Intermediate Staff Update

For the Week of February 12, 2018

Dear Staff,

With Valentine's Day right around the corner and the sad news from the Westerville community with the passing of two police officers over the weekend, it's hard not to think of our loved ones this week. We are reminded of the quote, "Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind. Always". This week we learned of some very difficult battles some of our students fight on a daily basis. They fight for their health, they fight to be accepted, they fight for a safe home, they fight to be the student their family wants them to be. These are real pressures for our students...and for ourselves in some ways. This Valentine's Day, we hope you'll pause and make sure your loved ones know how much you truly care about them. On that note, we also hope that you know how much we care for all of you. We know that you can face challenges as well; please know we are always here to support you. Simply said, We are stronger together. Thank you for being a wonderful NAIS team and family that lift one another.

On a lighter note, we are very excited for our Opera performances this week and want to thank you in advance for your flexibility. As a reminder S and I wing will be viewing the performance beginning at 9:20 in the McCoy. Wings R and E will begin their performance at 10:30. Be sure that you have communicated with your students and families regarding what if anything you will be doing for Valentine's Day. Also a highlight this week will be our Mardi Gras Party on Tuesday, February 13th. Click here to support this fun event by bringing a dish to share. Be sure to join us for a fun-filled lunch with your colleagues!

As always, thank you for all you do. Take care of yourself, take care of our students, and take care of each other! Let's make it a great week!

Katie and Kate

Supporting Our Students

Many of our students face a sometimes hidden, sometimes extremely visible challenge called anxiety. We can probably all relate to someone who has experienced anxiety whether it was at your job interview, deciding whether to buy a new car or house or even the birth of a child. The difference between us and our students is that our adult brain, in most cases has tools and strategies to come through this successfully. Below you will find a few links about how to support our students who experience anxiety. If you have questions about how to support your students around this topic, please talk with Kelley Schubert, Brittany Morgan, or Lindsay Anders.

7 Ways to Help Students Who Struggle with Anxiety- This article shares tips that are pretty easy to implement. It's a quick read and a great way to check how you are helping anxious students.

"Anxiety tends to lock up the brain, making school hard for anxious kids." This article by the ChildMind Institute discusses different types of anxiety our students may face and how we can identify certain coping behaviors as a sign of anxiety.

Most articles and resources talk about how important movement is during the school day as a strategy for dealing with anxiety. If you have not checked out Go Noodle, or Break Breaks for Middle School or a similar resource, be sure to check out how you might use these during transition times to support our students.

Ironically, Kelley Schubert sent out a great newsletter on anxiety today as well. Make sure to check out by clicking here or reading it in your email.

News to Share

1. As a reminder, the Battle of the Blizzards for 6th grade is rescheduled for Monday February 12 from 4:30-7:30pm. We'd love to see you there!

2. Attention 5th grade teachers: There will be an instrumental music performance and recruiting assembly on Tuesday, February 13th from 2:20pm-3pm at the McCoy for 5th grade students as they will begin to select their elective choices for next year.

3. Attention 6th grade teachers, we will be sending out information to families about a Hanover Substance Abuse Survey conducted in grades 6-12. This survey was given last school year as well. Parents will have the option to opt out by emailing Katie by Friday February 16th. The Substance Abuse Survey will need to be given the week of February 21-23. You can decide in your team if you would like to give this in homeroom, eagle period, or during a particular content block. The survey takes 10-20 minutes. Look for an email this week from me with the link and additional information.

4. As a reminder, our February 20th In-Service day is approaching. Look for an updated agenda to come out towards the end of the week. The morning will be spent exploring the roll out of R-Factor with our students and determining a building plan. The afternoon will allow some time for collaboration with your grade level and content team. Team Leaders are in the process of submitting agenda items for this time. If you have ideas or input, please contact your team leader.

5. February is Black History Month and we will have the opportunity to attend the Black History Month Assembly on Friday, February 23rd. This is the schedule for the performance campus wide at the McCoy:

8:10 - 8:55 a.m. -- Middle School -- 7th and 8th Grades

9:10 - 9:55 a.m. -- Intermediate -- 5th and 6th Grades

10:05 - 10:50 a.m. -- Primary and Intermediate -- 3rd and 4th Grades

12:25 - 1:15 p.m. -- HS -- 9th and 10th Grades

1:25 - 2:15 p.m. -- HS -- 11th and 12th Grade

6. We are very fortunate in New Albany to have mental health supports in our building. One facet of our support is our small groups run by Concord Prevention Specialist, Brittany Morgan or our School Counselor Kelley Schubert. Their work directly supports our district goal for student well-being. Students are recommended for these groups from parents, counselors, teachers or administrators. While our goal is to meet with students during their Eagle Period, students join these groups from each wing of the building and it is almost impossible to align all of these groups with Eagle. These groups run for 6 weeks and meet for a half hour each session. We appreciate your support helping students who may miss class to be provided with this very important support. As we all know, a student who is struggling social-emotionally will not be ready to demonstrate their true ability unless the whole child is addressed. If you have questions or concerns, please see Katie or Kate.

7. PTO teacher grant proposals will be placed in each collaboration space this week. If there is something you would like PTO's support with, fill out a form and place it in the PTO mailbox in the main office. A digital link to this form will be added to our internal staff site in the near future.

8. While April seems far away, it will be here before we know it. Here is the draft testing schedule for the month of April. Someone is testing almost every day for the entire month of April. We are working on a solution for our rooms that are closest to the cafeteria and will be testing during lunch periods.

NAIS Fun Finds

Week at a Glance

Announcements: Walsh and E Wing 6th Grade- See Pledge Schedule

Monday, Feb. 12th- Culture Committee Meeting 8:30 (Jalana's Room); Battle of The Blizzards 4:30-7:30pm

Tuesday, Feb. 13th- Staff Meeting; Opera Assemblies in morning, 5th Grade Instrumental Music Assembly 2:20pm-3pm; Staff Mardi Gras Lunch

Wednesday, Feb. 14th- 5th and 6th Grade ELA Meetings; 4th Grade Team Meeting; Pre Alg. A Meeting 8:30

Thursday, Feb. 15th- Science, Math 6, Math 5, Social Studies 6 Meetings 8:30

Friday, Feb. 16th-R Factor Core Team Meeting