All Things Bally

Published: December 1, 2019

Principals Message

It's December? How on Earth did that happen? These years are starting to fly by way too quickly which means we (James and Erika) must be getting older. Ha! Our blessing is that we get to spend every day with your kids. Best. Job. Ever.


Thank you all who took tags from our giving tree. We appreciate your generosity sooooo much. Please return the gifts wrapped with your tag attached by December 13th. The tag will be removed (we use them for sorting into families) and packaged for the family to pick up.


We have a Bally family whose home was a total loss this past Friday due to a house fire.


We have 15 school days to bring home quarter 2. December 20th is our last day of school before winter break. Let's make each moment count.


Erika Bowles

erika.bowles@boone.kyschools.us


James Demetrakis

james1.demetrakis@boone.kyschools.us

This Week's Events

Monday: Drama Club Practice


Tuesday: Home basketball games, MathCounts, 8th Grade Author Visit, Board Game Club, Storybook Club


Wednesday: Spirit Club, Drama Club, SBDM Cancelled


Thursday: Comic Book Club, Energy and Recycling Club, Academic Team Practice, Home basketball games


Friday: Forensics Team practice, Sign Language Club



**Note** The next Yearbook Club meeting is December 11th.

8th grade has a guest author this week!!!

Marsha Skrypuch, historical fiction author, will speak with the 8th grade class Tuesday morning December 3rd. She will share her experience as a writer and struggles as a reader. Afterward, she will stay for book signings for any pre-ordered novels. Books are only $7.99! Proceeds go toward our school library.

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Home Basketball Schedule

6th grade plays at 5, 7th grade plays at 6, 8th grade plays at 7:15

Students may not stay after school for games.


Tuesday, December 3: Girls vs. Conner

Thursday, December 5: Boys vs. Grant Co.

Tuesday, December 10: Boys vs. Gray

Thursday, December 12: Boys vs. Camp Ernst

Monday, December 16: Girls vs. IHM

Tuesday, December 17: Girls vs. Ockerman

Monday, January 6: Boys vs. St. Pius

Tuesday, January 7: Boys vs. Conner

Thursday, January 9: Girls vs. Grant Co.

Tuesday, January 13: Girls vs. Gray

Tuesday, January 14: Boys vs. IHM

Thursday, January 23: Boys vs. Highlands

Tuesday, January 14: Girls vs. Camp Ernst

Monday, January 27: Girls vs. Campbell Co.

Tuesday, January 28: Boys vs Twenhofel


NKMSAA Tournament: 2/1, 2/4, 2/6

December Fine Arts Performances

Band: December 11th at 7pm


Drama: December 19th and 20th at 7pm

Ballyshannon SEL, Counseling, and Guidance

CLICK HERE to learn more about the programs Mrs. Palmer and Mrs. Steinbrunner organize for our kids.

Info From Our Teachers


6th Grade Newsletter for November--Click here!


7th Grade Newsletter for November...Click here!


8th Grade Newsletter for November--Click here!


We'll get the December newsletters plugged in here this week.

Info from our PTSA

Colorful Run prizes will be awarded in DECEMBER!! Wahoo!


The 8th grade is selling batteries for their 8th grade dance. Don't be left without batteries at Christmas!! Click here to order: https://goalfundingdirect.com/ballyshannonptso/

Yearbook Cover Contest!

Parent Discussion Series

Our counselors have created a 6-week series beginning in January. They have selected articles that are relevant and of high interest to parents raising middle schoolers. We'll gather during the evening and have time to discuss our take-aways from the articles with other parents at Bally. You don't have to attend all 6 sessions. You can pick and choose which ones you're most interested in.


Topics include:

  • 13 Things Mentally Strong Parents Don’t Do
  • Top 10 Reasons Teens Have So Much Anxiety
  • Is Safetyism Destroying a Generation?
  • Why Social Media is Not Smart for Middle Schoolers
  • Speaking the soul: Why kids cut and what we can do about it
  • Juuling and Teenagers: Why Vaping is a Dangerous Trend
  • How to Help Tweens and Teens Manage Social Conflict: Don’t add to the drama. Take it in stride and coach your kids as they work to resolve things on their own.


Want to be included in updates about our series? Email one of our counselors.

meredith.palmer@boone.kyschools.us

amy.steinbrunner@boone.kyschools.us

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KET Young Writers Contest

KET Young Writers Contest begins November 4, 2019 with deadline for submission will be March 27, 2020 including grades 6 - 12.

See following link for guidelines. https://www.ket.org/education/young-writers-contest/

Scholarship Opportunities for Graduating Seniors

The Brewer Foundation for Civic Engagement will once again be awarding a graduating senior from each of the high schools a one time award for the winning applicant. See the scholarship application below.


Deadline no later than April 1, 2020 of student's senior year. Submissions via email to jessebrewer1111@gmail.com

Making Sense of Standards Based Learning

We use standards based learning at our school. Here's how we design it:

1. We use the district timeline for each grade level and each content area. (Click HERE and then click District Curriculum from the home page.)

2. Once we have identified the standards we will be teaching according to the district timeline, we create Proficiency Scales. (You can view all of your child's proficiency scales on his/her Google site. Ask them to pull it up for you at home.)

3. After we create our proficiency scales, we design a unit plan and daily lesson plans. The unit plan and daily lesson plans are created to lead kids to mastery of the standards through general and differentiated instruction.


Proficiency Scales will tell you what is required to score a 1, 2, 3, or 4 for each and every standard.


  • Students receive a 1 if they require help from the teacher in understanding the prerequisite skills of a standard.
  • Students receive a 2 if they have mastered all of the prerequisite skills and academic vocabulary necessary to master the standard.
  • Students receive a 3 if they have completely mastered a standard and demonstrated mastery over time.
  • Students receive a 4 if they pursue extended or deeper learning of a standard after they have achieved mastery. This will most likely occur during the tutorial period or as extension activities in class.



Teachers will begin awarding 1.5, 2.5, 3.5 at the next grading period if you have not seen them on progress reports already.


  • A 1.5 will mean that the student requires assistance on some skills, but is reaching mastery of prerequisite skills on their own for others.
  • A 2.5 will mean that the student has mastered all of the prerequisite skills and some aspects of the standard, but not full mastery of the standard.
  • A 3.5 will mean that the student has mastered the standard and has demonstrated some level of enrichment of the standard beyond mastery.



At the end of the year, the 1, 1.5, 2, 2.5, 3, 3.5, and 4 are converted to number and letter grades on the official report card.

4 = A+, 100

3.5 = A, 95

3 = A-, 90

2.5 = B, 85

2.0 = B-, 80

1.5 = C, 75

1 = C-, 70

All grades below 1 will register as an Incomplete. If the course is not remediated through summer school, the Incomplete becomes an F.


Because most grade-level standards should be mastered over the course of a year, it isn't logical to assume that children will have straight 3's in the first quarter. This way of learning and assessing learning is a yearlong process.


Traditional grading can be an inaccurate representation of a child's knowledge. Here are two examples:


  • Student 1 is struggling with the content and often confused in class. However, he takes advantage of every extra credit assignment the teacher gives. This boosts his grade when he doesn't do well on tests. He also completes all of his classwork and homework so he gets full participation points. These participation points are averaged into his low points he receives on assessments. At the end of the term, he receives an A, but he understands very little of what has been taught.
  • Student 2 can listen to the teacher teach in class, never write anything down, and still pass all of the assessments with flying colors. He often gets a perfect score on quizzes and tests. He does not, however, do any of his homework and many times doesn't complete his classwork. His participation scores are very low. When averaged with his assessment results, he receives a final score of C+ on the report card.



If you are the parent of student 1, do you assume he will have a good ACT score? As parents we should expect that what the school communicates to us is an accurate representation of knowledge. It may not be.


If you are the parent of student 2, do you assume he will struggle or is not learning? Would you label this student as lazy? The reality is that this student's grades in a traditional grading system may communicate one of those ideas but in actuality this may be a student who is not challenged, has already mastered the material, and who needs enrichment.


Standards based learning is a means of providing transparent communication to students and families about the understanding of the grade-level content. We implement standards based learning because we have confidence this method of learning will best prepare your child for high school and postsecondary studies. Your child works with their proficiency scales regularly. He/she should be able to pull them up for you and explain where they are for each standard.


Standards based learning also helps students realize deep learning takes time, resilience, grit, determination, and perseverance. Deep learning takes practice.


We know this can be tough for all of us who were raised with traditional grades in school. We're accustomed to points-based grading. We get a 5/10 on a quiz, we do a 10 point extra credit assignment, we turn in all of our homework, we get a 105% for the quarter. We feel good...but what about that 50% on the quiz?


Give yourself some time to learn more about standards based learning. Give us feedback and give us ideas for how to make this more understandable for you. We will continue to deliver education events to help support you as parents.


Mrs. Kegley will be organizing another round of Standards Based Learning 101 sessions during November. Stay tuned. We'll get you supported. As our instructional coach, Mrs. Kegley is also available for individual consult, explanation of how to use Canvas as a parent, and so much more. stacie.kegley@boone.kyschools.us

School Hours

Doors open: 7:00am (students report to gym or cafe)

Breakfast: 7:00-7:30am

Tardy Bell: 7:35am (students must be in their 1st period classroom)

Buses, Walkers, Bike Riders dismiss: 2:35pm

Car Riders dismiss: 2:40pm