School History

Who is T.R. Smedberg?

Theodore Roosevelt (known to all as Ted or T.R.) Smedberg came to Elk Grove High School as the principal in 1935. He served there for 13 years until 1948, when he took a position with the Sacramento County Schools Office. He was appointed Superintendent of Schools for Sacramento County in 1950 and stayed in that position until his retirement in 1969. Mr. Smedberg was a lifetime supporter of science activities for young people, and one of his proudest accomplishments was the establishment of the Sly Park outdoor education facility. A prominent Elk Grove resident, Mr. Smedberg was active in community affairs in Elk Grove and also has a park named for him.

Below is an excerpt from "My Career" written by T.R. "Ted" Smedberg


Work to me is serious business. I recall shingling a barn in Reedley for 50 cents a day; every shingle was laid exactly where it should be, figured for both wind and rain. Later, I plowed a canal to free it of weeds and Bermuda grass using a team of horses. The team was paid $2.50; I got $1.50. I worked in a cannery in Reedley bringing in fruit boxes, eight at a time on a two-wheel cart. Do that for a week and one's Achilles tendon gets as sore as a boil, making it not only difficult to walk, but to sleep.

My first grade class numbered 28, four graduated from grammar school, two went on to high school, and one graduated. I went on to college at U.C. Berkeley. When I arrived, I found a job sweeping at Golden Gate Junior High School in Oakland, and received 50 cents an hour and was expected to complete the job in three hours.

My first teaching job was in Jackson, California. I often look back on one event that not only led to that job, but probably directed my entire career. I was working late one evening (about 9:30 p.m.) at Live Oaks, about ready to close up shop, when the phone rang. It was the principal of Jackson High School: "I understand you have a science (chemistry) major." We met in the White Cotton Hotel the next morning at 10:00 a.m. and by 10:30 a.m., I had signed my first teaching contact - for $1,850 (an extra $200 was added since I was expected to act as vice principal).

A year later, I was named principal of Jackson High School, and in the afternoon I handled the principal's duties, getting out in time to coach basketball. I can also remember looking forward to taking the graduating classes to Yosemite (my wife Irene, and I, no adults, and no liability insurance) from 1931 through 1935. Each youth was charged $5.00 and got back 75 cents when they returned. For five years, an average of 25 graduates took almost every hike in Yosemite, without so much as a twisted ankle.

I applied for the principalship of Elk Grove in 1935. There were a dozen or so applicants. We all sat outside the boardroom until 1:15 a.m. waiting for a decision to be made. Finally, out came P.B. Smith and announced that "You may all go home," not hesitating, "except the Smedbergs." Irene and I went into meet the board.

About Our School:

T.R. Smedberg Middle School:

  • Serves 7th and 8th graders
  • Has approximately 1,200 students
  • Operates on a traditional schedule
  • Was built in 1997
  • Offers introductions to 4 academies and 6 majors

The Campus Has:

  • 47 classrooms
  • 2 computer classrooms
  • A library
  • 2 gymnasiums
  • A track
  • A soccer field
  • A large multipurpose room / cafeteria


  • 7:50 am - 2:50 pm
  • 4x4 block
  • 4 periods (85 minutes each)

Parents Welcome
You are always welcome to visit T.R. Smedberg Middle School. If you would like to volunteer on campus, contact us at (916) 681-7525.

The School Site Council, which includes parents, approves the school's Academic Improvement Plan. An English Language Learners Advisory Committee assists in providing academic support to students not yet proficient in English. Parents are always welcome to visit T.R. Smedberg Middle School.

For information about specific events and activities, please read our monthly newsletter on school loop.

Call Us
Parents are always welcome to call at (916) 681-7525. Our office is open from 7 am to 4 pm. At T.R. Smedberg Middle School, we're proud of our students, staff and outstanding programs. When your child succeeds, we succeed. We work hard every day to make sure each student is:

  • Safe
  • T.R. Smedberg Middle School is a safe, well-maintained, orderly campus. We emphasize cooperation, tolerance and personal responsibility. We teach students decision-making and conflict-resolution skills. We expect students to exhibit good citizenship and appropriate behavior. The school rules, including zero tolerance policy regarding weapons, drugs or violence are clearly explained to all students and strictly enforced.

Our parents, staff members and students work together to maintain a safe, supportive climate.

  • Challenged
  • Well-disciplined student behavior contributes to a positive learning environment. Staff members help students to behave well by setting standards of behavior and by teaching students specific desired behaviors. Staff members recognize positive student behavior through awareness assemblies, advisory competitions, and the Pride of the Pack Program. Every month we assess our discipline actions (detentions, on-campus suspensions, Saturday school, home suspension, and social isolation) in an effort to reduce student home suspension. Counseling programs, conflict mediation and tutoring also provides support to our students.

Our library is another outstanding asset. With its collection of 15,000 books plus other resources, it opens up the world for students. The library's main function is to support the academic activities on campus, but it also provides resources for general interest. Our collection's strength lies in fine arts, science, and social science. The fine arts area is especially well-represented because it supports the school's strong visual and performing arts program.

The library also offers Internet and word processing services. The Internet is available only during class time and is only used for class-related assignments. Word processing is available throughout the day to help students complete school assignments. Students also have access to a copy machine to help with their projects.

The library opens every day at 7:30 am is open Tuesday - Thursday until 4 pm for Homework Center.

Because the T. R. Smedberg Middle School staff works so closely with Sheldon High School, students who complete the eighth grade are well-prepared to succeed at Sheldon or any other high school. Our counseling and guidance program, which is described below, ensures that students are prepared not only for high school, but for college and careers.

Counseling, Guidance & Career/Postsecondary Program

The counseling department is committed to enhancing the academic growth of students. Members within the department strive to develop comprehensive programs and services that contribute to a positive learning environment by involving students and their parents or guardians in the counseling process.

Course selection seminars are held during the months of February and March. Students who are advancing from one grade level to the next attend an evening seminar with their parents to review academic records and to discuss college information, testing, and course enrollment/promotion requirements.

Seventh and eighth grade students participate in our career/postsecondary education program, which includes career interest assessments, information about college, college admission and testing, and career exploration (Explore test). They also work on skill-building strategies. Students and parents may review this career information throughout the time at Smedberg.

To ensure that hat every student succeeds, we help facilitate the Student Assistance Program on campus. This program, which assists students in grades 7-12, coordinates WEB services, Conflict Management, Teen Support Groups, Club Live, Healthy Start referrals, and services that address cultural, ethnic and linguistic diversity. We also provide referrals to families sand students in need of outside community resources.

Homework allows students to practice the skills they have learned at school. Students should expect one and a half to two hours of homework each night. The Homework Center (located in the library) is open 3-4 pm Tuesday - Thursday.

Pride of the Pack Program
All students are eligible to participate in our school wide Pride of the Pack Program, which recognizes academic achievement. Partnerships are being developed with local businesses to provide specific incentives to qualified students. Students are eligible for these incentives and recognition at the "Pride of the Pack (P.O.P.) Celebration Assemblies" by achieving:

1. 4.0+ GPA per session Gold
2. 3.51 - 3.99 GPA Silver
3. 3.0 - 3.5 GPA Green
4. Increase GPA by 0.5 White

Music at T. R. Smedberg Middle School encompasses all levels of musicianship, from novice to advanced. Beginning classes are offered in band and string orchestra, with instruction on flute, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, French horn, trombone, tuba, percussion, violin, viola, cello and double bass. Advanced studies in music are offered in concert band, jazz band and choir. The advanced groups perform at festivals, concerts and other functions.

Computer Technology
Computer technology courses are offered to teach basic computer skills and to help students apply technology across the curriculum.

English Learners
Our teachers utilize English Language Development strategies to meet the needs of our English Learners (EL). In addition, bilingual teaching associates provide support through tutoring, parent contacts, and translations. The ultimate goal is to help ELL students become independent learners in English.

Special Needs
The Resource Specialist Program provides direct instruction, tutorial assistance, and other services to students with special needs. Services are provided through classroom collaboration between the RSP teachers and regular education teachers. The language, speech and hearing teacher provides speech therapy and language development for identified students.

Severely Handicapped Class
The Sacramento County Office of Education provides a Severely Handicapped program. Each state of a student's Individual Education Program is designed with the parents as partners in the planning process. Severely handicapped students are integrated into mainstream educational programs to increase opportunities for socialization while providing a model for age appropriate behavior. Students are also taught functional life skills and are involved in domestic, vocational and community-based instruction, as well as recreational and leisure activities.


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