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Bell Schedule
  ringing
Monday - Bell 2
Tuesday - Bell 2
Wednesday - Bell 1
Thursday - Bell 2
Friday - Bell 1
Registration for
SY 2009 - 2010
 
Thanks to all who have registered students for school.  However, there are still 75 students out of the 900 students who are still not registered! 
 
The last day to register students is September 4th.  Any student who is not registered by that date, will be withdrawn from Deal.
Immunization Alert
 
This year, students are required to have six new shots.  Students who have not received all of their shots by September 4, 2009 will not be able to attend class. Students who are not fully immunized by this date will be held in gymnasium until they receive all of their shots or provide a doctor's note showing a scheduled appointment to receive shots.
Upcoming Dates
calendar
 August 24
 First Day of School
 
August 28  
Staff celebration; 4-7pm
 
August 31
 Submit pink monthly attendance card (DC STARS)
 
September 3
New to Deal Teacher meeting; 3:30-4:30pm 
 
Optional Smartboard Training; 4:30 - 6pm
 
Music Family Night;   6 - 7pm 
 
Ed-line Parent Workshop; 6 - 7pm 
 
PTA Welcome Reception; 7 -8 pm
 
September 4
Deadline for making 
schedule changes
 
 September 7
Labor Day Holiday 
 
September 8
Faculty meeting; 3:30 - 4:30pm
 
September 9 & 10
DC-BAS
(adjusted Bell Schedule)
 
September 11
Student Council Assembly (Bell III)
 
World Language Trip Meeting; 5:30 - 6:30pm
 
Back to School Night; 6:30 pm - 9 pm
 
September 15
SCAC; 7:30 am 
 
 
September 16
Department Chairperson Meeting; 3:30 pm
 
September 17
Hispanic Heritage Assembly (Bell III)
 
Faculty Meeting; 3:30 - 4:30 pm
 
September 18
Professional Development Day (no school for students)
 
September 21 - 25
Spirit Week
 
September 23
Deficiency Notices submitted to homeroom teachers
 
September 24
Woodson SHS cross country invitational meet
 
September 25
1st Advisory Midpoint
Deficiency Notices to grade-level administrator
 
September 30
Department Chairperson Meeting; 3:30pm
DCPS
Wilson SHS
Quick Links
Alice Deal MS
Join Our Mailing List
Stay Informed!
International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program News
 
The International Baccalaureate has scheduled October 22nd and 23rd for our IB authorization visit. Our visitors from the IB will meet with staff, students, and the community to gauge whether we are ready to be an authorized IB World School. 
 
As a candidate school, we have been working very hard for the last few years to create a dynamic, challenging, and meaningful IB MYP - and we believe we are ready!!
or call (202) 237-1799.
 
Back to School with MPD
If your children need back-to- school supplies, please join the second district police officers on Saturday August 29th at 1pm for their Back-To-School event at Ross Elementary School, (1730 R Street NW). Officers will give away school supplies to all children who are present at this event.  Please spread the word about this event if you know someone who could use supplies. 
Community information...
 
(items on this list are not connected to Alice Deal in anyway)
 
After-school Activity Opportunity  
For families who are looking for after-school care, the City Gate Science Club is offering after-school activities at the Wisconsin Avenue Baptist Church.  The location is only a few blocks from Deal!  For more information visit
www.city-gate.org

Alice Deal Weekly Bulletin

"Think Globally.  Listen Compassionately.  Act Inclusively."
Our mission:
Alice Deal Middle School inspires excellence, curiosity, and compassion through intellectual and social engagement.
Thought for the Week
 
"The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires."

William Arthur Ward
Message from Principal Kim

Welcome to the 1st day of the 2009-2010 school year! 

It was a joy to welcome the new 6th and 7th grade students and their family members last Thursday and Friday during orientation.  I have received only positive feedback from everyone about the event.  Thanks to all of the Deal staff and the Deal PTA for making it possible.

Many parents have asked me about how parents can be supportive with the transition.  My response is that you should stay connected and informed.  The first step is to join the Deal PTA.  The PTA is my strongest partner and I would like to see 100% of parents join the PTA this year!  In addition, I recommend reading The Roller-Coaster Years by Giannetti & Sagarese.  I think the book does a good job of combining research with practical suggestions.

Parents, your child will be bringing home a first-day packet today.  Please be sure to fill out all of the forms and return it to us soon.  The first homeroom in each grade level to reach 100% return will celebrate with a pizza party! 

I look forward to seeing all our students tomorrow morning!  This school year is going to be fantastic!
 
Principal Kim
and click on Combo Lock Training to view video on how to open a combination lock.  Teachers will collect $1 for the locker rental fee.  Replacement locks will cost $5.  Students DO NOT share your locker combination with others!  Textbooks will be distributed to all students this week. Please be sure to get them covered right away.

Reminder to all 7th grade students 
You will need two separate notebooks (either spiral-bound or composition) for your humanities and science classes this year.  These will be the foundation for your interactive notebooks.  Please make sure that they are hole-punched so they can fit into you binder when needed.  Please add this to your shopping list and bring them to school as soon as possible.
 
A note from the math teachers
Math in middle school is all about number relationships in multiplication!  Along with students becoming familiar with their new home at Deal Middle School, the sixth and seventh grade math department knows that it is imperative for students to know their multiplication tables front to back for the coming year.  We will be stressing the understanding of multiplication and its importance in and out of the classroom.  Who's good with their times tables, who's good with their 9's and who's good with their 7's? We will find out in the days to come!  
 
P.E. uniforms
There was a mistake in the student handbook relating to the cost of the Physical Education uniforms.  The cost of the uniform is $20.00.  The handbook incorrectly states that it is $15.00.  Physical education uniforms can be purchased starting this Tuesday. Returning students who lost their uniforms are expected to purchase new uniforms.  All students who have PE this semester must purchase a uniform on or before August 31st.  
 
IB Learner Profile Activity
This Thursday, all students will be using their Bell II periods to learn about the IB Learner Profile. Each grade-level will be teaching this in a different way to increase student understanding and awareness of how they are all IB learners. The 10 characteristics of the IB Learner Profile are:
  1. caring
  2. principled
  3. communicators
  4. knowledgeable
  5. thinkers
  6. inquirers
  7. risk-takers
  8. balanced
  9. open-minded
  10. reflective

Parents are encouraged to ask about the activity to emphasize these characteristics in home interactions.

Teachers, keep the IB Learner Profile in mind when you work with colleagues, students, and the community.
This week at Deal...
 
Locks, lockers, and textbooks
Every student will receive a lock and locker on the first day of school.   Please visit
www.masterlock.com
Student information...
  
Music at Deal
The Department of Music at Deal is dedicated to success through excellence. There are numerous opportunities for students to express themselves by either, singing in a vocal ensemble or playing an instrument. Please note, if you are a student at Deal, then there is a spot for you in the Music Department. Some of the groups offered are Concert Choir, Drumline, Show Choir, Jazz Band, Jazz Combo, and even, The Capital City Jazz Project. Please see Mr. Frye or Mr. Jackson for instructions as to how to join. Make sure you mark September the 3rd on your calendar, Music Family Night. 
 
Cross country sign-up meeting 
Come join the 2008 City Champion Boys and Girls Cross Country Teams.  The teams are open to all 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students.  The first meeting will be held on Tuesday, September 1, 2009 at 3:20pm in the Gymnasium.  You need to attend the meeting to get practice information, meet information, and important paperwork.  If you have any questions, see Mr. Geremia in Room W104 or Mr. Jenkins in the Gymnasium. 
Staff information...
 
Classroom Readiness Checklist
A Classroom Readiness Checklist has been placed in each teacher's mailbox.  Please complete the checklist and return it to Ms. Edwards with your attendance this morning by 9:30 am.  This will be helpful in ensuring that all furniture items be delivered to your classrooms. 
 
Student attendance
Homeroom Teachers
Complete the Homeroom Attendance/Membership Form and the HRAC Form (DCSTARS) and return it Ms. Mills in the Welcome Center by 9:30 am daily. Use yellow attendance cards to document student attendance beginning August 24, 2009.
 
All Teachers 
Use blue or black ink to document attendance for students on the Monthly Attendance Card (DCSTARS).  We will use this form until teachers have received a DCSTARS Password.  Once you receive your password, you will have to enter attendance data into DCSTARS beginning with August 24, 2009.
  • Write A for students who are absent.
  • Write L for students who are tardy.
  • Do not write anything for students who are present.
  • Add the names of students who are not on the roster.
  • Return the Monthly Attendance Card to Ms. Mills in the Welcome Center by 3:30 pm at the end of the month.

Teachers Who Have a DCSTARS Password
Begin recording Period by Period attendance in DCSTARS on August 24, 2009. 
If you don't remember your password, please see Ms. Baxter.  You will have to use the Monthly Attendance Cards.  Once you receive your password, you will have to enter attendance data into DCSTARS beginning with August 24, 2009.
 
The BIG IDEA is that we must document accurate attendance for all students beginning on the first day of school!  Please be accurate and timely with submissions of attendance data.


IB Learner Profile Activity
Please see Mr. Albright or your grade-level administrator if you need support preparing for Thursday's IB Learner Profile lesson.
 
Textbook distribution
The distribution of textbooks will occur through the Math Department this year.  The schedule is as follows:      
Monday, 8/24             8th Graders
Tuesday, 8/25             7th Graders
Wednesday, 8/26        6th Graders
 
Ms. Streeter will be allowing 11 minutes per teacher to distribute books to each of the students.  At no time should two classes visit the bookroom at the same time.
 
Monday:  Hutter (1st)   Reich (2nd)     Sweeney (3rd)
Tuesday:   Assael (1st)     Milikin (2nd)   Mungai (3rd)
Wednesday: Koplowitz (1st)  Paras (2nd)   Philip (3rd)
 
Teachers' Editions will be distributed on Thursday.
  
IB MYP committee meeting
Team teachers who are members of the IB MYP Committee will be meeting on Friday, August 28, at 8:00 am for our initial planning session. We will be discussing the upcoming site visit, portfolios, and other issues related to building up the program.
 
Food for thought article
Teachers, we will continue on with the practice of including an article to each weekly bulletin.  Each article is selected purposefully and we hope you make it a regular part of your professional development.  This article was selected specifically for this first bulletin because it captures our school's effort to ensure that each child meets success with teacher intervention.  Please discuss this article in both team and department meetings.  What aspects of this do we already do at Deal well?  What areas do we need to strengthen?  We look forward to being a part of your discussions and reading about them in your meeting notes.

First week of school staff celebration
The entire Deal staff will celebrate the successful conclusion of our first week of SY 2009 - 2010 with a reception on Friday, August 28 (4:00 pm - 7:00 pm).  Please feel welcomed to bring along members of your family that provide support to you and as an extension, support to Deal!
 
New to Deal meeting
The "New to Deal" Meeting is scheduled for Thursday, September 3 (3:30 pm - 4:30 pm) in the cafeteria.
 
Smartboard training
All staff members are invited to attend Smartboard Training on Thursday, September 3 from 4:30 pm until 6 pm.  Please see Mr. Dacoba for further information.
 
Keep classroom windows closed
Teachers are reminded that all windows must remain closed.  Keeping the windows closed helps us maintain a controled climate throughout the building and is much more energy efficient.
 
Classroom Environment
Thank you to all of our teachers for preparing such engaging standards-based classrooms for our students.  Remember:  you must only use the blue painter's tape on the walls in your classroom.
 
Before & after school activities this week...
 
Activities will begin shortly!
 
Food for Thought...
 
Our School, where failure is NOT an option
 
In this meaty article in Theory Into Practice, researchers Dick Corbett and Bruce Wilson describe a five-year program in which several urban middle schools in Michigan experimented with not accepting failing performance from students. Following the mastery learning principles enunciated by Benjamin Bloom in the 1970s, students were required to make up failing assignments and keep trying until they achieved passing grades.
 

This approach is quite different from what Corbett and Wilson describe as the "luck-based education" most students experience: "That is, they have to be fortunate enough to be placed in classrooms where their teachers refuse to let them fail. The unlucky ones are left to endure the 'I already told you that,' 'I'm not going to keep repeating myself,' and 'You'll have to catch yourself up' statements that signal to students that their teachers are not very concerned whether they learn. Indeed, an all-too-prevalent pattern in schools is for teachers to settle for using good instructional practices and leaving it up to students to decide if they want to do their part. Tragically, in urban schools especially, many students - when given the choice to fail - do."
The four essential ingredients of the Michigan program (which Corbett and Wilson evaluated) were:
 

~ Educators bought into insisting on student success - The philosophy behind the program (see links below) was that schools needed to use work completion as the primary academic lever to bring all students to mastery. Basically, teachers decided to take responsibility for students' success and not blame factors outside their control. Of course, motivated students and involved parents would make life easier, but teachers faced the fact that they could control only what happened during school hours. It's on us, they concluded, knowing that if they ceded responsibility for success to students and parents, many students would fail and the achievement gap would widen.
 

~ Schools switched to a no-failure grading system - They took all the Ds, Es, Fs, and zeroes out of the grading system. Placeholder grades were given for incomplete assignments: I for incomplete, NY for not yet finished, or NQ for not quality. The schools were basically saying that "every student could and would do quality work," explain Corbett and Wilson. "Some students might take longer than others, but no teacher would ever signal the end of an assignment with an F or zero." Students were expected to do every assignment, and students didn't receive grades until all their work was at an acceptable level of quality. This shone a bright spotlight on failing students. "We've made the invisible students visible," said one teacher.
 
~ Staff set up numerous interventions - When students' work was unsatisfactory or incomplete, teachers knew there were two possible explanations: students didn't understand the assignments, or they weren't motivated to do them. For the first category of students, teachers led in-class reteaching and enrichment sessions and used lunch-time makeup sessions, before- and after-school tutoring, Saturday school, and summer school. Even with the support, catching up was challenging for students. "They give us lots of chances to make up work," said one, "but teachers still give new assignments, which makes it hard to catch up." Some students who were doing well chafed at having to do assignments again, arguing that their average was passing, but teachers still insisted. Teachers found that they needed to have two types of interventions: (a) extra time and alternative tasks for students who didn't understand, and
(b) "annoyances" like lunch study for students who were doing okay but chose to put off doing their work. "Giving good students the freedom to procrastinate - and watching them take advantage of it - was probably the most surprising and frustrating development, according to teachers," report Corbett and Wilson.
 
~ Teachers took a critical look at the assignments they gave students - The no-failure policy raised immediate questions about whether some assignments were worth the battle. "Teachers realized that if they were going to be instructionally stubborn and enforce the completion of all assignments, they needed to take a very careful look at what they were asking students to do and make sure that the work was worth doing in the first place," say Corbett and Wilson. "They realized that if students were going to have to go to summer school to finish certain tasks, then the assignment had better be pretty worthwhile to begin with," they say. "In other words, having a bunch of kids completing word search puzzles in June was not an appealing image of an improved education." Teachers talked frequently in grade-level teams about what constituted a good assignment that merited grades and what was busywork or less important. They decided to give grades only for assignments that broke new ground or demonstrated proficiency. Homework, daily class work, and practice exercises didn't rise to that level, teachers reasoned, so they stopped giving grades for this type of work; if it was done well enough, proficiency would show up on culminating graded tests and assignments.
 

How did students respond to the no-failure regime? They appreciated - but also groused about - their teachers' unwavering insistence on doing assigned work at an acceptable level. "My teacher is mean, out of the kindness of her heart," said one student. "There is no way you can fail and get away with it," said another. "I hate it," said many, but equally common were comments like, "It makes you buckle down and finish things." Some students noticed the improved pedagogy: "The program makes teachers give better assignments because they don't want to fight with us about stupid things," said one. And students liked having second chances. "If I fall behind, I can make it up and I won't just flunk because I didn't get it the first time," said another student. "I would rather do the work again than take a D or F. That way I will be better prepared for the next grade."
How effective was the program? Corbett and Wilson report that teachers definitely had to work harder and regretted the fact that they often had to match wits with students and keep them from gaming the system. One piece of retrospective wisdom was that they should have done more at the beginning of the program to enlist students and parents in the overall philosophy of no failure. "In light of what we have learned from students' reactions to a reform based on principles they valued in the first place (i.e., teachers who did not give up on them), just having adults work harder at putting a program in place will not be sufficient," say Corbett and Wilson. "Students need to be participants and not just beneficiaries of the reform."
 
But after five years, Corbett and Wilson report that student achievement was impressive and teachers in these middle schools "stridently reaffirmed that going back to blaming students and parents for poor performance and to failing scores of students each year was not what they wanted to do." 
 
 
"Students' Reactions to a 'No Failure' Grading System and How They Informed Teacher Practice" by Dick Corbett and Bruce Wilson in Theory Into Practice, Summer 2009 (Vol. 48, #3, p. 191-197), no e-link available; Wilson can be reached at [email protected]
The schools were part of the Academy for Educational Development's Middle Start program - http://www.middlestart.org, adopting the Achievement by Continual Improvement (ABCI) strand: http://www.middlestart.org/what/abci.cfm . 

Copyright 2009 Marshall Memo LLC


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Alice Deal Middle School | 3815 Fort Drive, NW | Washington | DC | 20016