The Monday Message

Office of the Principal; Monday, September 15, 2014

Darude

Sandstorm (Radio Edit) by Darude
Enjoy a little inspiration while you are reading. Celebrating the Gamecocks victory.

Quote for the Week!

"They may forget what you said but they will never forget how you made them feel."

~Carol Buchner

The Week Ahead

Black Week - Classes Meet 1-2-3-4-5-6 / Crew Thursday / Fall MAP Testing Period (Aug. 25 - Sept. 19), Library Card Sign-up Month, and National Hispanic Heritage Month


Monday (15th) - International Greenpeace Day, International Day of Democracy, Admin Meeting (10:00am, Cafe'), Learning Walk (1:30-3:15), Team Leader Mtg w/ Crew Curriculum Writing Team (3:45pm, Front Conference Room)

Tuesday (16th) -G40 Student Council Mtg (7:45am, Rm. 812), Expeditionary Learning PD (During Planning Periods; see schedule here), Department Mtgs (3:50pm, DH Classrooms), SIC Mtg (5:30pm, FCR), C-Team Volleyball Match @Meadow Glenn (5:30pm), Parent Chromebook Orientation (6:30pm, Cafe'), PTSO Mtg (7pm, FCR)

Wednesday (17th) -Expeditionary Learning PD (During Planning Periods; See Schedule Here), District Chromebook Rollout Mtg (10:30am, DO), Principal's Mtg (1:00; DO), C-Team Football Game (5:30pm, @ White Knoll Middle)

Thursday (18th) -Crew Schedule, Grounds Maintenance Day (move vehicles off the curb), C-Team Volleyball Match vs White Knoll Middle (5:30pm, Gymnasium)

Friday (19th) -No Events Scheduled

Saturday (20th) - Saturday Detention Scheduled

September Staff Birthdays

Robert Jackson, September 1st

Cellustine Benson, September 5th

Ryan Crothers, September 8th

Anne Weaver-Clark, September 8th

Joseph Chitty, September 9th

Joshua Olson, September 15th

Brittany Frohnhoeffer, September 20th

Keela Griffin, September 20th

Peter Bobb, September 26th

Arnold Wodtke, September 27th

Margaret Lewis, September 30th


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

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We have several shout outs this week:


1. Mrs. Latoya Young - Mrs. Young has been working tirelessly in preparing for our Chromebook Deployment. She has identified all students who need to turn in forms, money, or both, scheduled parent meetings, conducted PD for teachers, and updated the admin team on where we are in the process. She also fills in for administrators when needed. Join me in giving Mrs. Young a Shout Out!!!!


2. Mr. Trey Simmons has been selected to to serve as a clinician for the Eastern District Honor Band Clinic in January. This is a great honor for Mr. Simmons as he will have an opportunity to represent Irmo Middle and School District 5 as a clinician and conductor. Let's give Mr. Simmons a Shout Out!


3. Mrs. Amiee Slagle received a glowing email from a parent of one of her students. The parent stated that when asking her child about her day at IMS, the student always lauds about Mrs. Slagle's class. In her ELA classes, students are challenged to think and become scholars and Mrs. Slagle brings passion and exuberance to daily classroom activities. Let's give Mrs. Slagle a "synergy clap" Shout Out!


Please join me in giving each of these individuals a big shout out!

Duty Roster for the Week

Duty Roster

Monday - I Group on Duty (Thur PM)

Tuesday - R Group on Duty (Sava PM)

Wednesday - M Group on Duty (Hutto PM)

Thursday - O Group on duty (All Admin PM)

Friday - M Group is on duty (Jackson PM)


Note - At the request of several teachers, everyone will get a remind message on Thursday evening of each week, calling attention to the Friday duty assignments.

Tasks to Complete This Week!

1. Teach like a champion every period, every day!

2. Somehow, incorporate the International Day of Democracy and/or the International Greenpeace Day into your lesson plans.

3. Everyone report to duty as scheduled. See roster here

4. Attend at least one fifty minute "Expeditionary Learning" PD (Tuesday or Wednesday - see schedule here).

5. Attend Department Chair Meetings (Tuesday, 3:50pm, DH Classrooms)

6. Review in its entirety Thursday's Crew lesson to prepare

7. Try to attend our first Girls Volleyball Match vs. Meadow Glenn MS; Thursday at 5:30pm (Gymnasium)

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Attendance (Student)

Continue to take your attendance "daily" during every class period. Any abnormalities, please notify Ms. Crumlin. If you have students who are accumulating excessive absences, please notify your administrator so we can begin to take the necessary actions. I am still noticing that we are seeing quite a few instances where a few teachers are not taking attendance during class periods. Remember, everyone is expected to record attendance every class period so we know where students are located. We don't want an issue where we can't find a student because someone didn't take attendance.


Attendance (Staff)

Great job with teacher and staff attendance last week. Because of your commitment to be here everyday this past week, you have earned a Jeans Friday (9/19/14 for a 97% attendance rate last week). Your goal for next week is 97% total staff attendance. Let's have another amazing week. 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. When 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 as well.


Class Changes

Great Job getting out in the hallways during class changes, and moving students on to class. Remember, we control the campus common areas. Students should not be loitering, hanging out, or using this time to socialize. Let's usher students to class. They only have five minutes to get to class. Remind them again and again, we no longer have a warning bell.


Delaying Students

I am seeing a weekly occurence of staff members sending emails excusing students for tardiness because their class ran over. I am asking that this practice immediately discontinue as it infringes on planned instructional activities. All teachers are asked to plan accordingly and monitor your time. Some strategies are as follows:


1. Smartboard or Online Timers

2. Assigning your diplomat to keep track of time and sequences

3. Use a timed agenda on your board


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. Enjoy your jeans this coming Friday (9/15/14).


Emergency Preparedness

Have you reviewed your emergency drills? Are you ready? What about your students? This will be a great week to be ready. During evacuation drills, everyone must be out of the building and in their assigned areas in ninety seconds. Remember your vests, paddle, rosters, and color coded signals. Let's hustle to safety in an orderly fashion.


Again, a reminder... I expect all classroom 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.


Health Room

We are already seeing a number of school related injuries in the health room this year. Here is some data:

  • Recess injuries = 11 ( 7 football injuries, 3 basketball injuries, 1 frisbee injury)
  • PE injuries = 5
  • Classroom injuries = 5
  • Hallway injuries = 2
  • Steps = 1
  • Cafeteria = 1
I am hopeful that many of these injuries can be avoided with more intense supervision during recess. Middle school boys can get extremely competitive/ aggressive during unsupervised athletic play.
  • Remember: ONLY FLAG football is allowed. Touch and tackle football not permitted.
  • Also, students need to be wearing proper athletic shoes to play sports during recess or PE. Slides, water shoes, flip flops, etc, are not permitted. NO athletic shoes = NO participation.
  • If a student has a cast/sling/brace on arms or legs, he or she should not be participating in recess activities or PE. A medical release MUST be on file.
  • Minor abrasions occurring during recess, PE or the classroom can be cared for using the teachers first aid bag in the classroom. If you do not have a first aid bag, please let Nurse Jackson know.
  • This year, the district has purchased accident/injury insurance for ALL of our students. If you are aware of an accident or injury occurring at school, please let Nurse Jackson know.
  • As a reminder, the nurse CANNOT TREAT OLD INJURIES!!!!! Please do not send these students to the nurse unless it is something EXTREME!


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

Continue to inspect what we expect as it relates to the student dress code. Report any and all violations to the administrators. Keep in mind that every second students miss class creates an opportunity for us not to meet our goals. Exercise good judgement in sending students out of class for these violations. When needed, call an administrator to your class to handle. Believe it or not, it is a student strategy to wear inappropriate garments...they know we will pull them out of class.


Teaching and Learning

I thoroughly enjoyed visiting a number of classrooms last week. During my observations, I observed a lot of great things going in in classrooms. Included below are some graphs that outline what was seen and areas where we can grow.

Also, interim reports will be printed on 9/24 and sent home on 9/25. Remember every teacher should have a minimum of 4-5 grades recorded in PowerTeacher. These grades should be updated weekly and not entered all at once; at the last minute. Grades should never be a surprise to students or parents. Timely feedback is paramount.


Make sure your gradebooks are updated.

The Magnet Minute & EL Corner

Crew: Here is the link to next week's Crew lesson, which will be taught by team leaders prior to Thursday morning.


What are you doing to integrate our magnet theme? A stroll through the hallways indicates that teachers across campus are integrating global connections into activities, lessons, units, enrichment/homeroom activities, and team procedures and norms. As we start our 4th week of instruction with students, please remember to document any global connections you make by uploading lesson plans, activities, and evidence of student work (pictures, documents, etc.) in this Google Drive folder -Magnet Theme Sample Lessons.


Upcoming EL PD: Please mark your calendars for September 16 and 17. Sarah Boddy will return to campus to conduct 50-minute workshops focused on Choosing Compelling Topics for our high quality projects (remember the EL work plan goal states one standards aligned project per classroom, in whatever way makes the most sense for you and your students). As previously discussed, the process of designing and implementing high-quality projects in each classroom will be purposefully scaffolded and supported (nobody gets pushed off the ledge!). If you are collaboratively planning a project with other teachers (grade level, team, etc.), consider attending the same workshop (if possible) so that you can have authentic, relevant conversations specifically about your project design. Each teacher must attend one 50-minute workshop during a planning period on either 9/16 or 9/17. See schedule here.

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Counselor Assignments

Inabinet A-Z

Fanning H-N

Stevens O-Z


Team Meeting Assignments

Fanning UN@IMS, Globetrotters & Island Navigators

Stevens Pangea, Continental Drifters & Timu Afrika

Inabinet iGrow, Antarctica, Exploratory & Spec Ed


Please submit the Counselor Referral Form to refer a student to see a counselor.


During enrichment students will receive a Guidance and or Career Lesson on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of each month. The lesson will be sent out by the Friday, before. In your subplans, please have this information available and refer sub to the Guidance Department for assistance if needed.


Last week we officially began the iAM New Student Ambassadors Program. Thank you all for your support. As we continue to grow the program we will work out the process and make adjustments and corrections as we learn.


Focus on Career & College Readiness

8th grade HR teachers were given letters and permission forms last week for all HR students, about the field trip to Tour the D5 Career for Advanced Technical Studies. Students are asked to return the signed permission forms by Oct. 3rd.


This experience is free for all students. Last year we have several students that did not get to experience this wonderful opportunity, so we are asking all teachers to make sure students have received the information, and please remind them daily to turn in the permission form.


If you need another copy of the forms, click on the link.


Monday, October 20: Island Navigators

Tuesday, October 21: Team Continental Drifters

Thursday, October 23: Team Antarctica

Friday, October 24: Team Africa


We will need one person from each team to serve as the team Medication Manager. This person will receive training from Nurse Jackson and accompany students on this and future team trips.

Team Crew Leaders, please notify Mrs. Redick of your team’s person by Friday, September 12.
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Special Education Survey

As a reminder, in the next few days, please complete the first special education survey that I just recently emailed out. This survey will allow me to see which special education topic (if any) is the most pressing to you. Topics can include behavior strategies, the IEP process, manifestation determinations, classroom modifications, etc. In the survey, if there is a topic that you would like additional support on that is not listed, please add-in under the "other" or "comments section". Once I collect the information, I will then begin planning my first in-service training based on the common theme. If your requested topic is not covered at this first in-service, I will work to present it at a future in-service. I will plan to do this at least monthly, and ideally (when able to) bi-monthly. I will set the event up on the School Events Calendar.


IEP meetings

Thank you so much for your continued participation in each and every IEP meeting. The input, feedback, and ideas you provide are essential to helping to develop each student’s individualized plan. I appreciate how student-centered you are! Also, please continue to check the calendar for your meeting invitations with dates and times. If there are scheduling conflicts or you are not able to attend, please let Mrs. McNeil know.

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  • Please make sure you have responded to the IMS Wireless Issues form that was sent out by Mrs. Young by the end of the day Monday. That form will be used by the technicians Tuesday to address any issues and if you have not responded and are having wireless issues, you will be placed at the bottom of the list.
  • All in Learning videos will be shown during department meetings Tuesday, September 16th. Department heads, these have been shared with all faculty in our district in the All in Learning 2014 folder. Please review them and let me know if you have any questions. A sign-in sheet will be placed in your box Monday afternoon.
  • Homeroom teachers, the enrichment lesson for the third Tuesday of every month will have a technology focus. Please review the Sept. 16 Technology Enrichment lesson - the student Chromebook Orientation. This is a district created presentation that all students are required to watch whether they are receiving a device or not. A class sign-in sheet will be placed in your box Monday afternoon.

Closing Thoughts

This week's Friday Forecast contains a calendar to guide our week ahead, PD videos, and events on the horizon. I am sure you have heard the common phrase, "the honeymoon is over." At this time of the year, our students have adjusted to our new routines, learned our behavioral expectations, and have begun to craft ways to test our boundaries. This is evidenced by the 71 office referrals (4 per day) and 115 classroom incidents (6 per day). As I reflect on the behavior of some of our learners, I am reminded of a poster entitled "Never Judge A Child." When interacting with our students and dealing with some of their behaviors, ask yourself:


1. Does he have food in his home?

2. Does she know that someone cares about her?

3. Does he feel he has to hide who he is to fit in?

4. Does he feel affirmed in your classroom?

5. Do you see her differences as a deficiency?

6. Have you asked him what he is good at?

7. Do you know what motivates him?

8. Is that defiance you think you're perceiving or a cultural difference that you haven't taken the time to understand.

9. Is she more worried about homework or being homeless?

10. Has anyone smiled at her today?

11. When his mom doesn't show up for a meeting, is it because she has to work to put food on the table?

12. Does she need someone to listen to her rather than tell her what to do?

13. Are you living the words in our school mission statement or is it just something hanging on the wall?


Too often, we take for granted that everything is normal in the lives of our students. Get to know our students on a deeper level and not just the behaviors they show.


We Are Crew, Not Passengers; Together We are Smarter!


Robert S. Jackson, Ed.S., Principal

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Teach Like a Champion: Getting everyone's attention in class
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