From the Desk of Ms. Graham

Hawk News


The semester is coming to an end and it is almost time for a break, YAY! After being at Williams Middle for an entire semester I can say, without reservation, Williams Middle has amazing teachers! The students are better because of you and your sacrifices (you have tutored them, covered classes, purchased items for their use, provided them with top notch instruction, and most importantly cared enough about them to be consistent!). The teacher matters, always has, always will! And let's never forget about our support personnel, without which we could not do what we do, so well.

Let’s continue to pray for Mrs. Gentry as well as Ms. Barbara and their families as they go through a very tough time during the holidays. We should also remember and pray for our superintendent and his family during this time.

As of today there are only 7 days until the holiday break. Please stop by the conference room to warm your hearts with hot chocolate (and chocolate) before starting/ending your day.

Benchmark testing will begin on December 10, encourage your students to take their time and do their very best and please don’t stress (that was for youJ). The time you have invested teaching your students will show up, if not now, in time.

As we end this semester I want to draw your attention to several items that have been reviewed throughout this semester, many of which are located in the faculty handbook. After a semester of working together the expectation will be that these items have been committed to memory and will not need to be revisited, except on a one on one basis.

Thanks for a great semester and I look for to a wonderful new year! Happy Holidays!

Classroom Agenda

If you have forgotten what your posted classroom agenda should contain please see page 18 of the faculty handbook. This is the information I will be looking for as I complete classroom observations.

Grade-book Entry

Remember to enter a “1” if a student is missing an assignment or has incomplete work. While looking through gradebooks, I have noticed that students have A’s in some classes with several missing assignments. This is misleading to parents and will cause issues at report card time or during parent teacher conferences. Parents will want to know why their child’s grade has dropped from an A to a C or even a D.

It is imperative that you enter a “1” each time a student does not turn in an assignment or when an assignment is incomplete. See the district policy below and keep in mind that this is of vital importance, for your protection and the parents-right-to-know. In addition, if you have a student that is failing or whose grade has dropped drastically you should always make parent contact. (WMS handbook pg. 18).

Grade Recovery: “Rework, Re-do, and Repair”

Grade recovery provides students additional opportunities to demonstrate mastery of course standards. Allowing students to rework or re-test provides feedback to both the teacher and the student on mastery versus non-mastery.

Restorative Grading Practices:

  • A “1” or small deduction which does not distort achievement or motivation
  • This will give an opportunity for students to make up work and will also communicate current grades to parents.

Leaving Campus:

Please remember you must obtain permission from Mrs. Graham to leave campus. You should then notify Mrs. Reed that you have gained permission to leave and send and email with a copy to Mrs. Reed. Some are leaving campus with having notified the front office (only) and have forgotten to leave an email (WMS handbook page 42).


If it becomes necessary (in cases of extreme emergency) for you to request to leave campus you must see Mrs. Graham for permission. If she is not available see Mrs. Clegg or the TOSA. The TOSA/AP will send Mrs. Graham a text message with the requested information (to alert her of the situation). Be sure to send an email to Mrs. Graham with a copy to Mrs. Reed (for class coverage purposes) letting her know when you are leaving and message her when you return.

Be sure to sign-out when you leave the building and sign back in when you return.

Work Schedule:

Remember classroom doors should be open each morning by 7:45 a.m. (the handbook was updated in September from 7:50 a.m., to 7:45 a.m.). In addition, students should be greeted as they enter your classroom each day. The Director of Magnet program, and myself have observed that this is not always the case. It would not be fair to continue to expect one or two teachers to manage an entire hallway. Please remember when you are at your door(s) you should be having conversations with students concerning positive behavior. You should also encourage students to get to class on time (side note: Please check the duty schedule to ensure you are at the correct duty location).

HCS Policy

5.1.2 Special Requirements – a. Work Schedules (Certified Personnel)

Supervisory and instructional duties for teachers commence a minimum of fifteen (15) minutes prior to the actual arrival and conclude fifteen (15) minutes after the departure of students. Except as otherwise may be provided based upon need of the Superintendent or the teacher’s Supervisor, the minimum work day for teachers is seven hours and 15 minutes per day. Assignments and duties may extend beyond the instructional day and may include off-campus functions, events, and activities; conferences and meetings with parents; supervision of student arrival to and departure from school and school activities; and preparation for the following instructional day. Teachers will be provided a minimum of thirty (30) minutes free of instructional and supervisory responsibilities each instructional day.

Late Buses:

We have been very fortunate, for the most part, this school year to have most of our buses arrive to school on time. It is very important that the students in your classes be given an opportunity to start the instructional day at 8:00a.m. Please remember to start the day when the tardy bell rings and provide a back-up plan for students who may arrive on a late bus.

Bell-to-bell instruction:

All students should be provided bell-to-bell instruction and the instruction should begin at 8:00 a.m. each morning (see the October 23, newsletter). It is perfectly okay for students to eat breakfast while you begin your instruction for the day. It is never appropriate for students to be seated on top of desks, surfing the net, or sitting in groups chatting about other events while instruction should be taking place. Once the 8:00 a.m. tardy bell rings the instructional day should begin.

Professional Communication:

It is important that the communication among and between faculty and staff is stated in a positive manner and that the information conveyed is as accurate as possible. Please be sure to see me prior to sending mass or group emails to staff and faculty members for prior approval. In addition, if there is ever an area of the building that has been left untidy due to student or teacher use, please see me or send me a positively worded email so that I may address the issue appropriately. Let’s work as a team to support all programs at Williams Middle.

Hallway Traffic:

As stated in the August 10, newsletter and on page 18 of the faculty handbook, students should not be allowed to leave your classroom(s) during the first 15 minutes of the class period (after the tardy bell rings) and the last 15 minutes of the class period. The administrative team has observed students walking into classrooms (and back out) with a pass prior to the tardy bell ringing. In addition, students are in the hallways a few minutes and sometimes seconds after the tardy bell. As always we are aware that an emergency may arise but frequent departures from your classroom(s) should not be a common occurrence.

Morning Breakfast

All 7th and 8th grade teachers should decide on one student and an alternate student who will pick up breakfast for their class each morning. The alternate will be used in case the original student is out. Once you have decided on the student(s) please email the names to Mr. Thomas and copy Ms. Graham and Mrs. Reed onto the email. Please send your names by Thursday, December 10, at 3:00p.m.This will help as the halls are being monitored.

Inow grade Updates:

This is a reminder that one grade should be entered per student into the Inow database per week. Please see the WMS policy below.


It is expected that every teacher enter grades into INOW by 4:00 p.m. each Friday. Teachers must also keep a hard copy of their grade-book as a back up to the INOW system. All hard copy grade books will be collected at the end of each school year. Be sure your grade book is accurate and up-to-date for parents and district personnel, to reference, in case questions arise over the summer months and throughout the school year.

Below are some dates to remember. Please see the calendar sent by email for all the dates to remember.

Dates to Remember:

December 10 Benchmark testing begins

WMS PBIS Meeting Library

December 17 RTI Meeting

December 18 PBIS Celebration III/ Live Auction December 18

December 18 Christmas Gathering 4:30 p.m @ Logan’s (in Madison) All Faculty and Staff Invited

January 4 Teacher Workday

January 5 Star Reading and Math Begins

January 6 Faculty Meeting @

Columbia High School

January 13 Data Meeting

January 20 IB Meeting (afterschool)

January 21 RTI meeting

January 29 ½ Day IB Meeting