IMLEA Monday Minute

May 29, 2018: The Penultimate Edition

How Will the Events at Noblesville West Affect Your Students? Your Staff?

We would be remiss if we did not mention something uppermost on many minds... the shooting at Noblesville West Middle School on May 25. You've probably wondered what would happen if this occurred in your own school. So many have a connection to Noblesville.. a friend, former co-worker, relative, just the proximity, the fact it was a middle school...

So many other questions remain: why did it happen? What happened next? What are the best steps to prevent it from happening again? How was Noblesville able to bring so many agencies together so fast to deal with the events? From the staff who had to calm students and parents (while wondering themselves what was really happening), to all of the first responders. From the Red Cross (who also showed up at the other schools who were on lockdown for up to six hours, delivering lunches, and more), to the cooks, who changed course and made sure students were fed; to the bus drivers (some who had to abandon their cars by the side of the road when their route to the transportation center was blocked, so they ran through corn fields to get to their buses to help evacuate students.)

What is the balance between being prepared and seeming alarmist? What do you do to make students feel safe at school? We know some of these questions will never be answered in their entirety, but we can learn from the many admirable things Noblesville did during one of the worst school situations imaginable. We also know that as middle level educators, you are there for the students, and will be spending some of your summer contemplating the next steps.

Northridge Middle School Celebrates STW Redesignation

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Northridge Middle School in Middlebury celebrated their Schools to Watch redesignation on May 23. Although this photo is from a few years ago, it's one of my favorite all-school photos! Northridge has over 1100 students organized into interdisciplinary teams, with a great variety of course offerings, service projects, and community involvement. They have an annual "Ability Day" for the entire student body to raise awareness and understanding of those who are differently-abled. Their principal, Rachel Vallance, will be presenting on this topic at our September conference.


Conference information can be found on our special site, or linked on the IMLEA website. You may also register now or reserve hotel rooms at our special conference rate. The keynote with Ben Glenn will be on Sunday, September 16, with six different sessions on Monday the 17th.

You can register a team now, list the same name five times, and later notifiy us exactly who is coming. Did you know it's even possible to have Monday, September 17 declared an eLearning Day and send your entire staff? Bobby Thompson of Triton Central Middle School was able to do this two years ago. Contact us if you'd like more information about this.

Not Everyone's Buses are Parked for the Summer...Yet

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While some districts finished last week, there are some schools still in session. Here is another article with some great ideas for end-of-the-year activities, the "Epic Poem Haiku." Heather Wolpert-Gowran is an outstanding teacher in southern California; chances are, you may have seen her posts on Edutopia or other site. She has written books on PBL, student engagement, and more. (And, if you're already out for the summer, you might want to file this away for next year!) Thanks to Heather for allowing me to share this.

Myah Donovan of Hebron MS Receives Shining Star Award

Congratulations to Myah, who received the Shining Star Award, sponsored by Horace Mann, one of IMLEA's corporate partners. Not only is she near the top of her class, but one of her teachers said, "Myah is always willing to take on any project and does whatever is necessary to make different activities, events, and people a success. She takes on the behind the scenes jobs that are often less “glamorous” and allows others to shine! Her kind heart and hard work have made her a true asset to HMS."

Did you know that IMLEA members can nominate outstanding students or teachers for this award? You can find out more information on the "Recognition" tab on our website. Your local Horace Mann representative will even come to your school to assist with the presentation!

Power of Data: GIS Teacher Workshops

Ball State Professor Dr. Josephine M. Shireen Desouza has received an NSF Grant to offer a paid professional development workshop in integrating Geographical Information Systems (GIS) in the middle and high school science and social studies curricula.

July 9-13: Belzer Middle School, E. 56th Street, Indianapolis

July 16-20: Ball State

Learn more about the workshops, and register with this link.

Dates of Note

May 31: Summer of eLearning Conferences begin

June 4: Final Monday Minute of the 2017-18 School Year Will Be Posted (PD Focus)

June 30: Deadline for Early Registration Discount for IMLEA 2018 Conference

August 24: IMLEA Board Meeting

That's All for Now!

Please forward this to staff or anyone else who might benefit from the content. As always, we welcome your contributions and suggestions! Past editions of the "Monday Minute" and our spring newsletter are available under the 'Publications' tab on our website.