Ram Nation News

Week of January 29, 2018


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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Last week, I shared with you the importance of our progress monitoring and the steps that we have to take to ensure our students are making adequate progress to be ready for the next grade level. I also shared an article about metacognition and its importance.

  • Progress monitoring and metacognition are critical components to ensure our students take ownership of their learning and make adjustments to their study and learning habits.
  • Thinking aloud is always in order.
  • By now, you know the current performance level on skills that our students have and we know the end goal for each subject/grade level. Therefore, we must intervene and provide an appropriate pacing and rigor of instruction to ensure our students are ready for the next grade level.
  • Let's make our thinking and thought process public when walking students through an assessment profile to ensure students can set goals of improvement.
  • Let's provide opportunities to generate “rich classroom discussion” in the classroom. The rationale behind this goal is that good discussions produce higher-quality student thinking, expression, and achievement. Reformers’ aim is to replace traditional teacher-dominated discussions with “students talking in class about their ideas, asking questions of peers, engaging in debates with peers, explaining their reasoning, and sharing some roles traditionally assumed by teachers."
  • When we are able to stimulate students’ curiosity about something they’re naturally motivated to learn, they’ll be better prepared to learn things that they would normally consider boring or difficult.

“Teaching for metacognition involves guiding students to become self-reflective, self-directed learners who understand why, how, when, and where to use metacognitive and cognitive strategies,” Donna Wilson and Marcus Conyers.


  • Mr. Geiger for his leadership, flexibility, and dedication as he supported the leadership team during my absence. He continuously supports with administrative duties to ensure students are focused and in the classroom as well as checking on staff members who may need assistance.
  • Ms Guerra, Ms Calderon, and Ms Shelby for their leadership and coordination of course selection for our 8th graders with the HS counselors. Also, kuddos to Ms Mitchell and Ms Lewis for their flexibility as the choice sheets were filled out during their classes.
  • Ms Turnbull for her passion for teaching as she is finding ways for students to have relevant experiences to internalize their learning. She had a guest speaker during her lesson discussing dental hygiene.
  • Mr Patel for continuously providing our students opportunities to practice their Spanish as well as to learn about other countries. He brought in a guest speaker from Costa Rica to share about his country.
  • Mr Thornton and Coach Dixon for their leadership, coaching, and mentoring our students as they use basketball as an opportunity to reach kids. Our 7th Grade team won against Marsh and our 8th grade team continues to improve; we are very proud of the work and progress our team has made.
  • Ms Baker for her commitment and passion for our kids as she continuously is working with our kids to help them learn more about college. Our AVID students won 3 Chromebooks as they were top College Bowl Explorers.
  • Our Leadership Team as they did a phenomenal job in their ACP Roundtable presentation to Ms. Healey and the ACE team. We had great compliments about their work and their plans of action to support you and our students.
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Robotic Rusk Rams

Under Ms. Safford leadership and guidance, our team competed in their 1st ever state qualifying tournament. They demonstrated great teamwork and collaboration skills working with more experienced schools. During the challenging and fun competition, they gained new design, driving and technical skills.
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Parent Conference

One of our school goals is to broaden constructive relationships with the members of school community. Our parent conference was a success!!! We had parents eager to talk with teachers and had lines in the hallways. This was a great opportunity to discuss academic progress, involve parents/students in the plan of action, homework expectations, and tutoring opportunities.

Let's continue to make sure we encourage parent participation in school events, parent workshops, and parent conferences to create partnerships to build the whole child.


Have you completed your technology inventory? Anybody with technology assigned in office, classroom, laptop, or any other device must complete. As of the last report and jeans on Friday, we are at 30% completion.

Monday, January 29-
  • Planning Meeting with CIC/AP - 6th Grade (Math, SS), Science follows schedule communicated by Ms. Guerra, and 7th / 8th Grade RLA. Refer to the Planning Expectations to ensure your IPC and LP have the components to reach proficiency
  • 1:30 Hallway transitions, classroom greeting, and Weekly Data Meeting audit.
  • 3:30 Master Schedule Meeting - Ms. Guerra, Ms. Calderon, and Mr. Cordoba
  • 4:40 - 5:30 Faculty and committee meetings. We will start in the library with an SEL excercise and update. Then, we will have attendance for credit meeting (Grade Level chairs, counselors, and Ms Surber), board of control (Ms Buchannon, Ms Galvan, Ms. Miranda, and Mr Cordoba), LPAC (Ms Vargas, Ms Bickford, Ms Davis, Ms Vasquez, and Ms pereira, parent), and AVID site team. Everyone else will complete their technology inventory.

Tuesday, January 30-
  • Planning Meeting with CIC/AP - 7th Grade (Math, SS), Science follows schedule communicated by Ms. Guerra, and 6th Grade RLA
  • 11:30 KERA interview with Mr Patel and Mr Cordoba.
  • 4:30-6:00 After School tutoring
  • 5:00-7:00 Talking Tuesday with Teaching and Learning - Leadership Team at Adamson High School.

Wednesday, January 31-

  • 8:00-12:00 AVID visit. Sam Houston Middle School from Irving ISD will visit our campus to see our AVID implementation.
  • Planning Meeting with CIC/AP - 8th Grade (Math, SS), Science follows schedule communicated by Ms. Guerra, and 7th / 8th Grade RLA
  • 4:30 - 6:00 After School tutoring

Thursday, February 1-

  • 4:30 - 6:00 After School
  • 5:00 Lesson Plans Due

Friday, February 2-

  • Saturday, February 3-
    • 8:00 - 1:00 Saturday School. Anyone doing Saturday School must submit the extra duty pay request in Oracle before able to use the code. Mr Cordoba will provide you with the information needed.
    • 8:00-4:00 Teaching Trust Summit - Ms Michael, Ms Lewis and other selected members

    Open Transfer

    The Open Transfer application will be available starting March 5, 2018. Eligible employees must apply via the open transfer application online no later than March 30, 2018. Transfers are not final until an approval email notification has been sent from Human Capital Management. All notification will be completed by April 13, 2018. I will be sending a form where you will have an opportunity to let me know of your plans for next year; however, if you know that you are planning to transfer, please let me know as soon as possible.