The Monday Message

Office of the Principal; Monday, March 23, 2015

ibuzz March 13th Edition

3/13 iBuzz News Show

Quote for the Week!

"To engage students, we need to move from teaching content to teaching issues. We need to inherently problematize the curriculum." ~ Garfield Gini-Newman

Duty Roster for the Week

Duty Roster

Monday - I Group on duty (All Admin on Duty)

Tuesday - R Group on duty (Hutto on Duty)

Wednesday - M Group on duty (Jackson on Duty)

Thursday - O Group on duty (All Staff Members on PM Duty)

Friday - O Group on duty (All Staff Members on AM/PM Duty)

Reminder - At the request of several teachers, everyone is receiving a remind message on Thursday evening of each week, calling attention to the Friday duty assignments.

IMS Expeditionary Learning Summer Institute

Friday, June 5th, 8:30am to Saturday, June 6th, 3:30pm

Center for Advanced Technical Studies

Expeditionary Learning Summer Institute: Based on feedback from team meetings, the EL Summer Institute will be held on Friday, June 5 and Saturday, June 6, 2015. All particulars related to times, locations, and agendas will be provided closer to the dates - but please mark your calendars now. Currently, we are exploring options to compensate your time. These options include (but are not set-in-stone): a stipend for one day and a swap day for the other (January 15, 2016).

The Week Ahead

Gold Week - Classes Meet 6-2-3-4-5-1

National Nutrition Month, National Social Workers Month, National Women's History Month, National Youth Art Month

Monday (23rd) - End of Third Nine Weeks, Admin Team Mtg (9:30-11:30am, Cafe'), SRO Interviews (1:30-3:30pm, LCSD), G20-SLT (3:50-4:50pm, Rm. 724), Board Meeting (7:00pm, IMS)

Tuesday (24th) - Student Government Mtg (7:45am, Rm. 812), Guidance IGP's (8-11, 2-3), Team Meetings (During Plannings), Data Team Meetings (3:50-4:50pm)

Wednesday (25th) - Thinking Globally Lunch and Learn (11:30-1:30pm - Sign up here), Guidance IGP's (8-11, 2-3), Monthly Magnet Meeting (1:00-3:00, Seven Oaks Elem)

Thursday (26th) - Ground Maintenance (Move Park Vehicles Away from Curb), Crew (8:20-8:50)

Friday (27th) - PBIS Set Evaluation (8:00-10:00, All Classrooms), Spring Break Begins at 4:00pm

Tasks to Complete This Week!

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

2. Attend & actively participate in Tuesday's Data Team Meetings after school (3:50pm; designated locations)

3. Incorporate the topics specified in the weekly calendar in your lesson plans and activities. Make sure you are making specific connections to the experiences of our students as well as cross curricular planning and connections.

4. Everyone report to duty as scheduled. See roster here. All staff members are on duty PM Thursday and AM and PM duty Thursday and Friday.

5. 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.

6. Review this week's Crew lesson and prepare for Thursday.

7. Review the PBIS Information below to prepare for Friday's Set Evaluation. Don't forget to complete the survey linked here.

8. Continue working with your bubble kids and planning additional instructional activities and supporting lessons to ensure that they meet their goals on the spring MAP assessment.

March Staff Birthdays

Tammie Hardy, March 11th

Brandi Clarkson, March 25th

Marilyn Constante, March 31st

Please join me in wishing these staff members a happy birthday.

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We have several shout outs this week:

1. Mr. Joe Cioffi and Mrs. Danielle Major-Murphy - For the past two years, Mr. Cioffi has been coordinating the NY Trip for 8th Graders. He puts in a lot of time working with the travel company, making sure all district forms are filled out properly, meeting with students, parents, and admin to make sure our students have an awesome learning experience. Our students leave on Tuesday for NY. Mrs. Major-Murphy is the administrator that will be going on the trip this year. She graciously volunteered and has also be involved with the preparation activities. Let's all pause for a moment and congratulate Mr. Cioffi and Mrs. Major-Murphy on a job well done with the NY Trip. Because of Mr. Cioffi's and Mrs. Major-Murphy's commitment to excellence, our students will be the benefactors of another amazing global experience. Let's give them both a huge iAM shout out!

2. Ms. Windy Jones - Ms. Jones does an absolutely amazing job at IMS. She is very versatile and serves our school in a number of key capacities. This past week, in addition to her normal duties, she went the extra mile and made ID cards for all of our students going on the NY Trip. The cards were exceptionally well done and will serve as another layer of safety for our students and chaperones. Please join me in recognizing Ms. Jones for a job well done. Let's give Ms. Jones a huge iAM shout out.

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Attendance (Staff) - Update

Last week the teacher attendance rate was 95% (15 absences) and the entire staff attendance rate was 96% (25 absences). This past week was a much better week. We had a tough Friday. If it were not for the number of absences we had Friday, we would have met our goal. As always, it is absolutely critical that everyone make every effort possible to be here each and every day. I will join you in those collective efforts. When you need to be out, please follow the proper protocols and prepare excellent plans for your students. Remember, if you are on duty, that needs to be communicated to your substitute as well.

ESEA Waiver (Reminder)

During our February PD Workshop, I informed everyone that as soon as I received any new information regarding the ESEA Waiver, I would forward that information to you. I have obtained that information in both long and short formats as well as a video. Here is the link to the long format, short form, and video

End of 3rd Nine Weeks

As you know, the end of the 3rd nine weeks is Monday March 23rd. I need all teachers to make absolutely sure that your gradebooks are current and reflect the academic progress of your students. Ms. Geiger sent out an email on Friday outlining the steps along with the checklist for teachers. The documents are linked here and here as well as inserted below. Grade verification sheets are due Wednesday at 4pm. Also, Grades will be stored and report cards will be printed on Friday. We need all teachers to get your grades updated and all documents in on time so we can execute this process.

Instructional Resources

Are you looking for meaningful and engaging content for our students beyond what is in your textbooks or over used online resources? I invite you to explore three amazing resources:

1. Expeditionary Learning ELA, Science, and Social Studies Modules

2. KQED Education

3. The Learning Network; New York Times

2015-16 Staffing

During the principal's meeting, we received two pieces of information that pertained to staffing.

1. FTE calculations based on 2015-16 enrollment projections. Because we will be adding 120+ new students next year, we have been allocated 6 new teaching positions next year. Yea!!!! We are working to identify those teachers and their areas of certification so we can begin determining course and class assignments for next year. Thanks for your patience as we continue to work through this process. To jump start the process, we have already started advertising the magnet funded positions for next year.

2. Electronic Contract Info and Process - Contracts will be sent out electronically again this year through DoceFill. The tentative date for contracts to go out will be April 6, 2015. Employees will have 10 working days to sign their electronic contract or deny it if they are not planning to return next year. Each employee will receive an email letting them know their contract is ready along with instructions on how to access, sign and submit their contract. Contracts not signed within the specified time, will be considered a resignation. If you know that you are not returning next year, please see me so we can walk you through the process.

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Review this information in its entirety in order to prepare for Friday's set evaluation.



  2. Expected student behaviors are taught by classroom teacher through powerpoints provided by PBIS team. Information is also reviewed in grade-level monthly Town Hall Meetings. Other school norms are introduced and taught through CREW lessons.
  3. Students are rewarded with buzz notes which can be used in exchange for rewards (ex. sit with a friend in the cafeteria, quarterly drawings) and celebrations (Strive for Five, Tardy Parties) for exhibiting the appropriate behavior.
  4. Teachers are aware of differences between classroom managed problems and office managed problems (minor and major infractions) .
  5. Procedures are in place for emergencies (drills, code blue, and crisis intervention teams)
  6. Tier II team in place for behavior support (Vernon Sava, Katie Manning, LaToya Young, Danielle Major-Murphy)
  7. Vernon Sava is the active administrator on the behavior support team.
  8. DATA IS REVIEWED BY PBIS TEAM EVERY MEETING! This is compiled by Beth Ayers and Admin.
  9. Patterns of student behavior were reported to team – and interventions were made (ex. grade level tardy competition for free seating at lunch, tardy party)
  10. FAMILIES ARE AWARE : Mr. Jackson communicates PBIS info in the Newsletter, Blog, Twitter. Certificates are also provided to students for Strive for Five. Notice of changes in tardy policy sent home via letter.
  11. D5 provides us with a BUDGET for our PBIS Celebrations.
  12. PBIS Team HAS ACCESS to support - District PBIS rep


  1. School-wide expectations apply to non-classroom setting and are taught to students. We teach these behaviors in CREW, homeroom, and monthly Town Hall meetings.
  2. Teachers and administrators are active – Teacher Commitments/Norms were developed and revisited in order to model appropriate behaviors for students and to be accountable for professional behavior.
  3. Rewards exist: Strive for Five, Tardy Party, Buzz Note Incentives, Quarterly Buzz Note Drawings


  2. Data is presented at team meetings by administrators.

The Magnet Minute & EL Corner

Crew: Here is the link to this week's Crew lesson, titled The Power of Words. Brittany Frohnhoefer will teach the lesson to team leaders on Monday afternoon. Please note that Monday is a G20 meeting day, which means other team members may need to represent and take back the lesson.

How are you intentionally planning using a Workshop 1.0 or 2.0 structure? From the mini-workshops with Sarah Boddy last week, the accountability piece (other than to yourself) is this: Do some intentional thinking and planning using either a Workshop 1.0 or 2.0 structure. We discovered that 1.0 and our district adopted model, Explicit Direct Instruction, are mostly the same. If you have already been more intentional in planning/implementing with one particular lesson structure this week, please reflect on that experience using the form linked here.

If you haven't done so yet, please do so this week and complete the feedback survey by Friday. It will be resent on Wednesday. This feedback will inform our next work session - scheduled for Monday, April 13. During this upcoming "heavy lifting" session, we will craft a highly-detailed lesson using one of the Workshop models. For your convenience, the resources are linked here.

Expeditionary Learning Summer Institute: Based on feedback from team meetings, the EL Summer Institute will be held on Friday, June 5 and Saturday, June 6, 2015. All particulars related to times, locations, and agendas will be provided closer to the dates - but please mark your calendars now. Currently, we are exploring options to compensate your time. These options include (but are not set-in-stone): a stipend for one day and a swap day for the other (January 15, 2016).

Lunch-and-Learn on Wednesday: International student ambassadors from Thinking Globally at USC will return on Wednesday (3/25). Using the same format as last month, lectures will take place in the media center. Your class is invited during homeroom - but space is limited and seating is first come, first served. The space can accommodate roughly 75 students. Please sign up on the sheet linked here. If you sign up your class, please escort them and remain during the lecture.

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From Mr. Thur

Annual IEP meeting updates

Mrs. McNeil will begin this week sending out invitations for April’s set of Annual IEP meetings. When you receive your invitation, it will also be stored on your calendar. Please remember to check the time and location of the meeting. Also, if you need coverage, please remember to email Mrs. Waters in advance. Thank you so much! Please let me know if you have any questions.

Extended Time

As students use the computer more and more to complete online work, assignments and homework, there are logistical considerations to take into account for students who have the accommodation of “extended time”. The same holds true for tests being provided through web-based software. Students will still need that additional time to complete their online homework and tests. Please remember that students who need this accommodation require an extended time limit to complete their online work and finish their tests, which is going to be a different time limit that is set as compared to students without this accommodation. This will vary by student, so please contact the casemanager if you have specific questions. Of course, please let me know if you have questions.

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From Mrs. Inabinet

No entry this week.

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From Mrs. Young

  • As of today, we have 736 students with District issued devices. For your reference, click here for a list of those students. If you have students that chronically do not bring their devices to school or charged, please feel free to forward me their names and I will follow-up with parents and students on my end.
  • Chromebooks for the following 24 students will be taken up Thursday and/or Friday during homeroom and secured over Spring Break. Please plan accordingly.
  • There is an exciting online Google event that anyone can attend for free. It's called Education on Air, a free online conference provided by Google Education on May 8-9, 2015. Friday's sessions are on leadership in education ("Leading for the Future"), and Saturday is all about practical, immediate applications for Google in class ("Shaping the Classroom Today"). Register by clicking here.

Readings and Resources

  • Online Resources via Alliance for Excellent Education - These websites will help you search thousands of free tools and ideas by grade-level, teacher ratings, and more
  • Last year you the new Google Calendar app for Android was introduced. Now available is the new Google Calendar for iPhone - built to save you time and help you make the most of every day. Plus, Google Calendar for iPhone works with any calendars you've already set up on your phone.The Calendar app for iPhone is available now in the App Store. Just like on Android, you’ll get the following features:
  • Assists, which make suggestions that save you time creating events.
  • Schedule View, which makes your calendar easy to scan and easy to look at.

Closing Thoughts

This week's Monday Message contains a calendar to guide our week ahead, PD links, and events on the horizon. In February, I informed you that for the next ten weeks, I will be focusing my closing thoughts on the Expeditionary Learning Design Principles. The reason for this is to bring awareness to these guideposts, explain them, and challenge you to embrace and implement in your classrooms daily.

If you recall, the last edition of the Monday Message focused on EL Design Principle #5 Success and Failure. You were asked: In your classes, how are you addressing success and failure. Are you providing students with multiple opportunities to master subject matter (HW, tests, answering questions in class, behavior, etc....)? Are you providing students with access to challenging and rigorous curricula (with the necessary supports to counter failed attempts)?

You were also asked: Do you believe that all of our students can succeed? Are you creating the conditions for them to succeed? When they encounter failure, are you supporting their growth, development, and maturation so they can rebound and succeed?

This week, everyone is asked to focus on Design Principle # 6 - Collaboration and Competition. With this design principle, EL teaches us that all students need classroom and school wide structures where Individual and group development are integrated so that the value of friendship, trust, and group action is clear. Students are encouraged to compete, not against each other, but with their own personal best and with rigorous standards of excellence. This brings several reflective questions to mind. Does your classroom contain opportunities for individual and group development? Are students given opportunities to think critically with their peers, site meaningful evidence from their learning, and formulate new ideas as a result of their collaboration with peers? Are they aware of their current learning as well as the intended targets? Are you given them an opportunity to track their learning through formal and informal systems?

Do you know that "learning is optimized when students are involved in collaborative activities that require complex thinking and the application of knowledge" (Hess, Carlock, Jones, and Walkup, 2009). How often do students do this in your classes?

Remember, working on culture and character is not a sometimes thing. It is a everyday minute, hour, day thing. Every time one person slacks off, it hurts the entire school. While we are doing this very important work, we must not put students on the outside looking in, we need them on the inside, helping us to solve problems by owning their work and striving to produce better outcomes. We will accomplish this as long we consistently display a We Are Crew, Not Passengers spirit.

Remember, Together We are Smarter!

Robert S. Jackson, Ed.S., Principal

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