Mosaica Online Happenings

May 20-24 2013

Upcoming Dates to Remember

  • May 13th-23rd: Q4 Performance Series Benchmark Testing
  • Friday, May 24th: Advisement @ 2pm Eastern - Julie's office
  • Thursday, May 30th: Parent Ed Meeting @ 8:30pm Eastern in Julie's office
  • **Beginning August 28th, all adjunct teachers must submit invoices to Brenda McCullers on the 14th and 28th of the month**

Upcoming Quarter 4 Final Performance Ed Testing!

The schedule will be as follows:

K-2nd grade:

  • Monday May 13: Reading Foundations (K-1), Reading (2nd grade)
  • Tuesday May 14: Math
  • Wednesday May 15: Language Arts (2nd grade only)
  • Thursday May 16: Science (2nd grade only)
  • Friday May 17: makeups

3-10th grade:

  • Monday May 20: Reading & Math
  • Tuesday May 21: Language Arts & Science
  • Wednesday May 22: makeup
  • Thursday May 23: makeup

Staff Spotlight- Stephanie Dunbar

Stephanie, our Director of e-Learning, shares....

I have been married to my husband Dwight for 19 years. I am the mom of Marilyn (16), Sydney (13), and Dana (22 months). In addition to being responsible for a variety of humans in my family, I also have the privilege of caring for 8 dogs, 3 cats, 1 hamster, 1 bearded dragon, 5 fish and one snail (I think that’s the total but I am pretty sure it varies when I am not looking!). Between family and work, there is not much extra time but I do enjoy a good book and I love to cook and bake (but not to clean it up!).

In my non family career, I am a social studies teacher at heart. That is how I got into online learning—the district I worked in wanted to put some social studies courses online way back in 1999 and I thought, “what the heck..sounds pretty cool”. Well since then, I went on to teach online and develop some online courses. I even made the career move to the big city of Atlanta, GA when the GA Department of Education decided to start the GA Virtual School Program. I really enjoyed starting that program so I was very excited when I met the Eidelmans and heard their vision for Mosaica Online. I have been with Mosaica Online since the very beginning when we applied for our first online charter in CA in early 2009. We sure have had some “times” since then…some fun and some not so fun, but all along the way there has been one thing I can always say with absolute certainty. I work with the best team I could possibly have. All of you have such a great work ethic and a can do attitude that you make showing up for work everyday a joy rather than a job.

We appreciate you Stephanie!

Mercury Sunshine!

*Please keep Karen Stevens in your thoughts while she is in the hospital.

*Please keep Elaine Gaughf-Smith in your thoughts-She is currently undergoing chemotherapy - you can do it Elaine!

*As always, please keep Barbara Noel-Williams in your thoughts- she is a WARRIOR in her fight against cancer!!!!

Let me know of any concerns or celebrations within our Mercury family!

Club Corner

Art Club:
Art Club members stretch their creativity through weekly art activities like this one. Here student Julia Mansfield picked a prompt to inspire her drawing. She chose "If I could build the best treehouse ever, it would look like..." Activities like this are a form of visual problem solving, a valuable way to exercise our brains, and a fun way to practice drawing! (photo attached)

Book Club - grades 3-5:

Students are currently reading a science fiction story entitled Time Tube by Chris Maher and James Hart (found in Reading Eggspress website).


Let's Continue Our Discussion on Love and Logic®....

"When a kid whines, "Is this going to be on the test?" smart teachers smile and answer with enthusiasm, "Won't it be exciting to find out!"

Love and Logic ® Teacher-isms by Jim Fay and Charles Fay

What Is Going On In Other Mercury Locations?

Besides our students in AZ, CA, and CO we are serving students in the following locations:
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Mexico City


Muskegon Heights, Michigan

Hyderabad, India


You will receive updates here that will pertain to our students in any of these locations!

  • be sure to consult the various calendars in D2L for these locations
  • Teachers PLEASE be sure you are keeping your D2L grade book updated. Whenever a program needs grades for a progress report, we export the D2L grade book current average. Thank you!

Upcoming Events/Holidays:

Puerto Vallarta:

  • June 13-18th: Final Exams

Mexico City:

  • June 1st: Seniors Graduate
  • June 13th: Last Day of School

Muskegon Heights

  • May 27th: Memorial Day Holiday
  • June 25th: Last Day of School


  • June 12-14: Final Exams
  • June 20 - last day of school

Data Discussion...

3rd - 10th grade students will take their final Scantron Performance Series assessments May 20th and 21st. Please remember to:
  • include Scantron Performance Series testing in your checklists for Monday and Tuesday
  • communicate with students and their parents about the importance of a healthy breakfast, quiet test environment, and plenty of time to complete each portion of the test in a single sitting
  • check in on your students' completion by logging in to, selecting the Performance Tests tab, and then running the 'Students Tested This Testing Period' report
  • remind your students that they need to use excellent testing strategies by carefully reading the question and all answer options before selecting one, eliminating answer choices that cannot possibly be correct, and taking their best guess should they truly not know the answer

Here's a bit of information from Scantron: Understanding Computer-Adaptive Testing

What is Computer-Adaptive Testing (CAT)?

Unlike other forms of assessment, computer adaptive tests match each test taker’s ability level. As a test taker answers each question, the test adapts according to his or her response. Question difficulty decreases with incorrect responses and increases with correct responses.

No test should be too easy or too difficult for any student. While this seems simple, it is actually a complex process that allows for the administration of tests in an individual manner. This method of testing eliminates a great deal of the frustration and time pressure of traditionally administered paper-and-pencil tests.

The Common Core State Standards require twelve pedagogical shifts to take place regarding instructional approaches. In other words, we need to think carefully about how we ask our students to interact with the content, with one another, and with us. There are six Instructional Shifts for ELA, and six for Math. Here are the ELA shifts:

(See image below)

As we begin to prepare for the end of the school year!

See below for final exam dates for Middle School and High School. ALL students will take exams on the dates below unless prior approval has been given to take them early or be exempt.


Last day of school: June 18

Math and World Languages – Exams on Thursday, June 13

Language Arts and Science – Exams on Friday, June 14

Paragon/SS and Electives – Exams on Monday, June 17

Make up Finals – Tuesday, June 18

Arizona and Colorado:

Last day of school: June 21

Math and World Languages – Exams on Tuesday, June 18

Language Arts and Science – Exams on Wednesday, June 19

Paragon/SS and Electives – Exams on Thursday, June 20

Make up Finals – Friday, June 21

Online Paragon Nights!

The next LIVE online Paragon Night will be held....

Tuesday June 11, 2013 @ 8:30 p.m. Eastern

The event will be facilitated by Hadar Goldberg & Gabby Bray!

And last but not least..... Your joke of the week

TEACHER: What does your history book tell you about the Civil War?

Student: It doesn't tell me anything. I have to read the dumb thing.