Armstrong Middle School
Kristina Tafur (6th grade)
Chris Jones (7th grade)
Kari Nodeland (8th grade)
School Hours: 8:25 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
School Colors: Orange and white
School Motto: Be kind, be successful, be Armstrong
Year Opened: 1976
Phone: (469) 752-4600
Fax: (469) 752-4601
3805 Timberline Drive
Plano, TX 75074
AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) is a college readiness system that is designed to support students through writing, inquiry, collaboration, organization, and reading. Armstrong AVID serves approximately 150 students during the day through an elective course, and serves all students on campus through the use of AVID methods and strategies in all classes. Armstrong is both an AVID National Demonstration School as well as an AVID School of Distinction.
Beginning the first semester of 2018-19, Armstrong added AVID Excel elective courses, which focuses on assisting English language learners in developing skills in reading, writing, and the same skills developed in AVID. Most long-term English Learners (LTEL’s) indicate that they want to go to college, but without a structured way for teachers and schools to address their specific needs, these students experience gaps in their academic preparation that hinder their path toward college. With AVID Excel, middle schools can change the trajectory of LTEL’s lives by accelerating language acquisition, developing academic literacy, and placing them on a path to high school AVID and college-preparatory coursework. Visit https://www.avid.org/what-avid-is to learn more about AVID.
Faculty and Staff
Armstrong Middle School teachers possess a passion for educating our scholars and motivating them to the highest potential. Many staff members have been at Armstrong MS for more than 10 years, demonstrating their passion and commitment to the Armstrong community.
Teachers at Armstrong have received a number of educator grants through the Plano Education Foundation to further students’ experience in education. Teachers have also been recognized for numerous outstanding teacher awards. Teacher Leisa Williamson was awarded the TI STEM award for her excellence in teaching secondary math, and Soumeya Lehachi, LOTE team leader, was recognized by her students and awarded the LULAC award for her hard-work and dedication to her students. In addition, Armstrong MS teachers were awarded PISD’s Diversity Leadership Award and the Superintendent’s Service Award in 2017 and 2018.
The award-winning Armstrong Apache band’s 2017-18 year was amazing. Students from grades six through eight participated in various contests and competitions throughout the year, and they were recognized for their dedication, hard work and many achievements. In November, several students advanced to area through the All-Region audition process, and one student made third chair in the entire region. In February, seventh and eighth grade students from Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band and Concert Band participated in several different ensembles at the East Cluster Chamber Festival, and every ensemble that participated received a Superior rating; four ensembles received the Exemplary Ensemble Award. April is UIL Concert and Sight Reading time for bands. At Armstrong, the Wind Ensemble received an Excellent rating on stage and a Superior rating in sight reading, and Symphonic Band received a Superior rating on stage and an Excellent rating in sight reading.
Finally, in May, the sixth grade Beginning Band was awarded superior ratings at the Sandy Lake Fun Fest. What a great start for our young students. Also in May, our sixth, seventh and eighth grade students all participated in a solo contest. Out of all of the band students that participated, nearly all received a Superior rating and several students received the Exemplary Soloist award. Such awesome students!
Armstrong’s choir students have participated in several contests throughout the year. In fall of 2017, ten students participated in Solo and Ensemble Festival for choir; all ten received Superior ratings. The ensemble performance received the Outstanding Ensemble Award. In spring of 2018, five students auditioned and one student made the All-Region choir. The 6th Grade Choir and the Pop Choir, Harmonix, received Superior ratings at the Courtyard Theater Festival. Finally, Chamber Choir received a Superior rating at the UIL Concert and Sight Reading Festival, and the Concert Choir received an over-all rating of Excellent.
In 2017, three students auditioned for All-Region Orchestra, and one student advanced through the audition process to be 2nd chair in the All-Region Concert Orchestra. In 2018 Chamber Orchestra received Superior ratings for their stage performance and sight reading at UIL Contest. This same year Beginning, Philharmonic, and Symphony Orchestra competed at the Courtyard Festival in Plano. All groups received the top rating of Superior. Over 40 students have performed at Solo and Ensemble Contest where all of the students received Superior or Excellent ratings. Eleven of the students received the Exemplary Musician Award.
Last April, the AMS art program had approximately 25 students who participated in Jr VASE (Visual Art Scholastic Event). This is a regional visual art competition that happens once a year and gives the students a wonderful opportunity to showcase their artwork and discuss their piece with a jury. Of those 25 students, we had about 20 that received the highest rating possible. Our number of students participating in this event continues to grow, and we look forward to a strong presence at Jr VASE this school year.
In 2017, AMS art also had one student that received the first runner-up for our district wide Holiday Greeting Card contest. This is a tremendous achievement, given that this student’s artwork was selected out of all of our district middle, high and senior high schools’ participants for this contest.
The UIL One-Act Play contest is a competition where Plano Middle Schools present an 18-40 minute play which is adjudicated by a single judge. Armstrong Middle School received Best Overall Crew, had an All-Star Cast member, Honorable Mention All-Star Cast member and an All-Star Crew member for their 2018 production of “Our Place.”
AVID; AVID Excel; AP Spanish; athletics; band, choir, and orchestra; cheerleaders; CIS (Communities in Schools); Dress for Success; MathCounts; National Junior Honor Society; PALs; Sewing Club; speech and drama; Strengths Academy; Student Council; Coders Club sponsored by Capital One; Lego Robotics; Pokemon Club; Kindness Club; Cooking Club; Fellowship of Christian Athletes; Art Club; Spelling Bee Club; Hispanic Heritage Night
Students are encouraged to seek sponsorship to create student clubs.
Parent Involvement Opportunities
PTA; Parent Volunteer Program; School Based Improvement Committee (SBIC); Open House; PTA Reflections Committee; Monthly Parenting Workshops, based on different topics; Mobile Computer Lab; Annual Career Day
Armstrong was built in 1976 on the site of Francis M. Armstrong's old timber tract. Born in Tennessee, Armstrong moved to Texas in 1869 and to Collin County a year later. His cotton farm was the later site of the University of Texas at Dallas. Frank's son Will served on the PISD board from 1919-34.
Armstrong Middle School was built at a cost of $2.7 million and renovated in 1998.