Bryan Adams Schools Updates

April 20, 2015

Great Community, Great Schools

Feeder Celebrations & Events

  • BAHS Scholars
  • Gaston Students Support those in Need
  • Volunteer Spotlight from Casa View Elementary
  • Assistant Principal @ Gill Elementary Received National Endowment for Humanities
  • BAHS Visits Gill Elem for Pep Rally
  • Hexcellence in West Africa
  • Kiest Students win Red Ribbon Contest

Upcoming Events:

  • STAAR Testing All Week - Best of Luck!
  • Hexter Hosts White Rock Home Tour, April 25th & April 26th
  • Reilly Pizza Play Date , Friday, April 24th @ Lochwood Park 6:00 pm
  • Reilly Family Fun Night & Fitness Fair, Friday, May 1st, 5:00 - 8:00 pm
  • Bryan Adams HS Belles Spring Show - April 30, May 1,2
  • Hexter 5K 7 1k Run - May 9th
  • Feeder Pattern Recruitment

From the Marshall Memo 579: Effective Use of On-the-Spot Assessments

Links for Feeder Use:

  • Reclaiming Cougar Country
  • BA Roaring Readers Volunteer Link


Congrats to BAHS Scholar

More great scholarship news from BA: Congratulations to Bryan Adams High School scholar, Danielle Blankenship, for earning a full ride to UNT Dallas.

Gaston Students Volunteer by Serving Others

Coach Daniel Saldana and Gaston soccer players spent time over the weekend serving meals to those in need. Thanks to Mr. Saldana and these student athletes for helping make a difference in the lives of others. They showed their Gaston pride by lending a helping hand.

Assistant Principal @ Gill Elementary Received National Endowment for Humanities

Carlos Walcott, assistant principal at Charles A. Gill Elementary School, has been selected from a national applicant pool to attend a summer study supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities. The Endowment is a federal agency that supports Landmarks of American History and Culture Workshops so that educators can study with experts in humanities disciplines.

Carlos Walcott will participate in a workshop entitled, The Most Southern Place on Earth; Music, Culture and History in the Mississippi Delta. The Program will be held on the campus of Delta State University in Cleveland, MS., and directed by Dr. Luther Brown, Associate Dean for Delta. Rural and Regional Studies.

Bryan Adams HS Belles, Cheerleaders, and Band Visit Gill Elem for Pep Rally. Go Cougars!

Hexcellence in West Africa

This year Ms. Swenson raised money for two Ipads for her Hexter Elementary classes and one Ipad for an all girls class in Mali, West Africa. Ms. Swenson’s second grade reading classes will correspond with the girls via email and traditional mail. The Mali class is taught by former Bryan Adams graduate Tama Wali and is funded by Ms. Wali and her husband Paul Chandler’s non-profit organization,

Ms. Swenson met Ms. Wali when they were students at both Gaston Middle School and Bryan Adams High School. Ms. Wali recently gave a talk to the Hexter second graders about what life is like in West Africa. Ms. Swenson and Ms. Wali hope​ to create a love of writing, reading, and service by applying it in real world experiences for both groups of students.
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Kiest Students win Red Ribbon Poster Contest

All Stars Principal Yazmine Cruz applauds Art teacher, William Messimer and Elks Lodge Local Red Ribbon Week Poster Cash Contest Winners: 1st place Evelyn Nolen, 5th grade; 2nd place winners Joselyn Ramos, 4th and Wendy Aguilar, 5th. Students posters have been forwarded to the Elks Lodge for state contest.

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Bryan Adams CICs say Farewell to Brittany Swanson

Our RLA Academic Facilitator, Brittany Swanson, will leave this week for her new home in Australia. Her contributions to our feeder pattern literacy development have been significant and she will be missed very much! Special thanks to Larry Smith Elem and Dr. Elmore for hosting our goodbye party.

Up Coming Events

STAAR Testing All Week- Best of Luck Cougars!

Monday, April 20th, 8am to Thursday, April 23rd, 3pm

All Elementary and Middle Schools

Hexter White Rock Home Tour April 25th & 26th

Reilly Elementary - Family Movie Night


  • Friday, April 24th at 6:00pm - RTBAR Pizza Play Date at the Park - Meet us up at Lochwood Park to let the kids run and play while the adults have a chance to hang out and socialize! We'll order pizza for dinner and enjoy a nice evening outside.
  • Friday, May 1 from 5:00-8:00pm - Reilly Family, Fun and Fitness Fair - The whole neighborhood is invited up to Reilly to enjoy this FREE event!! Activities will include a Kids' Soccer Camp, Family Zumba, bounce houses, food samples, and a MOVIE UNDER THE STARS following the FF&F Fair!!


To participate in more discussions about Reilly Elementary and our kids' education, stay abreast of DISD news, see pictures of our RTBAR kids and families at our play dates, the Kindergarten Roundup, Reilly Earth Day Celebration, and MORE!!

To join our Facebook page, please click on: Considering the subject matter of our discussions (i.e., our children and personal decisions and opinions about our kids' education) this will be a CLOSED group - with posts only visible and accessible to its members.

Ready to Be a Ram is comprised of parents with children from birth to kindergarten. Our mission is to enrich the lives of children in the Martha Turner Reilly Elementary attendance zone by developing relationships among future Reilly families as well as supporting our neighborhood schools (Reilly Elementary, Hill Middle School, and Bryan Adams H.S.) and providing fun, educational, and social opportunities to bring us together as a community.

For more information about the group and/or specific events, please visit the RTBAR website atReady To Be A Ram - Martha Turner Reilly Elementary School - Dallas, Texas or contact Erin Melendez at

Bryan Adams High School Belles Spring Show

Thursday, April 30th, 6:30pm to Saturday, May 2nd, 6:30pm

Bryan Adams High School Auditorium

Run for Dreams 5K & 1M Fun Run to support Hexter Family

Saturday, May 9, 2015 in Dallas, TX at Trinity Skyline Trail

5K Run/Walk at 9:00 AM

  • » $25.00 registration (through 4/30 at 11:59 PM US/Central)
    » $35.00 late registration (4/30 at 11:59 PM US/Central through 5/7 at 11:59 PM US/Central)

  • 1 Mile Fun Run at 10:00 AM

    » $15.00 registration (through 5/7 at 11:59 PM US/Central)


    Performance t-shirt included with registration. Men’s or women’s fit options available.

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Bryan Adams Feeder Pattern Recruitment --- Help bring more of the Best to the BA Feeder!

Do you know an educator with a relentless commitment to improving education for all students? Someone who values tenacity, collaboration, innovation and reflection? Most importantly, do you know an educator who believes that all students deserve a quality education grounded in effective data use to move student achievement?

The Bryan Adams feeder pattern schools are seeking like-minded educators to join our journey of transformation. Here are some of our openings:

  • Bayles Elementary - 4th & 5th grade Math & Science, Gen Ed & Bilingual
  • Casa View Elementary - TAG
  • Gill Elementary - ESL kinder, ESL K-4
  • Hexter Elementary - Bilingual 3rd grade, part time TAG
  • Kiest Elementary - Bilingual 1st grade
  • Sanger Elementary - Bilingual 6th grade
  • Smith Elementary - Bilingual 5th grade
  • Bryan Adams HS - Math & Science

If your passion aligns to our vision and you know someone ready for a rewarding challenge, please contact: Executive Director Jolee Healey at

From the Marshall Memo #579

Effective Use of On-the-Spot (a.k.a. Formative) Assessments

In this Edutopia article, Vicki Davis describes a telling moment as she taught binary numbers to her students (adding ones and zeroes like a computer). This topic looks harder than it is, says Davis, and she’s found that if she teaches students to count by binary numbers, they usually get it. After a few minutes of this, two students piped up, “We’ve got this, it’s easy. Can we move on?” Davis checked with the rest of the class: “Do you have this?” They all vigorously nodded their heads in assent.

“My teacher instinct said that everyone knew it,” says Davis, “but I decided to experiment. So I wrote a problem on the board. Students were already logged into Socrative, and a box opened on their screens. Each student typed in his or her answer to the problem. They clicked enter, and all their answers appeared on my screen beside the name of each student.” Davis was shocked to see that only two students had the correct answer – the two students who had impatiently asked her to move on. Not one of the students who confidently nodded that they understood was able to answer the problem correctly.

Davis retaught the concept, had students try another problem in Socrative, and the results improved a little. She worked another slightly different problem and checked in, and more students got it. Ten minutes later, the entire class had mastered binary numbers.

Is this checking-for-understanding and reteaching process too time-consuming to be a realistic option, given the pressure to cover the curriculum? Not at all, says Davis: “It didn’t take me longer to teach binary numbers. You see, I don’t move past binary numbers until all of my students are scoring 90 percent or higher. And as a result of this experience, I taught binary numbers and all of the accompanying standards in three days instead of my usual five, and no one had to come for after-school tutoring.

The key, she says, is an anonymous all-class assessment system that allows the teacher to see what’s really going on in students’ minds without “the embarrassment of public hand-raising.” She recommends the following real-time checking-for-understanding systems:

  • - Socrative – It can be used on the fly, for quick quizzes, or for tests that count, and also works with competitive games like Space Race:

  • - Kahoot – This program allows teachers to create quizzes, flashcards, and review games, with students using computers, cell phones, or other devices:

  • - Zaption – This tool can embed questions within a flipped video, not allowing students to continue till they’ve answered each one correctly:

  • - Backchannel chat tools – These are live chats that accompany class discussions and allow teachers to create exit ticket activities. One example:

  • - Plickers – Each student holds up a unique QR card, with its orientation signaling their response to a 4-choice question, and the teacher’s smartphone reads and instantly tabulates individual and all-class responses:

“Test scores should never be a surprise,” concludes Davis. “You don’t need to be a mind reader. You just need a formative assessment toolbox, and you need to use it every day.”

“5 Fantastic, Fast, Formative Assessment Tools” by Vicki Davis in Edutopia, January 15, 2015,

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Dear Cougar Family,

Thanks for joining us in Reclaiming Cougar Country! Our 3 Step Plan is gaining momentum.

Step 1: Purchase and post your yard sign! Over 500 yard signs have been sold!! Let's get these planted in yards and around our local businesses. Thanks to BA Student Council & our PTAs; keep up the great work! Please feel free to take pictures of any you find and email me.


We have so many exciting things going on, please help increase communication by sharing good news weekly. It's simple; just write a short description of an upcoming event or summary of a recently held event with a photo. Share news in the following ways:

Step 3: Volunteer with our "Roaring Readers" program. We are committed to ensuring all first grade students finish the school year reading on or above grade level. This is a significant challenge and community support will make a big difference. Please visit the link below to learn more and share it with a friend.

Together we can make a difference in our community for our children. It's a great time to be a cougar! Thank you for your partnership,

Jolee Healey

Executive Director

Bryan Adams Feeder Pattern