Ram Nation News

Week of September 17, 2018

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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#OnANewLevel

I trust you had a great and relaxed weekend sharing with family and friends. I know we are ready for our fifth week in school.

We are definetely #OnANewLevel!!! Based on the latest report from the district and using our district's School Effectiveness Index, our school ranked #2 out of 33 among the comprehensive middle schools. Thank you so much for your support and dedication.


As I collaborate with other principals and receive various communication shared from Ms. Healey or School Leadership, there was a message shared that resonated with me. Also, it is very appropriate due to the timing of starting tutoring this week.

One of the lyrics in Eminem's song says, "so here I go, it's my shot, feet fail me not, this may be the only opportunity that I got." When we look from the student perspective they have one opportunity to maximize their learning this year. Our student results will be on their permanent record. As part of our transformation task, we must be intentional that students are receiving targeted and meaningful instruction every day. As a school, we must continue to create a school culture that shows a sense of urgency and continue #OnANewLevel of planning, instruction, engagement, and expectations. Our students have one shot at success, and we have one shot to ensure that all of our scholars reach their desired outcomes.

It’s hard to believe we are approaching the end of the first six weeks of the school year! We are starting a time to provide our students with various support opportunities. As a data-driven school, we know that we must provide a systematic process for intervention and enrichment. As you know, with our new accountability system, it is critical that intervention plans are in place at all performance levels. Let's make sure that we monitor and refine our efforts to provide differentiated instruction, targeted small-group instruction, and customized intensive interventions. It is imperative that tools used for progress monitoring and data collection ensure fidelity of implementation.


I am very proud of the work done and grateful that each one of you has embraced the challenge of accelerating transformation for our students who need and deserve the best. Because of our shared beliefs and our implementation, our students will have a bright future with a life of opportunities.

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 9/10 - 9/14: 6th Grade - 97.5%; 7th Grade - 96.94%; and 8th Grade 98.35%.

Way to go 8th grade team!!!! This is the second week in a row that 8th grade takes the lead on attendance.

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

  • Everyone who participated and voted for our Teacher of the Year (TOY) and Support Staff of the Year. We had a very close race with a three-way tie for TOY among Mr. Johnson, Mrs. Lewis and Ms. Perez. At the end, we had to request extra votes of those who had not voted. Based on the results received, I am proud to share that Ms. Perez is our Teacher of the Year and Mr. Carballo is our Support Staff of the Year.
  • Ms. Rocha, Ms. Wells, Ms. Baker, Ms. Vargas, Ms. Guerra, Ms. Tucker, Ms. Minter, Ms. Maloy, Ms. Woods, and Mr. Geiger for their leadership and commitment as they participated in the district CILT meeting last week. They collaborated with other educators from across the district and will share their learning with their various teams.
  • Ms. Baker for her leadership and enthusiasm as she coordinated the Meadows Foundation visit. We were able to see the implementation of Cornell Notes, other WICOR strategies, student-led lessons, student panel, student work posted, and other evidence of college going culture.
  • Ms. Ingram and Ms. Minter for displaying student work in the hallway; this practice helps students know that their work is important and is validated by the teacher. I look forward to seeing more authentic work posted in the hallways.
  • Mrs. Lewis and Ms. Iberosi for their leadership and building positive relationships with students. Our B team has won two games in a row while our A team has 1 win and 1 loss in their record. Our Lady Rams played an awesome game!!! Shout out to Ms. Davis, Coach Addison, Ms. Minter, and Ms. Reyes for coming out to support our students .

Instructional Practices

College Going Culture

I know everyone had a great time as Mrs. Mooty, Ms. Shelby, and Ms. Calderon coordinated various activities for Education Go Get it Week. It was exciting to see the eagerness and joy our students and staff displayed during this week. This event was a success thanks to the school participation, team effort and collaboration under our counselors' leadership. The purpose of EGGW is for our students to learn more about going to college and its importance. Let's continue to have college-going and career conversations with our students and make going to college a reality for our students. Congratulations to 6th grade for being the grade level who won the college hallway decoration contest. Based on the judges, 6th grade had the most evidence of students actively participating in the products used for decorations.

Climate and Culture

REMINDERS FOR THE FIFTH WEEK OF SCHOOL

  • During transitions, we will be looking for 100% of staff members present in the hallway having positive interactions with students. (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).
  • 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)
  • Continue to be prepared and provide high expectations for our students. Remember, consistency is key and will set up our students for success. (TEI 1.5 and 3.2)
  • Greet students with smiles and consistent firmness (TEI 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, September 17-
  • We will observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15, by celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.
  • 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.
  • 4:45 Grade Level Meeting after school - Location shared by Grade Level Administrator. Discuss tutoring logistics, number of letters received, students pending parental approval (letters not returned), lesson plans, GL plan - teachers escorting students to cafeteria and teachers escorting students outside.
  • 6:00/7:00 Volleyball Game at Thomas Jefferson HS Vs. Cary MS


Tuesday
, September 18-
  • 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 Begins. Remember to clock out at or after 6:00 p.m. during the 2 days that you will stay after school.
  • 6:00/7:30 Football Game at Loos Field against Marsh MS.


Wednesday, September 19-
  • 9:00 - 10:00 PREP Universities family engagement series - Parent Engagement in the Middle School Years.
  • 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.
  • 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.


Thursday, September 20-

  • Department Collaboration PLC - Department Chair and AP/CIC: Weekly Data Meetings
  • 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.
  • 3:30 - 6:30 1st Math Team Thursday! at Edison - Ms. Guerra and Ms. Tucker
  • 6:00 - Lesson Plans Due


Friday, September 21 -

  • Picture Day - Through science classes. Students will be taking the picture day order form earlier during the week and will return it with the money or online confirmation number. Students who bring their form back will be able to wear their regular clothes for pictures.
  • Compliance Video Deadline
  • 7:30 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. MIDDLE SCHOOL NIGHT! North Dallas Football vs. Life Oak Cliff at Franklin Stadium

Upcoming Events

September 24 - September 28-

  • District 1st Six Weeks Assessment window


September 27-

  • 3:30 - 6:30 1st RLA Team Thursday! at Edison - Ms. Davis and Ms. Wells


September 29 -

  • 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. - ACE Super Saturday: Cycle 2 of ACE PD - Rusk Admin.


October 9 -

  • Principal for a Day - Alexander Bourdeau, Solutions & Analytics Lead - Sense360


October 12-

  • Professional Development Day - No school for students


October 19 -

  • Fair Day - No school

Bell-to-Bell Instruction

Place emphasis on maximizing the limited time teachers have with students and communicate high expectations for on-task behavior.

  • Greet students at the door.
  • Post "do now" for students to begin immediately.
  • Have materials needed by students and teachers readily available.
  • Plan for smooth transitions between instructional activities.
  • Build in opportunities for movement and active student engagement.
  • Check regularly for student understanding and focus.
  • Have an active summary activity in every learning segment.
  • Present and link the day’s objective to previous learning or homework.
  • Use teacher-directed instruction to clarify or introduce new material.
  • Use student-centered learning activities requiring active student engagement.
  • Use summary-reflective dialogue to check for mastery and establish links with future learning or homework.
  • Plan for four learning segments of about the same length during a class period to help with pacing

Congratulations!!!

Mr. Johnson for having been accepted to the Masters of Journalism program at The New School. It is a great honor for him and we are very excited for Mr. Johnson's next steps in his career.

Happy Birthday -

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


9/5 – Iresha Hayes

9/7 - Angelica Saucedo

9/28 – Perla Calderon

9/29 – Carlos Carballo