Bulldog News 3.06.2017

BULLDOG NEWS!

March 17 – Digital Learning Day 

Its an exciting time to be an educator! We were very happy to have our school board approve our virtual learning day pilot. Being chosen for this as the only school in NC is a true honor but WHO COULD KNOW WE WOULD HAVE THE HOTTEST FEBRUARY IN HISTORY?

But we still have opportunity. We have been given the go-ahead to have March 17 as a virtual learning day. Students will stay home on this day and receive their instructional activities virtually. Given that this a different day, teachers will stay at home on this day or they have to option to come. This is totally up to teachers.

Some key points to keep in mind:

  • This day is shortened day, not a full day. Please plan your instruction accordingly;
  • As a reminder, we have originally said that Achieve3000 on these virtual learning days will be reserved for exploratory teachers as to not overwhelm students with Achieve3000 in every class [this does NOT include teachers who have incentive programs for students who are reading CHOICE articles]. This is a good opportunity to check to make sure students have downloaded Achieve3000 app and have logged into it. It is only through the app that students who read articles after set hours can get credit. The app is in Self-Service – every teacher should work to ensure that students have it downloaded.
  • Plan for this day of instruction NOW! Don’t wait for next week, begin talks with your planning partners and bring in some outside perspectives – Shue, Henley, Pittman and admin about what creative things we can try this day
  • Begin talks with students now about who has or will likely have access concerns. For those students, we should be prepared to have pdfs uploaded, screenshots used and other means taken to work around this need;
  • Plan on activities and then what follow up and support will look like – phone calls, video chat [Google Hangouts, Skype], email, etc. This is a day of instruction with a different medium – as students demonstrate a need for clarity we have to respond. Have talks with your students now about how they can follow up with you as needed;

St Baldricks SUCCESS

We had a great turnout and show of support for our St Baldricks fundraisers. All in all we raised close to $5000 for this worthy cause! Lots of visitors and supporters out this evening! Friday night showed we have a community that cares.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words – here’s 11000 awesome words!

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Ellevation

Teachers make sure you can log in. This program is for monitoring forms for ESL. The new part is for strategies for students at different levels. Data driven program. Testing accommodations are in there. Cox will discuss at next faculty meeting.

Seeing the Beach

 

For many of our students, school is the only hope for different experiences. Without us, many would not leave Rowan County and have experiences or see things many take for granted. One of the best examples of this is a conversation I had last year wherein a teacher shared she was part of a group that went to the coast and planned for a stop on the beach. The vastness of the beach overwhelmed several students – the overwhelming emotion stuck with the teacher all these years. For many of us, we like going to the beach, its a fun place to relax and kick back. For someone who has never seen it or been outside Rowan County, this is a life altering event and the school helped provide.

Planning trips is hard work and there are always a lot of things to consider and do. Organizing a good trip takes time and effort and good teamwork. But teamwork is needed to ensure that all students have these kinds of experiences. When we are planning for trips and experiences, we should set a high bar for inclusivity, making sure that more students have experiences than not. There may be students not going on a trip and not sharing that they have limited resources. These are 11-13 year olds – they have pride and their own reasoning. If you suspect something, please expand your help circle to include our counselors who can help make arrangement or just have deeper conversations.

There is plenty of help in this school to assist in this monumental task. Let’s make sure we are doing what we can to make sure more students see the beach.

Calling In

This month, we will be having more teachers out of the building than normal due to us going to more conferences and outside PD. This is needed and it has to happen. But it also highlights a concern about last minute call-ins. If you have an absence coming up, please put in for the substitute as soon as possible. This helps maximize opportunities to secure a substitute.

There will always be emergencies and you all do a great job communicating with an administrator when this happens. Emergencies with families are understandable and you have to take care of home. We want to do our best to make sure there is ample time for substitutes to pick up jobs so that the school doesn’t have to cover classes or disperse classes. We do a great job covering when we have to and absorbing classes when we have to – let’s do our part to minimize that need.

INSPIRATION

Every Student in Math 1

We continue to raise the bar for our students in terms of our expectations of they can do and how they demonstrate learning. Next year we begin a significant step in raising the bar for every student.

Our overall goal will be to have every 8th grader take Math 1. This will require significant preparation and planning for that to happen. Our first step begins next year with 6th graders. We have been in talks with 6th grade math teachers to teach every incoming 6th grader Accelerated Math, an NCDPI course that covers the 6th grade standards and some of the 7th. The next year we will add Accelerated 7th and the third year will be the Math 1 implementation.

This will be a gradual implementation change wherein we focus on building up skills of students in our building and ever increasing our focus on what we can do to challenge and support them.

This opens all kinds of possibilities for us in terms of what we can/should provide students as support and enrichment over the summer. Keep that in mind as we move forward and add grade levels every year.

HENLEY’S HURRAHS

During conversation, a staff member mentioned they did not “know much” about new WRMS colleagues and suggested teacher “biographies” for staff, students, and visitors to read about and learn a tidbit or two.  A clear “wall pocket” may already be mounted, or will be mounted shortly for your Bio. A template has been provided for you to use…delete my info and share yours:)

teacher-bio-template

ISD Take 3

At this point in the year, we have had two ISD rotations. Please take a moment and complete the Google Form, so ISD offerings are personalized for your needs.

ISD Take 3

PD for the next two weeks, March 7th and 14th, will be “whole-group” in Rm. 708. ISD dates are back to back 3/21  and 3/28.

 

GO TO GIRLS

Career Day is coming fast.  March 16th, only a couple weeks away.  During their exploratory time, your students will transition between professionals to learn about different career opportunities.

Food!!!!  Yummy Food!!!!  If you are late to the game, we are having lunch catered on Career Day.  If anyone would like to participate, please let Jenny Horton know today. The cost will be $5. You can pay that week, but she needs a final count by the end of the day Monday.

FAQ from Compassion Project-

  1. What counts?  Almost anything the students feel will make a difference, is SAFE and is not illegal 😉  is ok
  2. How do I deal with this stress?  Remember you allow the students to come up with a project and complete it.  You sit back and monitor.  No one is being judged; this is just to spread compassion
  3. Can they change topics?  Absolutely!  Topics were just used to organize, but if kids within your group want to change and do a project outside of that topic it is fine.
  4. Can kids move in or out of my mentor group?  If partners have been split and need to join up, you may move them in or out as long as the other teacher agrees AND you let us know so we can document the switch and keep track of students.   And keep the peace, if you send some out, take some in to keep numbers even.
  5. Its not too early to start thinking about the presentation – data to support the need for the project, anticipated pictures, how many slides we will likely need. We need students to tell a good story

Change a life
Change your community
Change the world

“I have this theory that if one person will go out of their way to show compassion, then it will start a chain reaction of the same.” -Rachel Joy Scott

UPCOMING EVENTS

Enjoy Your Spring Break! Remember that Friday, April 1st is an Optional Teacher Workday.

Monday, March 6th

  • Math Benchmark
  • NCMLE Conference
  • Core Schedule
  • SIT Meeting 2:45

Tuesday, March 7th

  • PD – Questioning Strategies
  • NCMLE Conference
  • 6th grade Alan Gratz Visit – South Rowan High School

Wednesday, March 8th

  • 7th Grade Holocaust Humanities Conference Alan Gratz Visit – Corriher-Lipe Middle

Thursday, March 9th

  • Enrichment – Compassion Project

Friday, March 10th

  • Enrichment – Compassion Project
  • 8th Grade Band MPA

Monday, March 13th

  • Happy Birthday Mrs. Miller
  • Faculty Meeting
  • Enrichment – Core Values [Tie in Digital Citizenship to Core Values]

Tuesday, March 14th

  • WRMS PD Achieve3000
  • Soccer and Volleyball vs NRMS at Home
  • Baseball/Boys Tennis vs NRMS Away
  • Enrichment – Core Value
  • Band Booster Meeting

Wednesday, March 15th

  • Enrichment – Core Value
  • Track at Home [WRHS]

Thursday, March 16th

  • Enrichment – Compassion Project
  • Career Day – [See above]
  • Baseball/Boy Tennis vs Erwin Away
  • Soccer/Volleyball vs Erwin Home
  • RSS Vendor Fair – Assessment Product

Friday, March 17th

  • Virtual Learning Day – Plan your activities NOW!
  • Early Release Day!

RESOURCES

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