Team Talk

Week of March 21st

Enhancing PBL

At the publishing of this week's edition of Team Talk, no team members were signed-up for Critical Friends. I'm confident that after Monday's PLC meetings team members will have signed up to present.

Honoring the professional standard of on time attendance is expected. Team members should be seated by 8:09 in preparation for starting at 8:10.

Thank you for your commitment to becoming a solution-oriented, collaborative team committed to maintaining a positive environment that fuels risk-tasking and the pursuit of excellence in PBL.

Why Do People Differ?

Over the last two weeks you have learned the two types of mindsets and completed an assessment to identify the one you currently hold. This week's reading will allow you to examine the historical underpinnings of this body of work. The article is noted below:

Since the dawn of time, people have thought differently, acted differently, and fared differently from each other. It was guaranteed that someone would ask the question of why people differed why some people are smarter or more moral – and whether there was something that made them permanently different. Experts lined up on both sides. Some claimed that there was a strong physical basis for these differences, making them unavoidable and unalterable. Through the ages these alleged physical differences have included bumps on the skull (phrenology), the size and shape of the skull (craniology), and, today, genes.

Others pointed to the strong differences in people’s backgrounds, experiences, training, or ways of learning. It may surprise you to know that a big champion of this view was Alfred Binet, the inventor of the IQ test. Wasn’t the IQ test meant to summarize children’s unchangeable intelligence? In fact, no. Binet, a Frenchman working in Paris in the early 20th century, designed this test to identify children who were not profiting from the Paris public schools, so that new educational programs could be designed to get them back on track. Without denying individual differences in children’s intellects, he believed that education and practice could bring about fundamental changes in intelligence. Here is a quote from one of his major books, Modern Ideas About Children, in which he summarizes his work with hundreds of children with learning difficulties:

“A few modern philosopher’s assert that an individual's intelligence is a fixed quantity, a quantity which cannot be increased. We must protest and react against this brutal pessimism.... With practice, training, and above all, method, we manage to increase our attention, our memory, our judgment and literally to become more intelligent than we were before.”

Who’s right? Today most experts agree that it’s not either/or. It’s not nature or nurture, genes or environment. From conception on, there’s a constant give and take between the two. In fact, as Gilbert Gottlieb, an eminent neuroscientist put it, not only do genes and environment cooperate as we develop, but genes require input from the environment to work properly.

At the same time, scientists are learning that people have more capacity for life-long learning and brain development than they ever thought. Of course, each person has a unique genetic endowment. People may start with different temperaments and different aptitudes, but it is clear that experience, training, and personal effort take them the rest of the way. Robert Sternberg, the present-day guru of intelligence writes that the major factor in whether people achieve expertise “is not some fixed prior ability, but purposeful engagement.” Or, as his forerunner, Binet, recognized, it’s not always the people who start out the smartest who end up the smartest.

Leadership Opportunities

We are seeking team members to lead the coordination of this year's Awards Day and Early Start. The awards day leader will ensure that the appropriate number of awards are available and oversee the event for the day.

Early start is the four days in which new students are oriented to the campus. The leader for this event will organize the activities for each day which includes securing presenters and student ambassadors.

Email Ms. Sorey if you are interested in these leadership opportunities.


Kudos to Ms. Wendy Jackson for providing an opportunity for the entire school to engage in town hall meetings and a mock election with her most recent project! The student-led event was an authentic example of the political process.

Events On the Horizon

March 24 EOC English I Lock-in 5:00-8:00

March 25 Inclement Weather Day Staff/Student Holiday

March 29 EOC English I (Results Return June 3, 2016)

March 31 EOC English II (Results Return June 3, 2016)

April 1 AVID 11th Grade College 9:00-2:00

April 2 Saturday School 8:30-12:30

April 2 New Tech vs Barack Obama Rematch 1:30
April 7 An Evening for Africa 5:00-7:00

April 11 Inclement Weather Day Staff/Student Holiday

April 12-15 Student Perception Survey

April 28 11th Grade Dept. of Labor Field Trip 9:00-1:00

April 29 EOC Lock-in 5:00-8:30

April 30 Intramural Soccer Tournament 9:00-2:00

May 2 EOC Biology (Results Return June 3, 2016)

May 3 EOC Algebra I (Results Return June 3, 2016)

May 3 AP Spanish

May 4 EOC US History (Results Return June 3, 2016)

May 4 AP Lit and Comp

May 5 AP Calculus

May 6 AP US History

May 9 AP Biology

May 10 AP Government

May 11 AP Lang Composition

May 12 AP Macroeconomics

May 16-20 Senior Exams

May 20 Senior Picnic

May 25 JA Financial Park Field Trip for Seniors 9:00-1:00

May 26 Field Day and Senior's Last Day

May 27 ACP Exams

May 30 Memorial Day No School

June 1-2 ACP Exams

June 3 Teacher Work day

June 6 Graduation Ellis Davis Filed House 7:00PM-8:00PM

June 6-9 Early Start 9:00-1:00

DeVeaux's Schedule

2016-17 Staffing Meeting

Monday, March 21st, 9:30-11:30am

9400 North Central Expressway

Dallas, TX

Ken Williams PD

Wednesday, March 23rd, 8:30-11:30am

2909 North Buckner Boulevard

Dallas, TX

Principal's Meeting

Wednesday, March 23rd, 1-5pm

5151 Samuell Boulevard

Dallas, TX

Master Schedule Roundtable

Thursday, March 24th, 1-4pm

Haskell Bldg


Sunday, March 20th, 5:15-6pm