03.20.16 Staff Update

A Communication Tool for the Seven Hills Staff

Personalized Learning at Seven Hills: The Leader in Me

I hope this week's edition of the S'more finds you rested, energized, and ready to return to school after a great Spring Break! :)! I cannot wait to hear stories of relaxation and adventure. Think about something funny, outrageous, unexpected, or memorable that you experienced over the break, and be prepared to share this at our PD on Friday.


Before the break, a group of staff members shared their experience at a Leader In Me school with you. They each chose a word to describe what they noticed (saw, felt, heard, etc.) on their visit. Words like: ownership, courage, confidence, grit, culture, opportunity, unity, and driven. Each staff member then further explained why they chose that word providing supporting examples. As the group shared, staff members were able to record what they wonder about Timberline Elementary and The Leader in Me. These wonderings were discussed as table groups. Wonderings included (but were not limited to):


  • What were some of the opportunities you saw that we may not have at 7 Hills?
  • Was their focus more personal than academic?
  • Will student achievement improve with the implementation of this program?
  • How are parents involved in this system?
  • What is the process for becoming a Leader in Me School?
  • How long will it take for students to buy in...especially the older students?
  • How do they get everything accomplished?
  • What are the 7 Habits?


I was truly inspired by the thoughtful "wonderings" and discussion we began to engage in before the break. They are a great indication that we are taking the time necessary, as a campus group, to truly process all of the information received and the potential impact The Leader in Me can have at Seven Hills. I am curious though, as you have been reading chapters 1-3 (and some of you more), what connections have you been able to make between Seven Hills and A.P. Combs Elementary? What are you noticing? Have any of our wonderings been answered for you? What new questions has the reading raised?


I am looking forward to spending our morning on Friday, March 25th digging a little deeper into what The Leader in Me is really all about, what implementation might look like, the professional development plan moving forward, and more! Until then...happy reading...Oh, and if you haven't already done so, I encourage you to follow The Leader in Me to grow your Professional Learning Network (PLN):



Please note the following in preparation for PD on Friday, March 25th:


  • The morning session will begin at 8:00 am in the cafeteria for ALL staff (unless otherwise informed)
  • ALL staff need to read chapters 1-3 in The Leader in Me book. If you do not have a book yet, please stop by my office…this is for ALL staff members, not just teachers.
  • ALL staff need to bring a fully charged device to the morning session.
  • Food: We will have a 30 minute lunch break. Lunch is not provided by the campus on Friday. Light snacks will be provided throughout the day.
  • Attire: Casual and comfortable (jeans are appropriate)
  • The afternoon session topics will include: data dive reflection, Vertical Team Meetings, Grade Level PLC Updates, and STAAR room/hall prep, STAAR reminders and updates.


Enjoy your last few hours of Spring Break!

What's Happening Next Week at The Hills?

  • Monday, March 21:
-World Down Syndrome Day - staff and students are invited to wear crazy socks (This is late notice, but a Constant Contact will be sent to parents today)

-3rd -5th Grade Intervention Tutors begin (They will work with Tanya on Monday. 3rd - 5th Teachers, please refer to the email I sent on 3/10 with what you need to help us prepare for.)


  • Tuesday,March 22:
-NO GRADE LEVEL PLCs THIS WEEK (See reminder about PLCs below)

-TELPAS Practice Sessions in Computer Lab: 8:00 am: 3rd Grade; 12:30pm: 2nd Grade

- 4th and 5th grade teachers send Parent STAAR letters home (letters will be prepared for you)


-5th Grade Science Data Team, 11:30 - 3:00

-STAAR Training, 3:00 - 4:30 (Required To Attend:All 4th grade teachers, All 5th grade teachers, Mari Heffington, Cathy Smith, LaWanda Henry, Laura Fletcher, Hayley Sample, Kelly Bryan, Shelly Hall, Jennifer Morales, Melissa Q, Kim Blackburn, Tanya Ledger, Leslie Russell)


  • Wednesday, March 23:

-4th Grade Math Data Team, 11:30 - 3:30


  • Thursday,March 24:

-TELPAS Online Reading Test in Computer Lab: 8:00 am: 3rd Grade; 12:00 pm: 2nd Grade


-No Vertical Team Meeting (Vertical Teams will be a component of our work on Friday)


  • Friday, March 25:

-Professional Learning Day/Student Holiday (All staff report to campus unless otherwise informed)

-All Rooms and halls must be prepared for STAAR before you leave (see below for what must be prepared)


Save The Date: (please add these dates to your calendars)

  • Tuesday, March 29th and Wednesday, March 30th: STAAR Testing, Closed Campus
  • Friday, April 1st: TELPAS window closes
  • Friday, April 8: Rescheduled Laps for Learning Fun Run
  • Friday, April 15: PTA Carnival (please consider supporting this carnival by working a shift at your class/grade level booth, helping set up, or helping donate to silent auction baskets.)


Happy Birthday To:

Aundra Joyce 3/24

Tiffany Howe 3/37

Staff Member of the Week:

Marcia Wood: Marcia's fun fact was not available at the time of publication and will be shared at at alter date.


Belinda Little: Belinda's fun fact was not available at the time of publication and will be shared at at alter date.


Learn more about Belinda and Marcia when you stop by the "Star Staff" board in the Teacher's Lounge this week!

Updates and Information

Campus and District Updates:

Laps for Learning: The fun run will be held on Friday, April 8, 2016 during specials. Teachers are encouraged to join their classes to cheer them as they start or run/walk with them. Great news! The pledge collection window has been extended! Please help us communicate this PTA fundraiser and PE healthy lifestyle event to parents. The following talking points have been sent to parents in a Constant Contact:
  • We hope your students/families will consider contributing to our campus, our students, and our future by collecting a one time donation or pledges for each lap completed. Please let your child's teacher know if you need an envelope and pledge sheet. (Note: This fundraiser is in place of the previous pizza kit sales)
  • Pledge sheets will be turned in on the day of the fun run, so that volunteers can record the number of laps completed. All money will be due April 22nd.
  • Don't forget, incentives will be given for pledges and donations collected. Incentives include:

5 pledges or $25 in donations = sneaker key chain

10 pledges or $50 in donations = light up football

15 pledges or $75 in donations = plush pixel pal

20 pledges or $100 in donations = monster beach ball

25 pledges or $125 in donations = chance to win $50 Main Event gift card


  • Grade Level PLC Updates & Reminders: We made the decision to cancel PLCs this week so that your team could recapture some time together after being out for a week. We hope you find the time beneficial. While we are not meeting this week, there are a few items needing to be addressed on each team: Make sure your PLC agendas are all accounted for and up to date in the PLC room. These are a form of documentation necessary for FIR accountability reporting with the state, as well as Evidence of Action for our campus Instructional Focus. Additionally, if your SMART goals have not been updated, revised, etc. please make sure this is completed as well. If you need the template, please let Tanya, Leslie, or Kim know. These are also a documentation component for the campus. Thank you for your attention to these items. Our next grade level PLC day is April 5th. All items need to be updated before the next PLC.

  • STAAR Room and Hallway Preparation: All rooms being used for STAAR testing and all halls/common areas must be prepared for testing by the end of the day on Friday, March 25. A few things to consider when preparing rooms and halls:

1. Any instructional aids/resources, games, manipulatives must be removed/covered

2. Student desks should be cleared of any instructional resources

3. All bulletin board displays in testing rooms with anchor charts, word walls, etc. must be covered or removed

4. All student work and instructional displays/resources in the halls must be covered

5. When in doubt cover, remove, or ask a Campus Testing Coordinator :)


  • Staff Attire: We have had several "free" jeans days over the last few months. As those come to a close, this is a gentle, friendly reminder that jeans are only worn on Fridays with a spirit shirt or on designated Wednesdays with the "Yellow Brick Road" shirt (2nd and 4th Wednesdays per the cookie dough fundraiser incentive). If you choose to wear jeans on another day, you must turn in a jeans pass.