Tick, Tock, Tick, Tock…

August 27 & 28 Update ( There are some changes)

August 27, 2012

We will meet at GMS and not GHS

7:00 – 8:00            Breakfast in the GMS cafeteria

8:00 – 9:50            Opening remarks by Superintendent Sharp, SC Chair, Jim Hager, Introduction of new staff.

9:50 – 10:00            Finish socializing with colleagues from all schools

10:00 – 11:30            Full Faculty meeting in the GMS Auditorium. Introduction of new staff (Riley & Hanley)

Federal Mandates (FERPA, Harassment Policy, etc.) (Hawes & Hamblen)

Blood Born Pathogen, Medical Alerts, Asthma Survey, Diabetes and Code Blue Teams. (Merrill)

11:30 – 12:30            Lunch on your own

12:30 – 2:30            “Nut & Bolts” issues (duty schedules, review of changes to Student Handbook, Faculty Handbook) (Riley & Hanley)

Year 3 of Advisory Program, review expectations, modifications and results of student survey (Rubin, Hanley & Riley)

Year 2 of EICAL Program, review expectations, modification and results of student survey. (Riley & Hanley)

Review plans for Learning Teams for the coming year. (Riley & Hanley)

Review plan and expectations for day one with 6th graders and plan for last day of school 2013.

August 28, 2012

8:00 to 11:00              Special Educators will be meeting with Katie and Kathy at the Central Office.

All teachers of math will be meeting as a group with Diane Knott to review new resources and training with Textbook Representatives.

All ELA Teachers will meet to continue work on Common Core Work

Social Studies teachers (those not involved in math or ELA) will meet to continue work on Common Unit development.

Science Teachers will be reviewing the resources that they have used for the past two years and make recommendations to the Science Curriculum Committee as to the consistency with Science Frameworks.

All Allied arts teachers have responsibilities to their respective Curriculum Committees that will need review.

11:00 – 12:00            Lunch ( check your email about doing a potluck lunch)

12:00 – 2:30            Classroom work time for all teachers

This is still a rough outline of these days and it is subject to change.

Reminders of Important Dates at the Beginning of School Year

  • September 4 – GMS Open House from 6:30 to 7:30 pm
  • September 5 – Whole group faculty meeting to debrief the opening of school
  • September 6 – We will kick off the Magazine Drive with assemblies (as we have in past years). More info to follow

United States Constitution Day

Constitution Day and Citizenship Day is a combined event that is annually observed in the United States on September 17. This event commemorates the formation and signing of the Constitution of the United States on September 17, 1787. It also recognizes all who, by coming of age or by naturalization, have become US citizens.

It is expected that school children in the United States have celebrations and commemorations of the signing and ratification of the Constitution on September 17, 1787. There are lots of resources available on the web and I have included one for your perusal: USConstitution Day

Here are a couple of more resources:

http://theconstitutionquiz.org/content/bill-rights-institute%E2%80%99s-constitution-duel

http://constitutioncenter.org/foundersquiz

http://my.billofrightsinstitute.org/page.aspx?pid=492

Annual GMS Magazine Drive

We are going to hold our Magazine Drive early this year. We will hold our Kick-off  Assemblies on September 6th during the EICAL periods for each grade level. I realize that the 8th grade EICAL is split by lunch, but we’ll make it work.

We have a new coordinator from the folks at QSP (organizers of the drive) and it will probably look somewhat different than past years. However, I expect that we will have a great drive and I am encouraging all teachers and teams to help make this our most profitable ever. I know that this can be viewed as an attempt to get money from families (and it is!) but this is also a chance to allow families to subscribe, or renew to some wonderfully interesting and topically diverse magazines at a drastically reduced price. It really is a win-win for everyone.

School Picture Day

The folks from Hockmeyer Studios will be in on Thursday, September 13th for pictures of all students and staff. We will get a schedule of times for each team after the start of the school year.

It will be very important that all staff have their picture taken as photo ID badges will be issued to all staff and we will all be expected to wear them during the school day.

Curriculum Teams

Again this year we will be setting aside half days for each curriculum team to meet. You may remember that each committee meets at the Superintendent’s Office for about 2 and one half hours, either morning or afternoon. We will reserve the subs for your classes fro that half day. Usually each curriculum team meets twice a year, fall and spring. The first meetings are coming up on September 13th, with the math and social studies committees meeting. Math will meet at 8:00 to 10:30 and social studies will meet from 12:30 until 3:00. The next week, September 18th, English/Language Arts Curriculum Committee will meet beginning at 12:30 until 3:00.

As the dates of the other Curriculum Committees approach, we will let you know.

School Dances and Fundraising

We have yet to assign school dances to any grades, teams or activities, but we will do so before we start school. I have heard from 2 or 3 folks wishing to sponsor a dance in the upcoming year. If your grade, team or organization is interested in sponsoring a dance please send Suie and me an email stating your interest.

Dances will be assigned first to grade levels, then to teams and finally to school activities. We will try to spread the dances out to groups who may have asked in the past but did not receive a dance.

This year we have worked on a program with the bottle redemption people at CLYNK where we will use them exclusively for returnables. Each collection receptacle will use the green CLYNK bags. We will be offering any grade level, team or activity the opportunity to receive the funds generated by the returnables. Initially, we will offer the periods in four week intervals to any team or activity. The group need only tend the receptacles for that 4-week period to receive the funds.
We will have more complete details on how this program will work in the first days of school.

A Word on the Learning Teams

Susie and I have completed the process of assigning folks to individual Learning Teams and, for the most part, we have given folks their first choice. There are however a couple of people, randomly chosen, who got their second choice. On the first day we are back (August 27) we will distribute all of the information and details for how the teams will work.

6th Grade Technology Issues

This is for 6th grade teachers only, so if you’re a 7th or 8th grade teacher, you can stop reading!

We are currently experiencing some real difficulties with the old G4 laptops that the 6th graders use. They are dieing natural deaths plus there have been some machines that have suffered some damage over the years and are beyond repair. Right now, we have just enough devices to issue to each student with absolutely no spares. This means that if a student’s laptop fails or is damaged, there will not be a replacement available for that student.

One suggestion is to place the laptops on carts, approximately one cart for every two rooms in the 6th grade (I know that the Eagle Team has 3 rooms). This would require that all teams communicate their technological needs to the entire grade level in a timely fashion so that plans can be made.

I am placing this here for your feedback. Nothing has been decided as of yet, however, we are reaching the day that a decision will need to be made, so please respond with your ideas rather quickly.

Speaking of Technology (this is for 7th and 8th grade)

In speaking with Mike Nash this week, he is proposing a new method of distribution for the laptops this year. For those of your who have been in the military, this may sound familiar to those first few days when the army was issuing uniforms.

Mike would like to set up in the Library and have the students come down and be issued each component a piece at a time. As the students received their charger, bag and device, he would scan each and attach the items to their name. The students would then bring their laptops to the assigned charging station that will be their home for the school year.

We are planning the distribution to begin on Wednesday, September 12. I would expect that all of the devices will be distributed by Friday, September 14. Seeing that the MLTI Parent Nights are September 10 and 11, we probably wouldn’t be ready to allow the devices to go home until then anyway.

If you have concerns or questions, call or email me.

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2 thoughts on “Tick, Tock, Tick, Tock…

  1. I would like to propose that 6th grade laptops do not go home. They should be housed in 6 th grade classrooms and be used only at school. Do not assign them to students individually but to teachers as a “bank” to be distributed as needed during the day.this may prolong the life of some of the ones that are close to death. Most students have laptops/computers available to them at home.

    This issue makes the on-line component of the new math books pretty much useless which is really Disappointing.

  2. My vote is to leave computers in the classroom and not assign them to individual students. I would prefer to have at least a “bank” of computers issued to my classroom rather than have them housed in the 6th grade wing.

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