Ram Nation News

Week of October 8, 2018

Vision

A middle school that cultivates scholars to be catalysts of change, life-long learners, innovators, and competitors in a global society

Mission

At Thomas J. Rusk Middle School, our mission is to empower our students to become

college and career ready by providing them a culture of excellence through challenging

opportunities, powerful relationships, and strong community partnerships.

Big picture

#OnANewLevel

We continue to engage in our professional learning communities (PLC) focusing in lesson planning of our lessons with the end in mind. During the last three weeks in our weekly walks and in PLCs, we have reviewed the importance of creating an exemplar and checked for evidence of exemplars and aggressively monitoring;

We know that exemplars,

  • Supports us in knowing what we are expecting from our kids as they work toward mastery of a particular TEKS.
  • Provides clear expectations for our kids
  • Helps in anticipating misconceptions from our kids
  • Allows us to think of the level of rigor for a particular question/task


We know that aggressively monitoring,

  • Allows you to have a seating chart based on data (homogeneous or mixed ability groups).
  • Supports students in being focused as you are announcing to the students what you’re looking for.
  • Allows you to give feedback only on that portion you announced, providing a laser focus on what you want students to accomplish.
  • Supports you with record keeping of your notations for students for progress monitoring purposes; this record will allow you to provide targeted support for students during small group instruction.


Let's strengthen our implementation of these best practices to ensure great impact in the educational path of our kids.

Attendance

Regular attendance is essential to providing students with opportunities to learn. It is awesome to see all of our students being on time to school. Let's continue to support our students in transitioning in an expedited manner from class to class. The following is the percent for attendance for the week of 9/28 - 10/5: 6th Grade - 96.68%; 7th Grade - 95.36%; and 8th Grade 95.38%.

Way to go 6th grade team!!!! Our "little guys" have taken the attendance challenge very seriously and have the highest attendance of the school for 3 weeks in a row

Let's continue to encourage our students to be present and on time on a daily basis. It really makes a huge difference when our students are present learning

Volunteers

Ms. Saucedo continues to support our teachers' efforts and support our campus by recruiting and coordinating volunteers. Last week, our school logged 35 hours and recruited 150 new volunteers. Let her know how much you appreciate this support and if you have a special project or need help so that she can send our wonderful volunteers to your classroom.

THANK YOU

  • Ms. Lewis and Ms. Iberosi for leading our volleyball team. A-Team was victorious and has a very good chance to advancing to the championship. Thank you so much to all of our staff members who came out to play against the team as they prepared for their next game.

Instructional Practices

In the examples below, we are able to see teachers modeling, providing immediate feedback to students, providing students an opportunity for hands-on activities, and asking high-level questions.

Climate and Culture

Ms. Perez and Ms. Davis participated in the Teacher of the Year ceremony. Also, Ms. Vargas participated and shared her story during the Honored recognition meeting. It is great to see how our staff members are not only being recognized at the campus level, but also at the district and national level.

Also, we want to recognize Ms. Michael for her great attitude building classroom culture as she greets students at the threshold with high fives and a smile on her face. Finally, we see our counselor queens as they meet and support some of our students in small groups; the purpose of these groups is to have our students learn how to work out differences and interact with each other.

Sports and Clubs

Our district's goal number four is about supporting students and the participation in extracurricular activities; it is great to see our students participating in the various sports and activities. Supporting our mission of building the whole child, we want to shout out the various staff members who lead these groups or who came out to support our teams this week. Our students continue to represent our school in a very positive way; we are very proud of their accomplishments!!!

REMINDERS FOR THE UPCOMING WEEK OF SCHOOL

  • Be prepared for parent conferences. Please, see our Staff section of our website to access parent conference forms and other parent conference resources and tips.
  • During transitions, let's make sure to have 100% participation and hold each other accountable to be present in the hallway supporting students. Our goal is to narrate the positive and have at least 10 positive interactions each transition. APs, CICs, and counselors will be working with each one of you to provide individual support. (TEI 3.3 and 3R Positive Attitude/Enthusiasm).
  • Engage learners throughout your lessons and ensure we incorporate bell-to-bell instruction (see below for more details). It will support the increase in student achievement and reduce disruptions. While students are more familiar with engagement strategies such as Think Pair Share, we need to ensure that we have taught, modeled, and practiced these skills in order for effective implementation (TEI 2.4, 3.1, and 3.3).
  • Be very consistent in the effective implementation of various practices discussed during our TEI orientation and lesson alignment conversations. With regards to Alignment (learning objective), the proficient rating states: Focuses students at the beginning and throughout the lesson, by clearly stating (TEI 2.1)
    • What they are learning
    • Why it is important
    • What mastery looks like
    • How to connect it to prior knowledge and their own lives and explaining to students
  • Submit lesson plans by Thursday at 6:00 p.m. (TEI 4.2)

DAILY EVENTS

Monday, October 8-
  • A Day
  • Meet with your grade level teams to align your Lesson Plans, continue the analysis of the common assessment, and analyze data profiles for your students.
  • Homecoming Spirit T-Shirt Sale continues for $15, please see Coach Addison. This shirt will be able to be used during spirit days, special events, and gym class.

  • 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 pm. - Book fair to support our students build their home libraries and benefiting our own library to restock with new books. Follow this link to sign up as a class or send responsible students in pairs with a signed note

  • 4:45 Grade Level Meeting - Use location shared by GL administrator. 8th grade will discuss upcoming PSAT testing.
  • 7:30 football game at Loos Fieldhouse against Spence MS.
  • 6:00 and 7:00 p.m. Volleyball game at at Forester Fieldhouse against Walker MS.


Tuesday
, October 9-
  • Principal for a Day - Alexander Bourdeau, Solutions & Analytics Lead - Sense360
  • Meet with your grade level teams to align your Lesson Plans, continue the analysis of the common assessment, and analyze data profiles for your students.
  • Book fair continues - follow this link to sign up as a class or send responsible students in pairs with a signed note.
  • After school program is cancelled.
  • 5:00 - 8:00 p.m. we will have our parent-teacher conference night. Food will be provided for parents and staff! Report cards will be distributed.


Wednesday, October 10-
  • Calibration Walks - We will be walking classrooms checking for alignment, exemplars, and aggressively monitoring.
  • Meet with your grade level teams to align your Lesson Plans, continue the analysis of the common assessment, and analyze data profiles for your students.
  • Book fair continues - follow this link to sign up as a class or send responsible students in pairs with a signed note.
  • 4:30 p.m. After School Program Continues. Remember to clock out at or after 6:00 p.m. during the 2 days that you will stay after school.
  • 7:00 p.m- We have a free special invitation for our parents, students, and staff members at the Moody Performance Hall to participate in the What Makes A Citizen presentation, made entertaining and lively by its delivery in a musical, theatrical and spoken word context—with simultaneous translation into Spanish! See the main office for more details.


Thursday, October 11-

  • Department Collaboration PLC - Department Chair and AP/CIC
  • 4:30 p.m. After School Program Continues. Remember to clock out at or after 6:00 p.m. during the 2 days that you will stay after school.
  • Book fair last day - follow this link to sign up as a class or send responsible students in pairs with a signed note.
  • 6:00 - Lesson Plans Due


Friday, October 12 -

  • No School for students.
  • 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. PD


Saturday, October 13 -

  • 9:00 a.m. District cross country meet at Norbuck Park - Ms. Rendon and Coach Addison. One more volunteer is needed! Please, see Coach Addison if you are available and would like to help.

Upcoming Events

Homecoming Week -Thursday, Oct. 11st -Thurs., Oct. 18th. - See email from Coach Addison for details about activities.


October 15-

  • Homecoming Game Vs Cary MS at Franklin Field.


October 17-

  • CILT sessions 4:30 - 7:30 p.m. - Location TBD.
  • 8th Grade PSAT


October 19 -

  • Fair Day - No school


Red Ribbon Week -Week of October 22, 2018 - email and flyer from our counselors is forthcoming for details about activities.

Happy Birthday -

We want to wish you the best and many blessings for the years to come.


1 – Ms. Herrera

8 – Ms. Vasquez

16 – Ms. Buitron-Irani