The Monday Message

Office of the Principal; Monday, January 4, 2016

Quote for the Week!

"Every day is a chance to begin again. Don't focus on the failures of yesterday, start today with positive thoughts and expectations." ~ Catherine Pulsifer

The Week Ahead

January is International Creativity Month

Monday 1/4/16 - Admin Team Meeting (9:00am, Cafe')

Tuesday 1/5/16 - NRES Parents Visit IMS (8:00am, Media Center), Team Meetings (during plannings), Faculty Meeting (3:50pm, Cafe'), C-Team Basketball (H) vs. Dutch Fork Middle (5:30pm, Gymnasium)

Wednesday 1/6/16 - Winter MAP Testing, LES Parents Visit IMS (8:00am, Media Center), Geography Bee (11:00am-1:30pm, Media Center), Principal's Meeting (11:30-4:30pm, DO Board Room), Band Students Field Study (1:20pm, IHS)

Thursday 1/7/16 - Winter MAP Testing, Grade Level Expectation Meetings (8:20-10:00am, Gym, Cafe, Media Center), C-Team Basketball @ White Knoll Middle (5:30pm, White Knoll), District Magnet Recruitment Fair (5:30pm, CATS)

Friday 1/8/16- PBIS Meeting (8:30am, Odom's Classroom)

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 (L. Young, PM Duty)

Tuesday - R Group on duty (All Admin, PM Duty)

Wednesday - M Group on duty (R. Crothers, PM Duty)

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

Friday - R Group on Duty (V. Sava, PM Duty)

Tasks to Complete This Week!

Tasks to Complete This Week!

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

2. Return with a positive attitude and a growth mindset

3. Facilitate MAP Testing

4. Attend Tuesday's Team Meetings (During Plannings) and After School Faculty Meeting (cafe')

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

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

7. 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. Ashley Evans and Haley Calore - Prior to the holiday break, Ms. Evans and Ms. Calore both facilitated their Winter Concert and Dance Recital. In traditional IMS fashion, these events were spectacular. The students performed in an exemplary fashion and the events were well attended by parents and community members. Again we received another reminder, when we focus on skill building and character development simultaneously, we will get amazing results. iAM so proud of Ms. Evans, Mrs. Calore, and our orchestra and dance students for demonstrating their high quality results. Please join me in recognizing Ms. Evans, Mrs. Calore, and their students for demonstrating new thinking and new practices and acquiring improved results. Let's give them a huge iAM shout out.

2. Kerra Mays-Fowler, Irma Richardson, Natasha Smiley, Danielle Major-Murphy, Alicia Gordon - On Friday December 18th, all IMS staff members were treated to a "Hot Waffle Bar" by the members of our hospitality committee. This was done to ring in the holiday season and bring some cheer to our learning community. The waffles were delicious and I saw many smiling faces enjoying the fellowship. iAM so proud of Mrs. Mays-Fowler, Mrs. Richardson, Mrs. Smiley, Mrs. Major-Murphy, and Mrs. Gordon for continuing to work to build morale and bring our school family closer together. Please join me in recognizing them for demonstrating new thinking and new practices and acquiring improved results. Let's give them a huge iAM shout out.

3. Richard Schedler - While many of us were enjoying time with our families and loves ones during the holiday break, Mr. Schedler continued to work to make sure our recruitment practices remain vibrant. He communicated regularly with the district office, worked with vendors, and sent out post cards advertising our events. iAM so proud of Mr. Schedler for always for giving selflessly of his time for our school. Please join me in recognizing Mr. Schedler for always pushing for perfection. Let's give Mr. Schedler a huge iAM shout out.

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Attendance (Student) - Reminder

Continue to take your attendance "daily" during every class period. Any abnormalities, please notify Ms. Crumlin. If you have students who are accumulating excessive absences, please notify your administrator so we can begin to take the necessary actions. Remember, everyone is expected to record attendance every class period so we know where students are located. We don't want an issue where we can't find a student because someone didn't take attendance.

Attendance (Staff) - Update

There is no substitute for highly effective teachers being present for daily classroom instruction. In that regard, it is 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 (Kelly Services ~ AEOSP, Infinite Visions, and Email to Mr. jackson when necessary) and prepare excellent plans for your students. Remember, if you are on duty, that needs to be communicated to your substitute as well.

Class Changes

As we return from break, let’s return with unprecedented level of teacher supervision in all areas and at all times. Remember, it is absolutely critical that everyone get out in the hallways during class changes, and move students on to class. Remember, we control the campus common areas. Students should not be loitering, hanging out, or using this time to socialize. Remind students that if they are early to class, then they are on time.

Emergency Preparedness

Take a moment in your classes and review your emergency procedures. We will resume our random (unannounced emergency drills - required by state law and board policy). In preparation for those drills, please review the procedures and make sure you practice them with your classes. During evacuation drills, everyone must be out of the building and in their assigned areas in ninety seconds. Let's hustle to safety in an orderly fashion.

Again, a reminder... I expect all classroom doors to remain locked at all times. Assign a student to be the designed door opener. All exterior gates must be locked at all times. Any visitor to our campus must check in, in the front office first and register with our lobby guard system. Remember, everyone's safety is our top priority.

iAM Diplomats

As we return from break, the expectation is that iAM Diplomats initiative be up and running in all classes. We will continue to inspect this with all classroom visits and ask district personnel to do the same. You will receive feedback on their performance. We are looking forward to greeting as many students as possible and hearing from them what they are learning in your classes.

Leaving your classroom

If you are relocating your classroom for any reason, you must notify the front office and attendance so we will know everyone's whereabouts. If you have any questions or concerns, see your assigned administrator.

Norms and Expectations

Returning from a holiday break is an excellent time to pause, reconnect with your students, re-establish your classroom norms and expectations. It is high recommended that you take at least Monday to re-connect with your students, unpack these expectations, set classroom norms, and review the habits of scholarships. It will take you a long way this semester when you establish a sense of community and belonging in your classroom.

Student Dress Code - Reminder

As we return from break, let's strictly enforce our dress code. Report any and all violations to the administrators. Keep in mind that every second students miss class creates an opportunity for us not to meet our goals. Exercise good judgment in sending students out of class for these violations. When needed, call an administrator to your class to handle.Believe it or not, it is a student strategy to wear inappropriate garments...they know we will pull them out of class.

Teacher Behavior Commitments

We had a productive fall semester at IMS. In order to accomplish our goals, we will need to have a better spring semester. In order to do that, all staff members must commit to consistency and honoring our Learning Community Behavior Commitments. Take a moment and review these commitments and select one from each category that you will work on during the month of January.

Teaching and Learning

As we move into January, Winter MAP testing becomes a major focus for students and teachers. In addition to MAP testing, as instructional leaders (Principal, Assistant Principals, Content Coordinators, and Department Chairs), we will continue classroom observations. Our focus areas for January are as follows:

  • Learning Targets (written appropriately), Agendas, On-Task Students
  • Instructional Strategies (used by the teacher) ~ remember, we are encouraging everyone to use as many EL protocols as possible. Note these with your 'E" board magnets for easy reminders.
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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, reminders, and events on the horizon. As we walk proudly in 2016, I want to strongly re-emphasize three critical things:

1. We are Crew not Passengers is more that something we just say. It is something we deeply believe in. It is the foundation of the culture that we are building at IMS. It means that we will relentlessly support all positive efforts that will help our school improve.

2. We need everyone to commit to creating and facilitating quality teaching and learning experiences every single day. Our students and families deserve nothing less that your absolute best every day.

3. Incorporate in all classes daily EL protocols, initiatives, note catchers, and making "intentional" global connections. We will continue to model these practices and protocols in pd sessions, meetings, and other opportunities for professional growth.

As we start 2016, let's keep in mind 10 things students want all educators to know.

1). Students want you to actually spend the time to get to know them...

Learn something unique about them and find out what makes them tick. Students know when teachers don't know anything about them, so make getting to know your students a top priority.

2). Students want to have a voice in the learning process and want to share 'their' way of doing things...

Students want learning to be done 'with' them... not 'to' them. Schools are idea factories with a seemingly limitless amount of new and fresh ideas, so it's time we start tapping into that potential. Also, students bring unique perspectives and ways of thinking about life, so let them move up from passenger and let them drive the bus from time to time. This is the essence of the EL spirit. Use the protocols.

3). Students want to be treated with respect and dignity...

Students don't magically become motivated when they are embarrassed. They also don't appreciate it when you call them out to make a point and use them as an example. If you wouldn't like somebody doing it to you, then don't do it to your students.

4). Students want to be 'appropriately' challenged with meaningful and relevant learning experiences...

Students learn pretty quickly the differences between meaningful and productive work and mindless busy work. Students want you to push and challenge them with learning that provides them the skills to succeed. Additionally, students want and need the necessary supports as they struggle and navigate these more challenging learning experiences.

5). Students want educators to know that they too have bad and off days...

We all have bad days, and students are no different. Also, some students have quite a lot occurring in their lives outside of the education world. With that, education is at times understandably just not a top priority for them. Empathy and understanding go a long way in the classroom.

6). Students want their interests and passions to be infused into the learning that occurs in the classroom...

All students have interests and passions that go beyond the traditional school setting. It's these interests that students want you to integrate and combine with the learning that occurs in your classroom. When students are able to explore and further develop their interests while simultaneously meeting classroom learning objectives, great things are possible.

7). Students want educators to be truthful and honest...

When students feel you are being truthful and being honest, they can start to trust you. When students trust and respect you there are few things they won't do for you. This two-way street takes time to develop, but will yield significant dividends in the long-run.

8). Students want to be partners with you when it comes to the learning process...

Students don't want a 'teachers' vs. 'students' mentality in school. Students are looking to you for partnership and camaraderie in regard to learning and growth. It's this shift in traditional mindsets that really strengthens trust and collaboration between teachers and students.

9). Students want to know the work they are doing and the time they are committing to school will actually make a difference in the world...

Students spend a significant amount of time in school as they grow up, so it's only fair and appropriate that the time they spend and the work they do actually goes toward making the world a better place. The disconnect between doing something that makes a difference in the world and simply just doing something, makes all the difference.

10). At the end of the day, all students want to know their existence matters and that they are important...

Don't we all?

Have a wonderful week!

Robert S. Jackson, Ed.S., Principal

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