FTMS West Flashes

January 2016 Newsletter

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ISTEP Part 1:

ISTEP Part 1 is coming upon us and WE ARE PREPARED! Testing for Part 1 will begin on February 29th. Our staff and students are working very hard and we are confident our students will do well on the assessment. ISTEP PART 1 is the open ended response portion of ISTEP. Students will take English and Math for grades 6-8, Science grade 6, and Social Studies Grade7. As we get ready for ISTEP Part 1, many interventions are underway in order for students to be prepared to shine. We are reviewing and triangulating student data in order to provide the best intervention strategies for each individual student. Students are being shifted during PRIDE, requested to stay after school for tutoring, or asked to practice at home. Parents and Guardians, as a stakeholder, we appreciate any support you may provide. That support can come in the form of a ride home from tutoring, reviewing practice websites at home, or reading & asking comprehension questions with your student, or calling your child’s teacher, counselor, or administrator to discuss strategies for success. All stakeholders are an integral part of our success and require buy in from everyone. We appreciate all your support and are excited to see our students’ continual growth and success.


Student Council at FCHS for the Rally for Riley from 3:15-4:45 on January 28th.
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West is getting ready for another exciting Pennies for Patients event in February. Last year, West was the top school in the state raising over $12,000 for pennies for patients which goes directly towards leukemia and lymphoma research. Our goal this year is $25,000 which West’s name would go directly on a research grant. We have many fun events in the month of February and March to raise the money. Our kick off for this is Friday, February 19th. Look for the events to be advertised starting in February.

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Band Commitment forms for the 2016/2017 school year will be passed out in band class. Please return forms by Friday, January 29th. The forms will be collected in class and presented to the guidance office. These forms will allow our guidance counselors to place students in correct related art classes.

8th Grade auditions for high school band are almost complete. High school band is a class similar to middle school band. The high school band performs concerts throughout the school year. Enrollment in high school band does not mean students are enrolled in marching band, color guard, pep band or indoor drum line. These ensembles are after-school activities with separate sign-up/audition requirements. There are four concert bands at the high school which insures students will be placed in an ensemble which matches their abilities and musical dedication. The high school also offers jazz band as a class which meets daily. More information about high school band can be obtained by emailing the high school band director Audrey Torres at Audrey.torres@ftcsc.k12.in.us. Participation in high school band is a great way for students to earn their fine art credit for graduation.

A very important January event for members of the FTMS West Band is the Indiana State School Music Association Solo and Ensemble Competition. Sign-up forms are now turned in for the ISSMA Solo and Ensemble. This event will take place on January 30th, 2016 at the Perry Meridian 6th Grade Academy. Information will be sent out when available from the contest host. Look for info in mid-January. Percussionists are required to participate in this event. We have ninety band members signed up for this event!

Also occurring in January is the 5th Grade sign-up for middle school band, orchestra and choir. Sign-up information and forms will be provided to 5th Graders in early January. Fifth graders will travel to West Middle School on January 15th for a demonstration concert. The following week instrument sizing and testing will occur at all elementary schools. Sign-up night with Paige’s Music Company will occur on Thursday, February 11th at 5:30 or 7:00 PM. If this night is unavailable, you may attend the East sign-up night on Tuesday, February 9th at 5:30 or 7:00 PM. The same information will be present at all four sessions and you may attend any session. This information includes class expectations and information on how to obtain band and orchestra instruments.

Upcoming Band Events:

Saturday, January 30th



Tuesday, March 8th

HOOPS FOR HEROS GAME (to raise money for Leukemia research)



Tuesday, March 15th



Thursday, May 19th



Celebration of Maddy

On December 30th, a red wagon was donated to Riley Childrens’ Hospital in honor of former FTMS West student Maddy Justice. The red wagon has a special significance at Riley Childrens’ Hospital. In 1965 a therapist tried different things to find the best way to get patients to his wing. This was a challenge because when the patients were brought to him, they had to be brought with all of their medical equipment. This was a very cumbersome task for many patients. This therapist decided to bring his Radio Flyer wagon from home to make it more enjoyable for his patients. That simple idea has become a staple at Riley as a mode of transportation for all of their patients.

A red wagon was donated by the Justice family in Maddy’s name. Riley Childrens’ Hospital holds a special place for the Justice family. Maddy had many of her treatments in the hospital. The hospital staff creates a family-like environment for their patients. The Justice family can attest to this, and they wanted to give back to a place that is very special in their hearts.

Pictured on the left:: Marizel, Tim and Melanie Justice with the wagon. The inscription on the license plate reads: 4RILEYKIDS. Donated by Tim, Marizel and Melanie Justice.

Pictured on the right: Maddie Justice. Keep on Shining.

Keep On Shining Award - Inspired by Miss Madeline "Maddy" Justice

FTMS West created the Keep on Shining Award to recognize any current FTMS West student in grades 6th-8th who embodies characteristics demonstrated by Madeline “Maddy” Justice, a former FTMS West student.

Maddy Justice (1998-2013) was diagnosed on March 12, 2012 with Acute Myeloid Leukemia. During her courageous battle against cancer, Maddy exemplified many positive attributes about the human will, not only to live, but to thrive even during the most daunting moments. Maddy touched the lives of countless people, both through direct contact and those who heard her story. Maddy’s legacy is preserved through this award, which is named after the very phrase she is closely associated to. This award is highly prestigious in its recognition in the similar capacity that current FTMS West student awards are heralded.

Keep on Shining Award Inscription

The following words capture the essence of Maddy and will be etched on the school based plaque.

“As a student of FTMS West and Franklin Township Schools, Madeline “Maddy” Justice showed a passion for learning and a love of life. Faced with adversity and many difficult challenges, she was an example of the triumph of the human spirit with her superior strength of character, her selfless nature and her perseverance, all with her “Keep on Shining” attitude. Students recognized for this award will have demonstrated the same indomitable spirit that Maddy exemplified while inspiring countless lives.”

Nomination and Submission Information

Students may be nominated by parents, teachers, community members, or may be self-nominated. Submissions must include a cover sheet that includes the student’s name, the name and contact information of the individual submitting the nomination, and is to be in essay form. Typed essays are strongly preferred. The length of the essay is not nearly as important as is the ability to convey how the nominated student reflects the attributes referenced in the award inscription.

Submissions may be mailed, dropped off, or emailed as noted below.

Keep on Shining Award Nomination

Attention: Mrs. Shannon Flynn

7620 E. Edgewood Avenue

Indianapolis, IN 46239

Email: Shannon.flynn@ftcsc.k12.in.us

Deadline: All entries must be received or postmarked by March 18, 2016

Selection Process and Presentation

Selection of the Keep on Shining Award winner will include a panel of staff, friends of the family, and the parents of Maddy Justice.

The winner will be announced at the year-end awards ceremony.

Any questions regarding this award may be sent to Mrs. Shannon Flynn (contact information above).


Elsa Carodenuto will be completing her internship in the school counseling department for the 2016 calendar year. If you see her in the halls or at sporting events, feel free to say hi. Currently, she is completing her master’s in School Counseling and Mental Health at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis. She has a Bachelor’s Degree from Butler University in Psychology and German with a concentration in International Business. Her past work experience is in education and research; working at an early learning center as a toddler teacher, an instructional assistant at Zionsville Middle School- West, and is currently working at IU School of Medicine in Alzheimer's Research. Elsa is native to Minnesota, and in her free time she bakes, travels, goes on hikes, and teaches yoga. She is currently teaching yoga for students at Franklin Township Middle School- West, if you are interested she would love for your students to come (permission slips are available in the office). She has studied abroad in Vienna, Austria twice (one year in high school and over a summer during college) and would love to go back to travel again.

Student Announcements

West Jan 8 2016
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Hi FTMS West PTO Families,

I hope that everyone had a great winter break! I can't believe that it is 2016 and we are already starting the 3rd quarter of this school year. Thank you to everyone who has volunteered, donated and supported the PTO and the school so far this year. I hope that everyone will consider giving of their time, talents and treasures in 2016!

We had an awesome time bowling just before winter break. The PTO earned $280 and Logan Munn won a $35 gift card to come back to Expo Bowl. Thank you to everyone who came out!

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Upcoming Dates for PTO:

January 18 - No School, Martin Luther King Jr. Day (unless this needs to be used as a snow makeup day)

January 18 - FTMS West night at Chicago's Pizza - Come join us from 5-8pm at Chicago's Pizza at Stop 11 Rd. and Arlington Ave - mention you are there for West and the PTO will earn 15% of all proceeds that night. This is a fun, easy way to support the PTO while enjoying a great meal and time with friends and family. No flyer is necessary, but you must mention FTMS West when paying.

January 26 - PTO Meeting at 6:00pm in the media center. We will be discussing plans for the next Jam, forming a committee for the 8th Grade Celebration and a committee for the Color Run (both taking place in May), and hearing from Mr. Vandermark with updates from the school. Everyone is welcome to attend. Often people bring their kids and they hang out and do something together in the library with us (like a board game, etc.).

February 5 - JAM! We will hold our final Jam of the year on Friday, 2/5 from 6-8pm at the school. A Jam is basically just a party for the kids. This is a great, safe way for the kids to hang out with their friends outside of school. There is no athletic event associated with this Jam. Drop off and pickup will be at the front doors of FTMS West. This Jam will have a Superbowl theme with games, music, prizes food and more! If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Jennifer Taylor at jent814@gmail.com.

February 10 - Wheels of Wonder Skating Party from 6-8pm. We have invited FTMS East as well to this event- this will be a great chance for kids from both middle schools to get to know each other. Cost is $5 and the PTO will earn $2 per skater.

February 15 - No School for Presidents' Day (unless we need a snow makeup day)

February 23 - PTO Meeting at 6:00pm in the Media Center.

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Box Tops - We are still collecting Box Tops. This is an easy way for the school to earn money - each Box Top is worth 10 cents, which may not seem like much, but it really adds up fast. We have earned over $600 so far this school year. But we need your help to reach our goal of $1500. Just put your trimmed Box Tops in a baggie with your student's name and grade on them. Prizes are awarded for each contest. Our most recent contest, which ended December 17th, had five 6th graders win (Lucas Paz, Natasha Wessell, Katie Gadient, Tyce Treadway and Myles Croxford) - they received Target gift cards and candy bars!

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