Monthly Archives: September 2013

Road Map To Rigor!!

cycle-of-effective-instructionEffective instruction is not about whether we taught it.  It’s about whether the students learned it.
                                                                                                           ~Paul Bambrick-Santoyo

Hello Hurricanes!! Putting the simple principle stated above to work fundamentally transforms schools. As we continue our focus on utilizing our data to drive instruction, a frequent objection is that a focus on assessment amounts to empty “teaching to the test”. However, in the end, data-driven instruction is not about teaching to the test; it is about testing the teaching.  That makes all the difference.  (This excerpt was taken from “Leverage Leadership”). We will delve into how to effectively use data at our October 14, 2013 In service.

 Click Here  for the Up-to-date Happenings on the Hurricane Weekly

Leadership Binders are in!  If you emailed Danielle and told her that you needed a specific quantity of binders then please go pick up your binders from Ms. Madrid.  If you haven’t emailed Danielle your binder request, please do so asap.  Please only take what you need.

On Tuesday during 8th period,Literacy Time, we will launch One Book, One School. Please show the power point to your students and complete the activities. Turn in completed cause and effect charts to Ms. Shanoff, old discipline office, by Wednesday. The best cause and effect chart from each grade will receive a prize the following Tuesday.  If there is extra time, students can work on organizing their Leadership notebooks and their 7  Tracking Sheets.


Project Wisdom:  See Project Wisdom Information for Wednesday, October 2, 2013 below

Project Wisdom PowerPoint   Project Wisdom Lesson Plan

Optional Marzano Professional Development this week:

  • We will offer 2 OPTIONAL Marzano Placemat overview sessions.  If you are interested in attending either session, please sign up on EIS, asap, so that we will have an accurate count.  The session will be worth 2 points.  If you would like to attend on Tuesday 10/1 from 8-9 am please sign up for #6569 or  if you would like to attend on Wednesday 10/2 from 3-4 please sign up for #6566.  Contact Mr. Bess or Mrs. Ciocca with questions.  This is a great opportunity for new teachers and/or teachers who would like to deepen their understanding of the indicators.

Community Service Club Activity-October 4:   This is our culminating activity for the past four weeks.  By this time students should have created their pinwheels.  On Friday, we will make an announcement at the beginning of the club period to walk the kids and their pinwheels to the PE field.  We will arrange the kids in a giant peace sign and take an aerial photo for the International Day of Peace site.  Lessons for October 11 will be posted on next week’s edition of Lead21.

Spotlight on IMPACT:

  • The 7th grade Science PLC has Synergy: The PLC synergized to implement a metric Olympics activity, which engaged students in competitive labs to practice their measurement and estimation skills.
  • Also see Ms. McEvoy’s format to provide an opportunity to “Deepen Knowledge” for her students.


  • Trying to make the most of your IMPACT time?  Reserve an interventionist today! Mr. Ault, Ms. Hendry, or Ms. Lafuente can come in during IMPACT time and work with small groups of students who may need a specific intervention or lesson.
  • Please remember it is imperative to leave substitute plans for IMPACT when you are absent so students are engaged during this critical opportunity to sharpen their skills!

Magnet Update
Just a reminder magnet tours begin this week.  Tours will occur Tuesday each week at 9:35 and Thursday at 1:35.  Magnet night will be on October 29.  Please direct any questions to Mrs. Ciocca.

Materials for the OCTOBER 8th (not this Tuesday but next) Leadership Lesson will be in your mailbox early this week.  This lesson involves FCAT data and you will receive a print out of the FCAT scores for your 8th period class.  You will have to communicate the individual FCAT scores to your 8th period students by writing on the provided green touchdown sheets.  Again, be looking for this lesson early this week so you can get a jump start.

Planning Ahead
  • End of Nine Weeks Exams for Civics, Alg, Geo, & Spanish are during the  Week of Oct 7-11 Click here for the Schedule
  • Assembly for Red Ribbon Week Kickoff is Friday, Oct 25th   Period 8
  • Assembly for SSMS Fundraiser is Tuesday, Oct 29th   Period 8
Click Here  for the District Instructional Model PD Schedule for October and November. SSMS now has two Cluster facilitators:  Mrs. Hendry and Mrs. Pintok… way to go ladies.
The Sun Rail is coming:  Click below for more information

Take a moment to view the attachment below for helpful accommodations for students

Accommodations Booklet

Leading Educators Leading Educators partners with schools and districts to maximize the leadership development of early-to-mid-career teachers in order to bolster the talent pipeline via identification and training of strong potential teacher-leaders and, in turn, increase student achievement and develop the skills and sustainability of teachers on their teams. Check out the video below… you may recognize someone : )



Posted by on 09/29/2013 in LEAD21- SERIES1



2927949715_7120b9fd4a“There is a magic in graphs. The profile of a curve reveals in a flash a whole situation —the life history of an epidemic, a panic, or an era of prosperity. The curve informs the mind, awakens the imagination, convinces.”
                                                                                                                 ~ Henry D. Hubbard, 1939

Hello Hurricanes! Let’s get this week going with a focus on data and upcoming events this week…But before we begin.….  WE HAVE MORE BABY BUZZ….MS. HENDRY AND HER HUSBAND ARE EXPECTING THEIR SECOND CHILD!!!! CONGRATULATIONS DANIELLE!!!!!!


  • What is Data Literacy?  Data literacy is the ability to accurately observe, analyze and respond to a variety of different kinds of data for the purpose of continuously improving teaching and learning in the classroom and school.  Data-literate teachers need not be experts in statistics or data collection methods.  However, they do need to demonstrate three critical competencies: (1) the ability to make use of multiple data sources, (2) the skill to interpret data accurately, and (3) the capacity to engage in productive collaborative inquiry with their colleagues.
  • Discovery Education reports will be distributed to teachers once all make-ups have been complete.  Ms. Taylor will be pulling the reports and printing them in “color”.  Your A-Team will begin scheduling data chats to review the data and review observation feedback.  More information for scheduled times will come from your Supervising Administrator.
  • To assist you in utilizing the data tools available to you, there will be a Hands-on School wide PLC training on Wednesday, September 25, 2013, from 3-4 in the Media Center. The training will be facilitated by the EdInsight team from ESC.   In this training, you will view the student lists and FCAT scores on the dashboard, view detailed class information and run and view the Spreadsheet report.  Below are the handouts you will need for Wednesday to guide you through this training.  You can print the handouts or download them to your electronic devices.

OutlineforEdInsightraining     DetailedInstructions_EdInsightforMiddleSchool

  • Writing Across the Curriculum:  As you know Writing continues to be a focus for the 2013-2014 year. According to last year’s FCAT writing test results only 50% of SSMS students reached proficiency. Our goal for this year is that 65% of SSMS students will reach proficiency on the FCAT Writing Test. Below is our schools Writing Plan to support this goal. We should all be knowledgable and instrumental in executing our plan. How can you support this plan?

SSMS 2013-2014 Writing Plan

  • Marzano Refresh:  We will be offering an optional Marzano Overview.  This is an opportunity to learn about the overall design of Domain 1.  The two meeting times are from 8-9 on Tuesday, October 1st or from 3-4 on October 2.
  • Dr. Griffin, School Board Members and Dr. Dehlinger will be visiting classrooms at SSMS on  Tuesday, September 24, 2013 from 11:00 am – 1:00 pm.  Shine as you always do!!!!
  • Mark your Calendars…our two required evening events for 2013-2014 will be:  (1) November 7, 2013: “Student Led Conference Night: Curriculum, Conferencing and Community Cafe”  and (2) February 13, 2014:  SSMS Curriculum Night.  Due to additional requirements for Magnet Night, Ms. Ciocca will be making arrangements for those specific teachers.
  • On Monday, September 23 our ESE teachers will not report to their facilitation classes.  They are working on critical paperwork for FTE.  We do have assistants available if you feel support is  needed.  Please communicate with Mrs. Ciocca.
  • Printer Assistance Protocol:  In order to avoid confusion when requesting assistance with the printers each floor should have a designated person who will:
    Email Ms. Madrid to let her know that the toner needs to be replaced
    Create a service ticket if the printer needs to be serviced
     Please remember that those printers should only be used to print single pages and if you need more copies you should be using the copy center or the copier located on the 1stfloor. By now everyone should have a Copy Center account, and an access code for the copier set up. If you are having trouble or need assistance setting those up, please contact Ms. Madrid. Email the name of your floor representative to Dr. Coleman-Baker by Tuesday afternoon.  
  • As stated in PrePlan, October 14, 2013, will be our School Wide Professional Development Day.  This day can not be utilized as a comp day. 
  • The documents for the school-wide Leadership Lesson for Tuesday 9/24 will be put in your mailbox on Monday.  Below are the documents you will need for the lesson 

Virtual Example Leadership Binder  

Leadership Tracking Activity  

Banner Template  

Lesson Plan 9-24-13

  • Attached is the Project Wisdom Teachers Lesson Plan for Sept 25th.  The Quicktime movie will be played on Channel 47 and saved to shared drive.

Project Wisdom 9-25-13

  • Our Social is approaching on October 11 from 4-6.  Please contact Mrs. Ciocca if your club is interested in sponsoring an activity.  We have many groups selling food, but are in need of games and activities.
  • Academic Intervention Support.  Begin looking at your rosters that were provided last week with your identified lowest quartile students.  The students are additionally noted in skyward with an Advisor designation on the student profile page as “Hendry”.  Ms. Hendry and Mr. Ault have additionally provided support materials, intervention request forms and detailed LQ info, which denotes if the student is LQ Reading, Math or Both is noted,  in the shared folder. Below is a copy of the Intervention Request Form (attached).  Please fill out this form if there is anyway the intervention team can help your lowest quartile students.


  • Attached is the Scavenger Hunt for Faculty and Staff, District Handbook and Faculty and Staff Handbook.  The date of the return to Rm 213, Diane Taylor is Sept 30, 2013.

SSMS Scavenger Hunt    SSMS Faculty Handbook 2013-2014


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Posted by on 09/22/2013 in LEAD21- SERIES1




“Leadership and Learning and Indispensable To Each Other.” ~ John F. Kennedy

  • Hello Hurricanes!!!! Lots of information this week.  Happy Reading!!!!!
  • Faculty Meeting, Wednesday, September 18, 2013 in Media Center at 3:05 pm.  The third Wednesday is generally our PD, however we must have our Golden School requirement meeting this week for Five Star Status.  The meeting should last about 30 minutes.
  • Leadership Activity for Tuesday, 9/17/18:  Use this Tuesday to get to know your new 8th period class with a team building activity of your choice and also go over their binders.  Explain to students that the leadership binders are a very important and  mandatory school-wide activity.  The binders will be presented to a parent, teacher or community leader during a student-led conference so each activity must be completed. Each of your students should have the following: 1 binder, five tabs, student’s cover sheet, 7 data tracking sheets, Baseball Card in the About Me Section, Blue Soccer Ball Smart Goal Sheet.  Please email Danielle Hendry the number of binders, baseball cards, and blue sheets you need and she will get those to you as soon as possible.
  • Project Wisdom Powerpoint and Teacher Lesson Plan is below.  The Quicktime movie will be on Channel 47 at the scheduled time and in the shared drive.

Project Wisdom PowerPoint   Project Wisdom Teacher Plan

  • The Professional Development Wednesday Schedules will be as follows, from 3:05 – 4:00 pm
  • 1st Wednesday of every Month – Open                   
  • 2nd Wednesday of every Month – Curriculum
  • 3rd Wednesday of every Month – School-Wide Prof. Dev. – facilitated by Coaches (see calendar)
  • 4th Wednesday of every Month- Curriculum PLC/School-Wide PLC/Faculty Meeting 

PD Calendar 2013-2014

  • SCPS District and SSMS Faculty Handbook: Below you will find the SCPS District Handbook, SSMS Faculty Handbook and The SSMS Faculty Handbook Scavenger Hunt.  The scavenger hunt will take the through the highlights of the Handbook.  (The scavenger hunt was given in lieu of calling an additional faculty meeting).  A signed copy of the completed scavenger hunt is due to Ms. Taylor by September 30, 2013.

SCPS District Handbook    Faculty & Staff Handbook 2013-14   SSMS Scavenger Hunt

  • Parent Teacher Conferences:  Parent Teacher conferences are scheduled for Monday and Friday mornings.  Ms. Leenen will be scheduling these meetings as requested by parents.  Make sure you are in attendance for the scheduled meetings. Ms. Leenen will contact you regarding the scheduled time. If you have a conflict with the meeting time allocated due to training and/or planned absence, you will need to contact the parent for an alternate meeting time. Ms. Leenen will not be responsible for rescheduling.
  • Communication Assistance:  If any school personnel attempts to call a parent, please leave a message indicating your name and the reason of the call.  We are receiving calls from parents stating they have a missed a call from the school and no message was left.  Some parents are nervous thinking that something has happened to their child.  Also, if you are sponsoring any after school practice or event, please forward the information to Ms. Maffuz at the Front Desk so that she can assist parents with the informaiton when they call.
  • End of Nine Weeks Civics, Algebra, Geometry and Spanish schedule Click Here
  • Altamonte Mall is hosting the 2nd Annual Celebrate Schools event on Saturday,October 26th from 1pm-5 PM. Join us on the lower level in the Macy’s court for school performances, activities and great prizes. This is a free event open to the public. It is also one of the final days to nominate your school for the $25,000 school award that will be given to one lucky school in November!  Teachers, make sure you have a school project posted on! Altamonte Mall will be promoting your projects from September 3rd- October 27th, encouraging the public to donate through in-mall signage, social media sites and matching donations from Altamonte Mall’s Club members. In 2013, we assisted in completing projects  that totaled more than $7,500 and helped over 2,000 public school children. For more information contact:  Ms. Ciocca 
  • Senate Bill 1108 , was signed into law by Governor Scott on June 28th and  was effective July 1, 2013.   Section 1012.585 Florida Statute-Process for renewal of a  Professional Certificate will take effect July 1st 2014.  The requirement is that an applicant for renewal of a professional certificate must earn at least 1 semester hour of college credit or the equivalent in in-service points (1 semester hour is equal to 20 points) in teaching students with disabilities. This requirement does not add to or change the requirement for renewal.  This  means 120 in-service points or six semester hours of college credit is still required to renew the professional certificate if you have up to four certification areas not to include endorsements. Applicants with  an expiring 2014 professional certificate do  not have to meet this requirement as long as they  apply to renew by June 30th, 2014. However, if the applicant applies late, any time  on or after July 1st , 2014 the applicant will be under the new  requirement. The Florida Department of Education is currently working on adopting rules to implement this section of the law.  Please be advised that at this time, Sept. 9th, 2013 the term “ applicant” means anyone renewing a professional Florida Educator certificate.  State and Counties will be working to put  viable options in place so this new  requirement can be met.    We will keep you informed as we receive new information.

Have A Great Week Hurricanes!!

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Posted by on 09/15/2013 in LEAD21- SERIES1


Our SSMS Goals Begin With a Vision!!!!

leadership quote

Hello Hurricanes!! I hope you had a restful weekend and had the opportunity to Sharpen the Saw and be energized and ready for the eager minds that will embark on campus.

  • SSMS has an administrative intern that will be joining us for the next 27 weeks. “A BABY INTERN” that is.  MR. & MRS. CIOCCA (JULIE & TONY) are expecting their first child to debut in March 2014!  CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!  Our first Office Baby!!!!!!!
  • The Leadership Lesson lesson-plan for Tuesday 9-10 was put in your mailbox on Friday and is available in The Game Plan folder on the shared drive.  You will show the video below and have students complete the blue worksheet.  Let Danielle Hendry know if you have any questions or concerns.  
Goals Soccer Ball
Leadership Notebook Champion Award
Lesson Plan Tuesday 9-10-1
  • Below is the Professional Development Calendar for 2013-2014.  The topics were determined by the feedback we received from your Curriculum PLC activity. Professional Development will be facilitated by our Coaches.
PD Calendar 2013-2014
  • SSMS received 1st place in the Annual Outstanding Energy savings Award .  SSMS received a check for $12,116.00, which is 20% of the electrical savings we accrued during 2012-2013.  This money will be utilized for technology enhancements on campus to support our 21 century learners.  Great Job Peter and Mr. Grace!  
  • Timeline for entering 1st Quarter Progress Report Grades…….Grades will be pulled from all gradebooks with due dates of 08/12/13 through 09/13/13. The deadline to enter grades into the system for this calculation is 09/16/13 Monday at 12:00am midnight.  1st Quarter Progress Report Cards will be printed on 09/17/13  and tentatively scheduled for distribution to students during 8th period on Friday, September 20th.
  • PTSA Fundraiser Assembly-  Monday at 9:30- and 10:30.   Schedule and Procedures posted on Hurricane Weekly.   Please pass out packets during Period 1 ( that were in mailboxes last Weds)  and review assembly procedures with students.  It is important to follow schedule as students will not want to miss additional instruction or lunch due to the assembly.  If you have questions, contact Ms. Taylor.
  • We have two great opportunities for students to shine.- PTA Reflections Competition of the Arts
    Prudential Spirit of Community Award.  The information is in SSMS Wednesday News and flyers are in cafeteria.  We are looking for a few faculty/staff to be on a committee to review the essays and applications in beginning Nov to submit up to 5 to represent our school.  Both of these events are reflective of what outstanding students we have at SSMS and want the world to see.  Encourage students to participate.  Links are on Hurricane Weekly. If you have additional questions, contact Ms. Taylor
  • DE through this week, please follow schedule. 
  • Gators Dockside this Friday-   New business partner  All employees receive 20% off during happy hour with school id.  If you don;t have an ID, be with a SSMS employee…  For more information, contact our hospitality chair, Alex Nicholas.
  • South Seminole Middle School has been has been asked to participate in the twentieth annual Drug-Free Poster and Essay contest.  The contest is open to all students.  The posters and essays should communicate the benefits of living a drug-free life or the dangers of drug use.  The winning posters and grand-prize essay will be published in the 2014 Drug-Free Calendar.  There will also be a special awards ceremony in November.  If students would like to participate, please see Mr. Fernandez and he will give the students an Intent-to-Participate form.  This form is due to the Office of the State Attorney by September 13, 2013.
  • This  is a reminder that Homework should be posted to your web page by 4:00 PM on Mondays.  The only required information for your homework page is the homework assignments for the week.  If you need assistance with a web page, please contact Mary Chavers.
  • Club Time/ Service Learning/ Peace One Day.  Club time starts Friday!  Attached are the lesson plans for the first 4 club sessions for students in Service Learning.  These plans will end in Pinwheels created for Pinwheels for Peace which SSMS will celebrate on October 4.  All clubs are encouraged to have students create Pinwheels too.  On October 4 we will decorate the campus and have a great photo opportunity!



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Posted by on 09/08/2013 in LEAD21- SERIES1


It’s All About Students Learning!

photo-2“Effective Instruction is not about whether we taught it. It’s about whether the students learned it.”
                                                                                                                ~ excerpt from Leverage Leadership

Leader in Me Fact for the Week:  HELLO HURRICANES!!!!! What would be possible if SSMS was filled with students who were responsible, who showed initiative, who were creative, who knew how to set goals and meet them, who got along with people of various backgrounds and cultures, and who could resolve conflicts and solve problems?  This is reality at Leader in Me schools across the country. It started in 1999 when struggling school A.B. Combs Elementary was asked to reinvent itself or be shut down. When principal, Muriel Summers, asked parents and business leaders what they wanted in their schools, she heard the following:

  • Leadership
  • Accountability
  • Adaptability
  • Initiative and Self-direction
  • Cross-cultural Skills
  • Responsibility
  • Problem Solving
  • Communication
  • Creativity
  • Teamwork

This feedback represents what most people believe — that our schools should not merely be focused on improving test scores, but should provide opportunities for students to develop their full potential. To Develop Leaders, One Child at a Time.

  • Bell Schedule for Week of 9/2/13:
Tuesday, September 3:  Periods 1,3,5,7
Wednesday, September 4:  Periods 1,2,3,4,5,6,7
Friday, September 6:  Periods 2,4,6,8
  • Schoolwide PLC Meeting, Wednesday, September 4, 2013 in the Media Center, 3:05 – 4:00 pm.  All teachers will need to attend.    This is the first of three SCPS Common Core Presentations entitled, “Building a Strong Instructional Core” . The topic for this week is Cross Curricular Math Shifts, presented by Diana Barnett.
  • Below you will find the Final SSMS Bell Schedule and Secretarial Duties for 2013-2014



  • Walk-through feedback in iObservation:  As we continue walk-throughs in your classrooms you will be receiving feedback in iObservation.  The Marzano feedback model is a formative process which enables growth in instructional strategies and teaching.  Keep in mind that the walk-through is a “snapshot” of what is observed at that moment in time. Any SCPS administrator can provide feedback in iObservation.  This year we will are taking a more holistic approach and you will be receiving ongoing feedback from the Assistant Principals and myself.  Which in turn will lead to greater inter rater reliability and collaboration with teachers and the Leadership team
  • Clubs will kickoff their first meeting on Friday, September 13th Schedules reflecting which clubs the students were assigned will be placed in the first period teachers box on that morning.  Feel free to work on leadership notebooks or other projects as needed during club time on Friday, September 6th.  Please see Mr. Fernandez with any questions or concerns.
  • UCF is offering a graduate-level clinical supervision class for SCPS teachers at Milwee Middle School beginning Tuesday, September 10th.  It will run for ten Tuesdays from 4:30-7:30 PM.  The only cost to teachers is the $25.00 course text and a $30 UCF registration fee.  The tuition is waived.

UCF course flyer fall 2013

  • Calling all staff!  As we travel on our path to become the best leadership school in the world, all student events will be hosted by a committee of staff and students.  Listings of events can be accessed via our online sign up form below.  Please sign up to be on a minimum of 2 committees.  You can sign up for more than 2 if you’d like!

Leadership Committee Sign Up

  • Important ESE info! SDCP Access for Regular Education Teachers-  Do you need a refresher on how to use SDCP.  Please see the attachment below for a PD opportunity worth 1 point.  The PD is offered through blackboard.  The PD consists of a short video (8 minutes) and a 10 question quiz.  A great way to brush up on and learn about new features in SDCP!  Over the next few weeks you may see a teacher input form in your box.  What are these and why are they so important?  The Input form is in lieu of the general ed. teacher(s) being able to or required to attend the IEP meeting. As an ESE team, we’ve been able to protect the general educators time by gathering written input.  A copy of your written input is given to the parent(s) at the IEP meeting, and it is part of the student’s file.  For the case manager to develop the IEP, we look for information in the areas of Curriculum and Learning; Social/Emotional Behavior; Independent Functioning; Healthcare; Communication; and, for students 13 and over, Self-Determination (long-term goals).  Of particular importance are which accommodations are needed, used, and/or provided in the class.
  • Student Lighthouse Team: We are currently searching for our first Student Lighthouse team members!  The members of the Lighthouse Team represent the voice of the students and meets regularly to plan student led activities.  These students also meet with the adult lighthouse team to implement school wide leadership initiatives.  Please send your recommendations to Julie Ciocca by Friday, September 6,2013.
  • Check out the Deliberate Practice Tab for step-by-step directions.
  • Please keep in mind that windows in doors may not be blocked with posters or paper due to safety concerns.

Have a Great Week Hurricanes!!!!!!

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Posted by on 09/02/2013 in LEAD21- SERIES1