02.08.16 Staff Update

A Communication Tool for the Seven Hills Staff

Personalized Learning at Seven Hills: Greatness

What is greatness? Webster defines greatness as, "The quality of being great, distinguished, or eminent. Exceptionally high quality" Simply put, greatness is synonymous with importance, worth, excellence...


During the first few minutes of last week's staff meeting, I asked everyone to think about someone they felt embodied or stood for greatness. I asked what qualities immediately came to mind when you thought of that person. I shared that the person I felt stood greatness was my Granny Sue. She was a strong, self-sufficient, intelligent, articulate, and creative woman. She was a woman with a moral compass and integrity, and she played a significant role in shaping the person I am today. You see, those people who immediately come to mind when asked, "Who do you know that stood for greatness?" - with only a few seconds to think about it - had an impact on your life and played a role in shaping who you are. Those qualities that made them great are probably qualities you either value in others, recognize as your own strengths, or have worked to develop in your own life. They are the standard you use to measure your own greatness or the greatness of others.


I then asked everyone, "How would others say you stand for greatness?" Staff were to record one to three words that communicated how they stood for greatness when only given 2 minutes to reflect and record responses. Challenging! How many of you were able to make connections between what you identified about your great person and what you stand for? Was it different? Did you have clarity about what it is you stand for?


Staff were then asked to think about what others would say that Seven Hills stands for, and record the thoughts on the back of the paper with their great person.


I am certain many of you are wondering where in the world this is all going. And, all I can say is, "You will just have to wait and see!" But, for now I will leave you pondering greatness and the influence of great people in your life!


"You must recognize your own greatness before you can recognize greatness in others." - Covey

Fabulous February Kindness Campaign

Kindness Campaign:


  • Write 3 Power Thank Yous this week! Blank thank you cards will be placed in your boxes on Monday. Want to write more Thank Yous? Stop by the reflection area outside the lounge for more blank thank you cards!
  • Did you start a gratitude journal last week? If so, how is the reflecting going? If not, what is holding you back?
  • Put a little love in your heart! Tell the ones you hold dear what you love most about them!


Fabulous February:

  • Monday: Forgot your 100 day treat on Friday? No worries, stop by my office Monday to pick up a 100 calorie snack to celebrate surviving 100 days of school!
  • Tuesday: I am "tickled pink" to have such a great staff! Wear jeans with pink today!
  • Wednesday: Warm-up Wednesday
  • Thursday: Because, Wednesday was scheduled to be a jeans with the "Yellow Brick Road" shirt day from the fundraiser, staff may wear jeans with the "Yellow Brick Road" shirt today!
  • Friday: "Put a Little Love in Your Heart" wear jeans with pink, red, or purple
  • Seven Hills has a such a Sweet Staff: A sweet treat will be delivered to all staff this week!

What's Happening Next Week at The Hills?

  • Monday, February 8th:
Fire Drill


  • Tuesday,February 9th:
-Grade Level PLCs

-District Battle of the Books, 6:00 NWHS


  • Wednesday, February 10th:

4th Grade ELA Data Teams

5th Grade Reading/ELA Data Teams


  • Thursday,February 11th:

Kim off campus

Leslie and Tanya off Campus PM

Staff Meeting, 3:14 - 4:30


  • Friday, February 12th:
Valentine's Parties:

PK PPCD –9:45-10:45 and 1:30-2:30

3rd Grade – 8:00 – 9:00

5th Grade – 9:00-10:00

4th Grade - 10:30-11:30

1st Grade – 11:40-12:40

2nd Grade – 12:30-1:30

Kinder – 1:30-2:30

PVE Father Daughter Dance, 6:00 pm (Seven Hills students invited to attend)


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

  • February 15: Staff Development Day/No School for students (This is a district PD day. Details about where teachers will need to go, etc. is linked below.)
  • February 23: Family Math Night, 6:00 - 7:30 pm - We will be asking for teacher support for this family/community event
  • February 24: Class and Spring Picture Day
  • February 25: Techno Expo



Happy Birthday To:

Updates and Information

Middle of the Year & Benchmark Assessments:

  • Writing Benchmark:
All writing benchmarks need to be scored by Monday, Feb. 8th. We will use the data in PLC’s on Feb. 9th to look at growth, write reflective celebrations, and set new SMART goals.


  • Benchmark Dates and Information:

Wednesday, February 24: 3rd & 4th Grade Reading; 5th Grade Math (this is Spring picture day. Unfortunately, we cannot reschedule this. Every effort will be made to build the schedule so that there is limited interruption to testing.)

Thursday, March 3: 3rd Grade Math

Thursday, March 10: 4th Math; 5th Science


On each of these days, we will run testing type of schedule – students will be allowed 4 hours of uninterrupted testing time. We will be creating small groups and utilizing the Star teachers and SPED during these times. Please plan on Star teachers not pulling students for intervention groups these mornings. SPED services and Specials schedule will also look different on these days. (Specials teachers – Leslie will try to not cancel specials classes these days, however we are not sure how many small groups we need yet or the number of rooms we will need – especially when we test on February 25th).

We will provide the tests, scantrons, and supplemental aids as necessary. If students need highlighters, sticky notes, chunking paper, scratch paper, or whisper phones, you will need to gather those.



  • Spring Data Teams:
I will continue to schedule Data Teams. Several grade levels and content areas have already been scheduled. For grades 3- 5, Data Teams will be content specific rather than grade level specific. K-2, Spring Data Teams will be after Spring Break.

Staff Member of The Week!

Spencer Wolf: Well I've loved monster movies since I started watching them with my dad when I was little. I have all 28 Godzilla movies. Oh and I once shared doughnuts with the actor who played Darth Vader (Dave Prowse)!


Jessica Stewart: Jessica's fun/interesting fact was not available at the time of publication. Her fun fact will be shared later.


Learn more about Jessica and Spencer when you stop by the "Star Staff" board in the Teacher's Lounge!

Information and Reminders:

  • Congratulations Q, Hayley and Leslie: Congratulations on being awarded the Devon Energy Science Giants grant for $10,000! This grant will be used to extend our STEAM and Maker Space initiative beyond the library. Thank you for taking this risk to inspire a sense of wonder and curiosity in our Stars!
  • Thank you Mrs. Morales: Last week was National School Counselor's Week. Thank you Mrs. Morales for all you do for our Stars.
  • February 15 Staff Development: https://drive.google.com/a/nisdtx.org/file/d/0B8yhX3NGzE4haWduUGl1UlB5SVE/view?usp=sharing
  • ELL Focus Strategies: We will complete rotation 3 at our Staff Meeting on Thursday! An important part of our TAIS improvement plan is increasing student achievement within System Safeguard groups, including ELLS. In December, Maria Scott, Hayley Sample, and Kelly Bryan delivered a mini-PD during PLCs on ELL Focus Strategies. Earlier this month, they completed walk-throughs to gather data on implementation of these strategies. The data collected will be used to guide future PD, work in PLCs, work in Data Teams, etc. On Thursday, February 4th, we will engage in another PD session on Focus Strategies during the staff meeting. Staff will rotate through different sessions designed with campus needs in mind, and several Seven Hills staff members will be presenting. Thank you Hayley and Kelly for designing a meaningful learning opportunity for our staff. Thank you in advance for your active engagement.