SMS Scoop

November 26, 2018

NWEA: Round Two!

All SMS students will begin the second round of NWEA MAP tests this week. The MAP (Measure of Academic Progress) gives each teacher specific, actionable feedback about student performance including achievement and growth.

Like our upcoming spring ILEARN tests, the NWEA assessments are untimed and computer-adapted. This means that test questions adjust in difficulty based on student performance. This will be good practice for our upcoming state exams and we're excited to see how much our students have grown in the first semester.

We will have modified schedules on testing days. Thank you for being here on time with a fully charged iPad each day! Teachers will tell you the exact details of test times and locations.

Tuesday, November 27th AM: Reading

Thursday, November 29th AM: Math

Tuesday, December 4th AM: Language Usage

Good luck to all SMS students and staff during testing sessions. To celebrate students giving their best effort, each wing will be creating a customized 'test engagement' activity during December. Students scoring at 4% or less on disengagement according to the student profile will qualify for the fun! Thank you for giving your best effort!

Social Media: "Wait Until 8th" Movement

You submit your Insta post and then...




Then there is a pause. What's going on? Why are there only 3 likes?



Oh, good. There are more.

My friend X hasn't liked it yet. What's up with that? What does that mean?





Wow. Look at my likes! I'm loving this!!!!!!!!



Nothing. Wait. Nothing. Wait.

I got 58 likes on my last post. Why do I only have 10?

What does that mean? Is something going on that I don't know?

Why aren't more people responding? Do I need to post something more crazy?

Aren't people noticing me?

According to the social media watchdog, the drama you just read is real and happens to lots of kids every day. Kids get hooked into a cycle of posting, seeking validation, getting a positive bounce from validation, and getting hooked on the validation, OR questioning themselves when validation is not the right amount or from the right people.

Each social media "like" gives a person a burst of dopamine. Dopamine is a hormone in the brain that makes someone feel good. Creative activities, exercise, etc. trigger the same release. Once you get the dopamine-result, you naturally want more. It can become something you crave. And it is having a negative effect on the lives of many young people on social media.

Wait Until 8th encourages families to keep their kids off social media until at least 8th grade. They want to allow kids more time to experience social challenges face-to-face before adding in the complications of Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram. A 10, 11, or 12-year-old does not yet have the maturity or frontal lobe brain development to demonstrate self-control needed to navigate social media successfully and safely.

What do you think? Discuss these questions in homeroom today and this week.

Please do NOT use names during your discussion.

1) What are the advantages of having 10-12-year-olds on social media platforms (if any)?

2) Describe your experiences with posting. Have you ever watched your phone for responses? Have you ever felt a 'rush' of adrenaline when your post got a lot of responses?

3) How are your parents/guardians involved in your social media activity?

4) How many times do you post a day? A week?

5) Based on your feed, what is the balance of uplifting communications (make people feel better) vs. posts that are self-promotion (make people noticet me)?

6) When you are a parent, will your child Wait Until 8th?

Listen UP!

I recently received a letter from a middle school student, thoughtfully communicating that she was troubled with the amount of cursing in our halls. I was thankful that she shared her concern and disappointed to hear about cursing at SMS. Personally, I'm not a fan of cursing. My hope is that all of you develop a command of the language that would allow you to be a broadcaster on ESPN, CNN, or Fox. Broadcasters don't use curse words. In fact, most jobs do not allow a person to randomly curse. I don't want you to curse. And I don't want our students to have to hear cursing.

In the next week, keep your ears open in the halls. How often are you hearing profanity? Is profanity linked to certain people, times, or locations? Listen up - and next week we'll address the real issues surrounding the habit of cursing!

Miss Nass

How It Works: Snow days and school delays

Even though we've had two days of 'late starts' due to weather/power issues, here is a rundown on how the school system determines when and if we will change our school schedule!

In the case that existing snow/sleet/ice/fog/rain/freezing temps or the potential of these calamities would disrupt safe travel to school for walkers, drivers, and/or bus riders, we will cancel or delay school. The decision to delay or cancel school is made by Dr. Marc Slaton, SCSD2 Superintendent. He consults with local law enforcement and up-to-date weather forecasts and makes a decision in the best interest of our safety.

While we all want to know immediately, sometimes these decisions have to wait until morning. In any case, be ready for the exciting winter season and the potential for snow days and school delays!

School Schedule Change Info - Answers to the questions you may have!

  • The superintendent will send out a SchoolMessenger call and notify local TV and radio stations as soon as a decision is made. If your phone didn't ring, no decision has been made. Be sure to have your phone numbers up-to-date in Harmony! The SchoolMessenger call will go to the HOME PHONE number for each student.
  • If the decision is made in the wee hours of the morning, a call will go out early. This helps families that have parents with early work hours.

  • If we cancel school, we will not have any clubs or sports that night (this includes games and practices).
  • If we cancel school, we will have the missed schedule day (A or B) on the next day back.
  • If we cancel school, we will have to make it up!!

  • If we have a late start (to allow drivers to navigate icy/snowy roads in daylight), we will start at 10:05. Bus routes will run 2 hours later than normal. Be patient with buses on late start days as routes can be slowed by bad roads.
  • If we have a late start, your parent can still drop you off at SMS after 7:30 AM if their work schedule requires bringing you to school early.
  • If we have a late start, we do NOT have to make it up!

This Week...

Mon. Nov. 26: B day, Bot Warriors, Builders' Club, 7/8 BB v. Southwestern,

Tue. Nov. 27: A day, NWEA TEST, Archery, Science Olympiad, 7/8 GB @ Jennings County

Wed. Nov. 28: B day, 8th Graders @ Spaghetti Dinner at SHS

Thu. Nov. 29: A day, NWEA TEST, Student Council 7:15am, Archery, Student Council workshop with SHS 1-2:30, Science Olympiad, Bot Warriors, 6 GB v. Austin, 7/8 BB @ Lanesville, 7/8 GBB @ Crothersville

Fri. Nov. 30: B day, Dream Team to Actors Theater