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Volume 3 | Issue 3 April 2019

Inspiring Others to Greatness! For the parents, students, staff, and community of Clay Middle School

CLAY NATION NEWS For the parents, students, staff, and community of Clay Middle School

PRINCIPAL’S MESSAGE Dear Clay Nation, Welcome back from spring break everyone. I hope that each of you had an opportunity to rest and relax with your children and families. Hopefully you enjoyed the NCAA March Madness Basketball Tournament. We are excited to go into April and May with the same motto as the Indianapolis 500 drivers for the greatest spectacle in racing‌ TO FINISH STRONG!

a winning attitude for our student athletes. I would also like to thank you as parents for all of your support and pride for Clay Middle School. For more information, please feel free to contact our Clay Activities / Athletic Director, Mr. John Corcoran at OR visit our new website at

With seven weeks left to go and things still left to complete, we will continue to encourage our students to give their very best, have pride in who they are and their abilities so they can live out the CLAY WAY.

ISSMA Competitions

Clay Highlights Spring sports are underway.

Our spring sports for softball, baseball and track and field are now well underway. Our student athletes are working hard to prepare for their competitions and representing Clay Middle School with great sportsmanship. I would like to take a moment to thank all of our coaches and our athletic director, John Corcoran for all of their support in modeling

Last month we also had a very successful month with our ISSMA solo and ensemble competitions with band, orchestra and choir. Throughout the competition months, our students have been awarded several gold ratings and gold with distinction ratings as they competed and performed. We are very fortunate to have an amazing performing arts department with directors such as Jeff Frizzi, Gretta Pote, Chris Grifa, and Miranda Susie. These teachers and directors give an enormous amount of time to their students at Clay Middle School so that our school can compete at the highest level in order for students to achieve at the highest level. We thank them for all they do! ...continued on the next page

ADMINISTRATION Todd Crosby, Principal Brooke Cole, Assistant Principal Mark Smith, Assistant Principal John Corcoran, Athletic Director 5150 E. 126th Street | Carmel, IN 46033 | Tel. 317-844-7251

2 Inspiring Others to Greatness! PRINCIPAL’S MESSAGE continues... Education is a People Business – Together We Are Better!

Over the last few months, we have celebrated and recognized the following people for their service. •

School Safety Week - Thank you to our school resource officer Greg Dewald

National School Counseling Week - Thank you to our Clay Student Services Department

Food Service Appreciation Week - Thank you to Amy Glover and our Food Services Department.

National Library Week – Thank you to Stephanie Swartzendruber and Carole Fitzgerald for all they do in our Clay Media Center for all students and staff to promote the love of reading and writing.

At Clay, we believe that by showing appreciation to others, it allows us to better understand that it truly takes all of us working together to achieve success. There are a lot of people to thank on a daily basis for all the work they do here at Clay to make sure Clay remains a great school and these are just a few of them.

March – Disabilities Awareness Week

During the month of March, we took time to recognize National Disabilities Awareness Week. Our Clay Best Buddies Program (under the direction of staff members Erin Mayer, Mary Walstrom and Leyla Niese) and our students developed a special week dedicated to various disabilities. We had some activities and information regarding those disabilities and the overall objective was to educate and bring more awareness of various disabilities to everyone in our school, both students and staff.

World Culture Week (March 25-29)

A special thank you goes out to our World Language Department for doing an amazing job creating a World Culture Week at Clay. We currently have approximately 38 different cultures represented here at Clay throughout our building and we offer French, German, and Spanish as languages. This department planned different spirit days, did announcements to the entire student body giving information about various cultures and even worked with our Clay Food Services Department to plan daily meal offerings for our students and staff from our cafeteria during lunch. Thank you to Mrs. Glover – Clay cafeteria manager for all her and her team’s hard work.

“In Diversity there is beauty and there is strength.” – Maya Angelou

Successful Transitions

As we look to transition our incoming fifth-graders to middle school life and we continue to prepare and transition our eighth graders to Carmel High School, we must make the most of each day so that this eighth grade class looks back on their middle school experience with special memories of Clay. Along with these major transitions occurring, we still have a full slate of activities for you as parents to take full advantage of this spring. These activities include performing arts concerts, club competitions and our sports teams in action. I challenge all Clay Trojans to Inspire Others to Greatness and together we will take Clay Middle School to even greater heights. As principal, I believe it is my position to help provide vision, leadership, oversight, safety and the best instruction to every student that attends Clay Middle School. I truly realize that success cannot be accomplished without an active school community to continue to take Clay Middle School in the direction of continuous success and excellence. I am happy to announce that the Clay Nation is alive and well.

Important April and May Dates April 1-5, 2019 April 19, 2019 April 8-12, 2019 April 24, 2019 May 3, 2019 May 10-11, 2019 May 14, 2019 May 16, 2019 May 21, 2019 May 22, 2019 May23, 2019 May 27, 2019 May 30, 2019 May 6-10, 2019 May 8, 2019 May 13-17, 2019 May 31, 2019

GO TROJANS! Sincerely, Todd A. Crosby, Principal

Spring Break PTO Meeting National Library Week Administrative Professionals Day 2019 Clay Riley Dance Marathon 8th Grade Kings Island Trip Orchestra Concert Band Concert Choir Concert 8th Choir Concert 8th Grade Celebration No School Last Day of School Teacher Appreciation Week School Nurse Day National Police Week Grades Due

3 FINISHING STRONG We are rapidly approaching the end of the 2018-2019 school year. Right now, the focus of your student should be on a strong finish and you can help. Your attention and involvement in this effort will reinforce the importance you place on your child’s education. Please take the following steps to support your student during this critical time. 1. Reinforce positive and successful school habits. Attention in class, homework, test preparation, and attendance are key factors. 2. Access and review your student’s progress, attendance, and test schedules on Parent Portal. 3. Help your student to create a plan to improve current weaknesses and prepare for final exams. 4. Be aware of tutoring and study assistance classes available at the school and encourage your student to participate. 5. Re-establish your student’s home-study routine. 6. Help your student to stay focused. ‘Coasting’ is a natural, but deadly tendency. Your involvement is a tremendous positive factor for a strong finish. Your interest, willingness, and dedication to helping your child succeed provides an unmistakable message. Your child will thank you for it - someday.

FROM OFFICER DEWALD What an amazing school year this has been. As we start the downward swing, I want to remind all students and parents always speak up and say something if you see something that doesn’t look right. The Stop-It application is always a great way to do this or feel free to call me here at Clay. Also parents please watch for electronic smoking devices that your kids may have at home. I don’t believe kids feel this is dangerous or addictive. If you go to www. you can search, what parents should know about E-cigarettes. Officer Greg Dewald, School Resource Officer Clay Middle School, Technology Director for Indiana School Resource Officers Association, Carmel Police Department

Personalized Attention. Proven Results.

4 Inspiring Others to Greatness! TEACHER OF THE YEAR Congratulations to our 2019 Teacher of the Year candidates from Clay Middle School. Stacy Armold and Dan Patane we thank you for all you do to make Clay GREAT! Thank you for being awesome teammates on your respected teams and leading within our entire school. Let’s wish them the best of luck as they attend the Carmel Clay Schools Teacher of the Year banquet on April 25 where our district will nominate one teacher to represent our district at the state level. Dr. Beresford - Thank you for coming to our building and speaking with our teachers to deliver the great news. #claygreatness


If you are new to Clay Middle and would like to meet other new families, join the New Families Gathering Group. This group meets frequently to share resources and information with new families about Clay Middle School and the Carmel community. Please email Jenny Fuller ( for further details and to learn the locations of upcoming gatherings.

5 PASSPORT PROGRAM Team Apollo students spent Quarter 3 traveling the world through the outstanding Core+ presentations of their peers! We had students who have lived in Armenia, Belgium, China, England, Egypt, Guatemala, New Guinea, Pakistan, Taiwan and Venezuela prepare presentations and answer questions from their peers. One of the most awesome parts of this project is that all of the kids who participated did so of their own accord- there were no grades attached to their presentations or attendance. To celebrate their efforts, we hosted an International Feast and Activity Party during the Core+ before Spring Break.

CLAY SRA GIVES BACK AT GRACE CARE CENTER Over 100 Clay student leaders volunteered at the Grace Care Center in March to give back to the community through several hands-on leadership projects. Students in SRA sorted and packaged diapers, repackaged soda, and organized donations at the center. The field trip was a culminating activity for the group who brought in nearly 3,000 cans for the Grace Care Center during the annual Clay SRA canned food drive in October. Grace Care Center benefits 500 families in Hamilton County each week. For more information about teen volunteer opportunities, please visit

Please remember to call the school’s Main Office (317844-7251) or our Attendance Line (317-571-4450) for ALL attendance issues before 8:30am on the day of the occurrence: Full Day Absences • Late Arrivals Pre-Arranged Early Dismissals

6 Inspiring Others to Greatness! SERTOMA ESSAY CONTEST During the third quarter students in the 6th grade social studies classes have been learning about WWI, WWII and the Cold War. Throughout the discussions, human rights was a major focus. Students learned the United Nations created the 30 Universal Human Rights after WWII. To summarize their learning, students wrote a paper in conjunction with the Sertoma Club located in Broad Ripple, Indianapolis. The theme of the paper was, “What does Freedom Mean to Me”. Students were able to apply their knowledge and express the importance of having freedom. Sertoma International is a service organization, founded in 1912. Sertoma is an acronym for “Service to Mankind”. Annually, Sertoma sponsors a writing contest for sixth grade students. The topic students were to address in their essay was What Does Freedom Mean to Me. Participating in the National Heritage Essay Contest encourages students to better understand the founding principles of our country and to consider how those principles affect their lives today. Thanks goes out to all students for participating and sharing their ideas. Congratulations to the following students whose essays were chosen as classroom winners and have been sent on for the final competition by Sertoma members. The top three finalists will be notified in April and invited, along with their families, to a Sertoma luncheon where they will be presented with checks. Below are 2019 classroom winners for each team:

1-2A 3-4A 7-8A 1-2B 3-4B

Anderson Team Justice Fallyn R Alex O Jillian K Nick A Roselyn Z Simram P Ian F Sydney M Emma H Lauren K Darcy M Ashley P Abigail W Jewel W Matthew S

McGuckin Team Avengers Margaret H Aleeza P Luke P Lily H Julia H Makenna M Kylee N Chase O Cole R Zach L Madelyn P Jenna R Katya F Isa L Lena O

Myers Team Titans Daniel A Jessica S William Z Ava A Kirsten J Noah M Jamey C Madison C Bella M Katy D Fatima I Lola M Sienna A Taiylor H Grace Y

WELL DONE! If your student is not planning to attend Carmel Clay Schools for the 2019 – 2020 school year, please email our Registrar, Kaleesha Thompson at for a Withdrawal Form and instructions on where to forward records.

Sertoma’s Classroom Winners were as follows: Mr. Anderson – Fallyn R (1-2A); Nick A (34A); Emma H (7-8A); Lauren K (1-2B); & Jewel W (3-4B) Mr. McGuckin – Margaret H (1-2A); Makenna M (3-4A); Chase O (7-8A); Jenna R (1-2B); & Isa L (3-4B) Mrs. Myers – Jessica S (1-2A); *Kirsten J (34A); *Jamey C (7-8A); Fatima I (1-2); & Sienna A (3-4B) *Special congratulations to Kirsten J and Jamey C for being recommended as finalists for the Grand Prize. The Grand Prize announcement will be made on Wednesday, April 10th with a recognition luncheon and award ceremony on May 1st with the members of the Broad Ripple Sertoma Club.

7 PREVAIL'S HERO OF THE MONTH, CHRISTOPHER KLEMAN! Prevail is pleased to recognize Christopher Kleman, teacher at Clay Middle School, as Prevail’s Hero of the Month. Chris’s dedication to teaching and his connection with his students are inspiring. Along with his wonderful teaching style and capabilities, he continues to support Safe Dates in his classroom. While Safe Dates is being taught in his classroom, he is always willing to jump in and drive a concept home for his students. His strong support for the program and Prevail is appreciated. His students see the support he provides and that means a ton! We are lucky to have great teachers who support Prevail in the prevention of dating violence. Without him and other dedicated teachers, we could not do what we do for 8th graders in Hamilton County.

Thank you Christopher!


8 Inspiring Others to Greatness! FROM THE CLINIC *Medication Reminders*

ALL medication, both prescription and non-prescription, must be transported to and from the clinic by a parent or guardian. Students are not permitted to have any medication or drug in their possession.

STATE MATHCOUNTS COMPETITION Congratulations to Daniel Tian, Nate Martin, Michael Qian, Alex Tang, Zachary Guo, Eric Yang, Christopher Xu, David Jiang, and Harry Zheng who competed in the Indiana State MathCounts competition at Purdue University on Saturday, March 9, 2019. The team of Christopher, Harry, Daniel, and Michael came in fourth overall. Harry WON the countdown round and came in second individually out of 221 state competitors. This qualifies Harry to travel to Orlando in May to compete in the NATIONAL MathCounts competition!

ALL medication must be in its original container, and have a physician order (this includes any over the counter medication). Physician orders may be faxed to the school. At the close of the school year, ALL medication must be picked up by the student’s parent or designated adult (not the student) by the last day of school. Medications left in the clinic will be destroyed. Thank you for your cooperation! Meredith Haines, BSN RN Clay Middle School Nurse 317.844.7251 ext. 6717

CLAY CALENDAR Be sure to check out upcoming sporting events and other school activities on the Clay calendar.


Clay Nation, It is that time of year again – 2019 Clay Dance Marathon returns! Your support is greatly appreciated - all proceeds go directly to Riley Children’s Hospital. We are looking to break last year’s 2018 state and national records of $9,000.00 for a middle school. Clay works with Riley Children’s Hospital and Carmel High School students under the guidance of Mrs. Sarah Wolff to create an awesome experience for our middle school students. This partnership allows Clay to excel among other middle schools state wide, teaching our students the importance of giving and making a difference in the lives of others in medical need. Each student participating will either need to have a parent fill out the survey OR a paper registration form completed before they can participate in the event. Thank you for your continued support. Todd A. Crosby, Principal

Each quarter Clay AVID students nominate their core and elective teachers for the AVID Teacher of the Quarter award. Teachers are nominated for their use of writing, inquiry, collaboration, organization, and reading (WICOR) strategies in the day-to-day happenings of their class. This quarter, AVID students selected Kristi Myers (6th grade), Katie Russo (7th grade), Sean McVey (8th grade), and Jeff Frizzi (Electives) as the recipients of this honor. Students from the AVID Council facilitated the award ceremony at the March faculty meeting. Congratulations, teachers. Thank you for your commitment to using AVID strategies in the general classroom.

10 Inspiring Others to Greatness! FOOD SERVICES IS HIRING CLUB CALM Club Calm provides an opportunity for any interested student to quietly sit and relax as a group while further developing mindfulness and emotional intelligence. All are welcome and we hope to see you there! When: Mondays, last 10 minutes of each lunch period Where: Room 231 Questions? Please email Michelle Janson at

BUS PASS If your student will be riding a different bus home – with a friend – they must bring a parent-signed note into the front office, first thing in the morning. We will create a bus pass that the student will give to the bus driver. Thank you!

Carmel Clay Food & Nutritional Services is hiring Food Service staff to work in our school cafeterias. Currently, we have several 4-6 hour positions available, paying $12.97/hour. Food Service staff are hired as substitutes before being considered for permanent positions. If interested, please visit the Carmel Clay Schools webpage, under the Careers tab. Thank you for your interest in employment with Carmel Clay Schools.

FROM THE CAFETERIA We love this time of year in the cafeteria! With the arrival of Spring, fresh fruits and veggies are tasting better than ever. Each day your student has a wide variety of fresh veggie choices including Red and Green Peppers, Cucumbers, Pea Pods, Grape Tomatoes, Cauliflower, Broccoli, Carrots, Celery and even Jicama Sticks. We love to roast vegetables, too. One of the student favorites is Roasted Green Beans with Garlic and Pepper. We’ve also roasted Butternut Squash, Sweet Potatoes and Brussel Sprouts. As far as fresh fruit choices go, we have plenty! Every day we offer a variety of apples, oranges, cantaloupe, strawberries and are looking forward to grapes coming soon! Please encourage your student to choose a fruit and 1or 2 veggies as part of their Complete School Lunch! As always, please feel free to call or email with any questions or concerns! Amy Glover-Café Manager (317)844-7251 X6755

11 21ST CENTURY SCHOLARS 21st Century Scholars is a scholarship which provides eligible students up to four years of undergraduate tuition at any participating public college or university in Indiana. If you attend a private college, the state will award an amount comparable to that of a four-year public college. To enroll your a scholar or learn more visit

12 Clay Greatness! 2019 – 2020 CLAY ATHLETICS FALL SPORTING TEAMS *The dates listed below are tentative starting dates

7th & 8th Grade Football Equipment Issue • • •

CHS Camp equipment issue – Monday, July 8, 2019 Clay season equipment – Monday, August 5, 2019 Equipment Manager – Jeff Naas (

8th Grade Football - Week of August 5, 2019 •

Head coach – Jeff Naas (

8th Grade Cheerleading - Week of August 5, 2019 •

Head coach - Jessica Stopher (

7th Grade Football - Week of August 5, 2019 •

Head coach – Chad Carr (

JUNE 3-6

7th Grade Cheerleading - Week of August 5, 2019 •

Head coach – Katelyn Taylor (


6th, 7th & 8th Grade Boys Cross Country - Week of August 12, 2019 •

Head coach – Jeff Carter – (

6th, 7th & 8th Grade Girls Cross Country - Week of August 12, 2019 •

Head coach – Jeff Carter – (


6th, 7th & 8th Grade Boys Tennis - Week of August 12, 2019 •

Head coach – Steven Sturgis – (

6th, 7th & 8th Grade Girls Tennis - Week of August 12, 2019 •

Head coach – Steven Sturgis – (

8th Grade Volleyball - Week of August 12, 2019 •

Head coach – Liana Giles – (

7th Grade Volleyball - Week of August 12, 2019 •

Head coach – Becky Far – (

Reminder: In order to participate in any sport at Clay your student must have an athletic physical on file with the main office. The athletic physical needs to be completed after April 1, 2019 to be valid for the 2019-2020 school year. In addition to the athletic physical, a parent/guardian needs to complete the on-line athletic consent form ( clm/athletics/required-forms).

Callout meeting for students – Thursday, April 11th during Core+ Tryout dates – Monday, May 20th, Tuesday, May 21st & Wednesday, May 22nd •

8th Grade Cheerleading – Head coach – Jessica Stopher (

7th Grade Cheerleading – Head coach – Katelyn Taylor (

13 ILEARN Dear Clay Families, The new state assessment ILEARN will be starting this month on April 22. Please make sure you do your best to avoid appointments or absences for the dates and times listed below. ILEARN testing is throughout the school day in our computer labs/ classrooms. Below are the testing times for each grade and helpful ILEARN tips.

6th grade Test Times 8:00am – 10:00am:

Wednesday, April 24 – ELA CAT Monday, April 29 – ELA PT #1 Tuesday, April 30 – ELA PT #2 Thursday, May 2 – MATH CAT Monday, May 6 – MATH PT Wednesday, May 8 – SCIENCE FF Thursday, May 9 – SCIENCE PT

7th grade Test Times 12:30pm – 2:30pm:

Wednesday, April 24 – ELA CAT Monday, April 29 – ELA PT #1 Tuesday, April 30 – ELA PT #2 Thursday, May 2 – MATH CAT Monday, May 6 – MATH PT

8th grade Test Times 9:45am – 11:45am:

Tuesday, April 23 – ELA CAT Thursday, April 25 – ELA PT #1 Friday, April 26 – ELA PT #2 Wednesday, May 1 – MATH CAT Friday, May 3 – MATH PT

(CAT) = Computer Adaptive Tests. Individualizes the test for students based on responses. Assesses students’ knowledge of on-grade-level content. (PT) = Performance Tasks. An authentic task that encourages complex student engagement. (FF) = Fixed Form Tests. Every test contains the exact same items. ***ILEARN assessments are all untimed. The IDOE does give suggested average testing times, which is the reason for the large testing windows of time.

ILEARN Testing Tips • • •

Make sure your child receives a healthy breakfast each morning Make sure your child is well rested so he/she is prepared for testing Encourage your child to relax and to view the test as a chance to show what they have learned. Reassure them that it is natural to feel a little nervous and that the important thing is to try their best.

The IDOE has developed several three-minute videos to share with parents and educators about assessment systems and transitions to support assessment literacy. • How is Indiana building a system of assessments? • How is Indiana assessing with technology? • NEW! How does ILEARN dig deeper into knowledge and skills? Again, please do your best to ensure your student is on time and that appointments avoided during ILEARN testing times. As always, your partnership in your child’s education is important to us and we thank you very much for all you do. Sincerely, Clay Administration

ILEARN Testing Reminders on next page...

14 Inspiring Others to Greatness! ILEARN TEST - HELPFUL REMINDERS

As we look to ahead in preparation to the new ILEARN test, here are a few things that you can do to help your child be as successful as possible.

How can students get ready for ILEARN? • • • •

• • •

Be prepared - Cramming for any test is never the best way to prepare. Keep up with your homework and ask your teachers for help when you need it. Ask for help - If you’ve had trouble with standardized testing in the past, ask a teacher, counselor or parent about extra help now. Review - Try to take it seriously when your teachers review important information that may help you feel more prepared. Double-check your work - Get in the habit now of double-checking your work and proofreadingyour answers on homework to be ready to find mistakes on test days. Get plenty of sleep - Go to bed a little earlier so you get a good night’s sleep. Being well rested will give you an extra boost of energy. Have a good breakfast - Eating a healthy breakfast will help you perform better. Too much food can make you feel sleepy, so don’t overdo it. Take a break - Get some exercise during your breaks or after school to keep your energy up.

What can parents do to help students prepare for ILEARN testing? • •

• • •

Stay connected - The best preparation is to provide consistent support for your child throughout his or her education. Know what’s expected - Read information available at Indiana Department of Education ( so you know what your child should know and be able to do, reinforce these expectations at home and stay connected to your child’s academic performance throughout the year. Check grades - Your son or daughter may say things are “fine” at school but don’t stop checking Canvas, progress reports or, if available, your child’s online grades or class progress. Check Canvas / Team Newsletters for updates - Teachers know how hard students are working, the quality of their homework and what areas need improvement. Stay involved. Nothing will have a bigger impact on your student’s success than your involvement in his or her education. If your child is not studying at home, ask why, and double-check with teachers. It’s tough to hold the line, but making sure your child does get the proper amount of rest and eat properly is important for academic success as well. Ask for help. Students who are struggling in a particular class may need extra help after school or with a tutor. Find out from your school where you can go for help and make sure your student gets the help he or she needs. Catching a problem area now can make a big difference. Please feel free to contact the school if you have any major questions or concerns on how to best support your child.

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Clay Middle School Newsletter  

April 2019

Clay Middle School Newsletter  

April 2019