Week of April 4, 2016

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Samuell Feeder Pattern Key Actions


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Samuell Feeder Pattern Team,

It was opening day today for the Texas Rangers and they won! It's a great start, but it's one down and about 160 more to go!! As I've been thinking about baseball season, it makes me realize that teaching is a lot like baseball. It's not just one game day, but a whole season of game days. Just like in baseball, we take it one day at a time and do our best each and every day. We must have perseverance, adaptability, commitment, optimism and a spirit of teamwork.

Thank you for all of your hard work and giving it your best every day! Thank you for working as a team to ensure our students are successful!!

I hope you have a great week!

Menay Harris


9 Ways Teaching is Like Baseball

1. Everyone has seen baseball, even played it, and thinks they could probably do pretty well on the field. In reality, it is incredibly hard. While many people have some ideas about teaching and opinions about teachers, they really have no idea how difficult it is.

2. In baseball, even if you are at the top of the league, you experience failure every day. You will experience tremendous joy, even elation, but also crushing disappointment. In fact, success only comes by having things go right some times within a project where failure often happens.

3. You have to keep a steady commitment, not get emotionally side-tracked, in order to perform every day. That is, you can and should get emotionally involved. But your emotions will get the better of you if you hold a grudge or you can’t let go of a conflict. You have to start each day fresh, believing it can be a positive day for you.

4. Baseball is deeply enriched by immigration from all over the world. So is teaching, so are our schools. Immigration is not a “problem,” it’s the coolest thing about our communities.

5. People think you get three months off but really you are working hard all year. And you work ridiculous hours during the season. ‘Nuff said.

6. It ain’t over ‘til it’s over. Never give up. We witness tragedy and heartbreak but we also witness miracles, every day!

7. You can talk about the baseball technique all you want but in the end it is an art, something that is only learned by doing, over and over and over. You can only learn by doing and paying close attention to what works and does not work. Then when you think you have it down, you have to improvise and change your plan because new circumstances arise. We even say, “That kid threw me a curve ball.”

8. While you feel that you are performing alone out there, ultimately it is a team sport and requires deep collegial engagement. Often teachers work behind closed doors, alone. But the colleagues are important to hold you up, back you up, and make that awesome diving catch.

9. Baseball is a long story, about a whole season, with smaller stories inside of it. Each game is an epic story, and there are smaller stories inside of that, the innings, and smaller stories inside of that, each at-bat. The layering on of incredibly complex encounters, of a thousand decisions and choices, is what makes the teaching life so rich and complex.

(Modified from Huffington Post article, "12 Ways Teaching Is Like Baseball" I thought these 9 fit best.) Click here for original article.


STAAR Cheerleaders at Runyon ES

Kindergarten and 1st grade students lined the hallway cheering and encouraging 4th and 5th grade students to do their best on their STAAR exams.

Big G, little O. Go, Go!


Ireland ES Rolls Out the Red Carpet for Their STARS!

Fourth and fifth grade students were made to feel like stars on their testing days! Principal Dillard and Assistant Principal Perez wrote supportive messages along the "road to success"!

With a start like that, who wouldn't feel like a shining star?!?


Samuell HS Health, Wellness and Financial Fitness Fair is a Huge Success!

The Pleasant Grove community came out in droves to find out how to become healthy in all aspects of the word. Community members provided guidance and resources for our families. Schools such as Florence MS and Hawthorne ES joined Samuell HS and were able to give out information about all the great things happening in their schools.

Monica Alonzo, Mayor Pro Tem of the City of Dallas, presented Principal John Vega with a special recognition in part for empowering families by educating them about Health, Wellness and Financial Management.

In closing remarks, Mr. Vega thanked Ms. Verna Farmer, Assistant Principal, for spearheading this event and for her hard work in ensuring its success. Kudos to the entire Samuell staff!

Spartans always bring the community together!


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Richardson ES Kicked off Healthy Texas Week!

Healthy Texas Week, presented by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas, is an annual initiative of IT’S TIME TEXAS, an Austin-based non-profit dedicated to making healthy easier for Texans.

During this week-long celebration, Texans are encouraged to Sweat more, Shop healthy, Serve their community, and Pledge to support a healthier Texas.

Students heard from great speakers, participated in some group exercises, and enjoyed some healthy snacks.

Volunteers helped plant a garden and create some positive messaging encouraging students to stay healthy.


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Richardson ES PreK Teacher featured in The Hub!

Lindsey Hudman’s job teaching pre-K at Thelma Elizabeth Page Richardson Elementary School is anything but child’s play. She stays up every night going over the next day’s curriculum and thinking about what worked—and didn’t—in the classroom that day. Hudman often talks with her assigned pre-K specialist about best teaching practices, and she always attends the six-week training available to all Dallas ISD pre-K teachers.

“Since 90 percent of a child’s brain develops by the time they turn 5 years old, it’s critical that we set a strong foundation for learning inside the pre-K classroom,” Hudman said. “Every school day is rigorously structured to make sure we are giving students the skills they need for a bright future.” That’s not to say Hudman’s pre-K students don’t have fun in the classroom. Students spend part of their day at centers where they do things such as play with blocks and spaceships. However, learning is interwoven into the centers. “The students learn every day without even realizing they are learning,” Hudman said.

Hudman credits the support Dallas ISD provides to all pre-K teachers as the reason she is able to succeed in the classroom. The pre-K specialist for Richardson Elementary consistently attends trainings and shares what she learned with the school’s pre-K teachers. The six-week professional development workshops provide pre-K teachers with details on the curriculum and activities for the upcoming theme, which lessons are then based around, to ensure all Dallas ISD pre-K teachers are on the same page.

“Pre-K in Dallas ISD gives a child a valuable first step in the learning process,” Hudman said. “Pre-K teachers in Dallas ISD are getting the skills we need to prepare children for their academic careers. It’s not something we take lightly.”

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Why Pre-K?

90% of human brain development happens before age 5. In other words, waiting until Kindergarten to start teaching our kids is already too late. As adults, they also end up earning higher incomes, on average, than similar students who do not register in Pre-K.

Studies show that kids who attend Pre-K are:

  • 3.5x more likely to be ready for Kindergarten
  • More likely to succeed in school
  • More likely to go to college
  • Less likely to drop out
  • Less likely to become a teen parent
  • Less likely to be arrested for a violent crime

Who is Eligible?

The child must have turned 4 on or before Sept. 1, 2016, or turned 3 for Pre-K 3 programs. The child must also meet at least one of the following requirements:

– The child qualifies for the national free or reduced-price breakfast program.

– The child doesn’t speak or understands English.

– The child is homeless.

– The child is dependent on an active member of the U.S. military.

– The child is or has been in foster care.

Furthering our feeder pattern's commitment to early interventions, Hawthorne ES will offer new Pre-K program for 3 Year Olds!

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For more information, please visit prekdallas.org

or call the PreK registration hotline at 214-932-PREK (7735).


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Samuell Feeder Pattern's Two-Way Dual Language Program

The goal of Dual Language is to provide opportunities for all students, regardless of their native language, to obtain a second language while interacting with students from a range of diverse cultures and backgrounds setting the stage for cultural awareness, understanding, inclusion and global citizenship.

Two-way dual language classes will be offered in the following grade levels:

JQ Adams ES - Kindergarten through 3rd grade

Blanton ES - Prekindergarten and Kindergarten

Hawthorne ES - Kindergarten and 1st grade

Ireland ES - Kindergarten

Pleasant Grove ES - Kindergarten and 1st grade

Richardson ES - Kindergarten and 1st grade

Runyon ES - Kindergarten

San Jacinto ES - Kindergarten

Titche ES - Kindergarten



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Grants for Innovative Teaching is a Signature Project of the Junior League of Dallas. Its purpose is to encourage and support excellence in teaching by awarding grants up to $2,000 to Dallas ISD teachers for special and innovative projects that otherwise would not be provided for in school budgets.

Since its creation in the 1991-1992 year, Grants for Innovative Teaching has awarded over one million dollars to Dallas ISD teachers.

The 2016-2017 grant deadline is May 16, 2016 at 5:00pm.

Click here for the grant application and additional resources.


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Last year, Elrod's provided more than $27,000 in transportation funds to Dallas ISD schools. We are so grateful that Elrod's is continuing to support our schools with this wonderful opportunity for the upcoming year.

The 2016-2017 grant deadline is April 29, 2016 at 5:00pm.

Click here for the grant application and FAQ.


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Since 1998, the Southeast Dallas Chamber of Commerce has been awarding college scholarships to area seniors. Again this year, they are seeking qualified students with financial need as applicants for their college scholarships.

As a community, we have been blessed with tremendous support from many businesses and individuals for the Annual Southeast Dallas Community Golf Classic, presented by Dal-Tile and Auto City in October 2015. This annual event provides the funding for the scholarships.

In 2016, SEDCC will be awarding $1000 scholarships to a graduating senior from the three DISD high schools – Samuell, Skyline, Spruce, a TRIO Program participating student (from one of the three schools) and ONE to an A+ Academy graduate. A sixth scholarship will be the next highest rated application from any of the 4 schools above.

Chamber member Dal-Tile will again sponsor a SEDCC scholarship. Dal-Tile was founded in 1947 in Southeast Dallas and is the largest private employer in the area and does a tremendous amount of volunteer work and provide significant financial resources to many local civic causes.

NEW IN 2016! Atmos Energy Corporation, headquartered in Dallas, is one of the United States' largest natural-gas-only distributors. They have deep roots in Texas and are a great corporate partner in the community. They have added TWO scholarships – a tremendous gesture of support for these students!

That makes 9 scholarships!

SEDCC will also be the organization to provide and process applications for the 4th Annual Ingram Memorial Scholarship (from Auto City owner Blake Ingram in honor and memory of his dad, Martin). Small business is the theme on that essay.

Both the SEDCC and Ingram applications will have a separate letter to the students. Students may apply for SEDCC and Ingram scholarships but will only be awarded one.

That makes 10!!! Ten young men/women will have a chance to start their academic career with financial support and well wishes from their hometown business community.

Along with a personal essay and financial need, a student’s academic achievement, extra-curricular activities and any other special circumstances will determine the final recipients of the scholarship.

Click here for the 2016 SEDCC Scholarship Application.



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In May, teachers will verify their rosters in order to verify the students will be included in the calculation of their student achievement results.

MAY 19th is the last day that administrators can score the SLO Goal Accomplishment for teachers.

MAY 19th is also the last day to enter extended observations and summatives in schoolnet.

May 23-June 6 will be the teacher rebuttal window in oracle for summative performance evaluations.

June 2 is the last day to conduct spot observations.

June 3 is the last day to hold summative conferences.




4-22--STAAR ALT 2 Assessment Window (3-8 & EOC)

4-8--ES & HS Art Performance ACP (Grades 5, 9-12)

6--TELPAS Window closes (K-12)

12-15--Student Survey Window (Grades 3-12)


18-19--ES Gym ACP (Grade 4)

18-29--Secondary Band Performance ACP (Grades 6-12)

20-21-ES Music Performance ACP (Grade 3)