The Squawk!
Your Weekly Community Brief from AMMS
Monday, September 16, 2019

I want to thank all the parents who attended our first School Advisory Council meeting this past week.  We had a wonderful turnout. The SAC's primary role is to assist in the preparation and evaluation of the school improvement plan for the current year (Fla. Stat. § 1001.452(2), 2019). The SAC also gives assistance to the principal in the planning of the upcoming year's budget (Fla. Stat. § 1001.452(2), 2019). We spent some time reviewing our school grade, our school's recalculated budget for the year and the draft of our school improvement plan. If you are interested in joining this council, you can attend our next meeting on October 10th at 5:30 in the Media Center.  

A big thank you to the large group of parents who came out to support our PTSA at last week's meeting as well. The parents have planned some exciting activities and recognition events for our students this year. This group supports our teachers as well with mini-grants and tokens of appreciation. I am excited to see what they can accomplish!

Our school will be incorporating Social Emotional Learning (SEL) into our lessons this year.  If you are not familiar with SEL skills, here are the ones we will be focusing on:
  • Self-awareness: knowing your strengths and limitations as well as having a "growth mindset"
  • Self-management: managing your stress, controlling impulses and setting goals
  • Social awareness: understanding and valuing others perspectives and those with diverse backgrounds and cultures
  • Relationship skills: communication and listening skills as well as seeking and offering help to others and dealing with conflict/peer pressure
  • Responsible decision-making: making constructive choices about behavior and social interaction
This list of SEL skills is from The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) website. If you would like more information or additional resources, you can visit 

As your child's first teacher, I appreciate all you do and please remember . . .

It's another great week to be a Seahawk!   
Kelly Pelletier, Ed. D. 
Proud Principal  
Apopka Memorial Middle School

Pictured very top: Club fair was held on Friday, September 13, 2019. Featured above is our National FFA organization along with some of their animals. Pictured below are more clubs and organizations that were at the fair along with a list of all the groups AMMS has available to our Seahawks.
Dates to Watch For
Progress reports for the 1st nine weeks go home today.

September 16: Week of Scholastic Book Fair - "Snow Much to Read"
September 16: Progress Reports go home
September 16: Mexican Independence Day
September 20: 6th Grade vision screening
September 21: PTSA Spirit Night at Chipotle in Apopka
September 24: OPEN HOUSE from 6-7:30pm
October 10: SAC meeting at 5:30pm

Soccer game calendar:   
  • September 16: Away game Lakeview MS
  • September 18: Home game against Meadowbrook MS
  • September 25: Home game against Piedmont Lakes MS
** A blizzard of books is headed our way this fall! It's Scholastic's Arctic Adventure Book Fair: Snow Much to Read! Our school community is heading into the coolest reading expedition ever and will venture deep into the ice-cold, polar regions! Starts this week!
Student Corner  
Emma Camacho earns a perfect score on the FSA Math exam 
Emma Camacho receiving the 2019 Certificate of Achievement for a perfect score on the FSA Mathematics Assessment by Governor DeSantis. Emma is  pictured with Principal Dr. Kelly Pelletier. The frame included a letter from Governor of Florida DeSantis along with her certificate. Congratulations, we are proud of you! Emma is currently taking Algebra 1 Honors.

What's Happening in the Classroom?   
Eighth grade science with Ms. Manning

Ms. Manning teaching her 8th graders Florida Dept. of Education standard SC.8.E.5.3 - Distinguish the hierarchical relationships between planets and other astronomical bodies relative to solar system, galaxy, and universe, including distance, size, and composition.
Club Fair 

The 2019-2020 club fair was a success. Several students signed up for multiple clubs. Here is a highlight of some of the clubs this year!

Beta Club
Pepping and Stepping Club
FYV (Find Your Voice) Club

Teacher Spotlight
Mrs. Tiffany Jolly 
 Our new 6th-grade Science teacher at AMMS pictured with McRib (McRib the Skeleton was named by Mrs. Jolly's students).

Response to the Teacher Questionnaire:

Life is truly a story, one filled with many memories, both positive and humbling. Let's peek into my momentous story.

As a military child, I changed school districts a total of nine times but attended 18 different schools. This meant a change in friends, teachers, weather, address, activities, and housing. It was tough but it truly made me the person I am today. The largest chunk of time was spent in Kodiak, Alaska, the second largest island in the United States. In order to travel to the island from the mainland, it took an hour plane ride or an eight-hour ferry ride.

After graduating high school, I attended a community college, then went on to attend the University of Washington in Seattle. There I received my bachelor's degree in early education. Knowing I wanted to work with older students, I went on to receive my master's in education at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. During that time Mr. Jolly and I decided to make the jump across the country from Alaska to Florida so he could attend Full Sail University. That is when I started working at Lakeville Elementary School, right here in Apopka. There I spent six years, three years teaching fourth grade and three years teaching fifth grade. While there I was nominated as Teacher of the Year. During my time at Lakeville, Mr. Jolly and I introduced two beautiful baby boys to the world, Jackson, 3 years old and Easton, 2 years old.

University of Washington - Seattle campus where Mrs. Jolly earned her undergraduate degree in education.

This year I am starting my seventh year of teaching as a sixth-grade science teacher. Honestly, I couldn't be prouder to call Apopka Memorial Middle School home. Through my short time teaching, I have had the opportunity to take part in various school projects, however, the project that has had the greatest impact on the overall school culture is my Science, Engineering, Communication, Mathematics, Enrichment (SECME) team. The SECME team is a great opportunity for students of various ages, backgrounds and socioeconomic circumstances to come together with an end goal. That end goal could include how to build a mousetrap car, so it travels the longest distance or protecting an egg from breaking when dropped from two stories. The impact of SECME is remarkable. They find a love for one of the SECME subjects they may never have otherwise experienced. After running the SECME team at Lakeville Elementary for several years, this year I am beyond excited to join Mr. Maldonado and his SECME team here at Apopka Memorial Middle School this year!
Students in Mrs. Jolly's classroom exploring the Law of Conservation of Energy.

What is the Calculus Project? 

Ronald James, Calculus Project Lead, talking to Ms. Lawendy's students. Always set goals for yourself and have GRIT!

* Please click here for the full OCPS Calculus Project flyer (only partial image shown above).

Vital Signs  

As a school, we are working on improving the academic performance of all our subgroups.  Below you will see a comparison of the last two years worth of school grade data by subgroup.  
Subgroup key:
  • SWD: Students with disabilities
  • ELL: English language learners
  • FRL: Free or reduced lunch subgroup

Monday's Motivational Moment!


Once upon a time, a very strong woodcutter asked for a job in a timber merchant and he got it. The pay was really good and so was the work condition. For those reasons, the woodcutter was determined to do his best.

His boss gave him an axe and showed him the area where he supposed to work.

The first day, the woodcutter brought in 18 cut trees.

"Congratulations," the boss said. "Go on that way!"

Very motivated by the boss words, the woodcutter tried harder the next day, but he could only bring 15 trees. The third day he tried even harder, but he could only bring 10 trees. Day after day he was bringing less and less trees.

"I must be losing my strength", the woodcutter thought. He went to the boss and apologized, saying that he could not understand what was going on.

"When was the last time you sharpened your axe?" the boss asked.

"Sharpen? I had no time to sharpen my axe. I have been very busy trying to cut trees..."

The lesson for our Seahawks? We all need time to relax, to think and meditate, to learn and grow. If we don't take the time to sharpen the "axe", we will become dull and lose our effectiveness.

Florida flag

Have a great week Seahawks and don't forget about this week's book fair!

Dr. Pelletier, Principal
Apopka Memorial Middle School
Sunday, September 15, 2019

Leadership Team

Dr. Kelly Pelletier
Assistant Principal for Instruction: Theresa Hearn
Assistant Principal: Jeffrey Bartfield
8th Grade Administrative Dean: Carl Kolling
7th Grade Administrative Dean: Kristen Kushner
6th Grade Administrative Dean: Dr. Adrienne Sears
ESOL Dean: Lissette Gentile:

This communication may contain information that is legally privileged, confidential or exempt from disclosure, and intended only for the use of the addressee(s) named above.  If you are not the intended recipient, please note that any dissemination, distribution, or copying of this communication is strictly prohibited. Anyone who receives this message in error should notify the sender immediately by telephone or by return e-mail, and delete the message from their computer and any printout thereof.  Please note that OCPS utilizes spam and junk e-mail filtration applications in its e-mail systems.  That filtering process may prevent or delay delivery of certain e-mail communications. If you do not receive a timely response to an e-mail communication, please contact the intended recipient by phone.

Copyright Notice 
Reproduction of this material, either written or electronically, including the general layout, graphics, analyses, and content topics without the express approval of Target Performance Systems, Inc., a Florida corporation, and OCPS - Apopka Memorial Middle School is forbidden without written consent.  Thank you for your support of the Orange County Public Schools and especially Apopka Memorial Middle School. Please contact Dr. Kelly Pelletier (principal) at with any questions.  
  Apopka Memorial Middle| Dr. Kelly Pelletier, Principal | 407.884.2208 | AMMS Website
Follow us on Twitter