Island Trees Memorial Middle School
The Home-School Connection
October 9, 2017
Hello Island Trees Memorial Middle School Families,
The 2017-2018 school year is off to a great start, and the students you send to us each day have shown themselves to be engaged and committed students and citizens. Thank you for supporting our school in so many different ways. We welcome your continued participation and support.
As you read through this newsletter, pay special attention to service opportunities that may be available to you and your family. As we have watched the news over the past 6 weeks, we have witnessed the devastating impact of natural disasters and random violence. We are often left asking, What more can I do? How can I help? While our school's plan to support the people of Puerto Rico is large-scale and fully developed, I encourage all students (and families) to research an issue and design a service project to educate others and/or support those in need. This may be an issue of personal or local importance, or it may be of a national or global concern.
Take a look at the Prudential Spirit of Community link. It is such an inspirational site that will remind us of the power that we all possess.
Please be reminded that we continue to seek ways to strengthen the connection between home and school. I have highlighted within this newsletter many different ways our teachers and staff provide access to our school. Please take advantage of any/all of these resources:
- Smore Newsletter
- ITMMS Website (HW Online/Daily Bulletin/Parent Portal)
Lastly, with so many fun and exciting events coming up in October, I thought it might be helpful to highlight the goals and expectations for Spirit Week and Halloween at ITMMS. I do hope the accompanying newsletters are helpful and assist you in your planning.
Red Ribbon Week
Island Trees Memorial Middle School's SADD Club is proud to promote Red Ribbon Week! In Red Ribbon Week is a weeklong celebration to raise awareness about being drug-free and making healthy choices. Starting Monday, October 23, the students and staff will be participating in the following activities:
Monday, October 23rd:
Kick off Activity:
Our school will stop all activities in the morning and will will be prompted to display and watch a "Kid President" video. This video is about “making tough choices.” After the video concludes, students and staff will review as a class the challenges facing each of them and review strategies for responding to these challenges.
Door Decorating Contest
Students and staff are encouraged to decorate their classroom doors in support of Red Ribbon Week. The theme of this contest is “being drug free” Three winners will be picked on Friday, October 27th. Prizes include surprise guest classroom entertainers, students being named DJs for a day (make a playlist and it will play between periods), and students from each homebase/homeroom doing the announcements daily until each student gets a turn.
Students and staff are encouraged to use Twitter or Instagram to share their favorite healthy activity. To submit their photo, they must Tweet @islandtreesMMS and tag @islandtreesmms on Instagram. For this contest, they can use the hashtag: #ITdrugfree Prizes for this contest will be in the form of gift cards.
Word of the Week
Listen to the word of the week each morning on announcements and feel free to discuss the word and do activities based on the word abstain.
Friday, October 27th
- All students will sign the pledge banner at lunch on Friday 10/27.
- Wear red!: All students and staff will wear red to support the cause.
- Red ribbons: Students and staff will be given a red ribbon sticker. Please wear this with pride! Don't forget to wear red!
7th Grade Trip to Boston
Island Trees for Puerto Rico
The Island Trees National Jr. Honor Society, the New York State Chaplain Task Force and New York Police Department are asking the ITMMS community to help in sending much needed items to hurricane damaged Puerto Rico. The people of this beautiful Caribbean Island are in desperate need of so much, and we would ask that you review the list included on our flyer.
Additionally, in concert with the Levittown School District, we are also collecting financial donations for Puerto Rico. Please download the Levittown Cares flyer and follow the instructions for donating to this cause.
Great Citizens of Island Trees MMS
An example of great citizenship is found in the work of Joseph Evans, a 5th grade student at ITMMS. Joseph, with the help of his family and their connection to the NYPD, proposed a collection for the citizens of Puerto Rico. As it happened, Joseph's teachers--led by Mrs. Nieves, Mr. Gonzalez & Mrs. Harouche--were in the final stages of planning our school's humanitarian efforts in support of the people of Puerto Rico. Joining forces with his teachers and our school, Joseph's demonstrated leadership and his humanitarian focus speak to the power that we all have to help others and serve our community.
Are you a middle of high school student who is making a difference through volunteering? Apply for a 2018 Prudential Spirit of Community Award and you could win $1,000 and a trip to Washington, D.C., in late April!
A Long Walk to Water
When our students at Island Trees Memorial Middle School enter seventh grade English classes, they begin the year with a novel called A Long Walk to Water. It is the story of the journey of one of the Lost Boys of Sudan, Salva Dut. The Lost Boys are a group of young boys who were forced to flee their homes and country (on foot, through the African wilderness) as a result of civil war in their villages.
As an exciting addition to our curriculum this year, we are lucky enough to have a guest speaker, Sebastian Maroundit, also a Lost Boy of Sudan, come to speak to our seventh and eighth grade students. Sebastian has created an organization called Building Minds in South Sudan. Their mission is to rebuild schools in war-torn, poverty, and famine stricken South Sudan, as well as to promote gender equality in education. Because of the ongoing war in South Sudan, education has suffered greatly.
Take a look at the link below to see how our school will help rebuilds schools and promote gender equality in South Sudan.
Humans of Island Trees Memorial Middle School
"I never thought I would be a middle school teacher, although I knew from a young age that I wanted to teach. I always thought I would be an elementary school teacher and here I am, 15 years at Island Trees as a middle school math teacher and I couldn’t image doing anything else. Over my 15 years here, I met my husband and some of my best friends. I have become a mother to a now 8-year-old son, Collin, and 6-year-old daughter, Molly. Being a mom is the best thing that has ever happened to me. It has made me a better teacher, as I always ask myself, If my children were in this classroom, what kind of teacher would I want them to have?
Family is everything to me. I truly believe in creating memories and traditions that will last a lifetime. I have a family home in Lake George where I have traveled to since I was a child and now my own children go often and I hope the traditions and memories will carry on.
I believe education starts at home and family support and encouragement is life’s greatest gift. I want to teach my children and students to be confident."
- Mrs. McNamara
It's Happening in Our Classrooms
This section has been designed to shed additional light on some of the events and activities from our classrooms and assist all of you as you continue to inquire of your children, "How was your school day?"
Additionally, now that all of our students have a Chromebook, you are certain to see and hear of apps, websites, and teaching models which, at first glance, may not seem familiar to you. I will try to use this section to communicate the role of these new applications and methods.
Breakout EDU is the immersive learning games platform. The Breakout EDU kit allows for the facilitation of games where players use teamwork and critical thinking to solve a series of challenging puzzles in order to open the locked box. Games are available for all ages and content areas.
In reviewing for an upcoming test, Home and Careers teachers Mrs. Bunster and Mrs. Purrman created an activity using Breakout EDU. Students in these classes had to use information on kitchen safety, measuring equivalents and measuring techniques in order to help them break into their boxes. They were given a scenario that involved Mrs. Purrman and Mrs. Bunster being locked out of our classroom with cookies baking in the ovens. They needed to get us back inthe classroom to save the cookies. The use of the information they had learned, the dialogues on measuring equivalents and their teamwork was amazing to watch.
Keep your eyes out for additional notes from the classroom!
- D. Keegan
Read Every Day Initiative
Read Every Day Initiative
Island Trees Memorial Middle School requires all students to have a book of their choice with them at all times. Teachers often set aside 5-10 minutes of class time to silent reading in order to promote reading stamina and skill development.
We also have students read whenever there is any downtime in class. Most importantly, teachers very often to read with their students. This has really had an impact on students reading because they see our love as well. We have had kids make quick review posters for other classmates who might need an idea of a book to read.
If You Are Looking For...
The Daily Bulletin
Home-School Connection Newsletter
Let's Stay in Touch
Follow us @Islandtreesmms for updates on so many great events in our classrooms, playing fields and stages of Island Trees MMS.
Our middle-level students are increasingly drawn to this visual medium, and it is our goal to meet them where they are. Follow us on Instagram for a visual look at our school--from the classrooms to our concert halls.
It is our hope that this online newsletter provides important updates and serves as another strong link between home and school. Please reach out to Mr. Keegan if there are other resources that you believe would strengthen our communication.
We are on Remind
Please follow the sign-up instructions on the handout below.
Please also feel free to follow this link to join our Remind group
Contests & Competitions
Please encourage your child to participate in competitions and contests that speak to his/her passions and interests.