Mosaica Online Happenings

October 29-November 2 2012

Upcoming Dates to Remember

  • Sunday, November 4th: Daylight Savings Time ends- this means AZ will only be 2 hours behind Eastern time!
  • Monday, November 5th: Work from home day for CA Center students
  • Tuesday, November 6th: Staff Meeting in Stephanie's office @ 7pm Eastern
  • Friday, November 9th: Advisement meeting in Julie's office @ 2pm Eastern
  • **Beginning August 28th, all adjunct teachers must submit invoices to Brenda McCullers on the 14th and 28th of the month**

Thanksgiving Break across Mercury land!

Our different locations do have slight variations in Thanksgiving Break..... Please see below:

Arizona: November 21-23/Wednesday-Friday
November 19-23/Monday-Friday
November 21-23/Wednesday-Friday

Staff Spotlight

This week we spotlight Justin Schmitt, our Head of School for the new Great Plains Academy in Colorado. We all enjoy working with you Justin!

Justin grew up on a cattle ranch/farm in SW Colorado where he met his beautiful wife of 7 years, Erin. Justin and Erin have 3 children: Kaleb 4, Kyndall 2, and Abby 9 months. Justin has been involved in online education as a student, teacher, and administrator for the past four years. He is excited about the challenge of helping Mosaica Online grow into what he hopes will be one of Colorado’s premier online schools.

When he is not working, Justin loves spending time with his family, being outdoors in the Colorado mountains, and playing every sport he can. A favorite past time of Justin’s is coaching. He spent the last 7 years as a varsity basketball coach and hopes to have that opportunity again in the future.

Mercury Sunshine!

We are thinking of:

  • Leigh Tillman, who lost her grandmother this past week.
  • Carrie Polk, whose father-in-law had a mild heart attack and may now be facing bypass surgery.
  • Carrie Polk who welcomes a precious new nephew - and some of you may recognize this sweetie pie holding her new cousin- Laney Polk!

Let me know of any concerns or celebrations within our Mercury family!

Club Corner

Book Club

Middle school: We met on Thursday to discuss the final chapters of The Outsiders and to decide on our next book.

High school: We finished up What Happened to Goodbye and will be beginning our next novel, Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher.

Our newest installment.... TEACHER TIP OF THE WEEK!

With conferences beginning, here are a few pointers to ensure that you are ready to go!

*Welcome families into your ‘home’

*Stay on time! Honor those who are punctual and don’t make the next wait due to a late arrival beforehand

*Be prepared/keep student files in the order of your schedule. Prepare quick notes on key thoughts or questions you would like to share

*Use data to show your parents/guardians the academic needs and strengths of their child

*Be diagnostic in your approach and share how you, as their child’s guide, will help them reach their goals

*PSAPS are great tools! You have worked so hard to create them so use them!

*Make sure to focus on the positives, and do not overwhelm parents with all negatives. This also means give them TIPS on how they can help their child at home. Think about a hard copy they can print from an email/file transfer.

*Use the benefits of Collaborate to interact with families, showcase student work and turn on your camera so they can SEE you and feel connected.

Good luck! This is a golden opportunity to make long lasting connections with your families and celebrate your students.

What Is Going On In Other Mercury Locations?

Besides our students in AZ, CA, and AZ we are serving students in the following locations:
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico


Muskegon Heights, Michigan

Hyderabad, India


You will receive updates here that will pertain to our students in any of these locations!

  • be sure to consult the various calendars in D2L for these locations
  • Teachers PLEASE be sure you are keeping your D2L grade book updated. Whenever a program needs grades for a progress report, we export the D2L grade book current average. Thank you!

Upcoming Holidays:

India - November 12-13, November 22

Puerto Vallarta - November 2, November 23

Muskegon Heights - November 22-23

Online Paragon Nights!

Mercury's next Online Paragon Night will be available to all students, parents, and staff the week of October 29th. It will not be a "live" event this time, but instead a collection of student work for all to view.

The link for this will be posted in D2L on Monday!

We look forward to seeing what our wonderful students have created!

End of the Grading Period is coming!

You have received the information to close out Grading Period 1 - the 2 calendars and the chart.

Please reach out if you have any questions or concerns - the deadlines stated are very important!

  • CO End of Grading Period: October 30th

This week's deadlines:

  • All grades for CA entered into Powerschool NO LATER THAN 12 NOON – 10/29/12 (grades in PS and in D2L must match EXACTLY. Round all grades as follows: 0.49 and below rounds down; 0.50 and above rounds up)
  • Email Elaina Mutis as soon as all CA grades are entered in PS so that she can provide you with a verification report.
  • Be sure all CO PSAPs are fully complete in Alpine
  • All grades for CO entered into Powerschool NO LATER THAN 12 NOON – 11/2/12 (grades in PS and in D2L must match EXACTLY. Round all grades as follows: 0.49 and below rounds down; 0.50 and above rounds up)
  • Email Justin Schmitt as soon as all CO grades are entered in PS so that he can provide you with a verification report.

Here is the link to the wonderful step by step recording that Carrie Polk has provided for creating PSAPs in Alpine:

Performance Ed/Scantron Testing is Coming!

K-10th grade Scantron Performance Series Q2 Benchmark assessments will be held on November 6th & 7th, with make-ups on the 8th & 9th. Please plan very light, if any, work for Language Arts, Math, and Science on the 6th and 7th. Paragon class work will proceed as planned.

Also, updated Performance Series Testing Instructions are on their way...the format has changed within the system and student login screens do not look as they did in the past. Please inform your students, and possibly login with a sample student ID (I will provide these!) to model the changes for your kids. It is also recommend that you post a news item with some screen shots (I will provide these!) to help guide students through these changes.

Many teachers have asked how a Performance Series scaled scores translate into grade level equivalencies. While we do not receive GLEs directly, you can certainly determine above, on, or below grade level by using the PS Scaled Score Ranges document. Use this quick reference to view scaled score interquartile ranges by subject for the Performance Series norm groups. This can help you understand where your students fall in relation to Scantron's national norm study. If a student's baseline scaled score fell within the interquartile range, then that may be interpreted as 'on grade level'. Anything below that range would indicate a 'below grade level' score, and a scaled score higher than the grade level interquartile range for Fall would be considered 'above grade level'.

Click here to access this document:

Targeted Learning Series.....

Each Wednesday at 1pm Eastern, Stephanie Dunbar holds a BRIEF (10-15 minutes) Collaborate session on a "hot topic" pertaining to Mercury. Anyone is invited to attend....... The meetings are held in Stephanie's Collaborate office, which can always be accessed from Desire2Learn.

Next week's topic: TBA!

Join us if you can:)

And Our new weekly installment..... your joke of the week

Q: How is a Language Arts teacher like a judge?

A: They both hand out sentences!