Ram Nation News

Week of September 16, 2019

Vision

A middle school that cultivates scholars to be catalysts of change, life-long learners, innovators, and competitors in a global society
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#EXCELLENCE, Back At It Again

I trust you are having a great and relaxed weekend sharing with family and friends. I know we are ready for our fifth week in school.

We are definitely on our road to EXCELLENCE!!! Based on the latest report from the district and using our district's School Effectiveness Index, our school ranked #3 out of 33 among the comprehensive middle schools. Thank you so much for your support and dedication.


As I collaborate with other principals and receive various communication shared from Mr. Kastl or School Leadership, there was a message shared that resonated with me. Also, it is good reminder of the effect of change as we heard from Rabbi Twerski when he explained how lobsters molt in one of our beginning of the year sessions.

We are getting better together each week and we have to keep up the pace and not back down from our insistence to be elite! Brian Kight says, “Expose yourself to difficulty, discomfort, and criticism that sharpens and strengthens the exercise of your standards. Virtue is in the test”, reminds us that our work is going to be difficult and we will experience discomfort, but if we continue to embrace this discomfort and stay true to the work we are doing for the right reasons, our students will succeed and our work will be worth it!


As we continue in our road to EXCELLENCE and as part of our transformation task, we must be intentional that students are receiving targeted and meaningful instruction every day. As a school, we must continue to create a school culture that shows a sense of urgency and be intentional in our planning, instruction, engagement, and expectations. Our students have one shot at success, and we have one shot to ensure that all of our scholars reach their desired outcomes.


I am very proud of the work done and grateful that each one of you has embraced the challenge of accelerating transformation for our students who need and deserve the best. Because of our shared beliefs and our implementation, our students will have a bright future with a life of opportunities.

Attendance

Regular attendance is essential to providing students with opportunities to learn. It is awesome to see all of our students being on time to school and transitioning in an expedited manner from class to class. The following is the percent for attendance for the week of 9/9 - 9/13:

  • 6th Grade - 98.13%
  • 7th Grade - 97.61%
  • 8th Grade - 98.22%

Way to go 8th grade team!!!! This is the second week in a row that 8th grade takes the lead on attendance.

Let's continue to encourage our students to be present and on time on a daily basis. It really makes a huge difference when our students are present learning

THANK YOU

  • Everyone who participated and voted for our Teacher of the Year (TOY) and Support Staff of the Year. We had a very close race and the winners will be announced during morning announcements. It is exciting!!!
  • During transitions, staff members are doing a terrific job with being in the hallways greeting students and cheering them to make it to class on time. For the most part, we have had 100% of staff members present in the hallway having positive interactions with students and less than 5 tardies.
  • Ms. Rocha, Ms. Wells, Ms. Vasquez, Ms. Guerra, Ms. Tucker, Ms. Minter, Ms. Maloy, Mr. Johnson, and Ms. Scott for their leadership and commitment as they participated in our CILT meeting last week to reflect on their leadership and responsibility as department chairs/admin team and discuss instructional priorities.
  • Mrs. Lewis and Ms. Kannada for their leadership and building positive relationships with students. Our B team won their first game while our A team played hard and fought until the end with a loss in their record. Our Lady Rams played an awesome game!!! Shout out to Ms. Cagle for coming out to support our students .

Instructional Practices

Professional Learning Communities

It is great to see our staff members collaborating and learning in PLCs as we grow as a high effective team. There is a shared responsibility for the total development of students and collective responsibility for students' success. Also, there is powerful learning that defines good teaching and classroom practices.

Climate and Culture

REMINDERS FOR THE FIFTH WEEK OF SCHOOL

  • Engage learners throughout your lessons and ensure we incorporate bell-to-bell instruction (see below for more details). It will support the increase in student achievement and reduce disruptions. While students are more familiar with engagement strategies such as Think Pair Share, we need to ensure that we have taught, modeled, and practiced these skills in order for effective implementation (TEI 2.4, 3.1, and 3.3).
  • As we work on documenting the progress our students are making, remember our policy regarding failure rates and the various opportunities needed to ensure our students are successful. EIA (Regulation) (TEI 2.2, 4.2, 4.5)
  • Continue to be prepared and provide high expectations for our students. Remember, consistency is key and will set up our students for success. (TEI 1.5 and 3.2)
  • Greet students with smiles and consistent firmness (TEI 3.3)
  • Be very consistent in the effective implementation of various practices discussed during our TEI orientation and lesson alignment conversations. With regards to Alignment (learning objective), the proficient rating states: Focuses students at the beginning and throughout the lesson, by clearly stating (TEI 2.1)
    • What they are learning
    • Why it is important
    • What mastery looks like
    • How to connect it to prior knowledge and their own lives and explaining to students
  • Submit lesson plans by Thursday at 8:00 a.m. (TEI 4.2)

DAILY EVENTS

Monday, September 16-
  • B Day
  • We will observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15, by celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.
  • Education Go Get It Week!!! See flyer sent by counselors for more details.
  • We will be walking classrooms checking for alignment, exemplars, and aggressively monitoring.
  • Meet with your grade level teams to align your Lesson Plans, continue the analysis of the common assessment, and analyze data profiles for your students.
  • 4:45 Grade Level Meeting after school - AFC training and Attendance Concerns. Finalize tutoring logistics, number of letters received, students pending parental approval (letters not returned), lesson plans - teachers escorting students to cafeteria and teachers escorting students outside.
  • Football Game Vs. Tasby @ LOOS 6:00 p.m B Team and 7:30 p.m. A team.


Tuesday
, September 17-
  • A Day
  • We will be walking classrooms checking for alignment, exemplars, and aggressively monitoring.
  • Meet with your grade level teams to align your Lesson Plans, continue the analysis of the common assessment, and analyze data profiles for your students.
  • 4:30 p.m. After School Program Begins. Remember to clock out at or after 6:00 p.m. during the 2 days that you will stay after school.


Wednesday, September 18-
  • B Day
  • We will be walking classrooms checking for alignment, exemplars, and aggressively monitoring.
  • Meet with your grade level teams to align your Lesson Plans, continue the analysis of the common assessment, and analyze data profiles for your students.
  • 4:30 p.m. After School Program Continues. Remember to clock out at or after 6:00 p.m. during the 2 days that you will stay after school.


Thursday, September 19-

  • A Day
  • 8:00 a.m. - Lesson Plans Due
  • We will be walking classrooms checking for alignment, exemplars, and aggressively monitoring.
  • Staff members who have completed their compliance videos (takes approximately a total of 3.5 hours), send e-mail with certificates to Ms. Miranda and Copy Mr. Cordoba on e-mail, can wear jeans on Thursdays for the remainder of the month.
  • Department Collaboration PLC - Mr. Cordoba - Testing Expectations and Motivational Script.
  • 4:30 p.m. After School Program Continues. Remember to clock out at or after 6:00 p.m. during the 2 days that you will stay after school.
  • 5:00 - 7:00 p.m. 2nd Six Weeks SWAG Training at Quintanilla MS - All STAAR Tested Subjects Teachers, SPED, CICs, ILTs, and APs.
  • 6:00/7:00 Volleyball Game at Hillcrest Vs. Franklin MS.


Friday, September 20-

  • B Day
  • Picture Day - Through science classes. Students will be taking the picture day order form earlier during the week and will return it with the money or online confirmation number. Students who bring their form back will be able to wear their regular clothes for pictures.
  • SLO Due in Cornerstone - Appraiser


Saturday, September 21-

  • Cross Country -YMLA Invitational @ Spruce HS - Coach Martin/Coach Bey

Upcoming Events

September 23 - September 27-

  • District 1st Six Weeks Assessment window
  • Sept 24th - 6th Math MAP Testing
  • Sept 25th - 7th Math MAP Testing
  • Sept 26th - 8th Math MAP Testing


September 23

  • Football Game Vs. Walker @ LOOS 6:00 p.m./7:30 p.m.


October 18 -


October 10 -

  • Principal for a Day - Ernestine Key of Communities Foundation of Texas


October 11-

  • Professional Development Day - No school for students


October 18-

  • Fair Day - No school
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Bell-to-Bell Instruction

Place emphasis on maximizing the limited time teachers have with students and communicate high expectations for on-task behavior.

  • Greet students at the door.
  • Post "do now" for students to begin immediately.
  • Have materials needed by students and teachers readily available.
  • Plan for smooth transitions between instructional activities.
  • Build in opportunities for movement and active student engagement.
  • Check regularly for student understanding and focus.
  • Have an active summary activity in every learning segment.
  • Present and link the day’s objective to previous learning or homework.
  • Use teacher-directed instruction to clarify or introduce new material.
  • Use student-centered learning activities requiring active student engagement.
  • Use summary-reflective dialogue to check for mastery and establish links with future learning or homework.
  • Plan for four learning segments of about the same length during a class period to help with pacing

Happy Birthday -

We want to wish you the best and many blessings for the years to come.


  • Mr. Proctor – 9/8
  • Ms. Surber – 9/12
  • Mr. Sharpless – 9/15
  • Mr. Halsell – 9/27
  • Ms. Calderon – 9/28