students working on computers
We Need You / PTO

The Combs Middle School Parent-Teacher Organization (PTO) provides parents with a means to build community within the school setting. The primary goals of PTO are to create opportunities to interact about important school issues and to organize fundraiser events.

Combs Middle School would like recognize and commend Shelly Hargis (President), Michelle De Leon (Vice President), Shannon Bernhardt (Secretary), and Lora Rael (Treasurer) for the outstanding leadership they provided for our school community throughout this school year! Thank you!

We are looking for new PTO officers. If you have an interest in volunteering, please e-mail Mr. Mauro directly.

PTO News
Homework Tips for (Unmotivated) Students

According to experts, students should have 10 minutes of homework for every grade level in school. So your fourth grader should spend about 40 minutes on homework each night. Unfortunately, this doesn’t include breaks, procrastination, or stalling, which often play a big part in evening homework. So how can you help your child complete his homework in a reasonable amount of time? Ideally, your child has already completed his homework when you get home from work. But, for parents of less-than-motivated students, some tips:

  • Make homework the first priority. Students should complete homework immediately upon getting home from school. If this doesn’t happen because an adult isn’t available to supervise, make it your priority when you get home from work. Nothing’s worse than realizing, at bedtime, that your child still has homework left undone.
  • Set up a study area with few distractions, but where you can still supervise. This allows your child to work independently, knowing you are available and watching. If the study area is in the kitchen, you can even start dinner while your child is working!
  • Set boundaries and stick to them. Do not allow television, telephone, radios, and snacks to be on or available during homework time. Further, do not allow your child to take repeated breaks or engage in conversations outside of homework questions.
  • For reading homework, have your child read aloud. Not only is your child completing homework, but you can also hear how he is progressing and offer assistance. Plus, you can clean up or work on dinner while listening.
  • Complete reading logs at bedtime. Reading together is a great way to end your day, plus you can read bedtime stories and finish this important homework assignment at the same time!
  • Come up with a routine and stick with it. Most children thrive on routines because they know what to expect. If your child fights the homework battle as you are establishing this routine, stick it out. Once he sees you are serious, he likely will work hard without argument.

If these strategies don’t help reduce the power struggle that homework sometimes becomes, talk to your child’s teacher. She may be able to help you with ideas that are individually tailored for your child’s success. If this doesn’t help, see what other teachers have to say. Or, research other ideas to help motivate your child to complete his homework, such as those found on Education World. Most importantly, remember that homework is not busy work. It is an extension of your child’s classroom and is vital to his educational success.

We Can Make a Difference

Site Council

The Combs Middle School Site Council embraces the mission and vision statements of the J.O. Combs Unified School District and embraces the mission, core philosophies, vision, academic responsibilities, values, and pledge of Combs Middle School.

In order to promote and facilitate these statements, members will work to…

  • Enhance the four core philosophies of the school.
  • Promote strong ties between school, home, community, and business.
  • Provide opportunities for staff regarding the structure and improvement of instructional programs.
  • Respect and accept individual uniqueness and cultural diversity through the development of a professional learning community (PLC).
  • Foster an environment that is emotionally, physically, and mentally safe.

The duties of the Combs Middle School Site Council shall include, but are not limited to…

  • Improvement of the school’s instructional program.
  • Development of an action plan/goals to improve the professional growth of the school’s staff.
  • Coordination of other programs at the school.
  • Communication of various aspects of the school to the school community.
  • Review policies that exist within the school and make recommendations, revisions, additions as needed.


  • Foster communication and collaboration within and outside the J.O. Combs Middle School community to improve school/parent/community relations with an 85% approval rating (School Goal IV).
  • Increase student achievement by 5% on the AIMS tests (reading, writing, and math) through providing an engaging learning environment for all students to grow academically (School Goal I).
  • Develop a positive school culture with the attributes of a Professional Learning Community (PLC) (School Goal V).