Bulldog News 2.5.2016


wp-1454727743205.jpgThis celebratory picture for our Wrestlers was taken at CiCi’s pizza! It was a great way to celebrate a hard fought season and the culminating tournament at North Rowan High! Congrats to coaches and students!


Congrats to Ms Shue for her drive and orchestration for our Harry Potter Night! This was a great success! Not only did we have good turnout from our students, we had more students show from local elementary schools. This proves, if we invite them, our community comes out!

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This night would not have been successful without a lot of people volunteering their time. Thanks Mr Bowman, Mrs and Ms Horton, Ms Brumley, Mrs Brawley, Mr Henley, Ms Powers, Ms Burns, Ms Pender, Ms Stone and staff from local elementary. A special thanks goes out to a BUNCH of WRMS students who volunteered their time, bought supplies and help lead this great evening. We have great kids – when we empower them, raise the bars to high levels, they often show us they were waiting on us to give them a chance.

Thanks to everyone for their flexibility with the #bulldogparade today! The schedule was already different before our unexpected power outage, which happened at 3 other schools by the way. I’m sure this will be a one time change/accommodation but sometimes we have to make adjustments to give our school reason to share some pride and celebrations.Next month we will NOT be having a #bulldogparade [read below for reason]


One of our enrichment is a ‘Snack and Chat’. The administrators rotate daily with a group of kids to eat some snacks [I’ve learned to NEVER forget snacks again] and have unique opportunity to just talk to some kids about school in a ‘non-school’ kind of way. I’ve had two talks with two 6th grade groups and today I joined Ms Hester during her 8th grade chat. These talks have come to make my day.

We have great kids. They love their school, they love coming to school and they love their teachers. We ask them things along the lines of ‘What are proud of at school?’, ‘What do you like?’, ‘What would you change?’, ‘How could we make ___ better?’, etc. We get great answers. I want to share some notable parts with you:

  • “We like the collaboration rooms but we hardly use them.” [We need to capitalize on their desire to want to use them and empower them]
  • US: ‘Do you think your teachers are using the iPads well in your classes?’ STUDENTS: [Overwhelmingly] YES!!!
  • ‘We like working on the iPad.’ [This was an interesting talk today. Of course some students prefer paper and paperbooks but we also had some to say they prefer to read on the iPad. One student said she doesn’t read, then her friend reminded her that she was reading The Giver in pdf on the iPad, she said, “OH YEAH”]
  • ‘Teachers need to let us use our phones/listen to music on our phones.’
  • US – ‘Why do you think teachers don’t let you use your cell phones?’ STUDENTS: ‘Because some of us text/do things we shouldn’t.’ [They know the issue but we have enough who want to do right and will do right if we structure it]
  • Students raised a great point about playing games on phones vs iPads. They said they are less likely to play games on the phone than iPads because phones have smaller screens.
  • ‘We like the Bulldog Parade but we like PEP RALLIES better!’ [In March we will be have BulldogRally during an enrichment block]
  • ‘We want more light in the room.’ [Some rooms are too dark]
  • ‘We want recess!’ [This was from 6th and 8th, maybe not everyday but our kids need some fresh air – we can get creative here]
  • “We should have snacks in the room, then we wouldn’t be hungry all the time.” [this one was interesting – would your kids perform better if we found a way to ‘take the edge off’]

I think it would be great to have some of you sit in on these talks. They are as renewing as they are enlightening.

[Post Script – During our discussion, some students shared they did not know about our reading challenge because some don’t look at Schoology. As we work to improve our communication efforts, let’s take time to encourage kids to join their grade level Schoology group to check information. FYI – some of the students say they follow the school’s Instagram and Twitter account! We want to reach them where they are!]


The group that toured the school in South Carolina recently came back so energized and ready for action that it has been inspiring to the rest of us as well. It is amazing how powerful seeing other educators in action can be to transforming our own practice. We can work ourselves to the point of frustration with very little reward when we work in isolation, but when we can gain a new perspective from someone else, we feel refreshed and ready to take on new challenges.

While not everyone was able to go on the recent school visit, there are several ways that we can harness the power of collaboration and learning through experiencing here at home:

  • Collaborate routinely with content, grade-level, and department colleagues to gain new insights and strategies for our instruction
  • Video a lesson (or portion) and review it with another teacher or a support person like myself, Shue, or Pittman to identify strengths and opportunities for improvement
  • Use PLC meetings as a forum for discussion, reflection, and growth, as well as for learning something new
  • Visit other classrooms in our school and our district. We will do this in PLC meetings this Tuesday with Learning Walks, but I can also help to arrange visits within our school or at other schools for you–just ask!

Opportunities for collaboration provide so much insight into our practice as professionals. Thank goodness that no single one of us has to have all of the answers on our own!images


“No act of kindness no matter how small is ever wasted!” – Aesop

Kindness week is coming soon! From February 15-19 West Rowan Middle School will be spreading kindness. We will be rolling out kindness cards to follow the chain reaction and see where it takes us. More instructions to follow next week. We will also be selling “start a chain reaction” kindness bracelets to raise money for continued Rachel’s Challenge activities.

Student Assistance Team will be meeting after school on February 9th. Please let Jenny Horton know if you have a challenging student with academic or behavioral issues that could benefit from interventions. We are here to support you.


Monday, Feb 8

  • SIT Meeting 2:45

Tuesday, Feb 9

  • PLC Meetings – Learning Walks

Wednesday, Feb 10

  • NAEP Testing for Art and Music

Thursday, Feb 11

Friday, Feb 12

  • Jeans Day
  • Early Release Day
  • Required Staff Meeting at SRHS (2:00 – 3:30) – You are NOT required to ride the bus but it is recommended, parking will be an issue.

Thursday, April 14

  • Rising 6th Grade Orientation – 5:00 pm [Student and Parent Event]



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