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Mitchell County Schools' Update

Date: To: From: RE: May 12, 2011 Mitchell County Schools M. Brock Womble Weekly Update

Friday May 12th is school day #165 School Day #180 ­ Friday, June 3rd Graduation ­ Class of 2011 ­ Saturday, June 4th ­ 10 a.m. NOTICE OF SPECIAL BOARD OF EDUCATION MEETING

There will be a Special Meeting of the Mitchell County Board of Education on Monday, May 9, 2011. The meeting will begin at 5:30 p.m. at the Central Office Complex in the Boardroom. The purpose for this special meeting is Budget Issues. Action may be taken.

BOARD OF EDUCATION MEETING SCHEDULE 2010-2011

MAY 16TH JUNE 20TH JULY 14TH BOARD OF EDUCATION BOARD OF EDUCATION BOARD OF EDUCATION 5:30 PM 5:30 PM 5:30 PM

STUDENT SERVICES:

PROPOSED CALENDAR FOR 2011-2012 On Monday March 21st during the regular scheduled meeting the Mitchell County Board of Education approved the proposed 2011-2012 school calendar. This calendar can be downloaded on the Mitchell County Schools website www.mcsnc.org.

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SCHOOL CALENDAR UPDATE

A summary of days missed as of 2/11; Optional TWD No Days Annual Leave Total Day #135 Day #180 March 29 June 3 9 8 3 20 2 Hr Delay 3 Hr Delay Total 5 2 7

In the months to come SATURDAY SCHOOL will be in session only if a day is missed during the week due to inclement weather. SATURDAY SCHOOL will be dismissed at 1 pm. Thank you for your patience and understanding when winter weather compromises our school calendar.

MITCHELL HIGH SCHOOL GREENHOUSE

The Mitchell High Greenhouse is now open. As you plan your summer flower beds and vegetable gardens, keep in mind that we have assorted bedding plants and vegetables available for a low price. The greenhouse will be open from 8 am to 4 pm Monday through Friday. Below is a list of the plants that are available and the associated cost. Hanging Baskets (Ivy Leaf Geraniums and Fuchsias) New colors this year!-- $10.00 each Zonal (Common) Geraniums-- $4.00 New Guinea Impatiens-- $3.00 Begonias-- $3.00 Flowers in cell-packs (Coleuses, Dianthuses, Petunias, Wave Petunias, Impatiens)-- New colors this year! 4 plants for $1.00/Flat is $8 Vegetables (Tomatoes (limited quantity), Broccoli, Zucchini, Squash)--4 plants for $1.00 If you have any questions please feel free to contact me. Thank you for your business. Haley Hampton Mitchell High School Agriculture Teacher FFA Advisor 828.766.3443

Delta Kappa Gamma Tea Party

Delta Kappa Gamma is pleased to announce their annual Tea Party will be April 30th. Tickets are $12 or $10 for two or more. If you would like tickets please see any Delta Kappa Gamma member or contact Robyn Lance at [email protected] or at 765-3389. All proceeds benefit local scholarships.

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Deyton Elementary School Night at DT's Blue Ridge Java The second Wednesday night of each month DT's will generously donate 10% of their sales between 3-8 pm to Deyton! We encourage every Deyton family & all Deyton supporters to take advantage of this great opportunity to raise money for Deyton students by simply enjoying a great meal at DT's Wednesday 4/13 & Wednesday 5/ 11. D T's Blue Ridge Java, 169 Locust Ave (Lower Street) (828) 766-8008-- http://w-jesse.tripod.com/dtsblueridgejava/ Support Academic Excellence at Mitchell High School.

Sponsor an Academic Letter Scholar. $50 donation provides traditional chenille letter, gold pin, t-shirt, and helps pay for Ceremony of Excellence and reception for parents and students, as well as permanent plague with names of scholars at MHS. Sponsors receive invitations to the event, and names of individuals, organizations or business sponsors appear prominently in event program. Send your tax deductible contribution to: Communities in Schools of Mitchell County, ATTN: Barbara Buchanan, 2206 Carters Ridge Road, Spruce Pine, NC 28777. Make checks payable to Communities in Schools of Mitchell County and indicate that your donation is to sponsor Academic Letter Scholars.

The Mitchell FFA Chapter needs your vote!

Help! The Mitchell FFA Chapter' t-shirt was selected as a finalist in the National FFA Chapter Ts shirt Contest. If we are in the top 6 of the 22 finalists the tee goes in the National FFA apparel catalog and the chapter will receive 50% of the proceeds from one year of sales. Our chapter is one of two chapters in North Carolina to be selected as a finalist. We do not know the number of total entries, but we do know there were at least 264 designs submitted for the initial round of the contest. The design idea was developed by high school students and FFA members Eve Duncan, Austin Robison, Keith Parker, Chelsea Phillips, Mark Young, Thomas Gouge and Hagen Wheeler. s Please go to http://shop.ffa.org/2011-t-shirt-contest-c1443.aspx and find the Mitchell FFA shirt (it'

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the only shirt that is bright green). You must have a Facebook or Twitter account to vote. Voting ends the 21st! I believe if you have both a Twitter and Facebook account you might be able to vote twice, but that theory has not been confirmed yet. Thank you for your support, and please pass this along to anyone you know who has a Facebook or Twitter account. "The best teacher is the one who suggests rather than dogmatizes, and inspires his listener with the wish to teach himself." ~Edward Bulwer-Lytton

Go Green, Save Money and Support Mitchell FFA!

Mitchell FFA through an initiative with French Broad Electric is working to increase the use of energy saving light bulbs in our area while at the same time supporting local students. To this end Mitchell FFA is selling EcoBulb Soft White CFL 13 watt light bulbs. All proceeds from the sale of these bulbs will directly support Mitchell High students. The FFA has pledged $500 of the proceeds to the Eric Avery and Makenzie Cook Memorial Garden. Depending on the success of this fundraiser we will increase the amount of money donated. If you are not familiar with CFL bulbs they are Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs that conserve energy use and have an extended life. A 13 watt CFL bulb is equivalent to a standard 60 watt bulb. With normal usage CFL bulbs usually last up to 9 years. You can purchase a 4 pack of bulbs for $5 and a 6 pack for $7. For every 20 bulbs purchased $5 will be deducted from the total owed. I did some comparison shopping for you; at the local Wal-Mart I found 3 pack bulbs for $5.11 and 6 pack bulbs for $12.80. Not only can you purchase light bulbs from us cheaper, but please also remember all proceeds from the sale of these bulbs will support Mitchell High students. We can arrange delivery of bulbs to a school if there is an order from several people at that location. Thank you for your support!

MITCHELL COUNTY SCHOOLS CHARACTER EDUCATION THEME FOR THE MONTH - MAY Perseverance

Being persistent in the pursuit of worthy objectives despite difficulty and opposition. Being patient and willing to try again when confronted with delays, mistakes or failures. Quotes: "Nobody knows what they can do until they try."

BULLY FREE TIP OF THE MONTH

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BULLY FREE PHILOSOPHY.... We believe everyone has the right to come to school excited, enthused, and ready to learn. Bullies and bullying behavior will not be tolerated, they have no place in our school. "WE BELIEVE WE SHOULD BE....BULLY FREE!" A Bully-Free School Zone by no means guarantees that bullies do not exist at our school. It does, however, emphasize to students how to co-exist peacefully, appreciate differences, solve problems, control anger, and look out for each other. The program also encourages attendance, academic effort, and getting along with one another. CREDO..... "This is my school, this is my space. I want it to be a safe place. I know that violence prevention begins with me. So that's why to this promise, I agree, and I will.... Resolve conflicts peacefully, talk about problems openly, treat others with respect, walk away from fights, and take all threats and warning signs seriously. Talk to a parent, counselor, or teacher about my concerns." (Allan Beane, 2003)

MAINTENANCE / FACILITIES:

BOWMAN MIDDLE SCHOOL ROOF REPLACMENT Roof Bid ­ March 17, 2011 Construction begins April, 2011 BOILER REPLACMENT ­ MITCHELL HS & HARRIS MIDDLE SCHOOL Three companies bid on the replacement of two boilers with the Mitchell County Schools. During the March 21, 2011 regular scheduled board of education meeting the following boiler replacement recommendations were approved; 1) Harris Middle School and 2) Mitchell HS. The following companies provided bids for boiler replacement; 1) Dalton's Heating, Air Conditioning and Controls, Inc. 52 Old Fort Road Fairview, NC 28730 Contact Person: Stan Dalton (828) 628-1445 Mitchell HS Bid 2) Pyatt Heating and Air Conditioning, Inc. PO Box 97 Marion, NC 28752 Contact Person: William Fensterer (828) 652-7747 Harris Middle Bid 3) Bolton Construction and Service of WNC, Inc.

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PO Box 8609 Asheville, NC 28814 HARDWARE AND SURVEILLANCE ­ Deyton Elementary and Mitchell HS Hardware and surveillance project recommendations at Deyton Elementary and Mitchell High School were approved by the Mitchell County Board of Education at the March 21st regular scheduled meeting. Below are bid costs and a description of both projects. This construction will be provided by Hardware Distributors, Inc. and will be ongoing during the Spring of 2011. MITCHELL HIGH SCHOOL Stairwell Door Replacement Description of Job: Hardware Replacement- First Stairwell Door in Classroom Hallway, Stairwell Door (upper level) from Art Department, Stairwell Door Near Room #273, Stairwell Door Near Room #342 (upper level), Stairwell Door Near Room #285 (lower level), Stairwell Near Room #343 (upper level), Stairwell Door End of Hall @Lockers (lower level), Lower Level Stairwell Door to Vocational, Stairwell Door @Lockers End of Hallway, Stairwell Door from Media Center to Stairwell, Stairwell Door off Media Center (upper level), Stairwell Door to Vocational from the Media Center Stairwell. DEYTON ELEMENTARY Access Control Description of Job: Hardware Replacement ­ Main Entrance, Exterior Pair to Gymnasium, Exterior Pair from Main Building to Gymnasium, Gymnasium Side Entrance, Second Entrance to Gymnasium, Express Software, Hand Held Programmer, Proximity Credentials, Proximity Credential Reader, Software Training Package, Installation, Labor and Camera Equipment.

NORTH CAROLINA DEPARTMENT OF INSTRUCTION:

Senate Spending Targets & Their Impact

Dear LEA Superintendents, PIOs and Central Office Staff, The following statement was issued by State Superintendent June Atkinson yesterday and is provided for your information. Also, attached to this email is an Excel file that illustrates the projected position impact of the Senate' spending targets as released this week. s For immediate release May 11, 2011 Statement from State Superintendent June Atkinson regarding Senate Budget Targets Released this Week

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"North Carolina is in jeopardy of taking our schools back in time with the budget targets released this week by the Senate' Education Committee," said State Superintendent June Atkinson. "If s the Senate targets are put in place, parents can count on the fact that their children will be in larger classes with fewer resources and in schools with fewer adults to teach, maintain discipline and ensure that students stay on track for graduation. I believe our state can do better than this." North Carolina*s public school budgets have been cut for three consecutive years. Spending targets released this week by the NC Senate*s Education Committee would cut $106 million more from public schools than the nearly $1 billion in cuts already approved this spring by the NC House.

MESSAGE TO TEACHERS FROM DR. JUNE ATKINSON, MAY 12, 2011

For more information or to schedule an interview with State Superintendent June Atkinson, please contact NCDPI*s Communications division at 919-807-3450. This week, North Carolina's Senate unveiled its budget cut targets. The Senate' targets were s provided after the North Carolina House approved its version of the budget. In both cases, the budgets or budget targets put forward make significant and deep cuts to public schools, as well as to central offices and the Department of Public Instruction. North Carolina is in jeopardy of taking our schools back in time with the budget targets released this week by the Senate's Education Committee. If the Senate targets are put in place, parents can count on the fact that their children will be in larger classes with fewer resources and in schools with fewer adults to teach, maintain discipline and ensure that students stay on track for graduation. I believe our state can do better than this, and I' sure that you do, too. m As you probably know, North Carolina's public school budgets have been cut for three consecutive years. Spending targets released this week by the NC Senate's Education Committee would cut $106 million more from public schools than the nearly $1 billion in cuts already approved by the NC House. What does that mean for you and your colleagues? In position numbers alone, we expect that cuts at the Senate' level of cuts would mean at least 18,000 fewer s positions funded for schools and districts. You may hear people say that their school district can make these cuts through retirements and ordinary turnover, but I hope that as you discuss this in your communities, you will remind folks that the issue is not whether you will have enough turnover to avoid handing out pink slips, but whether your school and district will have enough positions in place to provide what students need to succeed academically. In order to "have school" we need the proper number of people to ensure student success. Without you and many others, it will be difficult to provide what our students need to graduate career and college ready. I, along with the State Board of Education and many of the professional associations such as NCAE and others, continue to communicate with lawmakers about the many, many concerns that we have about the budgets being debated by our lawmakers. At the end of the day, they will make the final decision, but it is not too late for you to make a difference by talking with your legislators about what it takes to staff a school at the proper level. In this Biweekly Teachers' Message:

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1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

State Board Meeting Highlights "READ NC" Resources Help Teachers Boost Summer Reading First Gentleman to Support Summer Reading 2011 Wells Fargo North Carolina Principal of the Year Named NC Educators Receive PAEMST NC Science Olympiad Winners Announced Thinkfinity.org Helps Students Understand 9/11 and bin Laden's Death

1. State Board Meeting Highlights - At last week's State Board of Education meeting, members approved rescinding the Responsiveness to Instruction (RtI) Waiver, LEA-based calendar waiver requests for weather related reasons, the State Technology Plan and various grants. They discussed K-12 Guidance Essential Standards, revision to the Career and Technical Education Essential Standards, Fitness Testing Guidelines, and North Carolina's proposed new accountability model. Board members also approved a resolution supporting the North Carolina Global Schools Network. As a reminder, the complete agenda and executive materials are available online at www.ncpublicschools.org/stateboard/meetings/ . 2. "READ NC" Resources Help Teachers Boost Summer Reading - As end-of-grade and end-ofcourse testing begins and the end of the school year approaches, now is the time to show students ways they can improve their literacy skills all summer long. There are a number of resources available on the NCDPI's "READ NC" website that will help students use Lexile measures to find books that match their personal interests and reading skill levels. In North Carolina, students in grades 3-8, as well as high school students taking the English I assessment, receive a Lexile measure on their end-of-grade or end-of-course test reports. At the bottom of students' test results reports, there will be a Lexile measure and a link to the "READ NC" webpage at: www.ncpublicschools.org/accountability/lexiles . Use this page to find out more about Lexile measures and to access tools that will give students more ways to improve their literacy skills, even when they are away from the classroom. For more information about "READ NC," contact Sara Clark at [email protected] 3. First Gentleman to Support Summer Reading - First Gentleman Bob Eaves will again be joining with first spouses from across the nation and serve as North Carolina's Reading Ambassador for the Scholastic Summer Challenge. In return for his participation, Scholastic Books has donated 500 books to North Carolina school children. The Scholastic Summer Challenge is a four-month literacy campaign that encourages students to read four or more books this summer. Teachers can visit www.scholastic.com/summer/ to access resources that will help them incorporate the Scholastic Summer Challenge in their classrooms. Students also can use this website to log their minutes spent reading in an attempt to set a world record for summer reading. In 2010, North Carolina students logged more than 1.8 million minutes of reading during the summer challenge. The 20 schools with the most minutes will be featured in the 2012 Scholastic Book of World Records. 4. 2011 North Carolina Wells Fargo Principal of the Year Named - Congratulations to Cuthbertson High School (Union County Schools) Principal Rob Jackson who was recently named the 2011 Wells Fargo North Carolina Principal of the Year. Jackson will receive an additional $3,000 for his school and $3,000 for personal use thanks to Wells Fargo. He also will be the first principal to receive a 10-day educational trip to China from EF Education First. For the next school year, he will serve on the State Superintendent's Principals' Advisory Committee and as an advisor to the State Board of Education.

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5. NC Educators Receive PAEMST - Congratulations to Amanda Northrup (mathematics), Riverbend Elementary (Haywood County Schools), and Zebetta King (science), Wake County Schools (formerly taught at Swift Creek Elementary) for receiving the 2010 Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST). The PAEMST is awarded annually to outstanding K-12 science and mathematics teachers. Each year the award alternates between K-6 and 7-12 grade teachers. The 2010 awardees teach K-6th grade. Winners receive a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation to be used at their discretion, and an all expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C. for an awards ceremony and several days of educational and celebratory events, including visits with members of Congress and the Administration. 6. NC Science Olympiad Winners Announced - Congratulations to the following students and schools for placing first or second in the 36th Annual NC Science Olympiad: first place middle schools: Arendell Parrott Academy (Kinston) and second place middle schools: Piedmont Middle School (Union County Schools). First place high schools: NC School of Science and Mathematics (Durham) and second place high schools: Raleigh Charter High (Raleigh). These schools will represent North Carolina in the 27th Science Olympiad National Tournament, which will take place at the University of Wisconsin at Madison on May 20-21.

7. Thinkfinity.org Helps Students Understand 9/11 and bin Laden's Death - Many students were only toddlers when 9/11 occurred. To help them understand the significance of recent events and how they impact the United States and nations around the world, Thinkfinity.org and content partners such as National Geographic and the Smithsonian National Museum of American History offer classroom lessons, artifacts and digital archives at http://bit.ly/jX9cjV . Teachers and students also can explore the National September 11 Memorial and Museum at http://bit.ly/iU47NN . For more information on Thinkfinity, including professional development opportunities, resources for the classroom, at home and after school resources, please visit http://it.ncwiseowl.org/resources/thinkfinity_nc/ .

Letter from State Superintendent June Atkinson in News & Observer

Below is a link to a letter to the editor from State Superintendent June Atkinson regarding the cuts to education included in the House budget. This letter ran in the Raleigh News & Observer today. RALEIGH NEWS & OBSERVER : Risky Budget Cuts Could Harm Schools Recent public discussions reported in The N&O about the proposed budget cuts to public schools prompt me to clarify some of the information circulating on the issue of budget cuts and layoffs. While it is accurate that the General Assembly'current budget proposal limits cuts to teacher s allotments, North Carolina public schools also employ many teachers through other types of allotments, such as at-risk students, academically gifted students and instructional support allotments. These other kinds of allotments are slated for significant reductions and this will reduce the number of teachers that can be hired through these funds. On top of this year'proposed cuts to allotments, s school districts continue to have to return an additional $304 million or approximately 4 percent more to meet the ongoing discretionary reduction target.There has been much talk about how many employees will lose their jobs under proposed cuts. This is important, but it is not the major focus of our concern about the public school budget. Whether positions are currently filled or can be absorbed through attrition or not, it takes a certain level of funding and positions to operate a school...

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Read more at http://www.newsobserver.com/2011/05/05/1175876/risky-budgetcuts.html#ixzz1LToybMW6

Legislative Update for Week Ending April 25 and Budget Blogs

Please find attached the legislative update for the week ending April 25, which includes a list of committee meetings for April 25-28. This update also is available online at http://legislative.ncpublicschools.gov/archive/2011-12-session/April-21-legislative-update . Legislative questions should be directed to Ann McColl at [email protected] . State Board of Education Chairman Bill Harrison focused on the budget in his April 20 blog, "Changing the Game," available online at www.ncpublicschools.org/stateboard/aisi . This is in addition to an April 26 blog, "Latest Budget Proposal Sets Wrong Course for Public Schools," posted by State Superintendent June Atkinson and State Board Chairman Bill Harrison. The blog is available on their respective websites at www.ncpublicschools.org/statesuperintendent/blog/ and www.ncpublicschools.org/stateboard/aisi . NCDPI Chief Financial Officer Philip Price prepared the attached chart identifying estimated positions lost from the House proposed budget. Conservatively this shows a reduction of over 18,000 positions (18,532 based on proposed budget) from what should have been funded based on the continuation budget. We will keep you posted as more information becomes available.

May 5, 2011 Principals' Biweekly Message

Last night, I had the honor and privilege of announcing the new Wells Fargo North Carolina Principal of the Year Rob Jackson. Rob is principal of Cuthbertson High School in the Union County Schools' System. Rob describes his leadership style as "hyper-present." He said that being hyper-present, being accessible, and inviting parents, students, and staff into continuing conversations allows him the opportunity to have a true working knowledge of how the school is doing. Rob's dedication is evident and a great example of what an exemplary principal does to make a school successful. I know all of you join me in congratulating him on this honor. Rob will represent principals as an advisor to the State Board of Education beginning July 1. In this Biweekly Principals' Message: State Board Meeting Highlights Legislative Update for Week Ending April 29 Race to the Top Update 2011 North Carolina Wells Fargo Principal of the Year Named Final Message from 2010 North Carolina Principal of the Year USDA Grant Continues Elementary Schools' Access to Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Program 7. NC Educators Receive PAEMST 8. Summer Data Retreat for English Language Learners 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

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9. NC Science Olympiad Winners Announced 10. 2011 Aviation ACE Camps 1. State Board Meeting Highlights - At today's State Board of Education meeting, members approved rescinding the Responsiveness to Instruction (RtI) Waiver, LEA-based calendar waiver requests for weather related reasons, the State Technology Plan and various grants. They discussed K-12 Guidance Essential Standards, revision to the Career and Technical Education Essential Standards, Fitness Testing Guidelines, and North Carolina's proposed new accountability model. Board members also approved a resolution supporting the North Carolina Global Schools Network. As a reminder, the complete agenda and executive materials are available online at www.ncpublicschools.org/stateboard/meetings/ . 2. Legislative Update for Week Ending April 29 - The legislative update for the week ending April 29 and Committee meetings for May 3-5 is available online at http://legislative.ncpublicschools.gov/archive/2011-12-session/May-03-legislative-update . If you have any questions regarding legislative activity, please contact State Board of Education Legislative Director Ann McColl at [email protected] . 3. Race to the Top Update - The Governor' Education Transformation Commission (GETC), s which provides oversight to Career & College: Ready, Set, Go!, North Carolina' Race to the s Top initiative, is meeting this afternoon at the Friday Institute on the N.C. State University Centennial Campus. Next Thursday (May 12), officials from the U.S. Department of Education will visit the NCDPI for an onsite program review. NCDPI Race to the Top team leaders will provide updates regarding the implementation progress to date. Senior NCDPI leadership, including State Superintendent June Atkinson and State Board of Education Chairman Bill Harrison, also will meet with USED officials to discuss major accomplishments and challenges thus far, along with next steps. For more information, please visit www.ncpublicschools.org/rttt . 4. 2011 North Carolina Wells Fargo Principal of the Year Named - Congratulations to Cuthbertson High School (Union County Schools) Principal Rob Jackson who last night was named the 2011 Wells Fargo North Carolina Principal of the Year. Jackson will receive an additional $3,000 for his school and $3,000 for personal use thanks to Wells Fargo. He also will be the first principal to receive a 10-day educational trip to China from EF Education First. For the next school year, he will serve on the State Superintendent's Principals' Advisory Committee and as an advisor to the State Board of Education. 5. Farewell Message from 2010 North Carolina Principal of the Year - I have been honored this year to serve as an ambassador and advocate for public education across our state. This has been an incredible journey. I have shared stories - your stories - of the good work happening in classrooms across our state. Everyday, magic happens in our schools as teachers, coaches, mentors and educational professionals transform lives through the power of public education. Good things are happening in North Carolina schools; help spread that message! I am fully aware of the challenges faced by districts across the state as we strive to provide high quality services with dwindling resources, but our moral imperative remains constant. We are charged with providing a sound education for each citizen. Indeed, the future of North Carolina's economy depends upon an educated workforce. As we seek to equip students with the skills and competencies they need to be successful, make the choice to remain positive and proactive. Our students deserve our best efforts AND our best attitudes. Best wishes for a strong finish to the 2010-11 school year! Jan King, 2010 Wells Fargo Principal of the Year

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6. USDA Grant Continues Elementary Schools' Access to Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Program Students at 170 North Carolina elementary schools ­ the most ever to date ­ will have more access to fresh fruits and vegetables during the school day next year thanks to a $3.9 million grant from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The grant will be used by schools' staff to promote healthier food choices through the purchase of a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables as daily snacks for students and by helping teachers incorporate nutrition education in lesson plans. This is the eighth consecutive year North Carolina has had the opportunity to participate in the USDA Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program. To read more, as well as access a list of participating schools, please visit the NCDPI website at www.ncpublicschools.org and click on the appropriate link under "News." 7. Summer Data Retreat for English Language Learners - NCDPI staff will host a summer Data Retreat for schools or districts with English language learners. The retreat will be held in two, 2day sessions: July 12-13 and Aug. 9-10 at the McKimmon Center, Raleigh. School/district teams will use data to evaluate their language instructional programs. For details go to http://esl.ncwiseowl.org/resources/state_led_l_e_p_initiatives/datadriveninstruction or contact Joanne Marino at [email protected] . 8. NC Educators Receive PAEMST - Congratulations to Amanda Northrup (mathematics), Riverbend Elementary (Haywood County Schools), and Zebetta King (science), Wake County Schools (formerly taught at Swift Creek Elementary) for receiving the 2010 Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST). The PAEMST is awarded annually to outstanding K-12 science and mathematics teachers. Each year the award alternates between K-6 and 7-12 grade teachers. The 2010 awardees teach K-6th grade. Winners receive a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation to be used at their discretion, and an all expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C. for an awards ceremony and several days of educational and celebratory events, including visits with members of Congress and the Administration. 9. NC Science Olympiad Winners Announced - Congratulations to the following students and schools for placing first or second in the 36th Annual NC Science Olympiad: first place middle schools: Arendell Parrott Academy (Kinston) and second place middle schools: Piedmont Middle School (Union County Schools). First place high schools: NC School of Science and Mathematics (Durham) and second place high schools: Raleigh Charter High (Raleigh). These schools will represent North Carolina in the 27th Science Olympiad National Tournament, which will take place at the University of Wisconsin at Madison on May 20-21. 10. 2011 Aviation ACE Camps - Middle and high school principals are asked to share the following information with school counselors and students. The NC Department of Transportation's Division of Aviation will again host the 2011 Aviation Career Education (ACE) Camps this summer in Charlotte-Monroe, Elizabeth City, Greensboro, Raleigh and WinstonSalem. ACE Camps are an exciting STEM opportunity for middle and high school students to discover more about aviation careers. Separate camps for middle and high school students will be held at most locations. To apply, simply download an application package available online at www.ncaviationeducation.aero and complete the application form. Submit the completed application via email to the appropriate ACE Camp Administrator. These camps have limited enrollment so students are encouraged to submit their applications now and check with the local camp administrators if they have any questions about the camps.

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Elementary Schools Benefit from USDA Grant

USDA Grant Enables Elementary School Students to Have Their Fruit and Vegetables, and Eat Them Too! Students at 170 North Carolina elementary schools ­ the most ever to date ­ will have more access to fresh fruits and vegetables during the school day next year thanks to a $3.9 million grant from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The grant will be used by schools' staff to promote healthier food choices through the purchase of a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables as daily snacks for students and by helping teachers incorporate nutrition education in lesson plans. To read more, as well as access a list of participating schools, please visit the NCDPI website at www.ncpublicschools.org and click on the appropriate link under "News."

2011 Governor's School Selections Announced

This summer, 600 of the most distinguished North Carolina rising high school juniors and seniors will attend the 2011 Governor's School. This year's attendees were selected from more than 1,700 public and private school nominees to attend the six-week summer program for academically and/or intellectually gifted students. For more information, including the lists of participants, please visit www.ncpublicschools.org and click on the appropriate link under "News."

State Board Chairman Addresses House Budget Recommendations

State Board of Education Chairman Bill Harrison addresses the budget recommendations released last week by the House Appropriations Education Subcommittee in his latest blog, available at http://www.ncpublicschools.org/stateboard/ . The Subcommittee proposed a $1.25 billion cut to public education, which would push the state' public schools backward and s position North Carolina even closer to the bottom of the nation in per pupil funding.

New video now on the Google site

Staff and students at Kings Mountain Intermediate School in Cleveland County recently put together a video to share their concerns about how future budget cuts will impact public education in North Carolina. The link to this video and a corresponding news story is now available on the Discussion Board on our Google site at https://sites.google.com/site/ncpubliceducationcommunicators/ .

Evolution in the Blue Ridge: A Summer Field/Lab Course

Attached is a flyer for the Evolution in the Blue Ridge: A Summer Field and Lab Course for Educators being offered by the Highlands Biological Station. Additional information can be found on the Center for Math and Science Education website, http://www.wcu.edu/6091.asp or the HBS website, http://www.wcu.edu/hbs/currentyrcourses.htm. For application information and questions [email protected] or 828-526-2602. please contact Cynthia Soderstrom

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Sandy Ballinger Center for Mathematics & Science Education Western Carolina University 149 Camp Bldg Cullowhee, NC 28723 (828) 227-3317 phone (828) 227-7329 fax

State Board Chairman Praises More at Four

State Board of Education Chairman Bill Harrison highlights the many ways North Carolina' s More at Four prekindergarten education program has benefitted at-risk students in his recent blog entry available at http://www.dpi.state.nc.us/stateboard/. The state-funded academic prekindergarten program has been a topic in recent budget discussions as legislators work to address a $2.4 billion shortfall. For more information, please contact NCDPI Communications at 919-807-3450.

Potential Budget Cuts Would Hurt Teachers and Students

Teacher layoffs, larger class sizes, fewer courses and less help for struggling students are some of the consequences if North Carolina' public school funding is cut by 5 or 10 percent, s according to information released last week. The Office of State Budget and Management required government agencies to identify budget cuts at these two levels in anticipation of the 2011-12 fiscal year. To read more about how these potential cuts will impact public schools, please visit the NCDPI website at www.ncpublicschools.org and click on the appropriate link under "News."

More at Four Helps Level Academic Playing Field for Disadvantaged Students

More at Four, North Carolina's state-funded pre-kindergarten for disadvantaged four-year-olds, is making a significant academic difference that extends at least through third grade, according to the latest statewide evaluation of this nationally recognized program. In addition, economicallydisadvantaged third graders who attended More at Four narrowed the achievement gap with their non-economically disadvantaged peers by up to 40 percent. For more information, including a link to the full report, please visit the NCDPI website at www.ncpublicschools.org and click on the appropriate link under "News."

General Assembly Awards Dropout Prevention Grants

Seventy-seven groups across North Carolina will share over $10.8 million in state grants to support efforts to reduce the state' dropout rate. The North Carolina General Assembly' s s Committee on Dropout Prevention named the grant recipients during its October meeting. The grants, which range in size from $43,350 to $175,000, were awarded to school systems, schools, agencies and nonprofits. For more information, including grant recipients, please visit the NCDPI's website at www.ncpublicschools.org and click on the appropriate link under "News."

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This week, the NC Department of Public Instruction submitted to the Office of State Budget and Management a list of possible budget cuts totaling 5 percent and 10 percent to the State Public School Fund and the Department of Public Instruction. This list was required of us and of every other state agency as North Carolina leaders prepare to determine how to deal with a budget shortfall that totals more than $3.2 billion. This shortfall is due to the 2011 end of the federal stabilization money that was provided in 2009, the elimination of temporary tax increases, and the reestablishment of several one-time cuts such as textbooks. I am writing about this not to be alarmist or depressing but because a cut in this range of magnitude will have a significant impact on public schools and on your work and mine. As a point of reference, for 2010-11, $7.1 billion in state funds was appropriated to support public schools. The potential level of the cuts is very large. A 5 percent cut would total $396 million. A 10 percent cut would total $792 million. And, it is important to remember that these faps cuts, were they to be implemented, would be leveled in addition to the $304 million cut that is already built into the budget as a recurring cut. (That is right ­ our current public school budget for North Carolina gives a certain amount to your school districts and then requires that your district's leaders return a total of $304 million to the state, which is a recurring 4 percent cut.) What would it take to make up a cut at that level ($396 million is a new 5 percent cut plus the cut already included in the budget)? It could mean reducing 4,342 or more teachers, possibly 53 percent of teacher assistants, a reduction of maybe 765 instructional support personnel and $112 million from categorical allotments including Career and Technical Education and Exceptional Children. This does not even include the 5 percent cut of $3.2 million at the state education agency, the agency that has already been cut more over the past two years than any other state agency. It also does not include the $4.4 million reduction to the More at Four program, a $1.5 million reduction which the state education agency must make to the three residential schools for the deaf and blind which are being transferred to the NCDPI on June 1, or a $1.5 million reduction to the funding for dropout prevention grants, the teaching fellows program and other funding that flows through the NCDPI specifically for education support organizations such as Communities In Schools and Teach for America.

State Board Approves New Social Studies Standards and Principal Academies

The State Board of Education today approved new Social Studies Standards which will require all students, starting with freshmen entering high school in 2012-13, to take two courses in U.S. History. The Board also approved two new principal academies which will provide professional development and alternative administrative licensure to aspiring principals who will lead low-performing and highneeds schools in 14 school districts. For more information, visit www.ncpublicschools.org and click on the appropriate link under "News.

NCDPI AND Microsoft Corp. Announce Partnership

The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction and Microsoft Corp. today announced that North Carolina will be the first state in the nation to offer the Microsoft IT Academy Program to all public high schools statewide. The Microsoft IT Academy provides students with real-world technology skills they need to be successful in college and a career. Under the agreement, teachers also will receive official Microsoft learning curricula as well as professional development support and resources to help them tailor their instruction. To read more, please

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visit the NCDPI's website at www.ncpublicschools.org and click on the appropriate link under "News."

Regional Teachers of the Year Named; State Winner to be Announced in May

Nine teachers have been selected to represent their regions and charter schools as the state's regional Teachers of the Year and will now compete for the title of 2011-12 North Carolina Teacher of the Year. The winner will succeed the 2010-11 AT&T North Carolina Teacher of the Year Jennifer Facciolini. To find out who the regional winners are, please visit the NCDPI website at www.ncpublicschools.org and click on the appropriate link under "News."

Regional Wachovia/Wells Fargo Principals of the Year Named; Principals Now Compete for State Title

Eight outstanding principals have been selected regional Wachovia/Wells Fargo Principals of the Year and will now compete for the state title of 2011 Wachovia/Wells Fargo North Carolina Principal of the Year. The winner will succeed the 2010 Wachovia/Wells Fargo North Carolina Principal of the Year Jan King. For more information on the regional winners, please visit the NCDPI website at www.ncpublicschools.org and click on the appropriate link under "News."

CTE Good news

Check out great news article about CTE teachers and program. http://careerpronews.bridges.com/explorer/browse/et/cte/main.htm

Additional Schools Selected to Participate in Reading Diagnostic Assessment

An additional 238 schools will participate in the Reading Diagnostic Assessment thanks to action taken this morning by State Board of Education members. The primary goals of the Reading Diagnostic Assessment include determining the existing knowledge and skills of students as well as any gaps in student learning, and analyzing data and adjusting instruction according to student needs. Another program benefit is the teacher's ability to use handheld mobile devices to track student progress. For more information, including a link to access the schools that have been added to the program, please visit the NCDPI website at www.ncpublicschools.org and click on the appropriate link under "News."

Over 2,200 NC Teachers Achieve National Certification in 2010

North Carolina has 2,277 newly-certified National Board teachers currently working in its public school classrooms according to the 2010 certification results just released by the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS). This newest batch of credentialed teachers brings the state's total number of National Board Certified Teachers to 17,957, by far the largest number of certified teachers in the nation. In addition, six North Carolina public school districts placed in the Top 20 districts nationally for the total number of National Board Certified

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Teachers. To read more, please visit www.ncpublicschools.org and click on the appropriate link under "News."

2010 North Carolina School Report Cards Are In

The 2010 North Carolina School Report Cards are now online at www.ncreportcards.org and feature the state' largest collection of information about student performance and attendance, s class size, school safety, teacher quality and classroom technology at the state, district and school levels. For more information, visit www.ncpublicschools.org and click on the appropriate link under "News."

Department of Education Grant Opportunity for Schools

The U.S. Department of Education just announced the availability of $437 million in Teacher Incentive Fund Grants. As you may know, the goal of this large grant investment is to support local projects that reward teachers, principals, and other school personnel who are successful in their efforts to improve student achievement. The notice inviting applications and the application package can be found on the Department'website, via the following link: s

NC SAT Takers Most Diverse Group in State History; Scores Show Greatest 10-Year Gain Among "SAT States"

North Carolina students have shown the largest 10-year gain on the SAT among the states where the test is the most commonly used college entrance exam, according to The College Board's annual SAT report released this morning. North Carolina students improved their combined reading and mathematics scores on the SAT by 20 points over the past decade. The SAT score in North Carolina is 1008 when the average scores on the critical reading and mathematics segments of the test are combined. Scores moved up in critical reading by two points to 497. Math scores stayed at 511, for the third consecutive year. The national average score is 1017, reading (501) and math (516) combined. To read more, as well as access district results, please visit www.ncpublicschools.org and click on the appropriate link under "News.

Music Camp Scholarship

We' been asked to forward information to western North Carolina middle and high school ve principals on the Mars Hill College Summer Music Camp and scholarships to attend being offered by the Asheville Symphony. Applications are due April 30 but students are requested to get them to their music teachers by April 15 so that they can complete the Music Teacher Assessment portion. Camp information, including applications, is available online at www.ashevillesymphony.org/guild. If your district is in the western part of the state, could you please pass along the attached flyer to appropriate principals? Thanks and happy Hump Day!

COLLABORATIVE PROJECT: CURRICULUM UPDATE:

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ABCs Results Show School Performance Improved in 2009-10; Trend Shows Steady Progress in State Graduation Rates

North Carolina public schools improved their performance in 2009-10 with approximately 88 percent of schools meeting their academic growth goals, and fewer schools classified as low performing, according to the ABCs of Public Education Accountability Report approved by the State Board of Education at its August meeting today. In addition, the report showed that trend lines for both North Carolina's high schools' four- and five-year state Cohort Graduation Rates continued their upward progress in 2010 with 74.2 percent of high school students graduating in four years and 74.7 percent of students graduating in five years. For more information on the 2009-10 ABCs/AYP Accountability Report and Cohort Graduation Rates, please go to the NCDPI website at www.ncpublicschools.org and click on the appropriate links under "News."

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITIES:

Local School Superintendents/Technology Directors First to Participate

Nearly 70 school superintendents and technology directors from across the state will soon learn how to use technology more effectively thanks to a new a certification program offered through a partnership between the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, MCNC and the UNC School of Government's Center for Public Technology. For more information, including a list of registrants, please visit the NCDPI Web site at www.ncpublicschools.org and click on the appropriate link under "News."

PERSONNEL UPDATE:

VACANCY ANNOUNCEMENT

DATE: POSITION: LOCATION: TERM OF EMPLOYMENT: QUALIFICATIONS:

04/08/2011 Technology Facilitator Mitchell High School 10 Months Must hold a valid NC Teacher License and have or be able to obtain 18079 Special Endorsement in Computer Education. Masters in Instructional Technology preferred. April 21, 2011 or Open until filled. Please submit NC DPI online application available at www.ncpublicschools.org/employment/application.html and indicate Mitchell County as the receiving school system. (Contact Mark Woody @ 828-766-3401 or [email protected])

APPLICATION DEADLINE: APPLICATION ADDRESS:

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Persons presently employed in the Mitchell County Schools who are interested in this position should submit a letter expressing their interest and reasons for being considered for the position, plus any other information they may wish to include.

staff members will review applications and invite a limited number of applicants for interviews. PUBLIC INFORMATION: The selection for interviews will be based upon the need and educational specifications for this position. All applications will be placed in the active file of the personnel department after MITCHELL COUNTY SCHOOL in an active status for a period of one school year. a position is filled and will be retained

Selection Process: All applications received for this position will be reviewed. Appropriate

SYSTEM WIDE MEETING SCHEDULE ­ 2010 ­ 2011

Minister's Council: Monday, June 6th Board of Education 10:30 AM

Superintendent's Teacher Advisory Council: Monday, May 23rd Board of Education 3:20 PM

Media and Technology Advisory Council: Principal's Meeting: Media Specialist: Curriculum Council Beginning Teacher's Meeting: Monday, May 16th Parents Advisory Council: Monday, June 6th Board of Education 6:00 PM Board of Education 3:20 PM

MITCHELL HIGH SCHOOL BASEBALL SCHEDULE

Date March 3 March 7 Opponent Freedom Cherokee Location Away Away**

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March 8 March 10 March 15 March 18 March 22 March 25 March 29 April 1 April 5 April 8 April 13 April 15 April 19 April 22 April 26 April 28 April 29 May 3 May 5 May 6 Man 9 May 15

Asheville Christian Rosman Thomas Jefferson Owen Polk Co. Hendersonville Mtn. Heritage Madison Avery Thomas Jefferson Owen Polk OPEN Brevard Hendersonville Asheville Christian Mtn. Heritage Madison Rosman Avery Cherokee 1st Round State Playoffs

Away Away** HOME Away Away HOME Away HOME HOME Away HOME HOME HOME Away HOME HOME Away HOME * Away HOME * TBA

Games start at 4:00 Italics denotes WHC games ** Varsity Only Games Coaches: Beau Thomas, Drew Lanningham, Bradley Jones, Trent Keller Principal: Mark Woody Athletic Director: Ed Duncan

MITCHELL HIGH SCHOOL SOFTBALL SCHEDULE

Date March 10 March 15 March 18 March 22 March 25 Opponent North Buncombe Thomas Jefferson Owen Polk Co. Hendersonville Location Away HOME Away Away HOME **

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March 28 March 29 April 1 April 4 April 5 April 8 April 14 April 15 April 19 April 25 April 26 April 29 May 3 May 6 May 17

North Buncombe Mtn. Heritage Madison Hampton, TN Avery Thomas Jefferson Hampton, TN Polk OPEN Owen Hendersonville Mtn. Heritage Madison Avery 1st Round State Playoffs

HOME Away HOME Away HOME Away HOME HOME HOME Away** HOME Away Away TBA

Games start at 4:00 Italics denotes WHC games ** Varsity Only Games Coaches: Dawn Lowe, Jennifer Austin Principal: Mark Woody Athletic Director: Ed Duncan

MITCHELL HIGH SCHOOL TRACK SCHEDULE

Date March 3 March 8 March 10 March 15 March 17 March 22 March 24 March 29 March 30 April 2 Location/Event Madison Madison Asheville HS Pisgah Owen North Buncombe Asheville HS Madison (FCA) Boys Madison (FCA) Girls Time 3:30 3:30 3:30 3:30 3:30 3:30 3:30 3:30 3:30

Blue Ridge @ AC Reynolds TBA

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April 4 April 5 April 7 April 12 April 14 April 16 April 26 April 28 May 4 May 14 May 20

East Henderson MITCHELL OPEN Avery MITCHELL Western Carolina Invit. MITCHELL Mtn. Heritage WHC Meet @ Madison Regionals @ Cherokee State 1A Championships @ NC A&T University

3:30 3:30 3:30 3:30 TBA 3:30 3:30 TBA TBA TBA

Other meets may be added at a later date. All dates subject to change due to weather. Coaches: Charlie Nash, Daron Williams, Toby Peterson Principal: Mark Woody Athletic Director: Ed Duncan

MITCHELL HIGH SCHOOL SOCCER SCHEDULE

Date Opponent 2/15 Practice/Tryouts 3/02 Cherokee High School 3/07 Cherokee High School 3/09 Thomas Jefferson 3/14 Owen 3/16 Polk 3/21 Hendersonville 3/23 Mt. Heritage 3/24 Providence Academy 3/30 Madison 4/04 Avery 4/07 Thomas Jefferson 4/11 Owen 4/13 Polk Location N/A Home Away Home Away Away Home Away Home Home Home Away Home Home Time 3:15 5:00 5:00 6:00 6:00 6:00 5:00 6:00 5:00 6:00 6:00 6:00 6:00 5:00

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4/14 Hendersonville 4/28 West Lincoln High School 4/29 Mountain Heritage 5/02 Madison 5/04 Avery

Away Away Home Away Away

5:00 5:00 5:00 6:00 6:00

Coaches: Brandon Pittman and Matthew Charles Managers: Marvin Tehandan, Ethan Hollifield Athletic Director: Ed Duncan Principal: Mark Woody All game dates subject to change due to weather Italics denotes WHC games

MITCHELL HIGH SCHOOL GOLF SCHEDULE

Date DATE March 3 March 7 March 10 March 14 March 17 March 21 March 24 March 28 March 31 April 4 April 7 April 11 April 14 April 25 Site SITE Tryon CC Forest City Black Mountain Cleghorn Hendersonville CC Crooked Creek Reems Creek Cleghorn GRASSY CREEK Black Mountain Meadowbrook Mountain Glen GRASSY CREEK Black Mountain Host HOST Polk County Thomas Jefferson Owen Thomas Jefferson Hendersonville Hendersonville Madison Thomas Jefferson MITCHELL Owen Thomas Jefferson Avery MITCHELL Owen Start Time TIME 3:00pm 3:00pm 3:00pm 2:00pm 2:00pm 2:00pm 2:00pm 2:00pm 2:00pm 2:00pm 2:00pm 2:00pm 2:00pm 1:00pm

1st Round WHC Tournament April 26 Meadowbrook Thomas Jefferson 2nd Round WHC Tournament 1:00pm

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May 2 May 9-10

Kemure Country Club Hendersonville 1A Regional Championships 1A State Championships Keith Hills CC TBA

TBA

All dates and times subject to change due to weather Coaches: Quentin Buchanan, Terry Lewis Athletic Director: Ed Duncan Principal: Mark Woody THOUGHTS FOR THE WEEK

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Cecile made a deal with her 7th grade class on the first day of school. She said, "I'll warn you when I'm having a bad day, so you warn me when you're having a bad day. That way, we'll both give each other a little extra grace." The system of mutual respect actually worked in the beginning. If Cecile had a particularly bad morning, she would announce, "I got very little sleep last night and I'm grouchy." By the same token, a student would say, "I had a fight with my Mom this morning and I'm not in a good mood." Each side would then give the other a wider berth during the day. Unfortunately, this plan began to backfire. She noticed that more and more kids were complaining. They were all concentrating on the negatives in their lives. Even students who were usually upbeat began to complain about their day. It had all gone too far. Cecile decided a new approach was in order. She pushed "smile and the world smiles with you" instead. It took a lot of patience, but slowly the class took on a more positive attitude and their performance and attitude improved dramatically. During the dog days of the school year we have to do all we can to be FAIR TO OUR STUDENTS AND TO REINFORCE A POSITIVE ATTIDUTE DAILY. As school educators we must always remember our attitude sets the tone for the type of day we have with our student body. Sometimes it is good to be reminded that we are the adults. Have a great week with your students and the Mitchell County Schools.

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POWER OF POSITIVE THINKING

SELF-REFLECTION CLARIFIES BETTER THAN ANY MIRROR Tim couldn't remember why he went into teaching thirty years ago. Whatever the reason, it was lost to him now. He was looking forward to the next few years, only because they would lead out of education and hopefully into something more fulfilling. His apathy was visible ­ not just to his fellow teachers, but also to the student themselves. To his colleagues Tim was distant and uninterested. He rarely interacted on any social level. Even cordial greetings were usually met with no more than a groan. To his students, Tim barked out assignments with all the subtlety of a Marine drill sergeant. He found himself screaming at students for the smallest infraction. One day in the hall he raised his voice to the level that a seventh grade girl

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drop her books out of pure freight. All his students were uncomfortable in his presence and counted the minutes down until his class was over. They were scared of Tim. His actions and attitude spoke volumes to his students. Tim communicated through his behavior that teaching was a lousy job and intimidation a powerful motivator. His students came to know class work as punishment. What a testimony! What testimony do we give our students in Mitchell County? What work ethic are we modeling in our profession with the Mitchell County Schools? What are our students learning when the watch us?

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"Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence." -Calvin Collidge Jenny's tenth graders loved Shane, the little novel by Jack Schaefer. And this novel became a tradition she shared each year. Two of the main characters are Joe and Marian Starett, homesteaders in Wyoming in the 1880s. Joe labored diligently to clear their land. Day after day he tried to uproot an old stump, wondering whether he would ever conquer it. But one day his perseverance paid off, and the stubborn old stump rolled to his feet. Marian was just as determined as her husband. On one occasion, she forgot about an apple pie she had put in the oven. That pie was ruined, but without hesitation she baked another one. Jenny had learned many a lesson from Joe and Marian. Sometimes, when she had worked for hours on a bulletin board at school and still didn't feel satisfied, she would say to herself, "Keep at it; Marian did." Many mornings, Jenny arrived at school early to help pupils with their essay writing. She became disheartened sometimes because a student who was an electronic whiz still found it difficult to express thoughts on paper. But she kept trying and usually had the thrill of conquering her own kind of stubborn stump. Stick it out with your students; there is no greater reward than to see a student finally break through and triumph! Thank you for all you do for the students of the Mitchell County Schools.

PERSEVERANCE

-Tony Horning

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Jamie came to school one morning with a rolled-up towel that secured his priceless treasure. Waiting to share was frustrating for both Jamie and Mr. Taylor. This little boy, eager to share his discovery, interrupted lesson after lesson. When Jamie's time finally came, the students formed a circle on the floor. Jamie lowered his towel to the floor with such care and slowly unrolled it to reveal a handful of old, soggy, brown leaves from his yard ­ not the beautiful and colorful leaves of autumn with their vibrant reds and yellows, just plain, old, brown leaves. As Mr. Taylor looked around that circle, he was surprised to see on the children's faces amusement, wonder and joy. Listening to the class you would have thought they were staring into the Grand Canyon. Captivated, these children held these soggy leaves as if they were newborn kittens. There in that circle, the teacher became the student. For a brief moment, Mr. Taylor could remember a time when the simplest things in life brought wonder and joy to him as well. Take time in your classroom to enjoy the simple pleasures.

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George felt like he was in a no-win situation. They cut his position, and the only way he could stay at school was to take a new position as a dropout prevention teacher. He really didn't want to, but he felt he had no choice. He was miserable, and it showed. Other teachers commented that George's classroom was like a morgue - cold, sterile, and much too quite. George got through the curriculum and kept order. But the day could never end soon enough for him or his students. Then one day George received a letter from a parent. He cringed upon opening it but found instead a treasure. The parent was incredibly grateful that her son was finally learning and that there was a teacher her son could count on. The letter completely changed George's outlook. He felt appreciated. For the first time that year, he smiled upon entering his classroom. Not surprisingly, his students smiled back.

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As a teacher, you appreciate affirmation from others, because it sends the message that you are reaching your students and doing your job well.

-Vicki Caruana

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