The Friday Forecast

Office of the Principal; Friday January 10, 2014

Quote for the Week!

“The true measure of a man is not how he behaves in moments of comfort and convenience but how he stands at times of controversy and challenges. "

- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr

The Week Ahead

Gold Week Schedule 6-2-3-4-5-1

Monday (13th) - International Skeptics Day, Winter MAP Testing, Guidance IGP's, Active Shooter Training (3:50pm ~ Cafeteria), Board Meeting (Leaphart Elementary, 7pm)

Tuesday (14th) - Winter MAP Testing, Guidance IGP's, G40 (Student Government Meeting (7:45am - SDR), Admin Team Meeting (10:30am), 2nd Tuesday; District Leadership Meetings, Middle School Technology Task Force Meeting (3:30pm)

Wednesday (15th) - National Hat Day (Everyone can wear hats throughout the day (students and staff), Winter MAP Testing, Guidance IGP's, Principal's Meeting @DO, Art Celebration (Mathias Sandwich Shop, (4:30-5:30)

Thursday (16th) - Winter MAP Testing, CPI Training (SDR, 8am-4pm), Magnet Implementation Team Meeting (3:50-4:50, FCR) C-Team Basketball (home) vs. Meadow Glenn Middle

Friday (17th) - End of 2nd Quarter, Winter MAP Testing, Guidance IGP's, African Dancers during Lunches (w/ Dr. Hopkins from Benedict College)

Saturday (18th) - C-Team Basketball (Home, 11:00am) vs. White Knoll

Tasks to Complete This Week!

1. Administer Semester Exams or make-ups (if needed and scheduled)

2. Attend and participate in Active Shooter Training (Monday PM) and District Leadership (Tuesday PM; if you are a participant)
3. Complete Technology Input Survey via Google Drive link by Tuesday PM.
4. Facilitate MAP Testing (if scheduled); Review your data w/students, and plan interventions for the bubble kids.
5. Wear your favorite HAT on Wednesday as we celebrate National Hat Day!
6. Plan your 4th period's class participation in the African Dancing Workshop (w/ Dr. Hopkins) during Enrichment Friday!

Upcoming Major Events

Semester Exams

Tuesday, Jan. 14th, 8am to Friday, Jan. 17th, 10am

6051 Wescott Road

Columbia, SC

Semester Classes

Jan. 14th . . . . . . . . . . . .World Languages, Fine Arts

Jan. 15th . . . . . . . . . . . . World Languages, Fine Arts

Jan. 16th . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Other Exploratories

Jan. 17th . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Other Exploratories

Jan. 18th . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Make-up Day

Data Team Fishbowl Exercises (January 29th & February 7th)

Wednesday, Jan. 29th, 10:30am-12:30pm

Irmo Middle School

We are rapidly approaching our Data Team FishBowl visits from Dave Nagel and Steve Ventura. We will be visited on January 29th and February 7th. All teachers were given handouts during Tuesday's PD Workshop to help us prepare to shine. Mr. Hutto and I visited Data Teams Thursday (1/9/14) to answer any questions and assist with the preparations for these visits. Mr. Hutto will send out the final readiness document Monday with all steps to take for your preparations.

Readiness Materials - Important Information!!!

Upcoming Professional Development; Teacher Forum (February 17th)

Click here for a link to a Memorandum from Dr. Hefner

Are you ready to recharge your batteries?

The February 17th in-service hosted by The D5 Teacher Forum is right around the corner. Registration opens January 13th and will be open through January 27th. More information on Eventbrite registration will follow.

We hope that you are excited about an in-service dedicated just for you. There will be a wide variety of opportunities. Thank you to those of you whoare presenting.


1. Do I have to come?

Of course, who doesn't need to recharge! All District Five Certified Staff are expected to be in attendance. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to focus on yourself!

2. What is this “Teacher to Teacher Conference”?

-An opportunity to focus on you as a whole and improve your morale. This day was tailor made for you…Feeling special yet?

3. Will we meet all day?

NO – we got your back! Half of the day you will be back in your room and have time to work! Thank you Dr. Hefner for approving this protected time in our classrooms!

4. Where do I go?

Grades 6-12

AM Sessions - A & B sessions followed by keynote speaker

Location: DFHS from 8:00-11:00 am

· 8:00-8:45 - Session A

· 9:00-9:45 - Session B

· 10:00-11:00 - Speaker (DFHS Arena)

· 11:30-12:30 - Lunch on your own

· 12:30-3:30 - Time in your classroom

5. Remember that requests for leave on District PD days such as Teacher2Teacher must be approved by me and Dr. Melton.

Teacher 2 Teacher trailor

Janaury Staff Birthdays

Windy Jones, January 2nd

Ashley Evans, January 3rd

Ashley Yandle, January 4th

Scott Thur, January 6th

Tyson Ray, January 8th

Diane Falsetti, January 9th

Carla Dupree, January 19th

Laurie Dobbe, January 20th

Deborah Boehler, January 28th

Frances Counts, January 28th

Drema Watts, January 28th

Bryan Winfree, January 28th

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

Duty Roster for the Week

Duty Roster

Monday - I Group

Tuesday - R Group

Wednesday - M Group

Thursday - O Group

Friday - M Group

The Magnet Minute!

Curricular Infusion: This month's magnet theme for curricular infusion is WORLD LEADERSHIP. As you brainstorm, plan, collaborate, and implement this month's theme into your instruction, take time to consider how this theme can be connected to your standards and infused naturally into your pacing guides and long-term plans. It's vital that magnet themes are integrated in a relevant, meaningful, and connected manner - not in isolation or disconnected from the standards-based instruction in your classrooms. When considering WORLD LEADERSHIP, you may challenge your students to question a myriad of concepts:Who are influential historical or contemporary world leaders? Who are the contemporary world leaders in your specific field (science, math, etc.)? What are the different types of leadership styles? How do these styles impact the daily lives of citizens in various parts of the world (i.e. daily life in Cuba versus the US)?

Curricular relevance may also mean honing in on timely events, such as the upcoming Olympics (world leaders in athletics) or the recent passing of Nelson Mandela (how did his leadership impact South Africa? The greater world?). The real essence of our transformation into The International Academic Magnet is the theme-based curriculum we are building (and simultaneously implementing), and it is imperative that we think outside of the box, collaborate and share resources, and concentrate our efforts on creating classroom experiences that reflect the integration of our theme. As the feds asserted at the Project Director's Meeting in Washington D.C. in December, the grant narrative (which outlines our plan for creating an internationally theme curricula) is no longer a plan or a brainstorm - it's a contract that we must enact. Please see the attached Magnet News, which describes the TOP 5 take-aways from the meeting.

Finally, in regards to curricular infusion, it is time to begin planning for the End-of-Year Magnet CELEBRATION! This school-wide event will take place in the evening during the weeks remaining after PASS testing. Each teacher will be provided with space to display exemplary student work that reflects theme-based instruction. Your "booth" may be collaborative - for example, it may demonstrate student work from an ELA/SS project that was connected to Global Education; or, it may simply reflect your students' work related to an international problem or concept that really resonated with you and your students (i.e. Mrs. Vickie Davis' display may reflect her partnership with the school in Iceland). The theme of the evening is An International Perspective iNSIDE iAM, and the focus of the evening will be the students and their theme-based learning. We have over 5 months to plan and you will receive a wealth of detailed information in order to help you prepare for this inaugural event!

(Update) - Professional Development Opportunities: We have several professional development opportunities underway and on the horizon, as we continue our Exploring year of Expeditionary Learning. This week, welcome back Mrs. Vickie Davis and Mrs. Jen Cook, who traveled to Denver, Colorado for an EL Learning Institute focused on Daily Assessment practices. We have been following their learning shared on twitter and facebook. We are looking forward to debriefing with them.

(Update) - Later this month, iAM will be represented by Mrs. Tina Stevens, Ms. Billie Williams, Mrs. Chiquitta Rouse, and Mrs. Erin Fuseler at an EL Site Seminar in Chicago, IL that is focused on character, culture, and CREW. In the EL spirit of share-backs and scaffolding, these teachers will provide a whole-staff workshop based on their learning and experiences. Additionally, Sarah Boddy, our school designer, will return February 4th and 25th to provide more staff PD based on our key dimension of study this year - Character and Culture. Remember, this year is about planning and exploring! Also, you will be receiving information over the next few weeks regarding our upcoming staff survey. The staff survey is EL's way of gauging a staff's readiness to officially become an Expeditionary Learning school. Because of our extensive conversations regarding EL and the exposure that many teachers have had already (through attending workshops, conferences, and/or school visits), we feel very prepared for the survey. However, to ensure total transparency, the readiness indicators that will be outlined on the survey will be provided in advance for your review, discussion, and dissection.

(Update) - What else is happening on the magnet front? We are hitting the ground running in 2014 with our transformation into The International Academic Magnet! Please note these dates:

-Thursday, Jan. 16: the Magnet Implementation Team will meet after school

-Friday, Jan. 17: Dr. Ronnie Hopkins will lead this month's Lyceum Series event - an African Dance "lunch-and-learn" workshop in the cafeteria during all lunches

-Thursday, Jan. 23: Representatives from the ELA and SS departments will meet with The Book Dispensary to begin selecting texts to enhance our international classroom libraries

-February 25th: Inside iAM Showcase & Course Fair Night

Additional reading: Check out this article, which further substantiates our plight and provides evidence that this hard work really matters.

Guidance Corner


(Individual Graduation Plans) are continuing. 8th graders and parents are meeting with counselors and career specialist to coordinate selections of their career cluster(s) and planning for academic success leading to college and career readiness. We appreciate your patience and support as we move forward with this required expectation. Meetings are scheduled twice a day at 9:00am and 2:00pm. We hope that this schedule limits class interruptions throughout the day and allows for easier planning for both students and teachers.

9th Grade Registration

On Monday, January 27 and Tuesday, January 28 in the math classes using the following schedule:

8th Grade Registration Schedule for Math Classes

In the past, the process has involved teams collaborating to complete the course recommendations. We will provide specific recommendation instructions in the days coming.

As we have previously experienced all the wonderful and exciting changes with full implementation of iAM Internal Magnet, another transformational change is the addition of more dance classes and the new Media Arts course. What this means for IMS is additional course selections for students. We are working to populate new classes for second quarter. Students interested will be allowed to add either dance or media arts into their existing schedule. To make this transition we will be making schedule changes of student 1st and 6th block classes, with little changes to existing classes as possible.

Closing Thoughts

This week's Friday Forecast contains some key reminders and a short review of some vital info from last week's edition. If you need a more indepth review, refer to last week's edition.

As we continue on our January Journey, I would like for us to keep in mind the 7 Cardinal Rules of Life as we continue working diligently with our students, closing in on the end of the semester. Exams for semester classes are this week (1/10-1/17). I want everyone to give the semester classes the same respect as we did the year long ones during exams before the break. We will limit all interruptions via the PA. I am asking that you do the same with those classes that are administering exams. Additionally, all students who missed exams before the break (and parts afterwards), should be undergoing make-up opportunities so they can get caught up with all assignments and assessments by the time we start the second semester. I am also encouraging everyone to take additional steps to inform parents through teacher communication channels (phone calls, social media, websites, newsletters, Remind 101, Edmodo, etc...) the progress of their student(s) and steps that are being taken to ensure that every student reaches their desired level of success.

(Update) - Student Excitement - This past week was an energy filled week. We will be discussing in our admin meeting facilitating grade level meetings for the week following to address behavioral expectations and adherence to the rules and expectations. We need to support everyone as we all seek to eliminate off-task and uncooperative behaviors while expecting all students to focus on their academics. As typical with middle school students, their excitement and difficulty in dealing with problems sometimes boils over into behavioral episodes. As you encounter these episodes, if warranted, report them immediately per our behavior code. You are also encouraged to use them as teachable moments and frame them in the context of standards-driven learning opportunities. We must all have the same high expectations for student behavior (academically and socially). When one of us let's up, it weakens the chain and makes us all vulnerable. Let's unite in communicating those expectations and hold all students to a very high standard. I am encouraging all staff members to be individually resourceful and collaboratively seek strategies and tools for dealing with recurring behaviors.

(Update) Teacher Adjustments - As I shared with you during Tuesday's PD Workshop, it is in student's DNA to display excitement for middle school and challenge our routines. We must match their excitement with clear norms in our supervisory roles and intervention efforts. Remember, tools and strategies for curtailing this excitement can be found in setting clear expectations, repeatedly rehearsing routines, consistently providing engaging instructional experiences, utilizing all of our collective resources, and regularly contacting parents (positively and seeking assistance). Be cautiously watchful in your supervision roles and report disruptions and things out of the ordinary immediately.

It is my hope that the calendar entries, exam schedules, and reminders will allow you to plan accordingly and carry out your responsibilities in an exemplary fashion.

In closing, we do have several staff members that are dealing with illnesses, death in the family, and other matters. Let's keep all of our staff members in our thoughts and prayers.

Let's stand by each other and remain #IrmoSTRONG!

Robert S. Jackson, Ed.S., Principal

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