The Monday Message

Office of the Principal; Monday, March 9, 2015

Common, John Legend - Glory

Quote for the Week!

“Some [students] will have learned to revere their teachers from a distance, others to negotiate with their teachers as they would with a peer, and still others that they owe their teachers no respect until it’s earned.” ~ Hilary Dack and Carol Ann Tomlinson

Duty Roster for the Week

Duty Roster

Monday - I Group on duty (Major-Murphy on Duty)

Tuesday - R Group on duty (Thur on Duty)

Wednesday - M Group on duty (Hutto on Duty)

Thursday - O Group on duty (Jackson/Sava)

Friday - R Group on duty


Reminder - At the request of several teachers, everyone is receiving a remind message on Thursday evening of each week, calling attention to the Friday duty assignments.

MAP Testing at Irmo Middle

Tuesday, March 10th, 8:15am to Wednesday, March 18th, 3:30pm

Irmo Middle School

Click here for the MAP schedule.


We cannot convey enough the importance of students doing their best on MAP testing and teachers working closely with your classroom neighbors in ensuring that students have an environment conducive to optimal results. Please speak to all classes about the importance of MAP testing.

The Week Ahead

Gold Week - Classes Meet 6-2-3-4-5-1


National Nutrition Month, National Social Workers Month, National Women's History Month, National Youth Art Month


Monday (9th) - Guidance IGP's (8-11, 2-3), NYC Trip Parent Meeting (6:30pm, Cafe'), Board Meeting (7pm, Spring Hill HS)

Tuesday (10th) - Student Government Mtg (7:45am, Rm. 812), , Guidance IGP's (8-11, 2-3), Admin Meeting (9:30am, Cafe'), EL PD with 7th Grade Teachers (during planning periods), District Leadership Mtgs (4pm, Designated Locations)

Wednesday (11th) - Guidance IGP's (8-11, 2-3), EL PD with 8th Grade Teachers (during planning periods),

Thursday (12th) - Crew (8:20-8:50), Grounds Maintenance at IMS (park vehicles off the curb), Principal's Luncheon with G40 (12:00noon, Rm. 812),

Friday (13th) - Guidance IGP's (8-11, 2-3), CHP Fundraiser (7pm)

Tasks to Complete This Week!

1. Teach like a champion every period, every day!

2. Attend Tuesday's District Leadership Meetings after school (4pm; Designated Locations)

3. Attend EL PD Tuesday (Team Leaders and Mrs. Ellis' Classrooms) and Wednesday (Team Leaders and Ms. Langley's classroom).

4. Incorporate the topics specified in the weekly calendar in your lesson plans and activities. Make sure you are making specific connections to the experiences of our students as well as cross curricular planning and connections.

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

6. 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.

7. Review this week's Crew lesson and prepare for Thursday.

8. Continue working with your bubble kids and planning additional instructional activities and supporting lessons to ensure that they meet their goals on the spring MAP assessment.

March Staff Birthdays

Tammie Hardy, March 11th

Brandi Clarkson, March 25th

Marilyn Constante, March 31st


Please join me in wishing these staff members a happy birthday.

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We have several shout outs this week:


1. Mrs. Kimberly Waters - Join me in congratulating Mrs. Kim Waters on a job well done last week in coordinating coverage for all of our absences. As noted below, we had 92 absences last week. Coordinating this coverage is like trying to put together a puzzle when the pieces keep changing. She handles all of the coverage scenarios like a pro and still services the needs of our parents and visitors in the main office. Let's give Mrs. Waters a huge iAM shout out!


2. Magnet Recruitment Team - Join me in congratulating all members of our magnet recruitment team on a job well done in hosting our Course Fair Night last Thursday. We had an overflow crowd of excited students and parents. Our event was well planned, extremely organized, and facilitated in an efficient fashion. This could not have been possible without the collective efforts of a united TEAM. Let's give all members of the magnet recruitment team along with all teachers and staff members who were present and involved a huge iAM shout out.

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Attendance (Staff) - Update

Last week the teacher attendance rate was 88% (37 absences) and the entire staff attendance rate was 92% (55 absences). This past week was our worst attended week all year. Coupled with illnesses, we saw a lot of personal days. I continue to remain optimistic that we will have an average attendance rate of 97% for the year. We can make that happen by everyone coming to work on a daily basis. As always, it is absolutely critical that everyone make every effort possible to be here each and every day. I will join you in those collective efforts. When you need to be out, please follow the proper protocols and prepare excellent plans for your students. Remember, if you are on duty, that needs to be communicated to your substitute as well.


Note - We will have a little change this week in the procedure for requesting substitutes. If you will need a substitute (for any reason) please email Mrs. Waters before you put in your request in SubFinder. Let her know the date(s) you will need the substitute, the code (illness, etc.) and the time (full day or half day). I will take care of putting your request in SubFinder. If we continue having weeks that we did last week, we will have to start using teachers in the class coverage matrix. We really don't want to do that but we have to ensure that we have the highest quality learning experience possible for our students.


Legislative Update

On Monday, March 2nd, the Education Oversight Committee - Academic Standards Committee approved the new College and Career Readiness ELA and Math standards. The standards will go before the full EOC on Monday and will go to the State Board of Education for second reading on March 11th.

The Magnet Minute & EL Corner

Crew: This week's Crew lesson, created by Mrs. Young in continued celebration of Teen Tech Week, is linked here. It includes information about our new student "SHOUT OUT!" system, created by the PBIS team and inspired by work done at Polaris Charter, the EL mentor school visited by Mrs. Manning and Mr. Sava. The intention of this new system is to provide students with an avenue for acknowledging and celebrating the actions of their peers that align with our

I-R-M-O Habits. After it is introduced to students on Thursday, please begin encouraging them to nominate each other. This will help continue our promotion of a culture that celebrates positivity and "doing good" for others.


Team leaders will learn the lesson tomorrow and teach it to team members this week. Please see information below regarding PD during Tuesday/Wednesday plannings. This may impact when teams meet to learn the Crew lesson (specifically 8th grade/elective teachers).


EL PD with Boddy and McKenzie: Workshop 1.0 and 2.0 - What's the difference? When should I use each format? Sarah Boddy will be on campus this Tuesday and Wednesday (3/10 and 3/11). In order to honor your time, team meetings will be canceled this week and EL PD will take place during a team planning time. The schedule is:


Tuesday: all 7th grade teams will meet in the team leaders' classrooms; World Language teachers and all Arts teachers will meet in Mrs. Ellis's classroom


Wednesday: all 8th grade teams will meet in the team leaders' classrooms; PE teachers, all other elective teachers, and any other teachers who missed Tuesday will meet in Ms. Langley's classroom


We will be looking at several Google docs on the Drive - please bring a device (laptops, rather than iPads, seem better suited to this task). The workshop will last 50 minutes.


We are looking forward to continuing the learning sparked by Hannah and Kelly during our grapple session, and to thinking, more specifically, about lesson structure in specific content areas.

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From Mr. Thur

IEP Meetings

In the past few weeks, there have been some IEP meetings that have started later than the scheduled time. Sometimes, it is beyond our control, due to the myriad of factors (schedule, prior meeting, coverage, parents, etc.). However, I wanted to write this entry this week to ask you to please do your level best to arrive on time, so that we can end on the planned time. I will do the same. When at all possible, I will do my very best to get to the meeting a few minutes prior to the scheduled time. If we begin the meeting for when it is planned for, my hope is that you will have a better chance to end prior to your next class. This will hopefully limit coverage and other logistical concerns as well. Please check your calendars daily, as meetings are sometimes rescheduled with a new time and location.


Behavior Checklists

This is just a reminder to please complete behavior checklists on your google drive. Please make this a priority, as it is a required step in the student's plan. The more data we have on behavior and social functioning, the better the casemanger can determine and measure student progress towards goal mastery. This information is critical, as you are the primary source for indicating how that student is performing socially/behaviorally. If you have any questions about this, please ask the student’s casemanager.

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From Mrs. Inabinet

No entry this week

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From Mrs. Young

No entry this week

Closing Thoughts

This week's Monday Message contains a calendar to guide our week ahead, PD links, and events on the horizon. In February, I informed you that for the next ten weeks, I will be focusing my closing thoughts on the Expeditionary Learning Design Principles. The reason for this is to bring awareness to these guideposts, explain them, and challenge you to embrace and implement in your classrooms daily.


If you recall, the last edition of the Monday Message focused on The Responsibility for Learning. You were asked to question yourself to determine how are you continuously learning as a professional and how you are encouraging children to become responsible for their learning?


This week, everyone is asked to focus on Design Principle # 4 - Empathy and Caring. With this design principle, EL teaches us that learning is fostered best in communities where students’ and teachers’ ideas are respected and where there is mutual trust. Learning groups are small in Expeditionary Learning schools, with a caring adult looking after the progress and acting as an advocate for each child. Older students mentor younger ones, and students feel physically and emotionally safe.


Is your classroom culture empathic and caring? To what extent are students ideas respected in the learning environment? Do your students trust you? How can you adjust your current practices to reflect the needs of our students (particularly the ones with significant academic and emotional deficiencies?


Remember, working on culture and character is not a sometimes thing. Every time one person slacks off, it hurts the entire school. While we are doing this very important work, we must not put students on the outside looking in, we need them on the inside, helping us to solve problems by owning their work and striving to produce better outcomes. We will accomplish this as long we consistently display a We Are Crew, Not Passengers spirit.


Remember, Together We are Smarter!


Robert S. Jackson, Ed.S., Principal

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