MS Weekly Staff Memo – October 4, 2014

Great Things I Noticed This Week

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Upcoming Events
Monday, October 6th
Parent Advisory – 7:30p.m. at HS

Tuesday, October 7th
Juli leaving campus at 10:00ish for Charter Leadership Institute

Wednesday, October 8th
Juli at Charter Leadership Institute – Sarah Keys Teacher Leader in Charge
Teacher Appreciation Luncheon – Elementary Gym 11:00-12:00

Thursday, October 9th

Friday, October 10th
Red Cross Blood Drive – MS Gym – 12:00-4:00 – Community Builders Practicum
CSD Homecoming!

Looking Ahead…
10/13 – MS Math Vertical Team Meeting (11:00-12:00)
10/14 – Explore Test for 8th Graders; No school for 6th and 7th grade on this day due to testing. *Make arrangements for those families who need kids to come to school on this day.
10/14 – Lottery K-8 Open House (9:30 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.) – No MS tours due to testing.
10/15 – Vertical Staff Meeting (MS & HS) at HS
10/21 – Lottery K-8 Open House (9:30 a.m. only)
10/27 – MS Principal/Parent Coffee Talk at 8:30 in MS Media Center
10/27 – Quarter 2 of Explore Electives Begins
10/28 – 8th Grade Yearbook Pics
10/30-10/31 – NO SCHOOL; TEACHER WORKDAYS – Optional Parent Conferences
11/4 -11/6 – K-7 Yearbook Pics
11/7 – 7th Grade Africa Day

11/8 – CSD Auction
11/11 – NO SCHOOL; VETERAN’S DAY HOLIDAY
11/12-11/13 – 8th Grade Finance Park
11/14 – 6th Grade Greek Day

11/19 – Teacher Appreciation Luncheon
11/26 – 11/30 – NO SCHOOL; THANKSGIVING HOLIDAY

Nuts/Bolts/Reminders/Tips
Teachers, your weekly emails (newsletters) to parents are AWESOME!  You have no idea how much positive feedback I receive from parents about you all being organized enough to share this detailed information with them each week.  It makes a world of difference to keep parents in the loop, so thank you for making this type of communication a top priority.  You guys ROCK!

Just a quick word about Advisory lunches… Please keep in mind that we are shooting for “family style” dining experience.  By that, I mean kids and advisor sitting around a table (or a defined boundary such as a table cloth) sharing a meal together.  This promotes conversation which in turn promotes closeness and bonding.  If kids are sitting on the floor and are scattered about in clusters or pods, we are missing an opportunity to bond as a group.  Please know I understand this is particularly hard in the gym, but please try to make an effort.  Remember – what’s right for kids is seldom easy (or cheap)!  Speaking of which… If we don’t have enough folding tables and that is part of the problem, please let me know, and we will handle.  Thank you for your dedication to our MS Advisory Program.  It truly is one of the most distinguishing features of our school, so I never want us to lose sight of it’s importance.  Thank you for striving to make it magical!

Promethean and projector bulbs are very expensive, so please help us preserve their life (and therefore conserve our $) but clicking ‘no show’ when not in use.  Thank you!

Please do not shut off your computers at the end of the day.  Nucentric often does upgrades and maintenance after hours, so it is essential for staff members to leave computers on in order for Nucentric to be able to complete their tasks.  On a related note, if you are experiencing a technical issue, contact Nucentric at the following email address:  support@nucentric.com  NOT tech@csdspartans.org  Thanks so much.

Sign up for Auction Teacher Experiences here!  https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1kDBYRaSa1Db-pY1z8rsVaPRCE2fprQCVEHdvrfRS3KQ/edit?usp=sharing  This is a great way to raise money for our school.  Keep it simple (and cheap)!  The kids just love spending time with their teachers outside of the school environment, so no need to anything super fancy.  Let me know if you have any questions.

Leads, don’t forget to sign up for your cross-school observationhttps://docs.google.com/a/csdnc.org/document/d/1fm7sqDeybDhrZ07KQLgijGMP1VKc4FlJheDDJPhpPRw/edit?usp=sharing

Professional Development
Thanks for another fulfilling staff meeting this week!  I am FASCINATED with pre-adolescent behavior and development, so thank you for indulging me in my geeky preoccupation with the topic.  I am just floored each time I stop and take time to be reminded of how much these kids have going on at this stage in their development.  Below is the link to the interview clip I shared on Wednesday (Thank you, Tiffany!).  I think Michelle Icard is very knowledgeable and wise about this age group, so I hope you find the information she shares valuable as well.  To complement the interview, I’m also including a link to an article she recently published, ‘What To Expect When Expecting a Middle Schooler.’  Obviously, the intended audience for this article is parents, but like I said on Wednesday, there is so much that educators can take from this information as well.  Enjoy!

Michelle Icard’s NPR interview about her new book, The Middle School Makeover
http://wfae.org/post/michelle-icard-middle-school-makeover

*Here is a link to the research about teens having difficulty interpreting facial expressions – http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/teenbrain/work/onereason.html So interesting!

What To Expect When Expecting a Middle Schooler by Michelle Icard
http://www.csmonitor.com/The-Culture/Family/Modern-Parenthood/2014/0724/What-to-expect-when-expecting-a-middle-schooler

Inspiration:
If you haven’t already, please take a few moments to read this month’s Principal blog posts for parents on the CSDPowerofWe blog.  There are three separate posts from each level of the school:

What Matters (High School)
Doubts or Dreams: The Proof is in the Pudding (Middle School) *This one is a very important read for all MS Staff as I specifically address the importance of open communication between parents and teachers.  Please read so we’re all giving the same message to parents.*
Gifts Where You Least Expect Them (Elementary)

http://csdpowerofwe.org/

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