The Quintanilla STAR

News you can use---November 9, 2015 edition

Core Beliefs

  • *Our main purpose is to improve student academic achievement.
  • *Effective instruction makes the most difference in student academic performance.
  • *There is no excuse for poor quality instruction.
  • *With our help, at risk students will achieve at the same rate as non-at risk students.
  • *Staff members must have a commitment to children and a commitment to the pursuit of excellence.
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    Fall Festival

    Thank you to all the staff and teachers who made our 3rd annual fall festival a success! Students were able to come out to the school with their families and enjoy a night of games, dancing and fun! It was also a great opportunity for the school to earn money that will be used toward bringing more activities to our awesome students.

    Happy Veteran's Day!!!!

    Our very own veterans are:

    Sgt. Elleeson-------Army

    Mr. Hinton--------- Army

    Mr. Lackey---------- Navy

    Colonel Newth---- Army

    Ms. Orr-------------- Army

    Officer Reyna------Marines

    Make sure when you see them in the halls to acknowledge them.

    Important Upcoming Events

    *11/11/15: Lady Stars Basketball vs. OW Holmes MS, Ellis Davis FH, 6PM and 7PM

    *11/12/15: QMS Boys Basketball vs. OW Holmes MS, Ellis Davis, FH , 6PM and 7PM

    *11/12/15: SBDM Meeting @5PM in the QMS conference room

    *11/12/15: PTA Meeting @6PM in the QMS auditorium

    *11/14/15: Band All Region Auditions-Kennemer MS-7101 West Wheatland Road, Dallas, TX 75249 -ALL DAY

    *11/20/15: UNT College Tour (AVID 8)

    Anti-Bullying Week

    Anti Bullying Week "Be a Hero" is November 16-20.

    Monday November 16th Assembly

    1st Period 7th Grade Students

    2nd Period 8th Grade Students

    Tuesday November 17th Assembly

    1st Period 6th Grade Students

    The dress up schedule for next week is below. Please encourage your students to participate.

    Monday November 16TH

    “Team Up Against Bullying”

    Wear your favorite team’s shirt

    Tuesday November 17th

    “It’s Ok to be Different”

    Crazy Hair Day

    Wednesday November 18th

    “Be a Hero and report Bullying”

    Wear your Super Hero Shirt

    Thursday November 19th

    “Stomp Out Bullying”

    Wear your Boots

    Friday November 20th

    “Shine and Light against Bullying”

    Wear your Neon shirts”

    Teacher of the Month

    When you see Mr. Petti, congratulate him on being Teacher of the Month!! Great job, Mr. Petti!

    Article of the week

    Effective Professional Learning Communities

    (Originally titled “How PLCs Do Data Right” by Rick DuFour)

    In this article in Educational Leadership, PLC guru Richard DuFour looks back ruefully on his rookie teaching years in the 1970s. He remembers giving unit tests on Friday, marking them over the weekend, and giving them back to students on Monday. “I had a sense of smug self-satisfaction,” he says, “because I believed that my challenging assessments, my willingness to devote hours to grading papers, and my commitment to returning tests promptly was proof positive that I was a great teacher.”

    As students looked over their papers, DuFour would go over problem areas. He then gathered up the tests, clearly signaling that the unit was over, grades were final, and he was moving on. “It never even occurred to me to review the results with colleagues, to use this evidence of student learning to inform and improve my teaching, or to provide students with additional time and support to master the content.” The bell-shaped curve of grades was what it was. Students who performed well were a testament to his terrific teaching, and students who didn’t do well either lacked ability or hadn’t worked hard enough.

    DuFour believes that over the last 40 years, we’ve made significant strides, shifting “from an era in which what was taught, how learning was assessed, what instructional materials were used, and how grades were assigned were all determined by the individual teacher to whom a student was randomly assigned. Now we’re asking teachers to work in collaborative teams to achieve common goals for which they are mutually accountable.” At the heart of the PLC process is teams analyzing the results of common interim assessments and asking themselves four questions:

    • Which students were unable to demonstrate proficiency on this assessment? The team identifies these students by name and need and gets them into a “system of intervention” that is timely (immediately after the assessment), directive (students don’t have a choice), diagnostic (e.g., unable to subtract two-digit integers), and systematic (the school has a plan for additional time and help until all students reach proficiency).

    • Which students are highly proficient and would benefit from extended or accelerated learning? Research has shown that these opportunities (as opposed to tracking) greatly improve learning. During the intervention/enrichment block in one school in Illinois, 3-5 additional teachers flood into the grade level to provide additional support and keep group sizes small.

    What can I learn from colleagues who got excellent results in an area where my students struggled? Transparency and candor are important at this point, making it possible for teachers to admit instructional failures and ask for help. The transfer of successful practices can take place through meetings, viewing videos, sharing lesson plans, or observing classes.

    What are we going to do about areas where none of us achieved the results we expected? Effective teams take a hard look at the data, reach out for ideas, set goals, and check back with subsequent assessments to see what’s working best.

    DuFour is encouraged by the way PLCs are taking hold, but he’s concerned about one missing element. Many schools agree on appropriate curriculum goals, give common assessments, and give students additional time and support. “What they fail to do, however, is to use the evidence of student learning to improve instruction,” he says. “They are more prone to attribute students’ difficulties to the students themselves” – they need to study harder, do a better job on homework, or ask for help. “Rather than listing what students need to do to correct the problem,” says DuFour, “educators need to address what they can do better collectively.”

    “How PLCs Do Data Right” by Richard DuFour in Educational Leadership, November 2015 (Vol. 73, #3, p. 22-26), available for purchase at; DuFour can be reached at