Welcome to Itliong-Vera Cruz Middle School

January 2019

Happy New Year IVC Families!

2019 has arrived and with that we begin the second half of the school year.  I hope the students enjoyed a restful time away from school, are excited to return back and take on 2019!

Things will start to go by very quickly as we continue towards June, so just a reminder to keep reading the newsletters and emails from IVC.  We will begin sending out information regarding promotion, end of year events, registration for next years classes and more beginning in February.

The start of a new year is always a good time to reflect on the things that worked well and the things that we can make improvement on.  As some of you may be aware the California Dashboard was released in December with our updated data. Although we improved in our EL student performance and suspension data we did not make enough growth in math or English language arts. Our data patterns are similar to that in the state and district but that doesn’t mean we can’t learn from these scores and be able to better serve our students.

In the month of January IVC staff will be taking a closer look at our data and working on ways to better serve our students and meet their needs. You are welcome to take a look at that data and how we compared the schools/districts across the state. The California State Dashboard for NHUSD can be found here, you can see the overall district data and then look at IVCMS from that page.


This year, there is also a new indicator on the dashboard for Chronic Absenteeism. IVCMS did not do well in this area at all. We have identified that incomplete short term independent study assignments and unexcused daily absences have affected this dashboard indicator in a negative way. As a site we have tracked our own data to see the issue with attendance. This year we added  a few requirements to able to get a short term independent study contracts to help address some of these concerns. I also wanted to take a moment to explain the challenges we face with short term IS.

For lack of a better way of saying this, attendance equals dollars. If a student comes to school and sits in a seat, then we are given ADA dollars (funding from attendance). Technically that student doesn’t have to complete any work for the school to receive those funds, the student simply needs to be present and provided an education for us to receive funds.

When a student is placed on short term independent study, things are a little different. When a student fails to complete the work from independent study, the student does not receive credit in their classes which affects their grades. There is also a major loss of instruction for the student. If a student doesn’t complete the work they will be lacking the skill set their classmates learned through those activities/lessons.

What many folks may not know is that school/district also takes a financial hit when that happens. When a student doesn’t complete the work, then each day the student was out becomes an unexcused absence. Those unexcused absences get counted in formulas that determine our ADA funding.  The goal is to have the least amount of unexcused absences as we can.

On that same note, the second area we identified as an area for improvement is calling in of daily absences. If your child is not able to attend school, you must notify us right away. You can call us or email us to let us know of your child’s absence. We realize many times parents simply forget to do so and their child has a valid reason for being absent from school. Unfortunately, these days really add up for our ADA numbers. A dialer is sent home to alert you that your child has been marked absent. If you get this call it is because you have not excused your child’s absence. Please call or email the office right away and let us know the reason your child is out of school. We now have a specific email address just for attendance. That email is ivcattendance@nhusd.k12.ca.us or 510-489-0700

I know this is a lot of information all in one place this month, but I am hopeful that with some additional explanation you can help us improve our chronic absenteeism and ultimately help NHUSD receive all possible attendance funding.

Have a great month and let’s make 2019 a great year!

Heather Thorner


From the Activity Director:


Thank you to everyone who donated to our #ButteCountyStrong donation drive campaign in December to support the victims of the devastating 2018 fires in Northern California.  In partnership with AES we raised $1,173.48!


Thursday, January 24th the 8th graders will be measured for their promotion gowns. Students will be measured in PE class. More information will be sent home this week.


We have a lot of events coming up in February, so here’s a sneak peak:


Jan 31, Feb 1: 6th grade Ancient China history assemblies


Friday, 2/8: National No One Eats Alone Day--we will bring this national campaign to our campus with lunchtime activities throughout the week.


Friday, Feb. 8th Harlem Wizards: Come out and see some IVC and fellow NHUSD staff play against the Harlem Wizards- flier attached to the newsletter with ticket info.


Thursday, 2/14: Love Day--we celebrate our friendships by showing the love throughout the day!


Thursday, 2/21: 7th grade Big Cats Assembly--a crowd pleaser every year!


Friday, 2/22: It’s Not a Dance After-school Event!--more info coming soon!


Coffee with the Principal

Please join me for coffee on Friday, January 25th from 8:45-9:30 in our staff lounge. I would love a chance to just catch up with my IVC community and gather your ideas for the best ways to communicate with your students.  Please join me, plenty of hot coffee all around!

NWEA Challenge 2019!

On January 17th and 24th our students will take the winter NWEA assessment. After the fall test, students set goals for themselves to make growth on both the English and Math portion of the NWEA.  This year any student who makes 3 or more points of growth on their score for either English or Math will get a special treat from me. In addition to that we are holding a class contest and the period 1 classroom  that has the highest percentage of students who make 3 or more growth points, will also receive a special treat for the whole class. The NWEA test can be an indicator of how we will do on the CAASSP assessments, so we are hopeful this data can tell us more about our students. I am excited to be able to celebrate student growth!

Important Dates:

1/14- Nightmare on Puberty Street Assembly, 7th and 8th grade

1/17 - NWEA(no early release, regular school day)

1/18- PVC meeting

1/21- No School- MLK Day

1/24- NWEA(no early release, regular school day)

1/25- Coffee with Heather

1/25 Tri 2 progress report period ends

1/28-1/30- Hearing Screening


Medical Notes/Medicine on file

Please make sure that we have medical notes for your student on file in the office if they suffer from any medical conditions.It is important for us to know about any medical conditions that may affect your child at school.

If your child has any allergies we should also be aware of those even if they do not regularly take medication for them. IVCMS should have a doctor's note on file that indicates potential treatment plans.

Although students may carry their own inhaler while at school, we should still have a medical note on record if your child has asthma and may need to be excused from class activities like PE due to asthma.  Those notes should be given to the school and the PE teachers.

Opening in Speech and Debate Program:

There are five openings for next semester in the speech & debate after school program. If you are interested in taking advantage of one of these openings, please see the website for more information and registration information.

Here is the link to the website for the program: https://www.raisingvoicesinitiatives.org/

From the Counselors:

This year we changed our qualifications for honor role and added a layer.  All students with a 3.0 or high grade point average received a certificate of achievement.  For those students who had a grade point average of 3.5 and higher, they received the certificate as well a bumper sticker. We a very proud of the high number of students who were able to make honor roll for first trimester!