LVMS Weekly Staff Newsletter

Week of February 6, 2017

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Upcoming Events

Saturday, February 4th

District Basketball Tournament

Wednesday, February 8th

Faculty Meeting (Option 1 - Mr. Tucker will be there!)

Thursday, February 9th

Faculty Meeting (Option 2)

Friday, February 10th

School Dance

Monday, February 13th

Welcome, Mr. Tucker!

Wednesday, February 15th

7th Grade Writing & 8th Grade Reading Benchmarks

Thursday, February 16th

7th Grade Math, 8th Grade Math, & Algebra 1 (Mini) Benchmarks

Monday, February 20th

Student Holiday/ Campus PD Day

Friday, February 24th

Track and Field Meet at Blanco HS

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Our goal is 98% attendance and our attendance was 95.66% this week.

It’s important to send the message to our kids - School is your first and most important job! Our students are learning about much more than math, science, English, and social studies. They’re also learning the value and importance of showing up on time every day, which is an essential skill for college and for their future careers.

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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Interim Principal Update: Welcome, Mr. Tucker!

This past Wednesday, the LVISD Board of Trustees approved Mr. Carlton Tucker as the interim principal at Lago Vista Middle School. Mr. Tucker is a lifelong educator with experience as a campus principal at both the elementary and secondary levels. He has also served as a school superintendent. Even so, his love is the campus and the relationships that bond the students, teachers, and parents into a creative and effective team. He believes that the instructional team is the foundation of which aspirations, wishes, and dreams are founded.

Mr. Tucker is married with two children. His wife, Barbara, is a retired music teacher and his children, Kendra and Harrison, are a microbiology lab supervisor and attorney, respectively.

Mr. Tucker will be at LVMS to visit the staff on Wednesday, February 8th and will be at the faculty meeting that afternoon. We will officially welcome Mr. Tucker to the Viking Nation on February 13th.

We look forward to having him lead LVMS while the District conducts the principal search process and are grateful for the wealth of campus leadership experience he will bring to Lago Vista Middle School.

And, yes...the bow tie. It's a thing!

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February 8th/9th Faculty Meeting

Our next mandatory faculty meeting will be held on February 8th and February 9th. You have the option to choose to attend one of these 2 times...don't pick a time that conflicts with your duty schedule, please!

Wednesday, February 8th at 4:10pm (Mr. Tucker will be there!)


Thursday,February 9th at 7:45am

Please click on the link below to let us know which faculty meeting session you will attend:

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Principal Candidate Profile Survey for Current Staff

Lago Vista ISD is seeking input to assist in setting the skills and qualifications to be used in selecting the new principal for Lago Vista Middle School. Your input will be a critical part of the District's process.

The survey below consists of 33 questions and should take 10-15 minutes to complete. All input is anonymous and confidential and is for the sole use of the District. Input will be accepted until February 24, 2017.


We appreciate you for taking the time to provide us with feedback!

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Mark Your Calendars: Benchmark Dates

2017 Benchmark Dates

Feb 15 – 7th grade Writing & 8th grade Reading

Feb 16 – 7th grade Math, 8th grade Math, & Algebra 1

April 3 – 6th grade Reading, 7th grade Reading, & 8th grade Science

April 4 – 6th grade Math & 8th grade Social Studies

April 5 – Algebra 1 (2nd benchmark) & Make-ups

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Classroom Parties

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With Valentine's Day around the corner, it's a good time to review the handbook policies related to classroom parties.

School-sponsored parties must have prior approval from the sponsor/teacher and principal. Special occasions for food in the classroom must comply with federal school lunch guidelines and show a relevant lesson objective.

If you are planning any type of celebration, please email your request to Jayme and Suzy (for now) at least one week in advance...and, of course, please don't speak about potential plans with students until they've been approved.

Good to Know...

If they ask you about bringing food items to school, please remind parents that they may not bring food or drink to classrooms unless it is being used in a specific curriculum-based lesson and it has been pre-approved by the principal. State law DOES allow parents/grandparents to send cupcakes, cookies, or a light snack for the class to share on a student’s birthday, but they must check with the principal prior to sending food items. Also, please remind parents that they may not distribute food to students other than their own children in the cafeteria. We have all kinds of kiddos with food allergies and intolerances, so we want to keep them safe!

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Reminder About Student Cell Phone Use

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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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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!

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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) -

Featured Item (The Bottom One) -

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

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PLC This Week

Core teachers - Get with your team and identify a day that Jayme can meet you to discuss student data. Get ready to DIG! Team leads, let Jayme know what day works for your team.
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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.


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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.

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

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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!

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Fairness is our Viking Character Trait for the month of February. Throughout the month, Mrs. LaRosa will be visiting classrooms to talk to students about the importance of fairness in disagreeing respectfully, negotiating, and compromising.

Parents are encouraged to talk to their students about the importance of fairness by encouraging them to:

• Play by the rules;

• Take turns and share;

• Be open-minded and listen to others;

• Avoid taking advantage of others;

• Avoid blaming others carelessly; and

• Treat all people fairly.

2017-2018 Course Selection is Coming!

It's hard to believe that it's almost that time, but we are getting ready to begin the course selection process for next year. The LVMS and LVHS course guides will be published this month. Parents and students are encouraged to read through the course guides and plan their course selections carefully.

Current 6th and 7th Graders

Course selection sheets for upcoming 7th and 8th graders will be reviewed and completed during the last two weeks of May.

Current 8th Graders

Course selection sheets for upcoming 9th graders will be reviewed and completed during the week of April 24th-27th. LVHS will hold an 8th Grade Parent Night on April 27th to discuss courses and graduation plans. Stay tuned for more details!

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The Bleacher Report will return next week with a full recap of the the boys’ and girls’ basketball games against Comfort this week, as well as a rundown of the Lago Vista ISD Middle School Basketball Tournament being held this weekend.

If you’d like to attend the tournament today (Saturday, February 4th), here’s some helpful information:

The 8th Grade Tournament games will be held at the two LVHS gymnasiums.

The 7th Grade Tournament games will be held at the two LVMS gymnasiums.

Wear your Blue and Gold and come out to support our athletics program!

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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


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. The palabra de la semana is platypus.

  • 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!


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!

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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!

Cafeteria Expectations (Review for Teachers AND Students!)

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Please review this information and reinforce it with students.

Student Expectations in the Cafeteria

Be Respectful

· Exhibit appropriate peer interactions.

· Use appropriate language.

· Follow adult directions.

· Clean up after yourself.

· Wait your turn in line.

Be Responsible

· Keep your technology off and away.

· Pick up anything you drop.

· Remain in your seat.

· Use hand signals to communicate your needs.

· Wait for permission to get up out of your seat.

Be Safe

· Keep your hands, feet, and belongings to yourself.

· Keep backpacks and belongings out of the walkways.

Hand Signals

Once seated, students may not get up out of their seats in the cafeteria without permission. The hand signals above should be used to indicate to the adults in the room what a student needs. Here's a rundown:

1 Finger = I need a utensil (or napkin, ketchup, etc.).

2 Fingers = I would like to return to the line for seconds or to purchase something.

3 Fingers = I need to throw away my trash.

Crossed Fingers = I need to go to the restroom (1 at a time ONLY).

Reminders for Adults on Duty

  1. Students may NOT use personal electronic devices once the instructional day begins (including lunch).
  2. Noise level should be conversational. Any yelling or inappropriately loud voices will result in consequences.
  3. Tables are dismissed one by one. All trash should be picked up and there should be no food in the floor.

Budget Requisition Process Update - Super Important!

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 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:

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 Update - Also Super Important!

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:

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

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).

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:

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!
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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 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:


Call or Text: (206) 406-6485


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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 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.