The DCMS Bat Signal: 1/14/19

Super me, super you, everyday heroes make dreams come true.

Good Morning Team DCMS Superheroes!

REMINDER - The faculty meeting is tomorrow AM at 7:25 AM in the Bat Cave.

We will be once again beating the February Blues by wearing jeans on Monday's and Fridays in February. Plan ahead for comfort!

I got this article from PBIS today that I thought gave some practical action ideas of how we can be the spark. I especially liked the link toward the bottom with over 200 incentive ideas. There are definitely some new ideas I hadn’t seen before that don’t cost a penny. They are ideas that expand students’ boundaries, which really become more intrinsic, and tend to be more truly motivating. Enjoy!

Beat the Mid-Year Slump: PBIS

The beginning of a new school year is a heady time. Getting your room ready for your new class, preparing plans and goals for the year, and including what you’ve learned in professional development over the summer – you’re brimming with excitement. However, you know from experience that the mid-year slump is out there.

Depending on when your school year begins, the mid-year slump can happen anywhere from October to December. And once it happens, it can be hard to keep your class focused.

The Downside of Routine

Once the “new” has worn off the school year, and students and teachers have become accustomed to a daily routine, the seeds of a mid-year slump begin to be sown.

As the days begin to grow shorter and the weather starts to make a turn for the worse, it can be difficult to maintain enthusiasm. More recess periods are spent indoors. Lesson material becomes more challenging as new concepts are being taught. What seemed exciting back in August or September begins to appear overwhelming.

Knowing that the holidays are right around the corner adds an extra layer of challenge, too. How do you combat the apathy that comes with the mid-year slump?

Strategies to Rejuvenate Your Classroom

Whether you’re a first-year teacher or a seasoned educator, fighting the mid-year slump can feel like an uphill battle. Fortunately, there are plenty of things you can do to shake up the routine without sacrificing learning.

  • Change things up – Flip the order of your daily lesson plan. Rearrange classroom seating. Swap classes with another teacher for part of the day. Depending on the routine you established at the beginning of the year, making changes to the pattern of your days can help to regain student attention.
  • Try something new – Changes in weather can mean fewer opportunities to get outside and burn off excess energy. Online programs like GoNoodle get kids moving while also teaching concepts.
  • Break out the books – Mid-year is a great time to introduce a favorite book to the classroom. Reading aloud to your class can take some of the pressure off of academic performance. Students of all ages can benefit from a book read aloud.
  • Collaborate with your classGiving your students some say in what they study or how they study it can be remarkably effective in breaking the boredom.
  • Stop, drop, and think – A daily quote written on the board when students enter your classroom can give them a little food for thought. Ask your students to spend a few minutes considering the daily quote and have a short discussion about it. This exercise can get students thinking and encourage them to express opinions – which can be a gold mine for discussion-style classes.

Combatting the Mid-Year Slump with PBIS

The mid-year slump is a prime time to lose your grip on your PBIS program, too. If allowed to take over, it can wreak havoc on school climate and cause you to lose every gain you’ve made since the first of the year.

When you’re struggling with boredom, apathy, and anxiousness among your students, it can be difficult to stay the course in a PBIS program. It may be tempting to abandon the program altogether, but before you do, try these strategies:

  • Restate goals – Remind students that the goals you set for the school at the beginning of the year are still valid.
  • Reteach expectations– Sometimes students just need a reminder of expectations. Deliberately and openly acknowledging positive behavior and awarding points will drive this point home.
  • Bring in new rewards – Boost interest in your PBIS program by introducing new items and privileges in the school store. Check out this list of over 200 PBIS incentive ideas.
  • Encourage accountability – Giving students the ability to check their point totals will help them to take ownership of the program. The PBIS Rewards Student App is perfect for this.
  • Involve parents – Parent support of your school and its PBIS program is important. This is a great time to suggest the PBIS Rewards Parent App.

As the school year marches on toward the holidays, the effects of the mid-year slump can grow more pronounced. By the time winter break arrives, students and teachers alike are ready for a little time off. But shaking up classroom routines can help hold attention until that time arrives.

Breaking through the mid-year slump is possible. Your PBIS program can help you to begin the second half of the year with renewed anticipation!

Formative Assessment Help

Guidance for Designing and Analyzing Exit Tickets

For all teachers, time is a precious resource. Having best practices in place for designing and reviewing Exit Tickets to reflect on your own teaching is key to ensuring learning happens in the classroom, as well as working on your personal teaching challenges.

Big picture

New Electronic Leave Form Process is Coming Soon

The district will be using an automated service that greatly simplifies the process of recording and managing absences and finding substitutes. The Frontline Absence Management solution will be available to you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and can be accessed via the internet from your cell phone, tablet, laptop, or desktop computer. Sarah Smith will be sending out more information soon!
Big picture

Keeping the End in Mind

As we work toward our goal of 92%/92% passing iLearn math and reading, it is important to be aware of where we have been and where we are now. In the tables below you will see how we have performed over time on ISTEP+ and NWEA. Grade levels go horizontally and cohort groups go diagonally. Please reflect on your PLC goals and how you as an individual teacher plays into our school goals. Where are you in terms of your goal? Which students are exceeding your expectations; which students are not? After NWEA is complete, I will be asking PLCs to meet with me to celebrate progress and share any adjustments that need to be made as we proceed toward the end of the year.
Big picture
Big picture

Upcoming Events

  • DCMS PTO Mtg - Monday, 1/14, @ 3:30 PM in the admin conference room
  • School Board Mtg - Monday, 1/14, @ 6:30 PM @ South Elementary cafe
  • MLK Day - Monday, 1/21- No School
  • Counselor Appreciation Week - 2/4 - 2/8
  • A Cup Above Catering - Friday, 2/8, from 9 AM - 10:30 AM; you may preorder!
  • President's Day - Monday, 2/18, SCHOOL IS IN SESSION

Upcoming Meetings - NOTICE CHANGES****

  • ***Faculty Mtg - Tuesday, 1/15, in The Bat Cave @ 7:25 AM*** Date change due to presenter availability. We will NOT meet on 1/8. We will meet on the 15th. We will be learning about the zones of regulation and de-escalation strategies.
  • Department Head Meeting with Marsha - Tuesday, 1/15, @ 3:30 PM
  • PLC - Wednesday, 1/16, in The Bat Cave @7:25 AM
  • Department Mtgs - Tuesday, 1/22, @ 7:25 AM; locations TBD by DH's
  • PLC - Wednesday, 1/23 in The Bat Cave @7:25 AM
  • PLC - Wednesday, 1/30, in The Bat Cave @7:25 AM


  • Shorts, Longs, & Coaching Observations – Expect that we will be visiting frequently and maybe even multiple times in a week.

  • Attendance Must Be Taken EACH Period – Attendance must be taken each period. This is not optional and cannot continue to be forgotten. At this point, this is considered a minimum performance expectation.

  • Cell Phone Violations Procedures are found here at the following link. Please familiarize yourself with the process.
  • Friday School / Detention Supervisor Sign-Up – Please sign up to supervise a Friday School or Detention for the good of the school culture using the links below. Detentions will now be on Thursday AM and Thursday PM.

Detention -

Friday School -

Big picture

About Us: Mission & Collective Commitments

We are a collaborative group of educators committed to ensuring high student achievement.

We commit to…

  1. Focusing on student proficiency of Indiana College & Career Readiness standards, not just coverage of material.
  2. Working collaboratively to benefit all students with a focus on results.
  3. Join forces to learn by doing on a daily basis.
  4. Using frequent common assessments that inform and drive our instruction.
  5. Providing intervention and enrichment based upon the formative data.
  6. Furthering a culture that uses value-added language, encourages one another, and celebrates successes.