Paw Prints

Week of February 8, 2016

Panther News

It was a great week at WJES!!! Highlights of this week include: evacuating the building the fastest we ever have, great professional learning opportunity on Google by Lisa Wilbanks, and Gavin Lee came in 4th place in the System Spelling Bee out of 9 schools!!! Our Reading Bowl team is headed to Regionals tomorrow in Greene County!!! We wish them the best of luck!
Click here to view the Panther News for this week. As always, please don't hesitate to let us know if you have any questions or if there is anything we can do to help.

Enjoy your weekend,
Troy, John, and Karen

WJMS FFA "Stuff the Bus" Project

West Jackson Middle FFA is sponsoring a can food drive during National FFA Week entitled "Stuff the Bus," and their goal is to literally stuff a school bus with can food items. They would like to challenge Gum Springs Elementary, North Jackson Elementary, and West Jackson Elementary to help them in this effort! WJES plans to participate and all we have to do is collect can food items from now until March 3rd. On that date, April Davis will drive the bus to our school to pick up the items, and WJMS will announce the winner on Friday, March 4th. The winning school will receive $500 towards an Agricultural Education project of our choosing! Examples can include building/repairing raised bed gardens, purchasing tools/soil/seeds for projects, creating an outdoor classroom, a greenhouse....just about anything to expose our students to agriculture!

Click here to view the WJMS FFA flyer. Thank you for adding this to your school website and news letter to share the word!!!

K-5 Mock Writing Assessment window

Below you will find guidance on the K - 5 Mock Writing Assessment window from Dr. Amity Hardegree. If you have any questions or if there is anything we can do to help, please let us know.

Directions to get to the LiveBinder:

Go to
Click on Academics
Click on Curriculum Resources
Click on a grade level
Click on the subject you want

Just a friendly reminder that the mock writing window for K-5 opens today and runs through March 4. All guidance for mock writings is housed in the livebinders accessible from the district website. Actual assessments are housed in the 2015-16 Curriculum Resources folder in L drive.

In light of our recent administration of 3-5 Assesslets through GCA, and our upcoming PL on Feb. 12, I would suggest we hold off with administering the mock writing/milestones for grades 3-5 until the end of the assessment window (Feb. 15-March 4), in case we need to make adjustments based on the data and PL on 2/12. Also, I hate to overwhelm teachers with multiple assessments to grade at one time so this would space the assessments out a little. Please let me know if you have any concerns or questions and share this info with your grade level teams.

Depth of Knowledge

Lynne Romo found a DOK resource. Click here to view a DOK level chart with verbs/examples for each level and each of the content areas.

JCSS PL Institute

This is a friendly reminder to sign up for courses you are interested in for the JCSS PL Institute on February 16th.

Below you will find a reminder from Deborah Riddleberger:
Please remind your staff to register online for sessions by Monday, February 8th. Presenters will need to know how many people are in their session so that they can prepare appropriately. Also, rooms will only seat a specific number of people. If a session is FULL, that is because that is all the room we have seating for or the presenter has requested a limit of participants. Please ask your staff to choose another session and not plan on attending a FULL session anyway.

Professional Learning

Below you will find professional learning opportunities. Please let us know if you are interested.

  • GAEL Spring Legal Issues Conference - March 7-8, 2016, Savannah Riverfront Marriott. Register at

  • Georgia Teacher Conservation Workshop: “Exploring Forestry and Wildlife in Georgia” - a weeklong workshop that uses the forest as a window to environmental education. Activities are led by foresters, biologists, educators, and industry professionals.

    • Dates: June 20-24, 2016

    • Location: Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center, Mansfield, GA

    • Cost: $50 (includes all teaching materials, food, lodging and transportation during the workshop. Register early -- class is limited to 30 participants.

    • Registration:

  • Free Professional Development Webinar-- Administrators: Using your DreamBox Insights Dashboard to Increase Student Achievement

When: Tuesday, February 16, 2:00–3:00 p.m. (Eastern). In this webinar, Thera Pearce, Director of Professional Development at DreamBox Learning, will share best practices for engaging teachers, students, and families to get the most from your investment. Learn how to use your dashboard to: Understand the health of your implementation and interpret student proficiency and growth data

Register here (If you’re not able to attend live, please still register and a recording of the webinar will be emailed to you afterwards.)

Interested in another degree???

Piedmont College cohort program -- Masters (M.A.) or Education Specialist (Ed.S)--bringing graduate programs to schools using an onsite Cohort model.

Complete your M.A.or Ed.S. on your campus in four semesters. All courses will be held in your school district after working hours. All instructors hold terminal degrees (Ed.D., Ph.D.) and are either full time faculty from Piedmont, or real,

live practitioners from schools and school districts! Piedmont wants the work to be highly context-specific and applicable. Classes will begin in the summer semester, 2016. Please click on the link to our “Fast Facts” for more information.

Piedmont College Informational Meeting for Jackson County Schools

Date: Tuesday, February 23rd

Time: 4:30 pm for the MA and EDS

Location: Jackson County Board of Education, 1660 Winder Hwy, Jefferson, GA

Additional information: Click the link below for the Informational Flyer

They are also offering an MA in Instructional Technology: Design, Integration, and Administration for educators with a clear, renewable teacher certification.

Please contact Dr. Randy Hollandsworth for more details Informational Flyer:

Here is a link that explains our schedule of class meetings.

The MA in Instructional Technology has a slightly different schedule. Dr Hollandsworth can answer all your questions!

The session will last about one (1) hour. There is no registration, just feel free to come!



MA in IT

Dr. Kathy Breithaupt, Senior Fellow in Education and Regional Program Coordinator, will be present to answer your questions and help you explore this option

for your advanced degree. If you have questions about the program please contact Dr. Breithaupt

If you have any questions regarding admissions please contact the Office of Graduate Admissions

Problem Based Learning Project

Jackson County has temporary full access to the PBL Project website. The site includes the huge number of integrated Problem-Based scenarios (incorporating all core subjects), hundreds of Critical Thinking exercises, and the Problem-Based "Weekly Warm-ups" based on current events. Simply go to and enter the following in the top right-hand corner:

Login Name: Jackson

Password: enjoy

To get everyone started, here is a "3-Minute Tutorial" they can watch that will make them an instant expert on navigating the site: