01.11.16 Staff Update

A Communication Tool for the Seven Hills Staff

Personalized Learning at Seven Hills: Recharged. Refocused. Ready for Action.

I want to thank everyone for their engagement in PD and the staff meeting last week. The work done was important, and will support and guide our continuous improvement throughout the year. As I read through your exit ticket thoughts, I have been able to refocus my personalized learning lens, carefully considering what it is that will be the greatest leverage point to ensure teacher growth and student achievement. I look forward to sharing what I have in my circle of influence in the coming weeks.

I know this is going to be a busy week for everyone. Focus your time and energy on those tasks that you can influence! I will leave you with two powerful visuals:

1. Were you motivated by the concept of embracing a proactive approach? If you want to learn more about Covey's 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, take a few minutes to watch this brief summary:


2. Interested in seeing how the Circle of Influence can impact more than student achievement? I found the visual below from Jon Gordon to be a powerful connection between the work we have done so far and the potential impact on team relationships and effectiveness. After reflecting on this graphic, I think I might add "Other People's Mind Styles" to the "Things Outside of My Control" box and "My Mind Style" to the "Things I Can Control" circle.

Food for thought...Nom...Nom...Have a great week!

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Updates and Information

What's Happening Next Week at The Hills?

  • Monday, January 11th:

Million Word Challenge Zoo Program:

10:00 1st, 2nd, 3rd

11:00 Kinder, 4th, 5th

Adjusted Specials Schedule:

8:00 - 8:45 5th grade

8:45 - 9:00 4th grade

12:00 - 12:40 Kinder

12:40 - 1:20 1st grade

1:20 - 2:00 2nd grade

2:00 - 2:40 3rd grade

*I apologize for the confusion caused with 2nd and 3rd grade today for specials!

ORIGO Materials Training:

K - 3:00 - 3:45

1-5 - 3:45 - 5:00

We will meet in the PLC room

  • Tuesday, January 12th:

Grade Level PLCs

  • Wednesday, January 13th:

Kim off campus at PD

  • Thursday, January 14th:

PTA Teacher Luncheon

Early Release Day: Students dismiss at 12:15, sack lunches, appropriate afternoon work includes parent conferences, RtI updates, PLCs, grade level planning, end of 6 weeks/semester grading

Adjusted Specials Schedule:

7:50 - 8:45 5th Grade

8:45 - 9:40 4th Grade

9:40 - 10:35 3rd Grade

  • Friday, January 15th:

Early Release Day: Students dismiss at 12:15, sack lunches, appropriate afternoon work includes parent conferences, RtI updates, PLCs, grade level planning, end of 6 weeks/semester grading

Adjusted Specials Schedule:

8:00 - 8:55 Kinder

8:55 - 9:50 1st Grade

9:50 - 10:45 2nd Grade

Sack Lunch Pick Up Schedule for Thursday and Friday:

K - 10:30

1st - 10:40

2nd - 10:50

3rd - 11:00

4th - 11:10

PK/PPCD - 11:20

5th - 11:35

SBBB Due: K-2 Math and 3-5 Readers Response

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

  • End of Six Weeks and 1st Semester: January 15th
  • Early Release Days (please communicate to parents): January 15th and 16th
  • PTA Teacher Luncheon January 14th
  • Student & Staff Holiday January 18th (Please communicate to parents)
  • Susan Padgett, TEA, will be on campus 1/19 and 1/26 for classroom observation and PLCs
  • Awards Assemblies and College Colors Days are Friday, January 22
  • February 15 is designated as a bad weather make-up day. Should we not need to use this as a make-up day for students, students will have a holiday and staff will have a staff development day. Either way, staff work on Monday, February 15th.

Happy Birthday To:

Meghan Tucker and Allyson Moron 1/12

*Tara Heady 1/15

*Communication Reminders*

Effective and efficient communication is a priority and has been a campus goal and Principal goal this year. Every effort is made to make sure staff, students and parents are appropriately informed, and when gaps in communication are identified, intentional efforts are made to ensure we bridge those gaps.

We have had several gaps in communication recently - from the Principal's office as well as within classrooms and as a campus. This week's S'more is a great example. When I lost the original S'more that I had been working on throughout the weekend, I quickly worked to recreate. There were typos and missing information. It was an honest mistake, but it did create a problem for some. We all make mistakes, but we need to learn from them and move forward making an intentional effort to prevent future mistakes.

Please make sure you are helping support communication goals by remembering the following:

  • Place a copy of all communication sent home to parents in the binder in the front office. This includes days, times, and teacher sponsor name of ALL after school practices,etc. (i.e. UIL, Battle of the Books, clubs, etc.). This simple step helps the office know the answer to commonly asked questions when parents call, and helps prevent classroom interruptions.
  • Inform the school nurse any time a parent makes you aware of a health related issue. Do not assume that the parent has also informed the nurse. Often, there are parent notifications and/or additional follow-up steps that must be taken by the nurse. She cannot act accordingly if she doesn't know.
  • When in doubt...ask or inform! Again, please do not assume everyone is aware of a specific circumstance or situation. And, the office/admin team will do the same. It is important that everyone have accurate and timely information. For example, if there is a change in family dynamics that may affect who can and cannot visit or pick up a child.
  • Check your mailbox at lunch and planning periods daily for any important notes to go home. We will deliver anything needing to go home that day if it is not prepared by the first lunch period of the day.
  • Check your email before you leave each day to make sure there isn't communication needing to be sent to parents. If Administration needs specific or time sensitive communication to be sent, you will receive the subject, text, and any attachments in an email (for example the health notice sent last Friday). Any general reminders, etc. needing to be communicated will be in the S'more (for example, early release dates, etc.)
  • I am working diligently to consolidate communication efforts for parents and staff. Please help me with this by sending emails with any announcements you want parents and staff to receive to both myself and Wilma (Wilma will serve as a check point, making sure I get all important information). I will put them in the S'more and Star News Updates for you. This is especially important for parent communication. Parents are bombarded with information, and when information is delivered in an inconsistent manner, parents eventually become desensitized to everything they receive. When we can focus our efforts, we increase the likelihood that information will be received and read.
  • Remember that we are trying to encourage parents to go to the campus Facebook page for information, reminders, and storytelling. The Seven Hills Family and Friends page is the PTA page. Both Q and I have the ability to post on this page. Let us know if you have an announcement or story to tell! :). We are trying to grow this page, and are looking for stories to tell!
  • Read communication sent by the office and administrative team. It is your responsibility as a professional to be informed. Please make sure you read the S'more carefully each week and read email in its entirety. I know everyone is very busy. To respect your time, I work to consolidate information. It is easy to simply scan each piece of communication, but please make sure you are reading everything carefully. Again, ask if you have a question.

Thank you for your continued efforts to support campus communication goals!

Staff Member of The Week!

Carrie Kind: *Did you know that Carrie used to run a rescue dog business. At one point she had over 90 dogs! That's a lot of dogs!

Marisa Tindel: *Did you know that Marisa was featured in the 1992 Nolan Ryan Authorized Calendar? I can verify...I have seen the pictures!

Interesting and fun facts about Carrie and Marisa were not available at the time of publication. I will share their fun fact when it becomes available. Learn more about Marisa and Carrie when you stop by the "Star Staff" board in the Teacher's Lounge!

Information and Reminders:

  • *SBBBs: I was notified on Monday that a campus from Birdville ISD will be visiting Seven Hills the first week in February to look at SBBBs. This should not stress anyone, as I have been impressed with the boards we have look at so far. After careful consideration, I have decided to extend the SBBB due date to next week so that you can work to make sure the task is aligned, student work is authentic and reflective of the rigor of the standard, commentary is meaningful, and board presentation is engaging. We will discuss the components of the rubric with our guests, and I encourage you to consider the rubric as you prepare your new boards. Please let me know if you need a copy of the rubric. Tanya sent an email to staff offering support with SBBBs as well.

  • *Maintenance Requests and Cleaning: Please make sure you are letting Wilma know if a facilities request needs to be entered for a maintenance issue or cleaning. We do have the ability to request deep cleaning when we are experiencing an outbreak of certain health issues including but not limited to the flu, stomach bugs, etc. Typically, the nurse will let Wilma know if this is necessary, but the teacher can also request. Please be aware that a request has recently been entered for a thorough cleaning of the campus.
  • Don't Borrow Trouble: The image to the left seemed to be timely...and it made me laugh a little, so I thought I would share!
  • Shine Time This Week: I have been approached by multiple grade levels regarding Shine Time this week. I understand that the program on Monday and Early Release Days on Thursday and Friday certainly present time constraints. I encourage your teams to work together to determine the best use of available instructional time this week. It is possible that the Shine Time minutes could be recaptured for DRA assessments, spiral review activities, etc.
  • Fundraising Goal Incentive: one of the incentives promised if we met our campus fundraising goal was that staff would be able to wear jeans with their Wednesday "Yellow Brick Road" shirt two Wednesdays per month. Because we met (actually exceeded) our goal, the second and fourth Wednesdays of the month have been designated as jeans days.Thank you for your support of our fundraising efforts! Mark your calendars for the following jeans with your "Yellow Brick Road" shirt days:

January: 1/13 & 1/27

February: 2/10 & 2/24

March: 3/9 & 3/23

April: 4/13 & 4/27

May: 5/11 & 5/25

June: Bonus day 6/1