Monday Message

Excellence and High Expectations With A Commitment to All

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February 8, 2016

Happy Monday!

I hope everyone had a fantastic Monday! It was definitely a windy one! My wife and I visited the Tulsa Art crawl. I had never attended it and glad we went. We only had the opportunity to visit a few of art art establishments and look forward to visiting it again. This time around we had the opportunity to visit the Tulsa Living Arts Center and the Henry Zarrow Center for Art and Education. It was so great to see art work from TPS students throughout the second floor of the Zarrow center. We have so many talented artist in our elementary school --- they can only go up and beyond when they arrive in our buildings!
This is now week two of February. And this means it is about week 24 of school. OCCT and EOI testing start on April 11 -- which means we have exactly 35 school days from testing.

ACCESS Testing starts today. If you have any trouble or challenges with your testing calendar please be sure to let Laura or me know.

Our Portfolio meeting is scheduled this week, Wednesday from 8-4 at ECJR. Be sure to bring a charged laptop, headphones and a readiness for group sharing/learning.

During these next weeks, I look forward to spending time in the classrooms with our teachers.

During our joint visits I will be using the following framework to guide our time together:
Pulse Check: How are you doing?
Deep Dive 1: Digging deeper with data, feedback, or culture
Deep Dive 2: Digging deeper with data, feedback, or culture
Quick Hits: What do you need me to follow up with?
Commitments: What will each of us need to follow up with ?

As a reminder, during this month, a few points we will be touching are:
- Progress on Roadmaps (Gradation and student achievement) - [Monthly]
- Action Plans: Literacy, Numeracy, Suspension / Referrals
- Read 180/System 44 progress [classroom observations]
- PLC joint observations
- Teacher coaching
- Time management calendar [Pulse Check]
- Portfolio Meeting [This week]

Each of you are at different places with the aforementioned topics. During our visits we will define future the meeting focus to ensure we continue to align our work to be high-impact.

As always, I am humbled and honored to be your ILD and working alongside you to change the future our children, communities and city.

-Your ILD, Julio César Contreras

FYI: If you haven't had the opportunity to read our strategic plan: Click here to read Destination to Excellence

Did you know...February 8 is the Chinese New Year Celebration?

Each Chinese New Year is characterized by one of 12 animals which appear in the Chinese zodiac. The Chinese zodiac is divided into 12 blocks (or houses) just like its western counterpart, but with the major difference being that each house has a time-length of one year instead of one month.

This year it's the Year of the Monkey, the ninth animal in the cycle. The next Year of the Monkey will be in 2028.

People born in the Year of the Monkey are characterized as lively, quick-witted, curious, innovative and mischievous, but it is also believed to be one of the most unlucky years in the Chinese calendar.

Some Chinese New Year Taboos:

Medicine, Laundry, The Broom, Hair Washing, Debt etc. Read more here :)

Black History Month: February

African American History Month is here!!! Teachers of all grades and content areas will be searching the internet and library for resources to use as they plan and deliver engaging lessons.

Put the power of sources to work in the classroom. Browse ready-to-use lesson plans, student activities, collection guides and research aids at:


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Attendance Info and Shout-Outs

Attendance Information: Messaging
As we move through February, we need to take time to strategize and ensure we are communicating the right message to the different groups [parents, students, staff].

The more our students and community hear from us about attendance, the more they understand we truly value their presence, contribution and most of all their future!

Key points I like to communicate regularly are:
- School Wide Goals
- Progress Toward Goals
- The correlation between attendance and student achievement
- Incentives and healthy challenges: i.e. department challenges, grade level challenges, week by week challenges

Attendance Works is an amazing website with resources each of us can modify and use. Click here to see the AttendanceWork guidance sheet for messaging

Attendance SHOUTS OUTS:
- ECJR almost had all of last week at or above 93% - and two days above 96% AWESOME!
- McLain Jr had two days above 93%, Hale Jr has 1 days above 93%
- Hale Hs has gotten closer to 90%

Keep it up!

Click here to download last weeks attendance data chart

Portfolio Legend:

(Jr) 95+ Green; 93-94.99 Yellow; 92.99- Red

(Hs) 93+ Green; 87-92.99 Yellow; 86.99 - Red


Graduation Roadmap: Increase the graduation rate by 5 percentage points between the 2015 and 2016 graduation cohorts.

REMINDER: The optional EOI Trimester testing is currently on-going and scheduled to close on February 12. Please be sure to check in with your team to ensure students that need to test are scheduled to test as this window closes.

PFL: Last week I shared that there were about 557 students missing PFL with approximately 44% of these students from our portfolio. As we meet these next weeks I look forward to learning what plans we will put in place to ensure our students get the needed classes/courses complete for graduation
Click here to access the PFL spreadsheet that was shared last week
Please click on tab two and sort Column C to see student names for each school.

710: 136
715: 31
720: 51
Total: 245

High schools should click here to access the graduation progress spreadsheet

Reminder: Supervision and Feedback: 6 Step Video

During our Portfolio meeting we will be partnering with a fellow Principal and reviewing each others 6 step feedback. It will be a great day of learning and colleague-coaching.

Some of you have tried without success to email the 6 step video that I have requested every school leader have. To assist you with this, I can pick up the video during our site visit. In addition, you can also upload the video to your google drive and share the link for me to access. As a reminder: This video will be used during our February portfolio meeting [scheduled for February 10].

Be sure to reach out to me if you have any questions regarding this.

Reminder: 6 Step Feedback Self-Assessment

REMINDER: Where do you feel you are performing against the 6 STEP Feedback Rubric? Take a moment to download and print the rubric below. Circle where you think you are across each of the indicators as pre-work to our February Portfolio Meeting. Send me a scanned copy of your rubric by the Monday, February 8.

UPDATE: Portfolio Meeting: ECJR 8:00-4:00 p.m.

FYI: Portfolio meetings will continue at school sites. Josh has agreed to host for February. Portfolio meeting times will be from 8:00-4:00
The agenda topics we will engage in are:
- Destination Excellence: Core Values
- Curriculum & Instruction
- Data Driven Decision: SRI/SMI
- Consultancy Protocol

Looking forward to our collaborative learning!


District Information

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SRI & SMI Testing 1/25-2/5 - Check-In

Some of you had an extra day of testing due to power or internet problems. Preliminary data shows growth in student Lexiles and Quantile score. I am looking forward to reviewing this data collaboratively at our portfolio meeting.

Important Dates

  • 2/8-4/1 ACCESS Testing
  • 2/10 Portfolio Meeting @ ECJR 8-4
  • 2/15 No School: Martin Luther King Jr Day
  • Feb 23 - Feb 25: 8th Grade Writing Test (Return tests on 2/26)
  • Feb 29 - Tulsa Model Observation Deadline
  • Feb 29 - Mar 7 Spring Tripod

Star Student of the Week

Meet Maguia

Meet a student in our portfolio with a dream and a plan to achieve!

Q) Where do you want to attend college?
A) Langston University
Q) What is your favorite TV program?
A) Love and Hip Hop
Q) What do you plan to do as a career?
A) Cosmetology
Q) How do you spend your freetime?
A) Skating
Q) What is something interesting about yourself?
A) I avoid trouble

Conociedo a la Familia / Getting to know the Family

Meet Mike Crase

Q) What would you like to accomplish at your school this year?
A) For East Central High School to become the growth model school for the district
Q) What is your favorite movie?
A) Gladiator
Q) What is your favorite childhood memory?
A) My dad coaching me in summer baseball
Q) Who is someone you admire and why?
A) My Wife...She is a Great Person, Great Mother, Great Wife and Great Partner
Q) If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?
A) To Rome