Ram Nation News

Week of December 2, 2019

Vision

A middle school that cultivates scholars to be catalysts of change, life-long learners, innovators, and competitors in a global society
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#EXCELLENCE, Back At It Again

I trust you had a relaxed week sharing with family and friends. I know that we have many wonderful things for which to be thankful. I am grateful for the dedicated and kind people that our children have here at Rusk; your love and support for each one of our scholars makes a great impact in their lives. You are my hero!!!

It is hard to believe that we only have 9 days of instruction left before ACPs! Time is going by very fast and I am sure you agree with me that there is not a single minute to waste.

  • Let's be very intentional in the type of work and tasks that we are putting in front of our students; have a laser-focus on the learning that is critical for each grade level and focus on the must knows.
  • Let’s continue to give our students that last push for excellence and relevant learning. As you review for ACPs, continue to make sure that you are addressing, What students are learning, Why it is important, What mastery looks like, and How to connect it to prior knowledge and their own lives.
  • Let's maximize every instructional minute available to us; bell-to-bell instruction is the key. If our scholars are focused and we engage them from the moment they enter our classrooms to the moment they leave, they will be the beneficiaries of learning.

  • Have conferences with students about goals and recruit support from counselors and administrators for assistance with behavior, academics, absentees and tardiness. We need to make sure that we create partnerships with all stakeholders and that we hold everybody accountable.


ACPs results will not only measure our school’s progress from last year’s fall ACP, it will also provide feedback as to whether all that we have implemented has been effective. I want to thank all of you for not slowing down in our efforts to make our vision come true, I know that we continue strong on our road to EXCELLENCE!!!

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 and transitioning in an expedited manner from class to class. The following is the percent for attendance for the week of 11/18 - 11/22:


  • 6th Grade - 94.02% - an improvement of 0.76%
  • 7th Grade - 97.48% - an improvement of 2.18%
  • 8th Grade - 95.54%


7th grade takes the lead once again!!!

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

Thank you

  • Ms. Maloy, Ms. Adams, Mr. Brown, and Mr. Morshed for their hard work and making sure that Rusk is 100% compliant with students who require health service minutes in their IEP. This is great!

Collaboration

College Going Culture

We want to provide our students opportunities to explore the various options they have as they transition to high school as well as providing them with a college going culture. I want to shout out our counseling team, Ms. Calderon, Ms. Woods, and Mrs. Mooty for their leadership and coordination of the High School Fair. We had 19 high schools that came out and provided information to our students. We heard great feedback regarding our students' questions, interest, and behavior. Also, thank you to all the 8th grade teachers who supported our students as they learned more about the various paths available to them with our collegiate academies and high schools. Shout out!!!

  • Ms. Wells for helping set up a wonderful area for our guests.
  • Ms. Rodriguez for securing coffee for our guests.
  • 8th grade team and hospitality committee for helping provide breakfast and lunch to our guests.

Also, kudos to Ms. Reeves for her support with magnet and collegiate academies applications for our kids. She led a group of students to Lasiter Early College on a tour with the support from Ms. Alanis, Ms. Perez, and Ms. Mason.

Climate and Culture

As I shared with you at the beginning of the school year, our goal for our climate survey is to rank in the 4th and 5th quintile in all areas!

  • This means that all of our areas of our climate survey will be green.
  • Also, we want to provide a welcoming and collegiate working environment for each person who comes to make a difference in our community.
  • Our goal is to improve morale knowing that pressure is on and our students must be the priority.
  • Shout out to Ms. Brown for leading and coordinating our Thanksgiving Luncheon. Also, kudos to Ms. Maloy and Ms. Wells for the desserts as well as Ms. Tucker and Ms. Woods for the decorations. Everyone enjoyed the food and company!
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Angel Tree

In an effort to provide our most neediest students a great holiday season, our counselors continue the Rusk Nation tradition of joining forces to make a great impact in the lives of our kids as they put together the Angel Tree. We are very excited to announce that, at this time, all of our 97 Rusk Angels were adopted in less than 3 days. Thank you for your support and warm heart as we help to make the holiday season a little brighter for our Rusk Angels.

REMINDERS FOR THE UPCOMING WEEK

  • During 8:00 a.m. - 8:20 a.m., students must be engaged in meaningful activities: homework support, Grade checks, organizing binder, CNN news with reflection sheet.
  • It is critical to be prepared with lessons and materials to avoid having issues with students. When we are not prepared, our students can tell and will find their own way of entertainment.
  • As we work on documenting the progress our students are making, remember our policy regarding failure rates and the various opportunities needed to ensure our students are successful. EIA (Regulation) (TEI 2.2, 4.2, 4.5)
  • 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).
  • 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 8:00 a.m. (TEI 4.2)

DAILY EVENTS

Monday, December 2-

  • B Day
  • Campus Climate Survey Continues - Remember to send confirmation of completion to Ms. Rodriguez, CC Mr. Cordoba, in order to wear jeans from the day you take survey until Friday. See e-mail sent by Mr. Cordoba for more details.
  • SPOT observations continue
  • Weekly PLC with AP/Mr. Cordoba to discuss ACP action plan and analyze data trends.
  • We will be walking classrooms checking for alignment, exemplars, and aggressively monitoring.
  • 4:45 - 6:00 p.m. Monthly Staff Meeting - Library.
  • Girls Basketball Game at Spence MS Vs. Spence - 6:30 p.m.
  • Soccer Game at Loos Field Vs. Medrano - 6:30 p.m. Girls. 7:30 p.m. Boys
  • 4:30 p.m. Grades Due for 3rd Six Weeks Progress Reports.


Tuesday, December 3-
  • A Day.
  • Progress Reports go home during 5th period!
  • 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.
  • 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. Aggressively Monitoring Collaboration with Spence MS - Ms. Guerra
  • 3:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. - RLA PLC collaboration with Big Rocks/Callie - Ms. Ford/RLA
  • 4:30 p.m. After School Program Continues. Let's make the best out of this time being very purposeful in the material covered with students and the students who must attend your sessions. We need to work on the recruitment of students for our after school program since it impacts student growth, our school performance, progress, and, ultimately, part of our stipends are tied to the attendance of our students to our tutoring/enrichment sessions. As a reminder, students do not have the option to opt out; if you need assistance with parents, please let anyone from the leadership team know.
  • Remember to clock out at or after 6:00 p.m. during the 2 days that you will stay after school.
  • 4:30 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. RLA Title III Informational Planning Session for ESL certified teachers who will be tutoring before/after school or Saturday school. Buckner Building (refer to communication shared by Ms. Wells)


Wednesday, December 4-
  • B Day
  • 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.
  • 4:30 p.m. After School Program Continues. As a reminder, students do not have the option to opt out; if you need assistance with parents, please let anyone from the leadership team know.
  • Remember to clock out at or after 6:00 p.m. during the 2 days that you will stay after school.
  • 4:30 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. Non RLA Teachers Title III Informational Planning Session for ESL certified teachers who will be tutoring before/after school or Saturday school. Buckner Building (refer to communication shared by Ms. Wells)


Thursday, December 5-

  • A Day
  • 8:00 a.m. - Lesson Plans Due
  • We will be walking classrooms checking for alignment, exemplars, and aggressively monitoring.
  • 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.
  • Boys Basketball Game at Spence MS Vs. Spence - 6:30/7:30 p.m.
  • Bandsgiving - Mr. Alarcon/Mr. McCann


Friday, December 6-

  • B Day
  • 9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. - Special Education Pre-Audit Training with Ms. Carreon/Ms. Blount - Special Education Team
  • Winter Dance - Athletics Fundraiser event. Time TBD. - Tentative (pending final approval)

Upcoming Events

December 10

  • Winter Concert and Performance - Band and Cheerleaders


December 11

  • Climate Survey window ends.


December 12

  • 5:15 p.m - 7:15 p.m. at Adamson HS - For our SW4 Northeast/ Southwest SWAG event, you'll experience critical moments from 2 exemplary turn-key lessons delivered by Northeast and Southwest Network teachers and walk away with 4 ready-to-go lessons for the 4th 6 weeks! - Separate invites sent. Let me know if unable to attend.
  • Last day for after-school for the semester.


December 14

  • UIL Academic Competition - See Ms. Michael if you are interested in coaching and competing in one of these competitions.


December 13 - 19

  • ACP Week
  • Dec. 13 and Dec. 16 full days
  • Dec. 17 - 19 Early Release


December 19

  • 4:00 p.m. Staff Holiday Party at Big Al's


December 20

  • Teacher Work Day


January 6

  • Staff Development
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Assessment Training

As we prepare for ACP and STAAR testing all staff must complete the STAAR security training modules, per our district and TEA recommendation. Complete all 3 Modules.

Let's Keep in Our Thoughts and Prayers

  • Ms. Ingram requested prayers for her grandmother.

Happy Birthday -

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


  • Coach Bey - 12/12
  • Mrs. Gomez - 12/13
  • Mr. Johnson - 12/29