The Marie Murphy Update

10 January 2020 Edition

HAPPY NEW YEAR MARIE MURPHY!

Hello 2020! Hello Semester 2!

The calendar has switched to 2020 and that marks the coming of the second semester at Marie Murphy. First semester officially comes to a close on Friday, January 17 with second semester beginning on Tuesday, January 21. As we switch from the first to the second semester, here is what parents and students can expect:


  • All students will have changes in their daily schedules as a result of beginning new Allied Arts classes, the possible rebalancing of other classes, and/or new enrollments in reading and math strategies classes. These new schedules begin January 21.
  • All grades are reset. Second semester grades grades are a combination of 3rd and 4th quarter grades with the marking period beginning January 21. As always, you can monitor your child's progress through PowerSchool.
  • Winter MAP testing will take place on Wednesday, January 22 and Thursday, January 23.
  • First semester grades will be final on Monday morning, January 27. On that day, you will receive an email from me detailing how to download your child's report card and teacher comments.
  • 8th grade parent-teacher-student conferences will take place in February so that parents are well-informed in understanding their child's progress and achievement before completing high school registration.


The kickoff to the second half of the year makes for a busy January with plenty of opportunities to celebrate past accomplishments and set goals for a successful second half of the school!

2020-2021 Avoca School District Calendar Approved

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Illinois 5Essential Survey - Parent Component Closes February 14

The 5Essential Survey is available for parents to take. All 6th, 7th and 8th grade students took the survey before winter break. Now it's parents turn! The survey asks parents to provide feedback about their child’s school. The survey, created by the University of Chicago, is designed to help school and district leadership improve their understanding of the parent/school relationship.


Please click here to take this survey.


Please help us engage in positive, thoughtful reflection at Marie Murphy by providing us with your feedback before the window closes on February 14!

Student Council's Coin Wars Hits Home Stretch!

The Marie Murphy Student Council's annual philanthropic competition, Coin Wars, is close to wrapping up. Started in November and lasting two months, student council has been urging students to donate coins to their own first period classroom, while donating paper money to other classrooms, which subtracts the value of the paper money from the other classroom's total. The grade level that has the highest balance will win a pizza party while the individual classroom that has the highest balance will earn a doughnut party. Coin Wars a fun competition that focuses on strategy and generosity. With a week left to play, Marie Murphy students have donated over $800 dollars so far!


The final day for students to donate to Coin Wars will be on Friday, January 17. All proceeds from this year's Coin Wars will be donated between Make A Wish Foundation and St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

Goal Setting for Academic and SEL Gains

The start of a new year marks the beginning of a narrative that many of us engage in with ourselves of what we will begin to do differently. Whether you call them resolutions or goals, they reflect a desire to improve our self management and responsible decision making skills as a means of facilitating positive change in our lives.


Setting goals is a powerful influence on student learning. As I've shared in previous newsletters over the years, John Hattie's comprehensive study of Visible Learning (a comprehensive research synthesis of findings from 1,400 meta-analyses of 80,000 studies involving 300 million students, about what works best in education) identifies goal setting as an influence that not only has a positive impact on student achievement, but has the potential to significantly accelerate student achievement.


Additionally, the work that goes into goal setting has direct ties to Self Management and Responsible Decision Making, two of the five core competencies identified by CASEL (Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning) for Social Emotional Learning, one of our district goals identified in the strategic plan.


In short - setting goals can have a really positive impact for students.


The change of the calendar, the start of a new semester, and the annual winter MAP testing serve as great jumping off points to discuss goal setting with our students. Our teachers will engage in these conversations and we hope that you will as well with your child.


Happy New Year, everyone! Best of luck in reaching your own goals this year.

Mark Your Calendars! Upcoming Parent Education Events!

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