September 8, 2017
It was a soggy start but overall, a great first week! It was wonderful to have the classrooms filled again with the sounds of your children's voices and laughter. I will continue to update you each Friday on important school, district, and PTO events throughout the school year.
Did you know that of the myriad of responsibilities a school principal has, the role of instructional leader is most important? Dr. Dewey Hensley, a well-known turnaround educator in Kentucky said, “An instructional leader is someone who first and foremost realizes that the strategies and instructional practices teachers use are the primary mover of student achievement.” (Article attached for your reference.) In an effort to give you a more in-depth look at the instructional practices employed by TJS's talented teaching staff, I will begin to include more instructional information in the updates.
The summer always provides a time to reflect upon the prior school year and plan for the next. I spent a great deal of time redesigning daily schedules, allowing for longer blocks of reading, writing, and math. This time allows for greater opportunity to differentiate instruction for diverse learners, provide intervention, and expansion of special education services. This wasn't achieved by adding new positions; simply by taking a global look at resources we currently have and leveraging them in a way that's best for the students. Our teachers are working to solidify a chosen best practice to implement and build formative assessments around. Continued collaboration will allow us to grow together and better serve your children. You'll never hear me say that Torey J. is perfect and quite frankly, you should be concerned if I ever do. I feel extraordinarily lucky to serve a such a supportive community and have a dedicated and driven staff on hand. Instruction will constantly need change to meet the unique needs of our students each year, so we must continually innovate. No two school years are ever alike, and this is one of the many reasons why I enjoy and am proud to be your principal.
We've Got Spirit, Yes We do!
The TJS Spirit Committee, championed by Allison Altieri, Kate Lade, and Emily Perritt has a lot planned for the year! We're working with the PTO to provide you with detailed schedules, so you know exactly what's coming and when. In an effort to find a balance between too much and not enough spirited themes/days, please know that we never expect you to purchase anything for these days and participation is optional. This year, every Friday will be TJS/Madison Spirit Day. Here's what else we have planned for September.....
One of the goals of TJS is to promote kindness and inclusion throughout the school. We would like to start off the first full week of school with "Friendly Faces Week". Each day the students will be encouraged to take part in a different way to make a new friend and make other feel included. Teachers have been discussing this with the students, so they are prepared!
Monday, 9/11: Learn 3 new names--Wear bright colored clothes
Tuesday, 9/12: At lunch ask someone new about their summer
Wednesday, 9/13: Ask a new friend to join a game at recess
Thursday, 9/14: Give 5 people a high five in the hallway
Friday, 9/15: Give out 3 compliments
Additionally, the Spirit Committee will be establishing "Jaguar Buddies" in grades 2-4, similar to Reading Buddies in grades 1 and 5 and kicking off a school-wide Reading Challenge "American Road Trip Reading Challenge." Our official kick-off will be on Tuesday, September 26th and we will be having a "Red, White, and Blue Spirit Day," as well. More information will follow as these events draw near but require little effort on the part of parents, as the teachers will be managing the activities for the students.
Coach Marty from Jersey Chess is back!!! Open for new and returning chess players, in grades 2-5. The club will meet on Tuesdays in the art room, and there will be both a fall and spring session. Don't miss out! See the attachment for registration information. Coach Marty will be at Back to School Night to answer any questions you may have.
Madison Young Playwrights Program:
This is a great opportunity for our 4th and 5th grade students! Check out the attachment for program and registration information.
PPEC (Parents and Professionals for Exceptional Children):
Join Madison's Special Education Advisory Group for meetings throughout the year. Please refer to the attachment for more details.
Board of Education Meetings: Tuesdays, September 12th and 26th, 7:30 P.M., MHS Media Center
TJS/Madison Spirit Days: Every Friday, September 15th, 22nd, and 29th
Back to School Night: Tuesday, September 19th, 7:00 P.M.
School Closed: Thursday, September 21st
Red,White, and Blue Day: Tuesday, September 26th
Picture Day: Thursday, September 28th
A new edition of Jaguar Tails will be posted on Monday, September, 11th. Please check the PTO website at https://www.madisonpublicschools.org/domain/417 for information regarding events and annual dues. The first general PTO meeting will be held during our Back to School Night onTuesday, September 19th. At Back to School Night, you'll have the opportunity to pay dues and learn more about the Mini-Mudder and Logo Wear initiatives. Please see the attachments regarding the annual mum sale and dues.
Enjoy your weekend! I'm looking forward to our first full week ahead!