The Friday Forecast

Office of the Principal; Friday February 7, 2014

Quote for the Week!

"Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after another."

~ Walter Elliott

The Week Ahead

Gold Week Schedule 6-2-3-4-5-1 Bus Driver Appreciation Week

African-American History Month

Monday (10th) - District Art Show, Guidance IGP's, All in Learning Training, C-Team Basketball PAC Finals (Girls, 5:30, Boys 6:30, at Lexington Middle School), Board of Trustees Meeting (7:00pm, Lake Murray Elementary)

Tuesday (11th) - National Make a Friend Day, G40 Student Council Meeting (7:45am), District Art Show, District Leadership Meetings, Soccer Banquet (7pm), PTSO Meeting (7pm, FCR)

Wednesday (12th) - Guidance IGP's, District Art Show, Donna Elam visits IMS, District Magnet Meeting (1pm), Technology Task Force Meeting (3pm)

Thursday (13th) - World Radio Day, District Art Show, Valentines Dance (3:30-5:30pm)

Friday (14th) - Valentines Day, District Art Show, Guidance IGP's,

Tasks to Complete This Week!

1. Make sure you express Valentines wishes to your loved ones.

2. Put into action, interventions with your bubble kids.

3. Attend and participate in Tuesday's District Leadership Meetings

4. Update the google drive form when you are teaching or have taught the January Magnet Themed Lesson ~ World Leadership

5. Contact the parents of all students who are failing and inform them of their student's progress. Keep a log of contacts and what was discussed.

Upcoming Major Events

Combined Inside iAM Recruitment and Course Fair Night

Tuesday, Feb. 25th, 5:30-7:30pm

6051 Wescott Road

Columbia, SC

This is our third in a series of school choice recruitment events for Irmo Middle. The first two were held in concert with district wide recruitment events. This one, we are hosting. In an attempt to prevent multiple night events, we are combining this into one event. All department chairs and program leaders are expected to attend. We will showcase our magnet, spotlight our new courses and partnerships for 14-15 and walk parents through the course registration process for next year. Mr. Hutto and Mrs. McKenzie will be getting with all department heads and program leaders on the logistics.

PASS Writing

Tuesday, March 18th, 8:30am to Wednesday, March 19th, 11:30am

6051 Wescott Rd

Columbia, SC

36 days and counting until we administer this assessment.

February Staff Birthdays

Regan Moore, February 6th

Margaret Plexico, February 14th

Alicia Haire, February 20th

Awatif Ismail, February 23rd

Chris Ranly, February 29th

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

Duty Roster for the Week

Duty Roster

Monday - I Group

Tuesday - R Group

Wednesday - M Group

Thursday - O Group

Friday - M Group

Nuts and Bolts

Attendance (Staff)

Now that we have returned from a length break, I want to reiterate how absolutely critical it is that everyone to make every possible effort to be at school every single day. I will join you in the effort to be here daily for our students and staff. I certainly understand that things will come up that will necessitate an absence. When you absolutely have to be out, you are reminded to follow the proper protocols and prepare appropriate plans for your students. Remember, if you are on duty, that needs to be communicated to your substitute.

In particular, I want us to watch Monday/Friday absences where we are normally short on subs across the district. When this happens, we will have no choice to start using teachers to cover (unfilled sub classrooms). Make every possible attempt to be here every day.

Class Changes

Thanks so much to everyone for standing at your doors between class changes. We must unite and be consistent with this practice. Remember, not only do we control the classrooms but also the the campus common areas as well. Students should not be loitering, hanging out, visiting vending machines, or using this time to socialize. They only have five minutes to get to class. As it relates to lunch dismissals, make sure you follow the approximate time frames for the beginning and ending of each lunch period. Refrain from sending students to lunch early. Doing so causes a lot of congestion in the cafeteria and invites chaos and understaffed supervision ratios.

Data Teams

I would like to take this opportunity to commend everyone for their readiness and participation in Friday's Fishbowl exercise. The team performed in an exemplary manner. Mr. Dean and Mrs. Biggerstaff were quite complimentary of our fishbowl and the data team experience at IMS. The fishbowl experience missed due to the snow day has been rescheduled for April. We will include that information in next week's forecast. To all that were involved...OUTSTANDING JOB!

Dress Code for Staff

I want to remind everyone to make sure we look our professional best everyday. Continue to model for our students how they should report to school and work.

Making up the Snow Day

February 17th is now a school day. Please note your calendars and let all of your classes know. Additionally, all teachers and staff personnel must make up the staff development day and the time missed due to the early release and late start days. Total, everyone must make up 15.5 -16 hours. In order to make up that day, we will be using an hourly accrual system. Every 190 or greater employee will log all hours worked before and after school using the form included here. The make up hours must begin 2/5/14 or after. Employees cannot go back to the beginning of the year. You can use attendance at games, parent-teacher conferences, magnet team meetings, early/late planning, etc...

Time to Make Up

· Delays on January 7 & 8 = 4 hours

· Delay/Early Dismissal on January 28 and 30 = 4 hours

· District closing on January 29 = number of hours in the employee’s day (Ex. 7.5 or 8)

· Total time to make up = 8 + either 7.5 or 8 = 15.5 or 16 hours

Time should be made up by April 1, 2014


1. Do we charge people for a day off if they were on FMLA or if they had previously asked for a day off and took this day? Do they have to make up any time?” Answer: Yes, charge them for a day of leave. No, they do not need to make up any time since they have already taken the day and used a day of leave (personal, sick, vacation).

2. Can employees use a personal day or vacation day instead of making up time? Answer: Yes, if they have days available. They cannot designate the day as a sick day unless they were out sick on January 29.

3. What happens if the state “forgives” a snow day? Answer: We’ll cross that bridge if/when we come to it!

PASS Writing Readiness

We have thirty six days until the PASS Writing exams. Our goal if for 78% + met and exemplary. We will not get there if everyone is not helping to prepare students. Mr. McCloy and Mr. Hutto will be sending out some readiness exercises that I expect everyone to be using to prepare students. In the meantime, here is the link to the SDE site which has a number of resources to help. Below are specific links to sample items, instructions, etc...Everyone can help (especially, the exploratory classes).

March 18 Writing Test, Day 1 extended-response item (writing prompt)

March 19 Writing Test, Day 2 multiple-choice items

March 20-25 Make-up tests may be given on these days.

Student Dress Code

Let's continue to hold our students responsible for the dress code. Everyone continue to inspect what we expect. Report any and all violations to the administrators. Keep in mind that every second students miss class creates an opportunity for us not to meet our goals. Exercise good judgment in sending students out of class for these violations. When needed, call an administrator to your class to handle. Believe it or not, it is a student strategy to wear inappropriate garments...they know we will pull them out of class.

SPED Corner (Updated)

PASS Writing

As we gear up for PASS Writing testing next month, some students with disabilities will be placed in small groups in another setting, while others will test in their regular 4th period class. This should not be a stress of yours to figure out who go where. When you receive your roster, it will either say “stay” or “café”. If you see “café” next to their name, please send that student to the cafeteria, to where they will then be assigned a small group location. Of course, if a special education student has “stay”, then they are going to stay and do their best work with the rest of their 4th period class! Please let me know if you have any questions. As we get closer to testing day, I will send another reminder.

Special Education students in your class

With the new semester having begun, there are some new students with disabilities in your classes. If you have any questions or concerns for any of your special education students, please let the case manager know.

Some Clarification

Feeling confused about the different types of IEP meetings we have at IMS… ? I bet you are not alone! As such, I will be periodically providing a spotlight on a specific type of IEP meeting, with the hope of providing you clarity and understanding.

As we work to address student behavior, I wanted to take a minute to discuss certain processes and procedures for a student with a disability. I think the more knowledge and information you have about special education, the better off you and our students will be

This week . . . . Manifestation Determination

There are certain requirements that the IEP team needs to consider when there is either a behavioral code violation that results in a student’s recommendation for expulsion, or when they are suspended for a specific number of days (more than 10). For either issue, a manifestation determination IEP meeting takes place. If the issue is for the latter – suspension – the manifestation occurs if the student is suspended or expelled from school for more than 10 consecutive days or the student is subjected to a series of short-term suspensions that constitute a pattern because the following have occurred:

- they accumulate to more than 10 school days in a year

- each incident of misconduct involves substantially the same behavior

At the actual meeting, the IEP team must then meet to determine if the conduct was a manifestation of the child's disability. To make that determination, the team will review:

- all of the relevant information in the child's file

- the child's IEP

- any teacher observations, and

- any relevant info provided by the parent.

Based on its review of all the relevant info, the team must then determine if the conduct in question was:

· a) Was the student’s conduct caused by / related to child’s disability?

· b) Was there a failure to implement IEP / BIP?

Overall question - Was the student’s behavior manifested by their disability?

If the team determines that the conduct was a result of either a) or b), then the conduct must be determined to be a manifestation of the child's disability and the child may be returned to the placement from which the child was removed. If the team determines it was not a manifestation of the student's disability, then proceedings continue and the student is subject to the same discipline procedures as any other student.

The chart below is a visual graphic of the results of that determination. As you can see, there are specific steps to take, and the team has to follow the laws and regulations.

This summary may help you understand how the process is outlined, and how the IEP team works together in the best interests of that particular student.

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Closing Thoughts

This week's Friday Forecast contains our calendar to guide our week ahead and events on the horizon. We are beginning to synthesize the forcecast so that it is digestible by all teachers and staff members. It is my expectation that everyone sets aside time to read and adhere to the expectations and action steps to ensure continue progress towards meeting/exceeding our goals (below).

As we focus during February, we are starting the descent towards PASS testing. This is the time of year where we need to close the gap between IMS and the other middle schools in LexRich5. Additionally, we need to widen the lead between IMS and other schools that look like us. In order to do that, all teachers and staff members will need a survival kit. As a special gift in this week's forecast, I am providing each of you with your survival gift.

A Teacher's and Staff Member's Survival Kit for Everyday Living

Reminds us to look for the good qualities in our students.
You may be the only teacher/staff member who says something positive to them that day.

Reminds the teacher/staff member that they have to be flexible.
Things don't always go the way we plan,
But flexibility will help to work it out.

Reminds the teacher/staff member that sometimes we do more than teach,
That we help heal hurt feelings, broken dreams,
And lend an ear to a problem.

Reminds us to be thankful and we should list our blessings daily,
But also encourage our students to list their blessings
And to be proud of their accomplishments.

Reminds us to allow students to know we are human
And make mistakes just like they do, and it's ok.
We must all be able to learn from our mistakes.

Reminds us to stick with it
And encourage our students to do like wise.
Even the impossible task or assignment can be accomplished
By sticking to it.

Reminds us and our students we are worth a mint.
(We may not be paid a mint, but are worth one.)

Reminds us that everyone needs a hug,
Kiss, or warm fuzzy everyday.
(All teachers, students, parents, and even administrators)

Reminds us we need time to relax,
Go over our blessing, and take time for others.
Family, husbands, wives, friends, children need quality time together.

A teacher/staff member must be willing to show their students how much they care!!!


It is my hope that the calendar entries and reminders will allow you to plan accordingly and carry out your responsibilities in an exemplary fashion.

Let's stand by each other and remain #IrmoSTRONG!

Robert S. Jackson, Ed.S., Principal

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