Panther Note

January 30, 2016

Special This Week ... Honor our Counselors

February 1-5 is American School Counselor Association.

"A counselor's primary role, is to help students work through behavioral problems, mental health concerns, and other issues that might hamper kids’ success in school and in life. But despite considerable recent attention to factors that might improve education in schools, researchers have largely ignored how much of an impact counselors have on academic performance."

As a PLC and individual Panther, help us celebrate the hard work of our counselors and their impact on students and families. From arranging class schedules, to meeting with students, to teaching life skills and more, our counselors take your instruction, our building goals, family hopes and individualize each student's success.

Thank you to Tina and Janice for actively engaging students to learn their abilities, strengths, interests and talents. Thank you for partnering with families as they encounter challenges. Thank you for focusing on positive ways to enhance our Panthers personal and educational development.

Join Stacey and I in thanking and celebrating our exceptional team of counselors this week.

PSM Teacher of the Year....Congratulations to Virginia Catlett!

The PSM nominee is placed for consideration in our district.

Virginia has won multiple times and reflected, "...with such a great staff, how could anyone decide on one?"

The BV nominee is chosen from across the district and when chosen, placed in the Kansas Teacher of the Year Award recognizes representatives of excellent teaching in secondary classrooms.

Its mission is to build and utilize a network of exemplary teachers who are leaders in the improvement of schools, student performance, and the teaching profession.

Virginia will represent us well!

Impact of a Quality Teacher:

We know intuitively that highly effective teachers have an enriching effect on the daily lives of children and their lifelong educational and career aspirations. We now know empirically that these effective teachers also have a direct influence in enhancing student learning. Years of research on teacher quality support the fact that effective teachers not only make students feel good about school and learning, but also that their work actually results in increased student achievement. Studies have substantiated that a whole range of personal and professional qualities are associated with higher levels of student achievement. For example, we know that verbal ability, content knowledge, pedagogical knowledge, certification status, ability to use a range of teaching strategies skillfully, and enthusiasm for the subject characterize more successful teachers.1

Lockdown Reflections

  • Once made aware of Lockdown

  • Secure themselves in a locked room.

  • Nobody should remain in the hallways or bathrooms.

  • The educational process may continue behind locked doors during a Lockdown, the educational process stops during Lockdown Lights Out.

  • Prior to locking your classroom door, teachers should quickly check the hallway for any students who may need to take refuge.

  • Ignore fire alarms during a lockdown

  • Ignore passing periods

  • Ensure cell phones are on silent mode

Overall an excellent job by our staff. One maintenance order was placed to fix a lock. If you have any needs that have not been shared with leadership, do this immediately.

February 3 Eighth Grade Plans

PSM Staff:

On Wednesday February 3 we are taking our 8th grade class to the BVHS musical matinee. This will alter schedules a bit and wanted you all to know.

  • 8th Graders will not report to 1st,2nd , 3rd, or 4th hours that day. At 7:45 am all 8th graders will report directly to their 5th hour teacher for a special ELA activity and will stay there until we leave for the HS at 8:40am. Essex and Berberich will supervise in Knight’s room during 1st hour only. Thank you Steve and Amy!

  • Lunch Changes: 8th has switched with 7th Grade-

    • 7th Grade Lunch Block

      • lunch 11:00-11:25am

      • 5th hour 11:29am-12:14pm (Wagoner’s sub will cover Burton’s 5th hour from 11:29-11:40am)

      • 6th hour normal time

    • 8th Grade Lunch Block

      • Return from field trip @11:15am back to 5th hour teacher and resume ELA activity.

      • lunch 11:50am-12:15pm

      • 6th hour normal time, but kids will report back to 5th hour classroom.

    • 6th Grade Lunch Block - No changes.

  • Students report to hrs. 7-8 as they normally would.


Please remember how to best support a quick improvement in your room temperature:

1.) Communicate to Kelsa

2.) Your temperature will be measured by Kelsa (68-72 is NORMAL)

3.) If out of range, communication will occur with maintenance. They have been very quick to arrive if we do our part!

IMPERATIVE: Do not open your window ... this will cause the sensor to read that it is COLDER in your room, and INCREASE the heat to the entire wing. Your window impacts your five neighbor classrooms. It will be the same impact as we move to Spring with the opposite temperature.

Thank you for taking note and communicating with Kelsa! More details were in the original note about temp changes posted in November.

Supervision : Team Jaguar

Noted on mailboxes, planners, Google Calendar, Weekly Calendar from Kelsa and Panther Note! Thank you for being diligent and making connections with our students and families.

We need your help!

Tardy Cards are due daily into the box on the island.

This will allow Pam to more quickly update Stacey on tardies so individual plans and communication can be developed to support increased student time in front of you! Thank you.

Great Three Tiered Discussion

Conversation from content area grade levels about Three Tiered Lessons are being heard. Remember that your grade level content will need to hear from each content area with a three tiered lesson based in MAP data.

Tara Mahoney will be joining us on March 1 to hear from you, provide feedback and brainstorm. We need to see:

**the MAP data, AOL data, KAP data that drove your decision

**your student groupings

**your shared standards

**your differentiated / three tiered lesson activities

**your assessment of learning (may be tiered?)

See Sigg/Sperry sooner than later for support!

EdCamp in Blue Valley!

Opportunity to collaborate with educators, to learn from colleagues.

Sessions are determined the day of the event by the participants.

The participants are the facilitators in an Edcamp allowing personalized learning to take place.

Join us February 6, 2016. To register, click here.

Hilltop Conference Center
February 6, 2016
Schedule Information
Amazing door prizes provided by our sponsors including a Dewey Stand, Tech Hub (charger for small set of iPads), free subscriptions to Zaption, Edpuzzle and more!

Conferences Coming - see the Counselors updates to your Scheduled Conferences on Google Drive

This was shared through Leadership in the Fall and posted on Google Drive then. The times are also on the Outlook Calendar by Kelsa.

February 09: all scheduled / 3:15 - 7:15 (snacks, no meal)

February 11: Walk ins: 7:30 - 9:30 / 2:30 - 6:30

Lunch on the 11th provided by PTO from 11:20 - 12:10

"...parents and teachers do not usually have obvious opportunities for interaction. Rather, one party must intentionally reach out to the other for communication to take place."

PSM Building Improvement ... your input can drive it!

If you have Capital Outlay needs / ideas in your classroom, wing or content area share this week. February due dates for technology and facility upgrades are due. If you want input - see Sigg soon.

Technology Concerns

If you have connectivity issues, ideas for improvement in software or hardware or any other tech frustration we need to coordinate and communicate.

Contact your building leadership (Sigg/Sperry/Leadership Team) so we can articulate the need effectively.

Latest in the Media Center

Friday Put Up Your Feet and Read “fun” raisers:

  • $3 allows students to bring a comfy pillow or blanket, slippers, and, of course, a book during Guided Studies or Free Read Friday.

  • $3 allows for 30 minutes of comfy reading time, 2 donuts, a hot chocolate, and an entry into our raffle for an end of the year lunch with a local celebrity.

  • Proceeds support PSM makerspace purchases and, of course, books!

  • Limited to the first 30 participants per hour. Students will sign in and get a stamp. Students may only participate once each session.

The library will be open for regular library business during these times! We will have a designated space for library computers and other library business.

We will sell any leftover donuts for $6 dozen for staff only at the end of the day.

Upcoming dates:

Feb 5

Feb 19

Mar. 4

Mar. 25

April 8

April 22

May 6

May 20 (TBD)

Team Six Update

Important Dates and Reminders

  • TCB is held Monday, Tuesday (except Early Release Days), Wednesday, and Thursday until 4:00 in the 6th grade computer lab. There is a late bus that will bring the students home on Wednesdays.

Course Briefings/AOLs for the upcoming week:



  • Division of Fractions

  • Word Problems

  • Beginning Decimals

  • Let’s Be Rational AOL on Thursday, February 4th


  • Perimeter/Area of Rectangles and Parallelograms

  • AOL on Tuesday over Decimal Operations


  • Grammar AOL on Monday, February 8th


  • Finishing the Water Cycle

  • Comic Strip completed in class

  • Comic Strip due Monday, February 8th for an AOL grade

Social Studies

  • Library for World Religion research (project due Wed for Gertsner and Thursday for Tate)

  • World Religion Project Presentations (AOL Grade)


  • Vocabulary Unit 2.1 Quiz on Wed (A-Day) or Thurs (B-Day)


  • 2A AOL on Monday, February 1st (A-Day)

6th Grade Guided Study for Week of 2/1-2/5:

  • CNN Student News will be shown to introduce current events of the week.

  • Grade checks continue along with checks for missing work

  • More work with fractions

  • Organization check of locker and binder

eBook Creation ... great opportunity for writing as a whole group or differentiation

Top Tools for eBook Creation

1. StoryBird
Create an online book using the artwork provided by Story Bird. Share with a link.
Click here to view the guide.

2. Little Bird Tales
Great for elementary students! Create a story book online using the template and images provided.
Click to view additional information.

3. Google Slides
Google Slides is an online presentation tool, but can be creatively used to create ebooks. Each slide can become a page. Save as a online presentation to easily scroll through each page.
Click to view additional information.

Seventh Grade Update

Social Studies:

Kansas Unit begins Monday. Fridays will be World Geography.

AOL’s will be returned for reflection Monday, Feb. 1st.


Reading: Students are working through Phineas Gage as well as being introduced to stance #2 in their non-fiction unit.

ELA: Students are finishing their argumentation outline for the question, “Who will win the Super Bowl?”


Advanced Integrated Algebra 7th Grade-

Topic:We will be working on our algebra unit in the book, Moving Straight Ahead. Our focus this week will be investigation 1, linear relationships. We will be making connections between tables, graphs, and equations. A new target zero will be assigned with the due date of next Monday.

Integrated Algebra 7th Grade-

Topic: We will begin a new book called Comparing and Scaling. The focus of this book is ratios, rates, percents, and proportions. This week we will be working on investigation 1 and our understanding of ways to compare numbers using differences, ratios, percents, and fractions. A new target zero will be assigned with the due date of next Monday.


In science we are transitioning into Genetics and how traits get passed on from parent to offspring. Students will receive a unit overview which details the topics in this unit.

Guided Study 7th Grade:

In Guided Study we will look at current grades and missing assignments in StudentVue. We also will talk about the Study Habits of successful students, which includes these topics: A Good Study Place, Setting Goals, Procrastination, Motivating Yourself to Study, Managing Your Study Time, Study Groups, Improving Concentration, among others.

Note in Your Calendar - D/F Update

Progress grades will be finalized with the Parent Window open on Friday, February 5.

D/F reports will be out. If you have a student with a D/F that is not on your PTC list, please plan to reach out.

Additionally, we will discuss Monday, February 8 to hear your communication and support plan for each.

The posting window is open and grades will be due no later than 3:00 p.m. next Friday. This was communicated this past Tuesday, supported by the grading period, in your planner and will be out from Nancy as well.

If your grades will take longer than 3:00pm on Friday, February 5 contact me by the close of the day Monday.

"...research shows that students who are overstressed are not able to learn efficiently because the release of the stress hormone, cortisol, interferes with memory formation. Likewise, when a student’s home and school environments are calming, the student’s brain is able to learn efficiently." (Goleman, 1997; Tennant, 2005).

Proactive and supportive communication enhances actual learning.

8th Grade Update

Social Studies:

Start Unit 7 - Learn why the stock market crashed, the reason for the Dust Bowl, and FDR’s New Deal.


Students will be viewing clips from the movie Life is Beautiful and compare to the primary Holocaust documents they are reading in class. Movie permission forms will come home this weekend. Please sign and return by Tuesday. Thereafter, their research will continue for the White Rose essay.


Integrated Algebra

Students will continue with transformations in the way of dilations.

Target Zero - due Monday

Integrated Algebra - Hour 2

Students will be taking AOL over linear functions. Then they will begin analyzing numerical data (scatter plots) & categorical data (2-way tables).

Target Zero - due Monday


Students will begin a new unit over rules of exponents & scientific notation.

Target Zero - due Monday


We have been using models to understand atomic structures. We have also introduced the periodic table as a tool to understand elements and how atoms form compounds. Work this week will support these concepts as we attempt to apply these ideas.

Guided Study 8th Grade:

In Guided Study we will look at current grades and missing assignments in StudentVue. As conferences approach, we will take some time to make sure we have turned in all assignments and caught up on anything that is still missing.

Great Chance to Model Leadership For Students

End the Word T Shirt sales will be deposited Monday at 8am. Kelsa and Pam secured one last opportunity to purchase. If you participate you have an opportunity to be selected to for class coverage or a free lunch!

This March event is local and lends itself to larger and more specific PSM lessons about supporting peers ... be the lead!

"A cacophony of voices is continuing to place mandates on education and yet the voices of teachers are seldom heard. Teacher education can attempt to address this issue by facilitation of advocacy experiences via service-learning." Be a model for simple service / citizenship learning on a small scale.

Google Tips

1. Looking for a specific article on a website? Search the website only to look for the article.
search:site keyword

2. Need a quick definition? Type define: and the word to show a definition.

2. Need to flip a coin, but do not have a coin? Click the microphone in the Google search box and say, Flip a Coin. (You may have to say Allow to use your computer’s microphone.)
A coin appears. Click to reveal heads or tails.

Goal II Work: MAP Goal Setting Forms

MAP forms will be coming in the coming days to enhance and support the goal setting work you have utilized throughout this year. If your PLC/content area has a preference reach out to Sigg asap.

Next Leadership Meeting will be February 10

Share Leadership items with Sigg asap so we can address on February 10

Enrollment Updates

Eighth Grade BV night was this past week. Eighth grade Math Recs came out this past week. 6/7 will be out next week (prior to conferences).

See Janice and Stacey updates for new dates due to slight change in process for enrollment for all grades.

Next Year Note

2016 -17 Updates

  • First day of School August 11: Back to School Night will be that evening

And further down the line: The 2017-18 school calendar has been approved by BV BOE. Note the following:

  • First day of school - Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2017
  • Thanksgiving Break - Wednesday, Nov. 22 - Friday, Nov. 24, 2017
  • Winter Break - Thursday, Dec. 21, 2017 - Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2018
  • Spring Break - Friday, March 9 - Monday, March 19, 2018
  • Last day of school - Wednesday, May 30, 2018

See multiple sources for early February dates

Google Drive

Outlook Calendars

Past Notes

Weekly note from Kelsa

...and many more.