Ram Nation News

End of the Year


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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As I write my last formal message in the Ram Nation News, I want to thank each one of you for continuously taking the stance of engaging in the greatest profession of all!!! The last three years have been some of the most rewarding years in my professional career and I am proud of the various accomplishments and goals met. I could not have done it without your support, dedication, and commitment.
Three years ago, we began our journey "All the Way Up” where we turned around our campus, achieved great gains, and were able to give a new hope to our community. Two years ago, we continued our journey "On A New Level"; we were able to strengthen systems and to leverage our inspiring relationships and high expectations to grow our students. This year, we were able to provide EXCELLENCE as our way of doing things, being Back At It Again day in and day out to be beacons of hope for our students and community. We have taken huge steps to become the models of excellence in Dallas ISD. I encourage you to keep the course; be supportive, be open-minded, and be committed to working together toward our mission to empower our students to become college and career ready. Remember, our kids deserve your best work!!!

I know I am going to miss you!!! I know I am going to miss announcing the many achievements brought to our school by our various students groups and staff members. I look forward to hearing great things about you and the work done here at Rusk Middle School. Let's continue to represent our community in a very positive way as we prepare our students for greatness, College and Career Readiness.

I hope you enjoy your summer and take the opportunity to enjoy time with family and friends. I encourage you to use this time off to pursue some personal and professional projects and goals. Stay in touch!!!

So long Ram Nation,

Juan C.

Motivational Message

Shout out to Ms. Robinson, Ms. Molla, Ms. Michael, Coach Bey, and Ms. Ford for their daily motivational message for our Ram Nation. It was great to see the friendly smiles and message of love and support! I know our students and parents appreciate hearing from you.
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School Lunch Hero Award Recipients

As you know, our school cafeteria staff members and our custodians have been busy ensuring that no child goes hungry. Each week Ms. Beck, her team, and visiting cafeteria employees as well as Mr. Ramirez, visiting custodians, Mrs. Martin and Ms. Cristina Martin (Mr. Martin's wife and daughter) prepare and distribute thousands of free meals via curbside pick-up. They have been our heroes during this time of difficulty!

I am excited to share that our cafeteria staff and volunteers were the winners of the School Lunch Hero contest. Thank you so much for all of you who participated and supported our cafeteria team!

Please, continue to recognize their efforts via e-mail or text.


Debate featured in The HUB

Congratulations to Mr. Johnson for leading our Debate students in a great performance during the Debate competition. Our students took first place and are featured in The Hub; check it out!
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Distance Learning Plan of Action

Tuesday - Thursday - May 26 thru May 28

Teachers and Staff:

  • Teacher and staff will clock in at 9:00 a.m. by completing the Clock-In Form
  • Teachers will be accessible online through the instructional day (9:00 a.m. -12:00 noon &1:00 p.m - 4:00 p.m.). Each teacher will have an online designated platform for courses, which can be found on our school Master Directory directly.
  • Consider calling students or organizing a class meeting to say goodbye to and/or recognize students
  • Teachers will meet with their classes based on the schedule below and keeping our calendar of A/B days for electives. Students needing assistance will be reaching out the teacher directly via email, the classroom platform, or phone.
  • Review work completed and submitted by students, provide feedback, and assign grades. For Cycle 6, a minimum of 1 grade/week will need to be recorded in the Powerschool Gradebook.
  • No Exam (E2) grade will be entered. This cycle will remain blank.
  • Grades Due by May 25, 2020. Remember, all grade categories must be changed to Classwork/Homework


  • Follow up with students who have academic plans to ensure they are on track with online and material access to ensure they are successful with work completion and passing grades.
  • Counseling Services is requesting for Dallas ISD counselors to document their work by filling this link.
  • Meet with the administrative team on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday at times scheduled.


  • Collaborate to continue to put together the first draft of the Playbook and finalize master schedule.
  • Meet as Admin Team on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday at times scheduled.
  • Coordinate and support food distribution - Thursday 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

  • Respond to parent and student questions and concerns via email.
  • Meet with Mr. Kastl as admin team to discuss virtual learning, academic tasks, and student work.
  • Conduct virtual PLC meetings with content teams. Deliverables: Update Syllabi and Instructional Planning Calendars for @HomeLearning.
  • Monitor PowerSchool grades weekly and provide support as needed.
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Parent and Student Communication

Communication is key to ensure our students feel supported and are successful. Therefore, we will formally document these phone calls in our Teacher-Parent Contact log.

  • Based on feedback and to provide alignment with our tracking form, we will change to contact our 2nd period as "Advisory" students at least once a week. Of course, this does not mean that our 2nd period teachers will not call students; however, this helps to better align our efforts in attendance tracking. During this time, 2nd period teachers should also check on the data inputted by colleagues so that we can all keep students accountable for completing work in all subjects. Use the Check-In Script provided by our counselors. I understand that we may reach out in different ways such as, ClassDojo, Remind, e-mail, or text; however, hearing a friendly voice means a lot especially when faced in times of social distancing. This will allow students the opportunity to stay connected with the school and for the teacher to help students solve issues or concerns.
  • Our website is updated with information about At Home Learning.
  • Please adhere to technology etiquette and policy guidelines. Teachers should not be directly communicating with students or parents after 9:00 pm and before 7:00 am. We understand if you are providing feedback and do not need student responses, but we cannot expect students to respond, nor should texts and Remind 101 messages be sent after 9:00 pm or before 7:00 am.

Use this School Student Directory to have access to more students' contact information. It is listed by grade level at the bottom of the screen. You can search within each sheet the student's information you need to access.

Grading Procedures

Cycle 6 (6th Six Weeks): April 14, 2020 = May 27, 2020

  • Grades are due by midnight May 25, 2020 as shared previously.

Resolving Missing Final Grades for Cycle 6: Blank or missing grades can be resolved through one of the following options.

  • Have the student complete a project for a final Cycle 6 grade. (Remember to give this project to your appraiser. We will be using these projects with students who did not complete work before they are considered for promotion if eligible.)
  • Use the average of Cycle 4 and Cycle 5 final grades.

Attendance Procedures


  • Attendance is taken only for the teacher’s “ADA” course (meets at 11:00 am.)

o On Tuesdays

o On Friday

All Teachers are required to confirm participation in at-home learning for each student.

  • Confirmation of participation at-home learning will be used to enter student attendance as “present”.
  • Confirmation of participation in at-home learning can be determined using electronic login by student (Google Classroom, Zoom, Teams, or other learning applications or platforms)
  • Confirmation of participation can be used for any of the three days prior to official attendance accounting on Tuesday and Friday.

Unexcused Absences: Students are only marked as having an Unexcused Absence if the teacher has attempted multiple times to contact parents/students and received no response at all. Confirmation of participation should begin well before the Tuesday/Friday deadline. Teachers should be encouraged to keep a log of participation so that on Tuesday and Friday, they have very few students/parents to reach out to.

Use link below to access an example for secondary campuses.

Cybersecurity Training

ALL STAFF - Complete mandatory compliance training by June 7, 2020

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General Information for Virtual Learning during the Summer of 2020

The summer of 2020 will offer all learning in a virtual environment. Explore on-demand sessions--anytime, anywhere--taking online, self-paced courses in Cornerstone AND experience live, conference-style webinars hosted through SCHED. Webinars will run June 1-26, 2020 and limited options will be offered in July 2020. Check out this site for more catalog and more details.

Stipend Eligibility Requirements: Teachers with professional development stipend eligibility requirements must continue to fulfill those requirements as noted by the respective departments awarding the stipend. If you have questions related to your itemized requirements, please contact the department awarding the stipend.

Compliance Training - Videos ... 2020-2021

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Counseling Corner

Request for Counseling Services

  • Request for Counseling Services
  • Request for Counseling Services (Spanish) This form is for current Dallas Independent School District students, parents/guardians, or staff who would like to request counseling services for a student from a professional school counselor. Once completed, a member of the counseling team associated with the identified school will contact you regarding your concerns.

One-on-One Counseling Support through Bookings

Through Outlook our counselors have the capability to use Bookings which allows them to chat with students virtually similar to Skype. Students and parents can visit our counselors' booking page whenever they want, book the time and service they need, get a confirmation email and calendar invitation, and reschedule or cancel if they must.

Students may schedule an appointment with our counselors using the Rusk Counseling Booking Link.

SEL Read, Listen, and Watch Summer Suggestions

Last Day for Chapter 21 to Resign Penalty Free

Educators have a penalty-free resignation deadline that falls the 45th day before the 1st day of instruction of the coming school year. For the 2019-2020 school year, that resignation deadline is July 3, 2020. Resignations are generally accepted via the electronic submission process (S-54), using the Oracle log-in, and must be submitted by 11:59 pm, July 3, 2020. The resignation deadline will be enforced; resignations received after the July 3, 2020 deadline will be considered on a case-by-case basis, depending upon the date of submission and the circumstances, and whether the campus has sufficient time to secure a suitable replacement.

For additional Information about how to submit a Notice of Separation, please visit the Retirements & Resignations page at http://dallasisd.org/Page/28102.

Happy Birthday!!!

The following staff members will have birthdays during the summer months. We hope you enjoy your special day.

1- Mr. McCann

6- Ms. McGee
17- Ms. Lewis

19 - Ms. Ingram
21- Ms. Martin

24 - Ms. Garcia

25 - Mr Maymi

26 - Mrs. Maloy and Mr. Sanders


1- Mr. Alarcon

5- Ms. Michael

13- Ms. Stripling

16- Mrs. Brown and Ms. Strong

17 - Ms. Scott

18 - Mr. Geiger and Ms. Guerra

21 - Mr. Jordan


3 - Mr. Harris

8 - Mr. Andres Garcia

13- Mrs. Tucker

23 - Mr. Clark and Ms. Winton

24 - Mrs. Woods