Monthly Archives: May 2014

MS Weekly Staff Memo – May 26th

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What’s On My Mind…
First off, I want to offer a sincere thank you to ALL of you for your help during EOG/EOC testing.  While testing, itself, is hard enough, it’s just as hard (maybe harder?) to keep kids quiet in the building while others are testing.  Once again, our space issue in middle school presents plenty of opportunities to practice out-of-the box thinking and positive attitudes.  My hat is off to all of you as you always rise to the occasion.  Two more days of the testing madness (tomorrow and Wednesday), and then we are free until next year.  Heaven help us!

Along those same lines, we all know the end of the school year can be a very trying time.  Everyone is tired (kids and adults alike) and we are all itching to get the school year behind us so we can settle into the joys of summer break.  However, please remember that this can also be a very special time, both for students AND teachers.  Ask yourself, “Am I just trying to manage the chaos and survive these last few days or am I creating meaningful, out-of-the box experiences for my students to partake in the magic of our school community? Here is a great blog post on this very topic.  I hope it inspires you to make the most of these last few days.  http://blogs.edweek.org/teachers/classroom_qa_with_larry_ferlazzo/2013/05/response_ways_to_use_class_time_during_the_last_two_weeks_of_school.html

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Upcoming Events
Dismissal – 100% of the participants in the school dismissal time survey responded that they are in favor of a 2:30 dismissal time for the remaining days of school. Therefore K-8 carpool will start each day at 2:30.  Those of you with grade level distribution lists, please communicate this with parents.  Make sure they know that if this is an inconvenience for their family, they can pick up their MS child at 3:00 on the tail end of K-8 carpool.  Thanks!

Be sure to check out the May Calendar.   https://docs.google.com/a/csdnc.org/document/d/1UjmpmjwFza-2n0kJnXbck2J4QBWtk6NoE5Ore19Im4Y/edit?usp=sharing

Take Note Of…..

End of Year Staff Meeting – Advisory Focus
Our End of Year MS Staff Meeting will occur on Thursday, June 5th at 10:00 a.m. in the 8th Grade Math Room.  At this time, we will review CSD’s vision of Advisory and spend some time reflecting on how we can continue to strengthen this incredibly important component of our middle school program.  A great place to start is by reading this article Ms. Joy sent out to staff a few weeks ago.  I look forward to thinking and dreaming with you!  http://www.amle.org/BrowsebyTopic/AdvisoryAdvocacy/AdvDet/TabId/179/ArtMID/694/ArticleID/279/Culture-of-Connectedness-through-Advisory.aspx?_cldee=cndvcm1lbGlAY294Lm5ldA%3d%3d#.U3vCgF6M0w8.twitter

Some of you have mentioned that you would like a few moments during the workdays to sit and chat with me about various things (from brainstorming about next year to professional development to reflecting on things that happened this year).  Please know I would love to meet with you!  If interested, please take a moment to select one of these times for us to “sit and chat.”  Please feel no obligation as this is only for staff members who choose to do so.http://www.SignUpGenius.com/go/30E0C4BA9AF2DA02-endofyear 

We are in the process of reviewing the Summer Close Out Document, but in order to get an idea of close out procedures, click here to view last year’s document:  https://docs.google.com/a/csdspartans.org/document/d/1LhOMRtGgWF3CBizTmXbK8QA1xjUMay4NWZPsZLPqGC4/edit

Summer Thursday Classroom Management Schedule/Agenda coming soon!  Stay tuned!

MS Report Cards are due by May 30th for admin editing.  

Juli and Dana will be out of the building on Wed-Fri as we are traveling with the 8th graders to Kanuga.  We will miss you and are praying for calm days.  🙂

In Closing…
I just want to extend a BIG, warm thank you to all of you for being so flexible during this crazy month of May.  Testing is almost over, and Holocaust Museum is right around the corner.  Please do all that you can to help out your colleagues during this hectic time.  In that same vein, do not hesitate to ask for help if you need it.  It truly takes all hands on deck and lots of healthy adults to pull all of these opportunities for magic together.  Never underestimate the #csdpowerofwe!

stay strong

 

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MS Weekly Staff Memo – May 4, 2014

What’s On My Mind…
This week I was reminded of the power of our words when out of the blue someone gave me a simple, yet incredibly sincere, compliment.  In that moment, my mood shifted and my day was completely altered.  And all it took was less than a minute to share something positive.  This.  Is.  Powerful!  Yet it doesn’t happen nearly as often as one would think.  So moving into this week, pay attention to those around you and look for opportunities to share positive words with others.  It truly can make a world of difference.

Upcoming Events
Monday, May 5
Welcome to Middle School Parent Session – (Juli) 7:00-8:30 p.m. Garren’s Class
Holocaust Speaker – 9:30

Tuesday, May 6
Welcome to Middle School Parent Session – (Juli) 7:00-8:30 p.m. Randolph’s Class
MS Band Concert – 10:00 in gym

Wednesday, May 7
Welcome to Middle School Parent Session – (Juli) 7:00-8:30 p.m. Whitley’s Class

Thursday, May 8
Welcome to Middle School Parent Session – (Juli) 7:00-8:30 p.m. Losey’s Class

Friday, May 9
1/2 Day – Early Dismissal (11:30)
7th Grade Change Museum – 8:30-11:30
Kindergarten Screening

Other Upcoming Dates….
Link to May Calendar – Click here – https://docs.google.com/a/csdnc.org/document/d/1UjmpmjwFza-2n0kJnXbck2J4QBWtk6NoE5Ore19Im4Y/edit?usp=sharing

May 15 – Early Dismissal
May 16-17 – Staff Retreat

*2:30 Dismissal during the week of testing – Please communicate this with your families in your emails and newsletters.
May 19 – BK Writing Class 3:30-5:30
May 21 – Reading EOG 3-8
May 22 – Math EOG 3-8
May 23 – Math 1 EOC for 8th Graders
May 23 – 8th Grade Practicum Sharing (afternoon)
May 26 – Memorial Day Holiday
May 27 – 8th Grade Science EOG
May 27-28 – 7th Ropes Course
May 29 – 6th Grade Holocaust Museum
May 28-30 – 8th Grade Kanuga Trip
June 2-3 – 6th Grade Field Trip to UNCC Botanical Gardens
June 2 – 8th Grade Moving Up Rehearsal
June 2 – State of the School Address/Volunteer Appreciation 9:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.
June 3 – 8th Grade Student Led Conferences (at HS with HS staff)
June 4 – Last Day of School – 5 & 8 Moving Up Ceremonies, 6/7 Dance
June 5-6 – Teacher Workdays
June 5 – First Ever CSD HS Graduation!!!  Belk Theater, Charlotte 7:30 p.m.

Nuts/Bolts/Reminders/Tips
For the next two weeks, if you send any students to “Catch Up,” please make sure you plan to attend with them.  Our scheduled folks are already busy filling Explore Electives holes, so we want to make sure this class is always covered.  Thank you for your help with this!

Dress Code – We must pull together as a united front to tackle this.  I will address the student body in the morning at 8:20.  Please come into the gym so you can hear what I tell the students.  Then at morning advisory, I need you to make sure your advisees are not dress code offenders.  Remember, we must do this without judgment.  If students are not abiding by the dress code, they will need to call home and wait up front until a new set of clothes is delivered to them.  Male teachers should not address this with female students, so please help each other out on this one.  It will take all of us working together.  🙂

Please be mindful of propping doors open at school.  This is something we not only want to watch as adults, but that we also want to teach the kids.  Not only is it a potential safety hazard, it also is a huge drain on our energy (and expensive $$$).  As I tell my son at home, we really don’t want to air condition the neighborhood. 🙂  When you see a door propped open, please shut it.  Thank you for helping to build this important habit.

With this Classroom Management theme, I think we are on to something!  I have received SO much positive feedback about our last staff meeting that I have decided to ride this wave for a while.  Several of you have expressed interest in pursuing a summer PD Focus group that would dig into reading about and discussing Classroom Management techniques and expectations of overall student behavior.  Of course, this would not be complete without a “side study” focused on pre-adolescent development (ages 11-14).  We would aim to conduct our discussion sessions on Thursdays at school when childcare is provided.  If you are interested in participating or learning more about this possible opportunity, please sign up by clicking here:
https://docs.google.com/a/csdnc.org/document/d/19vUFT_LiJl04tKwNU1fqoLBKHcBnz7NN39LzTXg9Nhk/edit?usp=sharing

Professional Development:
The Power of Our Words – http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/sept08/vol66/num01/The-Power-of-Our-Words.aspx

 

Inspiration:

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