Mountaineer Notes, December 9, 2015

Madison Strong.

Junior,  Nathaniel Young has been selected to participate in the Virginia Earth System Science Scholars (VESSS) program. This program is an interactive, on-line Earth System Science Course featuring NASA scientific research and data and is offered as a dual enrollment course through Thomas Nelson Community College. Students who perform well in the course will be asked to participate in  a residential NASA Summer Academy at NASA Langley Research Center. The application process included two essays about career goals and why the student wanted to be involved in the program. This pilot program is the first of its kind in Virginia and had over a hundred applications for the small consortium.

CodingHour of Code.  Teachers at MCHS are participating in Computer Science Education Week by having their students learn and write computer code.  Students in Jenette Reyes’ class use this as an enrichment activity in class.


A very special thanks to MCHS teachers Carrie Sacra and Mo Weaver for coordinating and collaborating with their students by cooking a special Thanksgiving Luncheon.  The School Board office smelled wonderful, and we enjoyed the leftover dessert!

State Middle Tech 1Wetsel Middle School’s eighth grade First Lego League Robotics Team went to states over the past weekend, returning with the Legacy Award. The Legacy Award is for the one team that will age out after this year who has created a solid foundation in the community for First Lego League in the future, who has opened the door for other teams under them, and has helped younger teams be successful. There were 109 teams at the competition. Our 8th grade team consisted of:

  • Morgan Clark
  • Emma Fox
  • Connor Houser
  • Bailey Smith
  • Colby Messinger
  • Abi Tanner
  • Julian Tyree
  • Luke Wintersgill

Our students had a blast at this 2 day event and represented Madison well!

The Blue Ridge Virtual Governor’s School (BRVGS) Steering Committee met to review the spring application process and to develop a revised draft mission statement. Celinda Bailey, MCHS counselor and Tina Weaver, Director of Teaching and Learning, represented Madison.

Middle TechStudents in Devin Milbourne’s WMS science classes are working on their PBL projects to use concepts they’ve been learning in class about electricity and magnets to create their own inventions and present them to the class. One of the most interesting project ideas was a toilet seat warmer! WMS students are really thinking outside the box and using their creativity to showcase what they’ve learned.

Congratulations to the Wrestling Team for their 4th place finish at the 10 team Little Giant Invitational this past weekend in Waynesboro. Jalyn Simms (132/138) and Zach Gibson (145/152) both were undefeated on the day finishing 5-0.

Waverly Yowell 4th grade teacher, Becky Weigle, was recently interviewed by the Virginia Education Association. You can read her interview in the December edition of the Virginia Journal of Education. Way to go Becky!  Click Here: Weigle

Signs Of Suicide, A nationally-recognized prevention program, was presented to all 6th graders, 9th graders and all new students at the WYES  and MCHS.  A big thank you goes out to Family Support Worker Amanda Storvick, Behavior Intervention Specialist Casey Stanton, and Guidance Counselors Hilary Stanton, Celinda Bailey, Erin O’Leary and Corey Rudd for presenting.  Thank you to Principals Tim Taylor and Gary Wintersgill for their continued support of this program.

Kids BooksMadison Strong participated in the Madison Chamber of Commerce Community Parade on Friday evening. The MCHS band led the parade under the direction of Mike Allen. Denise Herrman drove the bus that was decorated to look like Rudolph.  Children on the parade route were given books as a gift. Bus Fun

Students at Madison Primary School continue to collect “Bucket Slips” at an admirable rate. We have set a goal of 1,500 bucket slips before Winter Break. We are currently just shy of 1,400, but I’m sure that we will eclipse our goal at the assembly this Friday. For their hard work and dedication to random acts of kindness, MPS students will all receive free ice cream on the Wednesday before break. A big thank you goes out to our Positive Behavior Committee for all of their hard work on this project.

Isiah SmithCongratulations to Isiah Smith for being named to the Region 2A East All Region Football team. Isiah was selected as a 2nd Team Wide Receiver.

Thanks to Director of Technology Sam Utz and Technology Specialist Shawn McDonough for organizing the new security and surveillance system at Wetsel using funds from the Security Grant. Wetsel has cameras throughout the school and for the first time in the gym. We appreciate their flexibility in meeting our needs.

Wetsel 2Sixth grade students in Kim Adams science class utilized the collaboration stations in the library to teach each other about severe storms.  Students started the assignment by working together in groups to research an assigned storm and transfer the information onto a Google slideshow.  Once completed students were “jigsawed” into a new group to present the information found.  A wonderful example of students teaching students. 

Congratulations to the Boys Basketball teams for their sweep of Orange County on Friday night. The Varsity won 71-61 and the JV won 50-45. The Varsity is now 2-0 on the season and will host Luray this Friday night. Come on out and support the Mountaineers!

UVA TRIPWaverly Yowell SCA students journeyed to the University of Virginia to participate in activities  sponsored by the UVA Women’s Basketball team.  Students were encouraged to be active in school and were treated to a basketball game between UVA and Bowling Green University.

Instructional Coaches, Jackie Ovalle, Jayne Penn-Hollar, Jen Rehm, and Jessica Saver are meeting with Tina Weaver, Director of Teaching and Learning to plan professional development for January and June 2016. Topics of interest are special education collaboration, RtI, poverty, differentiation, student engagement,  enrichment and literacy.

ApplicationAs we gear up for SOL testing in January, remember to use the DOE practice items with students who aren’t familiar with TestNav or SOL testing.  Use Safari if testing on a Mac, use Firefox if testing on a PC. If you see a pop-up asking if you want to run Java, click “Run”

Madison Primary Computer Resource.  MPS children are enjoying computer lab so much they don’t want to leave!  Quite a few great sites are incorporated during their resource time.  Compass Learning is used to remediate as well as extend learning for all grades.  Second grade students enjoy Reflex Math, which works on math facts in an interactive way.  They are also doing math on Interactive Achievement (IA).  They are learning test-taking strategies, reviewing math skills, and how to use the tools on IA.  Keyboarding Without Tears will begin soon, so students are familiar with the keyboard and mouse.  Our computer teacher, Carrie Wintersgill, is AWESOME!  She is always finding ways to enhance and support the learning of the students through the use of technology.

Chemistry students in Julie Heffron’s class enjoy fun ways to learn chemistry.  Students learn about catalysts in one video while the other is how chemists carve pumpkins.  Thanks to Julie for keeping it fun for students while keeping them engaged in the learning process.

Celebration Events

  • February    Black History Month
  • February    Career and Technical Education Month
  • February 1-5     National School Counseling Week
  • February 7-13    National FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America) Week
  • February 14-20     National FCCLA (Family, Career and Community Leaders of America Week
  • February 20-27     National FFA (Future Farmers of America) Week
  • March      Music in Our Schools Month
  • March      Youth Art Month
  • March 14    Pi Day
  • March 21        World Down Syndrome Awareness Day
  • March 7-11     National School Breakfast Week
  • April 2    World Autism Awareness Day
  • April 10-16     National Library Week
  • April 17-23     National Student Leadership Week
  • April 22    Earth Day
  • April 18-22     Public School Volunteer Week
  • April 24-30     Administrative Professionals Week & Day (April 27)
  • April 30    Madison Festival of the Arts
  • May     Better Speech and Hearing Month
  • May 1    Decision Day
  • May 1-7     National Physical Education & Sport Week
  • May 1-7     Teacher Appreciation Week
  • May 3     National Teacher Day
  • May 2-6     School Nutrition Employee Appreciation Week
  • May 9-15     National Children’s Book Week
  • May 11     National School Nurse Day
  • May 15-21     National Educational Boss’s Week

(If we missed any, please contact Liz Patterson.  We want to celebrate everything!)

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