Ram Nation News

Week of February 3, 2020

Vision

A middle school that cultivates scholars to be catalysts of change, life-long learners, innovators, and competitors in a global society

#EXCELLENCE, Back At It Again

Last week, we learned about the tragic death of one of the best basketball players, Kobe Bryant. We had an opportunity to read some of his quotes last week and one of the pictures that caught my eye was the "Rules for Success" - See above. Also, this weekend, we had the opportunity to enjoy the Superbowl. One of the crucial players in the success of the Kansas City Chiefs was their quarterback Patrick Mahomes. As I tried to catch up on Mahomes' story, I read “And he’s got great vision on the field, so he can see, which becomes important for quarterbacks, in particular, the way he does things. He utilizes all his receivers, and I always tell the guys, I said, ‘There’s never a dead route. There’s no clearing routes.’ Everybody’s alive because of his vision." Of course, I learned about Mahomes' injuries and other interesting facts.


Both of these players talk about having a vision - having a dream. For us, this is the vision to create catalysts of change in a global society; to know that our students can be the change in our community. Kobe's rules for success included having a champion's mentality and outworking one's potential. We were able to see throughout the regular season and the playoffs how Mahomes had a laser focus mentality to win and to lead his team to the championship becoming the 3rd quarterback in history to win the Lombardy trophy before turning 25 years of age. Big accomplishment!!! We also must have a winning mentality that starts with a positive and sunny disposition day in and day out. I know that each one of you is driven by results and has been able to provide great results for kids; however, our students continue to have learning gaps and we need to outwork our potential to ensure our students are mastering concepts/TEKS. We must push away from our comfort zone to ensure kids are exposed to great learning opportunities; many of you already do this and I am grateful that you are in my team.


Let's challenge each other to continue to grow and achieve greatness so that our students will benefit!!!


We have 9 instructional days left before we take our next Common Assessment...we know we are working on maximizing every minute of our day with all hands on deck! As we continue full force making an impact in the lives of our kids, let's make sure that we....
  • map out what needs to be covered to maximize student learning. Remember to focus on quality learning and avoid the error of thinking that learning happens simply through “teaching by mentioning it.” (Wiggins and McTighe, Understanding by Design, 21.)
  • greet students, narrate the positive, and inquire about their interests and weekend – making these connections with our students shows that we value, care, and respect our kids as people increasing the likelihood that they will in turn show interest to the course materials.
  • vary our teaching style to tap in students' interests and learning styles.
  • congratulate accomplishments to help students sense their mastery of the materials and to encourage further learning. A sense of mastery is a major motivational issue in learning. Students who sense achievement perform better than students who feel lost or overwhelmed. Spend some time getting students to recognize what they already have mastered and emphasize its importance. Encouragement goes a long way. Good teachers influence student performance.

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 1/27 - 1/31:


  • 6th Grade - 95.84% an increase of 0.25%
  • 7th Grade - 94.16%
  • 8th Grade - 93.77%

6th grade takes the lead!

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.

As a reminder, our school attendance goal is to achieve 97.5%; therefore, grade levels will be recognized with a popcorn party or other incentive when they reach this goal on a given week.

THANK YOU

  • Message from Counseling Services Central Office to our counselors...."I wanted to say THANK YOU.. You guys are exemplar school counselors and I just wanted to make sure I complemented you on a job well done. I thoroughly enjoyed being at your campus on today and witnessing each of you work together and individually to put forth a dynamic Comprehensive School Counseling Program....." We are very proud of our Counseling Queen Team!
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Mid-Year Review with Mr. Kastl

Our administrative team did an outstanding job last Thursday during the mid-year review for our school and the progress we are making towards our goals. Shout out to the team for the level of preparation and internalization of data. Below is the feedback provided by Mr. Kastl based on observations, data, and our presentation.


Highlights

  • Strong achievement results
  • Trust among the administrative team is positive. Trust among staff has positive responses based on climate survey
  • Attendance is higher than last year and discipline referrals have decreased.
  • There is a positive interaction, teacher-student, in a genuine way; this is very strong!
  • Feedback from teachers is being internalized and adjustments are being made by leadership team.
  • There is congruence between TEI and the waterfall to align our instructional practices conversations.


Areas of Improvement

  • Strengthening our practices for the Look Back PLC
  • Reflect on how the exemplar and tracker checks are being conducted and adjust to coach teachers in the moment with questions to support teachers internalize the need for exemplars and trackers.
  • Audit of student work, teacher's exemplar, and tracker
  • Ensure there is a strategic plan for moving students Meets and Masters.
  • Ensure individual teachers know campus, grade level, and own goals.


Aggressive Monitoring (AGMO)

We have adopted AGMO as one of our best instructional practices and it should be done at least with students' independent practice and DOL. It starts with a pre-planned pathway and an exemplar. During instruction, you announce your laps, follow the pathway and provide feedback to students in the moment using the Coding System your team has agreed on. If you see an error or misconception clear it up immediately using show call.

Saturday School

It is great to see the commitment displayed by our teachers, administration, and students who attended our Saturday School session. We were able to see small group sessions where our teachers intervene and support students with skills they need to work on or to advance our little guys to the next level. Shout out to Ms. McCloud, Ms. Perez, Ms. Cato, Ms. Rocha, Ms. Molla, Ms. Miller, Ms. Brown, and Ms. Lewis. Also, Mr. Ramirez for making sure our building was ready for our students and teachers and Mr. Geiger for providing the administrative support to ensure everything ran smoothly.

School Vertical Collaboration

As you may be aware, we are working to support our district in increasing enrollment and retaining students in our schools as well as improving our athletic programs. Therefore, our girls' basketball team and our cheerleaders participated of the North Dallas HS feeder pattern night.

Our girls represented well and enjoyed collaborating with the high school students. Shout out to Coach Bey, Ms. Michael, and Ms. Gray for their commitment and support.

Field Trip Learning Opportunity

Ms. Guerra, with the support from Ms. Minter, Ms. Kannada, and Ms. Melchiorre, organized and provided an opportunity for all of our 7th grade students to attend a field trip to the District's Environmental Center in Seagoville. Our students leaned tons and had a lot of fun!!!

Thank you so much to all of our chaperones and cafeteria for the support and flexibility.

Climate and Culture

Our goal for our climate survey is to rank in the 4th and 5th quintile in all areas. This means that all of our areas of our climate survey will be green!!!

  • We made great improvements as we moved at least one quintile from Fall 18 to Fall 19.
  • We want to provide a welcoming and collegiate working environment for each person who comes to make a difference in our community.
  • Our goal is to improve morale knowing that pressure is on and our students must be the priority.

Basketball Girls in the Playoffs

Our girls team had an amazing season! We finished the season 5-2 and District Runner Up in District 3. Last Saturday, our girls fought hard, but came a bit short against Atwell. We are very proud of their hard work and for their great representation this season. Also, very proud of Coach Bey for her leadership, mentoring, and coaching of our girls. Coach Bey said, "I am so proud of them for making it to the dance. 2019-2020 is a season I will hold dear to me for years to come. Great group of girls!"

Shout out to Ms. Scott, Ms. Reeves, Mr. Thornton, Ms. Lewis, Ms. Perez, Dr. Bradford, Ms. Guerra, Mr. Orlando Garcia, Ms. Michael and the cheerleaders who came out to support.

REMINDERS FOR THE UPCOMING WEEK

  • Aggressive Monitoring should be done at least with students' independent practice and DOL. Remember it checks for understanding where no Ram is left behind. You use your pre-planned pathway, announce your laps, and provide feedback to students in the moment using the Coding System your team has agreed on. Students should receive written and verbal feedback. If you see an error or misconception clear it up immediately using show call (TEI 1.2, 1.3, 1.5, 2.2 and 2.3).
  • We must have 100% presence in the hallway during transition times. Our students notice when there is a lack of adult presence in the hallways and will take advantage of it. (TEI 3.3 and 3R Positive Attitude/Enthusiasm).
  • It is critical to be prepared with lessons and materials to avoid having issues with students. When we are not prepared, our students can tell and will find their own way of entertainment.
  • 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)
  • 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
  • During 8:00 a.m. - 8:20 a.m., students must be engaged in meaningful activities: homework support, Grade checks, organizing binder, CNN news with reflection sheet.
  • Submit lesson plans by Thursday at 8:00 a.m. (TEI 4.2)

DAILY EVENTS

Monday, February 3-

  • A Day
  • PLC - Mr. Cordoba will meet to discuss some updates in preparation for our after school meeting 40 minutes.
  • We will be walking classrooms checking for alignment, exemplars, and aggressively monitoring.
  • 4:45 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. Moving from ACE 2.0 to ACE 4.0 and Monthly Meeting - Library. Ms. Stokes/Ms. Brown/Mr. Kastl


Tuesday, February 4-
  • 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. Let's make the best out of this time being very purposeful in the material covered with students and the students who must attend your sessions. We need to work on the recruitment of students for our after school program since it impacts student growth, our school performance, progress, and, ultimately, part of our stipends are tied to the attendance of our students to our tutoring/enrichment sessions. As a reminder, students do not have the option to opt out; if you need assistance with parents, please let anyone from the leadership team know.
  • Remember to clock out at or after 6:00 p.m. during the 2 days that you will stay after school.


Wednesday, February 5-
  • A Day
  • 9:00 - 11:00 a.m. - Texas Real Estate Council visit
  • 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. As a reminder, students do not have the option to opt out; if you need assistance with parents, please let anyone from the leadership team know.
  • Remember to clock out at or after 6:00 p.m. during the 2 days that you will stay after school.
  • Optional: TELPAS Basic Training continues on the day that you do not have tutoring/after school. See Mr. Cordoba for extra duty pay code.


Thursday, February 6-

  • B Day
  • We will be walking classrooms checking for alignment, exemplars, and aggressively monitoring.
  • Weekly PLC: De-Escalation and Psychology Behind Behavior
  • 4:30 p.m. After School Program Continues. As a reminder, students do not have the option to opt out; if you need assistance with parents, please let anyone from the leadership team know.
  • Remember to clock out at or after 6:00 p.m. during the 2 days that you will stay after school.
  • Optional: TELPAS Basic Training continues on the day that you do not have tutoring/after school. See Mr. Cordoba for extra duty pay code.


Friday, February 7-

  • A Day
  • Jean Day in support of CAB - $1


Saturday, February 8

  • Leading to Impact Summit (Teaching Trust) - Ms. Ford and selected members
  • Tentative: Saturday School Continues - Adults 8:30 - 1:00; Students 8:45 light breakfast. Session is from 9:00 a.m. - 12:45 p.m.

Upcoming Events

February 10

  • TELPAS Writing - Present Tense RLA


February 12

  • TELPAS Writing - Social Studies


February 14

  • Professional Development Day
  • TELPAS Calibration Core Subjects


Week of February 18

  • Common Assessment Window
  • TELPAS Writing - Past Tense Narrative RLA


February 22

  • Greiner MS Invitational Track Meet at Wilmer Hutchins Stadium - 8:00 a.m. - Coach Bey/Clark/Martin/Harris


February 25

  • TELPAS Writing - Science
  • 9:00 - 11:00 a.m. - Texas Real Estate Council visit


February 26

  • TELPAS Writing - Math


February 27

  • 9:00 - 1:00 p.m. - AVID Showcase


February 29

  • Garcia MS Invitational Track Meet at Wilmer Hutchins Stadium - 8:00 a.m. - Coach Bey/Clark/Martin/Harris


March 2-3

  • TELPAS Online Reading - 8th Grade


March 4-5

  • TELPAS Online Reading - 7th Grade


March 6-9

  • TELPAS Online Reading - 6th Grade

Open Transfer Period

The Open Transfer application will be available starting March 6, 2020. Eligible employees must apply via the open transfer application online at https://www.dallasisd.org/careers within the time frame established. Principals will have an opportunity to submit open transfer recommendations no later than April 10, 2020. Transfers are not final until an approval email notification has been sent from Human Capital Management. All notification will be completed by April 24, 2020. While I have sent a form in the Fall, I will be sending another form where you will have an opportunity to let me know of your plans for next year. However, if you know that you are planning to transfer or leaving the district, please let me know as soon as possible so that we can plan accordingly. As we are working on having a solid and effective team, transfers will not be approved after the April 10 deadline. In previous years, I have tried to be flexible and supportive allowing staff members to transfer; however, we have found ourselves in a bind trying to fill vacancies for transfers approved after the deadline. Therefore, while I want to keep as many of you as possible, I know that life happens and some of you will be transferring. Please, plan accordingly and let me know of your next steps.

Teacher Report & Input -ARD Meetings / IEP Development

In order to provide our students with the best possible IEP plan, your input and report is very important. Use this link to access the teacher report so that our inclusion teachers can plan and prepare for ARD meetings and develop IEPs.

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GFIT 2019
  • Application window is Monday, January 13 – Sunday, March 22, 2020
  • All Dallas ISD educators are eligible to apply
  • Projects span all grade levels (K-12) and across all subject areas
  • Educators may request funding up to $2,500 for innovative teaching projects
  • Application can be completed using the fillable format attached and submitted electronically
  • Projects MUST be completed within the allowable time frame of September 1, 2020 – April 1, 2021.

Keeping you in our Thoughts and Prayers

Let's support the following staff members:

  • Ms. Ingram - Grandmother passed away last week. It is a difficult time for all of her family.
  • Ms. Herrera - High risk pregnancy and needs very close monitoring.
  • Mr. Maymi - Baby is scheduled to be here on February 6th.

Happy Birthday -

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

  • Ms. Mooty 2/2