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Tabula rasa is a Latin phrase often translated as "blank slate."  In the rhythm of a school year, August is akin to a "blank slate," as well.  New classes, new notebooks, a fresh haircut...a new start!  The beauty of the rhythm of the school year is that this August is not last school year!  The landscape of this school year is wide open...the possibilities endless.  An individual standing on the cusp of this school year determined to learn and succeed can't be stopped.  However, an individual not willing, and refusing, to learn or succeed can't be helped.  At this time of the school year, in August - through the nervousness and excitement - it becomes apparent that the trajectory of this school year's "flight" is dependent upon the attitude, grit, and mindset of the pilot.  After two and a half weeks together, I can say, our students are ready for takeoff. 

I thank you for your partnership as we prepare to "fly to new heights" this school year.  I am excited for all of our Eagles....especially since they are not ducks...who always "quack up" when trying to fly.

Sorry...I promised no more puns this year.



Please feel free to click on a link (below) to be taken directly to your desired information within this post.


sincere thank you to all of the caring adults who visited Eagle Nation on August 17th, in a show of support and care for our students! The visual of over 100 individuals welcoming our students to the 2018 school year, by lining both the bus lane and hallways of Evans as students arrive to school, was extremely powerful for our students!  This gesture demonstrated the community of support for all of our students while encouraging them to pursue both personal and academic excellence!

Specifically, thanks tCity of Bloomington - PoliceIllinois State University AthleticsCity of Bloomington - FirePromise Council representatives, Unit 5 Administration, Unit 5 school board members, City of Bloomington - City Hall Mayor Tari Renner, State of Illinois Representative Dan Brady, "Not In Our Town" representatives, Unit Five Education Association (UFEA) representatives, parents, family members, and community members!

As mentioned during this celebration, the power of Eagle Nation lies within the attentiveness we all have towards the good of others, and our willingness to "be the good" for those around us, too.  Please enjoy this snapshot of the "Greatest Show!"





This program, presented locally by State Farm, is available middle school students throughout Bloomington-Normal.  You can find out more information here.





Ms. Tenuta, Eagle Nation's Associate Principal, and I spent all day last week "building the nest" with the student body. This variation of a community circle provided students the opportunity to voice their concerns, as well as solutions, in creating norms and building community within Eagle Nation.

"Building the Nest" community circles promote equality, equity, safety and trust between students, as well as between students and staff. These purpose of these types of conversations is to foster student ownership of behavior, as well as introduce the idea of accountability among peers.

The next day, students acted upon their stated resolutions by signing a public banner which promotes how all of us in Eagle Nation will "Be the Good" for ourselves and others.  This banner is proudly displayed in the front lobby of our building all year, as visual a commitment to our student body being "upstanders" for the good, as opposed to "bystanders" of negative peer behaviors.






In the "Back to School" Principal's Post, I noted Eagle Nation's arrival and dismissal basics.  Now that the reality of getting 800+ "eager Eagles" out the door and safely to you is upon us, I wanted to make sure to re-emphasize the importance of safety over convenience when picking up your student from Evans!

If you are picking up your student via our parent-pick line, it is imperative your student waits for you at our south doors (facing the softball field).  This area is supervised by staff, and traffic is slowly moving in one direction.  Both of these factors are critical to keeping our students safe!

Picking your student up by the track or in the north parking lot is not permitted at the end of the school day.  These two areas cause students to be in unsupervised areas and cross traffic and buses.  I appreciate your understanding, and more importantly, your cooperation in keeping our students safe!




Flying Lessons

Eagle Nation's "Flying Lesson" videos officially dropped in many classrooms this week!  These videos are used as proactive, universal  behavioral learning tools to educate and introduce our students - by students - to basic Eagle Nation behavioral norms.  Each video (around five minutes) is followed up by a classroom "Building the Nest" conversation around specific ideas and topics pulled from the video.

The five videos are shown sequentially:

  1. "Be The Good"
  2. "Student and Staff Respect"
  3. "Student Respect"
  4. "Respect Around Evans"
  5. "See The Good"

The videos will be released - along with some talking points around the videos - on our official YouTube channel each day next week! 





Your intentional investment in Eagle Nation, along with your belief in the positive power of our partnership sends a direct message to your student about the value he or she should place on his or her education!  If you are looking to increase your involvement or investment in us, please note PTO President, Kentrica Coleman's, message.




Boys and Girls

The Boys & Girls Club is a safe place for kids that is supervised by paid professionally trained staff who offer fun and engaging programs for Club members at an affordable price. The Clubs offer a wide variety of programs to meet the needs of various ages and interests, such as leadership development and volunteering opportunities, homework help, computers, games, sports, dance, swimming, photography, arts and crafts, discussion groups, college prep, youth employment, movie making and delinquency prevention.

Did you know that Evans Junior High School offers transportation after school to the Clubhouse at 1615 Illinois Street?  You do now!

For more information - and to register your child - please visit or contact the Club at (309) 829-3034.





In Eagle Nation, we promote the idea of "being the good" not just for one's own well being, but "be the good" for others, too.  A few students have exemplified this through their creation and work towards providing relief to others across the world.  Please note the following information, created and written by one of our students!  Please consider supporting this noble cause:

Kerala just experienced the worst flood it's had in a century as a result of a disastrous monsoon season. 483 lives have been lost, and a total of 10,28,000 people including babies, children, and senior citizens were forced to take shelter in one of the 4000 relief camps in the state. Anywhere between 20,000 and 50,000 homes have been destroyed beyond repair, and many families have no where to go. You can help by donating at, all the money that we collect will go directly to the Official Kerala Government Fund. Eagle nation, this is your chance to be good in your world and help give the broken citizens of Kerala a new life!




  • No school (as if you needed a reminder) on Monday, September 3rd!
  • Picture Day for Eagle Nation will be Friday, September 7th!
  • Out next Late Start day will be Wednesday, September 12th and will be followed by our final Late Start of the month on Wednesday, September 26th.
  • Eagle Nation will be participating in our first fire drill of the school year on Friday, September 14th.
  • Students will have an opportunity to once again win some "Elite Eagles" at lunch during our next Staff Trivia Lunches on Wednesday, September 12th and 26th!



I would like to share a message with all of you that was created for - and shared with - our students earlier this week.  Sometimes it is difficult, as adults, to stand by these statements.  Far too often it is easier for us - as the students' caretakers - to "swoop" in for the rescue when struggle or conflict occurs for them.  However, as this message states, it is extremely important for the students to know we - you and us - care for them, believe in them, support them, and value them.  Communicating and demonstrating to the students' their importance to us is different than over-protecting them.  In this regard, please join myself, and Eagle Nation's amazing staff, in relaying these statements to your student every day.




As always, please take time for yourself, your family, and your friends.  Learn something new and challenge yourself to "Be the Good" for not only yourself, but for those around you, too.  As an expectation, let us continue to desire to improve as individuals, raise the performance of others, and increase the quality of Evans.

THAT is what makes us Eagle Nation.


Don't forget!  Please make sure to "fly with us" on our social media platforms!

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Mr. McGraw