Mercury Online Happenings

October 22-26 2012

Upcoming Dates to Remember

  • Thursday, October 25th: Parent Education Meeting @ 8:30pm Eastern
  • Friday, October 26th: Advisors Meeting @ 2pm Eastern - Julie's office
  • 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

- November 22

Puerto Vallarta - November 23

Muskegon Heights - November 22-23

Staff Spotlight

Cecilia Perkins

This week we spotlight Cecilia Perkins. Cecilia works as the Administrative Assistant for Mercury Arizona.

Cecilia shares....

My name is Cecilia Perkins and I was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona. I have been married for 16 years, and we have five children and five grandchildren. I continued my education at the University of Phoenix to work on my Business/Administration degree. I have been working in the education field for 16 years, and I can say I love working with students and parents. I have been employed with Mercury Online Academy since February 2012. I really love working with the staff, parents, and students.

Mercury Sunshine!

We are thinking of:
  • Barbara Noel-Williams who lost her dear Aunt June this past week. Aunt June's loss was totally unexpected, and we are so very sorry Barb- we know she was like a mother to you.

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

Club Corner

Art Club
This week in art club students got creative with color! We learned how the eyes perceive color through light and how the spectrum of colors are arranged on an artist's color wheel. Our amazing artists created their own creative color wheels showing the primary and secondary colors. Here is a wonderful example by High School Art Club member Gabrielle Ballinger!

Middle School Book Club
The middle school book club had a lively discussion on the book, The Outsiders. We discussed how author S.E. Hinton was only 16 years old when she wrote the book in 1967 and how the book is still relevant today. Our favorite quote so far is: “It seemed funny that the sunset she saw from her patio and the one I saw from the back steps was the same one. Maybe the two worlds we lived in weren’t so different. We saw the same sunset.”

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

The 6 Effective Teaching Strategies!
1-Activating Prior Knowledge (What do my students already know? How can I build off of their understanding?)
2-Socratice Discussion (The ART of teacher questioning to guide student thinking to gain a deeper level of understanding)
3-Graphic Organizers
4-Cooperative Leaning (Team building through cooperation and partnerships)
5-Role Play (Kinesthetic connections, gaining empathy and just plain FUN!)
6-Personal Connections/Journals (How do I feel about what I just experienced? )

Plan for these ETS daily in your lessons and increase student engagement and achievement!

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 - October 22 - 26, 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.

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!

  • AZ End of Grading Period: October 19th
  • CA and Prep End of Grading Period: October 24th
  • CO End of Grading Period: October 30th

This week's deadlines:

Monday, October 22nd: Student Holiday/Teacher Workday – AZ

Tuesday, October 23rd: All PSAPs complete in Alpine-AZ

Wednesday, October 24th: Last day of GP#1 CA

Wednesday, October 24th: Begin PSAP Conference Window-AZ

Wednesday, October 24th: Grades entered in PS by 12 noon EASTERN AZ

Thursday, October 25th: Student Holiday/Teacher Workday-CA

Friday, October 26th: All PSAPs complete in Alpine-CA

Be sure you are......
  • Be sure all AZ and CA PSAPs are fully complete in Alpine
  • All grades for AZ entered into PowerSchool NO LATER THAN 12 NOON – 10/24/12 (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 Cecilia Perkins as soon as all AZ grades are entered in PS so that she 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:

The next round of 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.

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: There will be no TLS for this week, but it will resume next week!

Join us if you can:)

Upcoming Paragon Units- Be aware for Cross-curricular connections!

CA & AZ 6th graders: Ancient River Valley Civilizations
CO 6th graders: Renaissance
CA 7th: Medieval Africa
AZ 7th: Civil War
CO 7th: China/Japan
CA 8th: Westward Expansion
AZ 8th: WWII
CO 8th: The Constitution
Contemporary World Cultures: Middle East / Rise of Islam
Paragon World History: Pre-Columbian America (including Mayas, Aztecs, Incas)

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

Q. What flies around the kindergarten room at night?

A. The alpha-BAT.