Rockbrook Gazette

News You Can Use

Vision Statement

We succeed with no limits because we believe in ourselves and value our learning.

Mission Statement

In partnership with students, families, and community, Rockbrook Elementary provides quality instruction that fosters high expectations and honors diversity.

From the Principal's Desk

No Excuses University is a philosophy that encourages schools to focus not on programs but instead on the creation of six exceptional systems. As you know the six exceptional systems are:

  • Culture of Universal Achievement
  • Collaboration
  • Standards Alignment
  • Assessment
  • Data Management
  • Intervention
We must be focused and intentionally addressing each of these systems everyday. One day at a time. Meaningful change takes time. Our students deserve it.

We continue to develop the system of Culture of Universal Achievement through our Character Development Plan, the relationships we are building with our students, and our professional learning that addresses high yield strategies to use in the classroom and focuses on meeting the needs of our students of poverty.

Additionally, Doug Curry, NEU presenter, will be our guest on our Professional Learning Day, February 15. He says classroom management can and should be nice and create hope in our students. Please take a moment to read one of Doug's blogs:

Hope is a Choice

Hope is a choice. Having a hopeful attitude is a choice. Staying positive and encouraging is a choice. Believing in kids is a choice.

“It’s the responsibility of the adults of the school to create and maintain exceptional systems in order to ensure that the students succeed.”


It’s the responsibility of the adults of the school to realize:

  • That their school will be as good as the adults want it to be.
  • That they are the determining factor as to what the school will be—a school where kids are hopeful, successful, happy, and optimistic, or a school where it appears everyone has just given up.
  • That they are in their school for a reason! Tough kids? Tough school? Lots of challenges? Then that’s why you are there. Maybe you have gifts, talents, and skills that no one else possesses that will enable you to reach the most challenging student of your school.
  • That it never was nor will it ever be easy. Belief in the face of adversity is hard.
  • That the quote from Marianne Williamson is true:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.”

This is NEU in its deepest meaning. It’s scary how much influence you have over the kids of your school. It’s scary to know just how much responsibility you ultimately have over their future success. It’s scary to know just how important the adults are. It’s scary to know that we are in control of everything that happens in our school.

Don’t believe it? Then explain the great Jaime Escalante (Stand and Deliver). The worst part of his success (read his biography) was the response of other adults to him and the success of his kids.

Do you know the crab pot analogy? One crab tries to escape the boiling water, and all of the other crabs pull him back in. We do that as adults just as much as kids do.

It’s scary when we truly see what one fanatical and caring adult can do to influence students for success.

We now enter the most difficult season of the year in our schools. What makes your school different?

Will you choose to be hopeful and instill hope that your students can succeed?

Will you choose to stay happy and kind?

Will you choose to stay positive and encouraging?

Will you choose to believe even when it looks nearly impossible? (How in the world did the Seattle Seahawks beat the Green Bay Packers? The game was virtually over!)

“It’s the responsibility of the adults of the school to create and maintain exceptional systems in order to ensure that the students succeed.”

Don’t be afraid to be great. There is no better cause.

No Excuses.

Happy Birthday


5 Isabella Ortega Cafeteria

17 Kelly McWilliams 1st grade

21 Ariel Johnson FLS aide

26 Denise Kirksey Pre-K aide

January 18-22

Sunday, January 17

Happy Birthday, Kelly McWilliams!

Monday, January 18

School Holiday/Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Tuesday, January 19 Day 4

3rd Nine Weeks begins

4th Grade MAPS

Wednesday, January 20 Day 5

Sherry @ Principals Meeting

5th Grade MAPS

Faculty Meeting 3:15 in the Library-1st Grade TLAC/Jensen

Submit entry form for Chili Cook-off (Team vs. Team could be fun!)

Parenting with Love and Logic 7-8pm in the Cafeteria

Thursday, January 21 Day 1

Happy Birthday, Ariel Johnson!

3rd Grade Math CBA

2nd Grade MAPS

Advisory Council Meeting 3:15 in the TRC

Friday, January 22

Club Friday 4th/1st

Sherry and Laurie @ Budget Meeting 1:00-3:00

Chili Cook-off 6:00 in the Cafeteria

Important Dates

January 19-Feb. 5 K-2 MOY Math Universal Screening

  • 2/26/2016 Data due

January 20 5th grade MAP

January 21 2nd grade MAP/3rd Grade Math CBA

January 22 5th grade MAP

January 26 2nd grade MAP

January 27 5th grade MAP

January 29 K-2 MOY DRA

January 5-29 K-5 Writing Rubric

**Update RtI Google Doc as needed

Focus on Character





  1. the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.

    "She expressed her gratitude to the committee for their support."

    synonyms:gratefulness, thankfulness, thanks, appreciation, indebtedness;

    recognition, acknowledgment, credit

    "Chip was miffed by his nephew's lack of gratitude."

Enter your Hall of Fame student for demonstrating GRATITUDE by January 25 on Google doc.

Check out these websites for ideas about teaching gratitude.

Information Station

iPad Updates

Ipads went home with our 3rd, 4th and 5th grade students who have paid their fees.

Teacher Observations

The next few weeks Admin will be working to complete observations. This means that we may be unavailable to you when you call for us. Please be patient and we will get to you as soon as we are available. As we are completing your teacher observations please remember to electronically sign them.

Bear Brags

Keep the bear brags coming!!!!!!! We love celebrating the wonderful things our bears are doing during Bear Boogie!

Tweet Tweet Tweet !!!

Thank you to all of the tweeters in the building! We are beginning to get some great feedback from our tweets. If you or your grade level have not tweeted in a while, make a goal to tweet something in the upcoming week!

Character Development

Thank you to each one of you who are using our campus plan to decide when to refer to the office. When a student comes to the office we make decisions based on each child, our district discipline mattrix, and district leader feedback. If you have concerns about a particular student, please come and talk with us. Together we can help each child be successful.

Girl's Group

Mrs. Stephens is starting a girls group in grade levels 3,4, and 5. The first girls group will meet on February 10. Mrs. Stephens will meet with a group of 12-15 girls and just chat during their recess or lunch. Each grade level please send Mrs. Stephens names of girls you think would most benefit from this time. The names are due by Thursday, January 28. After names are received a schedule will be sent out so we are all aware of the process. This is a new idea and Mrs. Stephens is still developing and planning. More info coming soon!!!!!!

Awesome 5th graders

If you see these 5th graders in the hallway please give them some praise.

The young ladies are Preethi Chandry, Lizzie Smith, Paris Quintero, Marseille Blache, Emily Herrera, Gabriella Thomas, and Ashley Smith. This week and next week these ladies will join Mrs. Stephens in helping Mrs. Carmen clean in the cafeteria. We have had a blast together so far this week. Students will enjoy lunch with Mrs. Stephens at the end of their two weeks. Then Mrs. Stephens will ask for her next group of volunteers.

Admin off campus

Sherry Betts

Friday January 21.

Kellee Stephens

Friday, January 21 - STAAR prep training

Wednesday, January 27 - Tel-pas training

Thursday , February 25 - STAAR training

Friday, February 26 - STAAR training

Teacher "Shout Outs" and "Thank You's" !!!!!!!

A special thank you to Santhi, Becky,Carol, Mary, Emily, Sarah, and Katie, for helping with the beautiful Childhood picture bulletin board. It looks absolutely amazing!!!! It is so much fun to see our Rockbrook Bears staring at the pictures trying to figure out who is who. Thank you ladies!

A shout out to all of the teachers in grades 2-5 who have patiently worked to understand and help our children complete our first round of MAPS testing. You all were absolutely wonderful. Thank you to Vanessa Howard and Christi Barnes for being willing to lead the way in helping us all understand how to administer the test. Your confidence helped us all feel at ease. Thank you , Thank you , Thank you

Shout out to Ms. Laue !!! Her print rich classroom is beautiful. When you look at her walls, you can track the learning that has taken place throughout the year thus far.

A special thank you to Mrs.Neal for taking our choir to represent us at the LISD black history program. Their voices were beautiful!

Thank you to Ashley Gunn and Rebecca Yarrington for attending the PTA meeting on January 20.

Thank you to the ladies in the office, we received several phone calls and a few walk ins from parents singing their praises! So thankful we have you ladies greeting our community.

Shout out to our P.E. teachers for helping our students keep their health in mind.

Shout out to Mrs. Mchugh and Mrs. Mitchell who did an excellent job managing the cafeteria during their lunch times.

Shout out to Mrs. Laurie Urrutia who works so humbly in the background to keep our school moving forward!

Thank you Nurse Angela for organizing biggest loser and Go Red!

Mrs. Vick and Mrs. Pilgrim for organizing Bear Patrol! The students are enjoying it!

Thank you to each and everyone who contributes to the forward progress of Rockbrook! All we need is the critical mass to continue to progress!

We see you !!!!!!! More Shout outs to come!!!!