We hope you all are having a wonderful summer. We are excited to begin another school year with our students. The Irving staff (teachers, counselors, paraeducators, interpreters, administrators, mentors, custodians, kitchen staff and volunteers) are extraordinary. They bring many skills and talents to our school to serve our students. Collectively, they provide a continuum of strategies, best practices, and efforts that create an exceptional environment that supports the learning of all of our students. We work as “teams” paying close attention to over 800 students in grades 6, 7, and 8. We offer a full continuum of curriculum to meet the needs of general education students, special needs students, gifted and highly gifted students. Our counselors stay with their class of students for the three years at Irving. We believe this builds a strong home-school relationship with parents, students, and families.
This year we will be focusing on student learning and the strategies we, as teachers, use to most effectively, help students learn. We will be using technology in these efforts. You can expect every teacher to have an active website. We will continue our composting project in the cafeteria. A video about it will be on our home page. This year we will continue to encourage our students and staff to eat healthy food. Another measure to ensure the safety of all our students, including those with food allergies, only individually wrapped, commercially prepared treats will be used for student consumption in classrooms. Since the bond issue passed last spring, our Indoor Air Quality project is now in the design and planning stage. We will keep you up to date, monthly, as this project progresses. We also want you to know that the pilot for middle school student ID badges, previously announced, will not be happening this year.
It will be very important for us to communicate with our families throughout the school year. Our staff work collaboratively to ensure that we are doing our best work in service to our children. Next year, in addition to our PLC meetings once a month on Tuesdays, we will also be having Team Collaboration Time for staff on Tuesdays after school, from 3:15 – 4:15 p.m. This time for teachers is essential as we work to make our instruction more effective, and thereby, increasing the learning of all our students. Our work together as professionals enhances the learning for every student. With our focus on student learning, teachers will review specific data on individual student learning and determine what research based strategies and interventions will help our students learn at even higher levels. This process is most effective when done in collaboration with other teachers. In order to have this time, we will not be having intramurals on Tuesdays this year. Please join us in this effort by ensuring that your student has a safe supervised place to be immediately after school each day. There is no supervision for students after 3:10 p.m. unless they are with an individual teacher for additional help or a scheduled school activity.
We encourage you to contact us with your input, ideas, and concerns, so we can most effectively meet the needs of all our students. We look forward to working with each of our students and their families. Please join us on Monday, August 11, for Student Orientation. Parents are encouraged to come with their students. We will begin at 4 p.m. for all grades. Students will pick up schedules, turn in forms, put money in lunch accounts, find their lockers, and also attend a grade level assembly with their parents. We will also run a short 7 period bell schedule, so all students will be able to go to all their classes and meet their teachers. More details about Orientation Night will be sent to you the first of August. We hope students and parents will be able to attend the entire event from 4-6:30 p.m. The first day of school for students is Tuesday, August 12.
Susette Taylor, Ph.D.