Iroquois Middle School

FEBRUARY 2022 NEWSLETTER

FROM THE PRINCIPAL

*NOTE: Our sincere apologies - the February newsletter was not emailed to you last month. We will have the March newsletter for you in a couple weeks!

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Dear Iroquois Families:


We have warmly welcomed students back from the Holiday Break and are moving ahead into 2022. Our students have come back to us rested, refreshed, and ready to continue the rigorous learning that goes on every day here at Iroquois School. Please be reminded that the upcoming February Break will be from Feb. 21-25 this year.


This second semester is a critical time for students to build on learning that has already taken place and extend their knowledge and skills by stretching themselves and working hard to set and achieve their goals. Our teachers and students have been busy engaging with and mastering new skills and conceptual understandings while also measuring progress toward new achievements in our academic, social and emotional growth as a community of learners.


In addition, there are, of course, many ways that families can support their children’s learning during the second semester:


  • ATTENDANCE: Ensure that your child maintains a good attendance record. Students who arrive on time to school and attend every day have a greater chance of achieving than students who are consistently late or absent. Children who are frequently absent or late miss out on many learning opportunities and have significant difficulty catching up with their classmates once they return to school.
  • HOMEWORK: Continue to monitor your child’s homework and provide a quiet, comfortable place for your child to study.
  • CHECK-INS: Frequently check your child’s assignments and talk with them about what they are learning in school. Make a homework schedule and check to be sure that your child is reading. It is also helpful to recognize and praise your children for their hard work and display your child’s work at home.

We thank you for partnering with us and we look forward to continuing to work together to ensure the best outcomes for your children.


Regards,

Christian Zwahlen

Principal

IROQUOIS CONTACT INFORMATION

Principal: Mr. Christian Zwahlen | christian_zwahlen@westiron.monroe.edu

Secretary: Ms. Susan Glastonbury | susan_glastonbury@westiron.monroe.edu

Main office: 585-336-0804

Fax: 585-336-3042

Website: https://irq.westirondequoit.org/

Health Office: 585-336-3091

  • Nurse: 585-336-0816

Transportation: 585-336-2992 | Transportation website

District Office: 585-342-5500 | District website: westirondequoit.org

UPCOMING EVENTS

FEBRUARY

  • 2/4: Iroquois Family Coffee - 8-9 AM
  • 2/4: Report Cards available in IC Portal
  • 2/16: 6th Grade Talent Show - 7 PM
  • 2/21-2/25: NO SCHOOL - February Recess
  • 2/28: School resumes

MARCH

  • 3/3: 6th Grade Band Mania - IHS Gym- 7 PM
  • 3/8: 6th Grade Orchestra Mania - IHS Gym - 7 PM
  • 3/18: NO SCHOOL - Superintendent Conference Day
  • 3/24: 6th Grade Family Event - Glow Dance -TBD

APRIL

  • 4/15-4/22: NO SCHOOL - Spring Recess
  • 4/25: School resumes
  • 4/28: Iroquois Family Coffee - 8-9 AM


For our full school calendar, click here.

REPORT CARDS SOON!

Please check the Infinite Campus Parent Portal on Friday, Feb. 4 to see your child's report card!
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SEL - Social and Emotional Learning

We want to introduce you to SEL and provide tools and information to help our children strengthen their social-emotional competencies. According to the Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL), Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) is the process through which all young people and adults acquire and apply the knowledge, skills and attitudes to develop healthy identities, manage emotions and achieve personal and collective goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain supportive relationships, and make responsible and caring decisions.


The 5 Core Competencies are:

  1. Self-Awareness
  2. Self-Management
  3. Social Awareness
  4. Relationship Skills
  5. Responsible Decision-Making


Families are our children’s first teachers and play a crucial role in promoting SEL throughout a child’s life. By partnering, educators and families can build a strong network to support the development of social and emotional skills across home, school, and the community.

We will be providing tips and strategies for activities you can do and conversations you can have at home to help your children develop strong social and emotional skills.


From Iroquois’s Mental Health Team,

  • Kimberly Bohnel, School Counselor
  • Marc Bigsby, School Social Worker
  • Kristin Belknap, School Psychologist

SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, ENGINEERING, ARTS & MATH

West Irondequoit has committed to increasing STEAM opportunities for K-12 students. Our long-term STEAM vision: Take an integrated approach to learning Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics. STEAM classrooms are learning environments in which students make connections between concepts in these areas with a strong emphasis on inquiry, collaboration, and the problem-solving process. Efforts toward this vision are taking shape across the district in different forms and are quite evident in K-6. Below are a few examples of great STEAM instruction across our district.


“AMPED” SCIENCE: K-4 teachers and students are having a great time digging into scientific concepts using our Amplify Science and Smithsonian curriculum. Fourth-graders, for example, were using virtual models to study a large-scale weathering and erosion concepts. Using computer models, students were able to perform experiments on a phenomenon that is usually hard to study, since it happens so slowly, yet is responsible for the formation of things like the Grand Canyon. Fourth-graders were able to control the speed of water flow and the length of time, up to thousands of years, and see how these variables impacted the formation of the canyon over time.


Second-graders are exploring the properties of matter and connecting them to their everyday lives! Students tested which materials would make the best “Boo boo” packs (ice packs). They tried salt, frozen water, or a frozen water and salt mix. Students rated packs on a scale of 1-3 based on which material was the coldest, and which best molded to the shape of their arm.


IROQUOIS-ROGERS STEAM: Fifth-graders will soon work through a unit called “All hands on deck.” They will use principles of engineering and technology to design and build a prosthetic or “robotic” hand. They will use science ideas about muscular and skeletal systems to explain how the hand mimics the functions of muscles and bones. They also will use math skills to figure out what ratios to use to build a hand with the appropriate proportions, and art principles to choose the aesthetic look of the hand. I can’t wait to see what students come up with!


Sixth-graders are building on their coding experiences that began in September, to design and test a video game. The unit starts with simple shapes and builds up to more sophisticated sprite-based games, using the same programming concepts and the design process computer scientists use daily.


It’s been a real treat to see minds light up as students begin to think like scientists, mathematicians and engineers. We look forward to maintaining and expanding great STEAM experiences for all students. The future is bright for STEAM at West Irondequoit. We can’t wait to see what’s next!


- Dr. Orlando Marrero, K-12 Director of STEAM

FAQs ABOUT LIGHTSPEED ALERT


West Irondequoit is using a new safety platform called Lightspeed Alert. We emailed families on Jan. 20th about it. It helps us detect early warning signs of potential threats and concerns related to self-harm, suicide, cyberbullying and school violence on district devices and network resources. When indicators are flagged, safety-specialist teams comprised of full-time employees with backgrounds in education, student safety, mental health and law enforcement conduct swift threat assessments and immediately call district officials for any threat identified as “imminent.” Lower-level threats are also identified and addressed by our staff. These round-the-clock notifications initiate our targeted response teams empowered to facilitate appropriate interventions and supports. You can learn more from a new Frequently Asked Questions section. Click here to read.


You can watch a two-minute video on Lightspeed Alert at THIS LINK. Please have a conversation with your child(ren) on it. Questions? Email WICSD Director of Technology, Mr. Dan Fullerton, at dan_fullerton@westiron.monroe.edu

DRESS WARMLY FOR OUTDOOR RECESS!

Parents/guardians: All students will go outdoors for recess as long as the temperature and wind-chill are 20 degrees or warmer. Students will need to wear hats, mittens or gloves, boots and snow pants to play in the snow. Students lacking proper clothing will still go outdoors but will remain on the sidewalk with limited play. Please remember to send appropriate outside play clothing in everyday! Due to COVID we will not be able to lend clothes on the days students forget. Please let us know if you need any help with cold-weather clothing.
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GREAT GESTURE BY AN IROQUOIS STUDENT!

Just before Holiday Break, the Irondequoit Police Department and Rotary held its annual Shop With A Cop program. Due to COVID-19, the students selected were asked to submit a list of potential gifts (up to $100 in value) rather than shop with an officer at a store. We wanted to share a special gesture by Iroquois Middle School student, Jessie Anderson. Rather than accept any gifts, the fifth-grader asked that the $100 be donated to St. Jude’s Children Hospital. IPD said that has never happened before. Way to go, Jessie!

JOBS: GIVING BACK TO THEIR ALMA MATER

Click on the picture above to watch a 10NBC news story about recent Irondequoit HS graduates serving as substitute teachers throughout our district at a time when we need help. Syracuse University junior, James Clements (Class of 2019), was interviewed during a physical education class at Dake, and SUNY Geneseo sophomore Emma Greco (2020) and Colin Shafer (2017, pictured above), were interviewed at Iroquois Middle School. Dake Assistant Principal, Mr. Nick DiMartino, also was interviewed. Know anyone looking for work? Please share this link with them (bit.ly/Jobs_WI) to our jobs page with all current openings. Thank you!

GET HELP FROM OUR TECH TEAM!

The West Irondequoit CSD has a TECHNOLOGY SUPPORT KNOWLEDGE BASE that features a plethora of helpful information, including items such as Frequently Asked Questions, tips on solving issues and user guides on Infinite Campus and learning platforms such as Seesaw and Schoology. Access it via www.wicsd.tech