Monday Memo

October 12th - 16th

If schools want to enhance their organizational capacity to boost student learning, they should work on building a professional community that is characterized by shared purpose, collaborative activity, and collective responsibility among staff. -Newmann & Wehlage


First I want to congratulate, Mrs. Trisha (Kincaid) Coffin. For those of you who may not be aware, she got married on Saturday. The wedding was beautiful, and we had a lovely time. One of my favorite moments was watching Kristi's son, Julian, watching the ceremony through his phone while he was recording it. It was so sweet.

Tomorrow is a professional development day. We will begin in the library at 8:00am. Feel free to dress casual, and if you haven't already done so, please sign up in Eduphoria for both the morning and afternoon session. Remember that it is not appropriate to bring elementary aged children to work tomorrow. However, secondary students earning volunteer hours may work in your rooms unattended.

This Wednesday is our first Team Time. The purpose of this time is meant to give each team an opportunity to spend time addressing their greatest need. For some teams, the time might be best spent by participating in a team building activity, others may want to utilize this time to discuss timely topics such as report cards, differentiation, stations, flex grouping, etc. Regardless of how you use this time, the expectation is that you use it as a gift of time to spend together.

We are in need of two teachers to watch the children of our PTA volunteers who will be setting up for the Fall Festival on Friday. We will need one person to watch them from 3:00-4:00 and then someone to take a shift from 4:00-5:00. Please let me know if you are interested. I will compensate your time with jeans passes.

As you are working on report cards, please remember that parents should never be surprised by the grades. If you have a student who's grades are not what the parents are expecting, please be sure that you have the documentation to explain the difference when you meet with them. Also, even though you will have parent conferences the first nine weeks, you will still need to include a glow and a grow in the comment sections. Comments should be specific to each child's learning goals. A good rule of thumb is that if you can copy and paste a comment to use with more than one or two students, the comment is probably not specific enough. You will gain so much trust with the parents if they believe that you truly know their child, and your comments about their progress and goals are a great way to prove that you do. Please let me know if you need help with this.

As we continue to pray for The Prugh Family, count your blessings and make today count!


Teacher Scales for Reflective Practice

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Art Reflections Coverage

Below are the dates of the Art Reflection Club meetings still in need of coverage. We need to have a staff member sign up to remain on campus for the meetings, but you may work in your room. The meetings end at 4:30pm and are all on Tuesdays. If you are interested in volunteering, please use this link to sign up for the day(s) you are available. I will happily compensate your time with a jeans pass.

Dec 15

Jan 26

Feb 16


Bad Dude

This week, I'd like to recognize Melanie Burford as our Bad Dude of the Week. Melanie is absolutely amazing in all that she does. She is a great teacher, problem solver and collaborator. She is constantly looking for innovative ways to effectively utilize our resources in more engaging ways. She is not afraid to take risks and frequently seeks out alternative funding to finance new ideas. Last week, she hosted administrators and resource specialists from a district in San Antonio who were looking to transform from a typical library structure to a learning commons. She is a treasured member of the A-Team and invaluable to McGowen as a whole.

Melanie - Thank you for continuing to inspire me to push beyond my comfort zone and for all that you do to raise every ship in McGowen's harbor.



Focus for 2015 - 2016

  • Developing a common language needed to become High Reliability School
  • Developing an understanding and process for effective Professional Learning Communities
  • Collaborative team planning and lesson design to promote higher level thinking and student engagement
  • Students understand and can speak knowledgeably about posted learning and language targets

Remind for Staff

I have created a Remind for our staff in order to send out just-in-time reminders, last minute notifications of jeans/warm-up days, and/or emergency info. If you haven't already, please click on the link below to join the group.

Happy Birthday!


Carin Thomas - 4th

Amanda Nall - 5th

Mayella Torres - 7th

Lori Peterson - 13th

Jenny Snyder - 13th

Melanie Burford - 15th

Kristi Ward - 24th


  • Peebles - Thank you for being my Sonic Fairy last week. Your timing is always perfect! -JL
  • SL - Thanks for always looking out for me. I appreciate all that you do to make my list a little shorter. -JL
  • MC - Thanks for coming to my rescue at the training on Friday and being my Notebook Paper Fairy! -JL
  • Bonnie - Thank you for your help with my kiddo with speech. All of your daily support does not go unnoticed and is very much appreciated! -AE
  • Lynn - Thank you for all you do daily to help support us. I appreciate you checking in with my kiddo on the books being checked out, helping me look for books, the colored copies and the countless other things you do to support us. -AE
  • Carin - Thank you for always being a voice of good reason and supporting me last week with a student/parent. Love you!!! -AE
  • Rico— Thanks for helping me out, and for getting our newsletter on our website each week! Your are a phenomenal teacher and friend. KWard
  • Nick— Thanks so much for coming to my rescue on Friday so that I could have fun with my 'other kids'!! You are THE BEST, with such a kind and giving heart! KWard
  • Trisha— Thank you for the fun time we shared Friday night, and all the little things you do to show that you care! Kward
  • Melanie B.— Thank you for a listening ear and always being so positive. I appreciate you, and am so grateful to grow with and learn from you! KWard
  • Fifth Grade – Thank you so much for taking a day to meet with the Alpha team. I appreciated your patience and time. - Michelle C.
  • Tracey – Thank you for your time in digging deeper with adapting interventions to meet your students’ needs. You always go above and beyond! - Michelle C.
  • Rico – Thank you for your time after school to look further into a resource to align with your practices. We are all so glad you’re here! - Michelle C.
  • 4th Grade – Thank you for the collaboration and time! - Michelle C.
  • 2nd Grade – I hope you know how much I appreciate your welcoming nature when pop in & come work with y’all. I know it is often, but I truly love your questions, open-mindsets and overall collaboration (working with you individually or together as a whole:)). You’re fabulous! - Michelle C.
  • JL – Thank you for lunch on Friday! You are always generous! - Michelle C.
  • Bonnie – Thanks for the TL meeting snacks! The pretzels were amazing! - Michelle C.
  • To the entire staff: Thank you so much for working with me as my schedule is constantly changing and I figure out what is going on! I love getting to know the kids in your classes, as well as each of you! You all have been SUCH a pleasure to work with!! Thank you for making the start to my first year a great one! -Nicole
  • Bravo – thanks for always being such a wonderful friend! I would seriously be lost without you…in SO many ways! - Chitwood
  • Chaney – thank you for the book buddy letter! Made my kids day! - Chitwood
  • Team – thanks for getting my kiddos taken care of when I was out last week! It is so hard when I am not able to make it to work but it makes it so much easier knowing I can depend on y’all) - Chitwood
  • Tracey – thanks for the chat about one of my kiddos and giving me SO MUCH understanding! :) - Chitwood
  • Sheila – thank you for taking the time to help me figure out how to approach a certain situation! You always have the perfect words to say! :) - Chitwood
  • Michelle Caballero – I appreciate how diligently you work to get answers to my trickiest questions! And for checking in on me. :)
  • Gaby Shambo – I am so thankful that you have started up Faculty Fitness. It’s exactly what I needed and you can count on me to be there every week!!
  • THANK YOU Stacie and Donna for getting food set out for the Tailgate!!!!!! -jen
  • Thank you Lynne for being patient with me when I forgot I had duty! I owe you! -jen
  • Thanks JL for being understanding about my dr appt to cure my raging diseases! -jen
  • Thanks to PE for letting us borrow the gym for all 2 of our very exciting and informative community helper visits! -jen
  • Thank you Lisa Barton for dealing with my munchkins so I could go get healed. Couldn’t do this without you! -jen
  • 2nd Grade~ Thank you all so much for being willing to split my class so that I could get to the doctor! Love y’all! ~KT
  • Bravo, Chitwood, Zappe - Thanks for bringing your classes to the LC for the QR Survival! It was fun and very enlightening:) - Melanie
  • Tracey Stevens – I love your enthusiasm about Google Classroom and digital learning! - Melanie



  • Complete the Google Form with your team about homework by Friday, October 16th
  • 3rd - 5th ELAR Fiction assessment data due in Aware by EOD October 16th
  • All TELPAS raters need to print their previous training certificates from the Texas Training Center website before October 16th
  • Grades due by 8:00am October 19th
  • 3rd SS assessment data due in Aware by EOD October 20th
  • Report Cards proofed by 8:00am October 21st
  • MVM names due by EOD October 22nd
  • 3rd & 5th Science assessment data due in Aware by EOD October 23rd
  • 1st - 5th Math DA Q1 Window closes October 23rd



Shiela de Leon - Yankee Candles

Dear Friends,

My daughter, Abigail, has just kicked off her Yankee Candle® Fundraiser for her dance team at REFLECTIONS DANCE. We would greatly appreciate your help! We are raising funds for special programs and materials. Our group earns 40% of every dollar you spend.

Simply click here to see the exciting collection of America's Best Loved Candles™, candle accessories, flameless fragrance and assorted gift wrap. Shop online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – everything is shipped directly to you.

If you don't click on my link listed above, you need to enter my Group Number990067751 and my Seller ID Abigail9 in order for me to receive credit.

Click here for my site

If you are having trouble with the above link, you may copy and paste the following link in to your browser:

Our fundraiser will be running from 27-Sep-2015 through 18-Oct-2015. Please help me by placing your order before the end of our sale. You can continue to order all season – my group will receive credit.

If you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask.

Thanks, my group and I really appreciate your support!

Shiela and Abigail de Leon

McKinney ISD's Vision, Mission and Beliefs

Any time we have an idea, concern, solution and/or comment, this is the filter through which we should speak. Let's help each other live up to our vision, mission, and beliefs.


We are a cohesive, diverse community providing engaging learning experiences for all.

We will provide engaging learning experiences so students can become effective communicators, quality contributors and socially responsible citizens.

  • Partnerships between students, parents, community members and staff are foundational to educational success.
  • Positive school culture and a safe environment foster growth.
  • Everyone has inherent value and deserves to be treated with dignity and respect.
  • Learning is an active process requiring engaging tasks and engaging minds.
  • Relevant and authentic experiences ignite continuous, deeper learning.
  • Meaningful relationships enrich learning.
  • Confidence fuels risk taking and higher achievement.
  • Financial stewardship ensures a tomorrow for education.