January 3, 2014

Betsy's Bits

Happy New Year and Welcome Back!

I hope you all had a wonderful, restful break! I am so glad to see everyone back! It was wonderful to pop in classrooms throughout the day yesterday and see everyone back at work learning and supporting one another. Every minute counts in the life of a Stallion! Thanks for making every minute meaningful!


Benchmarks Next Week

We will be taking the benchmark in SchoolNet as we did in the first semester.

Please work with your team to decide the best time/days for your students to take their ELA and math benchmarks. Remember to be flexible with students with accommodations and modifications (EC, 504's, and ESL) and work with the EC department, Couselors, and Mr. Hildreth to pull those students as indicated in their plans.

Natalie sent out the email from Dr. Poltrock this morning with the codes. 8th grade Ex2 - cannot test until Tuesday.

Common Exams/Final Exams/MSL's

As indicated in earlier emails, in Leadership Team minutes, and grade level follow up meetings, much has changed in the MSL's/NC Common/Final Exam, INCLUDING who is required to take them. ALL social studies and science classes, including Earth and Environmental and World History are REQUIRED by the STATE to take these exams. IF it is a semester-long course and students are enrolled in it now, THEN they must take the final exam the last 5 days of the semester. No one in 6th grade is included in this in January. All children in 8th grade will be taking one final exam and all children in 7th EXCEPT those in Mr. Schneider and Mrs. Mentzer's classes have either a science OR a social studies exam. IF a student is enrolled in a high school class, THEN the final exam MUST count 20% of their final grade. IF a student is enrolled in a middle school course, THEN the final exam must count as one test grade. Again, all of this is REQUIRED by the state of NC.

Teachers will NOT grade these exams. We will be sent a score report from Central Office. The constructed response(CR) items DO NOT count towards the grade. The state is field testing CR items and will collect these sheets from each district.

Natalie sent out a tentative schedule yesterday with updates this morning. She wanted you to be preparing for the changes in schedules. We already know we will be changing 7th grade's testing day to Tuesday. Eighth grade will still be on Monday. Any child which does not test is REQUIRED to receive a ZERO. Of course this does not include medical exemptions, but it does include absences. This is why we are testing 8th grade on a Monday to ensure we have time to get students into school to take this test within the five day window. A zero counting as 20% of a grade can mean the difference of passing a high school course and not passing(having to retake). So PLEASE ensure students know how important it is to be at school and taking your reviews and the exam seriously. If we have students which are suspended at that time, please help Natalie out and let her know. If they are not to return any time that week, we will have to allow them to come in and take the exam and then go back home.

PLEASE ask if you have any questions!

After School Tutoring

Seventh grade will be holding after school tutoring sessions on Thursday afternoons for 7th graders beginning in second semester. We have one teacher for each subject willing to tutor 7th graders (Leon - Social Studies, Menter - prealg and Math 1, Velte - ELA, and Marshall - Science).

If we have any other grade levels that can make this happen (can be a different day), please let me know ASAP. We will get the tutor contracts into Central Office. FYI: This is in lieu of Saturday School.

ELA/Math Dept PLC Meetings

Tuesday, Jan. 7th, 3pm

2309 Tramway Road

Sanford, NC

Please bring ideas to share on technology integration, incorporating literacy, and real world application!

UnMeeting Monday

Flip It: Please watch the following Powerpoint/video for ESL compliance before the meeting:


Mr. Hildreth will be able to answer questions at the meeting.

Counselor's Corner - Healthy You in the New Year

Tech Tidbit - Q & A about new laptop repair procedures with Rachel

School-wide Literacy Strategies -highlighting DESSA for Vocabulary(T. Davis and L. Velte) and Cornell Notes (B. Bok and J. Schneider)

Mr. Hildreth Q&A

See you at 2:50 in the media center!

Last Chance to Evaluate YOUR Admin Team

Student Leadership Meeting

Wednesday, Jan. 8th, 2pm

PLC Room

I will send an email with more information...