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STAFF NEWS AND NOTES

NUTS & BOLTS


24 EDITION 24, ISSUE 13
Wed. Jan. 18 Wed. Jan. 25 Fri. Jan. 27 Ski Club Week #3 Ski Club Week #4 End of the 1st Semester Quiz Bowl Competition

2, December 2, 2011

KUDOS - To everyone who stepped up and helped out our community families during the Thanksgiving season. We all know that the economy is not good and that there are many people without jobs or with jobs that allow them to barely scrape by. It is heart warming, indeed, to see the number of people who assisted with adopting a family during the Thanksgiving season. There are probably many people who help out in ways not known to their colleagues. For example, Lisa Coluccio coordinated a turkey dinner to be delivered to the homeless family adopted by the guidance department on Thanksgiving morning. The meal was arranged through the Century House and was delivered to the family, who lives currently at the Sycamore Hotel. All of the members of the guidance office contributed to pay for the meal. Or Dawn Savery, who again this year wrote out a check to the district to assist with adopted families, a check that probably took care of 4 or 5 different families. Thanks to all! - To Greg Bell, Kathleen Ring and everyone else who assisted with our Perfect Pals for the great Colonie Police Department K-9 exhibition held this past Wednesday after school. This has become a very popular activity but, like all activities, requires time and effort to plan, organize and pull off. Thanks Greg, Kathleen, et. al. for your efforts for this very worth while club! - To Steve Brown, who often toils in obscurity helping all of us with our technological needs. While Steve assists many individual people on a daily basis he has been instrumental lately in assuring that the NWEA testing for ELA and math functioned smoothly. He has also worked tirelessly to administer the grade 8 technology assessment (pretest). Thanks, Steve, for everything that you do on a daily basis for all of us and for helping this building move along so well in the technological field! - To our music department colleagues, Desiree, Omar, Dan, Mr. V. and Erin, for their efforts in preparing our students for the holiday concert season. Concert #1 took place last evening and showcased the talents that our students have, talents that have to be molded and guided. Three more concerts remain. The schedule for the concerts is included in this issue of Nuts & Bolts. If you have never attended one of our concerts you really should consider doing so. Bring the kids as the concerts are enjoyable for all and give a great demonstration of how well our kids perform. - In the overlooked kudo department, to Sam Rossi, who has assisted with a couple of events lately without recognition. Sam had a lot to do with both the Pink Out Day, that was held earlier this year, as well as the faculty breakfast appreciation the day before Thanksgiving. Sam is actually the co-chair of our buildings Climate Committee. Thanks, Sam, for your efforts and sorry for the oversight! - To our colleagues, who have agreed to serve on our Building Inquiry Team, a team mandated by New York State SED that is charged with using data to inform our instructional program. Being a member of an inquiry team means that training has been necessary. At this point in time, both Liz Carroll and Amy Favro have received training to be members of our inquiry team and Kathleen Ring is joining us in the near future. The initial focus of the inquiry team will be using the recently completed NWEA math testing to address our math program, specifically, to make changes to our instructional program so that we make AYP this current school year. If we do not, since we did not make AYP for our special education sub-population last school year, a second time not making AYP would mean that we would be a SINI school for math! We are also focusing on math as a lot is taking place regarding our SINI status with ELA in our same special education sub-population already! Stay tuned as the inquiry team gets up and running!

DODGE BALL TOURNAMENT!!! On Friday, December 16, the Student Council will be holding a Dodge Ball Tournament for both faculty and students!! How the tournament will work is as follows: Faculty and students will form a team of eight people, four males and four females (it doesn't matter how many teams we have!) The faculty teams will play each other while the students watch. Students will then play one another, and once a winner is determined, that student team will play the winner of the faculty team! We encourage creativity with this event, by coming up with a team name, a captain, and making team t-shirts. We will also have a dj and will be selling concessions. There will be a $5.00 fee for students playing on teams, and for those who will be coming to watch. We are really excited about this event, and think it will be a great time for everyone!! Start thinking about your team, and once your team is formed, please let Kristina or Melissa know your team name, captain, and members! We want to start promoting this event early! Thanks, and have fun!!! CALENDAR OF EVENTS Mon. Dec. 5 9:15 am Bus Drills 2:30 pm Faculty Meeting Tues. Dec. 6 No Special Events Scheduled Wed. Dec. 7 7:00 pm PTA/PAC Mtg Thurs. Dec. 8 7:30 pm Concert @ SHS Fri. Dec. 9 Newsletter Posted ASC I Field Trip to the Childrens Museum CHARACTER TRAIT ASSIGNMENT Dec. 5 9 Art/Tech/H&C Dec. 12 16 Foreign Language Jan. 3 6 PE/Health/Music Jan. 9 13 English Jan. 23 27 Social Studies Feb. 6 10 Science Feb. 13 17 Math Feb. 27 Mar. 2 Art/Tech/H&C Mar. 5 9 Foreign Language Mar. 12 16 PE/Health/Music Mar. 19 23 English Mar. 26 30 Social Studies Apr. 2 5 Science Apr. 16 20 Math Apr. 23 27 Art/Tech/H&C Apr. 30 May 4 Foreign Language May 7 11 PE/Health/Music May 14 18 English May 21 25 Social Studies Ambitious Courageous Resourceful Joyful Kind Patient Tolerant Honest Thankful Polite Considerate Generous Cheerful Loyal Sympathetic Patriotic Trustworthy Fair Cooperative

ZIP IT PLEDGE PLEASE EVERYONE NEEDS TO DO THIS!!!!! WE CAN WIN $500! You can do this ONCE for EVERY email address you have!!!! Most of us have school and a personal account! Do Both! Encourage spouses and family members-it does not matter where we live! 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Go to this website: http://www.adirondackextreme.com/zipit Scroll down to TO PLEDGE Fill in all pertinent information-choose Shaker Jr. High School and submit. Log onto your emailand click the link to activate your pledge. Adirondack extreme website will pop up indicating that your pledge has been activated.

PM BUS SUPERVISION ZONE #1 ZONE #2 ZONE #3 ZONE #4 CAF R. Spring L. Stevens J. Stott S. Strouse O. Williams People are reminded to be on duty on a daily basis to make sure that supervision is provided.
ALL STAFF MEMBERS ARE REMINDED THAT THE BUS SUPERVISION IS AN ASSIGNED DUTY AND IT IS IMPERATIVE FOR ALL STAFF MEMBERS TO BE WHERE ASSIGNED DUTY; IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO ARRANGE FOR REPLACEMENT PERHAPS BY SWAPPING WITH A COLLEAGUE.

CHOREAGRAPHER NEEDED We have an opening still in our musical personnel list for a choreographer. If you are interested in either or both of these position please contact Mr. V. and/or Dianne Hobden for information and let R. Moore know. ASSISTANT SUPERINTENDENT TO VISIT As part of the SINI improvement process Kathy Skeals, our Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction, will be spending a significant amount of time in our building. Kathy is visiting to refamiliarize herself with our school structure, practices, programs, instructional approaches, etc. She will be visiting a variety of classes during each one of her visits to our school. Yesterday Kathy spent 2 hours plus in our school dropping in on various classrooms. Her future visits are: Date Tuesday, December 6 Tuesday, December 13 Tuesday, December 20 Time 11:00 am 2:30 pm 8:00 am 11:30 am 8:00 am 11:30 am

LONG-TERM CALENDAR OF EVENTS Fri. Dec. 2 Bus Drills History Club Field Trip to Harlem NY Mon. Dec. 5 Bus Drills Wed. Dec. 7 7:00 PM PTA/PAC Meeting - Library Thurs. Dec. 8 7:30 PM Concert #2@ SHS Fri. Dec. 9 Newsletter Posted Tues. Dec. 13 7:30 PM Concert #3 Thurs. Dec. 15 7:00 PM Art Show 7:30 PM Concert #4 Fri. Dec. 16 5-Week Interim Point Performing Groups Gr. 8 Field Trip to Colonie Center 7:00 pm Dodge Ball Tournament Mon. Dec. 19 7:30 PM BOE Meeting @ SJSH Library Tues. Dec. 20 Hall Geography Bees Select Chorus to Our Lady of Hope Thurs. Dec. 22 2:30 pm Annual Staff Holiday Party Fri. Dec. 23 Annual Holiday Concerts Mon. Dec. 26 Mon. Jan. 2 No School Holiday Break Wed. Jan. 4 Ski Club Week #1 Tues. Jan. 10 2:30 pm Building Geography Bee Wed. Jan. 11 Ski Club Week #2 Mon. Jan. 16 No School Martin Luther King Day

FACULTY MEETING REMINDER Our next faculty meeting is scheduled for Monday, December 5. We will meet in the auditorium beginning at 2:30 pm. Agenda items include: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Anti-Harassment Training Mid-year Exam Schedules Reminders, Updates, Info Gift Giving Other

BUS DRILLS SCHEDULED On Monday, December 5, bus drill instruction will be concluded for two halls of students beginning at 9:15. Teachers are asked to remain with their homeroom students on the bus for the duration of the drill. As soon as the instruction is completed for the first group, students will be dismissed to follow their regular schedule and the next group will report. Monday, December 5 9:15 AM 9:30 AM Houston 7 & 8 Clay 7 & 8 #1 C101 T. Lyng #1 B104 B. Bedell #2 C104 S. Harris #2 B103 K. Rizzo #3 C106 A. Peluso #3 B105 M. Moffre #4 C109 J. Slyer #4 B109 S. Strouse #5 C102 E. Mailloux #5 B102 C. Froehlich #6 C103 P. Coughlin #6 B106 K. Peterson #7 C105 S. Rossi #7 B108 K. Matthews #8 C110 A. Bisnett #8 B110 D. Jaffe PTA/PAC MEETING SCHEDULED Our next PTA/PAC meeting is scheduled for Wednesday evening, December 7. As always we will meet in the library beginning at 7:00 pm. Agenda items include: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Mid-year Exam Schedule SINI Status/Process Events, initiative at SJHS PTA Report Superintendents PAC, Budget Meetings, Reps Needed Other

Kareen, Teaching Ambassador Fellow, located in Washington state, and Genevive, a Washington D.C. Teaching Ambassador Fellow, have written a blog based on the roundtables they have been conducting with middle level educators over the last few months (including roundtables held with STW after the October Forum Convening and at the AMLE conference). They asked if we could share it with you and if you in-turn could share with your networks and people. As middle grades teachers they are trying to increase the presence and awareness of middle grades so the more hits and comments it gets the better. http://www.ed.gov/blog/2011/11/middle-grades-matter/ You teach middle school? Why?! All those hormones and growth spurts and changes. How do you do it? These words are not uncommon for middle grades teachers to hear. The general public, other educators, and even parents of young adolescents are often shocked to hear that anyone would want to teach this age group. And who can blame them for being skeptical? Children ages 10 to 15 are experiencing a great deal of change. In no other time, besides the first years of life, are humans experiencing such rapid cognitive growth. Early adolescents are extremely social and care deeply about what their peers think of them. This might explain why groups of 8th graders wear feathers in their hair one month and multi-colored contacts the next (even if they have 20/20 vision). This is a period of dramatic physical change. Girls get taller, boys dontyet. Voices deepen after they rise in pitch. During the middle grades years the only constant is change. Middle level educators know that these changes dramatically impact the way that middle level education must look and how we as teachers must structure our instruction to ensure career and college readiness for our future leaders. In addition to all of these changes, adolescence brings excitement to learning, a curiosity about the world, and a longing for guidance. Who wouldnt want to teach this group of impressionable and unpredictable youth? One middle level educator said it best when he stated, These are the pivotal years, where we make or break a student, where we turn them on or off. As Teaching Ambassador Fellows weve had the opportunity to travel across the country and talk with many middle level educators. In all of our conversations similar themes have emerged. 1.) Middle grades students need a variety of choices in their classes, their programming, and their activities. Students are trying to figure out who they are and offering them an array of choices will allow them to try new things in a safe space. The middle grades experience needs to be one that focuses on the whole child. It cannot simply be about academics but has to be focused on the social and emotional development of each child. Life skills, study skills, and social skills need to be taught during these years because these foundational skills are crucial to future success. Middle grades schools need time in the day and access to caring adults for teachers and students to build relationships, for teacher collaboration, and for planning interdisciplinary curriculum. Without sufficient time, students needs cannot fully be met. Middle grades schools need to have clear intervention programs for struggling students. Once students have been identified as struggling there need to be school or district-wide programs in place to help support these students, their families, and their teachers. These intervention programs must be meaningful and consistent. Middle level education must recruit and retain highly effective middle level educators. They must be experts in their content area, possess excellent instructional strategies that are specific to middle level education, and strive to develop positive relationships with their students. Middle grades schools need to have a strategic partnership between students, teachers, and families. School-wide structures need to be in place to engage, welcome, and communicate with all families. When students see that their families are valued, welcomed, and engaged they are more likely to feel valued and welcomed in their school community.

ADOPT A FAMILY UP AND RUNNING SJHS has officially adopted 3 families to provide a more positive holiday season for these families. We need to reach out to all of our faculty and staff; as we have done in the past, many people need to stepp up and purchase one or more items for our adopted families. You can help this year, as well. Stop by the faculty room, you will see the needed items listed on the wall. Feel free to take as many as you would like. When you purchase the items please attach the ornament to the items so we will know which family and which member of the family it will be provided to. Thanks in advance to everyone for helping out. Thanks especially to Dawn Savery, Phil Coughlin and Erin Mailloux (and her son, Cameron), who organizes this on an annual basis. CONCERT SCHEDULES Our Holiday Concert season is here!! We hope you will mark these dates on your calendar and plan to join us at 7:30 PM on the following evenings. All concerts will be held at Shaker Junior High except the December 8th concert, which will be held at Shaker High School. DATE Dec. 8 GROUPS 8th Grade Chorus 7th Grade Chorus (A & B day) Syncopella Jazz Ensemble 7th Grade Orchestra 7th Grade Band (B day) Treble Makers 7th Grade Band (A day) Select Chorus Scherzo TIME 7:30 p.m. @ SHS

2.)

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Dec. 13

7:30 p.m. 5.)

Dec. 15

7:30 p.m. 6.)

MID-YAR EXAM SCHEDULE DRAFT #1 First draft..suggestions? JANUARY 2012 MON. 2 NO SCHOOL 9 Foreign 10 Eng 7/8 (2 hrs) (essay) 17 TUES. 3 Language 11 Eng 7/8 (2 hrs) 18 Foreign Lang. 7/8 In Class 25 Math 7/8 (2 hours) WED. 4 THURS. 5 Assessment 12 Science 8 Part 2 (In Class) 19 Social Studies (2 hrs) 26 FRI. 6

13 Studio Art 11 am-2 pm 20 Foreign Lang. 7/8 In Class 27 End of 2nd Quarter QUIZ BOWL

16 NO SCHOOL (MLK Day) 23 Science (1 hrs.) 30

Research shows that many students at the greatest risk of dropping out of high school can be identified in middle school by their grades, attendance, behavior, and test scores. Countless studies have shown that if middle level schools are to meet the diverse needs of young adolescents, schools must be developmentally responsive, socially equitable, and academically rigorous. They have to be places where kids are turned on, instead of off; where that 6th grader gets a friendly reminder to take his homework out of his backpack; where despite all of the physical changes they are experiencing every student is accepted and has a safe space to build relationships with those around them, who are going through the same kinds of changes. The middle grades can be a time of turmoil or a time of triumph. We know that with all hands on deck our young adolescents can thrive. Middle level education must be a distinct and valued focus at the local, state, and national level. As we aim to welcome graduates with 21st century skills into the world as productive and collaborative citizens, middle level education clearly matters. Genevive DeBose and Kareen Borders are Teaching Ambassador Fellows at the Department of Education

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MUSIC PERFORMANCE & DRESS REHEARSAL SCHEDULE DATE GROUPS TIME/PERIOD Dec. 5 7th Grade Chorus Combined DR Period 4 Dec. 7 8th Grade Chorus DR Period 2 Dec. 12 7th Grade B-day Band Period 4 Dec. 13 7th Grade Orchestra Period 4 th Dec. 15 7 Grade Band A-day Period 4 th Dec. 16 8 Grade Perf. Groups to Colonie Ctr Per. 2-8 Dec. 20 Select Chorus Our Lady of Hope FT Per. 5-8 Dec. 23 In-School Assemblies Per. 2,3,4,8 *All dress rehearsals are during each groups regularly scheduled class time. *Attendance is mandatory for all members of the ensemble. *All dress rehearsals will take place in the assembly room. MIDDLE GRADES MATTER The following came from the National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform.

THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK More people would give to charity anonymously, if it were well publicized. Anonymous