Iroquois Middle School

APRIL 2022 NEWSLETTER

FROM THE PRINCIPAL

Dear Iroquois Families:


April brings us closer to spring recess when many families enjoy restful vacations and traveling. However, we understand that sometimes family vacations occur before and after these scheduled breaks, resulting in students being absent from school. In those circumstances, parents often have questions as to what is expected in terms of lost instructional time. We hope that the following considerations will be helpful:


The teaching and learning that occurs every day in our classrooms is central to our mission. The tasks that are assigned and completed during class generally cannot be duplicated through outside activities or assignments. Classroom interactions, as well as the learning that occurs through them, form the basis for homework assignments. It is difficult to anticipate how these interactions will affect homework assignments when a child is absent for an extended period. In other words, teachers plan assignments in advance, but will regularly make changes in response to a class’s particular instructional needs. As a result, during the course of several days of instruction, assignments may change dramatically.


Teachers may prepare assignments for students and parents based on their intended instructional plans or they may provide information to students upon their return from an absence. Written materials, handouts, etc., that are given to the class during the absence will be provided to the student upon his/her return to school. Teachers may choose to work with the student before or after school depending on the nature of the assignment and the work that was missed. Students are expected to make up assignments within a reasonable timeframe and teachers will make appropriate efforts to support them.


Parents are encouraged to make every effort to plan family vacations during school recesses. In the event that this is not possible, it is important to recognize that students are expected to make up missed work and assignments.


As always, thank you for your ongoing support and collaboration. We are committed to working with you in order to ensure your children’s success and we welcome your comments and feedback.


Regards,

Christian Zwahlen

IROQUOIS CONTACT INFORMATION

Principal: Mr. Christian Zwahlen | christian_zwahlen@westiron.monroe.edu

Secretary: Ms. Susan Glastonbury | susan_glastonbury@westiron.monroe.edu

Main office: 585-336-0804

Fax: 585-336-3042

Website: https://irq.westirondequoit.org/

Health Office: 585-336-3091

  • Nurse: 585-336-0816

Transportation: 585-336-2992 | Transportation website

District Office: 585-342-5500 | District website: westirondequoit.org

UPCOMING EVENTS

APRIL

  • Apr 14: Report Cards Available
  • Apr 14: 4th Grade - half day
  • Apr 15-22: NO SCHOOL - Spring Recess
  • Apr 25: School resumes
  • Apr 27: Dake Incoming 7th Grade Parent Orientation - IHS - 5:30 Tour, 6:30 Auditorium
  • Apr 28: Iroquois Family Coffee - 8-9 AM
  • Apr 28: Iroquois Spirit Day - Tie Dye Day

MAY

  • May 2: WICPTSA Candidates' Night
  • May 2-6: Staff Appreciation Week
  • May 3: District Instrumental Jazz Night - IHS Auditorium - 7:00 PM
  • May 5: BOE Meeting/Budget Hearing
  • May 17: Budget Vote, St. Paul Fire Dept., 433 Cooper Road
  • May 18: 5th and 6th Orchestra & Chorus - IHS - 7:00 PM
  • May 19: Iroquois Spirit Day - Student/Teacher Reversal Day
  • May 20: 6th Grade Glow Dance
  • May 26: Incoming 4th grade and 5th grade parent orientation
  • May 30: NO SCHOOL - Memorial Day

JUNE

  • Jun 2: BOE Study Session
  • Jun 6: 4th Grade Band, Chorus & Orchestra - IHS Auditorium - 7 PM
  • Jun 7: WICPTSA Meeting
  • Jun 13: 5th & 6th Grade Band & Jazz Band - IHS - 7:00PM
  • Jun 14: Iroquois Spirit Day - Red, White & Blue Day
  • Jun 16: BOE Meeting
  • Jun 16 & 17: 6th Grade Outdoor Ed
  • Jun 20: NO SCHOOL - Juneteenth Observed
  • Jun 22: 6th Grade Recognition Ceremony
  • Jun 22: Last Day of School


For our full school calendar, click here.

SEL - SOCIAL EMOTIONAL LEARNING

According to the CASEL (Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning) model, there are 5 core social-emotional competencies. This month we are highlighting Self-Awareness. Self-Awareness is the ability to understand one’s own emotions, thoughts and values and how they influence behavior across context. This includes knowing one’s own strengths and limitations, with a well-grounded sense of confidence, purpose, optimism, and growth mindset. This leads to a sense of self-efficacy in academic and social settings, the ability to examine prejudices and biases, and demonstrating honesty and integrity. We love these tip sheets from Big Life Journal (www.biglifejournal.com) and we thought this would be helpful for you to check out!
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We are also happy to welcome a new member to our mental health team here at Iroquois, Jenna Nersinger. Mrs. Nersinger is mostly working with sixth grade but has been a tremendous help to all of our students. Please reach out to any of us at any time!


From Iroquois’s Mental Health Team,

Kimberly Bohnel, School Counselor

Jenna Nersinger, School Counselor

Marc Bigsby, School Social Worker

Kristin Belknap, School Psychologist

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FULL 'STEAM' AHEAD

West Irondequoit continues to move full STEAM ahead! As part of our work toward a unified approach to STEAM subjects, Mrs. Reinert’s talented graphic design students at Irondequoit High School were asked if they could come up with a logo that represented these subjects collectively while also representing West Irondequoit. Not an easy request, but students were up to the challenge. There were more than 20 entries to consider – so many incredible submissions – that K-12 STEAM staff were asked to vote on a selection of 6 initial finalists. In the end, one design emerged and you can see the top logo pictured above. It was designed by IHS senior Ella Missell and it’s a wonderful representation of our district’s STEAM department. Look for the logo to start making appearances in different locations around the district.


Helmer Nature Center Rules! The district’s outdoor classroom, Helmer Nature Center, has been busy this year. For the uninitiated Helmer’s mission is to “utilize the natural world as a classroom in order to provide practical, integrated learning opportunities, foster environmental awareness and promote the concept of global stewardship for lifelong learners”. Students and staff have been eager to get students outdoors and enjoying the variety of programming offered at Helmer. K-6 students have enjoyed nature walks, outdoor science experiments and even snowshoeing. We are looking for opportunities to expand student access to place-based experiences that help them understand how West Irondequoit’s natural environment has changed over time and what our young students can do to help local conservation efforts and how to deal with invasive species. Helmer also offers a variety of programs to the community as well. Check them out via this link: bit.ly/HelmerNC


Science, engineering, and problem solving: Our students continue to experience engaging problem-solving through engineering across the district. At Dake Junior HS, seventh-graders designed igloos intended to protect a penguin (ice cube) as they learned about heat and energy transfer. Ms. Stata’s third-graders at Seneca elementary designed houses capable of surviving extreme conditions as they learned about natural disasters. At IHS, Mr. Schultz’s students continue to master a variety of techniques that will help build the sturdiest pieces of wood furniture.


We continue to be impressed with all our students and staff have achieved so far and we look forward to seeing what problems they solve next!

Grades 6-12 STEM Scholarships (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math)

Are science or math your child’s favorite subjects? Do they love to build things or experiment with technology? Are they hoping to pursue a career in the sciences? If you answered yes to any of these questions, the STEM Scholarship may be a great opportunity! West Irondequoit Central PTSA is pleased to offer students an opportunity to earn a scholarship to pursue further learning in the science/technology/engineering or math subject areas. Students who are entering grades 6-12 in the 2022-2023 school year are eligible. Here’s the need to knows:

  • Scholarship may be used for a camp, a conference or a seminar related to STEM.

  • To apply, simply fill out the application forms found at www.wicptsa.org under “Scholarships” and send along with a recommendation by a math, science, engineering or technology teacher.

  • The activity should take place during the summer of 2022 and may not conflict with school attendance, unless sanctioned by the district.

  • Each scholarship (six per year) will cover the tuition or entry fee up to $100.

  • A wide variety of programs and camps for STEM are offered by local universities, colleges and museums, but the scholarship is not limited to these organizations.

  • Applications must be postmarked by Monday, May 31, 2022. Please complete the form in full and mail to:

WICPTSA STEM Scholarship

c/o Noël France

156 Belmeade Road

Rochester, New York 14617

  • Scholarship recipients will be notified by June 14, 2022.

Direct questions to Noël France @ 576-5788 or noelfrance78@hotmail.com or to your child’s science/technology/engineering/math teacher. Applications and letters of recommendation will be accepted via the above e-mail address too. Good luck!

TECHNOLOGY UPDATE

As we transition into the spring, the technology department has been hard at work supporting our faculty, staff and students with hardware, software, and electronic resources that enhance our instructional programs.


1:1 Laptop Program Updates


Through the facilitation of COVID-19 related pandemic funding, we were able to replace aging 2nd and 4th grade student laptops with newer laptops that support touchscreen accessibility as well as 2-in-1 tablet mode, features that have been highlighted by our instructional leaders as a high priority for our younger students.


At the end of the academic year, students will keep their laptops over the summer, giving them continued access to educational and enrichment materials such as online books while school is out of session. The exception will be students exiting kindergarten, grade 4, grade 8, and grade 12 (graduating seniors), who will turn in their devices at the end of the academic year. As these students enter grades 1, 5, and 9 in the fall, they will receive new devices, which will remain in their care for the next four years. The turned-in devices will be reconditioned over the summer for use by our kindergartners and used as short-term “loaner” devices in our schools.


Online Safety Platform


West Irondequoit CSD is using a new safety platform called Lightspeed Alert. It helps us detect early warning signs of potential threats and concerns related to self-harm, suicide, cyberbullying and school violence on district devices and network resources. When indicators are flagged, safety-specialist teams comprised of full-time employees with backgrounds in education, student safety, mental health and law enforcement conduct swift threat assessments and immediately call district officials for any threat identified as “imminent.” Lower-level threats are also identified and addressed by our staff. These round-the-clock notifications initiate our targeted response teams empowered to facilitate appropriate interventions and supports. You can learn more from a new Frequently Asked Questions section. Click here to read.


Comprehensive Technology Plan


The district’s Technology Advisory Committee, comprised of a diverse team of stakeholders including teachers, parents, PTSA members, technology personnel, and BOCES support personnel, collaborated throughout the year on development of the district’s Comprehensive Technology Plan for 2022-2025. This plan lays out the alignment between the district’s mission, vision for instructional technology, professional development plan, and actions that will support both the district’s mission as well as initiatives detailed by the New York State Education Department. An updated draft of the plan can be found on the district’s technology page at https://www.westirondequoit.org/district/technology_department.

RECESS BUDDIES!

6th GRADE PARENTS - SAVE THE DATE!

Wednesday, April 27th 5:30 PM: Dake building tour (self-guided) 6:30 PM: Presentation in IHS Auditorium Happy Spring! It’s hard to believe but we are already getting ready to welcome the Class of 2028 to Dake! New this year, we are opening Dake school from 5:30-6:20 PM so you can walk through the building and engage in a self-guided tour that will direct you to many important locations within the building. The formal presentation will start promptly at 6:30 PM in the IHS Auditorium. If you are planning to join us for the Dake building portion of the evening, please plan to enter the main entrance (Door 1) and sign in. Staff members will be there to greet you and help you get started. Please note that this event is for parents and guardians only. Students will have an opportunity to hear this information from Dake counselors later this year when they visit the middle school and during their summer orientation. We look forward to meeting you on April 27th and welcoming you to Dake! If you have questions in the meantime, please contact the Dake main office at 336-2960.

ODYSSEY OF THE MIND

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Iroquois School had 8 teams participate in Odyssey of the Mind this year, plus we had some Iroquois students join Dake students to form a team. The teams worked hard since October to prepare solutions to Long-term problems and to practice their skills at solving Spontaneous Problems. They showed off their teamwork at the Regional Competition on Saturday, March 5 in the Spencerport School District. Four teams of Iroquois students place first, second or third in their problem and went on to participate in the New York State Odyssey of the Mind Competition on March 26 at the New York State Fairgrounds.


Teams presented their solutions in front of judges, as well as family and friends who came to watch. Solutions involved skits, songs, dancing, creative costumes and scenery, hand-built vehicles, tiny team-created balsa wood structures that can hold many pounds, and more. We know how hard our Odyssey of the Mind teams worked to prepare their solutions. The problems were so much fun, and all the teams did a great job! Congratulations to all OotM participants! And a special thank you to the coaches for their hard work and support- without you this program would not be possible!

LOLA VISITS IROQUOIS

Lola, the service dog visited one of our fourth grade classrooms this week. The cute three legged pup showed students that being different can make you special.

GET HELP FROM OUR TECH TEAM!

The West Irondequoit CSD has a TECHNOLOGY SUPPORT KNOWLEDGE BASE that features a plethora of helpful information, including items such as Frequently Asked Questions, tips on solving issues and user guides on Infinite Campus and learning platforms such as Seesaw and Schoology. Access it via www.wicsd.tech