territory to have their students participate. 

 Judging was held at the beginning of November and conducted by a committee out of our Headquarters in Boise that is made up of 10 committee members/judges. Out winners won $50.00 and their art is displayed on the Idaho Power website and was also displayed at the Caldwell Public Library for three (3) weeks prior to December 1st.

“It was a privilege for us to be able to give recognition to these talented artists at the awards presentation and it was fabulous to do it at the school assembly! Their teacher, Mr. Free, was proud of them! We appreciate him bringing this subject into the classroom and having his students participate!” Andie Root

You can view the winners art at     

IDAHO’s Teacher of the Year is honored at Syringa Middle School!

Syringa Middle School was honored to have the Superintendent of Public Instruction, Sherri Ybarra, present the state teacher of the year award to our very own Melyssa Ferro. Over the past several years, Mrs. Ferro has served the students of Caldwell diligently in role of science teacher. During this time, she has been on a quest to have a positive impact on as many students as possible. She has done this while supplying them with a well rounded education within the scientific field. Recently, Mrs. Ferro has filled the position of STEM coordinator for Caldwell School District. Once again, her tireless efforts have led to many students at all levels exploring and gaining experience in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. 

It is most impressive to see how past students of Mrs. Ferro stay in close contact with her as they progress through their education beyond Syringa Middle School. I can honestly say that Mrs. Ferro has had huge impacts on the educational decisions of many students. 

Thank you Melyssa Ferro for your efforts and the influence you have had on Caldwell students. This prestigious award is well deserved.  

 ~Syringa Middle School Principal, Shay Swan

Middle Schools Partner with Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge in research efforts…
Syringa and Jefferson Middle Schools are partnering with Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge to become citizen scientists for this year's 7th grade science fair. Education specialists from the refuge will be in all of the 7th grade classrooms in the district this week as they meet Caldwell's class of 2021 and begin working with them on introducing students to the Deer Flat Refuge and its plant and animal communities.
When they join our science classes again in January, they will be asking for our help in using scientific processes and critical thinking to solve some of the problems that they are facing right now with algae in Lake Lowell.
For more information on this current issue, read the Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge article titled “Harmful algae bloom at Lake Lowell” on their website at or read the Southwest District Health Public Health Alert.
Syringa Science Teacher, Melyssa Ferro