May 17, 2013 — Uncategorized
iRock – The Excitement Builds
A Message from the Superintendent
As Superintendent, I believe it is our responsibility to inspire and motivate students to be continuous learners. The needs of the future will be different from those of the past, and this will require us to transform how we teach to ensure that our students are problem-solvers, critical thinkers, collaborators and communicators.
Grades 4 – 8
On March 25 our school board voted unanimously to proceed with the iRock technology initiative and provide all students in grades 4-8 with a mobile learning device, an iPad, to use at school and, hopefully, at home. The iPads, which will be distributed during the first few weeks of school, will provide students with the flexibility to learn anytime and anywhere! Each iPad will be customized through unlimited apps and digital textbooks based on a student’s individual needs and learning style. Parents must, however, supply an email address for any child under the age of 13 and create an Apple ID for their child. Schools will provide assistance with this.
Parents of students in grades 4-8 who would like their child to take the iPad home must meet three requirements:
The student’s family must purchase a Device Annual Protection Plan for $65. The protection plan will cover damage, malfunction, and a one-time loss or theft replacement for one year. Families who are in crisis and cannot afford the $65 may apply at their school for assistance.
A parent, or guardian, must attend an orientation session on the district’s Mobile Computing Guide. Orientation sessions will be held in each school, so please check your school’s website for dates and times.
A parent, or guardian, must agree to and sign the terms set forth in the Mobile Computing Guide.
Kindergarten – Grade 3
The iPads that were purchased for students last fall will still be used. However, there are not enough iPads for every child, so each elementary school will decide how the iPads will be used. Devices in grades K-3 will not go home.
Grades 9 – 12
Each high school will receive several hundred iPads. The principal and teachers at each school will decide which classrooms receive the devices, when they will be distributed, and how they will be used. However, each high school must address the following goals: reduce the number of ninth-grade students who are retained; reduce the dropout rate; and increase the graduation rate. High school students may have the opportunity to take the device home. If so, the same requirements that are in effect for students in grades 4-8 will apply.
Our teachers have been receiving training for the past year on how to use the devices effectively, and their training will continue. There have been challenge-based classrooms in every school and at every grade level using iPads for instruction. Teachers in these classrooms will serve as mentors to their peers.
To quote Jim Vining, chairman of our school board: “iRock is more than technology. It has the potential to level the academic field for all students. It will take a large investment in time and resources, and there will be obstacles along the way. Our community has rallied behind our initiative, and we are very grateful.”
As we undertake this exciting adventure in learning, I ask for your patience and seek your suggestions.
Lynn P. Moody, Ed.D.
Superintendent, Rock Hill Schools
May 15, 2013 — Uncategorized
Sullivan is proud to announce we have 12 Duke Tip qualifiers! What is Duke Tip? It is a program that identifies very high performing students. The excerpt below is from their website:
“Duke TIP’s 7th Grade Program identifies academically talented seventh graders based on standardized test scores achieved while attending elementary or middle school. Candidates are invited to take the ACT or the SAT college entrance exam as seventh graders, which allows them greater insight into their academic abilities. Participants gain valuable benefits and have access to unique resources for gifted students.”
We are very proud of our students and their families for their dedication to success. Congratulations to our students who have earned this great achievement!
7th Grade Duke Tip-State Recognition
Mary Hope Ballou
Emma Gilleland (national and state recognition)
Davis Johnson (national and state recognition)
May 1, 2013 — News and notes
April 28, 2013 — Uncategorized
Check out this quick animoto on Mrs. Leopard’s class dissecting cow eyes from earlier in the year!
Mrs. Lindsey, 8th Grade Assistant Principal
April 26, 2013 — Uncategorized
It is the time of the school year when teachers, parents and students are reflecting on how much students have learned and making plans for next year. Counselors have begun visiting classrooms to discuss choices for next year’s courses (and our rising high school students chose their classes many weeks ago). In the final stretch, our students will be assessed in many ways: during the week of May 6-10, they will take PASS tests while in the final weeks of school our Algebra I and English I students will take the state End of Course (EOC) tests, seventh and eighth grade students will take finals and sixth grade students will receive feedback using the IB criteria for each of their classes. Of course, as I am writing this, many of our students are completing MAPS testing.
So, how is all of this information used?
PASS tests are used in two major ways: they help determine student placement for remediation, enrichment or advanced courses. The scores are also used to rate schools. Last year our students’ achievements led by our accomplished teachers earned our school an A rating.
MAPS tests are another data point that helps us place students. Teachers also analyze this data in the fall to determine areas which students need extra help; in the spring, they use the data to see if there are any gaps that need to be filled prior to PASS testing.
Final exams are created by teacher teams to assess how well students understood the specific material they were taught. These are recorded on your child’s report card and are counted in their final grades.
EOC testing is online. These tests are created by the State Department of Education, and all students must take them when they complete Algebra I and English I. These tests count as final exams in the classes in which students take them, and count as 20% of their final grade.
IB records of achievement are new – we are piloting them with our sixth grade class. Next year, we will report these scores for sixth and seventh grade students, and the year after for eighth grade students. This feedback is more of a narrative that explains the areas in each class in which your child is achieving. An example would be “You are able to use basic vocabulary in familiar situations” for language b. We hope that this information will help parents understand the strengths and areas for improvement.
How can parents help their students attain scores that most reflect their achievement levels?
A sad but true fact: some students do not pay attention during testing and receive scores that really do not reflect their achievement levels. Students may hurry through testing or “Christmas tree” their answers. I like to remind students that test scores are often the first thing that new schools see and that they want that first impression to be good.
Parents can partner with teachers to help their children understand the importance of school achievement. Students need to know that you value education and that you want them to do the best they can. You can discuss times when you have had to force yourself to pay attention to make sure that you have done your best or times when you wanted to rush, but knew that you had to do your best.
Making sure your child has had a good breakfast (limited sugar) on the morning of testing and a good night’s sleep the night before testing is important.
Reminding students of good test taking strategies also helps – they are allowed, for example, to cross out answers they know are incorrect on their PASS test booklets and on the EOCs. They can skip hard questions and come back later, if they choose. Any time they have to read to answer a question, they should read the question first – that way, they know what information they are trying to find. With math problems, they should double check their decimals – and always ask themselves if the answer they computed is reasonable and sensible.
At Sullivan, we work to make sure that students are more than just numbers; we know that test scores are only part of the picture. We want students to personify the IB Learner Profile Qualities by being: inquirers, knowledgeable, thinkers, communicators, principled, open-minded, caring, risk-takers, balanced and reflective.
Chris McLean, Instructional Coach and MYP-IB Coordinator
April 17, 2013 — Literacy, News and notes
Tomorrow is Poem in Your Pocket day!
Sullivan will be participating in Poem in Your Pocket day! We value literacy and poetry is a wonderful way to engage in reading. Students who have a poem in their pocket when the “Prize Patrol” asks them to share will win a small prize! This event is sponsored by our school library for National Library Week.
Check out the great resource below:
Poems for Your Pocket- Poetry, Poems, Bios & More
A resource from the Academy of American Poets with thousands of poems, essays, biographies, weekly features, and poems for love and every occasion.
April 11, 2013 — Uncategorized
Picture Day is Tuesday, April 16th. Students can take individual pictures (Spring Pictures) or group pictures (Buddy Pictures). Only students that wish to purchase pictures will be photographed.
Information went home Monday, and additional flyers are going home with students today! Students being photographed may dress down according to the Sullivan Middle dress down day policy.
You can order packages online in advance at mylifetouch.com or send money to school with your student on Tuesday.
Thank you for your support of our school!
March 29, 2013 — News and notes
The Rock Hill School Board unanimously voted Monday to put an iPad2 in the hands of almost 8,100 students in grades four through eight next year. This is an amazing step for Rock Hill Schools!
Principals and District Representatives are meeting to outline the next steps for implementation, training, and making the shift to having more technology in our schools. This work has been ongoing for over a year.
As always, I value your opinions and appreciate your optimistic attitude towards new strategies. Please use the form below to ask an questions, etc…We need your feedback!
Take a chance to review the iRock website again.
March 29, 2013 — News and notes
March 21, 2013 — Uncategorized
Falcons Impress at District Art Show
Each year in the spring the Arts Council of Rock Hill holds a “Teacher’s Choice” show. Teachers may select eight 2-D pieces and two 3-D pieces. All schools in the district participate and the show is judged and recognition for winning occurs at a reception. Four Falcons won an award at the event:
1st place in Mixed Media: Logan Jackson
2nd Piece in 3-d: Cassie Hendricks
Honorable Mention in Painting: Shelby Dampac and Aeriel Craig.
Other students selected to exhibit were: Jaida Jackson, Kelly Taylor, Isaac Schrum, Elizabeth Rhodes, Casey Craven, Makenna Kull.
In other art news, The Art Outreach class recently completed work for the Department of Social Services. Around 20 paintings depicting positive ways to build healthy families will hang in the Family Unification wing at DSS. We are very excited when our students do work that directly contributes to the local community.
Thank you Mrs. Barnette for leading our young artists!