Principal's Weekly Update
11/09/2018Principals Update 11/09/2018
One of the wonderful things about Thompson is that everyone works together to provide great opportunities and activities for our students. In October, we had trips to Escobar's Corn Maze as well as to the Haunted Fort at Fort Adams. On November 16, we will be holding our first activity night of the year here at Thompson. Formerly called lock-ins, the Activity Night runs from 6pm-8pm. Students will be fed a Thanksgiving dinner, have a chance to build gingerbread houses, play dodge ball, experiment in a music lab, dance to music provided by a DJ, and much more. Tickets are $10 or $5 with the donation of a canned food item.
Stop and Shop on Bellevue Avenue is donating 16 turkeys and the Marriott is donating pies and salad. Many other individuals from the TMS and Newport communities have already offered to donate food items, activity materials, or time and we welcome others to join in. If you would like to be a part of making this evening a success for our students, please contact David Vieira (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Beth Raffa (email@example.com).
Thank you for your support of TMS,
PRINCIPAL'S LETTER TO PARENTS
August 3, 2018
Dear Parents and Guardians of TMS Students,
I trust that you have been enjoying all of the great things that a New England summer brings! The purpose of this letter is to update you on the progress of our new schedule and some of the changes that it will bring. Over the past few weeks, 15 TMS teachers (representing various grades and disciplines), building administrators, and district administrators have met and engaged in some lively, collegial discussions around what is best for our students. With guidance from the Great Schools Partnership and the District Management Group, a schedule has been created that will open up opportunities for ALL students as we work towards a true middle school model. While the schedule is still in development, and will need to be presented to the School Committee on August 14, here are some highlights that are unfolding based on our work:
- Six-day cycle rotation ( This will align with the Rogers High School schedule.)
- Students in grades 5-8 will have each core subject daily, plus:
- New Specials/Exploratory opportunities and rotation
- Power Hour 3 times per cycle (Enrichment choices will change each quarter.)
- Advisory 1 time per cycle (Teachers will work with students on career and academic pathways and follow an advisory curriculum...more to come on that.)
- Opportunities for both acceleration and intervention during designated Support periods with both core teachers and specialists
- Accelerated math class in each cluster as approved by the Newport School Committee
- Science, Social Studies, and ELA classes that will offer challenging and advanced opportunities for students through differentiation to reach their highest levels. All children at all grade levels will be grouped heterogeneously - as the teachers felt was a best practice - and the classes will be flexible for the cluster teachers to move children to meet their academic strengths and needs. Teachers will challenge all students. (We heard from several parents they want a top content area for each grade. This format will allow more challenging work and allow other students to have the opportunity as well. RIDE has advised NPS to keep this open for all.)
- Student compacts on behaviors and school expectations that will clearly define the academic excellence and good citizenship we expect of all our students.
This new schedule, combined with the 330 additional Chromebooks that we will be receiving, will begin to pave the way for exciting things at TMS. Your support, coupled with the energy, creativity, and experience of our staff, will be vital as we work to transform our school and address our district’s strategic planning goals. Our teachers will be utilizing differentiated instruction, interdisciplinary planning, and flexible grouping to ensure that all students are being challenged and allowing for the opportunity for advanced work in their classes. It is critical that we meet the needs of all children and assure that those who are very bright have the opportunity to soar. Our new support periods will allow additional time for both intervention and acceleration in the content areas to meet the needs of each individual student. One of our overarching district-wide professional development goals this year will be to revisit curriculum. As such, it is a perfect opportunity for our teachers to consider how they are marrying great teaching with new technology to push ALL students to the next level.
Also, this year, we are adding both an Advisory period as well as a block that we are calling Power Hour. These will provide our students with an opportunity to dive deeper into areas of their interest, whether it is academics, hands-on learning, sports, or simply time to refocus themselves on the world around them. During Advisory, students will meet in small groups with an adult to begin to build what we hope will be lasting relationships within the building and, ultimately, work on their individual learning plans (ILP) to map out their academic and career pathways. Every student will have at least one adult who they know well and can go to if they need help or guidance. Power Hour is a time for our staff to continue forging those relationships by sharing their talents and interests with them. From mindfulness techniques to Zentangle to book clubs, the more experiences we are able to give our students, the wider their opportunities become. Students will be given the chance to sign up for what interests them and they will rotate to new choices every quarter. Perhaps you are involved with a community group, such as 4H or Junior Achievement, and would like to partner with a staff member. We welcome your involvement!
Our school wants every child to be his or her best and be allowed access to all opportunities. We want to be a school that challenges and raises our students to new levels. As with anything, some parts will work just as planned, while others will need more refining in the future. We welcome your input and want to work with and for you to support your child the best we are able. As Walt Disney once said, “If nothing changed, there’d be no butterflies.”
I look forward to meeting all of you in the very near future and to an exciting new year at TMS!
Laurie G. Sullivan
Elizabeth Gibbs, TMS Grade 7 Science Teacher
2018-2019 Newport Public Schools Teacher of the Year
It is with great pleasure that we congratulate Elizabeth Gibbs, Grade 7 Science Teacher, as the 2018-2019 Newport Public Schools Teacher of the Year.
Gibbs’ enthusiasm as a lifelong learner shines brightly and inspires people of all ages to explore the world through a scientist’s perspective.
Gibbs began her teaching career at TMS in 1998 as a Grade 8 Science Teacher and moved to Grade 7 in 2000. During her twenty years as an educator, she has dedicated significant effort to student engagement, community outreach, and professional development.
Gibbs is actively engaged at Thompson. Over the years, she has served as a student council advisor and a Co-Chair of the School Improvement Team. She currently serves as Co-Advisor for the SMILE after-school program (Science and Math Investigative Learning).
Gibbs connects students with learning outside the classroom by working with local partner organizations, writing grants, and fundraising. Community partners include Casey Farm in Saunderstown, Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management, the Norman Bird Sanctuary, and URI.
Gibbs shares learning in global contexts as well. During three expeditions as a scientist for Earthwatch and the ARMADA Project, Gibbs engaged her students in field research while studying in faraway destinations, including Antarctica and New Zealand. She continues to share these experiences with current students.
Gibbs’ excels in professional development. She learns perpetually and shares knowledge generously. As a Newport Early Adopter for FuseRI, she works with a team of educators to implement blended and personalized learning into her classroom. She co-presents staff development sessions using knowledge gained from FuseRI and from NPS Digital Literacy Team experiences. She presented to wider audiences during several conferences for the National Science Teachers Association as well.
Many of Gibbs’ experiences have connections to environmental awareness and study. Her past employment includes work as a marine outreach scientist for the University of Rhode Island, writer/editor/educator for the Rhode Island Sea Grant Communications Office and Coastal Resources Center at URI, and education coordinator at Save the Bay.
In addition, Gibbs holds professional membership in and serves on committees for several organizations, including Southeastern New England Marine Educators, Norman Bird Sanctuary, Clean Ocean Access/Sachuest Point National Wildlife Refuge, and the National Science Teachers Association.
Elizabeth Gibbs exemplifies the definition of an outstanding educator. Her efforts in the classroom and outside the school’s walls demonstrate the highest standards of lifelong learning. Her connections to local and global communities provide opportunities for her students and colleagues to see beyond immediate situations and apply learning in larger life contexts. Her enthusiasm prompts others to experience the wonders of the world through a scientific lens.
Hello Parents and Guardians:
We hope that the beginning of your school year is going well! The TMS Student Council is seeking help. Each year we hold a Thanksgiving Dinner for about 200 of our students. In the past we have had the generous support and help of the RHS Culinary program in cooking and carving turkeys and potatoes and donating stuffing and gravy. Due to a decrease in staffing this year, RHS regretfully could not help us in our endeavors. We thank Chef Kalble for his many years of amazing help! We are now desperately seeking volunteers to cook and carve turkeys (which have been donated), and donate stuffing, gravy or potato dishes. The dinner will be held on November 16th. This is a tradition that has become something that our students look forward to….In some cases it is the only Thanksgiving dinner that they have to look forward to. We considered modifying and ordering pizzas instead, but we wanted to reach out to the TMS community first to see if we can pull it off once again! Please contact one of us if you think you can help. Thank you so much for your time and consideration!
Lindsey Cruff (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Beth Raffa (email@example.com)
Dave Vieira (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Seeking Donations for:
- Cooking and Carving Turkeys
- Potato Dishes
- Paper plates, silverware and napkins
Today is day 5
Check-In for the Newport Community School is at 2:30 in the cafeteria. Please remember to bring your homework, your books and your agenda with your homework written down. POWER Tickets will be available to students that make these positive choices after school. Today's programs are: Design League, Tennis Hall of Fame,Cyber Patriot, and Technology club!
If anyone has any questions, please see Mr. Choice in room 124!
Girls' Basketball Tryouts grades 6-8 in the gym***
Today, November 14th 3:00-4:30
Any questions please contact Coach Kacie Gallo-- email@example.com
Attention Student Council Members: If you signed up to sell Thanksgiving "Activity Night" tickets at lunches this week...Please remember to do so. There will be a table set up at the front of the cafeteria. Please make sure to get the tickets to sell from Mr. Vieira or Ms. Raffa...Thank You
Thanksgiving Activity Night- Attention TMS students! Our annual Thanksgiving Activity Night (formally known as the lock in) will take place on Friday, November 16th from
6-8 pm. Tickets will be $10.00 or $5.00 with a canned food donation! Tickets will go on sale THIS WEEK??
Remember Powerful Behavior is expected as always.