The Monday Message

Office of the Principal; Monday, December 7, 2015

Quote for the Week!

“All over the country there are schools and organizations trying to come up with new ways to cultivate character. The ones I’ve seen that do it best, so far, are those that cultivate intense, thick community. Most of the time character is not an individual accomplishment. It emerges through joined hearts and souls, and in groups.” ~ David Brooks

The Week Ahead

December - Human Rights Month


Monday 12/7/15 - Admin Team Meeting (9:00am, Cafe'), C-Team Basketball (H) vs. Pleasant Hill Middle (5:30pm, Gymnasium), Team Leader Meeting (3;50pm, Hudson's Classroom)

Tuesday 12/8/15 - Ground Maintenance (park vehicles away from curb), Crew (8:20-8:50am), Team Meetings (during plannings), District Leadership Meetings (4pm, Designated Locations)

Wednesday 12/9/15 - Crew (8:20-8:50am), Cafeteria Managers Mtg (8:30am, Front Conference Room), C-Team Basketball @ Chapin (5:30pm, Chapin Middle)

Thursday 12/10/15 - Middle School Principal's Meeting (8:30am, District Office), Crew Community Meetings (8:30am, Cafe', Gym, Media Center)

Friday 12/11/15- Chorus Concert (8:20-10:20, Gymnasium)

Mid-Term Exams (Year-Long Classes)

Monday, Dec. 14th, 8:15am to Friday, Dec. 18th, 3:30pm

6051 Wescott Road

Columbia, SC

Dec. 14th . . . . . . . . ELA and Science

Dec. 15th . . . . . . . . ELA and Science

Dec. 16th . . . . . . . . Reading Day and Exploratory

Dec. 17th . . . . . . . . Math, Social Studies, and Exploratory

Dec. 18th . . . . . . . . Math and Social Studies


* No other graded assessments are to be given during exam week. We want all students focused on exams. Also, all teachers must continue with daily instruction. Movies are not permitted (unless specifically align with the academic standards, and approved by the API).


Click here for Assessment Calendar

Duty Roster

Click here for the Duty Roster


Monday - I Group on duty (D. Major-Murphy PM Duty)

Tuesday - R Group on duty (PK Jones PM Duty)

Wednesday - M Group on duty (N. Smiley PM Duty)

Thursday - O Group on duty (N. Godfrey PM Duty)

Friday - R Group on duty (L. Young PM Duty)

Tasks to Complete This Week!

Tasks to Complete This Week!

1. Teach like a champion every period, every day!

2. Attend Tuesday's Team Meetings (During Plannings) and D5 After School Leadership Meetings (designated locations)

3. Prepare your classes for the Choral Concert.

4. Incorporate at least one of the Global Themes into your classroom activities, lessons, etc.

5. Everyone report to duty as scheduled. See roster here.

6. Read the Monday Message in its entirety (including the articles linked and inserted). Also view the video clips, reflect, and adjust your practices where needed.

December Staff Birthdays

Anna Inabinet, December 5th

James Eastman, December 6th

Barry Lee, December 7th

Robin Gary, December 9th

Sandra Jensen, December 10th

Adam Jones, December 16th

Rodney Paige, December 16th

Kerra Mays-Fowler, December 19th

Kathy Jackson, December 20th

Leisa McNeil, December 20th

Floyd Geiger, December 22nd

LaToya Young, December 24th

JaNette McKnight, December 26th

Joe Cioffi, December 28th

Vicki Williams, December 29th

Annette Farrell, December 31st


Please join me in wishing these amazing IMS staff members Selamat ulang tahun (Happy Birthday in Indonesian)!

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1. Irma Richardson - This past week, Mrs. Richardson was recognized for being our November Teacher of the Month. In her nomination, the recommender stated "Mrs. Richardson always goes out of her way to make people and students smile. I have witnessed her reaching out to students she does not even teach just to make them feel better about themselves. She has also gone out of her way to cover classes during her planning period. Irma is the definition of a true team player!


Students learn best when they develop a community of learning in their classroom. Irma is constantly working on developing this learning community in her class, and the students are engaged and active every day! When she was absent, the students ran the class so efficiently that I thought she was still in the classroom. The students learn from Irma even when she is not there, because she has created a community of learning in her classroom. I learn from her everyday and have become a better teacher because of the examples I hear from her class every day. Irma always finds a way to make me laugh even in tough situations when I think about giving up. She is a great teacher!"


iAM so proud of Mrs. Richardson for the amazing job she is doing at IMS. Please join me in recognizing Mrs. Richardson for always demonstrating new thinking and new practices so we can obtain new and improved results. Let's give her a huge iAM shout out.


2. Brittany Frohnhoefer - Also, this past week, Ms. Frohnhoefer was recognized for being our November Digital Integration Teacher of the Month. In her nomination, the recommender stated " Ms. Frohnhoefer is the most up-to-date and tech-savvy teacher I know!” She is always looking for innovative ways to integrate technology in her classroom. She puts the time and effort into learning and implementing things in order to enhance learning for her students and keep her students engaged. Eager to share and assist other teachers, she has helped support the Discovery Education set up of teacher and student accounts, supported her peers in using Google Classroom, and advocated for additional technology resources. “She is not just an awesome teacher, she is a technology guru.” iAM so proud of Ms. Frohnhoefer for taking the digital lead and deeply integrating a variety of digital tools in her classroom on a daily basis. Because of this, she is creating the type of learning environment where scholars soar. Please join me in recognizing Ms. Frohnhoefer for her amazing technology integration in her classes. Let's give her a huge iAM shout out.


3. Sandra Dupre - Also, this past week, Mrs. Dupre was recognized for being our November Staff Member of the Month. In her nomination, her recommender stated "she’s often quiet and working behind the scenes, Sandra Dupre, is a critical part of the IMS team. She frequently goes to classrooms to cover for teachers, handles students in difficult situations, communicates with parents and goes above and beyond to help the team. Ms. Dupre is the backbone of the 8th grade administration and works constantly to support students, parents and teachers. Her job can sometimes be difficult but she handles difficult situations by remaining positive and calm. You will never hear a complaint because she truly enjoys what she does each day and we are so thankful to have her at IMS.


iAM so proud of Mrs. Dupree for representing our school in a distinctive fashion and support teaching and learning where needed. Please join me in recognizing Mrs. Dupree for her amazing work around campus. Let's give her a huge iAM shout out.


4. Danielle Major-Murphy - For the past few weeks, Mrs. Major-Murphy has been coordinating our Interim Pick-up Night. She has been working with various departments and personnel to ensure that not only were we organized and prepared but that the proper communication reminders had been sent out to parents. Throughout the night Thursday, I received many compliments from our parents on how well it was organized and how they appreciated not having to run all over the place trying to meet with teachers. iAM so proud of Mrs. Major-Murphy for continuing to excel in her role. She makes sure that not only does she fulfil her responsibilities but also lends a helping hand when/where needed. Please join me in recognizing Mrs. Major-Murphy for continuously modeling new thinking and practices in order to get new and improved results. Let's give her a huge iAM shout out.


5. iGrow Team (Christina Cozzolli, Elizabeth Crocker, Virginia Farrell, April Herring, Regan Moore and Kelly Thacker) - This past weekend, our 6th grade teachers facilitated a cross-curricular project with a highly successful "grow-your-own" herb basket sale at the Irmo Holiday Farmers Market on Saturday. The team had their students research the herbs, determine what part of the world they originated, write growing instructions, assemble the baskets and research and write recipes for holiday dishes for different world religions that would use an herb from the kit. Additionally, they applied the math standards that they are learning for cost analysis and determining the correct ratios of components to create the potting soil. This culminated in the students selling the baskets at the Farmers Market where they explained their work to the public and developed entrepreneurial skills - almost completely selling-out their stock. Great job iGrow Team. iAM so proud of o/ur 6th grade team for continuing to shine with our 6th grade teaching and learning experiences. They are cultivating the type of experience that will result in hundreds of students deciding to choose IMS in the choice lottery. On a daily basis, they seek new thinking and try new practices in order to get new and improved results. Let's give them a huge iAM shout out.


6. Janet Hudson - This past week, Mrs. Hudson facilitated a "We are the People" reenactment of the constitutional convention to an authentic audience for her EL Project. Students took on roles as they re-enacted the Constitutional Convention. What was really impressive was that she found ways for all of our her classes to engage in some matter.

It was an amazing learning experience to be a part of! One attendee commented to Mrs. Hudson "Thank you Ms. Hudson for facilitating this work! Your students did an awesome job." iAM so proud of Mrs. Hudson for engaging in new thinking and practices to produce new and improved outcomes. Please join me in recognizing Mrs. Hudson for her amazing work with the "We are the People" project. Let's give her a huge iAM shout out.

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Attendance (Staff)

Once crucial element of successful schools is teacher and staff attendance. In last week's principal's meeting, we received a report on district and school staff attendance. Continuously, I have communicated the urgency of everyone being at school daily. I echo those sentiments again today.


As of November 30th, we had 334 absences across all categories. Personal leave (72.5), employee illness (101.5), and spouse/child illness (42.5) are our highest three categories. Fridays are awesome. If you can avoid it, please do not plan Friday absences. District wide, absences have nearly doubled since 2012-13. This is impacting our budget, instructional/performance outcomes, and student behavior.


At the end of every month, I will continue share our attendance data (categorized by grade level departments) with everyone. Also at the semester, we will recognize those individuals with perfect attendance and provide reports to all staff members for awareness and reflection. It is absolutely critical that everyone make a concerted effort to be here each and every day. I will join you in those collective efforts.


Class Changes

Last week, we had an incident in the 8th grade building that could have been avoided if we adhered to the expectation of actively supervising class transitions. Following the incident, observed two different class changes on two different days and I saw minimal hallway supervision during class changes. Not having staff members on duty is indefensible to parents. Remember, it is absolutely critical that everyone supervise hallways and exterior traffic zones during class changes and move students on to their next class. Don't let them loiter or congregate. Students should not be hanging out or using this time to socialize. They only have five minutes to get to class. Let's usher them to class without incidents.


Guests this Week

This week, I will have several guests visiting IMS. On Monday, I have a Educational Leadership student (Joe Paschal) shadowing me. He will join me in visits to classrooms and participate in meetings when feasible. On Thursday, I have four first year principal's visiting IMS for a site visit. They will also be visiting classes, sitting in meetings, and participating in a Q&A session with our assistant principals. As I expect on a daily basis, I want them all to be greeted by a diplomat, see engaging, relevant instruction, and teacher's challenging students to engage in deeper learning.

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From Mrs. Young

This year's Hour of Code event is next week, December 7-13. We hope to have 100% participation this year. Although we would love all of our students to go through at least one of the activities the week ofDecember 7-13, these are great activities to use following your exam. A form will be sent out soon for feedback on how many of your classes were able to complete an activity. Additionally, if you would like for me to assist you with these activities in any of your classes, please Book Me.


Closing Thoughts

Last week, we focused our blended learning on the Academic Mindsets statement #1: I belong in this academic community. We unpacked this in administrative and team meetings along with a reading in the Monday Message. I hope everyone clearly understood that if students do not feel like they belong in an academic community, they will not achieve the desired level of results.


This week, we will focus on statement #2: My ability and competence grow with my effort. Have you ever tried something and failed. What was your mindset? Do you attempt it again? What support were you provided? Did it help? With adult learning at IMS, I have seen adults be tasked with new thinking or a new practice and experience failure. As soon as this failure is likely, I often hear the comment "this does not work" followed by a return to believed or previously used practices.


Students’ belief in their own self-efficacy is a better predictor of academic success than measured ability. Students need to feel that they’re likely to succeed in order to sustain the hard work of learning something challenging. When students believe they’ll fail, they often don’t invest in the work or devalue the task. Students who anticipate failure or believe they cannot do something well will likely refrain from investing effort or devalue the importance of the task in order to maintain a sense of their own competence. Additionally, students who anticipate failure or believe they cannot do something well will likely refrain from investing effort or devalue the importance of the task in order to maintain a sense of their own competence.


So they natural question becomes, how do you create an environment in your classroom where students feel like they can succeed at the tasks asked of them? How often are your boards labeled (CP and Honors) versus periods 1-2-3-4-5-6. This one little change can make the difference in the efficacy of our students and the degree that they succeed with new learning.


You see, when students believe and can state: I can succeed at this, they trust in their own capacity and competence and feel a strong sense of efficacy at a variety of academic tasks. They are able to see themselves as academic achievers and expect to succeed in their learning pursuits.


Remember, we play a key role in shaping their positive academic mindsets. Let's have an amazing week of teaching and learning at IMS.


Robert S. Jackson, Ed.S., Principal

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