Howl at The Trail

Weekly Update February 8, 2016

Weekly Reminders


Well the Panthers did not bring home the victory, but it was still a great season. I apprecaite that many of you started to cheer for the Panthers even if it was just to get a jeans day. Because of your ssupport this season, we can have one final Panthers Jeans day on Monday.

Mike and Marc will both be out today


Guidance Counselors out today (at SMS for IGPs)
7:15 AM - SIC Meeting room B-104

8:30-1:00 - Mathcounts Competition



Guidance Counselors out today (at SMS for IGPs)
3:40-4:30 Faculty Meeting (Teacher of the Year Celebration) in Media Center
4:00 - Academic Team Meeting vs. Castle Heights (away)


5:00 - Possible 2nd round of 8th Grade Basketball (everything is TBD)


Krispy Kreme Donut Sales

Weather Make-up Day

Saturday. February 13th

Dancing with the Stars - Life Pointe Center

Monday, February 15

School Holiday
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Birthdays This Week!

February 14, Kim Rinks

Nuts and Bolts

Spring Professional Learning Opportunities in Technology

Reminder: To obtain/maintain the state requirement for Teacher Technology Proficiency, all teachers In Fort Mill School District are required to participate in three hours of tech-based professional development each year. In Fort Mill School District, Teacher Technology Proficiency is renewed every five (5) years and coincides with the renewal of the Professional teaching certificate. National Board Certified Teachers are required to demonstrate Teacher Technology Proficiency at the midpoint of the ten year certificate window. Please click here to access additional information about Teacher Technology Proficiency.

Click the link below to access information about professional learning opportunities available this spring:

Spring Professional Learning Opportunities

In an effort to differentiate to better meet your needs, we have designated sessions with turtle and rabbit icons. If you are unsure whether a session would be suitable for your needs, we have created a short Google Form for you to complete to help identify if a turtle or a rabbit session would be best for you.

Click Which Professional Learning Course Is Right For You? Turtle vs. Rabbit to access the Google Form.

Remember that the Professional Learning Opportunities for Spring 2017 are open to all faculty and staff in the Fort Mill School District and you must register through eSchool Solutions in order to participate. A link to eSchool Solutions is on the FMSD webpage. Click on the Employees icon and then look under “Technology” in the chart to find the eSchool Solutions link. If you do not have an eSchool Solutions account or are unsure of your login information, please let Kiersten Cook know.

In closing, on the Professional Learning Opportunities for Spring 2017 you will notice that we have added two graphics. The pie graphic serves as a reminder of the many options that are available for earning the three hours of tech-based professional development each year. The second graphic is an overview of the updates to the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Student Standards. We have noted next to each session the possible connection that could be made in the classroom if the teacher applied what was learned in the professional learning session with students in the classroom.

2016-17 School Calendar

The district calendar committee has put together a recommended calendar and it was presented to the school board on Tuesday night. The board has asked the committee to look at two additional options (one is waiting on a change in legislation). As soon as a calendar is adopted, it will be passed along.

New Observation Tool

The AdvancED team will be using a observation tool known as Eleot when they come to the district next month. This instrument can be found at:

For most of my career teacher observations have been centered around what the teacher does in the classroom. About 1-2 years ago, there was a shift in the philosophy and observation instruments have started moving to a more student engaged model. Currently the walk through form we use here at BTMS utilizes both the teacher engagement model as well as the student engagement model. As we begin to move forward we will be looking more at how our students are engaged in the instruction in your class. Take a look at the link so you can see what AdvancED will be looking for as they visit classrooms.

Budget Time

Don't forget to get budget wish list items to your grade level/department leaders. This needs to include everything. If you feel like we need additional staff, include it, do we need to continue with a program like USA Test Prep, include it. This will become our working document as we move forward.
Do you like to try the newest technology? Have you ever wished you could

create and collaborate on a digital canvas, anywhere, anytime between both students and teachers. Then the Smatboard Smart amp may be worth some of your time. Here is link to a video that shows what this program can do:

The first person who lets me know they are interested will have a special session t learn more about this technology that increases student engagement.

Maintenance Items

Many of you know our Mike Spelts our maintenance staff member because he does a great job with helping out around the school. We (all schools) have been asked to make sure if you ask him to complete a task that you let Sommer, Marc, or I know. We need to enter the request into the tracking system.

Political Update Involving SC Educators

My two cents

Over the years I have watched as educators have sat back and really not become involved in the political process of our state. We then wonder why certain laws, regulations, policies, etc. are passed and then left up to us to implement. I will never give you my political opinion, that is just not right, but I will at least provide you with the facts as they are presented to me. Below are a list of the state senators and representatives for our area .

State Senator - Greg Gregory

State Representative - Raye Felder (Ft Mill 29708)

As soon as I have the most up to date contact information I will provide it to you.

Amend Bill 59-63-280 (Wireless communication)

Here is the basics of the bill:

The amendment will adopt a policy that prohibits student use of wireless electronic communication. This includes, pagers, telephones, anything that allows wireless communication with another person or device (i.e Chrome books, laptops, etc.)

House Bill 4482 - State Dress Code

This bill will mandate a uniform dress code for all students in SC.

State Budget

You may have heard that state employees will receive a 5% raise if Governor Haley's budget is passed. Please understand when it comes to salaries, teachers are not considered state employees. Governors Haley's budget does not call for any raise for educators.

Governor Haley's Budget has asked for an increase of $100 to the base student cost. Some funds will be reshuffled and when that occurs, the net increase is actually $53.

Currently SC has a $1.2 Billion dollar surplus (of which about $750 Million will be re-occurring). In order to raise the base student cost by $100 it only takes about $80 million. To fully fund the base student cost would cost the state about $500 million. If you do the math, that leaves about $700 million in revenue that could be used for all other state projects.

This Week's Quote

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Timberwolves demonstrate:

  • Teamwork
  • Responsibility
  • Ambition
  • Integrity
  • Leadership