Ram Nation News

Week of April 9, 2018


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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It is time for the championship game!!!! Thank you to everyone for playing a crucial role in supporting our students. We know that we have been working extremely hard to prepare our students for the next grade level. This week is a crucial week for all of us here at Thomas J. Rusk Middle School, our 7th and 8th grade students have the opportunity to show our school, district, and the state what Rusk is all about. Our students will have an opportunity to show what they have learned during the past months and previous years.

Let's set some time aside to make sure the students know that we are very proud of them and we appreciate all the efforts they have made so far.

This is OUR time..... Our job is never done; however,

  • You have planned your lessons for at least 260 hours
  • You have collaborated with your team for at least 6,972 minutes
  • You have delivered high quality lessons for 133 days
  • You have engaged and touched children lives for 1,197 hours
  • You have inspired and interacted with our scholars for 71,820 minutes
  • You have challenged our scholars for 4,309,200 seconds of their lives
  • As a school, we have provided over 2, 481 or 148,860 minutes of tutoring and enrichment opportunities
  • As a school, we have spent an average of 6483 hours on the road so that we can make a difference in a child's life
  • As a school, we have driven an average of 259,350 miles TO school to ensure our children receive quality instruction

As educators, you have been a teacher, counselor, mediator, facilitator, nurse, cheerleader, coach, and an advocate to mention a few. You all are terrific!!!, YOU “Encourage the discouraged to defy obstacles,” “Build confidence; Open doors; Shape futures,” “Change the world by expecting excellence,” and YOU Believe in children and their potential.

I am very proud of all the things you have done and of each of your accomplishments.

Let's continue to stay focus as we continue to go #AlltheWayUp


  • Ms Bickford, Mr. Harris, Ms. Stripling, Ms. Molla, Mr. Guillory, Ms. Brown, Ms. Rocha, Mr. Patel, Mr. Salcido (visiting teacher), Ms. Carroll, Ms. Vasquez, Ms. Miller, Mr. Ramirez, Ms. McGee, Ms. Vargas, Ms. Iberosi, Ms. Minter, Mr. Carballo and Ms. Villalobos for their dedication, commitment, and support as they attended Saturday School providing small group support as they addressed low TEKS and areas of improvement. I know students were engaged and grateful for having your support.


  • Ms. Brown and Ms. Hayes for their leadership and support with building climate and culture as they prepared the Pep Rally. As Ms. Brown says, "you all showed up and showed out!!" Shout out to Mr. Guillory, Mr. Harris and Ms. Brown for showing their dance moves, Mr. Thornton for displaying his rapping abilities, Coach Addison for hyping up the kids with her energy, Mr. James for displaying his abilities in the drums, and the whole 7th Grade team for stepping up and support. Also, shout out to Ms. Lewis as she shared words of encouragement with our students. Thank you so much for all teachers and support staff who attended and added energy and high spirits to this event.
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STEAM for Girls

Under Ms. Carroll's leadership with the support from Ms. Brunson and Ms. Minter, our girls have had the opportunity to work in this science after school program. They have had opportunities to engage in hands-on activities/projects focusing in creative problem solving to combine science, technology, engineering, art, and math. It is exciting to see our students have fun as they learn!!!

Band Competition

Under Mr. McCann's and Mr. Alarcon's leadership, our band students did a phenomenal job during the Pre-UIL competition. They scored all 1's which is the best score possible. Also, our band received a "Superior" on stage. We are very proud of the work done!!!
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Monday, April 9-

  • STAAR Online training continues - Ms. Buitron

  • During planning - ensure that all items needed for testing are completed - Refer to testing plan given during our meeting. 6th grade will finalize preparations of copies, games, and materials needed for a successful camp execution.

  • During classes in STAAR tested subjects - Let's ensure that there are fun things to do such as games, competitions, incentives as you integrate STAAR items/rigor. Do a last goal check to see how kids are doing in reaching or surpassing their goal.

  • 4:40 - 5:45 We will use this time to ensure that our hallways and classrooms are test ready.

Tuesday, April 10-
  • 8th Grade STAAR Math
  • 7th Grade STAAR Writing
  • 6th Grade STAAR Camp
  • 4:40 - 7:00 p.m. Counselor Interview - Room 103
  • After school tutoring and Attendance for Credit is canceled.

Wednesday, April 11-

  • 8th Grade STAAR Reading
  • 7th Grade Pre-AP- 8th Grade STAAR Math
  • 7th Grade Math Common Assessment
  • 6th Grade STAAR Camp
  • 4:40 - 7:00 p.m. Counselor Interview - Room 103
  • After school tutoring and Attendance for Credit is canceled.

Thursday, April 12-

  • 7th Grade Reading CA during class
  • 6th and 7th Grade Science and Social Studies CA during class
  • 5:00 Lesson Plans Due
  • After school tutoring and Attendance for Credit is canceled.

Friday, April 13-

  • Campus Technology Survey - Due. See details below
  • 2:30 - 4:25 Positive Coaching Alliance in collaboration with NDHS - Athletic workshop. Auditorium - Coach DeLeon
  • End of 5th Six Weeks: Grades due by Monday, April 16 at 11:59 p.m.

Saturday, April 14

  • Saturday School continues - Let's finish strong this first round of preparation for STAAR. Focus 8th grade math and reading; 7th grade writing, and 6th grade math and reading.
  • Dallas ISD Large Scale Job Fair at Ellis Davis Field House - Leadership Team

Upcoming Events

Based on feedback received, I am sharing as many dates/events for the month of April as possible to ensure appropriate planning is taking place.

Week of April 16

  • STAAR Parent Meetings 6th and 7th grade - Grade Level chair will confirm exact time, date, and needs to support a successful parent meeting - Mr. King and Ms. Perez.

April 16

  • Grades due by 11:59 p.m.
  • 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. Family Impact Stories Home Visit Program - Ms. Brown, Ms. Carrol, and Ms. Maloy

April 18

  • Ms. Buchannon's Baby Shower during Lunch. Contact Ms. Addison or Ms. Brown for details on how to support.

April 19

  • MS Non-Varsity UIL Concert at Cedar Hill HS - Mr. McCann and Mr. Alarcon
  • 3:00 - 6:00 Teaching Trust Session at TT office - Ms. Michael and Ms. Lewis

April 21

  • Academic Pentathlon - Ms. Brown

April 25

  • Student Experience Survey - Refer to the memo regarding maintaining integrity of these surveys

May 1

  • 1:00 - 3:00 AVID End of Year Certification Presentation- Rusk MS

May 10-25

Campus Technology Survey

This week, principals and teachers were invited to complete a brief survey to document individual experiences and opinions about the use of technology in education. This anonymous survey takes approximately 5 minutes to complete and the information gathered will be used to prioritize technology investments going forward. The survey will close on Friday, April 13th.

The link: www.surveymonkey.com/r/DallasCampusTechnologySurvey

Welcome to Our Team

Wednesday, April 11, 2018, Mr. Santiago Diaz Jr. will join our team as part of the custodial staff. Please, take some time to greet him and give him a warmth welcome. He will be working the afternoon/evening shift.