LVMS Weekly Staff Newsletter

Week of March 6th, 2017

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CAPTURE THE MOMENT: WONDER, DISCOVERY, & EXPLORATION

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Upcoming Events

Friday, March 10th

Track and Field Meet at Lago Vista HS


March 13th - 17th

SPRING BREAK!!!


Friday, March 24th

End of 3rd Nine Weeks

3rd Quarter Self-Assessment due to Appraiser

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Attendance...

Our goal is 98% attendance and our attendance was 94% this week.


Remember: students must be in attendance at least 90% of the days the class is taught in order to receive credit or a final grade in a class. We appreciate our staff members' efforts in helping us minimize student absences and prepare our students for their futures!

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Note from Mr. Tucker

Dear LVMS Faculty and Staff,


A professional American baseball star noted that "A positive attitude causes a chain reaction of positive thoughts, events and outcomes. It is the catalyst and sparks extraordinary results." As we approach the spring, and all that brings, we can feel weary and heavy laden. Those feelings at times generate stress and mental exhaustion. We all have to guard against allowing those feelings to negatively impact our attitudes and subsequent actions. So many things are out of our control, and yet, a positive attitude is within our grasp. That positive attitude can absolutely define and frame the day in front of you. We use this positive energy to guide us in our daily interactions with students, colleagues, parents and the community. As role models we lead the way and provide an example for those around us. Our ability to be consistent, hopeful, fair and resilient are the very essence of hope and success.

Believe in yourself, that you represent the best our world has to offer, that you serve every day to assure that the world is a better place and finally, that when it is all said and done, it will be evident that you added value to those around you. Keep up the good work. CT.

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Even coaches just want to have fun!

We had this picture left over from our February Dance photo booth - Ms Spexarth has hard copies of the picture as well - bids anyone?
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TMSCA Competition

This past Saturday, February 25th, a few LVMS students traveled to San Antonio in an effort to qualify for State in Number Sense, Mathematics, Calculator, and/or Science. (Some students qualified last week in events, so they did not compete in those events again).


The following students qualified this week:


NUMBER SENSE

Saydie Kassell--6th grade

Katelyn Coldicott--8th grade


SCIENCE

Leah Coldicott--8th grade



LVMS currently has 6 students qualified to compete in the TMSCA State Meet in April. The entire TMSCA team will be traveling in one last attempt this Saturday to the TMSCA Regional Qualifier Meet.



GO VIKINGS!

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Suggestions Wanted!!!

Mrs. Jackson is helping us facilitate the development of the 2017-2018 Campus Improvement Plan for LVMS. Before the next CEIC, we are looking for suggestions from teachers related to what performance objectives LVMS wants to set for next year.


For example, here's District Goal #1:


  • Maximize student achievement by providing quality instruction and educational programs that meet the needs of all students, by developing an extensive curriculum that emphasizes collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity, and using high quality instructional strategies.


Here's an example of a performance objective, or what you want to accomplish as a campus:


  • Improve academic achievement on the state assessments for all students and all subpopulations in reading/language arts, math, science, and social studies to achieve the highest accountability rating from the State of Texas.


So, if you have ideas or feedback related to the performance objectives you'd like to see in next year's plan, please email Michelle Jackson at michelle_jackson@lagovista.txed.net.


For your reference, here is a list of the goals:


  • Goal 1: Curriculum, Instruction, & Student Achievement: Maximize student achievement by providing quality instruction and educational programs that meet the needs of all students, by developing an extensive curriculum that emphasizes collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity, by using high quality instructional strategies.
  • Goal 2: Learning Environment: Provide a safe, nurturing educational environment that reflects a commitment to leadership, digital citizenship, service, integrity, character, and high expectations for all students.
  • Goal 3: College & Career Readiness: Prepare graduates for success in post-secondary pathways by developing programs and activities that promote college readiness and that support pursuits in career and technology fields.
  • Goal 4: High Quality Staff: Attract, develop, and maintain high quality professionals by offering competitive pay and benefits, and by working collaboratively to determine, meet, and facilitate their specific professional needs.
  • Goal 5: Family & Community Engagement: Welcome, inform, and nurture partnerships with our families and community partners to ensure active involvement in promoting high expectations, strong values, and the academic achievement and success of all students.
  • Goal 6: Planning & Decision-Making: Develop an efficient, transparent, and collaborative approach to planning & decision-making that communicates the priorities, processes, initiatives, and challenges of the District to all.
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TELPAS Reading Update - from Cathy Evans

Just wanted to give you a heads up regarding upcoming TELPAS reading testing schedules for Middle School. Let me know if you have any questions.


  • Wednesday afternoon, March 8: 6th, 7th, and 8th Grade ESL students will take the Online TELPAS Reading Test (time TBD)

6th Grade ESL Students: Jazmin, Rafael, Valentina, Emily

7th Grade ESL Students: Erik, Nathaniel, Raul, Michelle

8th Grade ESL Students: Ernesto, Maribel

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LVISDEF Grant Applications Are Due March 24th!

Each year, the Lago Vista ISD Education Foundation awards grants for innovative teaching projects. Their goal this year is to award $15,000 in grants! Applications must be submitted no later than the end of the 3rd Nine Weeks.


CLICK HERE TO ACCESS THE GRANT APPLICATION AND INFORMATION!

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Supply Budget Funds

The deadline to purchase instructional supplies using campus budgets is April 1, 2017. Most departments still have money left, so if you are in need of something to enhance the already awesome learning going on in your rooms, let your department chair know!


The awesome folks who have agreed to serve as department chairs are:

  • Rachel Karg, ELAR
  • Wendy Phillips, Math
  • Tyler Simons, Science
  • Kain Tomlin, Social Studies


Remember that any supplies purchased with supply money must be used to enhance instruction and support grade level TEKS. If you need help, please let Suzy know!

Students with Sniffles

As a reminder, students should not directly contact parents if they believe they are sick. Students are ONLY allowed to use their cell phone during passing period in the front office with permission. Please reinforce with students that they may not use their cell phones during the school day (that includes texting mom or dad).


If a student becomes ill during the school day, he or she must ask permission from you to see the school nurse. If a student says he/she doesn't feel well, please send him/her to the nurse...please don't make that call on your own. If the nurse determines that the child should go home, the nurse will contact the parent.


Thank you for reinforcing this information with your students!

Reminder About Student Cell Phone Use

For safety purposes, the District permits students to possess cell phones. However, cell phones must remain turned off during the instructional day unless given permission by campus staff used for educational purposes approved by the principal. Students are ONLY allowed to use their cell phone during passing period in the front office with permission.


Now that we have classroom iPads available, it would be unlikely that a lesson needs cell phone use. That being said, you may plan an awesome lesson that DOES require it. If you are planning a lesson that requires students to use their cell phones, please make sure to get that approved in advance. Thank you so much!

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In case you’re curious, in addition to our new snazzy logos, we also have two fonts that are a part of our official branding. Click below to download the official Lago Vista fonts:


Mighty Mighty Friars (The Top One) - http://www.dafont.com/mighty-mighty-friars.font

Featured Item (The Bottom One) - http://www.dafont.com/featured-item.font


To install them, you will need to shut down Word. (It took me two times...just FYI!)

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OLDIES BUT GOODIES (AKA, INFORMATION THAT WILL REMAIN IN THE NEWSLETTER EVERY WEEK BECAUSE IT’S IMPORTANT!)

Do Your Duty!

Your presence at your duty station is crucial, so please plan ahead. If you cannot attend your duty, you are responsible for finding someone to cover you. If you do not get your duty covered, assume students will be unattended and unsafe in your area.


Here's the link to the current duty schedule. Again, if you are scheduled to be off campus during your scheduled duty time, please make sure that you find someone to cover you. Thanks!

Have Something to Contribute to the Weekly Parent Newsletter?

Please paste your newsletter information in the shared Google Doc below. Please make a note on your entry to let us know there are pictures.


https://docs.google.com/a/lagovista.txed.net/document/d/1HcbV3v7HzSekLF2ejUyeE3hL0i2g1NRO2WzSNU_mmZs/edit?usp=sharing


If you have pictures, please create a subfolder on Drive that is easy to identify. Here’s the picture folder:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B_3Lwg9XyF0oOXdCZ24zZFp0WnM

LVMS Drop-Off and Pick-Up Procedures Review

As we begin the second semester, we would like to take a moment to review arrival and dismissal procedures, particularly as they relate to car riders. Student safety is our top priority and your observance of these procedures is greatly appreciatedI


DROP-OFF

As a reminder, supervision is not provided for middle school students who arrive to school before 7:30am. Car riders are dropped off directly in front of Viking Hall. Parents must use the entrance on Bar-K and follow the loop around. This is to ensure that cars are not forced to line up on 1431.

  • Please make sure your students are ready to quickly exit your vehicle so that the line moves quickly.
  • Also, we ask that you pull forward in the line (even if it is past the doors to Viking Hall). This will help keep our drop-off line running efficiently so that you'll be on your way in no time!


PICK-UP

Car riders will wait to be picked up directly in front of Viking Hall.


Parents who are parked for pick-up in the baseball field parking lots on Bar-K must be waiting for immediate pickup at dismissal.

  • To ensure their safety, students must proceed directly to this area using the doors that exit to the faculty parking lot behind the gymnasium and may not walk through the car pickup lane.
  • Students may cross at the crosswalk only when given clearance by the crossing guard.
  • STUDENTS MAY NOT WAIT IN THE AREA BY THE CROSSWALK TO BE PICKED UP. They will be escorted to the pickup line.
  • Students waiting for pickup must be in the supervised pick-up line at Viking Hall.


At 4:15pm, any student who is still waiting to be picked up will be escorted to the front office for pick-up. This is to ensure our students’ safety and supervision while they are in our care. Finally, for their safety and the safety of others, young children are asked to wait in cars with their parents.


Thank you for helping our Vikings remain Respectful, Responsible, and SAFE!

Budget Requisition Process

If you are a team leader or activity sponsor, Dr. Lofton-Bullis will be approving all purchase orders and requisitions. Please scan all Department Purchase Order Forms (with quote) to her email, which is suzy_lofton@lagovista.txed.net. Remember: Please do not send them to her directly from the copier. Instead, please send it to yourself and forward it with the subject line "Purchase Order Request"...she gets a lot of emails and a lot of scanned documents, so this will keep it at the top of her "to do" list!


If you need help remembering the requisition process, or need the form, here’s the link:


http://www.lagovistaisd.net/default.aspx?name=business.purchasing


Also, Dr. Lofton-Bullis will be providing departments with their remaining budget amounts next week. As we approach testing and prepare for the summer, please remember to plan ahead for what you need (i.e., lab supplies, summer reading novels, calculator batteries, etc.).

Absence Request Process

Dr. Lofton-Bullis will also approving all requests in Aesop. You don't need to do anything different when putting in an absence in Aesop (SWEET!).


If you're submitting a request to use discretionary leave (i.e., not sick leave), you must do so at least 48 hours in advance. PLEASE be sure to also email Jayme Spexarth to let her know you requested an absence.


Last minute requests due to sickness or emergencies must be put in Aesop and followed up with a phone call to the campus substitute coordinator (Sue Kunze) and Jayme Spexarth. If you don't get an answer, please leave a message. Thanks!

Fundraiser Process - Make SURE You Follow The Steps to Get Them Approved in Advance (THIS INCLUDES FUNDRAISING WEBSITE PAGES)!

Our CFO, Melissa Lafferty, sent out an email about this last week, but here's a recap (just in case!). Remember that a Lago Vista ISD fundraising form must be completed, approved by the campus principal, and approved by the Superintendent in advance of ALL fundraising activities...this includes opening an account on a donor website (such as GoFundMe and other crowdfunding online fundraiser sites).


You can find all the forms you need here:

http://www.lagovistaisd.net/default.aspx?name=business.activity_accts


For now, please submit all fundraising forms to Dr. Lofton-Bullis. And, of course, let us know if you have any questions!

Quarterly Self-Assessment Forms

Remember: Quarterly Self-Assessment Forms are due on the last day of the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Nine Weeks in Eduphoria Appraise. If you are a new staff member, or have any trouble logging into Eduphoria, please contact Holly Jackson at holly_jackson@lagovista.txed.net.

Remember to Be in the Hallways During Passing Periods

In order to keep our hallways orderly during transitions, please make sure to stand at your door in between periods. We totally get people needing to use the restroom or grab something from the copier, but a glance down the hallway during passing periods should have more teachers than empty doors. Again, we appreciate you SO much for helping to keep our students safe!

Exchange Hours are Due April 3rd

All folks are required to have 12 hours of staff development on non-contract time prior to April 3. These hours will be exchanged for 2 days (June 1st and June 2nd) that you don't have to come to work!

You must submit these through Eduphoria (Workshop). The steps are listed below, but please make sure that you request Exchange Hour credit (and NOT compliance video credit).

http://www.lagovistaisd.net/users/0001/curriculum/Steps%20to%20Request%20Credit%20for%20Mandatory%20Compliance%20Videos%20in%20Eduphoria.pdf

Grading Guidelines - Please Make Sure You Know Them AND Follow Them!

The LVISD Grading Guidelines outline the expectations for grading in our District. The purpose of grades is to provide students and parents with feedback on mastery of content and to document academic progress. So, please remember that teachers’ grades are expected to be a reflection of a student’s mastery of the state standards. We are also required by policy and statute to provide reteach/retest opportunities, which is outlined in the LVISD Grading Guidelines.


Here is a link to the LVISD Grading Guidelines for your reference:

http://www.lagovistaisd.net/users/0001/curriculum/LVISD%20Grading%20Guidelines%202016-2017.pdf

Curriculum Expectations and Information

This information is provided to revisit instructions and clarify expectations for curriculum documents, especially for our new staff members. Please let Dr. Lofton-Bullis know if you have any questions.


Expectations for EACH Course

  • 1 Snapshot (in Word) - Due at the beginning of the school year
  • 1 Unit Organizer for Each Unit (in Word) - Due on the last day of each 9 weeks


Where can I find the Snapshot template?

The snapshot templates in Word are located here. If your TEKS have been updated (LOTE, for example), please be sure to update them in your snapshot. If you have an old snapshot and have uploaded a new one, please remove the old version from the Google Drive folder. If your snapshot has a year listed in the title, please delete that.


Where can I find the Unit Organizer templates?

The unit organizer templates with TEKS check boxes are located here. There are instructions on how to "lock" the forms; otherwise, you will need to double click the check boxes. Plain versions of the template without checkboxes are located here.


Where can I access existing documents?

Go to "Shared with Me" and search for "LVISD Snapshots & Unit Organizers". If you need editing rights to your folder, please request it from Dr. Lofton-Bullis.


What do I do when I'm done with my documents? How do I submit them?

Once you are done, save your document to your grade level folder on Google Drive. This is the folder appraisers will check to verify completion of these documents. Remember: no Google docs...Word only!


How should I name my documents (so we don't have 120 Unit 1s)?

Naming conventions are very easy. Yes, please put spaces in the document name, just like below:

  • Grade # Subject Snapshot - Example: Grade 6 Math Snapshot
  • Grade # Subject Unit # - Example: Grade 4 Math Unit 1


What if I did an awesome job last year and don't have any changes to make?

You should review your snapshot, make sure your priority standards are those you wish to keep, and UPDATE THE REVISED DATE. (We can see the last time it was updated and there are a few 2014-2015s out there!)

Anchor Time Expectations for Students Doing SSR (Silent Sustained Reading)

Here's a reminder of the expectations for students who are doing SSR during Anchor Time. (Thanks to Rachel Karg for putting this nifty slide together!) You guys have been doing a great job...keep it up!

Make Sure You Know About StayALERT (...and Talk About it With Our Kiddos!)

Prevention is key! If you need a poster or window decal with this information, please email Dr. Lofton-Bullis. Here's a rundown of what StayALERT is...kids are using it to report things, so make sure to provide them with reminders that it exists!

Lago Vista ISD uses StayALERT to help keep our schools safe. StayALERT is a bilingual, confidential website, e-mail, phone and texting avenue for students, teachers, staff, parents and community members to be able to confidentially report unsafe behaviors, suspicious activities, bullying, acts of violence, harassment, and a host of other potential disruptors to school safety.

Users may anonymously report concerns 24-7-365 via the StayALERT website, an e-mail, a phone call to a recorded and monitored line, or via a text message from a cell phone. Photos and video clips pertaining to the StayALERT report may be included. No special app required! Reportable information will be forwarded in a timely manner to a pre-designated school official for review.

To make a report, use one of the methods below:


Website:
stayalert.info

Call or Text: (206) 406-6485

Email: report@stayalert.info

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EVERY WEDNESDAY IN LVISD IS COLLEGE DAY! BE SURE TO SPORT YOUR FAVORITE COLLEGE'S GEAR! ENCOURAGE YOUR STUDENTS TO DO THE SAME!

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Need an LV Window Decal for Your Car?

There is a school-endorsed Etsy store selling window decals to promote school spirit for our Lago Vista Vikings. Each decal has a detailed description along with the option to personalize it.


Visit www.etsy.com and enter "LV Flightline" in the search engine. When you get to the store, pick out the decal or decals of your choice. There are different types of payment accepted, including PayPal.


Decals are shipped locally free of charge. Thanks for your school spirit and GO VIKINGS!

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LVISD Monthly Character Traits

September – Trustworthiness
Be honest • Don’t deceive others, cheat, or steal • Be reliable — do what you say you’ll do • Have the courage to do the right thing • Build a good reputation • Be loyal — stand by your family, friends, and country

October – Respect
Treat others with respect; follow the Golden Rule • Be tolerant and accepting of differences • Use good manners, not bad language • Be considerate of the feelings of others • Don’t threaten, hit, or hurt anyone • Deal peacefully with anger, insults, and disagreements

November – Compassion
Care about how others feel • Do kind and thoughtful things for people in need • Put other people’s needs before your own • Volunteer your time and resources for charity • Be willing to listen

December – Caring
Be kind • Be compassionate and show you care • Forgive others • Help people in need

January – Citizenship
Do your share to make your school and community better • Cooperate • Get involved in your community • Stay informed; vote • Be a good neighbor • Obey laws and rules • Respect authority • Protect the environment • Volunteer

February – Fairness
Play by the rules • Take turns and share • Be open-minded and listen to others • Don’t take advantage of others • Don’t blame others carelessly • Treat all people fairly

March – Responsibility
Do what you are supposed to do • Plan ahead • Persevere: keep on trying! • Always do your best • Use self-control • Be self-disciplined • Think before you act — consider the consequences • Be accountable for your words, actions, and attitudes • Set a good example for others

April – Integrity
Be strong enough to do what you know is right • Do the right thing, even when it is difficult • Be your best self • Resist peer pressure • Choose words and actions that are sincere • Set high standards for yourself and stick to them

May – Gratitude
Say thank you for the things that you receive • Think about what you are thankful for and why • Show others how nice it feels to be remembered and appreciated by someone • Write thank you cards • Enjoy giving back • Understand that you are not owed things; you earn them

Lago Vista Middle School

Mission Statement: Lago Vista Middle School will provide a positive and supportive environment, which builds self-confidence, develops responsibility, and assists each student in becoming a successful life-long learner.