Mountaineer Notes, September 7, 2016

c-johnsonMCHS junior Candace Johnson is featured on the JMU Band Day advertisement for the event this upcoming weekend.  Hundreds of high school students from VA and neighboring states attend JMU Band Day each year.

Reflex Math Facts.  With the start of school, students are practicing math facts for automaticity.  Congratulations to the students at each participating school. August statistics are:

  • Madison Primary- 12,640 total facts answered
  • Waverly Yowell – 105,585 total facts answered
  • Wetsel Middle – 994 total facts answered

flagPatriot Day – September 11.  “We take this time to remember our “Blue Star” and “Gold Star” Military Families and thank them for their sacrifice and generosity. We want them to know that they are a part of our community.”

emmakateWetsel Middle School’s Cross Country team ran their first home meet of the season last week. EmmaKate Jenkins, an 8th grader on the team, came in 1st overall for the girls! The team did an amazing job overall, and we want to congratulate EmmaKate on her win!

Kids are doing some incredible things in Holly Mack’s Second Grade classroom! During Independent Learning Centers, students were chomping-at-the-bit to get to the Investigations game center where they worked together on a card game that corresponded to the Envision lesson. Hands-on and highly engaging activities can be seen in her whole and small group lessons as well. Whether it’s bowling with subtraction or flip-flopping for the commutative property of addition, you know Mrs. Mack is going to have her kids up and moving, actively engaged, and completely absorbed in what they’re learning. It’s thrilling to walk into her classroom and see all the amazing things she’s doing with her kiddos!

Science students at Wetsel Middle School will be provided with an extraordinary look into the life cycle of a trout.  The local group, Friends of the Rappahannock, will provide trout to be raised and eventually released into one of our local rivers.  The project is part of a grant opportunity that will also include work in hydroponics and self sustaining rain gardens.  A special thank you to  Kim Adams, Devin Milborne, and Katie Walker for identifying this wonderful opportunity for our students.

primary-experimentsExcellent School Experiments.  Throughout Waverly Yowell, you will find 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades conducting interesting experiments.  Whether it be about stale bread, the weight of liquids, or the absorbency of tissues, the terms hypothesis, constants, and variables, were used throughout the investigations.  The children made great predictions, formed hypotheses, and completed graphic organizers showing the steps of the scientific process.

Integer Timelines. Fifth grade students in Rebecca Weigle’s Course 1 class applied their knowledge of integers by creating a timeline showcasing events that happened before and after their birth.  Zero represented the year they were born and the integers corresponded to how many years before or after their birth year it took place.  This a very unique and creative way to get to know her students and assess their understanding at the same time.

Can you hear me now?  Special thanks to our Speech Pathologists, Deborah Atkins and Andi Yeager for doing hearing screenings for all of our bus drivers the week before school began.  You are helping to ensure the safety of our drivers and students!  Thank you!

Collaboration in Practice! Second grade teacher, Maci Dyer and Librarian, Liz Ford, co-taught a lesson on the voting process last week. Each teacher roleplayed a candidate by taking a specific platform. Students cast their ballots based upon the platform they preferred. They were expected to back up their vote by explaining why they made the choice they did.  Who would vote for reading and math over video games and extra recess? Several students did! Students were highly engaged in meaningful instruction that revolved around FUN learning!

VTSS (Virginia Tiered Systems of Supports) Teams are in full swing at each school.  These teams are charged with moving our schools into using more positive supports and interventions for increased student success including academics, behaviors and attendance.  Students can be in one of three Tiers.  Tier 1 includes all students and encompass complete and comprehensive practices of teaching.  Students who struggle in one of the three main areas are moved into Tier 2 and receive extra supports and interventions, which could include up to 20% of the student population.  Tier 3 is reserved for students who need significantly more supports and assistance in learning and can include 3-5% of our student population.  MCPS is committed to supporting students and their needs at all Tiered levels.

steamFull STEAM ahead at Madison Primary School. STEAM class continues to be a very popular activity at MPS. Art Teacher Danelle Nutter has done an outstanding job of exposing students to varied technology and media, promoting collaborative problem-solving, and providing students with the opportunity to apply what they have learned in the classroom. Pictured are three of Sarah Mickelberry’s students working together to research habitats using the National Geographic Ipad application and using a graphic organizer to collect information and record data.

MCHS Hosted Tailgate for all of MCPS!  Last Friday’s football game was started in style as staff members from every school and the school board office attended a tailgate prior to the game at MCHS.  Staff members and their families were invited to come for some food or play corn hole or just visit with colleagues and friends.

A new tradition is born.  The MCHS Football Team, Cheerleading Squad, and Marching Band kicked off the season by eating dinner together at the Young Farmer’s Grounds before the game on Friday.  Senior leaders from each of the three groups gave speeches to start the festivities. Thanks to teachers:  Band Director Mike Allen,  Cheerleading Coach Kendall Fears, and Football Coach Stuart Dean for organizing the event.  Thanks as well to Food Services Manager Patti Seale for preparing spaghetti and to RJ Noblitt for setting up the picnic tables for the event. 


building-tradesMCHS students in Travis Knight’s Building Trades class work to construct a wall in the classroom.  This year, MCHS began transitioning to a Building Trades program in the wood shop classroom.

Special thanks to Carrie Sacra for helping to organize “Transition Meetings” for students with disabilities this week.  Deborah Kipps-Vaughn, a JMU Transition Specialist, also met with our students and their families to make a plans after leaving high school.  These are important meetings with our students to help them figure out and  understand what opportunities await them.


  • All Month    National Preparedness Month
  • September 5-9    Payroll Appreciation Week
  • September 11    Patriot Day:  “We take this time to remember our “Blue Star” and “Gold Star” Military Families and thank them for their sacrifice and generosity. We want them to know that they are a part of our community.”
  • September 11-17    National Arts in Education Week
  • September 19-23    Homecoming Week
    • Tuesday:  FAN DAY (Support Your Favorite Band, TV Show, Movie, Sports Team)
    • Wednesday:  HERO DAY
    • Thursday:  DISNEY DAY
    • Friday: BLUE AND WHITE DAY

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