Principals' Preview December 2016

Important Dates to Remember

  • December 20: Faculty/Student Basketball Game
  • Early Dismissal 11:30 A.M.
  • Holiday Luncheon 12:00 P.M.
  • Work Afternoon 11:30 – 3:30 P.M.
  • January 3: Teacher Workday
  • January 4: Professional Development Day
  • A.M. – I’m Determined Presentation by T-TAC
  • P.M. – AES Module 3 and CNA Professional Development
  • January 5: 1st day of 2nd Semester
  • January 20: Mid-Year Goals due in My Learning Plan
Our Students Care

A special thank you to Ms. Gloria Coles and the SCA for their contributions to our school community. Their efforts should not go unnoticed! During the year, Ms. Coles and the SCA have provided gifts for our Honor Roll drawing, and breakfast and lunch during American Education Week, sponsored a dance, organized a canned food drive, and is now collecting items for our Angel Tree donation. Ms. Coles also has big plans for Spring!

Easy Fundraising for HCMS!

As you take care of that last minute shopping…. remember to use Shoparoo as a way to earn money for HCMS! Shoparoo is a free app for iOS and Android phones that allows anyone to take pictures of their shopping receipts and earn cash donations for their schools.

Just snap a picture of your grocery receipt on your smartphone, and voila, you've made an instant cash donation! You can also take pictures of your non-grocery receipts (from clothing stores, electronics stores, restaurants, home improvement stores, etc.) for entries into Shoparoo's cash donation sweepstakes that can reward a school up to $15,000! Last year’s Shoparoo activity earned HCMS $92.60 for instructional supplies! For more information, please visit their website:

Supporters love Shoparoo because:

  • No official registration or school coordination is required
  • The app makes earning money extremely quick and easy
  • Tens of thousands of schools across the country are using Shoparoo to pay for new supplies, classroom and playground enhancements, field trips, tuition assistance and much more.
Benchmark Testing

Recently, HCMS finished our division level testing (semester based) requirements. These tests provided our teachers and administrators with valuable information. Use this information to appropriately tier our students and provide necessary remediation strategies to fill any gaps in understanding.

In January, we will administer a 2nd nine week assessment. This test is a collaborative effort based off teacher input and administrative approval. Teachers submit a large question bank to Mrs. Henderson for approval; afterwards, administrators pick 25 questions from the list to be included in the examination. When determining which questions to finalize for the test, administrators are looking for questions that are rigorous in nature and cover the breadth of standards detailed in the pacing guide. Other factors taken into consideration by administration when finalizing the test include the following: number of TEI questions (approximately 20-25% of the questions submitted should correspond to this standard), Blooms Taxonomy, graphic interpretation, etc.).

When preparing students for this examination, it's important not to detail any specifics: actual test questions, precise concepts, graphs that will be on the test, etc. As with the SOL assessments, teachers provide reviews for their student populations without knowing/relating details: the same principle should be applied to the benchmark.

The Performing Arts at HCMS

The humanities and performing arts are essential to the overall dynamic of any school. Years of research has directly linked the humanities (performing arts) with that of a strong academic core: involvement in the arts is associated with gains in math, reading, cognitive ability, critical thinking, and verbal skill (George Lucas Educational Foundation).

We appreciate the effort and energy that is put into each of our performances at HCMS. A special shout-out to all of those who assisted in our most recent production.

Making Significant Progress Towards a Unified Response

The PBIS team has been making huge leaps towards a Unified Tier One Response at HCMS. In recent weeks, the PBIS team has completed updated posters, trained all teachers and teacher assistants on PBIS standards/implementation, made sample lesson plans that will be detailed to the student population, trained 6th grade teachers on referral process, diagrammed teacher managed (behavior) infractions vs. office managed (behavior) infractions, created a student self-reflection questionnaire, and much more.

More information regarding this progress will be detailed to teachers on January 3rd and 4th.

If you have any questions regarding the PBIS initiative, please see any of the following faculty members for additional information: Mrs. Crenshaw, Mrs. Ewell, Mrs. Brenda Clauden, Mrs. Morris, Mrs. Loyd, Mr. Chambers, Mrs. Coleman, Mr. Reaves, Mr. Deal, Mrs. Powell, Mrs. Stattford, Mrs. Womack, Mrs. Heath, Mrs. Wilkerson, Mr. McDaniel, Mrs. Mangum, and Mr. Foster

HCMS Professional Development Platform

The faculty at HCMS continues to make significant strides in the implementation of specific standards detailed on the AES professional development platform. Thus far, we have detailed the following standards/expectations on this venue:

  • Framing the Lesson
  • Three-Part Objective (posted): Behavior, Relevance, and Criteria for Success
  • Alignment of Standards
  • Verb Agreement
  • Itinerary Relevancy & Importance
  • Objective Based Warm-up
  • Foreshadow
  • Construction vs Formal Assessment
  • Maintaining Attention: Abstaining, Alerting, Recruitment, & Acknowledging
  • Dual Task Interference
  • Defining Rigor
  • Construction Overview
  • Clarity: Lecturing, Imagery, Cognitive Empathy, & Anchoring
  • High-Order Questioning Techniques

Teachers are encouraged to access the AES website on a regular basis and implement the strategies detailed on the platform. When performing evaluations, administrators are looking for the incorporation of the aforementioned strategies. On January 4th, module three will be released. The topics detailed in this module include "Differentiated Instruction" and "Expectations."

Our Chosen Reading Remediation Program

In December, the school board of HCPS approved our request for the reading remediation program, Reading Plus©. The program is going to target over 200 students at HCMS and provide 20 minutes of intensive reading remediation on a daily basis.

A special thanks goes out to our school board for approving this measure, along with all the people that helped us obtain this amazing platform! The program will be begin in January.

Tiered Remediation and School Improvement Plan

One size doesn't fit all in the field of education. Students come to us with diverse needs and diverse deficiencies. One of our our jobs as educators, is to recognize these gaps in understanding and provide the necessary support/s that ultimately leads to success for all stakeholders.

A major part of our School-Improvement-Plan (SIP) is to consistently tier students. The tiering is based upon previous SOL scores, nine-week assessments, benchmarks, grades, and summative assessment scores. The overarching goal is to move all students into the tier one category. It's expected that all teachers, in all core content areas, to tier students and provide the necessary remediation on a weekly basis.

If you have any questions on when you are supposed to be pulling students from their related art classes, please see Mrs. Henderson or your grade-level administrator.

A Movement Towards Excellence...

We would like to take this time to thank you for your diligence to our students and school. Each school has it's own unique culture and specific hurdles to be conquered. However, what seems to be universal themes among all districts are accountability, student achievement, gaps among minority groups, morale, etc.

At HCMS, the administrative team is aware of the aforementioned details. We are committed to tackling each obstacle as we move our school towards a standard of excellence. While we cannot influence factors outside of our school (home environment, SES status, etc.), we do have control of what takes place in our classroom. Once we change our mindset to that of a solution base, along with imparting that same mentality upon our students, we take a huge step in the right direction: "I will be successful, despite my circumstances."

Our plan depends upon all stakeholders to be actively involved: parents, students, teachers, administrative staff, support staff, etc. While we still have some legwork to implement, we have come a long way in a short amount of time. In the months ahead (2nd semester), we must implement best practice approaches to tackle the obstacles that lay in front of us. Together, we will succeed!

The Power of "Yet"

When a child tells you they don't like something, or they are no good at a task, encourage them to use the word "YET." I don't like this yet, leaves room for change. I'm no good at this yet, leaves room for improvement.

The image below is a great example of the "YET" concept.

A Christmas Wish from the Administration...

It’s hard to believe our school year will soon be halfway over. We are proud of the work you have accomplished and the dedication so obviously displayed towards our student population! We would like to wish each of you a safe, restful, and Merry Christmas! May 2017 be the best year yet!

Be sure to watch the video below for a little humor and inspiration!


Created with images by Sponchia - "lion animal portrait africa" • Skakerman - "Ruler"

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