Twin Oaks Tribune

Twin Oaks Middle School

Volume 6, Issue 12

Choir Performances are Top Notch

As you may remember from last week, our 8th grade Girls Choir kicked off last week's MMSA Annual Conference, providing a fabulous "opening act". The choirs followed this performance up with a packed house on Monday night, showcasing all grade levels of choirs from both HOMS and TOMS. The new set-up in the gymnasium made for a great venue and Terri Thomas, Alicia Fitchett and Deveny Beaton led our students in a couple of amazing musical performances!

"Hour of Code"

Missy Short assisted Hans Albrecht and Meghan Chappuis in having their 6th grade "Scientists" participate in the "Hour of Code" this week. If you are not familiar with the "Hour of Code", check out the following link:
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SAMR/Technology Classes

As a reminder, Amanda Fay is offering a series of After Hours classes to support all of you in your technology integration efforts. Please check out the following link to get signed up.

Math Data Retreat

After school on Tuesday, our 6th-8th grade Hidden Oaks and Twin Oaks math teachers engaged in their data retreat, meeting as grade level teams as well as a full middle school team to discuss past strategies that have resulted in strong performances by our students, as well as identify additional areas for focus throughout this school year. While all acknowledged that there is never enough time for these conversations, the time spent together is always valuable.
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Innovation Academy continues

Ben Ficklin, John Dahl and I, along with a team of people from across the district, participated in Day 2 of 5 during the 2015-2016 school year, in our district's work with Scott McLeod regarding teaching and learning in the 21st Century. Dr. McLeod gave all of us a great reminder that not only do we need to be consumers of information on the world wide web, we can and should be contributors to it, something that our students are becoming increasingly more and more comfortable and confident doing.

8th graders participate in a Mental Health presentation

On Thursday, Sarah Loechler and Erik Torgerson brought in a speaker from NAMI (National Association for Mental Health) to speak to all of our 8th graders in the media center on the topic of mental health. This is a very important topic for our students considering that in our Spring 2015 student survey, 56% of TOMS students reported feeling more stress or pressure than the average student. In addition, 37% of TOMS students said they felt so hopeless they wanted to give up. Statistics from NAMI indicate more than half of people with a mental illness will experience symptoms by the age of 14. The presentation also focuses on how to help a friend that might be struggling emotionally.

Please see the following Resources for Parents/Teachers – to educate yourself and/or to get help for you or someone you love:

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Team Conferences a Success

Thank you to all who made our Team Conference, scheduled format a huge success last night. I had the opportunity to sit in on a number of these conferences and in each case, I saw all teachers present providing some great and helpful feedback that appeared to be very much appreciated by both the students and parents participating. We will take some time at Monday's staff meeting for grade levels teams to share updates, to ensure that all teachers can benefit from what was learned in these conferences. Also, at our leadership meeting on Wednesday of next week, we will discuss our process for gathering feedback from parents and staff about how this process went. Once again, thanks to everyone for your willingness to fully engage and give this new process a try, I really believe it was valuable time spent.

Special Education Staff Continue to Inform the DMC Study

Throughout this past week nearly all staff, including teachers, paraprofessionals and other support services, who provide direct support to students receiving special education services, were engaged in a survey to record information about their daily schedule with students. This recording of information was certainly an extra demand during this already busy week, but the efforts are certainly appreciated, as this information will greatly assist in the completion of this important study of our at-risk services throughout our school and district. A huge thank you to all who participated and completed their portion of this survey.

Quote of the Week (A favorite PLC Quote of mine)

"In a PLC, collaboration represents a systematic process in which teachers work together interdependently in order to impact their classroom practice in ways that will lead to better results for their students, for their team, for their school."

-Learning by Doing, 2006

The Week Ahead

  • Staff Meeting, 2:15 PM
  • 8th and 9th Grade Band Concert at HS, 7 PM


  • 7th Grade Band Concert at HS, 7 PM
  • Laker Pride Day
  • Learning Teams, 2:15 PM
  • Leadership Team, 3:10 PM
  • SAMR Session, TOMS Media, 2:30 PM

  • PBIS Breakfast, 8th grade hosts, 7:00 AM
  • IC Parent Portal Grade Update