Sunday, September 25, 2016

SchoolMessenger: Sunday, September 25, 2016 (Happy Week 5!)

Good evening, Carroll Leaders. Happy Kindness Week! This is Mrs. MacWilliams calling with your weekly updates and reminders for the school week of Monday, September 26 - Friday, September 30. 

Come support our girls' volleyball and soccer teams this Wednesday, September 28 at 4:00 p.m. as they take on Carnage at home. Our football team will compete against Carnage away on Thursday, September 29. 

Friday, September 30 is an Early Release Day for all WCPSS students. Carroll will dismiss at 11:45 a.m., and lunch will be served. 

I'm looking forward to another amazing week at Carroll Leadership in Technology Magnet Middle School. Have a great night!

Saturday, September 24, 2016

A School on the Move

It's a Friday afternoon at Carroll Leadership in Technology Magnet Middle School; day 19 of the 2016-2017 school year. Our dreamers, learners, leaders, and innovators have settled in nicely, and the continuous, yet ever-changing rhythm of learning and teaching has set a positive and forward thinking tone at our school. I'm scurrying around the building, excited and rejuvenated after a Thursday filled with camaraderie and new learning among all of Wake County's principals. 

I am thinking about an approaching meeting that some of the 8th grade students at Carroll have requested. Per the videos they have created as part of their request for this meeting, they are in need of "more rights and freedom to enhance student leadership at our school." I smile, reflecting on the image of the waving American flag that they selected for the opening message in their first video. They are developing critical life skills. They are learning to advocate for themselves appropriately and respectfully. Feeling proud, I check my iPad for the time. I have 40 minutes. 

Standing just outside of Student Services, I take a moment to admire our beautiful display cases - Dream, Learn, Lead, Innovate. My eyes meet our School Improvement goal. It's ambitious, but we're going to achieve it. 

By July 2018, 100% of Carroll students will meet or exceed expected growth outcomes in Math, ELA, and Science as measured by state and local assessments, in order to achieve 80% overall proficiency, with no subgroups performing below 50% proficient.

This past school year, we made more proficiency growth than any other Wake County middle school, and among all 171 buildings in our school system, only 3 buildings outperformed us in this area. We believe in our kids, and in their ability to achieve anything they set their minds to doing. We believe in Wake County's Strategic Plan. We believe that every student is uniquely capable and deserves to be challenged and engaged in relevant, rigorous, and meaningful learning each and every day. 

Heading down the main hallway, I glance through the window of the first door that I pass. I have to stop. Open-Mindedness is displayed on the classroom's monitor. Social-Emotional learning is a priority at Carroll, and we are privileged to have recently partnered with the Positivity Project. We are spending time each day facilitating dialogue around each of the 24 character strengths found in all people. Students have begun to recognize strengths in themselves, and as a result, they are becoming attuned to recognizing strengths in others. Powerful stuff. 

Continuing down the hallway, I pass a smiling Mr. Highsmith. I snap a photo, and he begins to laugh nervously. This is probably the 10th time that I have seen him today. Each time, today and every other day, he is happy and focused. He gets it. He is committed to doing right by kids. He sees them. He cares, and it shows. 

I keep moving. I visit 6th grade, 7th grade, and 8th grade classrooms. I visit electives and core classes. Without fail, I am in awe of what is happening at Carroll. #LearnerAgency

Students are thinking deeply and critically about their learning. They are exploring, communicating effectively and respectfully, creating, collaborating, and innovating. Some students are sitting at tables, and others are standing in circles. Some kids are using iPads and others are typing feverishly on laptops. Some kids are writing, and some kids are talking. They are reading, drawing, making connections, applying, and accessing. They are on the floor, they are in the hallways, and they are all engaged. They are learning. It is magic to my eyes, and I am amazed. 

My 40 minutes were well spent. I am energized and prepared for my meeting. I will seek first to understand, and with 4 weeks of awesome at Carroll in the books, I think that our 8th graders make some great points. Let freedom reign. Our kids deserve it. 

If you are already a member of the Carroll family, and you would like to take a more active role in what is happening at our great school, please let us know here. Community is everything. If you have yet to become a Carroll family member, the time is now. We are changing the world, 1002 kids at a time. 

Week 1 at Carroll

Week 2 at Carroll

Week 3 at Carroll

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Dinner on the Lawn & Open House - Updated 9/22/16

We have a very busy schedule for Thursday's Dinner on the Lawn & Open House event at Carroll. 

4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. Season Opener Football Game - Go, Cougars!
4:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. Parent iPad Session in the Learning Commons for any families who have yet to attend - Please enter from the bus loop. 
5:00 p.m. - 5:50 p.m. Dinner on the Lawn - Informational tables will be set up on the landing leading to the cafeteria entrance. Bathrooms will be accessible through those doors, and parents are encouraged to complete their volunteer clearance application and character strengths survey in the hallways leading to 7th grade and the main office
6:00 p.m. - 6:20 p.m. General PTA Meeting - Please gather on the landing leading to the cafeteria
6:20 p.m. Classrooms Open - Please report to 1st period. 
6:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. Open House - Please be prepared with your child's M, T, F (A) schedule. If you forget it, please stop by Student Services for a copy. Families will rotate through their child's 8 period schedule. Student ambassadors will be stationed throughout the school to assist families in finding their way. Teachers will present on a strict 5 minute schedule. Please use the post-it notes and the 'parking lot' (designated place for questions) in each classroom to 'park' (post) your questions - and please don't forget to include your name and email address. You will receive a response from your child's teacher by Monday, September 26. Please follow the below schedule to ensure that you are able to meet all of your child's teachers. 

6:30 p.m. - 6:35 p.m. 1st Period
6:37 p.m. - 6:42 p.m. 2nd Period
6:44 p.m. - 6:49 p.m. 3rd Period
6:51 p.m. - 6:56 p.m. 4th Period
6:58 p.m. - 7:03 p.m. 5th Period
7:05 p.m. - 7:10 p.m. 6th Period
7:12 p.m. - 7:17 p.m. 7th Period
7:19 p.m. - 7:24 p.m. 8th Period

Sunday, September 18, 2016

SchoolMessenger: Sunday, September 18, 2016 (Happy Week 4!)

Good evening, Carroll Leaders! This is Mrs. MacWilliams calling with your weekly updates and reminders for the school week of Monday, September 19 - Friday, September 23.

It's Open-Mindedness Week! Student leaders will be talking about considering new things and ideas from various perspectives without jumping to conclusions.

Wednesday, September 21, Carroll's volleyball and girls' soccer teams will take on the Martin Mustangs at 4:00 p.m.

Thursday, September 22, join us on our home field as we support our football team in their first game of the season against another Martin Mustangs match-up at 4:00 p.m. At 4:30 p.m., Mr. Lanier will host another Parent iPad Session for any families who have yet attend one of these required, very important informational sessions. From 5:00 p.m. - 5:50 p.m. our wonderful PTA will host Dinner on the Lawn, followed by a General PTA meeting from 6:00 p.m. - 6:20 p.m. Open House will begin promptly at 6:30 p.m. and will conclude at 7:30 p.m. Please be prepared with your child's daily schedule, as parents/guardians will walk their child's schedule during this time.

If you missed Carroll's club information last week, please visit the Carroll Leadership Chronicle or our website. Community matters. Encourage your child to get involved and make a difference at our great school.

There are so many amazing things happening in our classrooms each and every day. I'm looking forward to another incredible, fun-filled week of learning and teaching at Carroll Leadership in Technology Magnet Middle School.

Have a great night!

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

How do I access Powerschool (Home Base)?

How do parents get started? 

Step 1. Complete the access request forms.
Hand deliver the completed access request form to Carroll's Student Services. Notarized forms can be mailed. Download the notary public form or the photo ID form. 
Step 2. Wait for your access letter and instructions.
Once your we have verified your forms, we will provide you with a welcome letter with a link to a Quick Guide Elementary School (English) / Elementary School (Español) | Secondary School (English) Secondary School (Español).  
Step 3. Create a Parent Portal account.
Use the information you received in your letter to create your Parent Portal account. For help creating an account, download directions (links below). When you are ready, you can create an account here:
Step 4. Link your students to your account.
Once you’ve created your Parent Portal account, use the access ID and password provided on the letter from the school to view your child’s data. Does your access ID and password still not work? Make sure you’ve created your Parent Portal account first. Still having issues? Download and read the directions.
Step 5. Need Help? Please review the FAQs below.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What if I can’t remember my username and password?
A: Click 'Having trouble signing in' on the login page. You will be asked to enter your username to reset your password. You will need to enter your e-mail address if you have forgotten both your username and your password. Information will be sent to your e-mail address.
Q: What is the web page for the parent portal?
Go to
Q: Where does my child log in for the student portal?A:The student portal for grades 6-12 may be found at:
Q: How do I add my student to my Parent Portal Account?
Please download the Parent Portal User Guide. 
Q: Will my child still have access if I do not create an account?
Students will be provided information to access their data even if parents do not request access.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

PBIS at Carroll

Interested in learning more about what PBIS looks like in your child's classroom at Carroll? Take a moment to read this informative letter from Ms. Treadwell and Ms. Bryant, our PBIS Chairs. 

Sunday, September 11, 2016

SchoolMessenger: Sunday, September 11, 2016 (Happy Week 3!)

Good evening, Carroll Leaders! This is Mrs. MacWilliams calling with your weekly updates and reminders for the school week of Monday, September 12 - Friday, September 16. 

On Tuesday, September 13, Mr. Lanier will host a make-up iPad Parent Session from 5:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. in the auditorium. If you have not attended one of these very important sessions yet, and you would like for your child to be permitted to take his/her iPad home, please join us this Tuesday. 

Friday, September 16 is Picture Day at Carroll. We're looking forward to day filled with beautiful smiles. 

Thursday, September 22 is Carroll's annual Dinner on the Lawn and Open House from 5:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. As a friendly reminder, all guaranteed dinner orders must be turned in by this Wednesday, September 14. Unfortunately, late orders will not be accepted. A limited number of dinners will be available on the 22nd for those who missed the deadline. Order forms can be downloaded and orders placed online by visiting our PTA's website at

We have another fun-filled week of exciting learning opportunities ahead at Carroll Leadership in Technology Magnet Middle School. Have a great night!

Character Strengths

Each of us has 24 character strengths? What are your top strengths? Find out here ---> Ask your child about his/her top strengths. At Carroll, we are dedicated to recognizing the strengths in ourselves and each other. 

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Important Parent Survey

Thank you for taking the time to complete this 7-9 minute survey to help us learn about the impact that the Positivity Project is having on your child and our school community. This survey is the first of three surveys that Partner School students, parents, and educators will take during the 2016-17 school year. Please complete this survey by Friday, September 16. The remaining two surveys will take place in December and May.

Your responses are critical in helping us determine what’s working, what’s not, and how to best implement the Positivity Project at our school. I am consistently humbled and inspired by the great things happening at our school. Thank you for your continued support in helping our kids see the good in themselves and others.

The link for all survey takers is:

Monday, September 5, 2016

SchoolMessenger: Monday, September 5 (Happy Week 2!)

Good evening, Carroll Leaders. Happy Labor Day! This is Mrs. MacWilliams calling with your weekly updates and reminders for the school week of Tuesday, September 6 - Friday, September 9. 

The Carroll team is dedicated to ensuring open lines of communication with all members of our school community. If you have not done so already, please visit our website or the Carroll Leadership Chronicle to subscribe to our email distribution list. We're currently 430 members short of our enrollment for 2016-17. Please don't miss out on important information regarding your child's middle school experience. 

As a friendly reminder, all students are required to have a Carroll PE Uniform. The order window has been reopened, but it will close again this Friday, September 9. Please be sure to visit our website or the Carroll Leadership Chronicle to order. 

An additional iPad Parent Session has been added on Tuesday, September 13 from 5:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. If you were not able to attend one of the sessions held last week, please mark your calendar for this very important informational meeting. 

This Friday, September 9 is an early release day for all students, who will be dismissed at 11:45 a.m. Lunch will be served. 

I'm looking forward to an incredible Week 2 at Carroll Leadership in Technology Magnet Middle School. Have a fantastic night!

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Relationships; Magical Moments in Learning

The week prior to our official start of school on August 29, the Carroll family spent a great deal of time learning about ourselves - our character strengths, the pillars of our personalities, and our foundational and perceived weaknesses. We focused on recognizing strengths in each other, and on building trust to enhance camaraderie, collaboration, and climate, and we made the decision to prioritize relationships; relationships with each other, relationships with our families, and relationships with our students. 

Our week 1 priorities with students, we decided, would include:
  • Our students feel safe. 
  • Our students feel that they are valuable members of our community. 
  • Our students trust us. 
  • Our students know that learning is about getting smarter --- not just looking smart
  • Our students recognize that personal reflection leads to growth.
  • Our students recognize Carroll's focus on LEAD, P2, & Digital Learning, and have a foundational understanding of the why? for each. 
On Tuesday, my September issue of Educational Leadership magazine arrived with Relationships First splashed across the cover. In the first article, entitled What to Do in WEEK ONE?, Rick Wormeli writes, "Although we can build positive relationships throughout the school year, the first weeks are crucial. They set the tone and conditions for the year ahead, creating a more effective learning environment for everyone. James Comer, a professor of Child Psychiatry at Yale University, often declares, 'No significant learning can occur without a significant relationship.' This connection is especially powerful for students who struggle."

So true. 

While Carroll made significant academic gains last school year, (Composite Student Proficiency +10 percentage points, Math 1 +27 points, Science +17 points, and Reading and Math +7 points each), officially removing us from the Department of Public Instruction's Low Performing Schools list, we know that we can do even better. 

Our students are smart and savvy, and they have the potential to achieve their most wildly ambitious goals. They're more than test scores, they're people, and in order to best serve and support them, we need to know what kind of impact they aspire to have in this world - today, tomorrow, and in the future. Relationships matter. 


As I have walked the halls this week, I have seen magical moments in learning --- learning that is deeper than content in isolation, the kind of learning that I believe will pave the way for a thousand lifetimes of learning. 

At Carroll we have smiling, engaged middle schoolers who are discovering their story - experiencing, firsthand, the power of their voice, gaining the skills to be successful in wherever their paths may lead them. 

It's simply incredible. Pure magic.


Dream Big.

You have a voice. 

Practice the 7 Habits. 




                  Choose happiness.

                                                                 Dare to be different.

           Aspire to become better.

Dream. Learn. Lead. Innovate.

      LEAD by example.

Use your power for good.

Teamwork makes the dream work. 

How will you make the world 
better place today?

Have you attended an iPad Parent Session yet?

As a friendly reminder, tonight is the last of this week's iPad Parent Sessions. For families who were not able to attend any of the sessions this week, we have scheduled an additional session for Tuesday, September 13 from 5:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. These sessions are a required step in the process of rolling out iPads to students.