Excellence Without Boundaries
Excellence in Leading. Teaching.Learning
September 19, 2016, Week 5 of 1st Six Weeks
BY MAY 2017, AT LEAST 80% OF ALL STAAR EXAMS TAKEN BY ARMS STUDENTS WILL MEET THE PHASE II PASSING STANDARD.
Spot Observation & Feedback Rotation: Group A
- Leadership's goal is to conduct a minimum of 85% of our SPOT feedback sessions in person.
- 100% of Group spots are to be conducted each week.
- 100% of observation conference are conducted with both (leader and teacher) bringing necessary PRE WORK and document action steps and follow up.
The month of September is flying by and we are quickly approaching our 1st common assessment. All of us on staff have started to embrace our routines and also beginning to form those incredibly important relationships with our students. We are people first and we always want to remember that.
As we approach our final couple of weeks we want to ensure that 100% of our students are either on track or we are working with them to support them being on track to being successful in all their classes.
The reality of middle school is settling in for our 6th graders, our 7th graders are experiencing new expectations and responsibilities, and 8th graders are beginning to see the need for prioritizing, self accountability, and the expectation of being a model for others. Just as our students are stepping into their new roles and continuously practicing what we expect of them and what we see as Respectful, Responsible, and Ready to Learn behavior....we have to continuously practice as well.
Paul Bambrick said something that has resonated with me as we constantly focus on being excellent at what we do, and it is around practice. "A culture of practice in August can allow us to see incredible actions in May." What is the culture of practice that you are instilling in your classroom, your office, or with your team every day?
For our students to embody the 3R's Respectful, Responsible, and Ready to Learn we have to practice this everyday, whether in the classroom or in the halls. For us, as adults, we want to practice with precision and be as precise in the reflection and adjustments that we make.
Proudest Principal in DISD,
Operation Excellence - Excellence in Leading.Teaching.Learning
Operation Excellence: TG2 Spotlight
Spotlight on Ms. Bills: Operation Excellence (TEAM)
I would like to spotlight Ms. Bills because she always does her work with students success in mind. She has went above and beyond helping students reach mastery in their classes. Her positive attitude is contagious! Thank You Ms. Bills for all that you do here at ARMS.
Spotlight on 6th Grade Lunch Support: Operation Excellence (TEAM)
I would like to spotlight Ms. Crabtree and the office staff for helping with 6th grade lunch. Your presence creates a safer environment for our students.
Spotlight on ARMS ELAR Teachers: Operation Excellence (TEAM)
I would like to say thanks to all the ELAR teachers for having me in your classrooms to talk you and your students about coming to the library and reading promotions going on in the library.
Spotlight on Cafeteria Team: Operation Excellence (TEAM)
Ms. Baker writes:
We would like to extend Major Kudos to the ARMS Cafeteria staff. Each day they ensure nutritionist intake of adequate routine meals for over a THOUSAND students. These lovely ladies show our kids very special care, it warms our hearts daily. Please know the nutritional-love you provide our students supports vital educational, and social progress. YOU LADIES ROCK!!!!!!! Hope you all enjoyed your gift bags, just wanted to grant sweet treats to the best ladies!
Spotlight on Ms. Romero: Operation Excellence (TEAM, GRIT, GROWTH)
I would like to spotlight Ms. Romero for her commitment to team, grit, and growth! In her first few weeks of teaching, I have seen her consistently hold high expectations for all her students, accepting nothing less than their best. She has diligently had conferences and reflection spaces for students during her lunch and after school when needed, and has been forming relationships with her students and their parents - all while coaching cross country. She has truly been embodying Operation Excellence since her addition to the ARMS community.
Spotlight on Ms. A. Lewis: Operation Excellence (TEAM & GROWTH)
Operation excellence is in full effect with our new LPAC Chairperson! Thank you Ms. A. Lewis for accepting the challenge of helping to ensure all of our records are correct for all of our ELLs! You commitment to knowing and doing the right thing for all students. Thank you!
Spotlight on Ms. Scalley & Ms. Fuller: Operation Excellence (TEAM)
Teamwork! Every passing period they are out monitoring the hallways. Checking for ID Badges and gum. They ensure that hundreds of Rangers transition safely between the main level and the 2nd floor. You guys rock!!
Spotlight on Ms. Erica Milton (Long Term Substitute Teacher @ ARMS) Operation Excellence (TEAM)
1. Ms. Erica Milton, my long term substitute, has been absolutely wonderful.
She has been very helpful in preparing my class for my entry as a new teacher.
ARMS Tardy Data
That translates into 3 tardies per period, per grade.
Instructional expectations and student accountability drives their movement. Yes, they are very social and love the few moments to interact with one another. However, the majority of our students know and rise to the expectation of being held accountable for their learning in their upcoming class.
Generation Texas Education Go Get It Week!
Monday - Staff, crazy socks w/sneakers - Step Up of Education
Tuesday - Staff, crazy hat OR a college/university cap - Hats off to Education
Wednesday - Staff, wear your superhero shirt - School is Super Cool
Thursday - Staff & Students, wear college or university shirt - ARMS prepares us for College
Friday - Staff & Students, ARMS Spirit Shirt - ARMS Teaming up for Education
ARMS Core Classes 1/2 Planning Days
This is a new practice at ARMS and we are excited to continue to plan with the end in mind!
DON'T FORGET: Netflix has nothing on Our Compliance Videos!
These videos communicate important information that all educators must have a basic understanding of and honor in their professional responsibilities. The videos take a considerable amount of time, I strongly suggest starting ASAP. Click on the links below to for the necessary documents.
Training Module Overview
All videos are to be completed by Oct. 7th. The Compliance Cover sheet must be completed and all certificates are saved on an electronic file or printed.
All materials are turned into Ms. Zapata, by October 14th. Do not send them to Mrs. Taylor-Glenn. Please get started if you have not already.
Teacher-Student Interactions: Keep it professional!
Remember the ARMS Way is to remember...
No entries for this Legend
Weekly Events September 18th - 23rd
Teacher Goal Setting Mtgs. 19-21st (email from appraiser forthcoming)
*Generation Go Get It Week 19th - 23rd
Trailblazer @ 9-10:45
Tuesday, September 20th
POD Action Mtg. (AD)
8th grade Fun Lunch
Wednesday, September 21st
POD Leader Meeting @ 7:30 - 8: 10 am
1/2 Day Math & ELAR Planning Session
Thursday, September 22nd
7th grade Free Dress
SLO & PDP Plans Due in School Net (has to be shared, or appraiser can not score)
1/2 Day Science & Social Studies Planning
Ignite Academy PD @ 4:30 pm - 5:30 pm
Friday, September 23rd
Student $1 Jean Day
Staff, $5, Jean Day
Saturday, September 24th
ARMS Staff Event, TBA
Tuesday, September 27th
ARMS 1st Six Weeks Common Assessments: Math, SS, PE, Health, CATE, Band
*Every content, core & elective are to give six weeks common assessment on the set days.
Wednesday, September 28th
ARMS 1st Six Weeks Common Assessment: ELAR, Science, Dance, Technology, Spanish, Orchestra
*Every content, core & elective are to give six weeks common assessment on the set days.
SBDM Mtg. 5:00 pm to 6pm
Thursday, September 29th
Empowerment Mtg. @ 7:45am
8th Grade Free Dress
ARMS University (POD TIME) - ESL PD Series, Location TBA
Make Up Common Assessments
Ignite Academy 4:30 pm - 5:30pm
New ARMS Student Assembly 7th & 8th Grade
Friday, September 30th
End of 1st Six Weeks
Trailblazer Data Meeting
Chat n Chew: Replacement Behavior Follow Up PD- During All Three Lunches, Location TBA
(Come join Ms. Taylor-Glenn & Ms. Hunt for our follow up session on how to develop a plan for replacement behaviors. More information to come but in the meantime, begin to think of what your replacement behavior might be to address).
Districtwide "PINK OUT" Day 10/7
Campuses are asked to "Show Us Your Pink".
I am asking for us to be "photo happy" that day and send pictures to Wellness@dallasisd.org. The Feeder Pattern, Campus and Department with the most “Pink Out” spirit will be recognized.
Smiling Before Thanksgiving
In this article in Educational Leadership, Eric Toshalis (Jobs for the Future) remembers working in a university kitchen that served thousands of undergraduates. He particularly remembers what he and his colleagues said as they carried scalding water or sharp knives through the noisy space: Behind you. “Wherever I was in that kitchen and whatever work I was doing,” says Toshalis, “I heard those two words filling the space with a constant message of safety and compassion. As a result, I knew I was seen, trusted, and cared for. That made me feel like a valuable part of a team, it made me work harder, and it made me want to take care of others.”
When he became a teacher, Toshalis heard a lot about caring for students but saw a disconnect between words and deeds. “For example,” he says, “we’d help students by publicly telling them what they were doing wrong, and then later we’d scold them for not requesting more help. Or we’d shower students with praise for their intellect, then tell them we were disappointed when they didn’t persist in challenging tasks that might broadcast their incompetence.”
All this made Toshalis believe that the classroom was not a good place for many students, that “my fellow teachers and I were cooking up forms of care that essentially made our students disappear, made them understand themselves as untrustworthy, and ultimately made them feel unsafe.” He began to think about ways that classrooms could be more like the safe environment he’d experienced in the college kitchen. Some ideas:
• Being dispassionate doesn’t work. Teachers are told, Don’t smile till Thanksgiving, Don’t let them see you sweat – ways of maintaining control and not letting relationships cloud professional judgment. Toshalis disagrees: “If we want our students to be educated more than manipulated, convinced more than coerced, and even indignant more than indifferent, we have to approach our work with a relational and sometimes passionate orientation. We need to let them see us sweat and smile way before Thanksgiving. Students know we’re not robots, so let’s not try to act like them.” Standing in the hallway during passing time and chatting informally with students is a start.
• Recognize that schools are not a level playing field. Toshalis believes the power dynamics in schools often work against the disadvantaged, that most students know perfectly well who is privileged as schools divert resources to those who “deserve” them, ranking and sorting students. “In the end,” he says, “to truly care for students in a way that allows us to claim authentically, ‘I’ve got your back,’ we have to work with youth to recognize and articulate the political realities all of us must shoulder.”
• Trust has to be earned. “Given how vulnerable students are to our moods, evaluations, and decisions,” says Toshalis, “students need to determine whether we are worthy of risking interpersonal engagement before they agree to learn from us.” And that takes time.
• Students’ anger isn’t a threat; it’s an emotion. “The real threats,” says Toshalis, “are apathy, disengagement, indifference, neglect, cruelty, and violence.” Anger is a thermometer telling us what’s going on inside. Calm down, lower your voice, take it easy are ways to tamp down anger. “Doing so cuts us off from rich, nuanced information we might otherwise use to better construct relational connections and pedagogical interventions,” he says. Anger is actually “the tip of the information iceberg.” It’s best to ask, “Tell me why you’re upset right now. I want to know what happened that made you feel this way.”
• Lecturing isn’t connecting. “Dialogue is the oxygen of healthy relationships,” says Toshalis. “The give-and-take of perspectives, ideas, needs, and desires is what allows us to know the other and negotiate. The familiar IRE – initiate-respond-evaluate – classroom pattern is the opposite of this. “In the mind of a hypothesis-testing, question-posing, edge-exploring, meaning-making adolescent, this turn-by-turn exchange is unnatural and stultifying. It’s why students are animated and engaged in conversations with peers and why they’re often withdrawn and silent in class.” The solution? Ask open-ended questions. Get students talking to each other. Call on students at random. Move away from the front of the class and sit with students. Talk with them. Slow down. Listen.
“Correcting Our Connections” by Eric Toshalis in Educational Leadership, September 2016 (Vol. 74, #1, p. 16-20), available for purchase at http://bit.ly/2bMJsq1; Toshalis can be reached at email@example.com.
ARMS Breakfast hosted by Support Staff
ARMS Back to School Night
ARMS Fall Observation Rotations
ARMS Facility Request Google Doc
This is how all facility requests are to be made moving forward.
ARMS Safety Drill Staff One Pager
The Most Important Work of our Time! Always remember YOUR IMPACT!
Ann Richards Middle School
At Ann Richards MS, our vision is to be a flagship middle school at the hub of the community, nurturing diverse leaders, and empowering intelligent trailblazers.