Sunday, October 4, 2015

1700 11th Street NE
Watertown, SD  57201

605.882.6370 (office)
605.882.6372 (fax)

Todd L. Brist, Principal

Chad D. Johnson, Assistant Principal
Nancy Keever, Administrative Assistant
Nikki Larson, Office Assistant

Watertown Middle School Philosophy

We have chosen to be middle grades educators, for we recognize that the years of early adolescence are pivotal and abound with individual potential and opportunity. Therefore, we will care for these students personally, listen to their voices, respect their concerns, and engage them in meaningful educational experiences that will prepare them for a promising future.We believe that every young adolescent…

  • has the capacity to learn, grow, and develop into a knowledgeable, reflective, caring, ethical, and contributing citizen.
  • must have access to the very best programs and practices a school can offer.
  • must be engaged in learning that is relevant, challenging, integrative, and exploratory.
  • faces significant life choices and needs support in making wise and healthy decisions.
  • thrives academically, socially, and emotionally in a democratic learning environment where trust and respect are paramount and where family and community are actively involved.
  • deserves educators who are prepared to work with this age group, who are themselves lifelong learners and committed to their own ongoing professional development and growth.

Therefore, we proudly dedicate ourselves to becoming the best middle grades educators we can be and active advocates for all young adolescents (

We believe the education of students is paramount, teachers are professionals, and the school is the primary institution for learning and an integral part of our community. We believe our school should be designed to provide a transition period that bridges the gap between the student’s elementary and secondary education by providing for the unique academic, social, emotional, behavior, and physical needs of the adolescent learner. We believe educators must provide a rigorous, engaging, and nurturing learning environment that encourages growth, independence and exploration while students develop habits, attitudes, skills, appreciations, ideas, and character essential for success in an ever-changing world. We strive to provide a model for responsible behavior while allowing for the activity of youthful enthusiasm. We believe our staff is empowered to have a substantial impact on the system of learning, and we encourage support among staff members. We will encourage a partnership among school, home, and the community by encouraging involvement, cooperation, responsibility, and communication.


Watertown Middle School, the home of 600 students in seventh and eighth grade and operates on the middle school philosophy (with an emphasis on teaming, advisory, and exploratory classes). Each grade is divided into two large group teams of approximately 150 students. A fifth team, comprised of 15 seventh grade and 15 eighth grade students, serves students in a small group, alternative learning environment. The students’ core classes include math, reading, language arts, social studies, science, and physical education. In addition to the core areas, students also take a quarter of industrial technology, art, and family and consumer science/career exploration. While our main emphasis is on the academic areas, our students find time to participate in basketball, football, volleyball, wrestling, track, golf, cross country and tennis as well as forensics and drama productions. They also have the opportunity to participate in numerous clubs including science, social studies, reading, and math clubs; our student publications, the school newspaper/newsletter and yearbook; swing choir and jazz band; and student government and SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions).

Watertown Middle School