Jordan News

Principal's Newsletter February Monthly

posted Feb 16, 2018, 7:13 AM by Susan Pound

Parent Ed at Jordan middle school is facilitating a talk @ 7pm, MPR-Jordan, on 24th Jan, 2018 by Emily Ach, PhD, Assistant Clinical Professor at Stanford. This event welcomes all middle school parents from Terman and JLS and Jordan. We will discuss the developmentally unique period that characterizes the middle school years. We will explore ways in which parents can support their students to build resilience, manage anxiety, cope with stress while effectively navigating an increasingly complicated social and technological landscape.


Middle school history-social science materials under consideration for adoption are currently on display in the hallway at the District Office and in the Jordan Front Office. The Middle School History-Social Science Textbook Selection Advisory Committee welcomes the public's input. Comment forms are available and all feedback will be taken into account.  If you have any questions about the history textbook pilot at Jordan, please contact Kirsten Missett, Jordan History Department Instructional Lead, kmissett@pausd.org.


Math Workshop Field Trip 1/11/18


On Thursday, January 11th, Mrs. Finato’s Math 7th and 8th grade math workshop classes took a field trip to Levi’s Stadium. Students got an all access tour and witnessed how the stadium is a showcase for technology innovation and environmental sustainability. Students worked in an innovation lab where they learned about a variety of technological advances that have been made in the game of football. Students learned how substantial changes have been made in the uniform by creating safer helmets. Technological advances have also been made in communication and in how games are broadcasted on television. Additionally, students got to tour the locker room, participate in drills on the field, and try their hand in broadcasting. Overall it was a memorable day where students were able to witness real world mathematical applications.  


School Culture & Climate


JORDAN CHALLENGE DAYS:  February 27, 2018


    We need a few more parent volunteers to help make our Challenge Days a success!  Volunteers are needed for the full day from 7:40 am – 3:15 pm. Please email Assistant Principal, Magdalena Fittoria, at mfittoria@pausd.org to volunteer.

    Please note that parents of students participating in Challenge Day CAN help on the day of the event - the facilitators will just make sure they are in a small group not with their own child.

    For more information about Challenge Day, see the SLIDE-SHOW presented to students and visit the organization’s website: ChallengeDay.org





Principal's Newsletter December 15

posted Dec 17, 2017, 6:05 PM by Susan Pound   [ updated Dec 17, 2017, 6:06 PM ]

Principal’s Message:


Thoughts about Grading and Assessment:


An enthusiastic group of teachers attended a conference recently that was a great opportunity for new and continued learning regarding grading practices and assessment. Philosophically, we need our grading systems to do the following:

  • Communicate achievement

  • Provide information

  • Select & identify

  • Provide incentives

  • Evaluate effectiveness of programs


Much of the emerging conversation about aligning practice among teachers and schools has to do with conflicting ideas about what grades should reflect, and what purpose they serve. As educators, we need to ensure that our systems of grading are:

  • Accurate

  • Consistent

  • Meaningful

  • Supportive or learning


From this premise, we need to examine our traditional A-F practices and agree on practices that focus on student learning and growth. As Jordan teachers move forward and grow with their own professional practice, they will be trying different assessment systems, rubrics and scales which they believe may better reach the goal of accurate achievement reporting. I encourage you to check in with your teachers if you have any questions, or would like to hear about recent changes!


Spring Semester Newsletter Changes:

Starting in January, I will be sending out a Jordan newsletter monthly, instead of bi-monthly. I will also be changing the format to a more organized template, and plan to include more department updates and program information. If you have anything specific you’d like to see in this newsletter, please let me know - I’d be happy to consider it! Email me at @pausd.org.


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School Culture & Climate


JORDAN CHALLENGE DAYS: January 18 & February 27, 2018


    We need a few more parent volunteers to help make our Challenge Days a success!  The shifts are from 7:40 am – 3:15 pm. Please email Assistant Principal, Magdalena Fittoria, at mfittoria@pausd.org to volunteer.

    Please note that parents of students participating in Challenge Day CAN help on the day of the event - the facilitators will just make sure they are in a small group not with their own child.

    For more information about Challenge Day, see the SLIDE-SHOW presented to students and visit the organization’s website: ChallengeDay.org


In Other News…


From the Attendance Office…

  • With the holidays quickly approaching, please be sure to notify the attendance office if your child will be out of school.  It is important that our records accurately reflect your student’s attendance.  Contact our attendance office at jordanattendance@pausd.org.

Lost and Found

  • Please browse through our Lost and found items, located near the library entrance.  Items that remain will be gathered and donated on 12/21 at noon.


Gratitude! download-1.jpg


To bring our fall semester to a close, I wanted to thank all of our Jordan community members (parents, guardians, students, teachers & staff, as well as district personnel and other community members) for supporting our many transitions this semester. I acknowledge that getting to know and work with a new principal requires a learning curve, and everyone has been gracious and patient with me this year. Thank you for helping me get settled into the Jordan community! And here’s to looking forward to Spring semester! Happy Holidays, one and all.


Principal's Newsletter December 1

posted Dec 4, 2017, 12:00 PM by Susan Pound

Dear Parents & Guardians,


Next week, the Jordan Special Education department and all of our teachers are recognizing Inclusion Week.  The week is designed to "celebrate the progress that schools have made in providing a supportive and quality education to an increasingly diverse student population…"  This year's theme is Stand up Sit Tall for Inclusion.


For School Staff, Students, Parents & Guardians, on behalf of our Special Education Department, we would like to thank you for your continued work to ensure a safe, fun, and accessible learning environment for all.  

*********************************

Please participate in the LCAP Needs Assessment!


Please participate in PAUSD’s Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP)

Second Advisor Group Meeting.

Thursday, December 14th  5-7pm

District Office 25 Churchill Avenue  Palo Alto, CA Board Room (SDC)

The meeting will review district data and stakeholders will be able to give input and feedback.

PAUSD LCAP Website:    https://goo.gl/EPvdGF

Parent’s guide to LCAP Dashboard (district data):   https://goo.gl/p8VcuW

Spanish translation will be available


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School Culture & Climate


JORDAN CHALLENGE DAYS: January 18 & February 27, 2018

We are still looking for parent volunteers! If you are interested and can join us for one of these days, please complete the below.

Challenge Day Parent/Community Member Volunteer Form


WHAT IS CHALLENGE DAY?

  • A one-day interactive program where students, staff, and community members come together to break down barriers and create connections. Challenge Day SLIDE-SHOW LINK.

  • Using highly interactive and energetic activities, Challenge Day Leaders guide participants through an exploration of the ways and reasons people separate from each other, and model tools for creating connection and building community.

  • Each Challenge Day consists of 85 students (7th and 8th grade), 25 adult volunteers, 15 Jordan Student Ambassadors (students who have participated in Challenge Day before), and 2 professional facilitators.

Invitations & permission slips for selected student participants will be sent home on December 11th, 2017.


In Other News…


From the Attendance Office…

  • With the holidays quickly approaching, please be sure to notify the attendance office if your child will be out of school.  It is important that our records accurately reflect your student’s attendance.  Contact our attendance office at jordanattendance@pausd.org.



Gratitude! download-1.jpg


  • Jordan Choir - Thank you to Monica Covitt, Jordan Choir students, parents and community members for the wonderful performance this past Wednesday. What a treat!

Don’t forget about the upcoming Orchestra (Dec 6) and Band Performances (Dec 13).


Principal's Newsletter November 10:

posted Nov 27, 2017, 11:43 AM by Susan Pound   [ updated Nov 27, 2017, 11:44 AM ]

Dear Parents & Guardians,


I have had several in-depth conversations with  parents regarding their concerns about social media as it relates to their students, especially around self-esteem and perception. I know that some of our parents have also attended the recent presentation of “Screenagers”, which was offered as a Parent Education event.


I wanted to point out one of the trending activities on students’ Instagram accounts. Students are playing “ship or dip” (or versions of it) in which they pair students with other students “romantically”,  and other students vote on them. We have found the following Jordan-related Instragram sites which do this:

jms19ship_or_dip.2

jms_ship_or_dipp

Jms._.ship

Everythingjms17

Jms.7th.confessions

JMS Hate or Date

JMS 19

Smash or Pass


Students who are posted involuntarily on these sites can feel bullied and targeted. Feel free to check your students’ Instagram for these accounts, and speak with them about the appropriateness of supporting and participating in these “games”.  They may not be fully aware of the potential impact on their peers.


Here is another interesting article for your weekend reading:


We Need to Talk about Kids and Smartphones

School Culture & Climate


JORDAN CHALLENGE DAYS

JANUARY 18 & FEBRUARY 27, 2018


WHAT IS CHALLENGE DAY?


  • A one-day interactive program where students, staff, and community members come together to break down barriers and create connections.

  • Using highly interactive and energetic activities, Challenge Day Leaders guide participants through an exploration of the ways and reasons people separate from each other, and model tools for creating connection and building community.

  • Each Challenge Day consists of 85 students (7th and 8th grade), 25 adult volunteers, 15 Jordan Student Ambassadors (students who have participated in Challenge Day before), and 2 professional facilitators.

This is the Challenge Day Slide Show our 7th & 8th grade students are seeing in their Advisory Classes. Challenge Day SLIDE-SHOW LINK.


If you would like to nominate a student please use this form:

Challenge Day Student Nomination Form

Each Challenge Day also needs 25 adult volunteers - staff, parents, and community members. If you would like to volunteer, please use this form:

Challenge Day Parent/Community Member Volunteer Form

Invitations & permission slips for selected participants will be sent out by December 8, 2017.

Wheels to School



Jordan Middle School students maintain healthy lifestyles by biking to school. We counted all bikes, scooters, and skateboards on campus on November 2 and the following are the totals:


Total student bikes: 617

Total student scooters: 7

Total student skateboards: 1


Keep up the good work Jaguars!


Gratitude!

The Music Department at Jordan, and all of the wonderful student performers, gave us a tremendous treat on Halloween. The multipurpose room was packed for several periods of the day as the band, orchestra and choir performed festive music for everyone. Much appreciated!


Principal's Newsletter October 28:

posted Oct 30, 2017, 8:03 AM by Susan Pound   [ updated Oct 30, 2017, 8:05 AM ]

This week’s Unity Week activities were highlighted Thursday when Jordan hosted the Special Olympics Soccer Tournament! Our own students from Jordan and other PAUSD schools, as well as another district’s came to play each other all morning. Many of our Jordan students came out to cheer and wave signs, and also served as refs, coaches or field support. It was a great event!


Halloween is upon us next week, and I wanted to provide information you need to help your students make good decisions about costumes they wear to school. We need your help in ensuring that they meet the following expectations:

  • Masks that cover the face cannot be worn at school. Hoods, head coverings or hats that can be taken off in the classroom are acceptable.

  • No weapons, or simulated weapons, please.

  • Age-appropriate costumes


Vandalism at Jordan


I am sorry to report that this week at Jordan, we endured two significant acts of vandalism. Monday, our front door locks as well as other doors on campus were super glued. All doors and locks had to be cleaned and replaced by district personnel over two days.


Friday late afternoon/evening, Mr. Gralen’s art room was broken into and paint was thrown all over the room, covering floors, tables and computers. Also, the outside wall and trash cans were sprayed with paint.  We are quite upset about the purposeful damage to school and senseless disrespect of a beautiful environment, and have filed a police report. Please let me know directly (vroyalteyquandt@pasud.org) if you or your student has any information about these events. I would imagine that students coming home with paint on their shoes or clothing would be suspect.


JORDAN CHALLENGE DAYS

JANUARY 18 & FEBRUARY 27, 2018

WHAT IS CHALLENGE DAY?


  • A one-day interactive program where students, staff, and community members come together to break down barriers and create connections.

  • Using highly interactive and energetic activities, Challenge Day Leaders guide participants through an exploration of the ways and reasons people separate from each other, and model tools for creating connection and building community.

  • Challenge Day consists of about 85 students (7th and 8th grade), 25 adult volunteers, 15 Jordan Student Ambassadors (students who have participated in Challenge Day before), and 2 professional facilitators.

The recruitment process for participants will take place in November. More information will be forthcoming soon.


November 9: Jordan Parent Visitation Day


Parents are welcome to visit classrooms and see all aspects of the school.  We ask that you follow these guidelines:

  • First come to the office to sign in, get a nametag, map, bell schedule and teaching schedule.

  • Please do not let your visit interrupt the teaching and learning process.

  • Please do not talk to the teacher, students, or other parents in the classroom (unless the teacher invites you to do so).

  • When you have finished your visit, please return to the office to sign out.


We will have more information for you next week.


Gratitude!


To all of the many parents, coaches, teachers, site and district administrators aides and support providers who helped bring the Special Olympics Soccer Tournament to Jordan this week! It was definitely a team effort. BIG gratitude to Cameron and Dante who organized the entire event!

Principal's Newsletter: October 13

posted Oct 16, 2017, 9:26 AM by Susan Pound

Now that we are mid-way through October, it’s time to reflect with students on their experiences and learning so far. There are a variety of ways we can do this, both at home and school. We understand that for middle grades students, the learning environment is comprehensive and complex, and school and home need to work together well to keep kids on track.

In the next few weeks, your students will be participating in the California Healthy Kids Survey (7th grade only) and also the Palo Alto Reality Check Survey. Please read below for a further explanation from Mimi Kwon, Assistant Principal.

Another way to check in is to sit down with your student and review their progress grades, and check in on their study habits and ability to balance healthy activities with academic progress. We all need both! I’m enthusiastic about the upcoming Parent Education opportunities that will help us reflect on some of these important issues.


Shout out for AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination)


For those of you unfamiliar with this program, AVID is a fantastic program for students who may be the first in their families to attend college or university. At the middle school level, much of the learning is about self-advocacy, academic organization and goal-setting. I am very pleased that we have both a 7th and 8th grade AVID class, and an exceptional school site team, which supports the students, teachers and the program at Jordan. AVID students go on college visits to gain the navigational capital necessary for a college-going culture. We love AVID!


From the Front Office: Student Item Drop Off

Starting, Monday, October 23rd, any items that need to be dropped off for students can be dropped off in the student item drop off area re-located to the front office lobby.  Please follow the directions for items that are left for students:  FIll out a “Drop Off Form” provided in the lobby, and be sure to label the item with your student’s first & last name, and grade level.  Please see Jena Babcock if you have any questions.  Thank you.



With Gratitude:

This Wednesday, several of the PiE volunteers and school staff held a rally in front of the school to thank parents for supporting PiE. Our band played music (quite a feat for 7:45am!) and I had the opportunity to reflect on all of the supports and programs we wouldn’t have if it weren’t for your PiE donations. Here is a generalized overview:


Mental Health Counseling & a portion of Guidance Counseling

Visual and Performing Arts

JTV

Career Technical Education programs

Technology

Thank you!!

Principal's Newsletter, September 29:

posted Oct 2, 2017, 7:57 AM by Susan Pound

Now that the year is rolling, I wanted to connect parents & guardians to some great things going on at Jordan!

 

Spirit week ended with a successful first dance for 7th and 8th graders that was completely organized and managed by our Leadership students. Approximately 400+ students danced the night away to tunes from the 80s and 90s.

 

International Night was a great success. PTA facilitated this event, which allowed students and parents to  share their cultural backgrounds with food, dress and traditions. As an interesting note, at Jordan, we have 7 major language groups: Spanish, Mandarin, Japanese, Arabic, French, Turkish, Tongan and Korean, and 7% of our school population that speaks a different language than English and those already named above. The wealth of culture and background in this school community is something to be proud of, and something to embrace and celebrate.

 

We are looking forward to our Ice Skating Party 2017/18! This event was held first in the school year 2013/14 and is loved by the school community. There are 2 parties both held at the Winter Lodge on Middlefield Rd.  One is held for 6th grade and the other is a combination 7th and 8th grade party.  Here are the dates:
October 25th, 2017 -7th & 8th Grade Party –  5:30-7:30
November 8th, 2017 - 6th Grade Party – 5:30-7:30

Buy your tickets and have your waivers signed at the following link. https://jordanptaweb.wordpress.com/ice-skating-party/  Price includes skate rental, pizza, hot beverages and dessert.   Scholarships are available - please see Beti in the front office. Looking forward to seeing you all!   

 

As noted above, Jordan completed a great week celebrating School Spirit with themes, fun noontime activities and the first dance of the school year organized by the Leadership group.  Now Student Council, including recently elected 6th grade officers are now preparing for upcoming Spirit Assemblies. These are part award ceremony-part rally gatherings for each of our grade levels. Students from each grade level are recognized as Jaguars of the Quarter for their efforts socially, academically, and creatively, and practicing the principles of Jordan ROCKS.

 

These are the dates for this quarter’s Spirit Assemblies led by Student Council representatives and held in the Gym.

7th Grade: October 4, 1:00 - 1:40 pm

8th Grade: October 11, 1:00 - 1:40 pm

6th Grade: October 18, 1:00 - 1:40 pm


Parent volunteers who helped with the Sept 22 dance - chaperones and snacks! You were so brave ;)


Farewell Gordon!  

Thank you for your years of service to Jordan Middle School.


Introducing Jordan's New Family Engagement Specialist

posted Sep 18, 2017, 8:31 AM by Susan Pound

Dear Jordan Community,


My name is Ana M. Perez-Hood, and before my new position as a PAUSD Middle Schools Family Engagement Specialist (FES), I worked at JLS as an ELL Instructional Aide and Parent Liaison for 10 years. I was born and grew up in Mexico City. My two sons attended JLS and Paly. Andrew, my oldest, is a high school math teacher in the San Jose School District, and Christopher, my youngest is an electrical engineer in Atlanta. My husband Bob is a computer scientist working at NASA, and we have been married for 32 years.

One of the goals of FES is to help HUR (historically underrepresented students) families to navigate the school system: welcoming and supporting them, helping with interpretation, and connecting them with school programs.  We also send them information about important resources and events, and we a play a big role interpreting at school parent meetings and translating documents for our school sites and the DO. I am including my schedule at all three middle schools below. Look for me in the main office. I am looking forward to working with all of you!


Sincerely,                                                                                                 

Ana. M. Perez-Hood


Principal's Newsletter: September 15

posted Sep 18, 2017, 8:14 AM by Susan Pound   [ updated Sep 18, 2017, 8:14 AM ]


Building a Safe and Welcoming School Community


This week, two important elements of a safe and welcoming school community took place at Jordan. First, the Assistant Principals and I met with all of the 7th and 8th graders in their PE classes to discuss the important topics of respectfulness, open-mindedness, community, kindness and safety (ROCKS), as well as bullying and sexual harassment. Our goal is to empower our middle school students to take care of themselves and others, with the result of making Jordan a kind, respectful and safe environment for all students. The second part of our week was having many Jordan student clubs start all over campus! Students initiate their own clubs through ASB, and their interests are very broad and quite creative. It was exciting to see so many students interested and involved! Here is a list: Jordan Club List


Next week is Spirit Week (details below) so please encourage your students to have fun and participate! At the end of the week, we will have our first dance for 7th and 8th graders (Friday, Sept. 22 from 7-9pm.) Instead of charging an entry fee for the dance, the Leadership students are requesting a non-cash, non-perishable donation that they will deliver to a local charity supporting disaster relief.

JAWS Begins September 6:

posted Sep 5, 2017, 9:03 AM by Susan Pound

We are excited to announce the opening of our Jaguar Academics and Wellness Support (JAWS) Center for the 2017-18 school year. Our first day will be Tuesday, September 5th in the Jordan Library.  Our doors are open from 3:05 - 4:30pm on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays. As we open this year, you may notice some differences from last year.  Our coordination team this year consists of Ms. Jennifer Pequegnat on Mondays, Mr. Keith Clarke on Tuesdays, and Mr. Garth Rogers on Thursdays.  They will be overseeing our JAWS services on their designated days.


Some of our procedures have been adjusted to maximize efficiency:


Student Sign in:

• Students must arrive in the library no later than 3:15pm.  If a student will arrive later than 3:15, he/she/they must come with a pass from a staff member in their binder reminder marked on that particular date.  Students are NOT permitted to leave campus then return for JAWS.

• Upon arrival at JAWS students will need to sign in on the JAWS iPads.  The sign in requests the student’s first and last names and grade level.  

• Next, the student will be assigned a work area where the student will be instructed to take out his/her/their binder reminder.  Binder Reminders are students’ tickets into JAWS.  It must already be filled out by the student with assignments to work on for the day.  

• Staff members will come around to check in with students using their binder reminders.


Snacks:

During the JAWS session, once all students have been signed in/checked in, snacks will be provided to students.  Please notify our coordinators of any food allergies upon arrival at JAWS.


Library services:

During a student’s time in the JAWS Center, he/she/they will be able to utilize the resources available in the library including computer use and textbook/library book check out/check in.


Cell phones:

While we understand the need for students to have a cell phone after school hours, please respect the students and staff working in the JAWS Center.  Cell phones should not be visible or audible (please turn it on silent).  If a student needs to make or receive a call, please use courtesy, notify/indicate to an adult and then step out of the library to use the phone.


Behavior expectations:

The JAWS Center is a place for students to have a safe and comfortable environment to work on their academic needs.  All behavior expectations during the school day apply during this after school program.  Any students who habitually disturb or disrupt the learning environment will be instructed to leave the JAWS Center and a parent will be notified.


Student dismissal/ sign out:

JAWS ends at 4:30pm, clean up will begin at approximately 4:20pm.  Students will use the JAWS iPads to sign out, providing the same information as when they signed in.  If any students complete their work early or need to check out early for appointments, please use the JAWS iPads to sign out.  Once students have signed out, they must leave campus immediately.  Any students found wandering campus in unsupervised activities may warrant disciplinary action/consequences.


Late bus/bus passes:

Students who ride the bus will be provided a bus pass for the late bus. The JAWS coordinators will distribute bus passes at the end of each day’s session to students who have stayed for the full duration of JAWS.  After dismissal from JAWS, students will have time to go to their lockers to return or retrieve belongings before the bus arrives at 4:45pm in our front loop for afternoon pick up.  


Shuttle:

For students who take the Palo Alto Crosstown Shuttle, the shuttle stops at Jordan’s Middlefield stop at 3:23pm, 4:15pm, and 5:15pm.  Please plan accordingly if a shuttle ride is needed.


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