Bulldog News Week of 02.18.18

BULLDOG NEWS!

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A new WRMS Infographic to share!

Rigor – The rigor scale being used on the classroom walk-through form is based on Bloom-Marzano Hybrid Taxonomy: North Carolina Thinking Skills Levels. The seven levels describe how critically the students are thinking as they complete the tasks or activity. The new form names the level as well as assigning a number so that the rigor data can be tracked. As educators, we should all be looking at the work we are asking students to complete and work to increase the rigor level in the classroom.

  • Knowing — Students are asked to identify, describe, match, recall. Questions stems include: Who did? When was? Where? What is?
  • Organizing – Students are asked to categorize, classify, compare and contrast. Questions stems include; How is ___ alike or different?
  • Applying – Students are asked to give an instance when… Questions stems include: How would you use? How would you illustrate? How is ___ an example of ___?
  • Analyzing – Students are asked to prove using evidence, explain relationships, discuss main ideas. Questions stems include: What caused? What are the parts of ___? What is the conclusion?
  • Generating – Students are asked to predict, elaborate, and infer. Questions stems include: How many ways can you think of to? What would happen if? If you were ___, how would you___?
  • Integrating — Students are asked to create a plan, summarize, imagine, give a synopsis. Questions stems include: How can you combine ___ and __?
  • Evaluating – Students are asked to judge, evaluate, verify claims. Questions stems include: What are your standards? Is ___ reliable? What is most significant? How effective was ___?

The district has released the Balanced Literacy and Rigor Chapters of the district’s new iBook.

To download the latest chapters, please use the following steps:

  1. Delete any previous chapters from your iBooks library on your MacBook Air or iPad. If you do not delete the previous edition of the iBook, iBooks will default to the previous chapter and not allow you to download the latest chapters.
  2. Follow this link to download Chapters 1-6 – https://drive.google.com/open?id=1eYeHkYSVz183rM1DJ_Ds4AKDUDQcZs70
  3. Within Google Drive, you will be prompted that the file is too large to be scanned for viruses, click download anyway.
  4. Your file will download (this download may take a few minutes as the file is now very large) and be available within iBooks.

Panorama Spring Survey -Our dates for the Spring Panorama Survey are March 19th-23rd. We will be following the same format for administration as last time and will pick date for it to be given thru PE [thanks in advance PE Teachers]!

Edcamp Rowan – Saturday, March 24th will be our latest edcamp experience. Edcamps, if you are unfamiliar, are known as ‘unconferences’ – a place and time for educators at all levels and all positions to come together and share best practices, learning journeys and connect with others who have the same questions or developed some answers that may be beneficial to others. Instead of going to a session and expecting to hear a presenter and his/her topic, you will arrive and make suggestions for topics and the group will build the agenda for the day. Then you make your schedule for the day.

This day is about personalized learning for YOU! If you are having trouble implementing a focus or goal we’ve been talking about or want to see and hear some next level strategies, this is the perfect event for you.

Here is the link for the free registration – EdCamp Rowan Registration. ALL are encouraged to come. Start and join a conversation that will help your students grow.

Added EOG/EOC Resource – We have added a new resource for everyone in our Google Drive folder. Under “WRMS Essentials” is a new folder called ‘EOG/EOC Resources’ [or you can simply search for the folder]. We have uploaded the following:

  1. Test Specification Sheets for all EOGs/EOCs given at WRMS – This is an important resource to help us know Power Standards, which standards weigh more than others on the test. Given we are focused on growth, we have to which standards are core focuses
  2. Scale Score Ranges – This sheet gives the ranges for each level on each EOG and EOC. This tool is critical. This is how we know where our students were last year and what our goal for them should be;
  3. Achievement Levels – This gives number of items per test and number/percentage of questions that need to be answered to score at each level

Look over these resources and add this content to your PLC talk.

Student Led Conferences – Its time to put PD to practice! During the week of April 9th and April 16th we will be cancelling PD so that we can schedule student led conferences! This is a great time to put some of the wonderful discussions we’ve seen into play!

Each homeroom teacher will be responsible for his/her homeroom so please make sure you have shared key information in team discussions by then. It won’t take all 10 days for these meetings but we want to make sure we have good time allotted for this. Work with your team to determine the days and time during planning and after school for these meetings. If you have questions, please see an administrator or Mrs Henley.

Free Time as a Reward – Its great that we are coming up with multiple criteria for rewards in our room. Please continue to be creative and recognize students! We need to be mindful that rewards are for learning. While work completion is important, determining if students have learned the concept is what we need to keep our minds on. We see a lot of students being rewarded for having all assignments done but grades are suspect and we all need to keep in mind that while Growth, not proficiency is our goal – we have a strong concern about our Growth! We can set a high bar for gauging learning and growth while keeping students encouraged. We will see more from students if we keep them motivated to try harder!

MEDIA MADNESS

  • We are out of laminate in the teacher workroom! We have no more in stock. Sorry!
  • There is a Black History Month book display in the library. Please encourage students to stop by and explore some of the great fiction and non-fiction books we have available.
  • Club pictures will be taken Thursday, March 1st starting at 8am. This schedule has been posted on Schoology and I will continue to post it so students can report to their picture location on time. Pictures will be taken by the bulldog near the lunchroom for all grade level band, Crosby Scholar, and chorus students. Starting at 10:15 (YCI, FFA, Stu Co, and NJHS) will need to meet in the library for club pictures so that we are not in the way of students going to lunch. Screen Shot 2018-02-13 at 12.56.43 PM
  • Check out this weeks Google Album! https://photos.app.goo.gl/bxw2MV4QHdsNXMmz2

INSPIRATION

TECH AWESOMENESS

  • CEU Tech Credits: The district has set it up that if you do Apples Teacher certification for the iPad and desktop you can get CEU credits. All staff members need to go through the newly created SEA System activity for Apple Teacher. (Click here) for directions on what to do.
  • Six iOS 11 Features to Meet Student Needs: (Click Here)
  • Live: All of you do some really awesome things with your students! One way to showcase those things is by broadcasting them live through our school Facebook page. Whether it is your students presenting something in class or just an awesome lesson you are excited to teach it is a great way to toot your own horn and for us to get some good news out about the school. If you are interested please let Mr. Pittman know!
  • Update Apps: Please remind your students to be checking the “updates” part of self-service to see if any of their apps need updating. Some of the students haven’t been able to submit work from Adobe because they haven’t updated their app.

Instructional Infomation & Ideas

Several years ago at the beginning of RSS digital conversion, many educators were inundated with learning about and navigating numerous website, programs, and apps. Along the way, Achieve 3000 and Discovery Education were added to the ever-growing amount of resources available to RSS educators. Being mindful of the increasing expectations put forth on today’s educators, not at the school level, but overall. At this point in the school year professional development has included:

  • Leaders of Their Own Learning book study
  • Data – including 2016-2017 school performance, time to analyze benchmark data and plan for reteaching,
  • Achieve 3000 – one training session with AK3 representative
  • New testing platforms – IO Education and NC Checkins’
  • LDC – Literacy Design Collaborative (one of four skill clusters)
  • Professional Learning Communities (PLC) ISD rotations

As we head into the instructional home stretch, I challenge you to reflect on not what (standards) you are teaching, but how (instructional strategies) students are receiving, processing, and demonstrating understanding and knowledge. Is Achieve3000 implemented the same each time? How often are students completing the 5-step literacy routine? What about the Thought Question? Do students know the purpose? Have you seen growth in their ability to construct a cohesive, well-written response?

LDC was introduced last year in a whole-group session, and additional exposure in small groups during ISD meetings. This year, teachers selected a Preparing for the Task mini-task to implement. Was it successful? How can you modify for another standard, topic, or unit? Don’t stop there, the remaining skill clusters, Reading Process, Transition to Writing, and Writing Process are hallmarks of literacy-based instruction.

GO-TO GIRLS

“Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.” – Dalai Llama
Problem Solving Team this Friday will meet with team B for each grade level.
Remember after a student has been absent for 3 days, please contact the parent. Then if absences continue please let Mrs. Muire know as soon as possible, so we can check on these kiddos.
Mrs. Horton will begin meeting with all 8th graders this week to create their high school schedule.
If a student brings a form such as ADHD checklists, Vanderbilts, or other psychological testing, please send them to Mrs. Stone. She will distribute them or if you have completed the form, she will send them into the doctor via a secure fax or e-mail in order to ensure confidentiality.
Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. – Martin Luther King Jr.

MORNING DUTIES (6:50 – 7:15 UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED):

GYM POOLE
GYM KEPLEY
CAFETERIA HOFFMAN
CAR RIDERS McCoy
EXPLORATORY BATHROOMS AVERY
OUTSIDE MEDIA CENTER SHUE
GRADE LEVEL INTERSECTION WILKINSON
BUSES STONE
CAFETERIA 7:15 – 7:30 LYLES

AFTERNOON DUTIES

CAFETERIA HORTON
CAR RIDERS PRESTON
CAR RIDERS MUIRE
CAR RIDERS NUSSMAN
OUTSIDE MEDIA CENTER PITTMAN
BUSES YOUNG
TUESDAY ASD 2:30 – 3:30 STONE
TUESDAY ASD 2:30 – 3:30 COX
THURSDAY ASD 2:30 – 3:30 POWERS
THURSDAY ASD 2:30 – 3:30 OWENS

REMINDERS:

  • Please remember: On a regular schedule day, have all students back in classrooms by 2:15 so they can hear announcements.

  • On enrichment days students will eat lunch in the cafeteria.

  • Enrichment is being moved to Thursday this week. We will dismiss from the last enrichment block.

  • The enrichment schedule includes a five minute transition time between classes. Please do not release students until the scheduled class time.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

Monday Feb 19

  • Snow Makeup Day

Tuesday Feb 20

  • Full day of Planning–7th grade
  • JV Basketball vs Mooresville @ home
  • No PD today:)

Thursday Feb 22

  • Enrichment Schedule
  • RSS teacher breakfast with Dr. Moody

Friday Feb 23

  • All County Band Clinic @ JCHS
  • Problem Solving Team A
  • School Wide Celebration @ 1:30

Saturday Feb 24

  • JV Basketball tournament @ Erwin
  • RSS All County Band Clinic @ Carson High

Monday Feb 26

  • Leadership Exploratory @ 1:30
  • JV Basketball tournament @ Erwin 4pm
  • WRMS is a Great School! 4:00 – 6:00pm

Tuesday Feb 27

  • Leaders of Their Owning Learning – Chapter 6
  • JV Basketball tournament @ Erwin 4pm
  • Band PRE MPA Concert @ WRHS 7:00 – 8:00pm
  • 8th Grade Full Day of Planning

Wednesday Feb 28

  • JV Basketball tournament @ Erwin 4pm

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Thursday Mar 1

  • Club Pictures 8 – 11am

Friday Mar 2

  • Problem Solving Team A
  • WRMS Bulldog Wear Day
  • WRMS Reading Celebrations 1:00 – 2:30pm

Monday Mar 5

  • Leadership 8th grade @ 7:45
  • SIT Meeting @ 2:45

Tuesday Mar 6

  • Leaders of Their Own Learning – Chapter 7

Wednesday Mar 7

  • Band MPA @ Wingate University

Thursday Mar 8

  • RSS Teacher Breakfast with Dr. Moody 7:30 – 9:20am
  • BT/Mentor Meeting 2:30 – 3:30pm

Friday Mar 9

  • Problem Solving Team B

Monday Mar 19

  • Panorama Spring Survey Window

Tuesday Mar 20

  • Panorama Spring Survey Window

Wednesday Mar 21

  • Panorama Spring Survey Window

Thursday Mar 22

  • Panorama Spring Survey Window

Friday Mar 23

  • Panorama Spring Survey Window

Saturday Mar 24

RESOURCES

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Bulldog News Week of 02.11.18

BULLDOG NEWS!

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Opportunities for Real World Connections and Learning

Like all dedicated celebrations of cultural history, Black History Month is a great time for us to have meaningful conversations, activities and transformative experiences for our students. As middle school teachers, we have a unique opportunity to give them some thinking opportunities and explorations that go beyond surface level explorations. Take some time to have conversations in your groups about what we CAN do for our students to provide eye-opening experiences that go above the typical learning experiences they may have had. Below in the resources section is a link to plethora of ideas and activities we can prepare for out middle schoolers – let’s stretch our thinking so we can stretch their learning.

WE can be ready to have real life connecting conversations with the resources at hand. This is guided instruction + Achieve3000 + questions [not lectures] = powerful moments. I wish I could have recorded the entire talk

Great Things Around Our School

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INSPIRATION

 When Change is Hard

Making a change is not easy. In fact, 60 percent of people who achieve their New Year’s resolutions flop once-or more-before succeeding.

But you can pump up your healthy habits. And the more you stick with a new behavior, the easier it gets. That’s because repetition actually can build pathways in your brain.

If you’re having trouble, consider these tools for sticking with change.

Boost Your Motivation

Everyone has times when their motivation sags. Here are some tips to boost yours:

  • Remember your why. What made you try this wellness tool? Was it because you wanted to be more focused at work? Less grouchy to your spouse? Less winded at the gym? Or maybe it was just because you deserve to feel good. Whatever your reasons, keep a list to inspire you.
  • Make a change. If you’ve tried your chosen tool for a while and aren’t feeling better, try another. Remember, not all of the 10 Tools are right for everyone. Also consider shifting the way you use a tool to avoid boredom. For example, if you’ve chosen to help others, instead of checking on your neighbor this week, try donating to charity.
  • Get support. If appropriate, join a group or work with a friend. You also can ask those around you to support your change. If you’re trying to stay positive, you might ask your kids to tell you something great about their day.
  • Congratulate yourself. Success breeds success, so acknowledge yourself for any steps forward. Little rewards sometimes also work well.

Resisting Temptation

At times, you may find yourself on the verge of returning to unhealthy behaviors. Tips for those times include:

  • Be prepared. Some temptations can be avoided altogether with a little planning. You can pack healthy snacks to resist junk food. You can record your late-night TV show to avoid losing sleep.
  • Wait it out. If you’re feeling an unhealthy urge, remind yourself that it will pass. Most urges fade pretty quickly. If yours is stubborn, try distracting yourself with something fun.
  • Ask yourself about yourself. What will make you feel better about yourself later, sticking with your wellness change or dropping it?

Dealing with Setbacks

Failing is not such a big problem. How you deal with failure is often what really matters.

  • Don’t give up. When you break your plan, try not to assume all is lost. It would be a shame to give up entirely just because you slipped for a few days-or even a few weeks.
  • Don’t overly criticize yourself. Scolding makes you feel bad about yourself, and bad does not promote success. Instead, imagine what you’d say to a friend if she had failed.
  • Think about what went wrong. Then start looking for solutions. Were you too tired at the end of the day? Try moving your activity to the morning instead. Did you feel like you didn’t have time? You might switch to one of the wellness tools that take almost no time, like staying positive. Did you put other people’s needs before yours too often? Remember that if you don’t take care of yourself, you may wind up too burnt out to help anyone else.

http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/when-change-hard

TECH AWESOMENESS

  • Loaners: This link shows who has turned in their broken iPad and if they have a loaner device or not. (click here)
  • Live:  All of you do some really awesome things with your students!  One way to showcase those things is by broadcasting them live through our school Facebook page.  Whether it is your students presenting something in class or just an awesome lesson you are excited to teach it is a great way to toot your own horn and for us to get some good news out about the school.  If you are interested please let Mr. Pittman know!
  • Update Apps: Please remind your students to be checking the “updates” part of self-service to see if any of their apps need updating.  Some of the students haven’t been able to submit work from Adobe because they haven’t updated their app.

Instructional Ideas & Information

The I Love Reading Challenge concludes tomorrow, February 12th. Eligible student names will be posted on each Schoology grade level group and emailed to all teachers. Only students listed are excused from their last Enrichment on Thursday, February 15th.

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GO-TO GIRLS

“Be kind whenever possible.  It is always possible.” – Dalai Llama

Problem Solving Team this Friday will meet with team B for each grade level.

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” –  Martin Luther King Jr.

MORNING DUTIES (6:50 – 7:15 UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED):

GYM POOLE
GYM KEPLEY
CAFETERIA HOFFMAN
CAR RIDERS PRESTON
EXPLORATORY BATHROOMS AVERY
OUTSIDE MEDIA CENTER SHUE
GRADE LEVEL INTERSECTION WILKINSON
BUSES STONE
CAFETERIA 7:15 – 7:30 LYLES

AFTERNOON DUTIES

CAFETERIA HORTON
CAR RIDERS PRESTON
CAR RIDERS MUIRE
CAR RIDERS NUSSMAN
OUTSIDE MEDIA CENTER PITTMAN
BUSES YOUNG
TUESDAY ASD 2:30 – 3:30 SHUE
TUESDAY ASD 2:30 – 3:30 PITTMAN
THURSDAY ASD 2:30 – 3:30 HORTON
THURSDAY ASD 2:30 – 3:30 MUIRE

REMINDERS:

On Wednesday’s, the enrichment schedule includes a five minute transition time between classes.  Please do not release students until the scheduled class time.

Please remember to have all students back in classrooms by 2:15 so they can hear announcements.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

Monday Feb 12

  • Leadership 7th grade
  • Faculty meeting
  • JV Basketball @ Corriher-Lipe
  • Full day of planning –6th grade

Tuesday Feb 13

  • PD for grade levels and exploratory
  • Band Booster meeting

Wednesday Feb 14

  • ACCESS Testing – Media Center closed from 8 – 2:30
  • 8th grade to Norvell Theater
  • JV Basketball vs China Grove @ home

Thursday Feb 15

  • Enrichment schedule due to 8th grade trip to Norvell Theatre
  • ACCESS Testing – Media Center closed from 8 – 2:30
  • I Love Reading Achieve 3000 Success Celebration last Enrichment block

Friday Feb 16

  • Early Release
  • ACCESS Testing – Media Center closed from 8 – 11:00
  • Full day of planning — EC & Exploratory

Monday Feb 19

  • Snow Makeup Day

Tuesday Feb 20

  • Professional Development
  • Full day of Planning–7th grade
  • JV Basketball vs Mooresville @ home

Thursday Feb 22

  • RSS teacher breakfast with Dr. Moody

Friday Feb 23

  • All County Band Clinic @ JCHS
  • Problem Solving Team A
  • Full day of planning — 8th grade

Saturday Feb 24

  • JV Basketball tournament @ Erwin

Monday Feb 26

  • JV Basketball tournament @ Erwin 4pm

Tuesday Feb 27

  • JV Basketball tournament @ Erwin 4pm

Wednesday Feb 28

  • JV Basketball tournament @ Erwin 4pm

Thursday Mar 1

  • Club Pictures 8 – 11am

RESOURCES

 

Bulldog News Week of 02.04.18

BULLDOG NEWS!

Gradual Release of Responsibility

Gradual Release of Responsibility is a four-step teaching model that we started talking about in the last round of ISDs.  We will continue these talks in the next ISD sessions on February 13th. Each step is important for student mastery of the standard being addressed.

The four steps of the gradual release model are:

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I DO

We DO

YOU DO TOGETHER

YOU DO ALONE

I DO

Direct instruction and teacher modeling is important for students to gain the “How” rather than the “What”.  This is a time where students learn the steps how to perform a task instead of procedural directions.  Teacher modeling is the key.  When we talk about direct instruction it is important that we discuss new ways to present information to students.  Whole group activities do not have to be limited to lectures and PowerPoints.  Look for engaging interactive ways to include students in a direct instruction lesson.  A few ideas to start is using Pear Deck, Play Posit, or Ed Puzzle.

WE DO

After teacher modeling and direct instruction, teachers and students do the task together.  Guided instruction is a perfect fit into this step of the gradual release model.  The key is to know where your students are and to group them by either formal or informal data you have collected.  Guided instruction is where the bulk of differentiation will occur.  Working with small groups of students at their appropriate level is going to allow your students to make the most growth.  While in guided instruction groups, students will have more communication with the teacher, be more focused on the work, and struggling students will have more time with the teacher.  Like all successful lessons, guided instruction lessons should be planned ahead with meaningful high-level questioning.

YOU DO TOGETHER

The students working together in a collaborative learning setting will allow students to learn from each other in order to master the standard.  One of the goals of collaboration is that ALL students in the group will learn and master All the content.  It is important to note the difference in collaborative learning and cooperative learning.  Collaborative learning is when all students in a group work on all aspects of the assignment together.  Cooperative learning is when students will divide up an assignment to simply complete a task.  As the teacher, it is important to structure lessons and activities to promote collaborative learning and discuss our expectations of what group work will accomplish in our classrooms.

YOU DO ALONE

Finally, we need to make sure the students have mastered the standard.  The independent learning or individual task will allow us to assess the students on mastery of the standard.  It is not always easy to assess individual student knowledge based on a group assignment.  These individual tasks do not have to be long formal assessments, they can be a quick check or an exit ticket.  This data you collect from the individual task can be used to easily create groups for the next day’s lesson, the next round of enrichment / remediation groups, or groups for spiral review sessions.

Expectations of Gradual Release

You will see “Gradual Release” appear on the second semester walk-through form.  Each step will be included in a checkbox question.  One concern that we have hear from teachers is they are worried about having a walk through completed by an administrator while they are doing direct instruction or a whole group activity.  When looking at the process of gradual release direct instruction is an integral part of the process, but only one part.  We fully expect to see walk throughs with whole group and direct instruction, as well as seeing walk throughs with guided instruction, collaborative learning, and independent tasks.  The more walk throughs we do through the school and for individual teachers should show this balance of activities.

Duties

Please remember to check the Google Doc “duties” for when you have morning or afternoon duty.  We have had some days where we haven’t had someone at their assigned location.  It is extremely important that we make sure that if we can’t be there that we let someone know so it can get covered.  Duties begin at 6:50 and end at 7:15 in the morning.  The Spring athletic duty has also been posted.

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A Great RSS Learning Event!

Rowan Salisbury Schools is hosting a great learning event on blended learning!

Weston Kieschnick is an author, principal, and expert on changing schools and is a keynote for the day. In addition, there are breakout sessions and learning opportunities for teachers and educators at all levels. Teachers will receive a substitute for the day.

Please click on this link to reserve your spot!

Switching Schedules for a day

Since 8th grade is going to the high school for a visit on Tuesday, February 6, we will be switching schedules with 6th & 8th grade.  So, 6th grade will need to follow the 8th grade schedule and vice versa.

MEDIA MADNESS

  • The makerspace is running low on cardboard supplies. If you have any cardboard at home you would like to donate to the makerspace I would greatly appreciate it!
  • Please encourage students to return over due library books and come see some of the new titles we have available!
  • I will be away from school Tuesday-Friday. The library will be open Monday and Tuesday but closed the rest of the week for testing.

INSPIRATION

Effective communication is essential for building school-family partnerships. It constitutes the foundation for all other forms of family involvement in education.

Now that we are beginning the second semester it is a great time to reach out to parents with some positive messages.  Building strong parent relationships will benefit students, parents, and teachers.  This article was written by the American Federation of Teachers and has great insight on the why and how of building strong parent relationships.

Building Parent-Teacher Relationships

Parent Benefits

Positive parent-school communications benefit parents. The manner in which schools communicate and interact with parents affects the extent and quality of parents’ home involvement with their children’s learning. For example, schools that communicate bad news about student performance more often than recognizing students’ excellence will discourage parent involvement by making parents feel they cannot effectively help their children.

Parents also benefit from being involved in their children’s education by getting ideas from school on how to help and support their children, and by learning more about the school’s academic program and how it works. Perhaps most important, parents benefit by becoming more confident about the value of their school involvement. Parents develop a greater appreciation for the important role they play in their children’s education.

When communicating with parents, consider your remarks in relation to the three categories that influence how parents participate. For example, are you communicating about:

  • Classroom learning activities?
  • The child’s accomplishments?
  • How the parents can help at home with their child’s learning?

Student Benefits

Substantial evidence exists showing that parent involvement benefits students, including raising their academic achievement. There are other advantages for children when parents become involved — namely, increased motivation for learning, improved behavior, more regular attendance, and a more positive attitude about homework and school in general.

Teacher Benefits

Research shows that parental involvement can free teachers to focus more on the task of teaching children. Also, by having more contact with parents, teachers learn more about students’ needs and home environment, which is information they can apply toward better meeting those needs. Parents who are involved tend to have a more positive view of teachers, which results in improved teacher morale.

Good Two-Way Communication

Good two-way communication between families and schools is necessary for your students’ success. Not surprisingly, research shows that the more parents and teachers share relevant information with each other about a student, the better equipped both will be to help that student achieve academically.

Opportunities for two-way communication include:

  • Parent conferences
  • Parent-teacher organizations or school community councils
  • Weekly or monthly folders of student work sent home for parent review and comment
  • Phone calls
  • E-mail or school website

Communication Strategies

Personal contact, including conferences, home visits, telephone calls, and curriculum nights or open houses, seems to be the most effective form of communication and may be among the most familiar. However, the establishment of effective school-home communication has grown more complex as society has changed. The great diversity among families means that it is not possible to rely on a single method of communication that will reach all homes with a given message. It is essential that a variety of strategies, adapted to the needs of particular families and their schedules, be incorporated into an overall plan. Some strategies to consider include:

  • Parent newsletters
  • Annual open houses
  • Curriculum nights
  • Home visits (where applicable)
  • Phone calls
  • Annual school calendars
  • Inserts in local newspapers
  • Annual grandparents or “special persons” days
  • Board of Education spokesperson or communications officer at PTA meetings
  • Homework hotlines
  • Annual field days
  • Notices and handouts in local markets, clinics, churches, mosques, temples, or other gathering sites
  • Website for the school
  • Workshops for parents
  • Communications that are focused on fathers as well as mothers

Effective communication strategies involve:

  • Initiation: Teachers should initiate contact as soon as they know which students will be in their classroom for the school year. Contact can occur by means of an introductory phone call or a letter to the home introducing yourself to the parents and establishing expectations.
  • Timeliness: Adults should make contact soon after a problem has been identified, so a timely solution can be found. Waiting too long can create new problems, possibly through the frustration of those involved.
  • Consistency and frequency: Parents want frequent, ongoing feedback about how their children are performing with homework.
  • Follow-through: Parents and teachers each want to see that the other will actually do what they say they will do.
  • Clarity and usefulness of communication: Parents and teachers should have the information they need to help students, in a form and language that makes sense to them.

Surprise a Parent

Parents are not accustomed to hearing unsolicited positive comments from teachers about their children, especially in a phone call from the school. Imagine how you would feel, as a parent, if you were contacted by a teacher or the school principal and told that your son or daughter was doing well in school, or that your child had overcome a learning or behavior problem. When you make calls to share positive information with parents, be prepared for them to sound surprised-pleasantly surprised.

Research shows that school-home communication is greatly increased through personalized positive telephone contact between teachers and parents. Remember, when a phone call from school conveys good news, the atmosphere between home and school improves. When you have good news to share, why wait? Make the call and start a positive relationship with a parent.

Phone Guidelines

Sometimes, as a new teacher, it’s difficult to make the first call to a parent or guardian. Preparing for the call will make it easier. Before making a call, write down the reasons for the call. One reason can be simply to introduce yourself to the parent or guardian. Here are several guidelines you can use as you prepare:

  • Introduce yourself
  • Tell the parents what their child is studying
  • Invite the parents to an open house and/or other school functions
  • Comment on their child’s progress
  • Inform them of their child’s achievements (e.g., “Student of the Week”)
  • Inform them of their child’s strengths or share an anecdote

To hear a sample teacher-parent phone call, visit www.t-source.org.

TECH AWESOMENESS

  • Update Apps: If you could give your students a friendly reminder to always be checking Self Service to see if any of their apps need to be updated. Some of the issues the students run into is because their app may be out of date.
  • Apple Twitter Chat: Apple would like for you to join their Twitter chatson Tuesdays. Share ideas, discuss topics, and connect with peers on Twitter during #AppleEDUchat each Tuesday at 12:00 and 6:00 p.m. PST.
  • Laptop Cart Sign-Up: (click here)

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Instructional Ideas & Information

BreakoutEDU swag is here…plan and implement a Breakout and earn your swag:)

I had the opportunity to meet Adam Bellow last week at FETC (Future of Education Technology Conference). It was fascinating to hear about the transformation of BreakoutEDU from an idea, to inception, and its current platform. Bellow shared the interest in the immersive game platform has exploded in the last year! During Q&A, he was asked how often should students have the opportunity to participate in a Breakout…every two to three weeks:) True…that does sound like quite often, but the level of complexity and locks can be modified to align with your content and timeframe. For those who have planned a Breakout with me…I admit I can be over the top integrating multiple layers of complexity, codes, ciphers, and locks. BreakoutEDU has recently updated its platform and games available for educators. Free games/resources are still available and all access is available for $60 a year.

GO-TO GIRLS

“Be kind whenever possible.  It is always possible.”Dalai Llama

It has come to our attention that we need to keep working with our students on kindness in the area of acceptance and understanding.  Several of us have heard from students recently who have been the subject of unkind statements from their peers in reference to their or their families race, place of birth, or sexuality.  Unfortunately, our students may hear unkind prejudiced remarks being said on media or on social media sites such as Twitter, that they are repeating.  There are a few things you can do to help.  If you are talking about something relevant in your class, please discuss how we can be kind and accepting.  If you do not feel comfortable discussing a topic and would like one of us to assist, please let us know.  Also, please be listening in the halls and your classrooms for name calling regarding sexuality, for racial terms being used, or for things such as a threat of deportation of a family being used as an attack or even a joke.  Please address the students you hear using such talk and if you feel there is a need, send them to our office and we will try to educate them.  Thank you

Problem Solving Team this Friday will meet with team A for each grade level.

Remember after a student has been absent for 3 days, please contact the parent.  Then if absences continue please let Mrs. Muire know as soon as possible, so we can check on these kiddos.

Pasta 4 Patients!  Money collection for the fantastic charity will be Wednesday.  NJHS members will be collecting from your boxes during homeroom.  Encourage your students to participate as each dollar will go into your total.

8th grade students will be going on a field trip this Tuesday, February 6 to West Rowan High School.  Mrs. Horton will be helping them sign up for high school classes coming soon.

“Take time to be kind and to say ‘thank you.”Zig Ziglar

unnamedUPCOMING EVENTS

Monday Feb 5

  • 8th grade leadership meeting
  • SIT meeting
  • JV Basketball vs SE @ home
  • Soccer Tryouts for girls 2:30-4:30

Tuesday Feb 6

  • 8th graders go on High School visit
  • Chapter 5, Student-Led Conferences, Leaders of Their Own Learning
  • Facilitators are 8th-ELA, 7th-ELA, 6th-Math, Exploratory-Hoffman & Poole
  • Volleyball try-outs after first cut– all grades
  • Baseball tryouts for 7th/8th graders
  • Soccer Tryouts for girls 2:30-4:30

Wednesday Feb 7

  • RSS Data meeting @ 7:45
  • ACCESS Testing – Media Center closed from 8 – 10am
  • WRMS Community Roundtable
  • JV Basketball vs North @ home
  • Soccer Tryouts for boys 2:30-4:30

Thursday Feb 8

  • ACCESS Testing – Media Center closed from 8 – 10am
  • BT/Mentor meeting
  • JV Basketball @ Erwin
  • Volleyball tryouts after second cuts–all grades.
  • Soccer Tryouts for boys 2:30-4:30

Friday Feb 9

  • ACCESS Testing – Media Center closed from 8 – 1:30

Monday Feb 12

  • Leadership 7th grade
  • Faculty meeting
  • JV Basketball @ Corriher-Lipe
  • Full day of planning –6th grade

Tuesday Feb 13

  • PD for grade levels and exploratory
  • Band Booster meeting

Wednesday Feb 14

  • ACCESS Testing – Media Center closed from 8 – 2:30
  • Success celebration
  • 8th grade to Norvell Theater

Thursday Feb 15

  • ACCESS Testing – Media Center closed from 8 – 2:30
  • JV Basketball vs China Grove @ home

Friday Feb 16

  • Early Release
  • ACCESS Testing – Media Center closed from 8 – 11:00
  • Full day of planning — EC & Exploratory

Monday Feb 19

  • Snow Makeup Day

Tuesday Feb 20

  • Professional Development
  • Full day of Planning–7th grade
  • JV Basketball vs Mooresville @ home

Thursday Feb 22

  • RSS teacher breakfast with Dr. Moody

Friday Feb 23

  • All County Band Clinic @ JCHS
  • Problem Solving Team A
  • Full day of planning — 8th grade

Saturday Feb 24

  • JV Basketball tournament @ Erwin

RESOURCES

Bulldog News Week of 01.28.18

BULLDOG NEWS!

Marketing Team Update — Our Marketing Team is working hard to showcase all we are doing here at WRMS. Our student council has painted the rock with our Hashtag #WEstBulldogs. Remember to start posting the great learning and celebrations at WRMS using #WEstBulldogs. Our current members are stepping up their Twitter game using the hashtag. Check it out!!

On Monday, during all the awards, if you have Snapchat, we have gotten a filter for the day with WRMS. Let your students know to take a selfie with an award winner or celebrating our awards day using the filter on Snap and then post it on Twitter or Instagram with the #WEstBulldogs to be entered into a drawing for a shirt.

Now, don’t be jealous staff, you can win something too! Join West Rowan Middle on Twitter, create an account if you haven’t, and post pictures of what you do in your class, your students getting awards, or greatness at WRMS using the #WEstBulldogs and you too will be entered in a monthly drawing for various prizes.

February Enrichment Cycle–Please make sure all your homeroom students have signed up for the next enrichment cycle/compassion project that begins Feb. 7. Students can log into their account and show your their choices. If students are needing to delete a choice, please have them message Mrs. Hester on Schoology. If you have students who are supposed to be in your remediation groups that didn’t sign up, then have them message Mrs. Hester in Schoology what they need to drop and add (this will ensure that they know they were added to your class). An email will be sent out early this week with the link to the class lists for the February enrichment/compassion cycle.

 

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Confusion is an essential component of learning [Productive Struggle]

Priorities Moving Forward – Connecting with Families and Students

The saying goes, ‘Students don’t care how much you know until they know you care.’ This has been around a long time and still holds true, not just for students but for the families who entrust us to take care of, inspire and mold their children.

Knowing our students also means knowing our families. Its important that we are taking steps to not just inform parents of what’s going on in classrooms [email and remind] but build relationships – conferences, house visits, phone calls.

If you would need help arranging a home visit, counselors and admin are all about helping make that happen. If you have a student who is having harder time than most adjusting to middle school, making friends, working with others and getting work done we have to do more than average work to help them be successful

Parents are sending us the best they have – we have to do the best we can to help our students be successful.

Its a Hot Chocolate Celebration

Remember to congratulate all the winners for our Achieve 3000 Snow Day Challenge! Our Hot Chocolate Party will be Tuesday afternoon stating at 1:30!

Let’s keep encouraging students to be GREAT readers!

MEDIA MADNESS

  • With all of the holiday days and snow days our overdue numbers are starting to add up. Please encourage your students to come to the library and return overdue materials and check out some of the great new titles we have available!
  • We now have a 5th Sphero Sprk+ in our makerspace! If you are interested in learning about coding the Sphero’s and ways to use them to create collaborative lessons within your classes please let me know! I will be happy to meet and plan with you!
  • I often forget about this amazing tool! But the American Library Association (ALA) is an amazing FREE tool for all teachers and staff! They put together a great list of top 25 sites for teaching and curriculum each year. Here is the link for 2017 http://www.ala.org/aasl/standards/best/websites/2017 They also have a great tool where you can search apps and websites by state standards! http://standards.aasl.org/ This can be super helpful in locating online content and tools for both you and your students!
  • If you take pictures of great things happening in your classroom or at sporting events please share them with me. I can share them in our schools social media sites, our weekly Google Album, school website, and/or yearbook!

INSPIRATION

After this month of strange schedules with delays, holidays, snow cancellations, rescheduling most of our weeks, I think it is important to look back one more time on the ways to keep positive in the New Year by Jon Gordon. Think about what did you say were your three goals of those 20, how have you done this month accomplishing those goals, should you continue with those or should you change one or two?

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TECH AWESOMENESS

  • School Recognition: We have a section on our website where we are able to spotlight students and teachers at our school. (click here) If there is a student who is doing exceptionally well please let me know so we can spotlight them on our website. Thanks you!
  • Airplay: I know some of you know how to do this but here is a way to Airplay one display while having another display on your device. (click here)
  • Schoology: From time to time Schoology will go down. If you are wondering if it is your laptop or Schoology you can check here.
  • New Students: I wanted to share out a document showing the process on how students get into our Ed tech systems. I have attached a workflow so you can see the steps that it takes from enrollment to get them what they need technology wise. It also shows you where the data comes from, either PowerSchool or AD, and when those systems sync. (click here)

ipad-apps-to-de_27320614-1

Instructional Ideas & Information

Just a few reminders…no PD this week…time can be used to…update data in the data room, analyze student performance on benchmarks and determine groupings, and plan effective, intentional instruction for next Enrichment cycle.

February 6th is the next data for Leaders of Their Own Learning, chapter 5. Facilitators are 8th-ELA, 7th-ELA, 6th-Math, Exploratory-Hoffman & Poole. Looking forward to experiencing a variety of engaging sessions with takeaways teachers can implement in their classrooms.

Each year the ALA, American Librarians Association, complies a list of the best 25 websites for teaching and learning. Getting kiddos excited, engaged, or hooked on our content can at times be challenging. ClassHook is a great resource to “teacher your students using their favorite TV shows and movies.” Create an account, filter clips by grade level, content, and even profanity:)

GO-TO GIRLS

“Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.” -Thomas Jefferson

Problem Solving Team this Friday during planning! This week we will meet with B-teams Friday, February 2, during planning. We look forward to collaborating with you all.

Remember after a student has been absent for 3 days, please contact the parent. Then if absences continue please let Mrs. Muire know as soon as possible, so we can check on these kiddos.

Pasta 4 Patients! Money collection for the fantastic charity will be Wednesday. NJHS members will be collecting from your boxes during homeroom. Encourage your students to participate as each dollar will go into your total.

8th grade students will take home a permission slip for the field trip to West Rowan High School February 6th on Monday. Homeroom teachers are asked to collect these.

“Goodness is about character – integrity, honesty, kindness, generosity, moral courage, and the like. More than anything else, it is about how we treat other people.” -Dennis Prager

UPCOMING EVENT

questions every kid is trying to answer

Monday Jan 29

  • Faculty Meeting – 7:00 am
  • Grade Level Awards during Exploratories (Students in school uniform/parents are invited)
  • JV Basketball vs Knox @ Home
  • Faculty Meeting – PLC Presentation Tina Mashburn

Tuesday Jan 30

  • Professional Development/PLCs
  • Hot Chocolate Party – 1:30 – 2:30

Wednesday, Jan 31

  • JV Basketball vs Erwin @ home

Thursday Feb 1

  • JV Basketball @ North Rowan
  • Volleyball try-outs 8th grade and returning 7th grade 3:00-5:00

Friday Feb 2

  • WRMS Data Visit (8-8:50 am)
  • Good Bulldog Award Party (1:30-2:30)
  • Volleyball try-outs for new 7th grade and 6th grade 4:30-6:30
  • Baseball try-outs for 6th grade 2:30-4:00

Monday Feb 5

  • 8th grade leadership meeting
  • SIT meeting
  • JV Basketball vs SE @ home
  • Soccer Tryouts for girls 2:30-4:30

Tuesday Feb 6

  • 8th graders go on High School visit
  • PD for grade levels and exploratory
  • Volleyball try-outs after first cut– all grades
  • Baseball tryouts for 7th/8th graders
  • Soccer Tryouts for girls 2:30-4:30

Wednesday Feb 7

  • RSS Data meeting @ 7:45
  • WRMS Community Roundtable
  • JV Basketball vs North @ home
  • Soccer Tryouts for boys 2:30-4:30

Thursday Feb 8

  • BT/Mentor meeting
  • JV Basketball @ Erwin
  • Volleyball tryouts after second cuts–all grades.
  • Soccer Tryouts for boys 2:30-4:30

Monday Feb 12

  • Leadership 7th grade
  • Faculty meeting
  • JV Basketball @ Corriher-Lipe
  • Full day of planning –6th grade

Tuesday Feb 13

  • PD for grade levels and exploratory
  • Band Booster meeting

Wednesday Feb 14

  • Success celebration
  • 8th grade to Norvell Theater

Thursday Feb 15

  • JV Basketball vs China Grove @ home

Friday Feb 16

  • Early Release
  • Full day of planning — EC & Exploratory

Monday Feb 19

  • Optional Workday

Tuesday Feb 20

  • Professional Development
  • Full day of Planning–7th grade
  • JV Basketball vs Mooresville @ home

Thursday Feb 22

  • RSS teacher breakfast with Dr. Moody

Friday Feb 23

  • All County Band Clinic @ JCHS
  • Problem Solving Team A
  • Full day of planning — 8th grade

Saturday Feb 24

  • JV Basketball tournament @ Erwin

RESOURCES

Bulldog News Week of 01.21.18

BULLDOG NEWS!

Full day of planning —For the third quarter, we are having another day of planning.  Here are the dates:

  • Feb. 12 6th grade
  • Feb 16 exploratory and EC
  • Feb 20 7th
  • Feb 23 8th

We realize that this is two days of coverage in one week, but felt it was important to get these days in as quickly as possible.

Learn spreadsheets– During the data session with Mrs. Hester, we talked about creating spreadsheets for students to collect data for your classes.  I know some of you have yet to do the session, but if you want to learn how to do a simple spreadsheet for your students to collect data,  then please sign up for a time slot with Mrs. Hester.  You will need to come with the ideas of what you want the spreadsheet to compute and we will create a sheet for your students.  Here is the link to sign up for a time:   http://www.signupgenius.com/go/20f0448aeaf2aa0f49-spreadsheets

If none of the sessions work for your schedule, please email Mrs. Hester and we will work out a time.

Data update–Most of the boards have been put up in the data room.  There are still a couple of boards that need to be created so make sure to do that ASAP.  With our benchmark data that we will be receiving this week, it’s a great opportunity to update our data room.  When you are looking over your information and forming your groups for interventions, please also take time to update your boards with student data.  Remember that we want to be able to see where your classes are in understanding the content/standards, we want to be able to see individual data as well, and we want to be able to see what we can celebrate and who we need to celebrate.

wrms-core-value_27315117Reschedule Faculty Meeting – Monday Jan 29th, we will be having our faculty meeting originally scheduled for earlier this month. This presentation from Tina Mashburn is tied directly to our current ISDs that on PLCs and best practices. Our on-going work is looking at what our conversations and actions should be in PLCs [protected planning]. Come ready to learn and contribute. If you can’t make this meeting, please make sure you communicate with an administrator.

Priorities – PLC/Protected Planning – Last week’s blog had several priorities for us to consider moving forward closing the year. There are two we need to focus on with this month’s focus on PLC best practices – Planning and Teaching What Needs to be Taught. These two go hand in hand and are dependent on several factors – good communication amongst planners, commitment to continue growing our understanding of standards, development of student-centered practices, planning for students who understand and don’t, embedding data centered talks.

Our commitment to get better ensures that students will achieve at high levels.

Two Infographics for #WEstBulldogs! – Two new infographics have been created for our school. They are embedded in this blog and available for your download and use. You can use the Core Value Infographic to lead a discussion in your classes. The SIP Infographic is a great visual to use in parent discussions. Let’s use their visual value to help start conversations.

INSPIRATION

Teaching is a tough job.  We have been trying to focus this month’s inspiration on ways to stay positive and avoid negativity.  Here are some more ways for teachers to stay positive from a blog by Bevin K. Reinen:

1)  Savor Shining Moments:  Every once in a while there is a moment in class that makes you laugh hysterically, cry (the good kind), or feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude for your job.  Savor it!  Share this moment with your colleagues, friends, family members, etc.  You deserve it and people usually enjoy hearing a good teacher tale or two.

2)  Count-Ups:  As well-deserved as holiday breaks are, try to avoid the countdowns (especially in front of the children).  It inadvertently sends a negative message to your brain, and behavior issues often ensue when children can sense that their teacher is ready to ‘clock out’.  Rather than doing countdowns, try doing count-ups to special events that celebrate learning (examples:  plays/performances, spirit days, field trips, etc.)

3)  Praise More/Correct Less:  It’s easy to fall into the trap of wanting to correct every negative behavior you see.  But remember, take a deep breath and choose your battles wisely!  Too much attention to negative behaviors can be counterproductive.  Rather, focus on positive, specific feedback.

4)  Collection Box:  Save the special letters, pictures, and thoughtful keepsakes you get from your children.  Read them on a difficult day as a reminder of how much you love your job.

5)  Vent to Few:  It’s natural and sometimes healthy to vent.  However, choose a few select people that you trust when venting frustrations.  Chatting with a teacher buddy who can relate from another school may be your best bet.  You certainly don’t want to be seen as ‘Negative Nancy’ by your colleagues or have your frustrations get back to the wrong ears (thus creating a whole other slew of issues).  It’s not good for you or the school climate.  After venting, always ask yourself, “Is this something I can control?”  If not, let it go and move on.  If so, brainstorm solutions!

6)  Love your Room:  Be sure to make your room kid-friendly and teacher-friendly.  Take some extra time at the beginning of the year to make it an organized, well-functioning, comfortable, and beautiful place to spend your countless hours.  Bring in a soft-lit lamp from home to grade papers near as opposed to the harsh fluorescent lights.  Be greeted by the smell of a scented air freshener each time you enter your room.  These little touches can go a long way!

7)  The Mulligan Rule:  Kids forget about their troubles in 2.5 seconds.  We can learn a lot from them!  Remember, tomorrow is always a new day.  Teachers deserve do-overs!

8)  Connect with Parents:  Parents can be your biggest supporters or your toughest critics.  Fostering good relationships with them can make all the difference in your happiness as well as the success of your students.  Communicate often and approach issues in a sensitive manner.  How would you want something communicated if it were your child?

9)  Fun Factor:  Keep it fun, both in the classroom and with your colleagues.  Sing.  Dance.  Let yourself laugh a little too long.  Do the messy project.  Never take yourself too seriously.  That is the beauty of being a teacher and working with children all day.  Embrace it!

10)  Count Your Lucky Stars:  Yep, there are many things that make teaching tough.  There are also millions of things that make it a fun-filled, rewarding profession.  I sometimes scope the flawlessly dressed woman in pumps at the grocery store in envy while I’m rocking my modest flats, disheveled hair, and marker-covered hands.  But hey, I’m sure she’d give anything for a summer off or an extended holiday break with her family.  We’ve earned our perks, but let’s never take them for granted!

TECH AWESOMENESS

  • 20 Common macOS How-To Questions Answeredhttps://www.makeuseof.com/tag/common-macos-how-to-questions/
  • Check Out: Just a reminder that we have 20 headphones, 20 Google Cardboards, 2 video cameras, and 2 DVD drives available for check out.
  • iPad Keyboards: 30 iPad keyboards will be arriving at the school at the end of the month which will be available for checkout as a class set for your class.

Instructional Inspiration & Ideas

I experienced my first “snow in” January 1998. My family moved from Lubbock, TX to Bloomington-Normal, Illinois in May of the same year. As the weather cooled and Summer became Fall, I will never forget the words of wisdom imparted to me by a neighbor, “Shop for the month, not for the week, and invest in a generator.” Thankfully, I heeded his first suggestion and when the first blizzard of 1998 hit, we were prepared. Let’s just say Cabin Fever is real and by day eight mine was raging:) We never did buy a generator, but were always alerted to a power outage when the generator across the street roared to life.

So what was a mom to do with three kids, and no place to go…read, bake, and watch VHS movies (have I dated myself yet:) After twenty years of various degrees of “snow ins” and several bouts of cabin fever, I still…read, bake, and watch movies (Netflix, Amazon, etc.:) But there are some occasions when I dig through boxes of CDs to find just the right one. Admittedly my book selection has changed from Harrison’s & Adisynne’s favorite book of the week to grad school textbooks, a YA novel suggested by a kiddo at school, or one suggested by my “book pal” at WRMS.

Hopefully, you are still reading my section and have not scrolled to the upcoming events to see what is on deck for next week. If you are still with me…thanks!! Open a new tab and go to Twitter. Type “share love of reading” in the search bar…the feed is neverending! Posts from parents, teachers, authors, researchers, etc. expound the importance of adults sharing with children the power of reading.

Our kiddos have been offered many Achieve 3000 challenges, and the reports show the same participate every time. But, it’s not just about Achieve, we need to create a culture of reading at WRMS. We, includes all of us: teachers, administrators, guidance counselors, office and cafeteria staff, custodians, and support staff. So instead of offering a challenge to the students, why not one for us?

Make a #BookSnaps for a book you are reading…professional, for pleasure, or if you have kiddos what are you reading to them. Post your #BookSnaps on Schoology with a brief summary. Wow…two for the price of one modeling…sharing our love of reading and a summary!!

Here is one I created for @daveburgess Teach Like a Pirate. Happy Snapping!Screen Shot 2018-01-20 at 8.13.54 AM

How to Create a #BookSnaps

GO-TO GIRLS

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.- Martin Luther King, Jr.

Problem Solving Team this Friday during planning!  This week we will begin with A teams- “If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them…maybe you can hire The A-Team.”  We look forward to collaborating with you all.

Remember after a student has been absent for 3 days, please contact the parent.  Then if absences continue please let Mrs. Muire know as soon as possible, so we can check on these kiddos.

Pasta 4 Patients!  Money collection for the fantastic charity will be Wednesday.    Wednesday will also be a dollar or more for jeans day.  Encourage your students to participate as each dollar will go into your total.  Jenny will put stickers in your box to hand out to student who participate.  We will announce the leaders the following day.

In the end we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.  -Martin Luther King, Jr.

 

wrms-sip-goals_27314033

UPCOMING EVENT

Monday Jan 22

  • Math & Science Benchmark

Tuesday Jan 23

  • 6th Grade to Horizons
  • Social Studies Benchmark
  • JV Basketball @ China Grove

Wednesday Jan 24

  • 6th Grade to Horizons
  • Social Studies Benchmark for one 6th grade team

Thursday Jan 25

  • JV Basketball @ Mooresville

Friday Jan 26

  • WRMS Bulldog Wear Day
  • All District Band Clinic (half day)
  • Exploratory meeting with guidance in Collaboration room
  • Sign up genius sign ups–last block

Monday Jan 29

  • Grade Level Awards during Exploratories (students DO NOT dress up/parents are invited)
  • JV Basketball vs Knox @ Home
  • Faculty Meeting – PLC Presentation Tina Mashburn

Tuesday Jan 30

  • Professional Development/PLCs

Thursday Feb 1

  • JV Basketball @ North Rowan

Friday Feb 2

  • WRMS Data Visit (8-8:50 am)
  • Good Bulldog Award Party (1:30-2:30)

Monday Feb 5

  • 8th grade leadership meeting
  • SIT meeting
  • JV Basketball vs SE @ home

Tuesday Feb 6

  • 8th graders go on High School visit
  • PD for grade levels and exploratory

Wednesday Feb 7

  • RSS Data meeting @ 7:45
  • WRMS Community Roundtable
  • JV Basketball vs North @ home

Thursday Feb 8

  • BT/Mentor meeting
  • JV Basketball @ Erwin

Monday Feb 12

  • Leadership 7th grade
  • Faculty meeting
  • JV Basketball @ Corriher-Lipe
  • Full day of planning –6th grade

Tuesday Feb 13

  • PD for grade levels and exploratory
  • Band Booster meeting

Wednesday Feb 14

  • Success celebration
  • 8th grade to Norvell Theater

Thursday Feb 15

  • JV Basketball vs China Grove @ home

Friday Feb 16

  • Early Release
  • Full day of planning — EC & Exploratory

Monday Feb 19

  • Optional Workday

Tuesday Feb 20

  • Professional Development
  • Full day of Planning–7th grade
  • JV Basketball vs Mooresville @ home

Thursday Feb 22

  • RSS teacher breakfast with Dr. Moody

Friday Feb 23

  • All County Band Clinic @ JCHS
  • Problem Solving Team A
  • Full day of planning — 8th grade

Saturday Feb 24

  • JV Basketball tournament @ Erwin

ipad-apps-to-de_27320614-1RESOURCES

Bulldog News Week of 01.14.18

INSPIRATION

As you begin your week, remember Your Why, Your Purpose.  We all need to continue to send positive energy to our Bulldog community for an amazing week!

Screen Shot 2018-01-12 at 10.11.31 PM

BULLDOG NEWS!

2nd Quarter Benchmark Testing

We will be giving Benchmark and NC Check-In testing this week.  Mr. Brown has emailed the testing plan on Friday 1/12/18, please make sure you read the plan carefully.   There are multiple tabs at the bottom which has the daily schedule, accommodations for each test, accommodated sites, and the testing rooms.  Homeroom teachers please make sure you tell students where to go if they have accommodations.  If you are giving an accommodated test please verify you have all your students and providing the required modifications.

Everyone has a bag of testing supplies in Mr. Brown’s office which will need to be picked up between 6:30 and 7:10 each morning.  This bag will have everything (except pencils) you will need for that day’s test, including; directions, test manual, class roster, and paper.  Many teachers kept the pencils from the last round of testing.  If you returned them, there will be additional pencils for you, but we do not have enough for everyone.  All testing materials must be returned when you are finished with testing. This includes paper (please separate used and unused) and test manuals.

If you have students that do not have an iPad please have them use the desktop in your classroom, or a desktop on your team if possible.  We are very limited on the number of laptops we have available and we do not have an extra teacher to test in the computer lab.

Please see Mr. Brown with any testing questions.

Marketing Team Committee information — Our marketing team wanted to share our goal for our committee:
To proudly promote and inform all members of our West Rowan Bulldog family about school wide functions.

Over the next couple of months, you will be hearing about some upcoming events/incentives to help promote our #WEstBullogs on Social Media (especially Twitter).  We want to encourage our students, teachers, parents and other community members to follow West Rowan Middle (@westrowanmiddle) on Twitter.  We want you, our students, parents, and community members who are taking pictures at events and sharing our Bulldog news to use #WEstBullogs.  Anytime you want to share the great learning that is occurring in your classroom, the success of your teams, clubs, or concerts/shows please use #WEstBulldogs.  We wanted to remind you that we haven’t had a single student in our school to “opt-out” of being on any type of social media representing our school; therefore, you are free to post pictures or videos of your students.

We have some exciting ideas that our committee members have come up with to show our community what a great school we are!  We are looking forward to sharing & developing those and seeing what you share on Twitter or any other social media sites.  Please remember to use #WEstBulldogs!  If you have any ideas that you would like to share with a committee member, please contact one of the following people:  Tara Hoffman, Emily Shue, Jerry Pittman, Holly Brumley, Timothy Kepley, Marian Hough, Taylor Spakes, Mark Sells, Jenny Horton or Tricia Hester.

images-1Priorities Moving Forward

As we move into the second half of the year we should reflect and commit on our actions and efforts to help support students in finishing the year ahead of where they came to us. Growth is achievable for all students. There are many things that we bring to our collective attention – things that we learn and grow on that help students learn at high levels:

  • Planning – committing to growth conversations during PLCs/Protected Planning involves a lot of things that help with student achievement [staying on topic with an agenda, bringing in data and student work, identifying skills students need and standards to be taught and what we will do for the students who got it, kinda got it, and don’t got it];
  • Guided Instruction – intentional planning for conversations to have with students at all levels of learning and need in our classroom;
  • Building relationships – Students who know you care, will jump keep trying to reach higher than what’s in their grasp;
  • Connecting with home and families;
  • Reviewing and enhancing classroom practices as needed;
  • Distinction between what we need to teach vs what we want to teach.

We all have a lot to do and these are some of our focuses and priorities. As we keep learning and moving forward, what helps us maintain is knowing we are in this together and growth for all students is possible.

Bridge Program from Horizons – Wednesday at 2:00 in the media center, personnel from Horizons will be out to meet with all students from the Horizons Program. We are working on getting a comprehensive list of students to share with you ahead of time.

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Keeping Parents Informed

This picture was taken Friday afternoon after dismissal. Mrs McNeely took a couple of minutes to call parents before heading out. Its critical that we are letting parents know about student progress. Being proactive and contacting parents is an impressive way to build community. A big part of that includes updating grades in a timely manner. Lastly, please make sure to respond when parents contact us within 24 hours – this includes all communication. Giving a few minutes makes a big difference to the lives of our students.

#WRStrong Arts Showcase – If you missed the #WRStrong Arts Showcase Thursday night, you missed an evening of our students stepping up and showing their talent and courage displaying hard work from months of coaching and passion. This was a big turnout for K-12 community as families came out to see performances from all levels.

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Thanks to Ms Spakes  and Mr Bowman and their students for their performances and Coach Epps for helping submit pieces from our talented students.

#WEstBulldogs

 

TECH AWESOMENESS

  • Website: If you haven’t seen the county website recently one of the pictures we had posted on our own website is now featured on the county site.  We are posting new pictures and content to our website constantly.  If you have any good pictures or would like anything posted to the website please send these items to Mrs. Shue or myself.
  • Live: If you have something awesome going on in your classroom… big projects, great lesson, great student product, etc…that you would like for your parents or community to see we can use Facebook Live to show your and your students awesomeness.  If this is something that you are interested in let Mr. Pittman know!
  • Self Service: Many of you have been experiencing issues with some students being able to download apps while other students cannot. Here is the reason why. Before the break, a change was made in our purchasing process for app licensees. This change was strongly recommended to be made and assurances were made that this “small” change would not affect the current app purchasing process. After the break, we began to notice that students were unable to download certain apps. Upon further diagnostics, we found that the change that was made was indeed the cause of the problem. We began to work on a solution, that was when the JSS decided to go down for a week. Now that the system is back up and running we are working on getting the app licensees issues resolved. However, we do not think this will be a speedy fix. Please know that barring semester one testing, this is our top priority. We will be working to get this issue resolved as soon as possible. In the meantime, you will continue to see that some students can download apps while others cannot, but this should get better as the week progresses.

Instructional Information

January PD reminders:

  • No scheduled PD Tuesday, the 16th & 23rd
  • Please use the time to analyze benchmark performance using the Benchmark  Data Analysis Document
  • Intervention groups should be created prior to January 30th

Achieve 3000:

  • I Love Reading challenge began on January 12th and continues through February 12th.
  • Students completing 20 articles at or above 75% will participate in the Success Celebration the last Enrichment block on February 14th
  • A new shipment of class rosters just came in…drop by my room and pick some up!
  • Student cards for the “I’m Achieving” wall are organized by homeroom will be in your mailboxes Tuesday morning
  • Homeroom teachers can determine the number of articles read at 75% or higher with just a few clicks:

Tap the “hamburger” at the top left of the screen, select performance, How are my students performing on activities?, set the date from August 28th – January 16th, which activity types? Activities that factor into Lexile adjustments, view report

  • Students can share their current progress towards the 40 and 80 article goal by displaying their card in the appropriate location

 

GO-TO GIRLS

“Be kind whenever possible.  It is always possible.” – Dalai Llama

Thank you for your attention during our Friday meeting.  We look forward to ongoing collaboration during our Friday meetings.

Remember after a student has been absent for 3 days, please contact the parent.  Then if absences continue please let Mrs. Muire know as soon as possible, so we can check on these kiddos.

Pasta 4 Patients!  Money collection for the fantastic charity will be Wednesday.  NJHS members will be collecting from you during their first enrichment.  Wednesday will also be a dollar or more for jeans day.  Encourage your students to participate as each dollar will go into your total.  Jenny will put stickers in your box to hand out to student who participate.  We will announce the leaders the following day.

Take time to be kind and to say ‘thank you.” – Zig Ziglar

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New A3K District Challenge! Share with your students!

UPCOMING EVENT

Saturday Jan 13

  • RSS 8th Basketball Tournament, 8:00-3:30 Southeast MS

Monday Jan 15

  • Martin Luther King Holiday

Tuesday Jan 16

  • ELA Benchmark
  • JV Basketball vs Erwin MS @ home
  • Department Meetings

Wednesday Jan 17

  • Math Benchmark
  • Bridge Meeting [Horizon’s Science Program] 2:00 in Media Center

Thursday Jan 18

  • Science Benchmark
  • JV Basketball vs CLMS Home

Friday Jan 19

  • Social Studies Benchmark
  • Early Release

Monday Jan 22

  • Teacher workday
  • Marketing meeting 8:00 am
  • Math professional development 1:00-2:30

Tuesday Jan 23

  • 6th Grade to Horizons
  • JV Basketball @ China Grove

Wednesday Jan 24

  • 6th Grade to Horizons

Thursday Jan 25

  • JV Basketball @ Mooresville

Friday Jan 26

  • WRMS Bulldog Wear Day
  • All District Band Clinic (half day)
  • Exploratory meeting with guidance in Collaboration room
  • Sign up genius sign ups–last block

Monday Jan 29

  • Grade Level Awards during Exploratories (students DO NOT dress up/parents are invited)
  • JV Basketball vs Knox @ Home

Tuesday Jan 30

  • Professional Development/PLCs

Thursday Feb 1

  • JV Basketball @ North Rowan

Friday Feb 2

  • WRMS Data Visit (8-8:50 am)
  • Good Bulldog Award Party (1:30-2:30)

Monday Feb 5

  • 8th grade leadership meeting
  • SIT meeting
  • JV Basketball vs SE @ home

Tuesday Feb 6

  • 8th graders go on High School visit
  • PD for grade levels and exploratory

Wednesday Feb 7

  • RSS Data meeting @ 7:45
  • WRMS Community Roundtable
  • JV Basketball vs North @ home

Thursday Feb 8

  • BT/Mentor meeting
  • JV Basketball @ Erwin

Monday Feb 12

  • Leadership 7th grade
  • Faculty meeting
  • JV Basketball @ Corriher-Lipe

Tuesday Feb 13

  • PD for grade levels and exploratory
  • Band Booster meeting

Wednesday Feb 14

  • Success celebration
  • 8th grade to Norvell Theater

Thursday Feb 15

  • JV Basketball vs China Grove @ home

Friday Feb 16

  • Early Release

RESOURCES

Bulldog News Week of 01.07.18

INSPIRATION

We hope you picked 3 things from the 20 Tips for a Positive New Year from last week’s blog as a focus for this year!   Two of the tips were to use the words “get to” rather than “have to” and no complaining.  We know that it is often difficult to stay positive as the school year progresses so here are 5 tips to further help us stay positive from Jon Gordon.

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Check the email from Wed for the support links!

BULLDOG NEWS!

Wednesday Enrichment – The rosters will be updated for enrichment.  We had several students sign up for enrichment on Tuesday and Wednesday.  Please make sure you check roll with the updated rosters.  If you have students who do not show up, please email absences to Brown & Hester for your 3 enrichments (preferably in one email).  If you have a student who is in your class and not on the roster, please send him/her to the intersection so they can be sent to their correct location.

For the remainder of the year, we have four enrichment cycles that we will be using.  The dates are listed in the table below.  During Cycle Two & Three, we will be incorporating the Compassion Project.  Each teacher will have a Compassion group during the first time slot beginning February 7.  For those cycles, teachers will need to decide based on data from benchmarks whether they will be teaching remediation for the other two sessions or just one remediation sessions and one enrichment session.   We will be doing sign ups for Cycle Two on Friday, January 26, so please let Mrs. Hester know your classes for remediation (based on benchmark data).

Cycle One Cycle Two
January 3rd

January 10th

*January 17th — no enrichment due to benchmarks

January 24th

February 7th

February 14th

February 21st

Cycle Three Cycle Four
February 28th

March 7th

March 14th

* March 21st — no enrichment due to benchmarks

*March 28th — no enrichment due to early release

April 11th

*April 18th — no enrichment due to Career Day

April 25th

May 2nd

*May 9th — no enrichment due to Compassion Project Presentations

May 16th

Reading challenge–We will be starting our next reading challenge January 12 and it will end February 12.  We appreciate your input during your PD this week on ways to promote these reading challenges.  We will be announcing it during our grade level expectation meetings, and we need your help in promoting it as well.

Reflect back on the Winter Break reading challenge, which only had 11 winners.  How close were students in your homeroom to meeting the requirement of reading 15 articles?  What could you have done to help promote this within your homeroom?  Help us to increase the number of winners with this “I LOVE READING” challenge.

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Inclement Weather Virtual Learning Days– Last year, our school was selected to pilot a Virtual Learning Day in anticipation of the school system shutting down for inclement weather. We had lots of talks and preparation for how to best support students in our effort to continue learning when staff and students are engaged at home. Overall, our virtual learning day was successful.

It is very likely that if we have an inclement weather day this year we will also be able to do virtual learning from home again [the RSS BOE will vote Monday]. This is a great opportunity – these days are counted for staff and students.

Please talk with new team members about your experience with this last year. We will have a work talk Tuesday after school to get everyone ready and operating with consistent understanding of how to maximize this great day of learning.

Feedback helps us grow!

Data room–Our data room is beginning to take shape!  We’re set to have our first meeting in our new data room, the start of a new way of framing conversations to help make sure students are achieving and growing at high levels. Make sure that your data is up and ready to share by the end of the day Monday, January 8.  We want the data room to be available for use by all PLC groups on their protected planning days.

Mrs. Hester’s ISD on data will be in the data room on Tuesday as well all grade levels and exploratory meetings on Friday, January 12th.  Please bring your class rosters and have access to individual student data for both days.

Keep in mind our data dives should be the start of conversations about improving our efforts, not indictments of our intentions! We grow together by keeping our own feedback protocols in the forefront – Be Kind, Be Helpful, Be Specific.

Duties–There have been some updates made to the Athletic Winter Duties list.  Please make sure that you check for the upcoming games.  The changed dates have been highlighted.  Spring duties will be added this week.

Grade Level expectation meetings on Thursday, January 11– Due to the delay on the first day back to school, we moved this meeting to Thursday, January 11.  Mr. McCoy will be meeting with students at the beginning of exploratory in the gym to talk about expectations and the next reading challenge.  This should be a brief meeting.  Teachers, please walk your classes down to the gym at the beginning of exploratory so that we can start each of these meetings as soon as possible.   Grade level Teachers, please plan to be in attendance for your grade level meeting.  Exploratory teachers will also need to be there so you can take your classes back to your respective room at the end of the meeting.

Rounding visit Wednesday, Jan 10–Our second rounding visit will be this Wednesday.  Please be prepared for some district visitors.  They visit classrooms, talk to some staff and students.  Encourage our students to be great bulldog greeters and share with our visitors the great learning that is happening in your classroom.

West Fest

Fine Arts Showcase–Some of our students’ artwork will be showcased along with other students from schools in the West area on Thursday, January 11 from 5-7 pm.  Please come out and support our students!  What a great time to meet families and show support to all our West area students.  If you take pictures, post them using these three hashtags:  #WEstBulldogs #WRStrong #WestFest

MEDIA MADNESS

  • Weekly Google album https://photos.app.goo.gl/s7VBzkS1QpAntnn83
  • Please help us spread the word about trying to start a Boosters Club! booster club flyer
  • If you have any supplies for the makerspace at home that you are willing to donate I would greatly appreciate it! This can be things such as; paper towel rolls, popsicle sticks, old Legos, pieces of of old scrapbooking paper, beads, etc! The sky is really the limit! Anything you can think of that can possible be used to create something new!

TECH AWESOMENESS

  •  The system that we use to setup iPads and for students to download apps from Self Service has been down most of the week.  Hopefully it will be back up Monday.  I will let you all know if it is.  Once it is up,  I have a good amount of iPads that have come back from repairs to return to students and new iPads to give out to our new students.
  • I need three or four good and dependable students for the Bulldog News.  If you have any recommendations please let me know!

Instructional Information

January PD dates:Screen Shot 2018-01-05 at 9.04.15 AM

January 16th – no PD due to benchmark testing

January 23rd – no PD to allow teachers time to analyze benchmark data, determine standards for reteaching, and grouping students

January 30th – PD time used for planning focused, targeted instruction for Enrichment Cycle 2 (February 7th, 14th, and 21st)

Leaders of Their Own Learning:

Just as when planning instruction for our kiddos, once they are “hooked or engaged” with an appetizer, the entree is the “meat and potatoes” or important content students need to understand, process, and apply in a different context. Chapter presentations/discussions should include key points from the chapter, opportunities for discussion, and real life applications in the classroom.

  • February 6th – Chapter 5 Student Lead Conferences (8th-ELA, 7th-ELA, 6th-Math, Exploratory – Hoffman & Poole)
  • February 20th – Chapter 6 Celebrations of Learning (8th-Math, 7th-ELA, 6th-Math, Exploratory- Hoffman & Poole
  • March 6th – Chapter 7 Passage Presentations with Portfolios (7th-Math, SS-6th, Exploratory – CTE)
  • March 20th – Chapter 8 Standard-Based Grading (7th-Math, 6th-SS, Exploratory -CTE)

Chapter Presentation Exception 8th Grade:

  • March 6th – Chapter 8 (Science)
  • March 20th – Chapter 7 (Social Studies)

GO-TO GIRLS

“Attitude is a choice. Happiness is a choice. Optimism is a choice. Kindness is a choice. Giving is a choice. Respect is a choice. Whatever choice you make makes you. Choose wisely.”
Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart

If you have a student we are currently doing interventions for whether behavioral or academic please keep Branching Minds up to date!  We are meeting weekly with these students and need the information we work with them on to be accurate in order to provide sage guidance.

“No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.”
Charles Dickens

Remember after a student has been absent for 3 days, please contact the parent.  Then if absences continue please let Mrs. Muire know as soon as possible, so we can check on these kiddos.

Pasta 4 Patients!  First money collection for the fantastic charity will be Wednesday.  NJHS members will be collecting from you during their first enrichment.  We will announce the leaders the following day.

“Be kind”
Jesus…[you know he said it]

UPCOMING EVENTS

Monday Jan 8

  • Faculty Meeting–Tina Mashburn will be speaking
  • Leadership 7th Grade
  • Varsity Basketball @ NRMS

Tuesday Jan 9

  • ISDs – PLCs
  • Inclement Day/Virtual Learning – Media Center, 2:45
  • Band Booster Meeting 6:30

Wednesday Jan 10

  • RSS Rounding Visit
  • Varsity Basketball vs Knox MS at Home

Thursday Jan 11

West Fest

  • Grade Level Expectation Meetings – Exploratories [Exploratory Teachers should be present]
  • BT Mentor Meeting
  • JV Basketball @ Knox MS
  • #WestFest – Fine Arts Show @ WRHS 5:00 – 7:00 PM

Friday Jan 12

  • Grade Level & Exploratory Meetings – Data Room

Saturday Jan 13

  • RSS 8th Basketball Tournament, 8:00-3:30 Southeast MS

Monday Jan 15

  • Martin Luther King Holiday

Tuesday Jan 16

  • ELA Benchmark
  • JV Basketball vs Erwin MS @ home
  • Varsity Basketball Tournament @ Southeast MS

Wednesday Jan 17

  • Math Benchmark
  • Varsity Basketball Tournament @ Southeast MS

Thursday Jan 18

  • Science Benchmark
  • JV Basketball vs CLMS Home
  • Varisty Basketball Tournament @ Southeast MS

Friday Jan 19

  • Social Studies Benchmark
  • Early Release

Monday Jan 22

  • Teacher workday

Tuesday Jan 23

  • 6th Grade to Horizons
  • JV Basketball @ China Grove

Wednesday Jan 24

  • 6th Grade to Horizons

Thursday Jan 25

  • JV Basketball @ Mooresville

Friday Jan 26

  • WRMS Bulldog Wear Day
  • Sign ups for Cycle 2 enrichments
  • All District Band Clinic (half day)

Monday Jan 29

  • Grade Level Awards during Exploratories (Students in school uniform/homeroom teachers should call all parents of students being awarded that day)
  • JV Basketball vs Knox @ Home

Tuesday Jan 30

  • Professional Development/PLCs

Wednesday Jan 31

  • JV basketball vs Erwin @ Home

Thursday Feb 1

  • JV Basketball @ North Rowan

Friday Feb 2

  • WRMS Data Visit (8-8:50 am)
  • Good Bulldog Award Party (1:30-2:30)

Monday Feb 5

  • Leadership with 8th grade
  • JV Basketball vs Southeast @ Home
  • SIT Meeting

Tuesday Feb 6

  • Chapter Presentations on Student Led Conferences

Wednesday Feb 7

  • RSS Data meeting
  • JV Basketball vs North Rowan @ Home
  • WRMS Community Round table

Thursday Feb 8

  • JV Basketball @ Erwin
  • BT/Mentor meeting

Friday Feb 9

RESOURCES