The Friday Forecast

Office of the Principal; Friday September 6, 2013

Introduction

This is the second edition of the 2013-14 Friday Forecast. A reminder...for new staff members, we use the Friday Forecast to communicate pertinent news, weekly happenings, and outline specific things that we need the teachers and staff to address so we can work collectively to meet our goals. Every member of the staff is expected to read the Friday Forecast, follow all prompts, engage with shared researched based documents, and apply recommendations into your respective roles.


The Week Ahead

Gold Week Schedule - 6,2,3,4,5,1

Monday (9th) - Women's Equality Day

Tuesday (10th) - Swap Ideas Day, Data Team Mtgs, D5 Content Leadership Mtgs, Volleyball @ White Knoll

Wednesday (11th) - 9/11 Remembrance Day, Home Football Game vs Lexington

Thursday (12th) - National Video Games Day, Combo Mtgs with Administrator, Grass Cutting

Friday (13th) - National Positive Thinking Day

Quote for the Week!

"People don't get along because they fear each other. Please fear each other because they don't know each other. They don't know each other because they have not properly communicated with each other."


Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

September Staff Birthdays


Jackson, Robert – September 1st

Benson, Cellustine – September 5th

Crothers, Ryan – September 8th

Ranly, Sandra – September 8th

Griffin, Keela – September 20th

Bobb, Peter – September 20th

Wodtke, Arnold – September 27th

Lewis, Margaret – September 30th



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

Nuts and Bolts

After-School Academic Assistance

In our budget this year, we have monies allocated for PM bus transportation for those students who need to stay after school to receive tutoring and or academic assistance. Mr. Ames is working on a plan so we can provide this service to students. We will communicate that plan to all students, parents, and families. Many of you already stay after school to work with students. I want to encourage everyone to identify a day during the week where, if students need assistance, they can stay after-school to work with you and also have transportation home.


Attendance (Student)

It is critically important that you follow precisely the instructions coming out of the attendance office. Taking attendance is one of the most critical functions you have on a daily basis. Take your attendance "daily" during every class period.


Attendance (Staff)

Once crucial element of successful schools is teacher and staff attendance. At the end of every month, I will share the attendance data (categorized by grade level departments) with everyone. It is absolutely critical that everyone make a concerted effort to be here each and every day. I will join you in those collective efforts. We 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.


Class Changes

It is absolutely critical that everyone is out in the hallways ushering to class. Remember, we control the campus common areas. 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.


Duty Roster

Monday - I Group

Tuesday - R Group

Wednesday - M Group

Thursday - O Group

Friday - R Group


Additionally, there still seems to be some confusion on the morning duty stations. Review the roster and know your location. If you have any questions, see any one of the Assistant Principals. Also, make sure you are at your post prior to 7:45 am. The students start moving at 7:45 and our supervision posts will eliminate any disruptions. Make sure you are using an active mode of supervision that uses proximity and your teacher eyes.


Dress Code for Staff

I want to commend everyone for looking their professional best everyday. Continue to model for our students how they should prepare for school and work.


Emergency Preparedness

We will begin our random (unannounced emergency drills - required by state law and board policy). In preparation for those drills, please review the procedures and make sure you practice them with your classes. During evacuation drills, everyone must be out of the building and in their assigned areas in ninety seconds. Let's hustle to safety in an orderly fashion.


Again, a reminder... I expect all classes with exterior doors to remain locked at all times. Assign a student to be the designed door opener. All exterior gates must be locked at all times. Any visitor to our campus must check-in the front office first and register with our lobby guard system. Remember, everyone's safety is our top priority.


Enrichment

I have observed that enrichment is being used primarily for daily physical activity time. I am concerned that students are not getting the proper academic support to be successful. Enrichment is what we make of it and how we use it will determine how successful we are with this schedule. I plan to discuss this with all instructional leaders Monday afternoon at our meeting.


ID & Tardy Cards

ID and Tardy Cards will be distributed to science teachers on Monday (9/9/13). They are to be distributed Tuesday (9/10/13). ID and Tardy Policy enforcement will begin on Wednesday (9/11/13) beginning first period. Students are required to wear visible identification cards daily and be on time for all classes.


ID's

If students do not have an ID (Monday/Tuesday), get their name to Ms. Jones so she can have one made. Beginning Wednesday, if students are not wearing their ID's, follow the temporary ID/disciplinary referral protocols. If a student does not have his or her ID at the beginning of first period, a temporary/replacement must be ordered. The first period teacher will notify Mrs. Clayton (8th Grade) or Mrs. Dupree (7th Grade) who will make the temporary or replacement ID. The student will be required to pay .50 for a temporary (limit 5) or $5.00 for the replacement. Replacement Lanyards cost $2.00. Temporary ID's must be worn on the student's upper left torso (where you place your hand for the Pledge of Allegiance). At the fifth ID ordered, a new permanent ID will be made at a cost to the student of $5.00 and they will begin earning consequences for failing to properly wear and display their ID.


Tardy Cards/Tardies

Beginning Wednesday, if students are not on time to class (defined as being across the doorway threshold), they are expected to present you with their tardy card to be punched using your hole punch. You also much record the tardy in PowerTeacher when taking attendance. Upon being tardy for the fifth time, the teacher should punch the tardy card, confiscate it, and turn it in to the grade level administrator. Students without a tardy at the end of the nine weeks will gain admission to the tardy party (provided they still have their original unpunched tardy card.


Leaving your classroom

If you are relocating your classroom for any reason, you must notify the front office and attendance so we will know everyone's whereabouts. If you have any questions or concerns, see your assigned administrator.


Student Dress Code

There has been some confusion regarding the student dress code. Please refer to the agenda (p. 9). Additionally, sleeves should cover undergarments and the entire shoulder for both males and females. Tank-top are not permitted. The dressy sandals are permitted but not the beach versions (flip flops) are not. No sheer or lace shirts. Also, no leggings, jeggings, and overtly tight fitting garments. Any questions regarding a student's attire should be addressed with Ms. McCray (Females) and Mr. Ames (Males).


Teacher/Support Staff Attendance

Below you will find the graphical report of August Absences. Different from last year, data is being reported by grade level content teams. We will not include long-term illnesses, professional development, or specific teacher names. You are reminded of how important it is for everyone to make a concerted effort to be present every day. I completely understand that things will happen and illnesses will pop up. I will join you in our collective efforts to be here every day.


Teaching and Learning

During Tuesday's PD Workshop, we launched the September Magnet Theme, which is Technology/Hyper-connectivity. I am looking forward to seeing how you will infuse these concepts in your lessons. It is through this lens that you should approach the facilitation of teaching and learning. Let us (Administration/Magnet Implementation Team) know if you need any assistance. Remember to send your grade level content leader the date of your themed lesson.


Adjusting to the "new" Schedule

With shorter class times, you probably are finding yourself at a rapid pace during classes. Remember (at the writing of this forecast), this is only the 13th day of classes. As phenomenal as we are here at IMS, it will take much longer than 13 days for us to adjust so we can stay ahead of the task. Stay positive, offer ideas, encouragement, and suggestions to ensure that each of us are getting adjusted. Here are a few reminders to help you along the way:


Tips for Beating the Clock in the Classroom


Managing Time in the Classroom


As a reminder, make sure the following is on your board:


Learning Target (I Can...Statements) for every prep taught

Agenda

Homework

Upcoming Projects/Assignments


During your lessons, make sure you are asking challenging questions that invoke inquiry and process not just rote memorization. Higher Order Thinking Questions will help improve cognitive functions and improve student performance.


As a district, we will be focusing on two major concepts through the data teams process:

1. Explicit Direct Instruction

2. Higher Order Questioning


This link to the Depth of Knowledge Chart (which you should be familiar with). We will be providing extensive staff development on the questioning and end products that fall in levels three (strategic thinking) and four (extended thinking).


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Closing Thoughts

Remember as students begin to figure out our "new" routines, they are beginning to display excitement for middle school and challenge our routines. We must match their excitement and be ever so vigilant in our supervisory roles and intervention efforts. Remember, strategies for curtailing this excitement can be found in setting clear expectations, repeatedly rehearsing routines, consistently providing engaging instructional experiences, utilizing all of our resources, and contacting parents (positively and seeking assistance). Be cautiously watchful in your supervision roles and report disruptions and things out of the ordinary immediately.


I have included several video links for your reflection. It is my hope that they will ignite some ideas and illuminate your path ahead.


Every Child Needs a Champion


The Voice of an Active Learner (Thanks Mr. Cioffi ~ Great Find)


Stand by me....iAM...#IrmoSTRONG

Robert S. Jackson, Ed.S., Principal

Teaching Strategy: Experiential Exercise
Teaching Strategy: Problem Solving Groupwork