January 5, 2015
New Schedule for Semester 2
Based on recent survey data, teachers overwhelmingly said that we have some deficiencies to address. We would like more time to help struggling students and challenge high ability students. One potential solution is to reorganize our Connect minutes. Instead of having Connect for 25 minutes a day, (125 minutes a week), could we get more accomplished with Connect for 60 minutes twice a week (120 minutes a week)? We're going to find out!
Starting today, we will only have Connect on Monday and Thursday. All three grades will report to Connect at approximately 2:00 each of those days. On a typical Monday, students will have study time with their core teachers and will read the Scoop. Also on Monday, small groups will be formed to work on ELA skills with the ELA teachers. Thursday will be a time to get help from teachers and a time for team-building activities. Math teachers will work with small groups of students that are having difficulty with math. Clubs, group meetings, and high ability activities will also take place during our new Connect time.
So if we have Connect only twice a week, what happens to the rest of the class periods? Good question! Class periods will be approximately 50 minutes in length on Connect days (Mon. and Thu.) We will have longer class periods the other three days a week. Class periods will be just over 60 minutes on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday. Lunches will change slightly between the Connect and no Connect days. All of this information is available on the individual student schedule cards distributed on January 5th and on our SMS web page.
We hope you enjoy the new schedule and the new opportunities that it brings!
The original premise of EPIC is strong. All assignments have merit. All assignments should be completed. All resources should be employed to help students (time, internet access, and adult help.) We believe in the concept. We've had difficulty implementing the program.
It has been a challenge determining when extra supervision/support was needed and it's been problematic communicating about assignment status between student, teacher, and support staff. We've also been struggling with the 'turn it in when you can' plan. Rather than view this as 'take the time if you need it' some students viewed this EPIC component as a green light to miss every deadline. This messed up grade books and became a frustration for teachers, parents, and students!
Even though EPIC is gone, academic support will still be provided! Individual teachers and teams will continue to track academic progress, INQ teachers will be receiving support lists, and the administration will intervene with students as needed. Teams will use the new Connect minutes to provide this support AND each teacher will be responsible to determine his/her own procedure for assignment submission. What can YOU do to be ready for this change?
- Pay close attention to assignment details.
- If an assignment is not in Canvas, add it's details to your Canvas calendar.
- Check your Canvas calendar every day before you leave school. What needs to go home?
- Use every minute. We waste a lot of time, don't we? If you have time in class, work. If you have INQ, work. If you have time in Connect, work.
- Turn your work in on time. This gives the teachers feedback about what you know/don't know so they can provide help in a more timely basis.
Good bye, EPIC. You've been a good friend to SMS. Thank you to all of the INQ supervisors, Mr. Smith, Miss Nass, and Mrs. Manns for their epic contributions during the EPIC era!
It's time to Warrior Up and support our friend Bree Brown! You can help provide financial support for Bree's cancer treatment costs by buying a Bree Bow! Bows will be available for sale before school on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday this week. Bows cost $3. You can buy as many as you'd like. And of course, you can donate more than the $3 cost. All proceeds go to Bree's family.
What can you do with your bow? Put it in your hair! On your hat! On your clothing! Above your locker! Put it anywhere that you can SEE so that we can all send positive thoughts to BREE!
Bree is currently in her third round of chemotherapy at Kosair Children's Hospital. The pic below is of Bree and special visitor over break. Thanks to Bree for allowing us to use this picture in the Scoop!
Tue. 5 B: Archery 3:15-4:30, 6 BB @ North Harrison
Wed. 6 A: Cross 7:45a, Geography Bee Prelim Day, Science Olympiad 3-4:30, Pep Club 3-4, 7/8 BB @ Shawe
Thu. 7 B/Connect: Stu Co Officers 7:15am, Archery 3-4:30, Science Olympiad 3-4:30, Builders' Club 3-4, Wrestling @ Seymour, 7/8 GB v. Corydon (west gym), 7/8 BB "B" v. Seymour (east gym), 6 BB @ Salem
Fri. 8 A: Report cards mailed to parents/guardians
Mon. 11 B/Connect: Science Olympiad 3-4:30, Builders' Board 3-4, 7/8 BB @ Salem, 7/8 GB v. East Washington