The Monday Message

Office of the Principal; Monday, January 11, 2016

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Quote for the Week!

“Good teaching is more a giving of right questions than a giving of right answers.” -- Josef Albers

The Week Ahead

January is International Creativity Month

Monday 1/11/16 - Admin Team Meeting (9:00am, Cafe'), Team Leader Meeting (3:50-4:50pm, Hudson's classroom), C-Team Basketball @ Lexington Middle (5:30pm)

Tuesday 1/12/16 - No Crew; Exploratory Semester Exams, No Team Meetings, District Leadership (4:00pm, Designated Locations), NYC Field Expedition Parent Meeting (7pm, Cafe')

Wednesday 1/13/16 - Winter MAP Testing, No Crew; Exploratory Semester Exams, Learning Walk (1:30pm-3:30pm, all classrooms)

Thursday 1/14/16 - Winter MAP Testing, EL Education Mid-Year Review, C-Team Basketball (H) vs Pleasant Hill (5:30pm, Gymnasium), IMS/iAM Information Expedition (6:00pm, Cafe')

Friday 1/15/16- SWAP Day for those teachers and staff members that participated in last summer's EL Education Summer Institute. All other employees, it is a normal in-service day.

Winter MAP Testing

Wednesday, Jan. 6th, 8am to Tuesday, Jan. 19th, 3:30pm

6051 Wescott Road

Columbia, SC

Mid-Term Exams (Semester Classes)

Friday, Jan. 8th, 8:15am to Wednesday, Jan. 13th, 3:30pm

6051 Wescott Road

Columbia, SC

Jan. 8th . . . . . . . . . 1st and 6th Periods

Jan. 11th . . . . . . . . 2nd and 4th Periods

jan. 12th . . . . . . . . 3rd and 5th Periods

Jan. 13th . . . . . . . . Make-Up Exams

* No other graded assessments are to be given during exam week. We want all students focused on exams. Also, all teachers must continue with daily instruction.

Click here for Assessment Calendar

Inside iAM School Information Expedition & School Showcase

Thursday, Jan. 14th, 6-7:30pm

Irmo Middle School (Cafeteria), Wescott Road, Columbia, SC, United States

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Duty Roster

Click here for the Duty Roster

Monday - I Group on duty (D. Major-Murphy, PM Duty)

Tuesday - R Group on duty (R. Jackson, PM Duty)

Wednesday - M Group on duty (G. Hutto, PM Duty)

Thursday - O Group on Duty (All Admin, PM Duty)

Friday - In-Service Day; No Duty Assignments Needed

Tasks to Complete This Week!

Tasks to Complete This Week!

1. Embrace positive thinking all week long. Teach like a champion every period, every day!

2. Identify students with academic deficits and develop & implement a plan for improvement.

3. Continue Facilitating MAP Testing

4. Attend After School District Leadership Meetings (if applicable)

5. Complete required surveys (EL Mid-Year Review, Technology, and Crew Progress)

6. Attend and participate in Thursday night's iNSIDE iAM iNFORMATION EXPEDITION

7. Incorporate at least one of the Global Themes into your classroom activities, lessons, etc.

8. Everyone report to duty as scheduled. See roster here.

9. Read the Monday Message in its entirety (including the articles linked and inserted). Also view the video clips, reflect, and adjust your practices where needed.

January Staff Birthdays

Windy Jones, January 2nd

Ashley Evans, January 3rd

Scott Thur, January 6th

Diane Falsetti, January 9th

I’esha Odom, January 13th

Carla DuPre, January 19th

Laurie Dobbe, January 20th

Vernon Sava, January 22nd

Brian Wheeler, January 27th

Danielle Major-Murphy, January 27th

Bryan Winfree, January 28th

Antionette Langley, January 28th

Frances Counts, January 28th

Anna, Macmurphy, January 31st

Please join me in wishing these amazing IMS staff members Buon compleanno (Happy Birthday in Italian)!

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1. Barry Lee - During the holiday break while we were all enjoying time with our family and loved ones, Mr. Lee was investing in our facility. I learned this week that Mr. Lee took it upon himself to fix a hole in our gym wall so that our facility continues to look presentable. Mr. Lee did an amazing job with this repair. iAM so proud of Mr. Lee for his continued excellence and doing whatever is needed to make our school the best it possibly can be. Please join me in recognizing Mr. Lee for demonstrating new thinking and new practices and acquiring new and improved results. Let's give him a huge iAM shout out.

2. April Herring - This past week, Mrs. Herring facilitated our school level Geography Bee. Ten students competed in the Bee that lead to our school level winner "Ian Bates-Shurett." Mrs. Herring is to be commended for a job well done. iAM so proud of Mrs. Herring for the planning, coordination, and facilitation of our Geography Bee. The campus and community are buzzing!. Please join me in recognizing Mrs. Herring for her new thinking and new practices that resulted in new and improved outcomes. Let's give Mrs. Herring a huge iAM shout out.

3. Nicholas Godfrey and Kimberly Cunningham - We are committed to providing teachers with all the resources needed to service the needs of our students and families. It is remarkable when teachers utilize their creative skills to seek out additional funding to support classroom projects and innovative learning ideas. Mr. Godfrey and Mrs. Cunningham did just that when they submitted their innovative learning proposals to for consideration. We were elated to find out that their proposals were fully funded. iAM so proud of Mr. Godfrey and Mrs. Cunningham for their innovative thinking and willingness to submit their proposals. Please join me in recognizing them for their new thinking and new practices that resulted in new outcomes for our students. Let's give them a huge iAM shout-out.

4. Magnet Recruitment Team - Last Thursday, our Magnet Recruitment Team continued recruiting prospective students and families for next school year. Our goal is to have 120 sixth graders and add a minimum of 20 additional seventh and eighth grade students next school year. Recruitment Team members are Danielle Major-Murphy, Glenn Hutto, Irma Richardson, Jennifer Cook, Johnny Cooley, Kelly Thacker, Richard Schedler, Rui Zhao, Ryan Crothers, Sheila Inabinet, and Vernon Sava. We also had several sixth grade students recruiting as well. They are Sydney Rhue, Izzy Fields, Abby Curran, Victoria Davis, Lee Kingsmore, Zoe Lyles, and Garrett Lewis. The iAM recruitment team created quite the buzz in explaining our theme, framework, learning experiences, and opportunities for students. iAM so proud of them for representing our school in a distinctive fashion. Please join me in recognizing our Magnet Recruitment Team for pushing for new results. Let's give them a huge iAM shout out.

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Semester Exams - Remember that exploratory classes will be administering exams to their classes this week. Those students and teachers deserve the same quiet and focus that we provided to year-long classes and exams. In that regard, we are asking all teachers to keep students in class unless it is an absolute emergency. Also, be considerate of your classroom neighbors when planning and facilitating instruction.

Student Supervision - I learned last week that we still have some staff members who are still not reporting to duty as requested. I am reminding everyone once again of the importance of fulfilling your professional responsibility and adequately supervising our students. If for some reason, you are unable to report to duty as scheduled, please coordinate your replacement with one of your colleagues and notify Mr. Sava. We will be monitoring the duty assignments closely to ensure that everyone is adhering to the schedule.

Surveys - This week, we need to facilitate the completion of some mid-year surveys (EL Mid-Year Review, Technology, and Crew Progress). These surveys allow us to collect valuable data in order to make decisions as we move forward. We will not have team meetings or Crew lesson meetings to give everyone enough time to complete these surveys. We will email the surveys to everyone Monday.

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From Mr. Thur

IEP accommodations

With the new semester beginning, many of our special education students will possibly have a new class (or classes). For each new class, the IEP case manager will provide each new teacher with a copy of each student's accommodations / modifications and behavior intervention plans (if applicable). You will again receive this information electronically, along with a google verification form indication your receipt - please complete this online form. There is also an area on the google form to indicate if you have questions or concerns, need additional support, follow-up, etc.

Also, worth noting is that for some new students, you may also receive a daily behavior checklist to complete. If you get this as well for a new student, please continue to complete them (see below for additional explanation).


With IEP meetings continuing to take place, and with the start of the new semester, please continue to keep track of your calendar for any IEP meetings that you have. You are sent an invitation to attend, as Mrs. McNeil places the meeting date, time, and location on your calendar. If for some reason you are not able to attend, please let her know. If she does not hear from you, we will assume that you are able to make the meeting at the date and time. Thank you so much for your continued support!

Daily Behavior Checklists

Please complete daily behavior checklists for those students that have been shared with you. Some of our students have behaviors that casemanagers need to continue to track and monitor progress, and these checklists are the single best way to check on how a student is doing in your classroom. They allow us to see if skills are being generalized across various settings, and whether their IEP goals are being mastered. Please let casemanager know if you have any questions.

Closing Thoughts

Our closing thoughts this week are centered on two choices: Positive or Negative Thinking! You see, we work in an industry each day where we will be faced with insurmountable challenges. Sometimes they come from the students we interact with. Other times, they come from parents, co-workers, or from our personal lives. Regardless of where they come from, we know the challenge is real. How we deal with those challenges ultimately defines our successes and shortcomings. I wonder when you encounter these challenges, do you embrace positive or negative thinking.

"If you are not happy with your life or whatever happens in it, discipline your disappointments; it is not external but a result of our internal way we view, believe, and do things in the world."

The choices we make determine the quality of our lives, and whatever is happening in our lives, we use it to succeed or to fail, either it is good or bad, and it is mostly determined by our attitude.

Everything is mental; everything is a personal choice and a total responsibility of each one of us. Our attitude is the reason to do the necessary changes or the reason to blame others for our poor performances, for our mistakes or for our ignorance in certain topics.

At the end, the quality of our lives is up to each one of us individually. The formula is simple and factual: When we choose to focus in negativity, we attract negativity (people and outcomes). When we focus on positivity, we attract positivity (people and outcomes). It is time to be honest with ourselves; no one can make us miserable or happy, successful or failures, but our individual attitudes. It is up to each one of individually. The moment we take responsibility for our lives, we will immediately begin to see positive changes. Take action now; there is no such thing as the perfect time or right moment.

Choose to be happy, nothing is more important than feeling good. Life is too short - VERY, VERY SHORT. Don't let the opportunities and blessings of life fly from your hands. while you walk around negative and grumpy. "

(excerpt from Eduardo Dominguez)

Have an amazing week!

Robert S. Jackson, Ed.S., Principal

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