DC Virgo News and Views

Week of 9/18/16

From the Desk of the Principal...

Can you believe we are already approaching our first intersession? The year-round schedule came quickly and each of you approached it with the true heroes and heroines you are!

As we approach the last week of this quarter, I will continue to reflect on the last nine weeks. As educators, we must all take the time to reflect on the work we do daily with students. Regardless of your job description, you affect the lives of our students and parents. Admittingly, there are a few items we can all approach differently when we return in October. While you are off getting a bit of rest and relaxation the admin team will be working diligently to welcome you and students back to another quarter of expectations, academics, enrichments, and sports. Have a wonderful break!

Read the article below, try some of the strategies listed, and prepare to return "Virgo Strong"!


"Spotlight" of the Week: Connie Rogers

An old Igbo and Yoruba (Nigerian) proverb states, "It takes a whole village to raise a child"; indeed it does!

Connie tries to take care of everyone - students and staff alike! Who do teachers turn to for coaching, materials, advice or just a listening ear? Conne, that's who!

Connie's title is "Instructional Coach" but along with coaching, she participates in MTSS, EC, grade level, STEAM, SCA, Instructional, Intersession, and any other meeting you can think of that might occur at the school level. She locates materials, creates bulletin boards, plans professional development initiaves as they are directed by the district and administration, covers classes, assists with substitutes, and just about anything else asked of her! I don't think there is enough space to define each of these tasks so please thank Connie for all she does.

Thank you, Connie!

Connie's Corner: Writing

As we begin testing, remember, the fundamental purpose of benchmark assessment is to provide information that can be used to guide instruction. Benchmark tests measure student mastery of standards targeted for instruction. In so doing, they indicate what students have accomplished when given appropriate learning opportunities. Benchmark tests also inform instruction in cases in which standards have not been mastered even though appropriate learning opportunities have been provided.

Once we get our data, we will meet and look closely at the data to make informed decisions about going forward with classroom instruction, MTSS tutoring and other ways to fill in our gaps.

Encourage your students to take the test seriously. Let them know that what they are required to do for the next 9 weeks depends on it!

Thanks for all you do every day for our students. The break is within sight!

Ken's Alley: R n R

The break is almost here. Get you mind and body ready for the next quarter by resting and relaxing. You deserve it!

Support... Reminders

  • Please be on time for work. You should be at your classroom doors and duty posts at 7:30 AM. Students are beginning to wander the halls and courtyard areas because they are allowed. Everyone should be diligent in their efforts to move students along to their first class as quickly as possible.
  • All teachers should monitor outside classroom doors as students enter in the morning. Please consider an adult as the outside door monitor at the entrance to your halls.
  • Students who are late to school will come to class with a pass from the office. If they are tardy because they have been in the halls too long, please remind students of your policies and consequences (team tardy policies should be in place).
  • Student cell phones are more visible every day. Remind students their phones should be in lockers. If they are collected, they need to come to the office for student/parent pick-up.
  • Walkie-talkie users should do so sparingly. Please call for assistance only as necessary and remember some calls can be made on the telephone.
  • Cafeteria: Please remember Mrs. Markantone's requests. Mr. Bellamy has asked that you monitor students who are pouring milk from their containers (instead of drinking it) to play the bottle game - they toss the bottle in an attempt to get it to land upright. Milk spills, they aren't drinking it, etc. Be mindful of your responsibility to monitor students as they eat, chat, etc.
  • Bus duty/Afternoon duty: Remind students to exit campus as quickly as possible. There has been one late bus lately. Thank you to those who patiently wait with students until the bus arrives.

Full STEAM Ahead:


The STEAM lab is your place for extended lesson opportunities, on-site field-trips, guest speakers, maker spaces and much more. This week I will touch basis with your grade level to gain insight on how you would like to use the space. The lab availability is shared in the link below. Sign up to utilize the plethora of resources housed in this space for hands-on learning opportunities for your students!
Click on the link below and make your reservations now!


Plans are well underway as we “Prepare for a Take Over.” Please speak with your grade level STEAM team representative and start developing a list of items/supplies that you would like purchased to support the focus lessons for your grade level. I would like to have the final list of desired items/supplies by Friday, September 16 so I can ensure all items are ordered and ready for day one!


Having a PLN (professional learning network) is a way to make connections with teachers and experts around the world. Not only can you find some great resources for integrating STEAM but for education in general.

Twitter is an awesome way to start building your PLN. If you are new to twitter the link below provides access to basic steps for getting started. If you currently use Twitter the handles below are definitely ones to follow!


  1. @TeachingSTEM: Visit TeachingSTEM to network with other educators and find helpful resources and news articles on science, tech, engineering, and math.

  2. @stemschools: The STEM School Blog shares additional resources and information through this feed, full of great ideas on promoting STEM education at all levels.

  3. @STEMschool: Looking for some new techniques? This feed is full of ideas for teaching STEM subjects.

  4. @SciAfterSchool: Even if your school doesn’t participate in after school programs like those promoted by Science After School, their feed is still an amazing place to find STEM resources.

  5. @tomwhitby:SmartBlog on Edu Editor, Prof of Edu (Ret). Founder: #Edchat,The EDU PLN,Edchat Radio Linkedin Tech-Using Profs et al.BLOG: My Island View http://tomwhitby.wordpress.com

  6. @EdTechTeacher21:we help teachers and schools use technology to transform teaching and learning.

@alicekeeler:Kids are not failures. Google Certified Teacher, NMCk12 Ambassador, MS EdTech, adjunct prof CSUFresno, gamification, innovation, super nerd #coffeecue #profchat

School Climate Begins with PBIS: Teach Coping Skills

Teaching Coping Skills Source: www.pbisworld.com

Why should I do it?

  • Increases instruction time

When should I do it?

  • All students should be taught coping skills and they should regularly be modeled for all students (suggestion: first 10 minutes of class).

How do I do it:

  • GO TO: Resources & Support for technique:

Click on:

Students Teach Students: Using Student Essays To Build Coping Skills and Self-Esteem

Have class discussion/s after using one of the essays.

Questions? See Mr. Clark