Weekly Update

January 18, 2016

Mark Your Calendars

This Week...

Monday, January 18

  • 1/2 Day of School, 11:45 Dismissal
  • MLK Day - Run Miss Baskin's schedule of events
  • BOE Meeting @ Ackerson, 7:00 pm

Tuesday, January 19

  • Eligibility Due
  • First Hour NWEA Make-Ups - 300 Lab
  • Student Council Meeting

Wednesday, January 20

  • CBD Shoulder to Shoulder in am?

Thursday, January 21

  • DISTRICT Faculty Meeting, 3:30 - 4:30 pm

Friday, January 22

  • Spirit Day - Show off your favorite decade!

And Next Week...

Thursday, January 28

  • Student / Staff Challenge, Last Hour

Friday, January 29

  • End of the 2nd Marking Period
  • End of the 1st Semester
  • 1/2 Day Dismissal, 11:45 am
  • Records Day (pm)
  • PTSA Fun Night: 5th/6th @ 5:00 pm AND 7th/8th @ 7:00 pm



  • Olweus and Leader in Me - I bet that you thought I had forgotten about this. =) I can assure you that I have not. I'd like to start this again for the second semester, so please check the weekly updates for schedules and lessons. The goal is to have you do one Olweus lesson per month during advisory, and I will "flip" a Leader in Me lesson to show once per month. Stay tuned...
  • Evaluation Points
The state has changed the percentages for Domain 4 from 50% to 25%. Professional Council met and decided to change the 2015-16 Evaluation document to the following percentages:

Domain 1 27 points

Domain 2 17 points

Domain 3 10 points

Domain 4 26 points

Clear and significant (Accomplishments/contributions) hours: 15

Professional Development (Relevant Special Training) hours: 5

If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask me or your professional council reps.

Also, mid-year meetings will take place during mid to late February. I'll share information in the near future about the format, expectations, meeting times, etc.

  • The school improvement team has created a newly revised mission statement for the district: Manchester Community Schools, in partnership with parents and community, use best practices to develop the skills of communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity in all students to ensure they are future ready.
  • Tech Talk at Mercy - This is a tremendous workshop focusing on Tech Integration. Please peruse the conference details here and let me know by Friday if you may be interested. We can send 2 people from the middle school this year. Preference will be given to teachers who have not attended this conference before and/or those who have not attended MACUL, but please don't let that stop you from expressing your interest.
  • Did you know that the first response team (FRT) meets regularly to review practices and emergency protocols? The team consists of: Matt Hall, Jennifer Mayes, Heidi Huber-Stein, Nora Baskins, and Linda Underwood. If you have a student that is experiencing a health crisis, notify the office immediately (or call 911 if the situation warrants); the FRT will respond. Please know, too, that the FRT will help assess the situation and--if you haven't already done so--will decide whether or not 911 is to be called. Calling 911 is either your responsibility (if a student is having a clear, immediate health crisis) or the team's responsibility if the student needs to be assessed. Calling 911 will not be the office's responsibility unless the student or adult is having a health issue in that location. Why does this responsibility fall on you or the team? This is the direction given to us by emergency responders. Inevitably, the 911 operator asks questions about the individual having the health crisis and needs to speak with someone who is present with him/her. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask. We're happy to help.


  • Dream more, learn more, become more!
  • Critical information - phone extensions, schedules, timelines, emergency drills, etc.
  • Text alerts through Remind - text @mms5678 to the number 81010.


In this Chronicle of Higher Education article, A.C. Grayling (New College of the Humanities, London) says there are two ways that ineffective teachers can harm students: putting them off a subject and undermining their confidence and self-belief. “Good teachers do exactly the opposite of these things,” says Grayling, “and as a result inspire, guide, and give their students a broader sense of life’s possibilities… the desire to know more, understand more, achieve greater insight.” He lists several qualities that the best teachers possess:

  • Enthusiasm – Students often catch this in their classrooms.
  • Charisma – Teachers can be Pied Pipers for their subject.
  • A capacity to clarify and make sense – This quality illuminates any subject.
  • Humor – It lightens the hard work students need to do.
  • Kindness – A teacher’s power is enhanced when there’s a human connection.
  • A genuine interest in students’ progress – This involves constantly checking for understanding and responding accordingly.

Good teachers have these qualities in varying proportions, and the net effect is that students begin to teach themselves. “And that, paradoxical as it may seem, is the best outcome of good teaching,” says Grayling. “Independence of endeavor, and soon therefore of mind, should be one of the fundamental aims of education.”

Some novice teachers worry that if they show humor, kindness, and interest, they’ll come across as weak. But Grayling says there’s “no inconsistency in being both kind and firm, humorous although not prepared to tolerate messing about, and interested without being partial. It is a matter of operational tact and good timing.”

“Good teachers are those who remember being a student,” he concludes. “They hear themselves as their students hear them. They know which aspects of their subject might present a difficulty, which require to be grasped before which, and what their best students will be keen to know, and why… Students’ questions and doubts compel one to think and rethink, often prompting one to see things that had not been noticed before. For this reason it is never boring to teach the same subject repeatedly.”

“What Makes a Good Teacher?” by A.C. Grayling in The Chronicle of Higher Education, December 11, 2015 (Vol. LXII, #15, p. B4-B5), e-link for subscribers only

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Manchester Middle School

District Vision:

Educational Excellence in a Caring Community

District Purpose:

Manchester students are provided the stepping stones for success.

District Mission:

Manchester Community Schools, in partnership with parents and community, use best practices to develop the skills of communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity in all students to ensure they are future ready.

School Mission:

To provide a secure, challenging learning environment which will empower all students to achieve their greatest potential. The MMS team joins the parents and community to assist students in developing skills necessary to become successful, responsible, contributing citizens.