9.28.15 Staff Update

A Communication Tool for the Seven Hills Staff

Personalized Learning at Seven Hills: Grit. Do You Have It?

"The work of teaching and leading in schools is very, very hard."

Never has a truer statement been written. An educator's job is time and labor intensive. An educator's job requires mental and emotional acuity and commitment . An educator's job is indeed hard! But, I challenge anyone to find a more intellectually stimulating, personally satisfying, and emotionally rewarding job on this planet! Our jobs are meaningful. We have the awesome responsibility of shaping the future and making a difference not only in our community, but in the life of a child! Yes, our job is hard, but I couldn't see myself doing anything else. In the short time I have been at The Hills, I can say with confidence that each staff member has the same passion and sees the same purpose about their role as an educator! Thank you for your dedication to the profession and the students at SHES! It is an honor to serve as your leader.

The month of October can be particularly challenging for educators. We are coming off of the beginning of the year adrenaline rush. We are physically and mentally exhausted. The BOY assessment data is in. The state of the campus has been communicated. We see the mountain we have to climb to ensure student growth and success. It is an easy time of year to feel defeated...to lose hope...to take on a perspective that the mountain is too steep to even attempt to climb.

We have talked about embracing a growth mindset and developing GRIT with students, but have you reflected on your mindset? Do you have GRIT? Are you comfortable failing forward? If ever there was a time of year to be reflective and embrace a growth mindset as an adult learner, it is now...as we enter into the month of October! I encourage everyone to shift the lens...Let's change our perspective:

  • In October, our perseverance, resilience, and stamina will be challenged, and we may stumble, but we will not fall...we will recover with the support of our teammates, administrators, and friends...and we will be better teachers, teammates, administrators, parents, etc. through our experiences.
I'm willing to embrace this mindset...Are you?

The quote above is from the article linked below. The ideas suggested are timely, and I plan on noticing moments of success. I can't wait to see what it does for my mindset and our campus!


"You are capable of more than you know." - Glinda

Updates and Information

What's Happening Next Week at The Hills?

  • Monday, September 28th:

-Google Drive training with Kelli Sanders in the conference room during planning periods

- Leslie Russell off campus at training

-New SHES teacher meeting at 3 pm

  • Tuesday, September 29th:

- Grade Level PLCs

-Tanya Ledger off campus in am

  • Wednesday, September 30th:

  • Thursday, October 1st:

-PTA Teacher Luncheon (because of the new lunch schedule, PTA is not covering lunch duty this year)

- OLT/Safety Team Meeting, 3:00 - 4:30 library

  • Friday, October 2nd:

-MWC Kick-Off, 1:45 (see adjusted specials schedule)

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

October 14th Fire Safety Program 1:45

Fundraising Kick-Off Assembly 8:00 am and 8:30 am (more details to come)

DATE CHANGE INFORMATION: Newark Cruisin' Days is Friday, October 23rd. We will move 50's day and the Sock Hop during Specials from October 16th to October 23rd. Please mark your calendars.

Afternoon Assembly Schedule:

7:50 - 8:40 5th

8:40 - 9:30 4th

9:30 - 10:20 3rd

10:20 - 11:10 2nd

11:10 - 11:40 Specials Lunch

11:50 - 12:40 K

12:40 - 1:30 1st

1:45 - 2:40 Assembly

Happy Birthday To:

Maricarmen Parra 10/1

Brenda Franks 10/3

Information and Reminders:

  • Analytic Writing Rubric: Great engagement in the training last week. We will practice calibrating with grade level teams in the weeks to come. We will also be communicating expectations for posting rubrics in classrooms. The rubric can be a powerful tool for growing writers, and in order to achieve the highest levels of achievement, writers need to be familiar with the stages they are working through and toward. To help support implementation of this rubric with students, we will be offering opportunities for co-teaching with staff. Look for an email with more information next week.

  • DRA Data is in...Now What?: Need to collaborate on building flexible groups for guided reading based on DRA data? Need help leveling classroom libraries for browsing boxes? Need help organizing take home books/book bags? If you answered "yes" or "maybe" to any or all of these questions, please contact Tanya Ledger. She ready and eager to help!

  • GAP Testing: Next week please come to the computer lab during your normal library time. Do not bring any library books, students will not have time to check in or out. Instead students can be sent in the morning before school each day except for Wednesday to switch out books. I know this is unfortunate but by using this same schedule we will be able to get the GAP testing done in 1 week and will take away the least amount of instructional time as possible.

    If you would like your class to have scratch paper and pencil to work out problems please bring those with you. I will have everything else ready to go.

  • Parent Conferences: Teachers need to begin scheduling parent conferences for our designated conference days, October 6th and 15th. If a parent cannot meet on one of those days, you may schedule a conference on a different day. It is a campus expectation that teachers meet with all parents for beginning of the year conferences. If you are struggling to make contact with a parent, please let an administrator know so that we can help support you. Remember, staff are using the designated 6 hours for parent conferences in exchange for the holiday on October 12th.
  • Early Release Day on October 9th: Students will release at 12:15 on October 9th. Staff will meet from 1 - 3 for professional learning. Pizza lunch will be provided.
  • Beginning of the year conferences with Kim Blackburn are going well! These conferences are for all staff members. We will discuss your goals for the year, what support you need from me, etc. If I am your appraiser for PDAS, we will also discuss your observation. Use this following link to sign up: https://docs.google.com/a/nisdtx.org/spreadsheets/d/1GltuZsjn6Wm9cah9kfMKXgcB7d92JDDSlsskwzTCnko/edit?usp=sharing
  • PDAS Pre-Conferences with Leslie Russell begin soon as well. If Leslie is your appraiser, please use the following link to schedule a conference with her: https://docs.google.com/a/nisdtx.org/spreadsheets/d/18BbAXDOOGUSXvI4TuFW88hPXXbx81G1vtf0nI49u0io/edit?usp=sharing