Principal's Message January, 7, 2021

TGIF…Twin Groves it’s Friday! Happy New Year!

Counseling Corner
Ms. Baker and Ms. McDevitt, School Social Workers
Ms. Koulentes, School Counselor
Ms. Leverentz, School Psychologist

Depression is a disorder that can occur at any time during a person’s life. Trauma, significant life changes and stress can trigger the onset of depression. About 20 percent of teens will experience depression before they reach adulthood. It is marked by persistent sadness, discouragement, loss of self-worth, and loss of interest in usual activities. The increased isolation and anxieties experienced during this current COVID-19 pandemic have contributed to an increase in the number of children and adolescents experiencing such mental health challenges. 

Depression is different for every person, but a child suffering from depression may show multiple signs of the following:
Loss of interest in activities they normally like to do
Feeling angry
Feelings of sadness or irritability
Crying a lot
Feeling guilty or hopeless       
A change in eating habits
Feeling tense or worrying a lot                      
Missing school
Spending a lot of time alone   
Feeling tired 
Sleeping too much or too little  
Having trouble paying attention 
Having low energy or restless feelings
Thinking of death or suicide

A small percent of teens also suffer from seasonal depression or seasonal affective disorder. This disorder is a form of depression that appears at the same time each year.  Typically a person experiences SAD in the winter months, but some people are affected during the summer. Increased social isolation related to the current pandemic can certainly exacerbate otherwise milder symptoms of SAD. Children with a family history of depression and females, in general, are more likely to develop this disorder. 

Doctors and mental health professionals can make a diagnosis of depression or SAD after careful evaluation. A medical checkup is necessary to make sure that the symptoms are not due to another medical condition that needs treatment. Exercising, light therapy, counseling, and prescribed medications may be used to help treat the symptoms of depression.


Stevenson High School Project Lead the Way Visits 8th Grade Science
During all 8th grade Science classes on January 13th, the 8th graders will be viewing a presentation by Stevenson Project Lead the Way teachers from Stevenson. This will give the 8th graders the opportunity to see the different course offerings in the area of Engineering and Architecture and Media Arts and Technology Education.



At approximately 3pm today, you will  receive a message from Jeanne Spiller, Assistant Superintendent for Teaching and Learning with your Winter MAP Reports for your child(ren).  Please contact Jeanne at [email protected] if you do not receive a report or if you have any questions.



Monthly Asynchronous Wednesdays 
Just a reminder…
January 13th will be an asynchronous day. HERE is the schedule for 1/13.  Please see more information below.

Monthly Asynchronous Wednesdays (12/16, 1/13, 2/24, 3/17, 4/21)

Once per month, beginning in December, students will participate in asynchronous activities for a portion of their school day.  The dates for each of these asynchronous Wednesdays are identified below.  Students will go through all of their periods on an amended schedule. They will be done with their classes at 12:00PM. Lunch will be from 12:00-12:30PM and the asynchronous portion of the day will be from 12:30-2:30 PM. Teachers will communicate with students to be sure that they understand the expectations for each of these days.  

These monthly asynchronous days were created to give students the opportunity to participate in topics that will enhance our current curricular content, and so that teachers have time to collaborate and plan with each other to determine the best way to approach future instruction.  

In addition to the January 13th date, the remaining asynchronous Wednesdays will take place on the following dates.

January 13 

February 24 

March 17

April 21

The asynchronous portion of the day will take place in the afternoon. The asynchronous focus for this day is digital citizenship.  Students will be engaging in a variety of Digital Citizenship activities See specifics below.

Middle School (Grades 6-8):   Students will engage in instruction as they typically would until 12:00pm.  At 12:30pm, the asynchronous portion of the day will begin and continue through the end of the school day. Students will access the asynchronous work in Schoology.  Teachers will communicate with students to be sure that they understand the expectations and communicate where they should access the asynchronous work for each of these days.  While we prefer that the asynchronous work is completed during this designated time, please adjust timing based on what works best for your family.  

HERE is the schedule for 1/13.



Is your current 8th-grader interested in the SHS Dance Program?
Stevenson High School students who will be freshmen in the 21–22 school year and who wish to participate in the dance program should submit videos by January 18th to determine appropriate course placement. INFO



Online Volunteer Opportunity for Students in Grades 7–8
The Vernon Area Public Library has begun a new Winter/Spring 2021 session of their popular Online Teen Volunteer opportunity for students in grades 7–12.
There is no need to complete applications or training or commit to a minimum number of hours. Students volunteer as their schedule allows.
Teens select from among ten online service projects listed on the Vernon Area Public Library website. (

The library is promoting two activities in particular: the Students Rebuild: Changemaker Challenge and the #WeWereHere Project.
The Students Rebuild: Changemaker Challenge invites students to acknowledge and make awards for the changemakers in their community who make a positive difference. For each award shared with Students Rebuild, the Bezos Family Foundation will donate $5 to programs and organizations supporting changemakers, youth, and educators around the world.

The #WeWereHere Project asks teens to share their experiences during the pandemic in these categories: I Am Here; I Am Helping: I Am Okay; I Am Not Okay.

Please note that District 96 does not track volunteer service hours for our students. 

Direct any questions regarding these teen online volunteer opportunities to VAPLD Librarian Diane Presta [email protected]



8th Grade Math Placement Information
Current Patriot Consortium Mathematics Placement Process

The consortium has created criteria that defines the four strands of mathematical proficiency to highlight the attributes of a proficient mathematical thinker. The criteria are grouped into three categories 

--Procedural Skills & Fluency (How well you can correctly use mathematics.)
--Conceptual Understanding (How well you utilize mathematical ideas, transfer your knowledge into new situations, and apply it to new contexts.)
--Problem Solving with Adaptive Reasoning and Strategic Competence (How well you can apply strategies and sound reasoning.)

Over the course of the year, the mathematics teachers will be discussing these criteria with the students in class to create a portrait of each student. This portrait will be used to recommend the students into the mathematics course at Stevenson High School that matches their content knowledge as well as level of mathematics proficiency at this time.

As a district and consortium, it is our vision that each student move on to the next course in the sequence providing that there are no significant gaps in content knowledge. If there are significant gaps in content knowledge and a change in recommendation occurs, we will contact you. We feel that this process allows a mathematical picture of the student to develop over time, which will provide a more informed recommendation.

UPDATED Patriot Consortium Mathematics Course Sequence for Algebra 1 Students

Below are details concerning the pathways for 9th grade recommendations - whichever path students take, they will complete both Algebra 2 and Geometry by the end of Sophomore year.  
A few weeks ago, you received an email from your student’s math teacher explaining the Stevenson Placement Process for Mathematics. This process has NOT changed. However, the sequence of courses offered to students has changed. If a student is proficient in the essential Algebra 1 content, it will be recommended for them to move on to Algebra 2. For students who need to refresh and strengthen essential Algebra 1 content, it will be recommended to take Geometry prior to Algebra 2. Whichever path students take, they will complete both Algebra 2 and Geometry by the end of Sophomore year.

-Algebra 2 will be recommended if students have mastered targets in Unit 1-3
-Geometry will be recommend if students need to reinforce and refresh targets in Unit 1-3
Course Sequence for Algebra 2 Students
-Geometry Honors will be recommended if students have mastered targets in Unit 1-3
-Geometry Accelerated will be recommend if students needs to reinforce and refresh targets in Unit 1-3

Procedural Skills & Fluency
How well you can correctly use mathematics.

(skill in carrying out procedures flexibly, accurately, efficiently, and appropriately)
I can identify and use the most efficient method for the problem. (MP7)
I can use mathematical computations, terms, symbols, formulas, and language appropriately. (MP5, 6)
I can recognize the algebraic structure in problems and use rules or procedures to solve or simplify. (MP7)
I can solve problems with accuracy. (MP6)

Conceptual Understanding
How well you utilize mathematical ideas, transfer your knowledge into new situations, and apply it to new contexts.

(comprehension of mathematical concepts, operations, and relations)
I can use diagrams, pictures, and symbols to justify my work. (MP4)
I can understand and justify the “why” of the procedure. (MP3)
I can justify solutions algebraically, graphically, and numerically. (MP3)
I can explain my solution with sound mathematical reasoning using precise mathematics vocabulary and terminology. (MP3, 8)
I can determine the reasonableness of my answer.  (MP2)

Problem Solving with  Adaptive Reasoning and Strategic Competence
How well you can apply strategies and sound reasoning.
(capacity for logical thought, reflection, explanation, and justification and ability to formulate, represent, and solve mathematical problems)

I can select and use all the pertinent information to solve the problem. (MP2)
I can determine a solving strategy by forming logical relationships among concepts and situations. (MP7, 8)
I can represent a situation mathematically using modeling. (MP4)
I can retain and apply information and skills from previous units to solve problems alongside new concepts. (MP7,8)
I can make connections between multiple mathematical concepts to solve problems in unfamiliar situations. (MP7,8)
I can persevere when encountering new and difficult concepts.(MP1)



Daily Announcements
Please see Twin Groves website for up to date school announcements. The announcements let you know what exciting activities and clubs are going on at Twin Groves. Please click HERE to access the Daily Announcements.